- 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.
Inside NASDAQ's Failbook, SimAustralia, Distraction Attraction, and Big Brother Says "Wash Your Hands!"
- Facebook IPO Tech Post-Mortem (PDF) — SEC’s analysis of the failures that led to the NASDAQ kicking Facebook’s IPO in the NADSAQ. (via Quartz)
- Run That Town — SimCity for real cities, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and using real census data. No mention of whether you can make your citizens shout “Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi!” after three cans of lager at an Aussie Rules game. (via John Birmingham)
- Maintaining Focus (The Atlantic) — excellent Linda Stone interview. We may think that kids have a natural fascination with phones. Really, children have a fascination with what-ever Mom and Dad find fascinating. If they are fascinated by the flowers coming up in the yard, that’s what the children are going to find fascinating. And if Mom and Dad can’t put down the device with the screen, the child is going to think, That’s where it’s all at, that’s where I need to be! I interviewed kids between the ages of 7 and 12 about this. They said things like “My mom should make eye contact with me when she talks to me” and “I used to watch TV with my dad, but now he has his iPad, and I watch by myself.”
- Networked Motion Sensors in Hospital Bathrooms (NY Times) — At North Shore University Hospital on Long Island, motion sensors, like those used for burglar alarms, go off every time someone enters an intensive care room. The sensor triggers a video camera, which transmits its images halfway around the world to India, where workers are checking to see if doctors and nurses are performing a critical procedure: washing their hands. […] the video monitoring program, run by a company called Arrowsight, has been adapted from the meat industry, where cameras track whether workers who skin animals — the hide can contaminate the meat — wash their hands, knives and electric cutters.
Videogame Hyperinflation, Thumbdrive Computing, Distributed Consensus, and Organism Simulation
- Hyperinflation in Diablo 3 — interesting discussion about how video games regulate currency availability, and how Diablo 3 appears to have messed up. several weeks after the game’s debut a source claimed that there were at least 1,000 bots active 24/7 in the Diablo 3 game world, allegedly “harvesting” (producing) 4 million virtual gold per hour. Most of the gold generated by the ruthlessly productive, rapidly adapting bots found its way to third party vendors in a black market which undercut the prices in the sanctioned, in-game auction houses.
- Dell Project Ophelia (PC World) — $100 USB-stick-sized Android computer.
- Call Me Maybe (Kyle Kingsbury) — a series on network partitions. We’re going to learn about distributed consensus, discuss the CAP theorem’s implications, and demonstrate how different databases behave under partition.
- OpenWorm (The Atlantic) — simulating the c. elegans nematode worm in software. OpenWorm isn’t like these other initiatives; it’s a scrappy, open-source project that began with a tweet and that’s coordinated on Google Hangouts by scientists spread from San Diego to Russia. If it succeeds, it will have created a first in executable biology: a simulated animal using the principles of life to exist on a computer.
Quantified Baby, Poverty Simulation, Context vs Core, and Social Good
- Sleep Patterns — my friend Tom has been tracking his baby’s sleeping patterns. We learnt that over the last month or so, our 5 month old baby has never gone to sleep before 10pm. We were trying to get him to go to sleep at 7 or 8pm and this was not working at all. Now it is playtime until 10 and then he just goes to sleep with no trouble, stress or crying at around 10 or 10:30. Data captured with Baby Care android app (over 500k installs) and graphed it in Python. As a father of two, this is the best ad for the quantified self I’ve seen.
- Playspent — a web app that challenges you to balance dollars like someone on the poverty line. This makes the constraints of poverty real in the same way that Sims brings city planning to life.
- Context vs Core — transcription (albeit an imperfect one) of Geoffrey Moore’s excellent talk about separating context from core, innovation, and business. Most of what you do is context, not core, and the most frustrating thing in your life is that the context gets in the way of the core that your context. […] If you don’t get up in the morning and say, core before context, you’ll come to the end of the day and find out that your e-mail trail beat you to death.
- Coders for Social Good (Dave Neary) — notes on the Humanitarian track at the FOSS World Forum. This is stuff that matters. There’s even open source microfinance software.
Will Wright has been the foundational genius behind a thirty year string of blockbuster games, from the early Raid on Bungeling Bay in 1984 to the first truly fun urban simulation, Sim City. From there he delved deeper into the lives of the individual inhabitants of those cities with the Sims, a game that let players actually shape how his simulated people interacted with one another (while making them increasingly life-like and sophisticated in their own actions). In 2008, he released Spore, where the simulations focused on the evolution of life in a massively parallel game system. Scheduled for June 2009, Wright will release the much awaited Sims 3, in which for the first time, the Sims can explore their world. Wright will be speaking on the Sims and games in general at the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco. O’Reilly editor Kurt Cagle caught up with Will Wright to ask a few questions.