- So You Want to Be A Consultant — absolutely spot-on tips for understanding the true business of a consultant. (via Hacker News)
- BBYIDX — a free and open source idea-gathering application written in Ruby, […] the basis of the Best Buy IdeaX website.
- The Git Parable — The following parable will take you on a journey through the creation of a Git-like system from the ground up. Understanding the concepts presented here will be the most valuable thing you can do to prepare yourself to harness the full power of Git. The concepts themselves are quite simple, but allow for an amazing wealth of functionality to spring into existence. (via Pete Warden)
- Ext JS + jQTouch + Raphael = Sencha — merging some touch and rich graphics libraries and developers. We’re setting up a foundation called Sencha Labs that will hold the copyright and trademarks for all the non-commercial projects affiliated with Sencha. Our license of choice for these projects is, and will continue to be, the MIT license. We will fund maintainers for our non-commercial projects with contributions from Sencha and the communities of these projects. (via bjepson on Twitter)
Multitasking on the iPad could prove to be a limitation, not an asset.
The iPad apps and features that Marc Hedlund most looks forward to are those that make immersive computing experience more ubiquitous and useful.
- Tondo Interactive Table to Analyze Medical Errors (MedGadget) — use of a multitouch table to help clinical staff identify and track medical errors. (via IVLINE on Twitter)
- Steve Huffman Lessons Learned While at Reddit (SlideShare) — uptime and scale. It’s interesting that most everyone reinvents tuples as a way to scale databases, hence the popularity of NoSQL systems.
- Hernando de Soto: Shadow Economies — de Soto is an economist, and this ends up talking about the need for transparency and open data. As long as you don’t know who owns the greatest amount of your assets, there’s no info as to who owns what, who is related to what, you have a shadow economy. We live in one, and it has as a characteristic a permanent credit crunch. We know more about it than you do. Credit crunch is where you don’t know who you’d be lending to, so you don’t lend. It’s permanent, we live with it, and now you’re going to have to learn to live with it too, because until you know who is solvent how can you give anybody credit? You’re flying blind. (via Jon Udell)
Multitouch Demo, Secrets Site Secrets, Hadoop Futures, Becoming Lucky
- 10Gui Video — demo of a new take on multitouch, a tablet and new GUI conventions. (via titine on Twitter)
- Behind the Scenes at WhatDoTheyKnow — numbers and stories from the MySociety project, which provides a public place for Official Information Act requests and responses. The fact information is subject to copyright and restrictions on re-use does not exempt it from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (though there is a closely related exemption relating to “commercial interest”). Occasionally public bodies will offer to reply to a request, but in order to deter wider dissemination of the material they will refuse to reply via WhatDoTheyKnow.com. Southampton University have released information in protected PDF documents and the House of Commons has refused to release information via WhatDoTheyKnow.com which it has said it would be prepared to send to an individual directly.
- The View from HadoopWorld (RedMonk) — fascinating glimpse into the Hadoop user and developer world. Hadoop can be used with a variety of languages, from Perl to Python to Ruby, but as Doug Cutting admitted today, they’re all second class citizens relative to Java. The plan, however, is for that to change. Which can’t happen soon enough, in my view. It’s not that there’s anything intrinsically wrong with Java, or its audience. The point, rather, is that there are lots and lots of dynamic language developers out there that would be far more productive working in their native tongue versus translating into Java.
- Be Lucky, It’s an Easy Skill to Learn (Telegraph) — this one resonated with me, as it ties into some life hacking I’ve been doing lately. And so it is with luck – unlucky people miss chance opportunities because they are too focused on looking for something else. They go to parties intent on finding their perfect partner and so miss opportunities to make good friends. They look through newspapers determined to find certain types of job advertisements and as a result miss other types of jobs. Lucky people are more relaxed and open, and therefore see what is there rather than just what they are looking for. (via Hacker News)
Birdwatching Technology, Transportation Data, Multitouch in Python, and Face Detection on the iPhone
- Bird-watching Turns To Technology (BBC) — CCTV-esque automated bird watching. Sensor networks + computer vision for an ecological purpose. In a bid to track the guillemots behaviour, Dr Dickinson is refining established work that involves modelling the visual structure of an area around a nest. The computer system will be able to use this model to identify changing elements in the scene, and determine if they correspond to movement by a guillemot. “That is the typical way of doing surveillance,” said Dr Dickinson, “work out what’s moving, that gives you an idea about what is interesting in a scene.”
