- Uncertain Rainbow — Chris McDowall’s artistic Twitter experiment. Just how important are people to your social software? Described in this blog post.
- 8 Weeks Until BitCoin Debit/Credit Card — with an option to hold the value in BitCoins until it’s used. (Is this the same as denominated in BitCoins?)
- LittleBlackBox (Google Code) — a collection of thousands of private SSL and SSH keys extracted from various embedded devices. These private keys are stored in a database where they are correlated with their public certificates as well as the hardware/firmware that are known to use those private keys. (via Pedram Amini)
- Internet Safety Talking Points — pro-Internet, pro-safety, pro-teaching, anti-isolationism. Very nice.
Copyright and intellectual disobedience, improving health IT integration, and pushing the envelope on digital images.
This week on O'Reilly: Artist Nina Paley explained her "intellectual disobedience" stance on copyright, Shahid Shah looked at the future of health IT integration, and illustrator Laura Maaske discussed the next generation of digital imagery.
A/B Testing in Rails, Open Source Groupware, Is the Internet Innovative, and Patent Art
- Chanko (Github) — trivial A/B testing from within Rails.
- OpenMeetings — Apache project for audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, whiteboard, calendar, and other groupware features.
- Low Innovation Internet (Wired) — I disagree, I think this is a Louis CK Nobody’s Happy moment. We renormalize after change and become blind to the amazing things we’re surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people work from home, collaborate to develop software that has saved the world billions of dollars in licensing fees, provide services, write and share books, make voice and video calls, create movies, fund creative projects, buy and sell used goods, and you’re unhappy because there aren’t “huge changes”? Have you spoken to someone in the publishing, music, TV, film, newspaper, retail, telephone, or indeed any industry that exists outside your cave, you obtuse contrarian pillock? There’s no room on my Internet for weenie whiners.
- Context-Free Patent Art — endlessly amusing. (via David Kaneda)
Watercolor Maps, Inside Displays, Numbers API, and Chinese Mobile Activations Boom
- Stamen Watercolour Maps — I saw a preview of this a week or two ago and was in awe. It is truly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen a computer do. It’s not just a clever hack, it’s art. Genius. And they’re CC-licensed.
- Screens Up Close — gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad’s retina display is.
- Numbers API — CUTE! Visit it, even if you’re not a math head, it’s fun.
- China Now Leads the World in New iOS and Android Device Activations (Flurry) — interesting claim, but the graphs make me question their data. Why have device activations in the US plummeted in January and February even as Chinese activations grew? Is this an artifact of collection or is it real?
Coaching, Geospatial Tracking, Eye-Tracking, and Networked Objects
- Personal Best (New Yorker) — excellent Atul Gawande column on coaching which has me wondering how to open up different aspects of my life to improvement. Interesting to me because, behind every continuous- or self-improvement technique are the questions: “do you want to get better?” and “if so, how far will you go in pursuit of that goal?”.
- CyberTracker — tool for non-profits tracking things in the real world. Used around the world for ecology, disaster recovery, even crime-fighting. Brings geospatial data capture and analytics to environmental orgs who otherwise could never afford it.
- Eye-Tracking in Painting Restoration — The consequence of the different gaze pattern is that when asked to describe the content of the painting, viewers of the unreconstructed version did not realise it was a painting of an erupting volcano. The painting had lost its meaning and viewers could not view it as originally intended by Martin. (via Ed Yong)
- The Era of Objects (PDF) — a collection of essays around the future of networked objects, from a Blowup event on that topic. Writings from Bruce Sterling, Julian Bleecker, and others.
The events of the past week generated powerful reactions inside of the Radar team.
In the context of worldwide reactions to the impact of Steve Jobs on the arc of history, recognizing the complexity of his life and offering a balanced assessment of the impact of his legacy on this earth matters. In that context, O'Reilly editors share their reflections on the passing of one of the technology industry's iconic figures.
Hacking a Texas city, RIP Michael S. Hart, and the bar is raised for open gov visualizations.
This week on O'Reilly: Christopher Groskopf explained how he's going to hack a Texas city, Nat Torkington said goodbye to Project Gutenberg founder Michael S. Hart, and the value of government data visualizations reached a new standard thanks to LookatCook.com.
The names may change, but the friction between science and art goes back centuries.
Whether we're discussing ancients vs. moderns, scientists vs. poets, or the latest variant, computer science vs. humanities, the debate between science and art is persistent and quite old.
Piracy of Convenience, Machina Ex Artist, Disaster Art, and CI Conference
- Late to Hulu Means More Piracy — more evidence that price isn’t the main reason people pirate. If they can get it legally online in a convenient fashion, they will. If you delay online release, or make it inconvenient, your erstwhile customers will turn to piracy because “it’s illegal” is less important than “it’s convenient”. Welcome to the modern world, Fox, please use the designated bin to dispose of your buggy whips.
- Samuel Morse’s Reversal of Fortune (Smithsonian Magazine) — Morse gave up painting entirely, relinquishing the whole career he had set his heart on since college days. No one could dissuade him.“Painting has been a smiling mistress to many, but she has been a cruel jilt to me,” he would write bitterly to Cooper. “I did not abandon her, she abandoned me.” He must attend to one thing at a time, as his father had long ago advised him. The “one thing” henceforth would be his telegraph, the crude apparatus housed in his New York University studio apartment. Later it would be surmised that, had Morse not stopped painting when he did, no successful electromagnetic telegraph would have happened when it did, or at least not a Morse electromagnetic telegraph. (via Courtney Johnston)
- Mudbird — beautiful ceramics made from silt and clay revealed in the Christchurch earthquake. When life hands you liquefaction, make art. (via Bridget McKendry)
- Jenkins User Conference — first conference on the continuous integration tool that I’m seeing in a lot of places. (via Kohsuke Kawaguchi)
Denis Dutton's TED talk uses evolution to explain beauty.
I love this TED talk by Denis Dutton of Arts & Letters Daily fame. As you’ll see the accompanying video, he uses evolution to explain beauty.