Christchurch’s Shot at Being Innovation Central (Idealog) — Christchurch, rebuilding a destroyed CBD after earthquakes, has released plans for the new city. I hope there’s budget for architects and city developers to build visible data, sensors, etc. so the Innovation Precinct doesn’t become the Tech Ghetto.
Torque Pro (Google Play Store) — a vehicle / car performance/diagnostics tool and scanner that uses an OBD II Bluetooth adapter to connect to your OBD2 engine management/ECU. Can lay out out your dashboards, track performance via GPS, and more. (via Steve O’Grady)
Drone Pilots (NY Times) — at the moment, the stories are all about the technology helping our boys valiantly protecting the nation. Things will get interesting when the new technology is used against us (we just saw the possibility of this with 3D printing guns). (via Dave Pell)
Avalon (GitHub) — A cloud based translation and localization utility for Python which combines human and machine translation. There’s also a how-to. (via Brian McConnell)
Electric Imp — yet another group working on the necessary middleware for ubiquitous networked devices.
How Big Data Transformed the Dairy Industry (The Atlantic) — cutting-edge genomics company Illumina has precisely one applied market: animal science. They make a chip that measures 50,000 markers on the cow genome for attributes that control the economically important functions of those animals.
The Curious Case of Internet Privacy (Cory Doctorow) — I’m with Cory on the perniciousness of privacy-digesting deals between free sites and users, but I’m increasingly becoming convinced that privacy is built into business models and not technology.
Microsoft’s New Open Sourced Stacks (Miguel de Icaza) — not just open sourced (some of the code had been under MS Permissive License before, now it’s Apache) but developed in public with git: ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET Web Pages v2. The Azure SDK is also on github.
In An Internet Age, Crime is Essential to Freedom (Donald Clark) — when a criminal asks: “How do I secure payment and store my ill-gotten gains”, somewhere else, a refugee asks: “How can I send funds back to a relative such that they can’t be traced to me”.
NSA: China Behind RSA Attacks (Information Week) — I can argue both sides about whether government cloud services are a boon or a curse for remote information thieves. Looking forward to seeing how it plays out.
3Difficult — I’m an industrial designer at heart, and I’m saddened by what’s happened to my craft. We were once the kings of things, but for a variety of reasons I think we’re in danger of being left behind. […] Making became the talk of the town, and to some extent it still is. We’re in the first stumbling days of the Internet of Things, and are increasingly seeing the paper thin definition between digital and tangible falling away.
Air Quotes Product (Matt Webb) — Recently I noted down some places in which traditional products have changed and he goes on to list some critical ways in which networked objects challenge our thinking. I love the little brain/big brain distinction–great to have words for these things at last!
The Sky is Rising — TechDirt’s Mike Masnick has written (and made available for free download) an excellent report on the entertainment industry’s numbers and business models. Must read if you have an opinion on SOPA et al.
Tennis Australia Exposes Match Analytics — Served from IBM’s US-based private cloud, the updated SlamTracker web application pulls together 39 million points of data collated from all four Grand Slam tournaments over the past seven years to provide insights into a player’s style of play and progress. The analytics application also provides a player’s likelihood of beating their opponent through each round of the two-week tournament and the ‘key to the match’ required for them to win. “We gave our data to IBM, said, ‘Here we go, that’s 10 years of scores and stats, matches and players’,” said Samir Mahir, CIO at Tennis Australia. Data as way to engage fans. (via Steve O’Grady)
Data Monday: Logins and Passwords (Luke Wroblewski) — Password recovery is the number one request to help desks for intranets that don’t have single sign-on portal capabilities.
QR Codes: Bad Idea or Terrible Idea? (Kevin Marks) — People have a problem finding your URL. You post a QR Code. Now they have 2 problems. I prefer to think of QR codes as a prototype of what Matt Jones calls “the robot-readable world”–not so much the technology we really imagine we will be deploying when we build our science fictiony future.
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.”
UK Govt To Help Businesses Fight Cybercrime (Guardian) — I view this as a good thing, even though the conspiracy nut in me says that it’s a step along the path that ends with the spy agency committing cybercrime to assist businesses.
Steve Case and His Companies (The Atlantic) — Maybe you see three random ideas. Case and his team saw three bets that paid off thanks to a new Web economy that promotes power in numbers and access over ownership. “Access over ownership” is a phrase that resonated. (via Walt Mossberg)
Back to the Future — teaching kids to program by giving them microcomputers from the 80s. I sat my kids down with a C64 emulator and an Usborne book to work through some BASIC examples. It’s not a panacea, but it solves a lot of bootstrapping problems with teaching kids to program.
Replaying Writing an Essay — Paul Graham wrote an essay using one of his funded startups, Stypi, and then had them hack it so you could replay the development with the feature that everything that was later deleted is highlighted yellow as it’s written. The result is fascinating to watch. I would like my text editor to show me what I need to delete ;)
Jawbone Live Up — wristband that sync with iPhone. Interesting wearable product, tied into ability to gather data on ourselves. The product looks physically nice, but the quantified self user experience needs the same experience and smoothness. Intrusive (“and now I’m quantifying myself!”) limits the audience to nerds or the VERY motivated.
Steve Jobs One-on-One (ComputerWorld) — interesting glimpse of the man himself in an oral history project recording made during the NeXT years. I don’t need a computer to get a kid interested in that, to spend a week playing with gravity and trying to understand that and come up with reasons why. But you do need a person. You need a person. Especially with computers the way they are now. Computers are very reactive but they’re not proactive; they are not agents, if you will. They are very reactive. What children need is something more proactive. They need a guide. They don’t need an assistant.
Bluetooth Violin Bow — this is awesome in so many directions. Sensors EVERYWHERE! I wonder what hackable uses it has …
vim Text Objects — I’m an emacs user, so this is like reading Herodotus. “On the far side of the Nile is a tribe who eat their babies and give birth to zebras made of gold. They also define different semantics for motion and text objects.”
Hard Drive Shortage Predicted (Infoworld) — flooding in Thailand has knocked out 25% of the world’s hard drive manufacturing capacity. Interested to see the effects this has on cloud providers. (via Slashdot)