Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Let them eat tweet

Does Twitter dumb us down or simply reveal our innate goofiness? That's the question that's been flittering about my skullcage after reading Gideon Rachman's column on the popular microblogging service in yesterday's Financial Times. In reviewing John McCain's vigorous tweet stream, Rachman observes that "some of the senator’s tweets make him sound like a peasant." He quotes one: “Meeting with Dr Kissinger – the smartest man in the world.” I have this picture in my mind of McCain and Kissinger sitting in comfortable armchairs in a well-appointed governmental office, a couple of aides hovering in the corners, and McCain is... http://ping.fm/AfTjm

Radical Transparency: The New Federal IT Dashboard

Today, at the Personal Democracy Forum in New York, Vivek Kundra, the US national CIO, unveiled the new IT spending dashboards at usaspending.gov. The dashboards are designed to help Vivek and the CIOs of individual government agencies get a handle on the effectiveness of government IT spending. At the top level, the dashboards provide a view of spending by major... http://ping.fm/ctSVp

Four short links: 30 June 2009

Military Open Source Software Conference -- 12-13 August 2009 in Atlanta. Govloop -- a "Social Network for Gov 2.0". Gov 2.0 could easily become the intersection of talk radio and social media consultant inanity. As with the Web 2.0 lunacy, when everyone who could spell wiki tried to sell one, you should cultivate the art of identifying and sidestepping... http://ping.fm/iCWMp

Bing's Sanaz Ahari on System Feedback (2 of 2)

A couple of weeks ago Bing had a small search summit for analysts, bloggers, SEO experts, entrepreneurs and advertisers. It was held in Bellevue; they put us up in the hotel and fed us. While there we received demos from Bing project teams. I was able to snag an interview with Sanaz Ahari, Lead PM on Bing. She led the... http://ping.fm/GhW2o

Books for the times

The Big Switch gets a nice recommendation from Newsweek. It's #4 on the magazine's list of Fifty Books for Our Times. Here are the top ten: 1. The Way We Live Now, by Anthony Trollope 2. The Looming Tower, by Lawrence Wright 3. Prisoner of the State, by Zhao Ziyang 4. The Big Switch, by Nicholas Carr 5. The Bear, by William Faulkner 6. Winchell, by Neal Gabler 7. Random Family, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc 8. Night Draws Near, by Anthony Shadid 9. Predictably Irrational, by Dan Ariely 10. God: A Biography, by Jack Miles... http://ping.fm/E2xCA

Monday, June 29, 2009

Personal Democracy Forum conference: initial themes

The first day at the Personal Democracy Forum conference revolved
around the freedom to experiment, necessary infrastructure, and the
need to change. http://ping.fm/3bxI1

Want A Job? Learn SharePoint, Says Gary Blatt

Even with an improving economy, there's still a lot of developers out there who are looking for work. And though it may make seasoned Open Source hackers cringe at the thought, one quick way to find employment may be to go over to "the Other Side" and become a Microsoft SharePoint developer. I recently attended the SPTechCon conference, and talked... http://ping.fm/GG49h

Bing's Sanaz Ahari on Query Level Categorization (1 of 2)

A couple of weeks ago Bing had a small search summit for analysts, bloggers, SEO experts, entrepreneurs and advertisers. It was held in Bellevue; they put us up in the hotel and fed us. While there we received demos from Bing project teams. I was able to snag an interview with Sanaz Ahari, Lead PM on Bing. She led the... http://ping.fm/LKFzd

Saturday, June 27, 2009

?Silicon Valley?s First Phone Company? -A conversation with Ted Griggs

Ribbit bills itself as “Silicon Valley’s First Phone Company.” Recently I sat down with Ted Griggs, Ribbit’s CEO to talk about that tag line, Ribbit’s business and what’s behind their recent acquisition by British Telecom. It will be interesting to see how the telecommunications industry is going to handle the coming disruption as the public becomes accustomed to near-free calling... http://ping.fm/rkpzq


