Hidden Features of Google (StackExchange) — rather than Google’s list of search features, here are the features that real (sophisticated) users find useful. My new favourite: the ~ operator for approximate searching. (via Hacker News)
The Most Prescient Footnote Ever (David Pennock) — In footnote 14 of Chapter 5 (p. 228) of Graham’s classic Hackers and Painters, published in 2004, Graham asks “If the the Mac was so great why did it lose?”. His explanation ends with this caveat, in parentheses: “And it hasn’t lost yet. If Apple were to grow the iPod into a cell phone with a web browser, Microsoft would be in big trouble.”
NanoNote — USD100 minute sub-notebook computer (320×240 screen, 126g including battery, 2G storage, qwerty keyboard) with Creative Commons (attribution, sharealike) licenses on the schematics.
On Android Compatibility (Dan Morril) — Rewind to about 5 years ago. […] Back then as today, it was practically unheard of for a feature phone to ever get a software update.[…] The reason was that the smartphone platform vendors controlled the software. It was exceedingly difficult for OEMs to differentiate on software because they had little control over the software. It was difficult for them to differentiate on features because they could only ship features supported by the OS they were using. But it was still a fiercely competitive market and they still innovated as hard as they could. So they innovated on the only dimension they had control over: hardware and industrial design. […] Think about that. Easier to rev hardware than software! A fantastically lucid explanation of the messed-up age of carrier-controlled mobile platforms that we’re just leaving (and yes, we probably do have Steve Jobs to thank for that). (via Kevin Marks)
Living and Learning in the Cloud (EdTalks) — talk by the deputy-principal of a New Zealand high-school that’s running all open source, and has extended the “available to be improved” mindset to rooms and curriculum. (via br3nda)
HomeSense — an open user-centered research project investigating the use of smart and networked technologies in the home, with uber-Arduino-rockstar Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino. (via titine on Twitter)
ChEMBL – Neglected Tropical Disease archive — a repository for Open Access primary screening and medicinal chemistry data directed at neglected diseases. CC0-licensed datasets identifying several tens of thousands of compounds active against the malarial parasite P. falciparum in an effort to lower the cost of drug creation for this neglected disease. (via Common Knowledge blog)
GelSight — gel block on a sheet of glass, lit from below with lights and then scanned with cameras, lets you easily capture 3D qualities of the objects pressed into it. Very cool demo–you can see finger prints, pulse, and even make out designs on a $100 bill.
Redis Tutorial (Simon Willison) — Redis is a very fast collection of useful behaviours wrapped around a distributed key-value store. You get locks, IDs, counters, sets, lists, queues, replication, and more.
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.