- How Will You Measure Your Life? (HBR) — Clayton Christenson’s advice to the Harvard Business School’s graduating class, every section a gem. If you study the root causes of business disasters, over and over you’ll find this predisposition toward endeavors that offer immediate gratification. If you look at personal lives through that lens, you’ll see the same stunning and sobering pattern: people allocating fewer and fewer resources to the things they would have once said mattered most. (via mjasay on Twitter)
- Lyle Lovett Yet To Make a Penny From Record Sales (TechDirt) — read with Virgin Sues Platinum-Selling Band and Zoe Keating’s ongoing exploration of life outside a label. Big record companies take the album profits but give you visibility so you can tour. This sucks if you’re a good musician but can’t tour (e.g., just had a #cellobaby). (via danjite on Twitter)
- Google’s Commitment to Digital Humanities (Google) — giving grants to universities to work with digital works. Will also be releasing more corpora like the collection of ancient Greek and Latin texts.
- Open Source Hardware Definition — up to v0.3, there’s momentum building. There’s an open hardware summit in September. The big issue in the wild is how much of the complex multi-layered hardware game must be free-as-in-speech for the whole deal to be free-as-in-speech. See, for example, Bunnie Huang’s take.
Measuring Life Success, Music Industry Woes, Google Humanities, Open Source Hardware
Life Games, Tablets, Image Processing at Scale, and Open Source Currency
- Super Me — a game structure to give you happiness in life. Brilliant idea, and nice execution from a team that includes British tech stars Alice Taylor and Phil Gyford. (via crystaltips on Twitter)
- Android Tablet — the PanDigital Novel is a wifi-enabled book-reader that’s easily modded to run Android and thus a pile of other software. Not available for sale yet, but “coming soon”. A hint of the delights to come as low-cost Android tablets hit the market.
- Batch Processing Millions of Images (Etsy) — 180 resizes/second, done locally (not on EC2), with much fine-tuning. This is how engineering battles are won.
- BitCoin — open source digital currency project.
Ebook Sharing, Distributed Labour Laws, and Two Graduation Speeches
- Publishers Who Don’t Know History … (Cory Ondrejka) — interesting thoughts on publishing. Friends share, borrow, and recommend books. Currently, publishers are generally being stupid about this.
- Regulating Distributed Work — should Mechanical Turk and so on have specific labour laws? This is the case in favour.
- We Are What We Choose — Jeff Bezos’s graduation speech to Princeton’s Class of 2010. Well worth reading.
- The Velluvial Matrix (New Yorker) — Atul Gawande’s graduation speech to Stanford’s School of Medicine. The truth is that the volume and complexity of the knowledge that we need to master has grown exponentially beyond our capacity as individuals. Worse, the fear is that the knowledge has grown beyond our capacity as a society. When we talk about the uncontrollable explosion in the costs of health care in America, for instance—about the reality that we in medicine are gradually bankrupting the country—we’re not talking about a problem rooted in economics. We’re talking about a problem rooted in scientific complexity. (via agpublic on Twitter)
Reflective Spaces, Slow Media, Chinese Genomics, and a Code Blog
- They Don’t Complain and They Die Quietly (Derek Powazek) — In this hyper-modern age of real-time always-on location-based info-overload, perhaps a moment of true peace and quiet is the greatest gift one can receive.
- The Slow Media Manifesto — Slow Media inspire, continuously affect the users’ thoughts and actions and are still perceptible years later. Steven Levy ran a Slow Media session at Foo. (via Bruce Sterling)
- The Dragon’s DNA (The Economist) — Beijing Genomics Institute putting more DNA-sequencing capacity into the top floor of a refurbished printing works than is available in the whole USA.
- Scribd Coding Blog — very interesting blog about the technology behind and inside Scribd. They process over 150M polygons a day, building web fonts from the fonts in PDF files, and tell you why it’s not straightforward. I wish there were more of these genuinely interesting technology blogs from companies that do interesting things.