- The Future of the Library (Seth Godin) — We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime. Passionate railing against a straw man. The library profession is diverse, but huge numbers of them are grappling with the new identity of the library in a digital age. This kind of facile outside-in “get with the Internet times” message is almost laughably displaying ignorance of actual librarians, as much as “the book is dead!” displays ignorance of books and literacy. Libraries are already much more than book caves, and already see themselves as navigators to a world of knowledge for people who need that navigation help. They disproportionately serve the under-privileged, they are public spaces, they are brave and constant battlers at the front line of freedom to access information. This kind of patronising “wake up and smell the digital roses!” wank is exactly what gives technologists a bad name in other professions. Go back to your tribes of purple cows, Seth, and leave librarians to get on with helping people find, access, and use information.
- An Old Word for a New World (PDF) — paper on how “innovation”, which used to be pejorative, came now to be laudable. (via Evgeny Mozorov)
- AlchemyAPI — free (as in beer) entity extraction API. (via Andy Baio)
- Referrals by LinkedIn — the thing with social software is that outsiders can have strong visibility into the success of your software, in a way that antisocial software can’t.
ENTRIES TAGGED "Innovation"
Google+ ushers in the G+ effect, a phenomenon that's unique to our times.
When an entrant quickly yields considerable power in an existing market, and elicits potential for rapid innovation, this is what Jonathan Reichental calls the "G+ effect."
Despite the rapid rate of IT innovation, many enterprises embrace technology at a glacial pace.
The rate of technology adoption at enterprises limits new innovation that can be introduced by technology providers. Were this not the case, I imagine we may already have pervasive teleportation and invisibility cloaks at our disposal.
Besides the greater openness that Peer to Patent promotes in
evaluating individual patent applications, it is creating a new
transparency and understanding of the functioning of the patent system
as a whole. Problems with prior art disproportionately affect
Are IT decisions building the business or hurting it?
While I believe we recognize the limiting qualities of IT decisions, I'd suggest we've insufficiently studied the degree to which those decisions in aggregate can have a large influence on organizational culture.
Big Companyitis, Spyware Apps, Maturing Cloud, and Mobile Sync
- Cash Cow Disease — quite harsh on Google and Microsoft for “ingesting not investing” in promising startups, then disconnecting them from market signals. Like pixie dust, potential future advertising revenues can be sprinkled on any revenue-negative scheme to make it look brilliant. (via Dan Martell)
- Your Apps Are Watching You (Wall Street Journal) — the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system [...] Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone’s ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies. [...] Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a “supercookie,” [...] on iPhones, this number is the “UDID,” or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can’t be blocked or deleted. “The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”
- On Undo’s Undue Importance (Paul Kedrosky) — The mainstream has money and risks, and so it cares immensely. It wants products and services where big failures aren’t catastrophic, and where small failures, the sorts of thing that “undo” fixes, can be rolled back. Undo matters, in other words, because its appearance almost always signals that a market has gone from fringe to mainstream, with profits set to follow. (via Tim O’Reilly on Twitter)
- libimobiledevice — open source library that talks the protocols to support iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad® and Apple TV® devices without jailbreaking or proprietary libraries.
Syntax Highlighting, Forkability, Product Invention, Science Animations
- Fear of Forking — (Brian Aker) GitHub has begun to feel like the Sourceforge of the distributed revision control world. It feels like it is littered with half started, never completed, or just never merged trees. If you can easily takes changes from the main tree, the incentive to have your tree merged back into the canonical tree is low.
- Product Invention Workshops (BERG London) — Matt Webb explains what they do with customers. Output takes the form, generally, of these microbriefs. A microbrief is how we encapsulate recommendations: it’s a sketch and short description of a new product or effort that will easily test out some hypothesis or concept arrived at in the workshop. It’s sketched enough that people outside the workshop can understand it. And it’s a hook to communicate the more abstract principles which have emerged in the days. Their process isn’t their secret weapon, it’s their creativity, empathy, and communication skills that make them so valuable.
- OneMicron — Janet Isawa’s beautiful animations of biological science. (via BoingBoing who linked to this NYTimes piece)
IT strategies that can reconcile process and innovation often have positive and measurable results.
Predictability and innovation: It's the combination every IT leader needs to consider. Organizations that can reconcile these agendas have positive and measurable results, while those that can't often see lower levels of innovation.
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.
Author Scott Berkun revisits the "Myths of Innovation" three years later.
Scott Berkun challenged popular assumptions about innovation and greatness three years ago with "The Myths of Innovation." Now, as an updated paperback edition is published, Berkun revisits the book and its themes.