- Beautiful Buttons for Bootstrap — cute little button creator, with sliders for hue, saturation, and “puffiness”.
- CMU iPad Course — iTunes U has the video lectures for a CMU intro to iPad programming.
- Inspiring Matter — the conference aims to bring together designers, scientists, artists and humanities people working with materials research and innovation to talk about how they work cross- or trans-disciplinarily, the challenges and tools they’ve found for working collaboratively, and the ways they find inspiration in their work with materials. London, April 2-3.
- Facebook’s S-1 Filing (SEC) — the Internets are now full of insights into Facebook’s business, for example Lance Wiggs’s observation that Facebook’s daily user growth is slowing. While 6-10% growth per quarter feels like a lot when annualized, it is getting close to being a normal company. Facebook is running out of target market, and especially target market with pockets deep enough to be monetised. But I think that’s the last piece of Facebook IPO analysis that I’ll link to. Tech Giant IPOs are like Royal Weddings: the people act nice but you know it’s a seething roiling pit of hate, greed, money, and desperation that goes on a bit too long so by the end you just want to put an angry chili-covered porcupine in everyone’s anus and set them all on fire. But perhaps I’m jaded.
ENTRIES TAGGED "events"
Build a Button, CMU iPad Course, Materials Conference, and Facebook IPO
CAPTCHA Commerce, Tech Policy, Mobile Data, London Event
- Virtual Sweatshops Defeat CAPTCHAs — I knew there was an industry around solving CAPTCHAs (to spam comments on blogs, sign up for millions of gmail accounts, etc.) but this is the first time I’ve seen how much you can be paid for it: employees can expect to earn between $0.35 to $1 for every thousand CAPTCHAs they solve [...] Most of our staff is from China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam. (via BoingBoing)
- Lockdown — transcription of Cory Doctorow’s excellent talk, “The Coming War on General-Purpose Computation”. The entertainment industry is just the first belligerents to take up arms, and we tend to think of them as particularly successful. [...] But the reality is that copyright legislation gets as far as it does precisely because it’s not taken seriously by politicians. [...] Regardless of whether you think these are real problems or hysterical fears, they are, nevertheless, the political currency of lobbies and interest groups far more influential than Hollywood and big content. Every one of them will arrive at the same place: “Can’t you just make us a general-purpose computer that runs all the programs, except the ones that scare and anger us? Can’t you just make us an Internet that transmits any message over any protocol between any two points, unless it upsets us?”
- Mobile Data Consumption Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — the most eye-catching statistic is 1% of bandwidth consumers account for half of all wireless traffic worldwide in the World. The top 10% of users are consuming 90% of wireless bandwidth. In my land of pay-through-the-nose-for-a-modicum-of-mobile-bandwidth, this was also of note: Voice recognition software Siri has prompted owners of the iPhone 4S to use almost twice as much data as iPhone 4 users.
- Monkigras — event in London that looks interesting. The Redmonk chaps are fellow travellers on the O’Reilly storytelling path: they see many of the same interesting trends as we do, and their speakers cover everything from platform services to open source, startups, and alpha geeks (Biddulph, I’m looking at you). And, also, beer.
Underground Map Viz, Teaching Programming, Humanities Visualization, Mobile Browser Test
- Subway Map jQuery Plugin — create your own London Underground-style maps. (via Chris Spurgeon)
- Webcraft and Programming for Free Range Students — a p2pu class for teachers of web stuff and programming.
- Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks 2012 — CFP for a conference in Chicago, looking for visualization and data-analysis papers with a background in the humanities.
- How to Go Mo — clever idea. Everyone at a company should be able to say “hey, our site looks like crap on mobile browsers!”, bringing pressure to fix it. 1/3 of people browse the web on their phone.
Conferences get stuck in ruts because we treat them like conferences.
Keynotes and panel discussions may not be the best way to program conferences. What if organizers instead structured events more like a great curriculum?
