ENTRIES TAGGED "history"

Four short links: 15 February 2013

Four short links: 15 February 2013

EdTech Startups, 3D Portraits, Interactive Storytelling, and Bizarre Consumer Items

  1. Ed Startups in a Nutshell (Dan Meyer) — I couldn’t agree with Dan more: The Internet is like a round pipe. Lecture videos and machine-scored exercises are like round pegs. They pass easily from one end of the pipe to the other. But there are square and triangular pegs: student-student and teacher-student relationships, arguments, open problems, performance tasks, projects, modeling, and rich assessments. These pegs, right now, do not flow through that round pipe well at all.
  2. 3D Printed Portraiture: Past, Present, and Future — impressive collection of 3D scans of museum collections of portraiture. Check out his downloadable design files. (via Bruce Sterling)
  3. Versu — interactive storytelling, with AI and conversation modeling.
  4. Weird Things Found on Taobao (NSFW) — this is what I never ow my head. (via Beta Knowledge)
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Four short links: 9 January 2013

Four short links: 9 January 2013

Bitcoin Numbers, Augmenting People with Computers, EBook Creation, and Answering Your Questions

  1. BitCoin in 2012, By The NumbersOver the past year Bitcoin’s value when compared to the US Dollar, and most other currencies, increased steadily, though there was a large spike and subsequent dip in August. Interestingly, the current market cap is actually at a peak for 2012, exceeding the spike in August. This can be attributed to the fact that tens of thousands of Bitcoins have been introduced into the economy since August, though now at the slower rate of 25 per block.
  2. Man-Computer Symbiosis (JCR Licklider) — In short, it seems worthwhile to avoid argument with (other) enthusiasts for artificial intelligence by conceding dominance in the distant future of cerebration to machines alone. There will nevertheless be a fairly long interim during which the main intellectual advances will be made by men and computers working together in intimate association. Fascinating to read this 1960 paper on AI and the software/hardware augmentation of human knowledge work (just as the term “knowledge worker” was coined). (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. Papyrus — simple online editor and publisher for ebooks.
  4. howdoi (github) — commandline tool to search stackoverflow and show the code that best matches your request. This is genius.
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Four short links: 8 January 2013

Four short links: 8 January 2013

Design Trends, Researching Online Culture, Choosing Connection, and 3D Printing Creativity

  1. 13 Design Trends for 2013 — many of these coalesced what I’ve seen in websites recently, but I was particularly intrigued by the observation that search’s growing importance to apps is being reflected in larger searchboxes.
  2. How Twitter Gets In The Way of Research (Buzzfeed) — tl;dr: our culture increasingly plays outline, but scraping and otherwise getting access to the data stream of online culture sees researchers struggling in the face of data volumes and Twitter et al.’s commercial imperatives.
  3. The Post-Productive Economy (Kevin Kelly) — The farmers in rural China have chosen cell phones and twitter over toilets and running water. To them, this is not a hypothetical choice at all, but a real one. and they have made their decision in massive numbers. Tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions, if not billions of people in the rest of Asia, Africa and South America have chosen Option B. You can go to almost any African village to see this. And it is not because they are too poor to afford a toilet. As you can see from these farmers’ homes in Yunnan, they definitely could have at least built an outhouse if they found it valuable. (I know they don’t have a toilet because I’ve stayed in many of their homes.) But instead they found the intangible benefits of connection to be greater than the physical comforts of running water.
  4. Crayon CreaturesWe will bring to life the kid’s artwork by modeling a digital sculpture and turning it into a real object using 3D Printing technology.
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Four short links: 3 January 2013

