ENTRIES TAGGED "brain"

Four short links: 24 January 2012

Four short links: 24 January 2012

Facebook Apps, Google+ Remover, Mind Hacks Books, and Pirate Bay Adds Physical Objects

  1. fbootstrap (GitHub) — HTML, CSS, and JS toolkit for Facebook apps based on Twitter’s popular Bootstrap library.
  2. Focus on the User — adds a bookmarklet “Don’t Be Evil” which shows your Google search as it would have been before Google+ began artificially inserting itself into Google search results. Written by Facebook engineer and Firefox co-creator Blake Ross, this is a gloriously subtle commentary on the pollution of search results from the privileging of Google+.
  3. Treasure Hunt for Mysteries of Mind and Brain (Mind Hacks) — one of the coauthors of Mind Hacks, Tom Stafford, has written two small self-published books on the cool things you can do with your brain: exploring your blind spot, and lucid dreaming.
  4. Pirate Bay Launches Physical Object CategoryWe believe that the next step in copying will be made from digital form into physical form. It will be physical objects. Or as we decided to call them: Physibles. Data objects that are able (and feasible) to become physical. We believe that things like three dimensional printers, scanners and such are just the first step. We believe that in the nearby future you will print your spare parts for your vehicles. You will download your sneakers within 20 years. We at O’Reilly believe this too. (via Annalee Newitz)
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Four short links: 7 December 2011

Four short links: 7 December 2011

Free Service Isn't Sustainable, Big Data, Crowdsourced Historic Science, and Cognitive Biases

  1. Don’t Be a Free User (Maciej Ceglowski) — pay for your free services, else they’ll go away.
  2. Katta — Lucene for massive data sets in the cloud. (via Pete Warden)
  3. Old Weather — crowdsourced transcription of old nautical journals to yield historical information for climate researchers. (via National Digital Forum)
  4. Siddhartha Mukherjee Talks About Cancer (Guardian) — fascinating profile of the author of a “biography of cancer”. Touches on the cognitive biases we’re all prone to, and their damaging effects on patients. Mukherjee cites a study which found that women with breast cancer recalled eating a high-fat diet, whereas women without cancer did not. But the very same study had asked both sets of women about their diets long before any of them developed cancer, and the diet of those who now had breast cancer had been no more fatty than the rest (via Courtney Johnston)
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Four short links: 6 December 2011

Four short links: 6 December 2011

Dispel Your Illusions, Simple Mac OS X Apps, Assisted Translation, and AutoTagging

  1. How to Dispel Your Illusions (NY Review of Books) — Freeman Dyson writing about Daniel Kahneman’s latest book. Only by understanding our cognitive illusions can we hope to transcend them.
  2. Appify-UI (github) — Create the simplest possible Mac OS X apps. Uses HTML5 for the UI. Supports scripting with anything and everything. (via Hacker News)
  3. Translation Memory (Etsy) — using Lucene/SOLR to help automate the translation of their UI. (via Twitter)
  4. Automatically Tagging Entities with Descriptive Phrases (PDF) — Microsoft Research paper on automated tagging. Under the hood it uses Map/Reduce and the Microsoft Dryad framework. (via Ben Lorica)
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Four short links: 25 November 2011

Four short links: 25 November 2011

MIND CONTROL COPTERS!, Better Security, Ratings Systems, and Lightweight Reference

  1. Continuous Three-Dimensional Control of a Virtual Helicopter Using a Motor Imagery Based Brain-Computer Interface (PLOSone) — direct brain control is becoming a reality, tiny step by tiny step. Also: HELICOPTERS!
  2. Forward Secrecy for HTTPS — Google contributed a better HTTPS cipher suite to OpenSSL, one that doesn’t share keys between conversations. Yay the Goog for giving back.
  3. Ratings Systems (Quora) — very good answer from the VP of Engineering at Netflix about the purposes and effects of different ratings and feedback systems. Full of pithy and true guidelines like: Your users have a certain mental budget they will invest in your rating system. The more work you make each decision, the fewer decisions you will get. This is true in many contexts other than rating systems as well. You can’t randomly throw feedback mechanisms into your app, you must design them as deliberately and thoughtfully as the rest of your site.
  4. InstaCSS — very simple very useful reference site. Grod like simplicity.
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Four short links: 24 November 2011

Four short links: 24 November 2011

Libraries and the Internet, Cheap Multicore, Online Exceeds Print, Perpetuating Ignorance

  1. Libraries: Where It All Went Wrong — I was asked to provocatively help focus librarians on the opportunities offered to libraries in the Internet age. If I ask you to talk about your collections, I know that you will glow as you describe the amazing treasures you have. When you go for money for digitization projects, you talk up the incredible cultural value. ANZAC! Constitution! Treaties! Development of a nation! But then if I look at the results of those digitization projects, I find the shittiest websites on the planet. It’s like a gallery spent all its money buying art and then just stuck the paintings in supermarket bags and leaned them against the wall. CC-BY-SA licensed, available in nicely-formatted A4 and Letter versions.
  2. Green Array Chips — 144 cores on a single chip, $20 per chip in batches of 10. From the creator of Forth, Chuck Moore. (via Hacker News)
  3. The Atlantic’s Online Revenue Exceeds Print — doesn’t say how, other than “growth” (instead of the decline of print). (via Andy Baio)
  4. On the Perpetuation of Ignorance (PDF) — ignorance about an issue leads to dependence leads to government trust leads to avoidance of information about that issue. Again I say to Gov 2.0 advocates that simply making data available doesn’t generate a motivated, engaged, change-making citizenry. (via Roger Dennis)
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Four short links: 14 November 2011