Michael Chabon, in an elegiac essay in the new edition of the New York Review of Books, rues the loss of the "Wilderness of Childhood" - the unparented, unfenced, only partially mapped territory that was once the scene of youth. It is by now an old theme, but he gives it a vigorous workout: As the national feeling of guilt over the extermination of the Indians led to the creation of a kind of cult of the Indian, so our children have become cult objects to us, too precious to be risked. At the same time they have become fetishes,... http://ping.fm/OVzgL

The sour Wikipedian

Forget altruism. Misanthropy and egotism are the fuel of online social production. That's the conclusion suggested by a new study of the character traits of the contributors to Wikipedia. A team of Israeli research psychologists gave personality tests to 69 Wikipedians and 70 non-Wikipedians. They discovered that, as New Scientist puts it, Wikipedians are generally "grumpy," "disagreeable," and "closed to new ideas." In their report on the results of the study, the scholars paint a picture of Wikipedians as social maladapts who "feel more comfortable expressing themselves on the net than they do off-line" and who score poorly on measures... http://ping.fm/x16Vg

Friday, June 26, 2009

How Active is Twitter Now? Tweespeed

As of Friday, June 26th, 2009 at 1:10PM PST Twitter is pumping out 13,574 tweets per minute. I know from TweeSpeed, The Twitter Instant Speed Meter. The auto-refreshing application averages the last five minutes of Twitter's public timeline to get its figure. The simple app was built using" Java (JSP), uses the Twitter Java API, and runs on Google... http://ping.fm/NtpgF

Scott Berkun on Why You Should Speak (at Ignite)

A lot of people feel that Ignite is great training for speakers. The strict format and auto-advancing slides can really solidify your self-confidence. Scott Berkun, the author of Making Things Happen and of an upcoming book on public speaking, did a talk on just that at the last Ignite Seattle. We've edited that talk and made it this week's... http://ping.fm/vWuaY

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Apple, the Boomer Tablet and the Matrix

I have written here, here and here about Apple’s inevitable assault on the Tablet market. What I hadn’t factored until recently is how symbiotic such a device would be for Baby Boomers. Why Baby Boomers? Well, for the same two reasons that this demographic is unlikely to embrace the palm-sized iPhone en masse. One, such a bookish-sized tablet device –... http://ping.fm/3goVr

Naming an Emerging Movement

There's a movement going on around the world. We don't have a name for it, though. Gov2.0, e-gov, e-democracy, open gov--these are all names that get applied to what is happening. And they are great for describing a certain aspect of this movement, the aspect that actually deals with government. What's really going on right now is much bigger than... http://ping.fm/RU9Or

Four short links: 25 June 2009

How an Indie Musician Can Make $19,000 in 10 Hours Using Twitter -- as Zoe Keating pointed out: "cash made by @amandapalmer in one month on Twitter = $19,000; cash made by @amandapalmer from 30,000 record sales = $0". The Nike Experiment: How the Shoe Giant Unleashed the Power of Personal Metrics (Wired) -- And not only can we... http://ping.fm/wPsja

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Case Study: Twitter Usage at Wordcamp SF

One of my many hats is as an events organizer. Twitter has become an invaluable tool for me to gauge the mood of the attendees. Are they excited by the current speaker? Bored or excited at the latest news? Are they having a good time? And most important, are they making connections? Pathable, an events social networking company, has... http://ping.fm/PR9id


Do not ask for whom the Google tolls. It tolls for me. I woke up this morning to discover that I no longer exist. The entire contents of this blog has been erased from Google's index. Every post. Every last bon mot. Gone. Without a trace. Here, by way of illustration, is what you'll get if you google the word "google" and restrict the search to the roughtype.com domain: Now I know how Adam and Eve felt after God kicked their sorry asses out of Eden. I'm on my knees. Please, Google, I beg of you, let me back into... http://ping.fm/5qJme

Jonathan Heiliger on Web Performance, Operations, and Culture

We were honored to have Jonathan Heiliger, Facebook's VP of Technology Operations, as our opening keynote speaker at Velocity. Jonathan is one of the most accomplished leaders in our field, and is a master of the craft. Here is his keynote in it's entirety... http://ping.fm/bPI0d