Piracy of Convenience, Machina Ex Artist, Disaster Art, and CI Conference
- Late to Hulu Means More Piracy — more evidence that price isn’t the main reason people pirate. If they can get it legally online in a convenient fashion, they will. If you delay online release, or make it inconvenient, your erstwhile customers will turn to piracy because “it’s illegal” is less important than “it’s convenient”. Welcome to the modern world, Fox, please use the designated bin to dispose of your buggy whips.
- Samuel Morse’s Reversal of Fortune (Smithsonian Magazine) — Morse gave up painting entirely, relinquishing the whole career he had set his heart on since college days. No one could dissuade him.“Painting has been a smiling mistress to many, but she has been a cruel jilt to me,” he would write bitterly to Cooper. “I did not abandon her, she abandoned me.” He must attend to one thing at a time, as his father had long ago advised him. The “one thing” henceforth would be his telegraph, the crude apparatus housed in his New York University studio apartment. Later it would be surmised that, had Morse not stopped painting when he did, no successful electromagnetic telegraph would have happened when it did, or at least not a Morse electromagnetic telegraph. (via Courtney Johnston)
- Mudbird — beautiful ceramics made from silt and clay revealed in the Christchurch earthquake. When life hands you liquefaction, make art. (via Bridget McKendry)
- Jenkins User Conference — first conference on the continuous integration tool that I’m seeing in a lot of places. (via Kohsuke Kawaguchi)
Doctorovian Keynote, Bagcheck Tech, Render Webpages, and Science Reading
- Cory Doctorow’s SIGGRAPH Keynote (BoingBoing) — the latest from Cory on reforming copyright.
- Bagcheck Technology — great list of services and systems used by the Bagcheck folks.
- Berkelium — library to render webpages via Google’s Chromium web browser. (via Joshua Schachter)
- Sci Foo Reading List — Edd Dumbill shared his reading list from Science Foo Camp.
Personal Genomics, NodeJS FTP, Bad Workshops, and Piggy Eclipse
- 23andMe Disproves Its Own Business Model — a hostile article talking about how there’s little predictive power in genetics for diabetes and Parkinson’s so what’s the point of buying a 23andMe subscription? The wider issue is that, as we’ve known for a while, mapping out your genome only helps with a few clearcut conditions. For most medical things that we care about, environment is critical too–but that doesn’t mean that personalized genomics won’t help us better target therapies.
- jsftp — lightweight implementation of FTP client protocol for NodeJS. (via Sergi Mansilla)
- Really Bad Workshops — PDF eBook with rock-solid advice for everyone who runs a workshop.
- PigEditor (GitHub) — Eclipse plugin for those working with Pig and Hadoop. (via Josh Patterson)
Organising Conferences, Moving to the JVM, Language Crowdsourcing, and Bayesian Computing
- Conference Organisers Handbook — accurate guide to running a two-day 300-person conference. See also Yet Another Perl Conference guidelines.
- Twitter Shifting More Code to JVM — interesting how, at scale, there are some tools and techniques of the scorned Enterprise that the web cool kids must turn to. Some. Business Process Workflow XML Schemas will never find love.
- Louis von Ahn on Duolingo — from the team that gave us “OCR books as you verify you are a human” CAPTCHAs comes “learn a new language as you translate the web”. I would love to try this, it sounds great (and is an example of what crowdsourcing can be).
- Fully Bayesian Computing (PDF) — A fully Bayesian computing environment calls for the possibility of defining vector and array objects that may contain both random and deterministic quantities, and syntax rules that allow treating these objects much like any variables or numeric arrays. Working within the statistical package R, we introduce a new object-oriented framework based on a new random variable data type that is implicitly represented by simulations. Perl made text processing easy because strings were first-class objects with a rich set of functions to operate on them; Node.js has a sweet HTTP library; it’s interesting to see how much more intuitive an algorithm becomes when random variables are a data type. (via BigData)