- Pirate Verbatim — artists, in their own words, talking about piracy. The mix of opinions, attitudes, and nuance shows that there’s far from any single consistent view out there. (via Graham Linehan)
- What Rapleaf Knows About You — aggregating information from various sites, and your ad clickthroughs, to build a dossier about you that relates your email address to real name, age, shopping history, political leaning, and more. How do I control others’ ability to gather information about me? (via Mauricio Freitas)
- By Design — Australian radio show episode where five interesting people (artist, author, etc.) talk about water, electricity, food, and technology and then have Q&A. Dan Hill helped it happen.
- Rare Book Room — read high-resolution scans of important and beautiful old books (Shakespeare Folios, Galileo, Books of Hours, etc.) online. Digital for libraries means new ways for customers to view materials, and new customers: I can read an item from the Bodleian Library, but I’m in New Zealand and they’re in Oxford. Am I a Bodleian customer? Do they change what they do to support me? Who pays for the services I use? These are the questions many collections organisations are struggling with. (via Paul Steele)
ENTRIES TAGGED "future"
Artists on Piracy, Web Tracking, Thinking about Future Food, and Library Futures
Image Remapping, Internet Futures, Ebook Reader, and Open Cloud Computing
- Historical Images Remapped — Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum released historical images from their collections, and a historical photo site Sepiatown geolocated and oriented them so they can be viewed side-by-side with current Google Street View images of the same place. And then contributed the refined metadata back to the museum. A great example of your users helping to improve your data.
- Future Internet Scenarios — results of scenario planning by the Internet Society, some possible futures from open and competitive to anticompetitive centralised walled-gardens.
- OpenLibrary Bookreader — the Internet Archive’s book reader is (naturally) open source for you to reuse and improve. (via Kevin Marks on Twitter)
- OpenStack Austin Release — code to compute controller and object storage released. Competition and interoperability require exactly this kind of open cloud environment.
- Interview with Marcin Wichary (Ajaxian) — interview with the creator of Google’s Pacman logo, the original HTML5 slide deck. One of the first popular home video game consoles was 1977′s Atari VCS 2600. It was an incredibly simple piece of hardware. It didn’t even have video memory – you literally had to construct pixels just moments before they were handed to the electron gun. It was designed for very specific, trivial games: two players, some bullets and a very sparse background. All the launch games looked like that. But within five years, companies figured out how to make games like Pitfall, which were much, much cooler and more sophisticated. Here’s the kicker: if you were to take those games, go back in time, and show them even to the *creators* of VCS, I bet they would tell you “Naah, it’s impossible to do that. The hardware we just put together won’t ever be able to handle this.” Likewise, if you were to take Google Maps or iPhone Web apps, take your deLorean to 1991 and show them to Tim Berners-Lee, he’d be all like “get the hell out of here.” (via Russ Weakley)
- Liberating Lives — The historian Tim Hitchcock, behind projects such as the Old Bailey Online and London Lives, has reflected on the impact of digitisation on our access to archives. Archives, he notes, tend to reflect the assumptions and practices of the institutions that created them. But by providing new ways into these records systems, technology can undermine the power relations that persist within their structures. Read the entire post, which has a moving description of the bureaucracy of Australia’s racism and the modern-day projects built on it. (via spanishmanners on Twitter)
- Deblurring Images — interesting research work reconstructing original scenes from blurred images. (via anselm on Twitter)
- 50 Years of Cyborgs: I Have Not the Words (Quinn Norton) — We need language that lets us talk about the terrorism of little changes. Be they good or bad, they are terrible in aggregate. Thought-provoking essay pushing our ideas of change, future, technology, and culture until they break. (via kevinmarks on Twitter)
Hardware Hacking, BI Reporting Tool, Book Recommendations, and Winning the Futurist Lottery
- Dangerous Prototypes — “a new open source hardware project every month”. Sample project: Flash Destroyer, which writes and verifies EEPROM chips until they blow out.
- Wabit — GPLv3 reporting tool.
- Because No Respectable MBA Programme Would Admit Me (Mike Shaver) — excellent book recommendations.
- The Most Prescient Footnote Ever (David Pennock) — In footnote 14 of Chapter 5 (p. 228) of Graham’s classic Hackers and Painters, published in 2004, Graham asks “If the the Mac was so great why did it lose?”. His explanation ends with this caveat, in parentheses: “And it hasn’t lost yet. If Apple were to grow the iPod into a cell phone with a web browser, Microsoft would be in big trouble.”
Archival Footage, Interesting Visualization, Year of Ideas, Zoomable Time Graphs
- Videos from the vault of the National Archives — the public domain US government videos that public.resource.org have been scanning. Check out China’s Great Leap Forward (the Beijing landscape has changed!), John James Audubon’s Birds of America, and Nature’s Half-Acre.
- Browser Market Share — fantastic circular visualisation of browser share over time. (via Mike Loukides)
- NYT Year in Ideas — some fantastic stuff, but I think my favourite is Zombie Attack Science.
- Us Now — UK documentary, available streaming or on DVD, about how open government and digital democracy makes sense. It’s good to watch if you’ve not thought about how government could be positively changed by technology, but I don’t think it’s radical enough in the future it describes.
- It’s Gonna Be The Future Soon — great video for the Jonathan Coulton song that’s the Radar theme song, my theme song, and probably works well as an anthem for most of us goofy future-loving freaks. Taken from the DVD of a live show. (via BoingBoing)
- Jetpack — Mozilla Labs’ new extension system. Mozilla Labs is building quite the assemblage of interesting hack tools, and it’s interesting how significantly they’re aimed at the developer and encouraging lots of add-ons and after-market extensions for the browser. I wonder whether this is a deliberate strategy (“community will beat off Chrome!”) or whether it’s a simple consequence of the fact that Mozilla is a developer organisation.
- Sci Bar Camp — Science topics, Palo Alto, 7 July 2009.
Predictions, PDF, source code control, and recommendation engines:
- Wrong Tomorrow — track pundits predictions and see how accurate they really are. From the ever-awesome Maciej Ceglowski.
- PDFMiner — Unlike other PDF-related tools, it allows to obtain the exact location of texts in a page, as well as other layout information such as font size or font name, which could be useful for analyzing the document. It also infers text running within a page by using clustering technique. Entirely written in Python.
- Migrating from svn to a Distributed VCS — to decide which distributed VCS to use, Brett Cannon gathered Python use cases and then showed how they’d be done with different dvcses. The result is a very useful comparison document for svn, bzr, git, and hg.
- Online Monoculture and the End of the Niche — interesting post summarising and explaining research into recommendation engines, drawing the conclusion that although Internet World recommendation engines show everybody lots of new stuff, we’re all seeing the same new stuff and the end result is less the “riches of niches” Long Tail fantasy and more a monoculture.
Over the past few months I have been interviewing various people that are "on our Radar" so to speak. It recently occurred to me that we had never done a video with Tim. So last week Kirk Walter (bless him!) grabbed his camera and Tim and I took a walk behind the O'Reilly offices in Sebastopol. We had a wide-ranging…