- The Care and Feeding of Weird Machines Found in Executable Metadata (YouTube) — talk from 29th Chaos Communication Congress, on using tricking the ELF linker/loader into arbitrary computation from the metadata supplied. Yes, there’s a brainfuck compiler that turns code into metadata which is then, through a supernatural mix of pixies, steam engines, and binary, executed. This will make your brain leak. Weird machines are everywhere.
- European Libraries May Digitise Books Without Permission — “The right of libraries to communicate, by dedicated terminals, the works they hold in their collections would risk being rendered largely meaningless, or indeed ineffective, if they did not have an ancillary right to digitize the works in question,” the court said. Even if the rights holder offers a library the possibility of licensing his works on appropriate terms, the library can use the exception to publish works on electronic terminals, the court ruled. “Otherwise, the library could not realize its core mission or promote the public interest in promoting research and private study,” it said.
- CausalImpact (GitHub) — Google’s R package for estimating the causal effect of a designed intervention on a time series. (via Google Open Source Blog)
- Laws of Crappy Dashboards — (caution, NSFW language … “crappy” is my paraphrase) so true. Not talking to users will result in a [crappy] dashboard. You don’t know if the dashboard is going to be useful. But you don’t talk to the users to figure it out. Or you just show it to them for a minute (with someone else’s data), never giving them a chance to figure out what the hell they could do with it if you gave it to them.
School District Saves With Open Source, Apple ][ Presentation Tool, Tech Talks, and Realtime Dashboard
- School District Builds Own Software — By taking a not-for-profit approach and using freely available open-source tools, Saanich officials expect to develop openStudent for under $5 million, with yearly maintenance pegged at less than $1 million. In contrast, the B.C. government says it spent $97 million over the past 10 years on the B.C. enterprise Student Information System — also known as BCeSIS — a provincewide system already slated for replacement.
- Giving a Presentation From an Apple ][ — A co-worker used an iPad to give a presentation. I thought: why take a machine as powerful as an early Cray to do something as low-overhead as display slides? Why not use something with much less computing power? From this asoft_presenter was born. The code is a series of C programs that read text files and generate a large Applesoft BASIC program that actually presents the slides. (via Jim Stogdill)
- AirBnB TechTalks — impressive collection of interesting talks, part of the AirBnB techtalks series.
- Gawker’s Realtime Dashboard — this is not just technically and visually cool, but also food for thought about what they’re choosing to measure and report on in real time (new vs returning split, social engagement, etc.). Does that mean they hope to be able to influence those variables in real time? (via Alex Howard)
Internet of Zings, Public Domain Alternate Universe, Web Engineers Tools, and Dashboards for All
- Is It The Internet of Things? — we’ve moved from “they ignore you” to “they laugh at you”. Next up, “they fight you”, then finally the earless RFID-enabled location-aware ambient-sensing Network of All wins. (via BERG London)
- The 2012 We Could Have Had — list of famous and interesting works which would have entered the public domain had we not had the 1976 extension of copyright law.
- Web Engineer’s Online Toolbox — a list of online, Web-based tools that Web engineers can use for their work in development, testing, debugging and documentation.
- Indianapolis Museum of Art Dashboard — everyone should have a HUD showing the things they care about. (via Courtney Johnston)
Elegant Boxes, Dashboard in PHP, Management Theory Disparaged, and Obsolete Technology
- Lines (Mark Jason Dominus) — If you wanted to hear more about phylogeny, Java programming, or tree algorithms, you are about to be disappointed. The subject of my article today is those fat black lines. Anatomy of a clever piece of everyday programming. There is no part of this program of which I am proud. Rather, I am proud of the thing as a whole. It did the job I needed, and it did it by 5 PM. Larry Wall once said that “a Perl script is correct if it’s halfway readable and gets the job done before your boss fires you.” Thank you, Larry.
- PHP Clone of Panic Status Board (GitHub) — The Panic status board shows state of downloads, servers, countdown, etc. It’s a dashboard for the company. This PHP implementation lets you build your own. (via Hacker News)
- The Management Myth (The Atlantic) — a philosophy PhD gets an MBA, works as management consultant, then calls bullshit on the whole thing. Taylorism, like much of management theory to come, is at its core a collection of quasi-religious dicta on the virtue of being good at what you do, ensconced in a protective bubble of parables (otherwise known as case studies). (via BoingBoing)
- Obsolete Technology — or, as I like to think of it, post-Zombie-apocalypse technology. Bone up on your kilns if you want your earthen cookware once our undead overlords are running (or, at least, lurching) the country. (via Bruce Sterling)
Well-designed dashboards begin with the user squarely in mind.
A new class of dashboards is making data analysis more flexible. Some companies are even replacing stagnant corporate intranets with dashboard interfaces.
RSS Dashboard, Hardware Filesharing, Making is Learning, and Revenue/Customer
- NiftyUrls — open source elegant wee RSS dashboard. I haven’t looked into the source yet, but I’m already thinking of applications.
- The PirateBox — small piece of hardware that creates a wifi network for local filesharing. Not connected to the Internet. (via BoingBoing)
- More Hammer, Less Yammer (Julian Bleecker) — If you’re not also making — you’re sort of, well..basically you’re not doing much at all. You’ve only done a rough sketch of an idea if you’ve only talked about it and didn’t do the iteration through making, then back to thinking and through again to talking and discussing and sharing all the degrees of material — idea, discussions, conversations, make some props, bring those to the discussion, repeat. Why O’Reilly prefers makers to fakers.
- Revenue per Unique Visitor (BusinessInsider) — Amazon makes $189/user, Google $24/user, Yahoo! $8/user, Facebook $4/user. (via Greg Linden)