- Transparency is Not Enough (danah boyd) — we need people to not just have access to the data, but have access to the context surrounding the data. A very thoughtful talk from Gov 2.0 Expo about meaningful data release.
- Feed6 — the latest from Rohit Khare is a sort of a “hot or not” for pictures posted to Twitter. Slightly addictive, while somewhat purposeless. Remarkable for how banal the “most popular” pictures are, it reminds me of the way Digg, Reddit, and other such sites trend towards the uninteresting and dissatisfying. Flickr’s interestingness still remains one of the high points of user-curated notability. (via rabble on Twitter)
- Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism (PDF) — FTC staff discussion document that floats a number of policy proposals around journalism: additional IP rights to defend against aggregators like Google News; protection of “hot news” facts; statutory limits to “fair use”; antitrust exemptions for cartel paywalls; and more. Jeff Jarvis hates it, but Alexander Howard found something to love in the proposal that the government “maximize the easy accessibility of government information” to help journalists find and investigate stories more easily. (via Jose Antonio Vargas)
Eric A. Meyer on HTML5's future and the skills developers need to acquire
Google for Good, Flash in JS, Pop Software, and Scientific Publishing
- Four Possible Explanations for Google’s Big China Move (Ethan Zuckerman) — I’m staying out of the public commentary on this one, but Ethan’s fourth point was wonderfully thought provoking: a Google-backed anticensorship system (perhaps operated in conjunction with some of the smart activists and engineers who’ve targeted censorship in Iran and China?) would be massively more powerful (and threatening!) than the systems we know about today. It’s deliciously provocative to ask what the world’s strongest tech company could do if it wanted to be actively good, rather than merely “not evil”.
- Pop Software — great blog post about this new category of software. The people who are consuming software now are a vast superset of the people who used to do so. At one time, especially on the Mac, we’d see people chose software based upon how well it suited their requirements to get a job done. This new generation of software consumers isn’t like that – they’re less likely to shop around for something rather they shop around for anything. These are people who want to be entertained as much as they want to have their requirements met. […] Apps are not Applications – they are their own things. They are smaller. They are more fun. Pop software has amazing scale, is hit-driven, is a very hard business for developers, and isn’t going away. (via timo on Delicious)
- Why Hasn’t Scientific Publishing Been Disrupted? — an analysis of the scientific publishing world: what roles it serves, how some of those roles can be better served by new technology, and which roles are still mired in traditions and performance plans anchored to the old models. As is often the case, people won’t move to the new system when the amount they’re paid is determined by the old system. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
If you've wasted half your life playing Peggle, Bejeweled, Zuma or Plants vs. Zombies, blame these guys!
An interview with Jason Kapalka, one of the founders and the creative
director of PopCap. We discussed the evolution of PopCap, how the
casual gaming industry differs from mainstream gaming, and the
challenges of creating games that can be engaging, without being
Reverse Search, PDF Stripping, Flash Visualization, Failure
- Tineye — reverse search engine; you upload an image and they find you similar images so you know where else it’s used. Check out their cool searches.
- PDF Pirate — upload a PDF and this web site will give it back to you minus the restrictions on copying/printing/etc.
- Flare — an ActionScript library for creating visualizations that run in the Adobe Flash Player. BSD-licensed, modelled on Prefuse. When there’s a visualisation library for every platform, will we start to get people who know how to make them?
- The Importance of Failure (Marco Tabini) — This is a point that I don’t often hear made when people talk about failure; the moral behind a failure-related story is usually about preventing it, or dealing with the aftermath, but not about the fact that sometimes things go bad despite your best efforts, and all the careful risk management and contingency planning won’t keep you from going down in flames. This is important, because it forces every person to establish a risk threshold that they are willing to accept in every one of their life efforts.
iPhone App Backstory, Cookie Resurrection, The Entrepreneuralism Lickmus test, and An Interesting Database
- The Making of the NPR News iPhone App — interesting behind-the-scenes look, with sketches and all. Station streams, however, presented a larger challenge. To begin with, NPR didn’t have direct stream links for any of its stations, so we built a Web spider that identified and captured more than 300 iPhone-compatible station streams. After that first pass, we worked with our station representatives to manually test each stream. In the process they found enough new streams to double our database. All of these streams are delivered to the app from NPR’s Station Finder API. (via mattb on Twitter)
- You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again (Wired) — Flash keeps its own cookies, which are harder to delete. Several services even use the surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, which is called ‘re-spawning’ in homage to video games where zombies come back to life even after being “killed,” the report found. So even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the “backup.” (via Simon Willison)
- Would You Lick It? (Rowan Simpson) — clever example of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
- FluidDB — a shared “in the cloud” database built around tags: an object is a container for a set of tags which are name:value pairs, tag names have simple namespaces (e.g., “gnat/review” is the “review” tag in my namespace), all objects are world readable and writable but there are ACLs for tags, values can be any type (string, number, URL, Excel spreadsheet), and there’s a simple query language. I’m curious to see what applications spring up around shared data. They’re in limited alpha, controlling the # of users, so register now to play before everyone else.
Last May, Tim O'Reilly posted a piece on whether or not Adobe was worried about the new threat to their dominance in the RIA space by the introduction of Silverlight from Microsoft. In a nutshell, the answer was no. From a book sales perspective, that was true and remains true today. But there is more to that answer than what…
Adobe just launched the Open Screen Project, an initiative designed to easily move content and applications across devices: This initiative provides one more motivation for adopting Flash for rich media and interactivity to take eBooks beyond static paper-like experiences and make digital content more compelling to consumers … More and more, digital publications — whether downloaded or consumed online…