Four short links: 24 June 2009

The Digital Open -- The Digital Open is an online technology community and competition for youth around the world, age 17 and under. Building a community of young open source hackers. Four Crowdsoucing Lessons from the Guardian's Spectacular Expenses Scandal Experiment -- Your workers are unpaid, so make it fun. How to lure them? By making it feel like... http://ping.fm/zj3Lt

My 140conf Talk: Twitter as Publishing

I spoke at Jeff Pulver's 140conf a few weeks ago. My subject was the continuity of what I do, from publishing through conferences through my presence on twitter. I tried to draw the connections, and to explain how "social media" means drawing from, curating, and amplifying the voices of a community. I suggest that the role of an editor and publisher is analogous to the role of a point guard in basketball, handing out "assists" and improving the performance of his or her teammates. After all, I point out, I couldn't possibly tweet enough to cover all the topics I am interested in. But by using my retweets to build the visibility of others, I can create and foster a community that cares about the ideas, trends, and people that I care about. http://ping.fm/DZgPn

Personal Democracy Forum ramp-up: adaptive legislation can respond to action in the agora

If legislatures could rely on public participation during the
implementation of the law, they could write laws that embrace such

App Growth, PalmOS vs iPhoneOS

There's a chart I've been meaning to put together for a while to explain why I'm expecting the iPhoneOS to be the dominant mobile platform for at least the next decade. I've been thinking of the role third-party applications played in helping Palm maintain its mobile platform dominance for about that same period, from 1996 to 2006. If you believe... http://ping.fm/TQiPY

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bing and Google Agree: Slow Pages Lose Users

Today representatives of Google Search and Microsoft's Bing teams, Jake Brutlag and Eric Schurman respectively, presented the results of user performance tests at today's Velocity Conference. The talk was entitled The User and Business Impact of Server Delays, Additional Bytes, and HTTP Chunking in Web Search. These are long-term tests were designed to see what aspects of performance are... http://ping.fm/5TV7f

Four short links: 23 June 2009

Easter Eggs for Real Life (Neil Gaiman) -- ok, I know easter eggs are already part of real life, but this is still cool. Gaiman recommends a restaurant run by a friend, and the friend has set up a special phrase that to mention to the server, at which point something good and special will happen for them to... http://ping.fm/l6xL9

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Manifesto on Health Data Rights

As a medical patient, I've always assumed that my medical records were something that I had a right to - after all, they are about me, and my freedom to share them with a second doctor, or see them myself so I can understand my own medical situation, seems self-evident. It was only the fact that so many of these... http://ping.fm/i7F5R

Before and After Shots of Google's Iran Maps

There many places in the world where it is not possible for larger companies to map them. These can be for economic reasons as is the case for Black Rock City (the temporary 40,000 person home for Burning Man). Or for political reasons as is the case for Iran and countries such as China. As I mentioned the other... http://ping.fm/rHIjF

Where are the learners?

I tend to browse around Flickr a lot, and came across this image: So what's missing here? Well, it would seem obvious... except to many technical book authors. See, for most folks, the obvious answer here is, "There are no students!" But for the average technical book author -- and to be clear, I'm one of that crowd, so I'm... http://ping.fm/oIutf

Velocity: The Art of Web Operations

Two years ago, at the 2007 O'Reilly Open Source Convention, a group of web operations professionals, led by Jesse Robbins and Steve Souders along with O'Reilly editor Andy Oram, asked for a meeting with me. Their message: "We need a separate conference for our community." That community: the web operations professionals who keep sites up and running. They knew I... http://ping.fm/ocWXb

Four short links: 22 June 2009

Half of All Friends Replaced Every 7 Years -- to put it another way, the half-life of friendship is 7 years. (via zephoria on delicious) Crowdsourced Car Design -- an interesting approach, and I can imagine it being described as "threadless for cars". (via timoreilly on Twitter) Australian Gov 2.0 Taskforce -- The Aussies are getting their Gov 2.0... http://ping.fm/midRr

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Benefits of a Classical Education

As some of you may know, I got my undergraduate degree in Greek and Latin Classics. So when Forbes asked me to do an interview on the subject of how my Classical education had affected my business career, I agreed. The result, part of a special report called Power, Ambition, Glory, used only a small part of the interview I... http://ping.fm/fkeyU

Friday, June 19, 2009

Health Care Costs: Am I missing something? Or is there a lot of flimflam going on?

