- Ten Rules That Govern Groups — valuable lessons for all who would create or use social software, each backed up with pointers to the social science study about that lesson. Groups breed competition: While co-operation within group members is generally not so much of a problem, co-operation between groups can be hellish. People may be individually co-operative, but once put in a ‘them-and-us’ situation, rapidly become remarkably adversarial. (via Mind Hacks)
- Yahoo! TrafficServer Proposal — Yahoo! want to open source their TrafficServer product, an HTTP/1.1 caching proxy server. Alpha geeks who worked with it are excited at the prospect. It has a plugin architecture that means it can cache NNTP, RTSP, and other non-HTTP protocols.
- App Engine Conclusions — I’ve reluctantly concluded that I don’t like it. I want to like it, since it’s a great poster child for Python. And there are some bright spots, like the dirt-simple integration with google accounts. But it’s so very very primitive in so many ways. Not just the missing features, or the “you can use any web framework you like, as long as it’s django” attitude, but primarily a lot of the existing API is just so very primitive.
- Microsoft Hohm — Sign up with Hohm and we’ll provide you with a home energy report and energy-saving recommendations tailored to your home. Wesabe for power at the moment, with interesting possibilities ahead should Microsoft partner with smartmetering utility companies the way Google Powermeter does. This is notable because this is a web app launched by Microsoft, with no connection to Windows or other Microsoft properties beyond requiring a “Live ID” to login. For commentary, see Microsoft Hohm Gets Green Light for Launch and PC Mag. (via Freaklabs)
I've spent three days watching my power consumption like a hawk, here's how it's going
I’ve been interested in having a better handle on my electrical consumption for a long time. Our family regularly goes through 1100-1200 kWh a month, and it’s been frustrating that I couldn’t really get a grip on where or when the power was really being used. I want to get my power usage under control. Fortunately Google announced on their blog that normal mortals could now order a device called The Energy Detective (or TED, as he’s known by his friends…) Using TED, I’ve been able to quickly find the critical items that I need to make sure get shut off when not used.
Video Chat, NGO Incorp, Smart Grid, and Enterprise Sales Funny
- Tinychat — very simple web-based take on videochat. Pro members get higher resolution, more rooms, and privacy. (I like the “free = public, charge for private” business model)
- One Click Orgs — One Click Orgs is building a website where groups can quickly create a legal structure and get a simple system for group decisions. We think social enterprises, collectives and activist groups have better things to think about than obscure legal clauses. Still getting built, but a good idea. We’re one step closer to Charlie Stross’s vision from Accelerando of a twisty maze of cross-shareholding organisations whose bylaws are Python scripts.
- Trilliant Acquisition Signals Next Phase of Smart Grid — smart grids rely on networked power meters and consuming devices. Therefore there are possible alliances between powerline broadband and smart meter companies, as this union shows. Finally, a use for broadband power? (via monkchips on Twitter)
- The Vendor-Client Relationship — should mandatory watching for everyone in enterprise sales. (via johnclegg on Twitter)
Camp, visualization, mistakes, and a wireless power meter hack:
- Toorcamp — two day hacker camp in a Titan-1 missile silo. The coolest venue evar? I think so.
- The Allosphere (TED) — JoAnn Kuchera-Morin demos the Allosphere, a planetarium-like sound-and-light visualization environment for scientific data. (via Lorrie Lejeune)
- The Mistake Bank — The Mistake Bank is a place to share stories of mistakes people have made in their lives and careers. Reminds me of the fail sessions at Foo Camp that Joshua Schachter leads.
- Tweet-a-Watt (Lady Ada) — add an XBee card to a Kill-a-Watt power meter to be able to read the current power load from afar.
In his "Web Meets World" talk at the Web 2.0 Expo in New York last September, Tim O'Reilly described where he saw the web heading. "The next stage of Web 2.0 is going to be driven by sensors," he said. "We are moving out of the world in which people typing on keyboards are going to be driving collective intelligence applications." Like all transitions, the incorporation of data from the physical web onto existing platforms is gradual. We are just beginning to see applications surface and the best is still ahead of us. Here are a few observations, predictions and implementations of this emerging trend.