- Programming Synthetic DNA (Science Daily) — eventually enabling the reification of bugs.
- Schwartz — a shell for Quartz 2D with Python.
- The Slow Winter — best writing about the failure of Moore’s Law and the misery of being in hardware. Ever.
- Akaros — an open source, GPL-licensed operating system for manycore architectures. Our goal is to provide support for parallel and high-performance applications and to scale to a large number of cores.
Indie Businesses, Frontend Sluggards, Beautiful Graphics, and Big Data Patterns
- Rise of the Independents (Bryce Roberts) — companies that don’t take VC money and instead choose to grow organically: indies. +1 for having a word for this.
- Starry Night Comes to Life — wow, beautiful, must-see.
- MapReduce Patterns, Algorithms, and Use Cases — In this article I digest a number of MapReduce patterns and algorithms to give a systematic view of the different techniques that can be found in the web or scientific articles. Several practical case studies are also provided. All descriptions and code snippets use the standard Hadoop’s MapReduce model with Mappers, Reduces, Combiners, Partitioners, and sorting.
Jobs Quotes, Tao of Programming, Distraction, and Canvas Tutorials
- Steve Jobs’s Best Quotes (WSJ Blogs) — Playboy: We were warned about you: Before this Interview began, someone said we were “about to be snowed by the best.”; [Smiling] “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” (via Kevin Rose)
- The Tao of Programming — The Tao gave birth to machine language. Machine language gave birth to the assembler. The assembler gave birth to the compiler. Now there are ten thousand languages. Each language has its purpose, however humble. Each language expresses the Yin and Yang of software. Each language has its place within the Tao. But do not program in COBOL if you can avoid it. (via Chip Salzenberg)
- In Defense of Distraction (NY Magazine) — long thoughtful piece about attention. the polymath economist Herbert A. Simon wrote maybe the most concise possible description of our modern struggle: “What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” (via BoingBoing)
- 31 Days of Canvas Tutorials — a pointer to 31 tutorials on the HTML5 Canvas.
Flexible Display, Free Icons, Virtualization, and Virtualization Management
- NanoLumens — flexible display technology, 2.6lbs/sq ft (that’s 17 kilofrancs/kelvin in metric, I think). (via Fiona Romeo)
- The Noun Project — a vast collection of free-to-use icons. (via Russell Beattie)
- VirtualBox —
SunOracle’s open source virtualization product, trivial to run multiple VMs on your local box. VirtualBoxes has pre-built VMs for common OSes.
- Vagrant — tool for managing VirtualBox VMs with provisioning and teardown, NFS folder sharing, host-only networking, etc.
Library Licensing, Mac Graphics, Coal Computing, and Human Augmentation
- Just Say No To Freegal — an interesting view from the inside, speaking out against a music licensing system called Freegal which is selling to libraries. Libraries typically buy one copy of something, and then lend it out to multiple users sequentially, in order to get a good return on investment. Participating in a product like Freegal means that we’re not lending anymore, we’re buying content for users to own permanently so they don’t have to pay the vendor directly themselves. This puts us in direct competition with the vendor’s sales directly to consumers, and the vendors will never make more money off of libraries than they will off of direct consumer sales. What that does is put libraries in a position of being economic victims of our own success. I would think that libraries would remember this lesson from our difficulties with the FirstSearch pay-per-use model that most of us found to be unsustainable.
- Cost of Computing in Coal (Benjamin Mako Hill) — back-of-the-envelope estimation of the carbon costs of running an overnight multicore Amazon number-crunching job. Thinking about the environmental costs of your crappy coding might change the way you code, much as punched cards encouraged you to model and test the program by hand before you ran it. How many tons of coal are burnt to support laziness or a lack of optimization in my software?
- Friction in Computer Human Symbiosis (Palantir blog) — Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process. (via Tim O’Reilly)
Vector Graphics, Processing Maps, Augemented Senses, and Graph Analysis
- TileMill for Processing — gorgeous custom maps in Processing. (via FlowingData)
- Research Assistant Wanted — working with one of the authors of Mind Hacks on augmenting our existing senses with a form of “remote touch” generated by using artificial distance sensors, such as ultrasound, to stimulate tactile stimulators (vibrating pads) placed against the surface of the head.. (via Vaughn Bell)
- GoldenORB — a cloud-based open source project for massive-scale graph analysis, built upon best-of-breed software from the Apache Hadoop project modeled after Google’s Pregel architecture. (via BigData)
Shadowy CSS, Bitcoin Mining, Graphics API, Date Design
- OMG Text — a plugin for CSS framework Compass for directional text shadows. (via David Kaneda)
- Build a Cheap Bitcoin Mine — some day it will be revealed that the act of generating a bitcoin token is helping the Russian mafia to crack nuclear missile launch codes and Afghan druglords built the Bitcoin system to destabilize the US dollar.
- Polycode — a free, open-source, cross-platform framework for creative code. You can use it as a C++ API or as a standalone scripting language to get easy and simple access to accelerated 2D and 3D graphics, hardware shaders, sound and network programming, physics engines and more. The core Polycode API is written in C++ and can be used to create portable native applications. Lua interfaces. (via Joshua Schachter)
- Flickr Date Design — interesting thoughts on Flickr’s date design. The date your photos was taken is stored in a MySQL datetime technically giving you the ability to label your photo as being taken solidly 800+ years before anything most of us would describe as the invention of photography. Which is a little silly.[…]Fundamentally this split between system activity time, and human editable creation date models a world where the people who use your software do something other then use your software. You have to decide how you feel about admitting that possibility. (via Nelson Minar)
Health Prediction, Fake Ads, Bogus Patents, and Realtime Graphing
- The Heritage Health Competition — Netflix-like contest to analyze insurance-claims data to develop a model that predicts the number of days a patient will spend in hospital in the coming year. $3M prize. (via Aza Raskin)
- Historically Hardcore — fantastic fake Smithsonian ads that manage to make the institution sexy. Naturally they’ve been asked to take them down.
- Another Plato Innovation Ignored — turns out the above-the-fold doodle has a long and glorious history, culminating in a fantastic demonstration of our broken patent system.
- Graphite — Enterprise scalable realtime graphing. Apache 2.0-licensed, written in Python. (via John Nunemaker)
Trading platforms, truth in graphs, European financial stats, and Mandelbrot's passing.
In this edition of Strata Week: The London Stock Exchange moves from .Net to open source; learn how graphical scales can lie; the Euroean Central Bank president calls for better financial statistics; and we bid farewell to the father of fractals.