- Holoportation (YouTube) — video of teleconferencing with the Hololens. I hope my avatar wears more pants than I do.
- Wordfilter — package to filter out slurs and the kinds of things you don’t want your bot saying on Twitter. (via How Not to Make a Racist Bot)
- Curriculum For the Future (iTunes) — in game form, you get to figure out how to sell your preferred curriculum (“maker!”) to the parents and politicians who care about different things. Similar game mechanic to Win the White House from Sandra Day O’Connor’s iCivics.
- Test, Learn, Adapt: Developing Public Policy with Randomized Controlled Trials (PDF) — 2012 paper from the UK Cabinet Office talking about running real randomized control trials of policy. (I’d like to be part of one that looks at better health care!)
Four short links: 28 March 2016
Holoportation, Filter Your Bot, Curriculum for the Future, and Randomized Control Trials for Policy
Four short links: 17 March 2016
Boozy Tweets, Quantum Games, Viva Vectors, and Being Fired
- Algorithm Identifies Tweets Sent Under the Influence of Alcohol (MIT TR) — notable for how they determined whether a Tweet was sent from home. They made a list of phrases like “home at last!” and had MTurkers confirm the Tweets were about being home, then used those as training data for an algorithm to identify other Tweets talking about home.
- Puzzle Game to Help Program Quantum Computers (New Scientist) — Devitt has turned the problem of programming a quantum computer into a game called meQuanics. His team has developed a prototype to test the game, which you can play now, and today launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a fully fledged version for iOS and Android phones.
- Deep or Shallow, NLP is Breaking Out (ACM) — readable roundup of how NLP changed in the last five years, with a useful list for further reading and watching.
- Firing and Being Fired (Zach Holman) — advice for the fired, the firing, and the coworkers. All solid.
Health games platforms mature in preparation for mainstream adoption
Business models and sustainability will drive success in the health games space.
These efforts have born fruit, and clinical trials have shown the value of many such games. Ben Sawyer, who founded the Games for Health conference more than 10 years ago, is watching all the pieces fall into place for the widespread adoption of games. Business plans, platforms, and the general environment for the acceptance of games (and other health-related apps) are coming together.
Four short links: 7 March 2012
Forced Facebook Violation, Motivating Learners, Freeing Books, and Browser Local Storage Sucks
- Government Agencies and Colleges Demand Applicants’ Facebook Passwords (MSN) — “Schools are in the business of educating, not spying,” he added. “We don’t hire private investigators to follow students wherever they go. If students say stupid things online, they should educate them … not engage in prior restraint.” Hear, hear. Reminded me of danah boyd on teen password sharing.
- Changing Teaching Techniques (Alison Campbell) — higher ed is a classic failure of gamification. The degree is an extrinsic reward, so students are disengaged and treat classes like gold farming in an MMORPG: the dull slog you have to get through so you can do something fun later. Alison, by showing them a “why” that isn’t “6 credits towards a degree”, is helping students identify intrinsic rewards. Genius!
- GlueJar — interesting pre-launch startup, basically Kickstarter to buy out authors and publishers and make books “free”. We in the software world know “free” is both loaded and imprecise. Are we talking CC-BY-NC-ND, which is largely useless because any sustainable distribution will generally be a commercial activity? I look forward to watching how this develops.
- There Is No Simple Solution for Local Storage (Mozilla) — excellent dissection of localStorage‘s inadequacies.
Three game characteristics that can be applied to education
A tech-focused look at how "leveling up," collaboration, and play can be woven into learning experiences.
Cloud technologies and thoughtful roadmapping of digital technology can ensure that authenticity, social interaction, and play remain central components of education.
World of Warcraft and Minecraft: Models for our educational system?
How two games can help student engagement.
Massively multiplayer games like World of Warcraft can teach communication and the higher-order skills needed to achieve collective goals. Simple, rule-based games, such as Minecraft, showcase the value of preservation and exploration.
Four short links: 16 September 2011
Gamification Critique, Google+ API, Time Series Visualization, and SQL on Map-Reduce
- A Quick Buck by Copy and Paste — scorching review of O’Reilly’s Gamification by Design title. tl;dr: reviewer, he does not love. Tim responded on Google Plus. Also on the gamification wtfront, Mozilla Open Badges. It talks about establishing a part of online identity, but to me it feels a little like a Mozilla Open Gradients project would: cargocult-confusing the surface for the substance.
- Google + API Launched — first piece of a Google + API is released. It provides read-only programmatic access to people, posts, checkins, and shares. Activities are retrieved as triples of (subject, verb, object), which is semweb cute and ticks the social object box, but is unlikely in present form to reverse Declining numbers of users.
- Cube — open source time-series visualization software from Square, built on MongoDB, Node, and Redis. As Artur Bergman noted, the bigger news might be that Square is using MongoDB (known meh).
- Tenzing — an SQL implementation on top of Map/Reduce. Tenzing supports a mostly complete SQL implementation (with several extensions) combined with several key characteristics such as heterogeneity, high performance, scalability, reliability, metadata awareness, low latency, support for columnar storage and structured data, and easy extensibility. Tenzing is currently used internally at Google by 1000+ employees and serves 10000+ queries per day over 1.5 petabytes of compressed data. In this paper, we describe the architecture and implementation of Tenzing, and present benchmarks of typical analytical queries. (via Raphaël Valyi)
Top Stories: September 5-9, 2011
Hacking a Texas city, RIP Michael S. Hart, and the bar is raised for open gov visualizations.
This week on O'Reilly: Christopher Groskopf explained how he's going to hack a Texas city, Nat Torkington said goodbye to Project Gutenberg founder Michael S. Hart, and the value of government data visualizations reached a new standard thanks to LookatCook.com.
Master a new skill? Here's your badge
The Open Badges Project shows off skills with a reworked version of an old idea.
The Mozilla Foundation's Erin Knight talks about how the badges and open framework of the Open Badge Project could change what "counts" as learning.
Four short links: 31 August 2011
Maps on Android, Security Laws, Trough of Potential, and Enterprise Gamification
- OSMdroid — The OpenStreetMapView is a (almost) full/free replacement for Android’s MapView class. Also see this tutorial. (via Simon Gianoutsos)
- 10 Immutable Laws of Security (Microsoft) — an oldie but a goodie. Law #1: If a bad guy can persuade you to run his program on your computer, it’s not your computer anymore.
- What’s in The Trough? (BERG London) — as a predictor or similar tool for action, the Gartner Hype Cycle is comically useless. As a tool for brainstorming, as BERG point out, it’s fantastic.
- JP Rangaswami’s Enterprise Gamification (Livestream) — video of JP’s “Enterprise Gamification” talk. As Kevin Slavin points out, the introduction is cheesily bad but the talk is pantswettingly good.