- SoupHub — NZ project putting a computer with Internet access (and instruction and help) into a soup kitchen. I can’t take any credit for it, but I’m delighted beyond measure that the idea for this was hatched at Kiwi Foo Camp. I love that my peeps are doing stuff that matters. (See also the newspaper writeup)
- Bandwidth of Pages — view a 140 character tweet on the web and you’re load 2MB of, well, let’s call it crap.
- On The Reductionism of Analytics in Education (Anne Zelenka) — Learning analytics, as practiced today, is reductionist to an extreme. We are reducing too many dimensions into too few. More than that, we are describing and analyzing only those things that we can describe and analyze, when what matters exists at a totally different level and complexity. We are missing emergent properties of educational and learning processes by focusing on the few things we can measure and by trying to automate what decisions and actions might be automated. A fantastic post, which coins the phrase “the math is not the territory”.
- Quotes Worth Spreading (Karl Fisch) — collection of thought-provoking quotes from recent TED talks. Be generous by graciously accepting compliments. It’s a gift you give the complimenter (John Bates) is something I’m particularly working on.
Stuff That Matters, Web Waste, Learning Analytics, and Thoughtful Quotes
Jobs Quotes, Tao of Programming, Distraction, and Canvas Tutorials
- Steve Jobs’s Best Quotes (WSJ Blogs) — Playboy: We were warned about you: Before this Interview began, someone said we were “about to be snowed by the best.”; [Smiling] “We’re just enthusiastic about what we do.” (via Kevin Rose)
- The Tao of Programming — The Tao gave birth to machine language. Machine language gave birth to the assembler. The assembler gave birth to the compiler. Now there are ten thousand languages. Each language has its purpose, however humble. Each language expresses the Yin and Yang of software. Each language has its place within the Tao. But do not program in COBOL if you can avoid it. (via Chip Salzenberg)
- In Defense of Distraction (NY Magazine) — long thoughtful piece about attention. the polymath economist Herbert A. Simon wrote maybe the most concise possible description of our modern struggle: “What information consumes is rather obvious: It consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention, and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it.” (via BoingBoing)
- 31 Days of Canvas Tutorials — a pointer to 31 tutorials on the HTML5 Canvas.
CS Epigrams, Star Trek Made Real, Python Filings, and Difficult Games
- Epigrams in Programming — all from the remarkable Alan Perlis. By the time I learned that he was responsible for such gems as “Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon”, “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing”, and “Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?”, he had died and I never had a chance to meet him. “The best book on programming for the layman is “Alice in Wonderland”; but that’s because it’s the best book on anything for the layman.”. (via Hacker News)
- Tricorder for Android — app that shows all the info from the sensors: local magnetic field, RF, acceleration, sound, etc. They really need a designer to make this look more like Star Trek than an Apple ][c program. (via attercop on Delicious)
- Will Wall Street Require Python — with Release 33-9117, the SEC is considering substitution of Python or another programming language for legal English as a basis for some of its regulations. Reminds me of Charlie Stross’s “Accelerando” where companies bylaws are written in Python and largely autonomous.
- Hatetris — game of Tetris that deliberately gives you the most difficult pieces. I love inversions like this, which present their own algorithmic challenges distinct from the original’s.
- Apple’s iPhone Wrecking the Cell Industry — bleat bleat. Andy Oram’s comment hits the mark: The music companies and AT&T were like travelers who refused to believe they were taking a long trip. They didn’t pack warm clothing, and therefore had to buy it at disadvantageous terms when they came to need it. Apple was more sophisticated about where all companies are going technologically, so they had what others needed.
- Fruux — a lightweight and convenient system preference pane, that syncs your Address Book, Calendars, Tasks and Bookmarks between different Macs. (via Daniel Raffel)
- Redflax — notable not just for art, but for the Maori quote: He toi whakaaro, he mana tangata – roughly translates: where there is creativity/artistic expression, there is human dignity/prowess.
- Google’s Chiller-less Data Center — Belgium has only 7 days (on average) when the ambient air temperature isn’t enough to cool the data center. Finally, a business model for unpleasantly-cold climates.
@GregorMacdonald: Emily Dickinson on economists falling to Keynes: "…as Freezing persons recollect the Snow. First-Chill-then Stupor- then the letting go."…