- There Is No Such Thing as the Government — absolutely spot on there is no spoon moment for government. And that matters. It matters because once you recognise that fact, you can start to do things differently. People do, of course, recognise it at the level of caricature I have described here and nobody will admit to believing that they can get things done simply by pulling the levers of power. But inactions speak louder than words and the myth of the lever is harder to eradicate than any of us like to admit.
- The Blast Shack (Webstock) — Bruce Sterling on Wikileaks. No hacker story is more common than this. The ingenuity poured into the machinery is meaningless. The personal connections are treacherous. Welcome to the real world. No army can permit this kind of behavior and remain a functional army; so Manning is in solitary confinement and he is going to be court-martialled. With more political awareness, he might have made himself a public martyr to his conscience; but he lacks political awareness. He only has only his black-hat hacker awareness, which is all about committing awesome voyeuristic acts of computer intrusion and imagining you can get away with that when it really matters to people.
- Word Lens — finally, useful AR: it replaces foreign language text with translations.
- Staging Servers, Source Control, Deploy Workflows, and Other Stuff Nobody Teaches You — this guy has a point: when you emerge from programming school, you’re unlikely to have touched this kind of real-world programming.
ENTRIES TAGGED "gov2.0"
Illusion of Government, Sterling on Wikileaks, Useful AR, and Real World Programming
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Git Library, Uncocked Open Data, Role of Editorial, and Network Neutrality Salvo
- libgit2 — a linkable git library. Ruby and Python bindings.
- Open Data: How Not to Cock It Up — Tom Steinberg lays it out.
- Algorithm and Crowd are Not Enough — My point isn’t that Google, Netflix, Amazon, Yelp or any of the others are doomed. But I do think there’s an opportunity brewing for entrepreneurs, websites and companies to add editorial components to the algo-crowd paradigm. O’Reilly’s business is built on editorial value, whether in book selection or conference creation. We obviously see a continued role for editorial presence. (via John Battelle on Twitter)
- Level 3 vs Comcast (Denver Post) — first shakedown from the carriers. Without mandated neutral carriers, the Internet will dissolve into a fiefdom of consolidated big players willing to pay the shakedowns of the telco goons.
Prison Blogging, 3D Hacks, Budget Simulation, and Enterprise Sales
- Between the Bars — snail-mail-to-blogs transcription service for prisoners, to make visible stories that would otherwise be missed. there is a religous program here called Kairo’s in the program inmates are given letters and drawings made by small children not one in that program did not cry, after reading the words of incouragement from those kids. An unmissable reminder of the complexity of human stories, suffering, and situations, the posts range from the banal to the riveting. (via Benjamin Mako Hill)
- Kinect Opensource News — a roundup of open source Kinect hacks. I like memo’s gestural interface the best. Impressive stuff for just a few days’ access to the open source drivers. (via Andy Baio)
- You Fix The Budget (NY Times) — a simpler version of Budget Hero, which lets you choose policies and see their effect on the deficit. Unlike Budget Hero, the NYT app doesn’t discuss non-deficit consequences of the actions (social consequences, ripple-on economic effects). Like Budget Hero, you can’t add your own policies: you’re forced to choose from the ones presented. Real life is more complex than this simulation, but even something this simple is powerful: by interacting with this, you understand the magnitude of (say) education vs healthcare, and you realize how much of the current debate is froth.
- Meet the New Enterprise Customer, a Lot like the Old Enterprise Customer — Ben Horowitz nails the difficulty of selling to the enterprise, and drives a stake through the “they’ll buy our service with their credit cards, like consumers do” myth. xcellent enterprise sales reps will guide a company through their own purchasing processes. Without an enterprise sales rep, many companies literally do not know how to buy new technology products. (via Mike Olson on Twitter)
Zen of Open Data, Accurate Judging, Disorienting Game, and Grokking HTTP
- The Zen of Open Data (Chris McDowall) — lovely short piece that encapsulates the whole business.
- The Calculus of Committee Composition (PlosONE) — using accuracy of judges, cost of a wrong decision, and cost of judges to arrive at the correct number of judges for any given situation. (Breaking news: ice skating gets it wrong) This might be useful for crowdsourcing.
- First Person Tetris — clever twist on an old game. (via Nick Bilton)
- htty — terminal for interacting with HTTP servers. This would be great for teaching would-be developers how the web actually works on the inside.
