- MapGive — State Dept launches OSM contributing tool “to help humanitarian efforts”.
- Principles for Making Things for The Web — excellent!
- Traffic Studies are Simulations (Computerworld) — simulations are an important software genre, oft ignored. (via Slashdot)
- CodePilot — an Xcode plugin which lets you woosh through your code and save a lot of your time. See also the main site.
Microchip Archaeology, OSM Map Library, Feedback Loops for Public Expenditure, and Mind-reading Big Data
- Digging into Technology’s Past — stories of the amazing work behind the visual 6502 project and how they reconstructed and simulated the legendary 6502 chip. To analyze and then preserve the 6502, James treated it like the site of an excavation. First, he needed to expose the actual chip by removing its packaging of essentially “billiard-ball plastic.” He eroded the casing by squirting it with very hot, concentrated sulfuric acid. After cleaning the chip with an ultrasonic cleaner—much like what’s used for dentures or contact lenses—he could see its top layer.
- Too Many Public Works Built on Rosy Scenarios (Bloomberg) — a feedback loop with real data being built to improve accuracy estimating infrastructure project costs. He would like to see better incentives — punishment for errors, rewards for accuracy — combined with a requirement that forecasts not only consider the expected characteristics of the specific project but, once that calculation is made, adjust the estimate based on an “outside view,” reflecting the cost overruns of similar projects. That way, the “unexpected” problems that happen over and over again would be taken into consideration.
Such scrutiny would, of course, make some projects look much less appealing — which is exactly what has happened in the U.K., where “reference-class forecasting” is now required. “The government stopped a number of projects dead in their tracks when they saw the forecasts,” Flyvbjerg says. “This had never happened before.”
- Neurovigil Gets Cash Injection To Read Your Mind (FastCompany) — “an anonymous American industrialist and technology visionary” put tens of millions into this company, which has hardware to gather mineable data. iBrain promises to open a huge pipeline of data with its powerful but simple brain-reading tech, which is gaining traction thanks to technological advances. But the other half of the potentailly lucrative equation is the ability to analyze the trove of data coming from iBrain. And that’s where NeuroVigil’s SPEARS algorithm enters the picture. Not only is the company simplifying collection of brain data with a device that can be relatively comfortably worn during all sorts of tasks–sleeping, driving, watching advertising–but the combination of iBrain and SPEARS multiplies the efficiency of data analysis. (via Vaughan Bell)
iPhone Maps, Tooth Milling, Scratch Updated, Newspapers for All
- Offline Mapping App for iPhone — carry Open Street Maps maps with you even when you’re not in 3G/wifi range. (via Elisabeth)
- My dentist used an in-office CAD & CNC mill to produce a new tooth for me today (Nat Friedman) — hello, future!
- New version of Scratch released — Scratch is an excellent way to teach kids how to program (I’ve had success with lots of 7 and 8 year olds). The new version includes keyboard entry, webcams, and support for Lego WeDo. The user interface has also been changed to work on a Netbook’s 800×600 screen. Kudos to the Scratch team! (via scratchteam on Twitter)
- Newspaper Club – a Work in Progress — blog for the Newspaper Club project. “We’re building a service to help people make their own newspapers. This is the blog where we’re alarmingly honest about where it’s all going wrong.” I can’t figure out whether this is a brilliant decentralisation move that will disrupt the newspaper industry, or a paper form of steampunk. (via Simon Willison)
All eyes are on Tehran right now. As the center of the Iranian election protests the city has become increasingly important to websites this week. To keep their site up-to-date with this latest crisis area Flickr switched out the Yahoo road Map with Open Street Map. When I heard about this I wondered how other major mapping sites faired.
I was honored to speak with Mikel Maron at Where2.0 about innovation in Disaster Technology, a topic that is extremely important to me. Here is the video: This talk covers the ongoing efforts of: World Shelters, the UN Joint Logistics Centre, Humanitarian.info, InSTEDD, and Humanlink. You can read about the development of SMS GeoChat, the Sahana effort for Burma/Myanmar (Radar…