- On Compressing Social Networks (PDF) — paper looking at the theory and practice of compressing social network graphs. Our main innovation here is to come up with a quick and useful method for generating an ordering on the social network nodes so that nodes with lots of common neighbors are near each other in the ordering, a property which is useful for compression (via My Biased Coin, via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
- Requiring Email and Passwords for New Accounts (Instapaper blog) — a list of reasons why the simple signup method of “pick a username, passwords are optional” turned out to be trouble in the long run. (via Courtney Johnston’s Instapaper feed)
- Extreme Design — building the amazing spacelog.org in an equally-amazing fashion. I want a fort.
- rgeo — a new geo library for Rails. (via Daniel Azuma via Glen Barnes on Twitter)
ENTRIES TAGGED "usability"
Flipboard's Evan Doll on design and the importance of being inherently social.
In this podcast, Evan Doll, the co-founder of Flipboard sat down with Joe Wikert to discuss Flipboard's focus on design and social integration.
The shift toward more natural interfaces requires new thinking and skills.
As touch and gesture evolve from novelty to default, we must rethink how we build software, implement hardware, and design interfaces.
Liza Daly on why digital design elements should move in concert.
In this brief interview, Threepress Consulting owner Liza Daly tackles a question about formatting content for browser publishing. She says for design to succeed, authors, artists and developers must work together.
An index in an ebook offers a level of discovery search can't touch.
Why should digital publishers invest in index creation? Because ebooks that give readers efficient ways to access what they need are ebooks that will sell.
Ereader search tools need to limit disruption and incorporate web search best practices.
The current crop of ereaders handle ebook searching in a variety of ways — some are useful and creative, some aren’t. Here, Pete Meyers looks at the state of ebook search and how it can be improved.
The trend toward more ereader features seems to undermine the simplicity of reading.
More and more features appear in new and updated ereader apps and devices. But are those features functional to reading, or are they just extraneous toys that obfuscate the core purpose?
Crap Phones, HTML Editors, Digital Rights Minimization, and Data Munging
- The Most Popular Phone in the World (Gizmodo) — I have a mate who does prototyping R&D type stuff at a telco and this is his phone. “Why’d you carry a crap phone like that?” “Because this is the most popular phone with our customers.” The Gizmodo article talks about an upcoming Nokia that looks very promising: full keyboard, camera, et al. for under $100. (via Andrew Hedges on Twitter)
- Aloha Editor — very nice open source (AGPL3) HTML5 text editor widget for web apps. (via Jessy Cowan-Sharp on Twitter)
- How Do We Solve a Problem Like Geographic Restrictions — if you’re building a new business in the US around ebooks, digital music, or digital video, then be aware that your international uptake will be absolutely buggerized by rights issues. YouTube is the only US media site that doesn’t suck for overseas users: don’t rave to us about Hulu, it’s inaccessible to the rest of the world. (via Liza Daly on Twitter)
- Needlebase — tool with AI-type smarts to help you merge, munge, and export data. Check out Thread, the query language, for an interesting way of querying graphs. Was made by ITA Software, now owned by Google. Wonder what it’ll be wrapped into or released as …
New Take on Ubicomp, Language Insight, Sexy Viz, and iPad Usability
- People are Walking Architecture — presentation by Matt Jones of BERG, taking a new lens to this AR/ubicomp/whatever-it-is-today world. “[Mobile phones are] a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities ….”
- Lexicalist — insight into geographic and age distribution of language use, based on Twitter data. (via Language Log)
- Advanced Visualization Techniques — nice overview of some non-standard visualization techniques. Short shameful confession: I love polar dendrograms with a passion. These techniques are to visualizers as algorithms and data structures to programmers: each is used in specific circumstances and compromises some things to gain in others. (via Flowing Data)
- iPad Usability Report (Nielsen-Norman Group) — 93-page report based on user studies. The iPad etched-screen aesthetic does look good. No visual distractions or nerdy buttons. The penalty for this beauty is the re-emergence of a usability problem we haven’t seen since the mid-1990s: Users don’t know where they can click. For the last 15 years of Web usability research, the main problems have been that users don’t know where to go or which option to choose — not that they don’t even know which options exist. With iPad UIs, we’re back to this square one. (via Andrew Savikas)