"writing" entries

Four short links: 7 September 2010

Four short links: 7 September 2010

Crowdsourced Climate Science, Underground Map of Science, Programming Clue, and Great Molbio Writing

  1. GalaxyZoo for Climate Science? — GalaxyZoo is the crowdsourced physics research. A group of climate scientists want the same, to help predict “weather events”. See also the Guardian article. (via adw_tweets on Twitter)
  2. Crispian’s Science Map — gorgeous Underground-style map showing scientists and their contributions. (via arjenlentz on Twitter)
  3. Programming Things I Wish I Knew Earlier (Ted Dziuba) — opinionated piece, but boils down to “keep it simple until you can’t”, and “the more you know about the actual hardware, the better you can code”. With EC2, when Amazon says “I/O performance: High”, what does that even mean? Is that suitable for a heavy random read scenario? (via Hacker News)
  4. The Molecular Biology Carnival, 2ed — collection of excellent blog writing about molecular biology. (via BioinfoTools on Twitter)
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Four short links: 25 August 2010

Four short links: 25 August 2010

Narrative and Structure, Teaching Science, Time-Series Statistics, and Who Benefits from Open Source

  1. Why Narrative and Structure are Important (Ed Yong) — Ed looks at how Atul Gawande’s piece on death and dying, which is 12,000 words long, is an easy and fascinating read despite the length.
  2. Understanding Science (Berkeley) — simple teaching materials to help students understand the process of science. (via BoingBoing comments)
  3. Sax: Symbolic Aggregate approXimationSAX is the first symbolic representation for time series that allows for dimensionality reduction and indexing with a lower-bounding distance measure. In classic data mining tasks such as clustering, classification, index, etc., SAX is as good as well-known representations such as Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), while requiring less storage space. In addition, the representation allows researchers to avail of the wealth of data structures and algorithms in bioinformatics or text mining, and also provides solutions to many challenges associated with current data mining tasks. One example is motif discovery, a problem which we recently defined for time series data. There is great potential for extending and applying the discrete representation on a wide class of data mining tasks. Source code has “non-commercial” license. (via rdamodharan on Delicious)
  4. Open Source OSCON (RedMonk) — The business of selling open source software, remember, is dwarfed by the business of using open source software to produce and sell other services. And yet historically, most of the focus on open source software has accrued to those who sold it. Today, attention and traction is shifting to those who are not in the business of selling software, but rather share their assets via a variety of open source mechanisms. (via Simon Phipps)
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Four short links: 29 June 2010

Four short links: 29 June 2010

Literary Mashups, Hardware+App Store, Wikileaks Criticism, Online Style Guide

  1. The Diary of Samuel Pepys — a remarkable mashup of historical information and literature in modern technology to make the Pepys diaries an experience rather than an object. It includes historical weather, glosses, maps, even an encyclopedia. (prompted by Jon Udell)
  2. The Tonido Plug Server — one of many such wall-wart sized appliances. This caught my eye: CodeLathe, the folks behind Tonido, have developed a web interface and suite of applications. The larger goal is to get developers to build other applications for inclusion in Tonido’s own app store.
  3. Wikileaks Fails “Due Diligence” Review — interesting criticism of Wikileaks from Federation of American Scientists. “Soon enough,” observed Raffi Khatchadourian in a long profile of WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange in The New Yorker (June 7), “Assange must confront the paradox of his creation: the thing that he seems to detest most-power without accountability-is encoded in the site’s DNA, and will only become more pronounced as WikiLeaks evolves into a real institution.” (via Hacker News)
  4. Yahoo Style Guide — a paper book, but also a web site with lots of advice for those writing online.
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Four short links: 16 April 2010

Four short links: 16 April 2010

Deep Web Projects, Industrial Design, EEG Hacking, On Writing

  1. Buckets and Vessels (Aaron Straup Cope) — amazing collection of projects and the cultural shifts they illustrate. Michal Migurski’s Walking Papers, software designed to round-trip paper and digital edits to Open Street Map, has recently been used by professors at the University of California’s Berkeley’s School of Information to enable “a sort of psychogeographical dispute resolution between high school students in the town of Richmond marking up maps of their school and neighbourhood with tags like “stoners”, “asian gangsters” or “make-out spot” (http://groups.ischool.berkeley.edu/papermaps/kennedy.html). By allowing participants to manipulate the perception of their environment they are given a sort of bias knob to adjust the psychics and gravity of one space over another and to create a truly personal map of the world. (via auchmill on Twitter)
  2. Jonathan Ive on Industrial Design — fascinating to hear him talk about how he approaches his products; the interplay between materials, manufacturing methods, and function.
  3. Hacking Toy EEGs (MindHacks) — who doesn’t want to do this, just based on the title alone?
  4. Mamet’s Memo to the Writers — forceful, clear, and commanding. A tremendous insight, in a short period of time, into what good writing is. No idea why it’s in all caps. SOMEONE HAS TO MAKE THE SCENE DRAMATIC. IT IS NOT THE ACTORS JOB (THE ACTORS JOB IS TO BE TRUTHFUL). IT IS NOT THE DIRECTORS JOB. HIS OR HER JOB IS TO FILM IT STRAIGHTFORWARDLY AND REMIND THE ACTORS TO TALK FAST. IT IS YOUR JOB. (via Dan Meyer)
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Pew Research asks questions about the Internet in 2020

Pew Research asks questions about the Internet in 2020

Will Google Make Us Stupid? Will we live in the cloud or the desktop?

Pew Research, which seems to be interested in just about everything, conducts a "future of the Internet" survey every few years in which they throw outrageously open-ended and provocative questions at a chosen collection of observers in the areas of technology and society. I took the exercise as a chance to hammer home my own choices of issues, like: Will Google make us stupid? and Will we live in the cloud or the desktop?

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NaNoWriMo Now Underway

One of my favorite keynotes from TOC 2009 was National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) founder Chris Baty. It's November, which means the annual event is now underway. Check out the website for ways to support and participate….

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News Roundup: Digging Around Amazon's Topaz Format, Twitter Novels, June Ebook Sales Up 87% Over '07

Digging Around Amazon's Topaz File Format Late Night Code is popping the hood on Topaz, that mysterious "other" file format used on the Kindle: Mobipocket files purchased from Amazon have an AZW extension (which presumably stands for Amazon Whispernet – the name of the Kindle wireless download service). Mobipocket files from other sources will have a MOBI or PRC…

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Writing Novels with Twitter

ReadWriteWeb has a brief survey of mini serialized novels in the U.S.: In Japan, mobile phone novels called "keitai shousetsu" have become so successful that they accounted for half of the ten best-selling novels in 2007. Here in the Western world several would-be novelists are attempting to use Twitter to create the same phenomenon. Some of the novels tweeted so…

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Story Development Thrives in the Sports Department

The Associated Press recently commissioned an anthropological study into how youth obtain news information. What struck me most was this reference to something a bit orthogonal to the report — the elements of story development. From Ethan Zuckerman's My Heart's in Accra: … the biggest thing I took from report was the connection between sports coverage and other news coverage….

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Web Publicity + Free = A Fighting Chance

Sci-fi author Scott Sigler uses podcasts, giveaways and grassroots Web marketing to build interest in his work. We've covered Sigler in the past, but his recent interview with The Independent illustrates the value lesser-known writers can derive from Web-based brand building and free distribution: Sigler's thinking — and this is the revolutionary bit — is that it's worth making…

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