- China Wants to Buy Facebook (Forbes) — Beijing approached a fund that buys stock from former Facebook employees to see if it could assemble a stake large enough “to matter.” This has implications for Facebook entering China. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is reportedly “wary about the compromises Facebook would have to make to do business there.” If she loses her argument with Zuckerberg and Facebook enters China, the company will eventually be subject to demands to censor its sites, those both inside and outside China. That’s apparently why the Chinese want to own a big stake in Facebook. They are, in short, looking for control in the long run. No other explanation is consistent with the Party’s other media and “educational” initiatives. Again the world’s most desirable emerging market is fraught for those who would enter it.
- Cisco Helping China Build Surveillance (WSJ, subscription probably needed) — Western companies including Cisco Systems Inc. are poised to help build an ambitious new surveillance project in China—a citywide network of as many as 500,000 cameras that officials say will prevent crime but that human-rights advocates warn could target political dissent. Check out the mealy-mouthed weasel from HP: “We take them at their word as to the usage.” He added, “It’s not my job to really understand what they’re going to use it for. Our job is to respond to the bid that they’ve made.” (a) buyers don’t bid, vendors bid; (b) you’re a piss-poor vendor if you don’t understand what the client hopes to achieve; (c) really, maintaining plausible denial is the best way to preserve your brand’s integrity? Hewlett and Packard are turning in their graves, the heat given off from which could be detected by sensors, routed through Cisco boxes and displayed on HP terminals.
- US Claims .net and .com In Their Jurisdiction — The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) wants to take down web sites that use the .com and .net top level domains (TLD) regardless of whether their servers are based in the US. Not only do DNS interventions like this not stop the copying, they’re the thin end of the political wedge into yet another piece of critical Internet infrastructure. Who woke up this morning and thought, “I want a copyright rentacop to decide which websites I can see”? The generative power of the Internet is eroded with every misguided meddling such as this.
- SVK Launches — BERG London finally launch their excellent comic. “Comic?” you ask. Noted science future awesome Warren Ellis wrote it, and it features some clever augmented reality hardware. I have one, and I am happy. You can be too, for only ten pounds plus shipping.
"augmented reality" entries
China Snaffling Facebook Stock, DNS Douchebaggery, Corporate Whores, and Comic Relief
Four vastly different projects marry augmented reality with publishing.
Here are four examples that illustrate how books and other publications are starting to use AR to power their pages.
Foursquare's Dennis Crowley on subtle forms of augmented reality.
Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, says subtle interactions — like a buzzing phone — could lead to better augmented reality experiences than those provided through cameras and screens.
Sentiment Analysis, Word Frequency, Design Process, and Plant Recognition
- SentiWordNet — WordNet with hints as to sentiment of particular terms, for use in sentiment analysis. (via Matt Biddulph)
- Word Frequency Lists and Dictionaries — also for text analysis. This site contains what we believe is the most accurate frequency data of English. It contains word frequency lists of the top 60,000 words (lemmas) in English, collocates lists (looking at nearby words to see word meaning and use), and n-grams (the frequency of all two and three-word sequences in the corpora).
- Crash Course in Web Design for Startups — When I was a wee pixel pusher I would overuse whatever graphic effect I had just learned. Text-shadow? Awesome, let’s put 5px 5px 5px #444. Border-radius? Knock that up to 15px. Gradients? How about from red to black? You can imagine how horrible everything looked. Now my rule of thumb in most cases is applying just enough to make it perceivable, no more. This usually means no blur on text-shadow and just a 1px offset, or only dealing with gradients moving between a very narrow color range. Almost everything in life is improved with this rule.
- Leafsnap — Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution have pooled their expertise to create the world’s first plant identification mobile app using visual search—Leafsnap. This electronic field guide allows users to identify tree species simply by taking a photograph of the tree’s leaves. In addition to the species name, Leafsnap provides high-resolution photographs and information about the tree’s flowers, fruit, seeds and bark—giving the user a comprehensive understanding of the species. iPhone for now, Android and iPad to come. (via Fiona Romeo)
- Android Patterns — set of design patterns for Android apps. (via Josh Clark on Twitter)
- Preview of Up and Running with Node.js (O’Reilly) — Tom Hughes-Croucher’s new book in preview form. Just sorting out commenting now. (via Tom on Twitter)
- #Blue Opens for Business — a web app that gets your text messages. You can reply, and there’s an API to give other apps read/write access. Signs the text message is finally becoming a consumer platform.
Illusion of Government, Sterling on Wikileaks, Useful AR, and Real World Programming
- There Is No Such Thing as the Government — absolutely spot on there is no spoon moment for government. And that matters. It matters because once you recognise that fact, you can start to do things differently. People do, of course, recognise it at the level of caricature I have described here and nobody will admit to believing that they can get things done simply by pulling the levers of power. But inactions speak louder than words and the myth of the lever is harder to eradicate than any of us like to admit.
- The Blast Shack (Webstock) — Bruce Sterling on Wikileaks. No hacker story is more common than this. The ingenuity poured into the machinery is meaningless. The personal connections are treacherous. Welcome to the real world. No army can permit this kind of behavior and remain a functional army; so Manning is in solitary confinement and he is going to be court-martialled. With more political awareness, he might have made himself a public martyr to his conscience; but he lacks political awareness. He only has only his black-hat hacker awareness, which is all about committing awesome voyeuristic acts of computer intrusion and imagining you can get away with that when it really matters to people.
- Word Lens — finally, useful AR: it replaces foreign language text with translations.
- Staging Servers, Source Control, Deploy Workflows, and Other Stuff Nobody Teaches You — this guy has a point: when you emerge from programming school, you’re unlikely to have touched this kind of real-world programming.
A simple app turns Android phones into intelligent agents.
Tomorrow's augmented reality is being built today on mobile devices. The Tasker app for Android puts the power of the phone's sensors and network into the hands of non-programmers.
Word Lens translates Spanish text to English and vice versa.
It looks like the future of augmented reality has already arrived. Word Lens is an iPhone app that uses the built-in camera to translate Spanish text to English and vice versa. See it in action.
Tomorrow's reality will be prototyped on phones and gaming consoles
Developers can now hack up augmented reality solutions with commonplace gaming consoles, accelerating innovation in virtual extensions to our daily lives.