Driving home from work, listening to NPR's story about health care costs, I couldn't help but be struck by a couple of numbers. The Obama health plan will cost a trillion dollars we're told. A TRILLION sounds big enough to end the debate, doesn't it? Then I hear, almost as a footnote, that that trillion is over ten years. That's... http://ping.fm/y7iEd

The Web

2: it's Exponential, but is it Contracting or Expanding?

Announcing: Spike Night at Velocity

Guest blogger Scott Ruthfield is a Program Committee member of the O'Reilly Velocity: Web Performance & Operations Conference.  Web Operations is not for the casual observer: it's for a particular kind of adrenaline junkie that's motivated by graphs and servers spinning out of control.  Jumping in, on-your-feet analysis, and experience-based-experimentation are all part of solving new problems caused by unexpected user and machine behavior,... http://ping.fm/dstev

Dramatic Increase in Number of Tor Clients from Iran: Interview with Tor Project and the EFF

The Tor Project produces an anonymous proxy services which allows users to evade surveillance. In this interview, Andrew Lewman talks about the Tor Project and discusses some statistics that show its increased use from with Iran. This article also includes some questions and answers with the EFF about the legal implications of running an open proxy server. http://ping.fm/oImhX

Personal Democracy Forum: Politics in the Web 2.0 Era

In the past year or so, I've been urging people to work on stuff that matters. The world is faced with serious problems, and we in the technology community have a unique contribution to make, as the tools we've created help us to collaborate and organize at an unprecedented scale outside of industrial-era top-down organizations. One area where technology and real world concerns meet is in the challenge of remaking democracy in a Web 2.0 world. http://ping.fm/hHcPQ

Four short links: 19 June 2009

Inside-Out Multiplication Table -- very cool way to view the patterns of factors. Math is beauty with subscripts. High-Speed Camera -- capture 100 frames at up to 1M frames/second. The sample videos, of a bullet liquefying on impact and a shotgun string boiling past, are stunning. The Makezine high-speed photography kit is the cheap amateur version. Open Source Energy... http://ping.fm/ZOrtG

Twenty-five hundred years of Government 2.0

New practices in government transparency are just intensifications of
things democracies have done for a long time: public comment periods,
expert consultation, archiving deliberations, and so forth. So let's
look back a bit at what democracy has brought to government so far.

Facebook Adds Million of Users in Asia

Since my previous post on Facebook users by country, the company has grown rapidly in Asia. Over the last 12 weeks, Facebook grew 90% in Asia going from 11.4 to 21.7 million active users. With a Market Penetration of only 0.6% in Asia, Facebook has barely scratched the surface in the region. The company also gained 11.3M users in Europe... http://tinyurl.com/nx6gsy

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sarah Milstein on Iranian Protests and Twitter

In this 10 minute interview, Sarah Milstein, co-author of The Twitter Book, discusses Twitter's impact on the Iranian protests, the emerging relationship between Twitter and breaking news stories, and she addressed the fear of inadvertent transparency within immediate social messaging communications media. http://ping.fm/6QEaq

Geolocating Your iPhone Users via the Browser

Hallelujah! Geolocation is available in the iPhone's browser. I was thrilled to finally have this app ask to use my location. This is only true for the new 3.0 version of the browser (oddly, geolocation is *not* available in the Mac version of Safari 4). Adding the ability to geolocate users via the browser opens up a whole new range of web apps. If you're eager to start catering to the legion of iPhone users ready to tell you where they are, Adam DuVander (the fellow behind the Portland Wifi Finder among other things) has written up an excellent post on how to access their location. The iPhone is using the W3C Geo-Location spec. http://ping.fm/ggGh5

