- How to Prototype and Influence People (Aza Raskin) — I’m fascinated lately by prototypes, mockups, tangible artifacts, and other design tools for conveying the essence and promise of something without having to build it all. This talk nails it.
- paper2ebook — Utility to re-structure research papers published in US Letter or A4 format PDF files to remove the 2 columns layout to make it suitable for viewing in an ebook reader. (via Olivier Grisel on Twitter)
- The Real Life Social Network (Slideshare) — presentation from a Google ux designer starts with a typical “social networking makes you lump everyone as a friend but people don’t think that way” set of slides, but by slide 70 it’s talking about research into how people think of their friends. I’d love to see a UI for a social network that got this right. (via Matt Zimmerman on Twitter)
- uquery — simple search engine for the iPhone/iPad app store. (via Marco Arment on Twitter)
ENTRIES TAGGED "search"
Search Tips, Web Parsing, DNS Blacklists, Complex Machines
- Hidden Features of Google (StackExchange) — rather than Google’s list of search features, here are the features that real (sophisticated) users find useful. My new favourite: the ~ operator for approximate searching. (via Hacker News)
- Natural Language Parsing for the Web — JSON API to the Stanford Natural Language Parser. I wonder why the API to the library isn’t an open source library, given the Stanford parser is GPLv2. It’d be super-cool to have this as an EC2 instance, Ubuntu package, or Chef recipe so it’s trivial to add to an existing hosted project.
- Taking Back the DNS (Paul Vixie) — defining a spec whereby you can subscribe to blacklists for DNS, as Most new domain names are malicious.
- Building Complex Machines with Lego — I saw the (Lego) Antikythera Mechanism at Sci Foo. It’s as amazing as it looks.
"Search Patterns" author Peter Morville looks at the next wave of search and reveals the one innovation that led to a watershed moment
We may think of search as static and mature, but it’s a tool in flux. Developments in mobile, augmented reality, and social graphs signal big changes ahead. In this Q&A, “Search Patterns” author Peter Morville shows how experiments at the periphery and weird ideas will shape search’s future. He also reveals the one semi-recent innovation that unlocked a watershed moment for search (it’s not what you’d expect).
Personal Ad Preferences, Android Kernel, EC2 Deconstructed, Symbian Opened
- Google Ad Preferences — my defaults look reasonable and tailored to my interest. Creepy but kinda cool: I guess that if I have to have ads, they should be ones I’m not going to hate. (via rabble on Twitter)
- Android and the Linux Kernel — the Android kernel is forked from the standard Linux kernel, and a Linux kernel maintainer says that Google has made no efforts to integrate. (via Slashdot)
- On Amazon EC2′s Underlying Architecture — fascinating deconstruction of the EC2 physical and virtual servers, without resorting to breaking NDAs. (via Hacker News)
- First Full Open Source Symbian Release (BBC) — source code will be available for download from the Symbian Foundation web site as of 1400GMT. Nokia bought Symbian for US$410M in 2008 (for comparison, AOL bought Netscape for $4.2B in 1999 but the source code tarball had been escape-podded from the company a year before the deal closed). This makes Symbian more open than Android, says the head of the foundation: “About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more,” says Williams. “And what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary.” (quote from Wired’s story).
London Data, SEO Deathspiral, Subversion Search, Entity Extraction APIs
- London Datastore to Launch — the Mayor of London will launch a site full of London data. (via Ed Dumbill)
- Google Destroyed the Web — It’s hard to disagree with the basic contention that SEO aimed at Google’s rankings has fucked the web. It’s a vicious circle, too: the more fake content sites are created to game Google, the harder it will be for any new web search startup to filter that effluent and deliver meaningful results in competition to Google. This is a grim feedback loop.
- ReposSearch — search Subversion repositories.
- Survey of Entity Extraction APIs — he describes the qualititative differences in the APIs and their responses, finding that Evri and OpenAlchemy had the best for his needs.
I’m on the board of CommonCrawl.Org, a nonprofit corporation that is attempting to provide a web crawl for use by all. An interesting report just got sent to us about the use of robots.txt files within the .Gov Top Level Domain, a standard known as the Robots Exclusion Standard. In examining about 32,000 subdomains in .gov, it turns at least 1,188 of these have a robots.txt file with a “global disallow,” meaning robots are excluded from indexing this content. Even more curious, on 175 of these sites, while there is a global disallow, there is a specific bypass that allows the Googlebot to index the data.