"urban" entries

Four short links: 3 December 2014

Four short links: 3 December 2014

VIsual NoSQL, QA MindSet, Future Programming, and Interactive Cities

  1. Visual Guide to NoSQL Systems — not quite accurate in the “pick any two,” but still a useful frame for understanding the landscape.
  2. The QA Mindset (Michael Lopp) — Humans do strange shit to software that we could never predict in the controlled setting of our carefully constructed software development environments. This x1000.
  3. Future Programming 2014 Videos — a collection of talks on boundary-pushing ideas around IDEs, code control, distributed objects, GPUs, etc.
  4. Some of These Things are Not Like the Others (Tom Armitage) — writeup on sensor-rich interactive cityscapes designed for residents to thrive rather than for merchants to transact. Lovely.
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Four short links: 14 January 2014

Four short links: 14 January 2014

Web Design, SF History of Hate, USB Fauxkeyboard, and Git Tutorials

  1. LayoutIt — drag-and-drop design using Bootstrap components. These tools are proliferating, as the standard design frameworks like Bootstrap make them possible. There’s unsustainable complexity in building web sites today, which means something will give: the web will lose to something, the technology forming the web will iterate, or the tools for the web will improve.
  2. How Silicon Valley Became The Man — I’m fascinated by the sudden spike in anti-corporate tension in SF. This interview gives me some useful vocabulary: New Communalists and the New Left. And two more books to read …
  3. USB Rubber Ducky — USB dongle that pretends to be a keyboard and types out your text REALLY fast. (via Root a Mac in 10s or Less)
  4. Simple Git Workflow is Simple — Atlassian producing videos on how to use git, good starting point for new code drones.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 29 April 2013

Four short links: 29 April 2013

Massive Security Problems, Hardware Locks, Closed Libraries, and Entrepreneurial Chaos in Detroit

  1. Information Security Breaches 2013 Report (UK Gov) — over 80% of small UK firms reported a breach, and over 90% of large. (via The Register)
  2. Google Glass Forbids Resales (Wired) — leaving aside the braying naysayers with their “GLASS WILL DESTROY THE SOCIAL FABRIC AND OUR ESSENTIAL HUMANITY”, there’s a valid point about software being used to control what users do with their devices. Given that this run of Glass is limited edition and they’ve hand-picked to whom they go and for what reason, Ed from Philadelphia is both greedy and naive if he believes Google’s letting him buy a pair to resell on eBay.
  3. Locked StacksAs the British Library makes a glacially paced transition from being an analog behemoth to being a digitized one, an opportunity arises to lower the institution’s ivory tower-like walls and to create extensive access to its impressive catalog. The only problems, of course, are a lack of money and the currently insurmountable problem of UK copyright law.
  4. Young Community Entrepreneurs Rebuilding Detroit (Fast Company) — from information-sharing real estate ventures to transportation startups and doomsday clocks to see how close the city is to bankruptcy, it’s a crazy world out there. Should be easy for them: Detroit comes pre-disrupted.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 19 December 2012

Four short links: 19 December 2012

Changing Cities, Design Documentary, Non-Evil Business, and Rebuilding The Lost Web

  1. 10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever (Business Insider) — the only one of these “The n (Massive|Coming|IBM|Important|Critical|Deadly|Brobdignagian) Trends That Will Transform <noun> Forever And Herald The End of Days So Grab Your Ankles And Kiss Your Ass Goodbye Sinners ‘Cos This Is Doom Writ Large Mofos And You Better Get Your Act Together Or You’ll Be Left Behind Along With The Westboro Baptist Church and Everyone Who Ever `Liked’ Carly Rae Jepson on Facebook Yo” articles that ever said anything I was interested in reading. (via Alex Howard)
  2. Objectified — documentary about design. (via Jim Stogdill)
  3. I’m Not The Product, But I Play One On The Internet (Derek Powazek) — his point is that it’s not business model that’s to blame, it’s that companies do not respect their customers. [W]e should not assume that, just because we pay a company they’ll treat us better, or that if we’re not paying that the company is allowed to treat us like shit. Reality is just more complicated than that. What matters is how companies demonstrate their respect for their customers. We should hold their feet to the fire when they demonstrate a lack of respect.
  4. Rebuilding The Web We Lost (Anil Dash) — [T]here’s a huge opportunity to make a great new generation of human-friendly apps with positive social values. Cf Derek’s article above, there’s a lot of thoughtful reflection happening right now.
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Four short links: 31 July 2012