The Next Wave of iPhone Apps

This is the biggest week of the year for iPhone users, as Apple released iPhone OS 3.0 on Wednesday and will be launching the new iPhone 3GS on Friday. The iPhone OS 3.0 Software Update provides a significant number of enhancements to the operating system including spotlight search, cut, copy, & paste, voice memos, support for landscape keyboard usage in Mail, Messages, Notes, and Safari, MMS and tethering for carriers that support these features (AT&T late summer for MMS, tethering TBD), and dozens of other improvements. http://ping.fm/DASNF

Four short links: 18 June 2009

Harvard Study Finds Weaker Copyright Protection Has Benefited Society (Michael Geist) -- Given the increase in artistic production along with the greater public access conclude that "weaker copyright protection, it seems, has benefited society." This is consistent with the authors' view that weaker copyright is "uambiguously desirable if it does not lessen the incentives of artists and entertainment companies... http://ping.fm/KbhX0

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Want a Map of Tehran? Use Open Street Map or Google

All eyes are on Tehran right now. As the center of the Iranian election protests the city has become increasingly important to websites this week. To keep their site up-to-date with this latest crisis area Flickr switched out the Yahoo road Map with Open Street Map. When I heard about this I wondered how other major mapping sites faired.... http://ping.fm/pyR6r

Four short links: 17 June 2009

NY Times Mines Its Data To Identify Words That Readers Find Abstruse -- the feature that lets you highlight a word on a NY Times web page and get more information about it is something that irritates me. I'm fascinated by the analysis of their data: boggling that sumptuary is less perplexing than solipsistic. Louche (#3 on the list)... http://ping.fm/fIbgE

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

ARhrrrr! : Augmented Reality Zombie and Helicopter Game

Augmented Reality is going to be coming to a phone near you very shortly. All it takes is a decent processor, a camera, a compass and a GPS -- all of which are becoming increasingly common on smart phones (Android phones and the iPhone 3GS qualify). It's going to be used primarily for games and geo-oriented apps. ARhrrr! is... http://ping.fm/vDqCL

Interesting Questions Raised by Iranian Twitter Activism

Development (4:10 PM CST): The State Department has been in contact with Twitter to make sure that the service remained available for protestors in Iran. (reuters) Last Friday, Twitter started to digest the Iranian election results, and the tool became a powerful vehicle for protest and coordination for student protestors within Iran and interested parties outside the country. American Twitterers... http://ping.fm/WR7rk

Walking the Censorship Tightrope with Google's Marissa Mayer

Google sometimes finds itself at an difficult crossroad of wanting to make as much information available to as many people as possible, while still trying to obey the laws of the countries they operate in. I recently had a chance to talk to Marissa Mayer, who started at Google as their first female engineer, and has now risen to the ranks of vice president in charge of some of Google's most critical product areas, such as search, maps and Chrome. We talked about some of Google's future product directions, and also about how Google makes the decision as to when information has to be withheld from the users. Marissa will be delivering a keynote address at the O'Reilly Velocity Conference next week. http://ping.fm/5IYZL

Four short links: 16 June 2009

Dealing with Election Results Data -- taking the raw UK European election data into Google's Fusion Tables to try and make sense of it. More cloud-based tools for the data scientist within. (via Simon Willison) Time for an Open 311 API -- "311" is the US number to call for non-emergency municipal services. There have been a lot of... http://ping.fm/mWga9

Personal Democracy Forum ramp-up: from vulnerability and overload to rage, mistrust, and fear

The grand vision for government/public collaboration is a set of
feedback loops that intensify the influence of the collective will on
government policy. But will the White House have the time and
resources to establish a foothold for a solid and lasting open
government program?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hands-On with the iPhone 3.0 OS; Search is the Winner

The iPhone 3.0 OS is going to be released this Wednesday. It will be available to all iPhones (for free) and iPod Touches (for a small cost). The iPhone 3GS will ship with it. The new OS became available last week to those willing and able to try it out a bit early (see Gizmodo for details). This is... http://ping.fm/9UEBc