Four short links: 3 January 2013

Historic Social Media, Latency Numbers, Quantified Auto, and I Feel Old

  1. Community Memory (Wired) — In the early 1970s, Efrem Lipkin, Mark Szpakowski and Lee Felsenstein set up a series of these terminals around San Francisco and Berkeley, providing access to an electronic bulletin board housed by a XDS-940 mainframe computer. This started out as a social experiment to see if people would be willing to share via computer — a kind of “information flea market,” a “communication system which allows people to make contact with each other on the basis of mutually expressed interest,” according to a brochure from the time. What evolved was a proto-Facebook-Twitter-Yelp-Craigslist-esque database filled with searchable roommate-wanted and for-sale items ads, restaurant recommendations, and, well, status updates, complete with graphics and social commentary. But did it have retargeted ads, promoted tweets, and opt-in messages from partners? I THOUGHT NOT. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Latency Numbers Every Programmer Should Know (EECS Berkeley) — exactly that. I was always impressed by Artur Bergman’s familiarity with the speed of packets across switches, RAM cache misses, and HDD mean seek times. Now you can be that impressive person.
  3. Feds Requiring Black Boxes in All Vehicles (Wired) — [Q]uestions remain about the black boxes and data. Among them, how long should a black box retain event data, who owns the data, can a motorist turn off the black box and can the authorities get the data without a warrant. This is starting as regulatory compliance, but should be seized as an opportunity to have a quantified self.
  4. Average Age of StackExchange Users by Tag (Brian Bondy) — no tag is associated with people who have a mean age over 30. Did I miss the plague that wiped out all the programmers over the age of 30? Or does age bring with it supreme knowledge so that old people like me never have to use StackExchange? Yes, that must be it. *cough*
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Four short links: 18 December 2012

Four short links: 18 December 2012

Tweet Cred, C64 History, Performance Articles, Return of Manufacturing

  1. Credibility Ranking of Tweets During High Impact Events (PDF) — interesting research. Situational awareness information is information that leads to gain in the knowledge or update about details of the event, like the location, people aff ected, causes, etc. We found that on average, 30% content about an event, provides situational awareness information about the event, while 14% was spam. (via BoingBoing)
  2. The Commodore 64 — interesting that Chuck Peddle (who designed the 6502) and Bob Yannes (who designed the SID chip) are still alive. This article safely qualifies as Far More Than You Ever Thought You Wanted To Know About The C64 but it is fascinating. The BASIC housed in its ROM (“BASIC 2.0″) was painfully antiquated. It was actually the same BASIC that Tramiel had bought from Microsoft for the original PET back in 1977. Bill Gates, in a rare display of naivete, sold him the software outright for a flat fee of $10,000, figuring Commodore would have to come back soon for another, better version. He obviously didn’t know Jack Tramiel very well. Ironically, Commodore did have on hand a better BASIC 4.0 they had used in some of the later PET models, but Tramiel nixed using it in the Commodore 64 because it would require a more expensive 16 K rather than 8 K of ROM chips to house.
  3. The Performance Calendar — an article each day about speed. (via Steve Souders)
  4. Mr China Comes to America (The Atlantic) — long piece on the return of manufacturing to America, featuring Foo camper Liam Casey.
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Four short links: 14 December 2012

Four short links: 14 December 2012

Reviewing Peer Review, Two Drones One Bitbucket, The Past Was Awesome, and The Future Will Be Monitored By Drone

  1. Which Science to Fund: Time to Review Peer Review? (Peter Gluckman) — The study concluded that most funding decisions are a result of random effects dominated by factors such as who was the lead reviewer. In general the referee and panel review process is considered problematic. Few scientists are trained to fulfil such roles and bad peer review must result in unfair outcomes.
  2. A Bot’s Eye View (National Library of New Zealand) — Yeah, we filmed a drone with a drone.
  3. The Web We Lost (Anil Dash) — so much that has me thumping the table bellowing “YES!” in this, but I was particularly provoked by: Ten years ago, you could allow people to post links on your site, or to show a list of links which were driving inbound traffic to your site. Because Google hadn’t yet broadly introduced AdWords and AdSense, links weren’t about generating revenue, they were just a tool for expression or editorializing. The web was an interesting and different place before links got monetized, but by 2007 it was clear that Google had changed the web forever, and for the worse, by corrupting links.
  4. The Robotics Revolution (Peter Singer) — Moore’s Law has come to warfare. It won’t be tens of thousands of today’s robots, but tens of thousands of tomorrow’s robots, with far different capabilities. [...] The key to what makes a revolutionary technology is not merely its new capabilities, but its questions. Truly revolutionary technologies force us to ask new questions about what is possible that wasn’t possible a generation before. But they also force us to relook at what is proper. They raise issues of right and wrong that we didn’t have to wrestle with before.
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Four short links: 13 December 2012

