- Liquid Feedback — MIT-licensed voting software from the Pirate Party. See this Spiegel Online piece about how it is used for more details. (via Tim O’Reilly)
- Putting Gestures Into Objects (Ars Technica) — Disney and CMU have a system called Touché, where objects can tell whether they’re being clasped, swiped, pinched, etc. and by how many fingers. (via BoingBoing)
- Real-time Facebook ‘likes’ Displayed On Brazilian Fashion Retailer’s Clothes Racks (The Verge) — each hanger has a digital counter reflecting the number of likes.
- Foldit Games Next Play: Crowdsourcing Better Drug Design (Nature Blogs) — “We’ve moved beyond just determining structures in nature,” Cooper, who is based at the University of Washington’s Center for Game Science in Seattle, told Nature Medicine. “We’re able to use the game to design brand new therapeutic enzymes.” He says players are now working on the ground-up design of a protein that would act as an inhibitor of the influenza A virus, and he expects to expand the drug development uses of the game to small molecule design within the next year.
ENTRIES TAGGED "social software"
Democratic Software, Gesturable Objects, Likeable Fashion, and Crowdsourcing Drug Design
Wikipedia Fail, DIY Text Adventures, Antisocial Software, and Formats Matter
- The Undue Weight of Truth (Chronicle of Higher Education) — Wikipedia has become fossilized fiction because the mechanism of self-improvement is broken.
- Playfic — Andy Baio’s new site that lets you write text adventures in the browser. Great introduction to programming for language-loving kids and adults.
- Review of Alone Together (Chris McDowall) — I loved this review, its sentiments, and its presentation. Work on stuff that matters.
- Why ESRI As-Is Can’t Be Part of the Open Government Movement — data formats without broad support in open source tools are an unnecessary barrier to entry. You’re effectively letting the vendor charge for your data, which is just stupid.
Text Mining, Unstoppable Sociality, Unicode Fun, and Scholarly Publishing
- Mavuno — an open source, modular, scalable text mining toolkit built upon Hadoop. (Apache-licensed)
- Cow Clicker — Wired profile of Cowclicker creator Ian Bogost. I was impressed by Cow Clickers [...] have turned what was intended to be a vapid experience into a source of camaraderie and creativity. People create communities around social activities, even when they are antisocial. (via BoingBoing)
- Unicode Has a Pile of Poo Character (BoingBoing) — this is perfect.
- The Research Works Act and the Breakdown of Mutual Incomprehension (Cameron Neylon) — an excellent summary of how researchers and publishers view each other and their place in the world.
E-Commerce Analytics, Text Mining on Hadoop, Bozonics, and It's Safe To Write With a Mac Again
- Jirafe — open source e-commerce analytics for Magento platform.
- iModela — a $1000 3D milling machine. (via BoingBoing)
- It’s Too Late to Save The Common Web (Robert Scoble) — paraphrased: “Four years ago, I told you all that Google and Facebook were evil. You did nothing, which is why I must now use Google and Facebook.” His list of reasons that Facebook beats the Open Web gives new shallows to the phrase “vanity metrics”. Yes, the open web does not go out of its way to give you an inflated sense of popularity and importance. On the other hand, the things you do put there are in your control and will stay as long as you want them to. But that’s obviously not a killer feature compared to a bottle of Astroglide and an autorefreshing page showing your Klout score and the number of Google+ circles you’re in.
- iBooks Author EULA Clarified (MacObserver) — important to note that it doesn’t say you can’t use the content you’ve written, only that you can’t sell .ibook files through anyone but Apple. Less obnoxious than the “we own all your stuff, dude” interpretation, but still a bit crap. I wonder how anticompetitive this will be seen as. Apple’s vertical integration is ripe for Justice Department investigation.
Investigating Page Speed, The Web Commons, Community and Popularity, and GPL Enforcement
- Page Speed (Google Code) — an open-source project started at Google to help developers optimize their web pages by applying web performance best practices. Page Speed started as an open-source browser extension, and is now deployed in third-party products such as Webpagetest.org, Show Slow and Google Webmaster Tools.
- What Commons Do We Wish For? (John Battelle) — trying to understand what the Internet would look like if we don’t pay attention to our core shared values. Excellent piece from jbat, who is thinking and writing in preparation for another book.
- The Trouble with Popularity — this blog post on StackOverflow does a great job of explaining why moderators are necessary, and why it’s not in everyone’s interest to give them what they want. Sad to see this come out just as Yahoo! continues to gut and fillet Flickr, which used to be the benchmark for all things community.
- The Ongoing Fight Against GPL Enforcement — interesting! Software Freedom Conservancy, who have pursued several cases against manufacturers who ship GPLed code but do not release their source and modifications to it, have used busybox as a fulcrum for their GPL code release lever. Manufacturers may be attempting to replace busybox with non-GPLed code to take away the fulcrum. In other news, engineering metaphors are like a massless body at light speed before the bigbang: unknowable.