Jeff Bezos at Wired Disruptive by Design conference

Jeff Bezos is very quotable. Listeing to Steve Levy interview him at the Wired Disruptive by Design event in New York, I was furiously taking notes. Here are the quotes I managed to capture: "We've co-evolved with our tools for thousands of years," he says, explaining how ease of Kindle buying changes behavior. "Reading is an important enough activity that... http://ping.fm/G8gEK

Four short links: 15 June 2009

More Talk Less Chalk -- wordy slides that duplicate what the speaker says make it harder to learn. [R]esults indicate that participants exposed to lexically sparse slides had better recall of thematic content, suggesting that deeper encoding occurs when working memory demands are reduced, and that this may be achieved simply by minimising the number of words on the... http://ping.fm/jWWWZ

The Four Pillars of an Open Civic System

Everyone is talking a lot about open government and transparency these days. It's exhilarating stuff, and it's even more exciting to see governments get behind it, creating sites like data.gov in the U.S. for the public to access government information via APIs. But every time I hear someone say something like "our organization is really into transparency" (which is often)... http://ping.fm/vtPaJ

Friday, June 12, 2009

XKCD on the Future Self

This morning's XKCD, Latitude, spells out one of the reasons people will be weary of setting up continuous location trackers: the future self. The future self forgets that they are sharing their location and then act as if no one knows where they are going. In this case Megan's friend tracks her stops at a sex shop, toy store,... http://ping.fm/gbtex

Four short links: 12 June 2009

New Media Challenges: Legal and Policy Considerations for Federal Use of Web 2.0 Technology (Center for American Progress) -- report on the issues around Web 2.0 use in Government, which include privacy, security, Public Records Act, advertising, etc. See also It's Not the Campaign Anymore: How the White House Is Using Web 2.0 Technology So Far from the same... http://ping.fm/2dE0C

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Search for Developers

Diagnosing Technical Issues With Search Engine OptimizationView more OpenOffice presentations from Jane Robot. Vanessa Fox just posted her slides from her talk Diagnosing Technical Issues With Search Engine Optimization. They are packed with handy SEO/SEM suggestions, checklists and resources. It's worth going through at least once.... http://ping.fm/N2xEW

Mechanical Turk Best Practices

Last night, Dolores Labs hosted what was billed as the first-ever Mechanical Turk meetup, and I was fortunate enough to have been able to squeeze into what turned out to be a great series of presentations. While Amazon was the pioneer and remains the largest provider in the space, other services like Dolores Labs and Nathan Eagle's txteagle have emerged... http://ping.fm/ojQ0P

Programming Contests, Community, and Business

Attending the TopCoder Open, the final in-person rounds of an intense programming competition, in support of the TopCoder Cookbook, showed me possibilities that go way beyond programming or books into business models and community I came expecting to see a competition, but found a much more inclusive (and compelling) business model which builds and applies an international community of dedicated developers. http://ping.fm/mXRfs

Four short links: 11 June 2009

Trending Topics -- full source code for trendingtopics.org, Wikipedia trend analysis. Rails app running on the Cloudera Hadoop Distribution on EC2. (via mattb on Delicious) Graffiti from Pompeii -- I can't help but read these as Tweets. Herculaneum (on the exterior wall of a house); 10619: Apollinaris, the doctor of the emperor Titus, defecated well here (see also olde... http://ping.fm/o94NF

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The King is Dead, Long Live the King

I've been resisting the temptation to write about Android. But after reading some of the blogs about Android netbooks, I can't keep quiet. Aside from being a Really Cool Idea, I don't have a lot to say about netbooks themselves. I've got an Android phone (thanks, Google), and I like it, and it would be nice to see the operating... http://ping.fm/hKMaP

Clarke and the Continuous Location Update

I love the idea of Fire Eagle, Yahoo's under-supported location-brokering service. However until recently I found myself unable to use it. I had no mobile service that I could consistently rely on to update Fire Eagle. Enter Clarke. Clarke (named after Arthur C. Clarke) is a small tool that runs in the background on my Mac. It updates my... http://ping.fm/xLOy3