Poetry Translation, Smartphone Sales, Freedom for Machines to Read Information, and Free jQuery Book
- “Poetic” Statistical Machine Translation: Rhyme and Meter (PDF) — Google Research paper on how to machine translate text into poetry. This is the best paper I’ve read in a long time: clever premise, straightforward implementation, and magnificent results. There’s a very workable translation of Oscar Wilde’s “Ballad of Reading Gaol” into a different meter, which you’ll know isn’t easy if you’ve ever tried your hand at poetry more complex than “there once was a young man called Enis”. (via Poetic Machine Translation on the Google Research blog)
- Android Most Popular Operating System in US Among Recent Smartphone Buyers (Nielsen blog) — the graphs say it all. Note how the growth in Android handset numbers doesn’t come at the expense of Blackberry or iPhone users? Android users aren’t switchers, they’re new smartphone owners. (via Hacker News)
- Government Data to be Machine Readable (Guardian) — UK government to require all responses to Freedom of Information Act requests to be machine readable.
- jQuery Fundamentals — CC-SA-licensed book on jQuery programming. (via darren on Twitter)
Better Mouse Trap, Node.js Tutorial, Eternal Computing Truths, and Tax Receipts Exposed
- Nooski Mouse Trap — I have one, it is fantastic. This man built a better mouse trap. Now please beat a path to his door.
- Introduction to Node.js (video) — Two weeks ago, Yahoo! hosted a BayJax meetup dedicated to NodeJS (since the meetup coincided with Cinco de Mayo, we named it ‘Cinco de Node’). Ryan Dahl, the creator of NodeJS, gave a talk on the project and was very kind to let us record his presentation for YUI Theater. (via anselm on Twitter)
- Living With a Computer (Atlantic Monthly) — a 1979 blast from the past about what it was like to get your first computer. So much of this article remains as true today as it was then: upgrade fever, impatience, more dependencies, etc. Yet another hazard is that recommending the right computer is a little like recommending the “right”‘ religion. People tend to like the system they’ve ended up with. The most important point about computers, more so than about religions, is that the difference between a good one and a bad one is tiny compared with the difference between having one and not. (via pomeranian99 on Twitter)
- Why You Can’t Have a Receipt for Your Taxes (Clay Johnson) — In the end, this is because our dollars are not packets.
Python Exercises, Maker Revolution, Dodgy Memes, and Government Licenses
- Learn Python The Hard Way — Zed Shaw’s book on programming Python, written as 52 exercises: Each exercise is one or two pages and follows the exact same format. You type each one in (no copy-paste!), make it run, do the extra credit, and then move on. If you get stuck, at least type it in and skip the extra credit for later. This is brilliant—you learn by doing, and this book is all doing.
- When The Revolution Comes They Won’t Recognize it (Anil Dash) — nails the importance of Makers. Dale Dougherty and the dozens of others who have led Maker Faire, and the culture of “making”, are in front of a movement of millions who are proactive about challenging the constrictions that law and corporations are trying to place on how they communicate, create and live. The lesson that simply making things is a radical political act has enormous precedence in political history.
- Truthy — project tracking suspicious memes on Twitter.
- UK Open Government License — standard license for open government information in the UK.
Revolutionaries, Sentiment, UX, and Data Warehouses
- Rules for Revolutionaries — Carl Malamud’s talk to the WWW2010 Conference. Video, slides, and text available.
- Self-Improving Bayesian Sentiment Analysis for Twitter — a how-I-did-it for a homegrown project to do sentiment analysis on Twitter.
- LUXR — the Lean User Experience Residency program. LUXr brings user experience and design services to early stage teams in a lower cost, more efficient way than traditional project-based consulting. The latest from Adaptive Path’s Janice Fraser.
- My Top Ten Assertions About Data Warehouses (CACM) — Michael Stonebraker’s take on the data warehouse world, and his predictions cut across a lot of our O’Reilly trends. Assertion 5: “No knobs” is the only thing that makes any sense. It is pretty clear that human operational costs dominate the cost of running a data warehouse. [...] Almost all DBMSs have 100 or more complicated tuning “knobs.” This requires DBAs to be “4-star wizards” and drives up operating costs. Obviously, the only thing that makes sense is to have a program that adjusts these knobs automatically. In other words, look for “no knobs” as the only way to cut down DBA costs. (via mikeolson on Twitter)