ENTRIES TAGGED "brain"

Four short links: 4 May 2012

Four short links: 4 May 2012

Statistical Fallacies, Sensors via Microphone, Peak Plastic, and Go Web Framework

  1. Common Statistical Fallacies (Flowing Data) — once you know to look for them, you see them everywhere. Or is that confirmation bias?
  2. Project HijackHijacking power and bandwidth from the mobile phone’s audio interface.
    Creating a cubic-inch peripheral sensor ecosystem for the mobile phone.
  3. Peak Plastic — Deb Chachra points out that if we’re running out of oil, that also means that we’re running out of plastic. Compared to fuel and agriculture, plastic is small potatoes. Even though plastics are made on a massive industrial scale, they still account for less than 10% of the world’s oil consumption. So recycling plastic saves plastic and reduces its impact on the environment, but it certainly isn’t going to save us from the end of oil. Peak oil means peak plastic. And that means that much of the physical world around us will have to change. I hadn’t pondered plastics in medicine before. (via BoingBoing)
  4. web.go (GitHub) — web framework for the Go programming language.
Comment: 1
Top Stories: March 19-23, 2012

Top Stories: March 19-23, 2012

Google Maps alternatives, inside Dart, and the upside of offline.

This week on O'Reilly: StreetEasy's Sebastian Delmont explained why his team left Google Maps behind, we looked at the ins and outs of the Dart programming platform, and Jim Stogdill considered the alternatives to always-on living.

Comment
My Paleo Media Diet

My Paleo Media Diet

Turning off, opting out, and disconnecting to save my brain for the things I really want to use it for.

Jim Stogdill is tired of running on the info treadmill, so he's changing his media habits. His new approach: "Where I can, adapt to my surroundings, where I can't, adapt my surroundings to me."

Comments: 29
Four short links: 30 January 2012

Four short links: 30 January 2012

Human Labour, Kinect in Laptops, Web Fonts, and Brain Boosting

  1. Improvisation and Forgiveness (JP Rangaswami) — what makes us human is not repetitive action. Human occupations should require human intellect, and there’s no more human activity than making a judgement call when processes have failed a customer.
  2. Kinect Tech in Laptop Prototypes — “waving your hands around at your laptop” will be the new “bellowing into your walkie-talkie phone”. (via Greg Linden)
  3. Beautiful Web Type — demo page for the best from Google’s web fonts directory. Source on GitHub.
  4. Ethics of Brain Boosting, Discussion (Hacker News) — this comment in particular: in my initial reckless period of self-experimentation, I managed to induce phosphenes by accident — blue white flashes in the entire visual field, blanking out everything else. Both contacts were in the supraorbital region. I ceased my experiments for a while and returned to the literature. And you thought that typo where you accidentally took the database offline was bad ….
Comment
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)
Comment: 1
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)
Comment: 1
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)
Comment
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.
Comment: 1
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)
Comment
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)
Comment