- Old Japanese Maps on Google Earth Unveil Secrets — Google criticised for putting up map layers showing the towns where a discriminated-against class came from, because that class is still discriminated against and Google didn’t put any “cultural context” around it. Google and their maps didn’t make the underclass, Japanese society did. Because they’re sensitive about having the problem, they redirect their embarrassment into anger at Google. You could make a long and profitable career in IT consulting simply by charging to say “it’s not a technical problem” and you’d be right more times than wrong.
- See Africa Differently — using the Internet to reframe a continent. Videos, essays, and more, all designed to get you seeing the majority of Africa, which isn’t defined by conflict and famine. (via NY Times book review)
- Fold.it – Solve Puzzles for Science — science harnesses our “cognitive surplus” by inviting us to help solve the problem of protein folding, one of the hardest in biology. (via auckland_museum on Twitter)
- Arduino Telemetry Payload in Class C Rocket (Jon Oxer) — Because class-C rockets are so small and light they can’t lift much of a payload and I had to keep the mass of the electronics as small as possible. You can get a sense of scale from this photo which shows a small white bundle in the bottom of the nosecone. Inside that bundle is an Arduino Pro Mini 5V/16Mhz, a 433Mhz transmitter module, and a Lilypad 3-axis accelerometer. PCBs … in … Spaaaaace!
Is the hacker ethic harming developers? We don’t think so, but maybe the idea resonates a little bit? On Monday Neil McAllister posed the question “is the hacker ethic harming American developers?” Slashdot picked it up and Tim forwarded it to the Radar list. As you might expect, it resulted in some spirited discussion.
Maps, Africa, Protein, and Rockets
Web traffic, web design, hacker spaces, and feature spaces:
- iPhone and Android Make Up 50% of Google’s SmartPhone Traffic Worldwide — Matt Gross found this interesting tidbit in a TechCrunchIT story.
- Refining Data Tables — Luke Wroblewski gives some seriously good tips for designing usable tables in web pages. After forms, data tables are likely the next most ubiquitous interface element designers create when constructing Web applications. Users often need to add, edit, delete, search for, and browse through lists of people, places, or things within Web applications. As a result, the design of tables plays a crucial role in such an application’s overall usefulness and usability. But just like the design of forms, there’s more than one way to design tabular data. (via migurski’s delicious stream)
- Hacker Spaces (Wired) — “It’s almost a Fight Club for nerds,” says Nick Bilton of his hacker space, NYC Resistor in Brooklyn, New York. is the must-have quote, but the guts of the article is “In our society there’s a real dearth of community,” Altman says. “The internet is a way for people to key in to that need, but it’s so inadequate. [At hacker spaces], people get a little taste of that community and they just want more.”
- Related Document Discovery Without Algebra — latent semantic analysis has some scary math, but If the feature space (e.g. the terms/concepts associated to your documents) is small enough, and you make sure synonymy is not a problem, you can do without algebra. One such case is that of your blog postings and their tags. Includes Ruby code. (via joshua’s delicious stream)
CNET/Tech Republic cracks open the Kindle and takes an in-depth look at its hardware. Check out the photo gallery. Related Stories: Reversing Everything: "Hacking the Kindle" How to Read any Type of Document on the Kindle (Almost) Digging Around Amazon's Topaz File Format…
The hacking-friendly culture within the New York Times just may save the organization.
The Last HOPE conference in NYC was a great mix of hardware hacking, open source, phone phreaking, lock picking, sleeping on the floor, and good old fashioned paranoia mongering.
Don't like any of the e-readers currently available? Here are some ideas on building your own.