Four short links: 31 July 2012

Urban Design, Vehicle Interfaces, Maldrones, and Cloud Translation

  1. 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.
  2. 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)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
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Four short links: 29 October 2010

Four short links: 29 October 2010

Tablet Magazines, Ubiquitous Urban Computing, Families and Work, and Twitter Query Language

  1. My iPad Magazine Stand (Khoi Vinh) — My opinion about iPad-based magazines is that they run counter to how people use tablets today and, unless something changes, will remain at odds with the way people will use tablets as the medium matures. They’re bloated, user-unfriendly and map to a tired pattern of mass media brands trying vainly to establish beachheads on new platforms without really understanding the platforms at all. (via Shawn Connally)
  2. Dan Hill Keynote (video) — beautiful and thought-provoking presentation on mining, using, and presenting data in the urban environment.
  3. The Dark Side of Entrepreneurship Continued (Pete Warden) — “work/life balance” is so trite, but I’ve been fascinated by how people deal with it since I heard Joe Kraus talk at Web 2.0 about what he was doing different at his latest startup. He replied that he was working fewer hours because he had a family, and that it was a difficult line to walk but he felt that he was managing it better because it was his second time around.
  4. TweeQL — query language for tweets. Query languages encode use scenarios. They limit what can be done easily but those limits also permit optimizations. I note the arrival of new query languages (cf Yahoo! Pipes) for these reasons. (via raffi on Twitter)
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Four short links: 19 October 2010

Four short links: 19 October 2010

Positive Gov2, Psychology of Places, Open Source Embedded Devices, and Dilbert on Data

  1. YIMBY — Swedish site for “Yes, In My Back Yard”. Provides an opportunity for the net to aggregate positive desires (“please put a bus stop on my street”, “we want wind power”) rather than simply aggregating complaints. (via cityofsound on Twitter)
  2. Getting People in the Door — a summary of some findings about people’s approaches to the physical layout of shopping space. People like to walk in a loop. They avoid “cul de sacs” that they can see are dead-ends, because they don’t want to get bored walking through the same merchandise twice. Apply these to your next office space.
  3. OpenBricksembedded Linux framework that provides easy creation of custom distributions for industrial embedded devices. It features a complete embedded development kit for rapid deployment on x86, ARM, PowerPC and MIPS systems.
  4. Dilbert on Data — pay attention, data miners. (via Kevin Marks)
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Four short links: 2 July 2010

Four short links: 2 July 2010

Street Demographics, Hack for Africa, Opportunity Spotting, News or Filters?

  1. Brien Lane, Melbourne — an alleyway painted with statistics about the area. Urban spaces as screens. Check out the other photos. (via Pete Warden)
  2. Apps 4 Africa — from US State Department, The challenge is to build the best digital tools to address community challenges in areas ranging from healthcare to education and government transparency to election monitoring. (via Clay Johnson)
  3. Hopeful Monsters and the Trough of Disillusionment (Berg London) — this was a great Foo talk, lovely to see the ideas written up and circulated widely.
  4. Tyranny of the Daily 10 Percent (Julie Starr) — do we have a production quality problem, or do we have a filter problem? Intersection of two trends we’ve seen: “news reinvention” and “information overload”. I find myself wanting to spend more time quantifying what we’ve already got that’s good and being clearer about what we think is missing, before thinking about what to replace it with and how to foot the bill.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 5 May 2010

Four short links: 5 May 2010

Web IDEs, Timely Election Displays, Face Recognition, # Books/Kindle

  1. Sketch for Processing — an IDE for Processing based on Mozilla’s Bespin.
  2. British Election Results to be Broadcast on Big Ben — the monument is the message. Lovely integration of real-time data and architecture, an early step for urban infrastructure as display.
  3. Face.com API — an alpha API for face recognition.
  4. Average Number of Books/Kindle — short spreadsheet figuring out, from cited numbers. (Spoiler: the answer is 27)
Comment: 1