Memorable Indexes (Futility Closet) — Carroll’s index also includes entries for “Boots for horizontal weather,” “Horizontal rain, boots for,” “Rain, horizontal, boots for,” and “Weather, horizontal, boots for”. They’re silly and whimsical, but the underlying problem of making multiple accessible entrypoints into a single corpus of content is with us today and only compounded by the vast growth of the size of the corpora with which we deal.
Geiger Counter for iPhone — reports radiation levels via Twitter, too. Expect to see more mobile sensor add-ons as the various smartphone hardware interfaces mature. (via Sara Winge)
Suwappu App Prototype (BERG London) — augmented reality, without fugly QR codes, but with toys. what does a script look like, when you’re authoring a story for five or six woodland creatures, and one or two human kids who are part of the action? How do we deliver the story to the phone? What stories work best? This app scratches the surface of that, and I know these are the avenues the folks at Dentsu are looking forward to exploring in the future. It feels like inventing a new media channel.
Arranging Things: The Rhetoric of Object Placement (Amazon) — […] the underlying principles that govern how Western designers arrange things in three-dimensional compositions. Inspired by Greek and Roman notions of rhetoric […] Koren elucidates the elements of arranging rhetoric that all designers instinctively use in everything from floral compositions to interior decorating. (via Elaine Wherry)
2010 Mario AI Championship — three tracks: Gameplay, Learning, and Level Generation. Found via Ben Weber’s account of his Level Generation entry. My submission utilizes a multi-pass approach to level generation in which the system iterates through the level several times, placing different types of objects during each pass. During each pass through the level, a subset of each object type has a specific probability of being added to the level. The result is a computationally efficient approach to generating a large space of randomized levels.
Wave in a Box — Google to flesh out existing open source Wave client and server into full “Wave in a Box” app status.
On How Google Wave Surprisingly Changed My Life — mandated in his small company that non-critical emails be turned into waves instead. Saw: more resolutions to arguments, less rehash of old territory, conversation gained structure and could be referred to afterwards, remote employees able to participate even when timezones prevented real-time. I’ve been looking for the use case that says “this is what Google Wave is really good for”, and this is a great start. Note: small # of people, and in a company, so critical mass issue easily overcome.
Foursquare is Changing Our World (Mashable) — Foursquare was perhaps the first to change our day and night life experiences into a social competition to essentially answer the question, “who has the most interesting life?” In fact, one key side effect of playing the game is that it inspires users to lead more active and interesting social lives. While this may all sound superficial and silly, the implications of social location gaming are quite significant. One of the many reasons that O’Reilly invested in Foursquare–glad to see someone noticing. (via timo on Delicious)
3D Touchscreens — Japan Science & Technology Agency and researchers at the University of Electro-communications have made a “photoelastic” touch screen. The LCD emits polarized light, picked up by a camera over the screen. Transparent rubber on the screen deforms when pressed, and the camera can pick this up. Interesting hack, though it’s not yet a consumer-grade product.
Eureqa — open source tool for detecting equations and hidden mathematical relationships in your data. Its primary goal is to identify the simplest mathematical formulas which could describe the underlying mechanisms that produced the data. (via pigor on delicious)
Science in the Open, It Wasn’t Supposed To Be This Way — Cameron Neylon on the leaked climate email messages as a trigger for open data. One of the very few credible objections to open research that I have come across is that by making material available you open your inbox to a vast community of people who will just waste your time. The people who can’t be bothered to read the background literature or learn to use the tools; the ones who just want the right answer. […] my concern is that in a kneejerk response to suddenly make things available no-one will think to put in place the social and technical infrastructure that we need to support positive engagement, and to protect active researchers, both professional and amateur from time-wasters. Sounds like an open science call for social software, though I’m not convinced it’s that easy. Humans can’t distinguish revolutionaries from terrorists, it’s unclear why we think computers should be able to.
EtherPad Back Online Until Open Sourced — Google bought collaborative real-time EtherPad and the team will work on Google Wave, but the transition plan was “you can’t create more documents, and it’ll all go away in March”. Grumpiness ensued. Everyone makes mistakes online, but the secret is to listen, acknowledge the mistake, and correct your course.
The3is In Three — PhD students must explain their thesis topic in three minutes and one Powerpoint slide. Winner had written on the last words of Shakespearean characters as they met unlikely ends. No video alas, but what a great idea for an Ignite! (via sciblogs)
Metadata is Public Record (ArsTechnica) — Arizone State Supreme Court rules that metadata on the public record is itself in the public record. The test case was a cop who suspected his performance reports had been created when he asked for them and then backdated. His employer had argued the inode info wasn’t part of the public record, even though his report was. Sanity prevailed. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
Cell Size and Scale — sweet zoomable interface to show the different relationships in size between everything from Times Regular 12pt to a Carbon atom (via salt, E. coli, hemoglobin, etc.). (via Tom Carden on Delicious)
Wiimote Audio Geotagging — match audio with the map movement and annotations made with an IR pen and a Wiimote. Very cool! (and from New Zealand)
San Francisco: Open For Data — Two months after it launched, the project is already reaping rewards from San Francisco’s huge community of programmers. Applications using the data include Routesy, which offers directions based on real-time city transport feeds; and EcoFinder, which points you to the nearest recycling site for a given item.
Google Wave’s Best Use Cases (Lifehacker) — not cases where people are using Wave, but where they want to. Read this as “the Web has not provided all the tools to solve these problems”. Something will solve them, and Wave is trying to. (via Jim Stogdill)
Analyzing Human Genomes with Hadoop — case study from the Cloudera blog. Performs alignment and genotyping on the 100GB of data you get when you sequence a human’s genome in about three hours for less than $100 using a 40-node, 320-core cluster rented from Amazon’s EC2. (via mndoci on Twitter)
Snakes on the Web (Jacob Kaplan-Moss) — The best way to predict the future of web development, I think, is to keep asking ourselves the question that led to all the past advances: what sucks, and how can we fix it? So: what sucks about web development? An excellent and thought-provoking talk about the possible directions for improvement in web framework design.
Ravelry (Tim Bray) — We’ve got 430,000 registered users, in a month we’ll see 200,000 of those, about 135,000 in a week and about 70,000 in a day. We peak at 3.6 million pageviews per day. That’s registered users only (doesn’t include the very few pages that are Google accessible) and does not include the usual API calls, RSS feeds, AJAX. […] We have 7 servers running Gentoo Linux and virtualized into a total of 13 virtual servers with Xen. […]”. Interesting technical and business discussion with an unexpected busy site.
CNMAT Resource Library — The CNMAT Resource Library is our fast growing collection of materials, sensors, gestural controllers, interface devices, tools, demos, prototypes and products – all organized and annotated to support the design of physical interaction systems, “new lutherie” and art installations. (via egoodman on Delicious)
Mobile Phones Identify Parasites and Bacteria — UCB Researchers developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers.. The sensor network is built out, and the computers in our pockets surprise us with their uses. (via BoingBoing)
libcloud — a unified interface to cloud providers, written in Python and open source. Covers EC2, EC2-EU, Slicehost, Rackspace, Linode, VPS.net, GoGrid, flexiscale, Eucalyptus. (via joshua on Delicious)
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.