- Reboot Britain Video Archive — video from the talks at Reboot Britain are online. The event also produced a essay set (PDF), CC-licensed. (via Paul Reynolds)
- Revealing Errors — Benjamin Mako Hill blog using computer errors as starting points for understanding how computers control the world around us. (via Dan Meyer)
- New Microbe Strain Makes More Electricity, Faster — University of Amherst researchers made current-generating bacteria work harder to live, and in five months had a strain that made an 8x larger current.
- Netflix Culture — readable slide deck which talks about the Netflix company culture. It’s hard to read it and not nod in full agreement. (via joshua on Delicious)
ENTRIES TAGGED "biology"
A review of George Church's book Regenesis: How Synthetic Biology will Reinvent Nature and Ourselves
The hacker culture that launched the computing revolution is now taking root in the bio space.
Rebooting Britain, Revealing Errors, Reproducing Generators, Netflix Culture
UI Library, 3rd Party Wave Server, Mobile Phones + Parasites, Single API to Cloud Providers
- CNMAT Resource Library — The CNMAT Resource Library is our fast growing collection of materials, sensors, gestural controllers, interface devices, tools, demos, prototypes and products – all organized and annotated to support the design of physical interaction systems, “new lutherie” and art installations. (via egoodman on Delicious)
- PyGoWave Server — first third-party Google Wave server, based on Django.
- Mobile Phones Identify Parasites and Bacteria — UCB Researchers developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers.. The sensor network is built out, and the computers in our pockets surprise us with their uses. (via BoingBoing)
- libcloud — a unified interface to cloud providers, written in Python and open source. Covers EC2, EC2-EU, Slicehost, Rackspace, Linode, VPS.net, GoGrid, flexiscale, Eucalyptus. (via joshua on Delicious)
- Ignite OSCON — 56m of video from Ignite OSCON. They’re all great, but Dan Meyer remains the highlight for me.
- gheat — a maptile server in Python, delivering heatmaps to be superimposed on Google Maps. Handy for visualization fiends.
- CaDNAno — open source software for design of 3-dimensional DNA origami. One of George Church’s projects. I love the combination of math, biology, and whimsy in open-source giftwrap. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- CommentPress — an open source theme for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph by paragraph in the margins of a text. Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with CommentPress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog. I’m taking a greater interest in tools that channel and focus participation rather than simply providing “edit this page”. (via gov2.net.au’s issues paper)
Biological Radio, Laggy Smart Grids, API Moneys, and Pubsub Server
- Drawing Inspiration From Nature To Build A Better Radio — based on the design of the cochlear, this MIT-built RF chip is faster than others out there, and consumes 1/100th the power. Biomimicry and UWB radio are on our radar.
- Why the Smart Grid Won’t Have the Innovations of the Internet Any Time Soon — While it’s significant that utilities are starting to build out smart grid infrastructure, utilities are largely opting for networks that provide connections that are far from real time, and this could stifle the desired innovation. [...] smart meter data that is pushed to Google’s PowerMeter energy tool has to make its way back to the utility before it can be sent to Google. That means that even for Google’s energy tool, there can be both a significant delay before information reaches consumers, and significant gaps in energy data details. These delays and gaps can undercut the premise of how smart meter technologies will empower consumers to make decisions about their energy use based on real-time costs. Smart grids (houses and devices able to take use of instantaneous pricing changes) have the potential to help us with our energy obesity problem, but the architecture must be right.
- API Value Creation, Not Monetization — On the side of the unexpected but interesting outcomes, Kevin said they have seen a flurry of internally developed business applications. In the past many valuable, internal-facing projects were turned down because the programs had to meet strict top line to bottom line ratios. With the availability to data and services, many teams within the company now have access to things they didn’t in the past, and project costs have been minimized. Throughout the company, consumers of the API have been able to launch successful projects that have created additional revenue and have reduced the overall development costs for new projects. Some solid numbers and names to help convince businesses to offer APIs, though the battle is still much harder than it should be.
- Watercoolr — a pubsub server for your apps. A channel is a list of URLs to be notified whenever a message is posted to that channel. Clever little piece of infrastructure for web apps, embodying the Unix philosophy of small tools that each do one thing very well. (via straup on Delicious)
Spies, Community, International Success, and DNA Origami
- Supermap — The CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel, is paying an undisclosed sum to California-based Geosemble Technologies to develop an intelligence version of the “geospatial data integration and layering technology” that the company developed for use by urban planners, real estate investors and market analysts. The technology combines overhead imagery, maps and heavy-duty data mining to create a map-based intelligence capability reminiscent of the Pentagon’s former Total Information Awareness program. When the project is done – and In-Q-Tel won’t say how soon that might be – CIA agents will be able to merge aerial images and electronic maps on a computer screen. Then they will be able to click on the building or other item of interest and all manner of information will pop up: who the tenants are, phone numbers, company records, links to company and organization Web sites, news reports related to the tenants or incidents at the address, property records, tax data and more. I love that Cheap Suit Susan, your local real estate agent, had the technology before the CIA. It’s like learning that Lionel Hutz has a missile defense system to stop his house being TPed.
- 7 Harsh Truths About Running Communities — As the leader of your community, your personality sets the tone. As a result if the community behaves in ways you do not want, then you only have yourself to blame. I have seen many bloggers write about the negative comments they get on their posts. In most cases this is due to the tone they themselves strike in their writing. Although there are exceptions I believe that users will respond in the same voice you yourself set. If you are irreverent, then so will your users be. If you are rude, expect rude responses. “Social software” is an anachronism-software that doesn’t let users interact has become antisocial software. Every web creator needs to know what successful communities have in common. (via Julie Starr)
- Lingopal is Big in Japan (Lance Wiggs) — Turns out we are biggest in Japan. We have done no marketing there – it is all organic growth as our google ad writing and PR ability is not so good in Japanese. More anecdata for my belief that, while chance favours the prepared mind (as Louis Pasteur said), we routinely use post-hoc rationalisation to explain why it was inevitable that this or that lucky SOB hit it big.
- DNA Origami Seeds: Bottom-Up Methods for Molecular Self-Assembly (US News) — Winfree’s coworker at Caltech, Paul W. K. Rothemund, pioneered the seed-DNA technology that allows tiny “DNA origami” structures to self-assemble into nearly arbitrary shapes (such as a smiley face and a map of the Western Hemisphere). The researchers designed several different versions of a DNA origami rectangle, 95 by 75 nanometers, which served as the seeds for the growth of different types of ribbon-like DNA crystals. The seeds were combined in a test tube with other bits of DNA, called “tiles,” heated, and then cooled slowly. At the lower temperature, the tiles start to stick to each other and to the origami. In this way, the DNA ribbons self-assemble, but only into forms such as ribbons with particular widths and ribbons with stripe patterns prescribed by the original seed.