- Developer Inequality (Jonathan Edwards) — The bigger injustice is that programming has become an elite: a vocation requiring rare talents, grueling training, and total dedication. The way things are today if you want to be a programmer you had best be someone like me on the autism spectrum who has spent their entire life mastering vast realms of arcane knowledge — and enjoys it. Normal humans are effectively excluded from developing software. (via Slashdot)
- Signals From Foo Camp (O’Reilly Radar) — useful for me (aka “the stuff I didn’t get to see”), hopefully useful to you too. Companies outside of Silicon Valley badly want to understand it and want to find ways to truly collaborate with it, but they’re worried that conversations can turn into competition. “Old industry” has incredible expertise and operates in very complex environments, and it has much to teach tech, if tech will listen. Silicon Valley isn’t an IT department for the world, it’s the competition.
- Feminist Point of View: Lessons from Running the Geek Feminism Wiki — deck from Alex’s OS Bridge session. Today’s awareness and actions around sexism in tech resulted from their actions, sometimes directly, sometimes indirectly.
- Big Data Should Not Be a Faith-Based Initiative (Cory Doctorow) — Re-identification is part of the Big Data revolution: among the new meanings we are learning to extract from huge corpuses of data is the identity of the people in that dataset. And since we’re commodifying and sharing these huge datasets, they will still be around in ten, twenty and fifty years, when those same Big Data advancements open up new ways of re-identifying — and harming — their subjects.
"foo camp" entries
O’Reilly editors explore the ideas and influences that are poised to break through.
Foo Camp, our annual gathering in Sebastopol, Calif., brings together people we know and admire, and those we’d like to know better. It’s also a way for us to discover the ideas emerging at the edges of technology, business, art, science, and society.
The latest Foo Camp wrapped up recently, so we pooled our notes and collected the major trends we spotted across sessions and conversations. Consider the following an early look at big things to come. Read more…
A portrait of a design contest and what it says about the future of co-creation.
I had decided to update the branding at one of my companies, and that meant re-thinking my logo.
Here’s the old logo:
When it was all done, I had been enveloped by an epic wave of 200 designs from 38 different designers.
It was a flash mob, a virtual meetup constructed for the express purpose of creating a new logo. The system itself was relatively lean, providing just enough “framing” to facilitate rapid iteration, where lots of derivative ideas could be presented, shaped and then re-shaped again.
The bottom line is that based on the primary goal of designing a new logo, I can say without hesitation that the model works.
Not only did the end product manifest as I hoped it would (see below), but the goodness of real-time engagement was intensely stimulating and richly illuminating. At one point, I was maintaining 10 separate conversations with designers spread across the Americas, Asia and Europe. Talk about parallelizing the creative process.
In the end, the project yielded eight worthy logo designs and not one but two contest winners! It was the creative equivalent of a Chakra experience: cathartic, artistic and outcome-driven at the same time.
William Gibson's apt predictions, why C matters, and a vote against lightweight DRM.
This week on O'Reilly: James Turner noted that the corporate dystopia predicted in "Neuromancer" has come to pass, author David Griffith discussed C's continued popularity, and Joe Wikert explained why lightweight ebook DRM isn't viable.
The book business is under assault. Book sales have been stagnating for some time, Amazon is the industry's boogeyman, and more terrifying, book publishers have no idea how to market books in a world (largely) devoid of bookstores. Moreover, in the age of the always on, it's fair to ask, do people even still read anymore? Just as it re-envisioned the Media Player, the Mobile Phone and Mobile Computing, Apple is well positioned to reboot the Book with its forthcoming iPad Tablet.
Digital Textbooks Rock, Diagrammed Sentences, Urban Games, Quirky Food
- CK-12 Textbooks Accepted by State of California — kudos to open textbook non-profit CK-12 for having many of their textbooks okayed for use in classrooms. Their books did better than those from commercial publishers! (via Slashdot)
- Diagrammr — web app to diagram simple sentences. (via brian on delicious)
- Noticings — Noticings is a game of noticing things in cities. Snap a photo of something interesting you happen upon, upload it to Flickr, tag it with ‘noticings’ and geotag it with where it was taken. (via migurski on delicious)
- White Castle Microwavable Frozen Hamburgers — Cal Henderson and Joshua Schachter can be bribed with these after midnight. (via direct observation)
As I read this fascinating NYTimes piece on a Florida teacher covering evolution, I was reminded of an interesting email exchange I had recently with Kevin Padian, a UC Berkeley professor in the Dept of Integrative Biology, and curator of the UC Museum of Paleontology. He was at Science Foo Camp, and afterward wrote in email: My area is evolution,…
Mark Jacobsen from O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures asked me to post this announcement about Startup Camp: We received an overwhelming response to our call for participants in the first annual OATV Startup Camp which will be held prior to this year's Foo Camp. There were so many great submissions that cutting the list to seven startups was extremely difficult. The companies…
The Thursday and Friday (July 10-11) before this year's Foo Camp in Sebastopol July 11-13, O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures will be hosting OATV Startup Camp. This startup boot camp will consist of sessions led by startup veterans and other experts in a roundtable discussion format on various topics important to founders. The sessions will be more of a conversation on each…