Computational Science, Bad Patents, Fasterscript, and Secure Social Software
- Computational Science Stack Exchange — q+a site for data-intensive computation-heavy science. (via Gael Varoquaux)
- An Open Letter to our Customers, Past and Future (Luma Labs) — a reminder that poor patent examination hurts innovative startups working in physical goods, just as much as with digital goods.
- Retroshare (Sourceforge) — GPL and LGPLed cross-platform, private and secure decentralised communication platform. It lets you to securely chat and share files with your friends and family, using a web-of-trust to authenticate peers and OpenSSL to encrypt all communication. RetroShare provides filesharing, chat, messages, forums and channels. I haven’t tried it, but it’s an interesting premise.
Designing Ubicomp, Online Community, Design Examples, and Ranking Discussions
- Critically Making the Internet of Things (Anne Galloway) — session notes from a conference, see also part two. Good thoughts, hastily captured. For example, this from Bruce Sterling: RFID + Superglue + Object ≠ IoT and the talk I want to see: “A study of how broken, hacked and malfunctioning digital road signs subvert the physical space of roadways.”
- Conquering the CHAOS of Online Community at StackExchange — StackExchange is doing some thoughtful work analysing conversations and channeling dissent into a healthy construction to guide future productive discussion. “We taught the users that it was alright to disagree, and gave them a set of arguments they could reference without every thread degenerating into a fight.”
- Little Big Details — one small detail done right, every day.
- Ranking Live Streams of Data (LinkedIn) — behind the “interesting discussions” report.
Science Hack Days, YouTube Doggy Science, Antisocial Software, and Mind Reading with Wikipedia
- Science Hack Day SF Videos (justin.tv) — the demos from Science Hack Day SF. The journey of a thousand miles starts with a Hack Day.
- A Cross-Sectional Study of Canine Tail-Chasing and Human Responses to It, Using a Free Video-Sharing Website (PLoSone) — Approximately one third of tail-chasing dogs showed clinical signs, including habitual (daily or “all the time”) or perseverative (difficult to distract) performance of the behaviour. These signs were observed across diverse breeds. Clinical signs appeared virtually unrecognised by the video owners and commenting viewers; laughter was recorded in 55% of videos, encouragement in 43%, and the commonest viewer descriptors were that the behaviour was “funny” (46%) or “cute” (42%).
- RSS Died For Your Sins (Danny O’Brien) — if you have seven thousand people following you, a good six thousand of those are going to be people you don’t particularly like. The problem, as ever, is—how do you pick out the other thousand? Especially when they keep changing? I firmly believe that one of the pressing unsolved technological problems of the modern age is getting safely away from people you don’t like, without actually throttling them to death beforehand, nor somehow coming to the conclusion that they don’t exist, nor ending up turning yourself into a hateful monster.
- Generating Text from Functional Brain Images (Frontiers in Human Neuroscience) — We built a model of the mental semantic representation of concrete concepts from text data and learned to map aspects of such representation to patterns of activation in the corresponding brain image. Turns out that the clustering of concepts in Wikipedia is similar to how they’re clustered in the brain. They found clusters in Wikipedia, mapped to the brain activity for known words, and then used that mapping to find words for new images of brain activity. (via The Economist)
CS Courses, Crowdsourced Sound Map, CSS Game, and Shared Social Intentions
- Advanced Computer Science Courses — collection of online course notes/lectures for classes in advanced CS topics. (via Hacker News)
- UK SoundMap — very cool crowdsourced audio landscape of the UK. (via British Library)
- Sharing Intentions Talk — interesting talk by Jyri Engestrom on building social mobile apps to share intentions as social objects. Gotta love these folks who can read and use Bruno Latour instead of merely reaching for the Advil as I do.
Twitter DB, Data Reliance, Open Source Architectures, and Short-Form Bullying
- flockdb (Github) — Twitter’s open source scalable fault-tolerant distributed
key-storegraph database. (via Twitter’s open source projects page)
- How to Kill Innovation in Five Easy Steps (Tech Republic) — point four is interesting, Rely too heavily on data and dashboards. It’s good to be reminded of the contra side to the big-data-can-be-mined-for-all-truths attitudes flying around.
- Architecture of Open Source Applications — CC-licensed book available through Lulu or for free download. Lots of interesting stories and design decisions to draw from. I know when I learned how Perl worked on the inside, I learned a hell of a lot that I could apply later in life and respected its creators all the more.
- Bullying in 140 Letters — it’s about an Australian storm in a teacup, but it made me consider the short-form medium. Short-form negativity can have the added colour/resonance of being snarky and funny. Hard to add colour to short-form positive comments, though. Much harder to be funny and positive than to be funny and negative. Have we inadvertently created a medium where, thanks to the quirks of our language and the way we communicate, it favours negativity over positivity?