"fun" entries

Four short links: 29 November 2012

Four short links: 29 November 2012

Internet of Zings, Public Domain Alternate Universe, Web Engineers Tools, and Dashboards for All

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Indianapolis Museum of Art Dashboard — everyone should have a HUD showing the things they care about. (via Courtney Johnston)
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Four short links: 24 August 2012

Four short links: 24 August 2012

PublicSpeaking App, Wacky Javascript, Open Science in R, and Surviving DDOS

  1. Speak Like a Pro (iTunes) — practice public speaking, and your phone will rate your performance and give you tips to improve. (via Idealog)
  2. If Hemingway Wrote Javascript — glorious. I swear I marked Andre Breton’s assignments at university. (via BoingBoing)
  3. R Open Sciopen source R packages that provide programmatic access to a variety of scientific data, full-text of journal articles, and repositories that provide real-time metrics of scholarly impact.
  4. Keeping Your Site Alive (EFF) — guide to surviving DDOS attacks. (via BoingBoing)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 14 August 2012

Four short links: 14 August 2012

Search Fail, Recruiter Data, Ed Web, and Enterprise IT Yuks

  1. WTF — when keyword matching fails.
  2. The Best Recruiters, Pt II (Elaine Wherry) — almost all these tips are relevant to the cold-call “hey, you don’t know me but …” email messages you’ll have to send at some point in your life. Read, learn, obey.
  3. Best Websites for Teaching And Learning — as decided by the American Association of School Librarians. Lots of these I didn’t know existed but can see being used in class, e.g. Gamestar Mechanic which walks kids through the process of creating a game, teaching them how to think about games even as they produce one.
  4. Enterprise IT Adoption Curve — so very very true.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 3 July 2012

Four short links: 3 July 2012

OpenROV Funded, Teen Surprises, Crowdsourced Net Transparency, and Like Humour

  1. OpenROV Funded in 1 Day (Kickstarter) — an open source robotic submarine designed to make underwater exploration possible for everyone. (via BoingBoing)
  2. McAfee Digital Divide Study (PDF) — lots of numbers showing parents are unaware of what their kids do. (via Julie Starr)
  3. Herdict — crowdsourced transparency to reveal who is censoring what online. (via Twitter)
  4. You Really Really Like Me (NY Times) — cute collection of visual riffs on “like” and “tweet this” iconography. I like my humour pixellated.
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Four short links: 28 June 2012

Four short links: 28 June 2012

Bogan Ipsum, Disassembled and Deconstructed, P2P Commerce, and Android Sensors

  1. Bogan Ipsum — the Australian version of Loren Ipsum. (via Seb Chan)
  2. Microsoft BASIC for 6502 — reverse-engineering magic, this person has RE’d the assembly language for various versions of the BASIC interpreter that shipped on microcomputers in the 80s. This page talks about the changes in each version, the easter eggs, and the hacks. This, kids, is how real programmers do it :)
  3. The Sudden Rise of Peer-to-Peer Commerce (Casey Research) — Today, business are sprouting up around the world based on the idea of connecting individuals directly to each other to trade products and services. While the idea is very much in its infancy still, like the music business at the dawn of Napster, we’re beginning to grasp the potential. Something we are tracking at O’Reilly as well.
  4. The Sensor/itive Side of Android (Luke Wroblewski) — lots of details about sensors in Android, from a Google I/O talk. Sampling rates change between devices. The data has variance and static because it comes from cost-effective components for mobile phones not robust and industry-grade sensors.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 23 May 2012

Four short links: 23 May 2012

Complex Exploit, Better Coding Tools, Online Coding Tools, and DIY 3D-Printed Dolls

  1. Tale of Two Pwnies (Chromium Blog) — So, how does one get full remote code execution in Chrome? In the case of Pinkie Pie’s exploit, it took a chain of six different bugs in order to successfully break out of the Chrome sandbox. Lest you think all attacks come from mouth-breathing script kiddies, this is how the pros do it. (via Bryan O’Sullivan)
  2. The Future is Specific (Chris Granger) — In traditional web-MVC, the code necessary to serve a single route is spread across many files in many different folders. In a normal editor this means you need to do a lot of context switching to get a sense for everything going on. Instead, this mode replaces the file picker with a route picker, as routes seem like the best logical unit for a website. There’s a revolution coming in web dev tools: we’ve had the programmer adapting to the frameworks with little but textual assistance from the IDE. I am loving this flood of creativity because it has the promise to reduce bugs and increase the speed by which we generate good code.
  3. Best Online Editors For Teaching HTML/CSS/JS (Pamela Fox) — Over the past few months, I’ve been teaching in-person classes on HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, as part of GirlDevelopIt San Francisco. Along the way, I’ve experimented with various online consoles and editors, and I thought I’d share my experience with using them for teaching.
  4. Makie — design a doll online, they’ll 3d-print and ship it to you. Hello, future of manufacturing, fancy seeing you in a dollhouse!
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Four short links: 21 May 2012

