- ASCII Flow — create ASCII diagrams. Awesome. (via Hacker News)
- Principles of Uncertainty — probability and statistics textbook, for maths students to build up to understanding Bayesian reasoning.
- Playable Archaeology: An Interview with the Telehacks Anonymous Creator (Andy Baio) — The inspiration was my son. I had shown him the old movies Hackers, Wargames, and Colossus: The Forbin Project and he really liked them. After seeing Hackers and Wargames, he really wanted to start hacking stuff on his own. I’d taught him some programming, but I didn’t want him doing any actual hacking, so I decided to make a simulation so he could telnet to hosts, hack them, and get the feel of it, but safely. (Andy was the interviewer, not the creator)
- Responsive Data Tables — CSS ways to reformat data tables if the screen width is inadequate for the default table layout. (via Keith Bolland)
ENTRIES TAGGED "books"
ASCII Diagrams, Bayesian Textbook, Telehacks Interview, and Table Resizing in CSS
In-Line Computing, What Price All The Books?, Android SIM Toolkit, and Small Manufacturing Grows
- Raspberry Pi — the creator of the game Elite has made an inline computer the size of a thumb drive–it plugs into an HDMI cable on one end and USB on the other. 700MHz CPU, OpenGL, 1080p-capable, running Ubuntu. Pricetag: $25. The mission is to supply them to schools.
- A Budget for Babel (Tim Carmody) — What would you pony up for instant access to every book? Interesting insight into the value and utility of such a service.
- Android’s Achilles Heel: The Sim Toolkit — Now if you live in the States, you might not even know what the STK is, so a bit of explaining is in order. Put simply, the STK allows carriers to load a simple set of menus and ‘applications’ on your SIM card. Again, on your fancy iPhone, you may question the need or purpose for such a thing, but that’s because you are still years behind and using a credit card. Here, where credit cards are virtually unknown, the present and future of payments is Mobile Money, which is almost always delivered via.. you guessed it, the STK.
- Democratizing Design — AutoDesk partner with Ponoko and Techshop to allow anyone to design 3-D models, and then turn them into real-life products. Great to see this kind of small-run custom manufacturing heading toward the mainstream.
MongoDB for Guardian, Visualization Book, Mobile CouchDB, and Fast Approximate String Retrieval
- Why We Chose MongoDB for Guardian.co.uk (SlideShare) — they’re using MongoDB’s flexible schema, as schema upgrades were pain in their previous system (Oracle). I think of these as the database equivalent of dynamic typing in languages like Perl and Ruby. (via Paul Rowe)
- Solving Problems with Visual Analytics — This book is the result of a community effort of the partners of the VisMaster Coordinated Action funded by the European Union. The overarching aim of VisMaster was to create a research roadmap that outlines the current state of visual analytics across many disciplines, and to describe the next steps that have to be taken to foster a strong visual analytics community, thus enabling the development of advanced visual analytic applications. (via Mark Madsen)
- iOS-Couchbase (GitHub) — a build of distributed key-value store CouchDB, which will keep your mobile data in sync with a remote store. No mean feat given CouchDB itself has Erlang as a dependency. (via Mike Olson)
- SimString — A fast and simple algorithm for approximate string retrieval in C++ with Python and Ruby bindings, opensourced with modified BSD license. (via Matt Biddulph)
Fluidinfo's new API allows anyone to add information to O'Reilly book and author objects.
Fluidinfo's new O'Reilly API contains information from O'Reilly, Amazon, Google Books, LibraryThing, and GoodReads. But most importantly, anyone can "write" their own information to the book and author objects.
Twitter Numbers, Online News, Emotional Complexity, and Making Described
- Twitter Numbers — growing at half a million accounts a day (how many are spammers, d’ya think?), over 140M tweets sent each day.