Four short links: 13 December 2012

Top Chinese Memes, Raising Quality, Retro Browsing, and The Clicks of the Dead

  1. Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012 — most are political, unlike Overly Attached Girlfriend.
  2. Evaporative Cooling — thoughtful piece about the tendency of event quality to trend down unless checked by invisible walls. (via Hacker News)
  3. What Was It Like to Browse the Web in the 90s? (Quora) — it was awesome, because the alternative was television. Couple of whiny “you won’t believe how hard we had it” posts, from people who obviously believe that everyone in history has been miserable because they don’t have it as good as we do now. And, thus, by extension, we are miserable because we don’t have it as good as future generations of silver-robot-bearing flying-car-driving humans.
  4. Why Are Dead People Liking Stuff on Facebook? (ReadWrite Web) — a good question.
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Four short links: 4 December 2012

Four short links: 4 December 2012

Future is Burked, P2P Currency, Stuff That Matters, and Avatar Widget

  1. James Burke at dConstruct — transcription of his talk. EPIC. I love this man and could listen to him all day long. (via Keith Bolland)
  2. Mechanism Design on Trust Networks (CiteSeerX) — academic paper behind the Ripple Bitcoin-esque open source peer-payment digital currency.
  3. What If Money Was No Object (YouTube) — about finding your way to stuff that matters, and worth it just for the last lines. (via Rowan Simpson)
  4. photobooth-js (GitHub) — BSD-licensed html5 widget that allows users to take their avatar pictures on your site.
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Four short links: 30 November 2012

Four short links: 30 November 2012

Kids Design With Minecraft, MOOC Analysis, Hobbit Revisited, and Santa's Little Drones

  1. Kids Use Minecraft to Design School“Students have been massively enthusiastic, with many turning up early to school to work on their Minecraft designs and they continue to do so at home too.” Also see the school’s blog.
  2. Napster, Udacity, and the Academy (Clay Shirky) — the fight over MOOCs is really about the story we tell ourselves about higher education: what it is, who it’s for, how it’s delivered, who delivers it. [...] The possibility MOOCs hold out isn’t replacement; anything that could replace the traditional college experience would have to work like one, and the institutions best at working like a college are already colleges. The possibility MOOCs hold out is that the educational parts of education can be unbundled. MOOCs expand the audience for education to people ill-served or completely shut out from the current system, in the same way phonographs expanded the audience for symphonies to people who couldn’t get to a concert hall, and PCs expanded the users of computing power to people who didn’t work in big companies.
  3. The Hobbit, Redux — the main programmer for The Hobbit game was a woman. Under-credited, as usual.
  4. Aerial Drones — from the Make magazine holiday gift guide. I want five of everything, please Santa.
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Four short links: 15 November 2012

Four short links: 15 November 2012

Video Effects, Old School, Data Set, and Games Numbers

  1. Atkinson Dithering in Real Time — a Processing app that renders what the video camera sees, as though it were an original Mac black and white image.
  2. Patching Binariesa patch for a crashing bug during import of account transactions or when changing a payee of a downloaded transaction in Microsoft Money Sunset Deluxe. Written with no source, simply by debugging the executable as it shipped for XP.
  3. Book Crossing DatasetContains 278,858 users (anonymized but with demographic information) providing 1,149,780 ratings (explicit / implicit) about 271,379 books.
  4. Network Games Market Update (Cartagena Capital) — The myth that players use mobile only ‘on the go’ has been shattered. Smartphones and tablets are now mainstream gaming platforms in their own right and a significant proportion of players play in stationary use case scenarios. Stats abound, including 38% of tablet gamers play more than five hours per week compared to 20% of mobile phone gamer.
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