Appscale — open source implementation of Google App engine’s APIs built on top of Amazon’s APIs, from UCSB. You can deploy on Amazon or on any Amazon API-compliant cloud such as Eucalyptus.
Information Pioneers — the Chartered Institute for IT has a pile of video clips about famous IT pioneers (Lovelace, Turing, Lamarr, Berners-Lee, etc.).
This Week in Law — podcast from Denise Howell, covering IT law and policy. E.g., this week’s episode covers “Google Books, Elena Kagen, owning virtual land, double-dipping game developers, Facebook tips, forced follow bug and fragile egos, embedding tweets, Star Trek Universe liability, and more.”
Snapscouts — rather creepy sousveillance site. It’s up to you to keep America safe! If you see something suspicious, Snap it! If you see someone who doesn’t belong, Snap it! Not sure if someone or something is suspicious? Snap it anyway! I like the idea of promoting a shared interest in keeping us all safe, but I’m not sure SnapScouts is there yet. (update: Ha, it’s a brilliant joke! See the comments for more)
Diaspora Kickstarter Project — team looking for seed funding to write an aGPLed “privacy aware, personally controlled, do-it-all distributed open source social network” (no news of dessert topping or floor wax applicability). Received 2.5x their requested funding in a few days.
A German Library for the 21st Century (Der Spiegel) — But browsing in Europeana is just not very pleasurable. The results are displayed in thumbnail images the size of postage stamps. And if you click through for a closer look, you’re taken to the corresponding institute. Soon you’re wandering helplessly around a dozen different museum and library Web sites — and you end up lost somewhere between the “Vlaamse Kunstcollectie” and the “Wielkopolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa.” Would it not be preferable to incorporate all the exhibits within the familiar scope of Europeana? “We would have preferred that,” says Gradmann. “But then the museums would not have participated.” They insist on presenting their own treasures. This is a problem encountered everywhere around the world: users hate silos but institutions hate the thought of letting go of their content. We’re going to have to let go to win. (via Penny Carnaby)
StoryGarden — a web-based tool for gathering and analyzing a large number of stories contributed by the public. The content of the stories, along with some associated survey questions, are processed in an automated semantic computing process for an immediate, interactive display for the lay public, and in a more thorough manual process for expert analysis.
Google Apps Script — VBA for the 2010s. Currently mainly for spreadsheets, but some hooks into Gmail and Google Calendar.
There’s a Rootkit in the Closet — lovely explanation of finding and isolating a rootkit, reconstructing how it got there and deconstructing the rootkit to figure out what it did. It’s a detective story, no less exciting than when Cliff Stohl wrote The Cuckoo’s Egg.
The Future of Book Publishing Business Models (Stephen Walli) — some good thoughts about the book publishing industry and ebooks. When does Amazon create the iPhone/Android app and the programme that will allow bookstores to receive a cut of every Kindle edition they sell? I scan the book’s in-store barcode with my smartphone, and I get the Kindle edition delivered, and the store gets its cut. Why is this different in concept than Borders on-line store being run on Amazon, or any of the independent book sellers that front through Amazon? It’s not the normal book mark-up, but people already browse bookstores and buy on Amazon. This is better than no revenue. (When was the last time you went to a travel agent?)
Google Apps Enterprise Marketplace — this is sweet. It looks like the play is to become the home page for authenticated apps rather than to make commissions from selling the apps themselves. This may be the Google business model vs the Apple business model in a nutshell. (via Marc Hedlund)
iPad Application Design — some fantastic notes about the kinds of UI design that iPad encourages. I’ve avoided covering The Second Coming of The JesusPhone but this is interesting because of the middle ground it stakes out between phone and laptop. The primary warning about designing for the iPad is: more screen space doesn’t mean more UI. You’ll be tempted to violate that principle, and you need to resist the temptation. It’s OK to have UI available to cover your app’s functionality, but a bigger screen doesn’t mean it should all be visible at once. Hide configuration UI until needed. Look like a viewer, and behave like an editor … There’s been a history of modes getting some bad press on the desktop. The issue is that they trade stability (things always being in exactly the same place in the UI, and not changing) for simplicity (not having too many controls to look through at once). On the iPad, it’s clear where the winning side of the balance is: simplicity. Modes are completely appropriate on this device. (via Marc Hedlund)
The Internet of Things That Do What You Tell Them: Cory Doctorow passionately explains how computers are already entwined in our lives, which means laws that support lock-in are much more than inconveniences.