- DEFCON Documentary — free download, I’m looking forward to watching it on the flight back to NZ.
- Global-Scale Systems — botnets as example of the scale of networks and systems we’ll have to build but don’t have experience in.
- MediaGoblin — GNU project to build a decentralized alternative to Flickr, YouTube, SoundCloud, etc.
- Teaching TCP/IP Headers with Legos — genius. (via BoingBoing)
DEFCON Doco, Global-Scale Networks, Media Goblin, and TCP/IP Legos
Learning Languages, URL Mastery, Free as in Life, Heritage Remix
- Flash is Not a Right (Ian Bogost) — I worry that we’re losing a sense of diversity in computation. This seems to be happening at both the formal and informal levels. Georgia Tech’s computer science bachelor’s degree doesn’t require a language survey class, for example (although one is offered as an elective). This year in the Computational Media curriculum committee, we’ve been discussing the idea of creating a history of programming languages course as a partial salve, one that would explain how and why a number of different languages and environments evolved. Such a course would explicitly focus on how to learn new languages and environments, since that process is not always obvious. It’s a wonderful and liberating feeling to become familiar with and then master different environments, and everyone truly interested in computing should experience that joy.
- What Every Developer Should Know About URLs — a lot of detail of how the pieces hook together. (via bengebre on Delicious)
- Ryzom is an Open Source MMORPG — existing game, now GNU Affero licensed code for server, client, and tools, with CC-BY-SA licensed assets. (via Slashdot)
- Remix American High Style with Polyvore — the greatest challenge to heritage institutions is irrelevance, not penury. Brooklyn Museum is unsurpassed in creating relevance for its collections and its existence, and they do it by reaching out, where people are and not expecting them to come directly to us. If you’re at a gallery, museum, library, or archive and your first reaction is to protect what you’ve got, you’re doing it wrong. Report to Brooklyn for make-up classes. (via auchmill on Twitter)
Brand in China, Radio Apps, Valued Free Text, and Brain TV
- E-Commerce Booming in China (Economist) — bad time for Google to be leaving, just as online sales take off. Chinese consumers in stores check quality by hand but buying online requires trust, aka brands. This is a turn towards Western-style commerce built on trademarks and brand promise of quality, and away from the prevalent wild East style of commerce built on cut corners, deception, and mistrust.
- Comprehensive GNU Radio Archive Network — collection of GNU Radio applications. (via Hacker News)
- The Glass Box and the Commonplace Book (Steven Johnson) — essay on connected useful text vs frozen glass-walled text. As with paywalls, I am not dogmatic about these things. I don’t think it’s incumbent upon the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal to allow all their content to flow freely through the infosphere with no restrictions. I do not pull out my crucifix when people use the phrase “Digital Rights Management.” If publishers want to put reasonable limits on what their audience can do with their words, I’m totally fine with that. As I said, I think the Kindle has a workable compromise, though I would like to see it improved in a few key areas. But I also don’t want to mince words. When your digital news feed doesn’t contain links, when it cannot be linked to, when it can’t be indexed, when you can’t copy a paragraph and paste it into another application: when this happens your news feed is not flawed or backwards looking or frustrating. It is broken.
- Charlie Rose Brain Series — streaming video of the TV shows about the brain. (via Mind Hacks)
Healthcare Data, GNU Econometrics Library, Visualizing Changes, View Source Under Attack
- Testing, Testing — at the end of an interesting article on health care reform comes this: The poverty of our health-care information is an embarrassment. At the end of each month, we have county-by-county data on unemployment, and we have prompt and detailed data on the price of goods and commodities; we can use these indicators to guide our economic policies. But try to look up information on your community’s medical costs and utilization—or simply try to find out how many people died from heart attacks or pneumonia or surgical complications—and you will discover that the most recent data are at least three years old, if they exist at all, and aren’t broken down to a county level that communities can learn from. It’s like driving a car with a speedometer that tells you only how fast all cars were driving, on average, three years ago.. (via auchmill on Twitter)
- Gretl: The GNU Regression, Econometrics, and Time-Series Library — GPLed cross-platform software package for econometric analysis, written in the C programming language. (via Hacker News)
- 11 Ways to Visualize Changes Over Time (Flowing Data) — just what it says. (via mattb on Delicious)
- View Source is Good? Discuss (Alex Russell) — fantastic post, mandatory reading. View-source was necessary (but not sufficient) to make HTML the dominant application platform of our times. I also hold that it is under attack — not least of all from within — and that losing view-source poses a significant danger to the overall health of the web.