Four short links: 14 November 2011

Science Hack Days, YouTube Doggy Science, Antisocial Software, and Mind Reading with Wikipedia

  1. Science Hack Day SF Videos (justin.tv) — the demos from Science Hack Day SF. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a Hack Day.
  2. A Cross-Sectional Study of Canine Tail-Chasing and Human Responses to It, Using a Free Video-Sharing Website (PLoSone) — Approximately one third of tail-chasing dogs showed clinical signs, including habitual (daily or “all the time”) or perseverative (difficult to distract) performance of the behaviour. These signs were observed across diverse breeds. Clinical signs appeared virtually unrecognised by the video owners and commenting viewers; laughter was recorded in 55% of videos, encouragement in 43%, and the commonest viewer descriptors were that the behaviour was “funny” (46%) or “cute” (42%).
  3. RSS Died For Your Sins (Danny O’Brien) — if you have seven thousand people following you, a good six thousand of those are going to be people you don’t particularly like. The problem, as ever, is—how do you pick out the other thousand? Especially when they keep changing? I firmly believe that one of the pressing unsolved technological problems of the modern age is getting safely away from people you don’t like, without actually throttling them to death beforehand, nor somehow coming to the conclusion that they don’t exist, nor ending up turning yourself into a hateful monster.
  4. Generating Text from Functional Brain Images (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience) — We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. Turns out that the clustering of concepts in Wikipedia is similar to how they’re clustered in the brain. They found clusters in Wikipedia, mapped to the brain activity for known words, and then used that mapping to find words for new images of brain activity. (via The Economist)
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Four short links: 1 September 2011

Four short links: 1 September 2011

Android Charting, Illusion of Insight, Mapping API, and Science Storytelling

  1. A Chart Engine — Android charting engine.
  2. The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight — we are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.
  3. Urban Mapping API — add rich geographic data to web and non-web applications.
  4. Tell Us A Story, Victoria — a university science story-telling contest.
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Four short links: 15 August 2011

Four short links: 15 August 2011

Illusions, Crowdsourcing, Translations, and Favourite Numbers

  1. Illusion Contest — every year they run an open contest for optical illusions. Every year new perceptual illusions are discovered, exploiting hitherto unresearched areas of our brain’s functioning.
  2. Citizen Science Alliance — the team behind GalaxyZoo, who help other researchers in need of crowdsourcing support.
  3. Ancient Lives — crowdsourced translation and reconstruction of ancient papyri from Oxyrhyncus, already found new gospels (in which the number of the beast is 616, not 666).
  4. Favourite Number — tell a story about your favourite number. Alex Bellos is behind it, and talked about the great stories he’s collected so far. Contribute now, watch this space to learn more about the stories.
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Four short links: 1 August 2011

Four short links: 1 August 2011

Visual Illusion, Newspaper Economics, Native Web Apps, and Document Store Query Language

  1. The Flashed Face Effect Video — your brain is not perfect, and it reduces faces to key details. When they flash by in the periphery of your vision, you perceive them as gross and freakish. I like to start the week by reminding myself how fallible I am. Good preparation for the rest of the week… (via BERG London)
  2. The Newsonomics of Netflix and the Digital Shift — Netflix changed prices, tilting people toward digital and away from physical. This post argues that the same will happen in newspapers. Imagine 2020, and the always-out-there-question: Will we still have print newspapers? Well, maybe, but imagine how much they’ll cost — $3 for a local daily? — and consumers will compare that to the “cheap” tablet pricing, and decide, just as they doing now are with Netflix, which product to take and which to let go. The print world ends not with a bang, but with price increase after price increase. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  3. Phonegap — just shipped 1.0 of an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores.
  4. UnQL — query language for document store databases, from the creators of CouchDB and SQLite. (via Francisco Reyes)
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Four short links: 15 July 2011

Four short links: 15 July 2011

Gender on Forms, Glitch Gets God, Predictably? Irrational Web Sites, and Successfully Open

  1. The Gender Question — a clever solution to the vexed question of asking users for their gender. (via Luke Wroblewski)
  2. Katamari Damacy Creator Joins Glitch — an amazing coup for Stewart Butterfield’s new game.
  3. How Online Companies Get You to Spend More and Share More (Wired) — Dan Ariely (“Predictably Irrational”) tackles Amazon, Netflix, Groupon, etc. and shows how their web design ties into studies of our cognitive biases. This is great post-hoc analysis, but I’d love to know whether it’s predictive: can you say “do X, in line with study Y” and conversions always increase?
  4. The Power of Open — a collection of success stories around creators releasing Creative Commons-licensed works. Examples range from movies to TED talks to photos to music to books to education. High quality PDF for download for free, or pay for a print copy. (via Gabriella Coleman)
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