- Online vs Newspaper News (Mashable) — The Poynter Institute, a landmark of American journalism research, has determined that as of the end of 2010, more people get their news from the Internet than from newspapers — and more ad dollars went to online outlets than to newspapers, too. (via Sacha Judd)
- Blue Lacuna: Lessons Learned Writing the World’s Longest Interactive Fiction (PDF) — While I felt Progue was largely a success, the extreme complexity of the character’s code made difficulties with him both intensely difficult to diagnose and repair, and failures all the more mimesis-breaking for an engaged audience. In addition, the subtle text substitutions and altered behaviors provided in many cases too opaque a window into Progue’s interior workings. From informal interviews and published reviews I gathered that players could often not tell which conversation responses might cause Progue to become more submissive, paternal, and so on. In many cases, the change was not noticeable at all, and did not successfully indicate to players that their actions had had an eect on the character. More mechanisms to let the player shape their relationship with Progue more directly might have created a stronger feeling of agency for players, and an increased ability to shape the story more to their liking. Lessons for people designing complex emotional states into their products. (via Zack Urlocker)
- From Head to Hand (Slate) — I was searching for the place where someone, anyone, writes about that epiphany where you see what you have made and it is different from what you had conceived. I was searching for a description of how an object can displace a bit of the world. I was avid. I wanted someone to write a description of Homo faber, the maker of things. I wanted a story of making told without the penumbra of romanticising how hard it is, without nostalgia.
Titles that caught the attention of Radar's contributors.
I asked the Radar folks for the best books they read in 2010. Perhaps somewhere in this list of recommendations you'll find a title that tickles your fancy enough to push aside the old books.
Experimental Design, Distributed Microsatire, Annotations, and Machine Learning
- Evaluating Extraordinary Claims — science isn’t easy, and the most difficult part of science is experimental design. Peter Norvig takes us through a handful of studies that claim to have found prayers to be effective, and critiques their experimental design. Lest you think scientists only criticize prayer experiments, read the Atlantic’s profile of John Ioannidis.
- Thimbl — decentralized microblogging using SSH and finger with an hilarious manifesto. Performance art at its finest. (via Jason Ryan)
- Annotator — open source toolkit for annotating
text, written for The Open Shakespeare project. (via Rufus Pollock‘s blog about it)
- Machine Learning: A Love Story — presentation on the history of machine learning, by Hilary Mason of bit.ly. (via Julie Steele)
Artists on Piracy, Web Tracking, Thinking about Future Food, and Library Futures
- Pirate Verbatim — artists, in their own words, talking about piracy. The mix of opinions, attitudes, and nuance shows that there’s far from any single consistent view out there. (via Graham Linehan)
- What Rapleaf Knows About You — aggregating information from various sites, and your ad clickthroughs, to build a dossier about you that relates your email address to real name, age, shopping history, political leaning, and more. How do I control others’ ability to gather information about me? (via Mauricio Freitas)
- By Design — Australian radio show episode where five interesting people (artist, author, etc.) talk about water, electricity, food, and technology and then have Q&A. Dan Hill helped it happen.
- Rare Book Room — read high-resolution scans of important and beautiful old books (Shakespeare Folios, Galileo, Books of Hours, etc.) online. Digital for libraries means new ways for customers to view materials, and new customers: I can read an item from the Bodleian Library, but I’m in New Zealand and they’re in Oxford. Am I a Bodleian customer? Do they change what they do to support me? Who pays for the services I use? These are the questions many collections organisations are struggling with. (via Paul Steele)
BBC Machine Learning, Wikipedia for History, Nuggets from Websites, and Lawbreaking Robots
- BBC Jobs — looking for someone to devise advanced machine intelligence techniques to infer high level classification metadata of audio and video content from low-level features extracted from it. (via mattb on Delicious)
- A History of the Iraq War Through Wikipedia Changelogs — printed and bound volumes of the Wikipedia changelogs during the Iraq war. This is historiography. This is what culture actually looks like: a process of argument, of dissenting and accreting opinion, of gradual and not always correct codification. And for the first time in history, we’re building a system that, perhaps only for a brief time but certainly for the moment, is capable of recording every single one of those infinitely valuable pieces of information. Everything should have a history button. We need to talk about historiography, to surface this process, to challenge absolutist narratives of the past, and thus, those of the present and our future. (via Flowing Data)
- Nuggetize — pulls highlights out of a page before you visit it. (via titine on Delicious)
- Antimov — SparkFun running contest where a robot violates one of Asimov’s three laws (not the one about hurting people though). I am in LOVE with the logo, check it out.