Four short links: 21 May 2012

Objectivist C, Robotrading, Meme Culture, and Mobile-controlled Peripherals

  1. Objectivist C — very clever. In Objectivist-C, each program is free to acquire as many resources as it can, without interference from the operating system. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  2. Zynga and Facebook Stock Oddities (The Atlantic) — signs of robotrading, a reminder that we’re surrounded by algorithms and only notice them when they go awry.
  3. The Final ROFLcon and Mobile’s Impact on Internet Culture (Andy Baio) — These days, memes spread faster and wider than ever, with social networks acting as the fuel for mass distribution. But it’s possible we may see less mutation and remixing in the near future. As Internet usage shifts from desktops and laptops to mobile devices and tablets, the ability to mutate memes in a meaningful way becomes harder.
  4. Oh Mi Bod — I was impressed to learn that one can buy vibrators that can be controlled from an iPhone. Insert iBone joke here. (via Cary Gibson)
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Four short links: 16 May 2012

Four short links: 16 May 2012

Old Periodicals, Learning to Code, Substituting for Newspapers, and Charty Font

  1. Many Old Periodicals — I’m working my way through the back issues of “Thrilling Love”. Sample story, Moonmist for Mary by Dorothy Daniels, from Feb 1950. Filing clerk Mary wins the heart of her secret coworker romance AND closes the sale AND is promised stock. It’s torn from the pages of real life, I tell ya!
  2. Please Don’t Learn to Code (Jeff Atwood) — my take: everyone who is a “knowledge worker” should learn to program (who of us has not seen people wasting time with something we could automate in 10 lines of code?). It’s hard to justify an adult like Bloomberg to take the time to learn to code, because he’s already powerful and can hire other people to code. For this reason, I think kids should routinely be taught computational thinking (decomposition, pattern matching, etc.) and programming as a useful application of these skills. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Fungible NewsHere’s my hypothesis. Educated people over forty have come to assume that journalism, whether on television, radio, print or the web, is the most convenient way to get answers to questions like what’s on the television, what’s going on in my neighborhood, who got elected, who is making a mess of things, any new music I should hear? […] The younger the person you ask, the less likely it is you’ll find that link between wanting to know what’s going on and grabbing a paper or opening up a news website. They use Pinterest to figure out what’s fashionable and Facebook to see if there’s anything fun going on next weekend. They use Facebook just the same to figure out whether there’s anything they need to be upset about and need to protest against. (via Phil Lindsay)
  4. FF-Chartwell, a Graph-Making Font — brilliant! Font uses ligatures to show graphs. This is an elegant hack in so many ways, for example: copy and paste and you get the bare numbers! (via Chris Spurgeon)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 30 April 2012

Four short links: 30 April 2012

A/B Testing in Rails, Open Source Groupware, Is the Internet Innovative, and Patent Art

  1. Chanko (Github) — trivial A/B testing from within Rails.
  2. OpenMeetings — Apache project for audio/video conferencing, screen sharing, whiteboard, calendar, and other groupware features.
  3. Low Innovation Internet (Wired) — I disagree, I think this is a Louis CK Nobody’s Happy moment. We renormalize after change and become blind to the amazing things we’re surrounded by. Hundreds of thousands (millions?) of people work from home, collaborate to develop software that has saved the world billions of dollars in licensing fees, provide services, write and share books, make voice and video calls, create movies, fund creative projects, buy and sell used goods, and you’re unhappy because there aren’t “huge changes”? Have you spoken to someone in the publishing, music, TV, film, newspaper, retail, telephone, or indeed any industry that exists outside your cave, you obtuse contrarian pillock? There’s no room on my Internet for weenie whiners.
  4. Context-Free Patent Art — endlessly amusing. (via David Kaneda)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 24 April 2012

Four short links: 24 April 2012

Craft Pharma, Silly Toy, Failure, and Android Image/Audio Capture

  1. 3D-Printing Pharmaceuticals (BoingBoing) — Prof Cronin added: “3D printers are becoming increasingly common and affordable. It’s entirely possible that, in the future, we could see chemical engineering technology which is prohibitively expensive today filter down to laboratories and small commercial enterprises. “Even more importantly, we could use 3D printers to revolutionise access to health care in the developing world, allowing diagnosis and treatment to happen in a much more efficient and economical way than is possible now.
  2. Bolt Action Tactical Pen (Uncrate) — silliness.
  3. Ken Robinson’s Sunday Sermon (Vimeo) — In our culture, not to know is to be at fault socially… People pretend to know lots of things they don’t know. Because the worst thing to do is appear to be uninformed about something, to not have an opinion… We should know the limits of our knowledge and understand what we don’t know, and be willing to explore things we don’t know without feeling embarrassed of not knowing about them. If you work with someone who hides ignorance or failure, you’re working with a timebomb and one of your highest priorities should be to change that mindset or replace the person. (via Maria Popova)
  4. Using Android Camera in HTML Apps (David Calhoun) — From your browser you can now upload pictures and videos from the camera as well as sounds from the microphone. The returned data should be available to manipulate via the File API (via Josh Clark)
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