- The Case for Open MTA Data — If you live in Portland, there are dozens of mobile applications that help fill gaps in transit information. You can check your phone to see when the next bus is supposed to come. You can plan a trip from one unfamiliar part of town to another. You can even have your mobile device buzz if you fall asleep before reaching your destination. For the basic stuff, there’s no iPhone necessary (although that certainly helps for information luxuries). Anyone who has a plain old cell phone with text messaging can ride the train or the bus with greater ease thanks to these apps. (via Making Light)
- PyMT — a python module for developing multi-touch enabled media rich applications. Currently the aim is to allow for quick and easy interaction design and rapid prototype development. There is also a focus on logging tasks or sessions of user interaction to quantitative data and the analysis/visualization of such data.
- Near Realtime Face Detection on the iPhone with OpenCV Port — we’re probably only one or two revisions of iPhone hardware away from being able to do some serious computer vision tasks on the handset. Proof of concept adds a tie to the face you’re pointing the camera at.
Multitouch, visualizations, body hacks, and ubicomp:
- Dell Demos Multitouch on the Studio One 19 (Engadget) — the multitouch software on this baby is Fingertapps from the New Zealand company Unlimited Realities, whose founder was at Kiwi Foo Camp this year. Multitouch hits consumer PCs in a very mainstream way.
- Circos — open source Perl library to produce beautiful circular data displays. (via flowing data)
- Brain Gain: The Underground World of “Neuroenhancing” Drugs (New Yorker) — more on the body hacks theme of radical and literal self-improvement, as originally documented by Quinn Norton. What I found interesting was that when BoingBoing linked to it, they quoted the “Provigil might make us smarter” bit, and when MInd Hacks linked to it, they quoted the negative effects of amphetamine-based drugs.
- Towards the Web of Things: Web Mashups for Embedded Devices — slides and notes for a presentation given at MEM 2009. Basically saying that the Internet of Things should be built on JSON and REST, with demo. (via Freaklabs)
- Songs off the Charts — Johannes Kreidler‘s audio visualizations using Microsoft Songsmith. Reminds me of Douglas Adams in Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency where the amazing spreadsheet program could produce happy jingles or funereal dirges based on a company’s revenues. (via Ben Fry)
- PWN! YouTube — elegant URL hack: replace “www.” with “pwn” in a YouTube movie URL and you’ll be given links to the Google content server location of the movie so you can download it.
- Apple iPhone and Microsoft Surface — the interesting folks at Stimulant have written the code to connect an iPhone to a Microsoft Surface. It recognizes one or more iPhones on the Surface and lets you display different things on the iPhone. In the demo you see an iPhone on a photo showing you a sketch version of the subject of the photo. The zoom is very smooth.
- Flickr, Getty, and the Greater Good (Phil Gyford) — “Flickr and Getty Images, the stock photography giant, are launching a new scheme which enables people to market some of their Flickr photos as stock photography through Getty.” Phil points out that CC-licensing and Getty-listing are mutually exclusive, and Flickr will switch the licensing on a photo to “All Rights Reserved” if you list with Getty. The first way people think of to profit from commons are to enclose and sell them. But the commons are a lot healthier when you make money by adding to them, not taking from them.
Pledges, phone, fake brains, and real brains. All here on your Monday dose of four short links:
- Ada Lovelace Day – Suw Charman has kicked off a day of blogging about women in technology in honour of one of the greatest, Ada Lovelace. Of course, you should also feel free to blog about women in technology on days that aren’t 24 March.
- Get Multitouch Support on Your T-Mobile G1 Today – developer Luke Hutchison added multitouch support to his phone’s operating system. It doesn’t suddenly make the phone’s apps work like an iPhone’s but it’s a hell of a testament to the utility of an open source operating system.
- WSJ Recommends Four Books on Irrational Decision Making – the four books are Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, Judgement Under Uncertainty, How We Know What Isn’t So, and Predictably Irrational. (via Mind Hacks blog)