- 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)
A/B Testing in Rails, Open Source Groupware, Is the Internet Innovative, and Patent Art
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.
Delicious Absolution, Open Data Incentives, Curious iPad, and Desktop Web Apps Again
- Joshua at Seven on Seven — Delicious creator Joshua Schachter participated in a Rhizome “Seven on Seven” recently. He was paired with artist Monica Narula and together they explored guilt and absolution with the help of the Mechanical Turk. Check out the presentation PDF for the quick summary.
- How to Align Researcher Incentives with Outcomes (Cameron Neylon) — the open science data movement battles entrenched forces for closedness. We need more sophisticated motivators than blunt policy instruments, so we arrive at metrics. […] What might the metrics we would like to see look like? I would suggest that they should focus on what we want to see happen. We want return on the public investment, we want value for money, but above all we want to maximise the opportunity for research outputs to be used and to be useful. We want to optimise the usability and re-usability of research outputs and we want to encourage researchers to do that optimisation. Thus if our metrics are metrics of use we can drive behaviour in the right direction. It sounds good, but I have one question: I remember The Rise of Crowd Science. Alex Szalay didn’t have to change researcher incentives to promote shared astronomical data. I’d ask: what can the other sciences learn from astronomy?
- Making an iPad HTML5 App and Making it Really Fast (Thomas Fuchs) — some curious hard-won facts about iPad web development, like that touch events are delivered faster than click events. (via Webstock newsletter)