Four short links: 10 June 2009

Apple's Cool Matrix-Style App Wall (TechCrunch) -- a huge collection of icons for many of the apps available in the App Store, arranged by color. Apparently, when someone purchased one, that app’s icon would pulsate. An App Store version of Google's search globe. Information visualization makes activities meaningful, beautiful, and useful, but not necessarily all at the same time.... http://ping.fm/DXh7i

John Viega Talks About Beautiful Security

John Viega is the co-editor of Beautiful Security, the latest in O'Reilly's "Beautiful" series. He recently talked to me a bit about what makes security beautiful, and what demands modern security problems place on end users and administrators http://ping.fm/b1tlp

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Twitter is Not a Conversational Platform

Perhaps the most common reason given for joining the microsharing site Twitter is "participating in the conversation" or some version of that. I myself am guilty of using this explanation. But is Twitter truly a conversational platform? Here I argue that the underlying mechanics of Twitter more closely resemble the knowledge co-creation seen in wikis than the dynamics seen with... http://ping.fm/5exeb

Twitter Approval Matrix

This matrix shows four quadrants used to describe tastes found on Twitter, or related sites such as hashtag.org, tweestats.com, etc. The Y-axis is partly analytical and shows popularity (mostly through scraped numbers) or perceived popularity (in the future nominated by you). The other part of the grid is more curated and subjective. The X-axis has been plotted based on my personal opinion. http://ping.fm/YSd1e

What the iPhone 3GS and 3.0 OS Means for Geo Devs

Yesterday's announcements around the iPhone 3GS and new 3.0 OS were significant to consumers and developers. Here are some of the changes that will make geo devs happy. Google Maps Views (Mapkit) - Developers can now take advantage of Google Maps within their apps. This means that you no longer have to building your own mapping system for your... http://ping.fm/QVkw6

Scripting Comes to Android

Google is bringing scripts to Android. The Android Scripting Environment (ASE) will make development accessible and easy for devs who don't want to build a full-fledge application. As Google provides these details: Scripts can be run interactively in a terminal, started as a long running service, or started via Locale. Python, Lua and BeanShell are currently supported, and we're... http://ping.fm/FcAmD

Monday, June 8, 2009

Vanessa Fox's Search Developer Summit - 6/12 in SF

Vanessa Fox, search expert at large, is running a Search Developer Summit this Friday in SF. As she describes it: A site’s technical architecture is crucial for its success in search engines. If you are an entrepreneur building an online business, a web developer who is looking to add valuable skills to your resume, or a CTO or engineering... http://ping.fm/QwD20

Ignite! comes to San Jose June 22nd - Submit your talks now!

Ignite! is coming to San Jose on Monday June 22, 2009 at 8:00 pm, attached to the Velocity Conference. Admission is free, open to all, and there will be a cash bar. The deadline for talks is May 11th, so submit your talks now! As with all Ignites each speaker will only get 20 slides that each auto-advance every 15... http://ping.fm/GP9nu

Four short links: 8 June 2009

How to Project on 3D Geometry -- the fine art (and math) of distorting an image so that it looks undistorted when projected onto a non-flat 3D surface. Confused? See the images below. (via straup on Delicious) ZinePal -- Create your own printable magazine from any online content. (via warrenellis on Delicious) What The Government Doesn't Understand About The... http://ping.fm/UV1km

When do your beliefs become knowledge?

I've been reading a lot of philosophy lately -- Kierkegaard and Dawkins, Lewis, Hume, Calvin and Augustine, you name it -- for a class I'm taking, as well as for my own enjoyment. One of the interesting things about philosophy is that it's a discipline that takes the understanding of understanding seriously. As a teacher, that's fascinating to me; has education -- specifically, the way we in 2009 are trying to educate -- really examined what knowledge is? Have educational systems considered what the wealth of literature says about knowledge, and responded to it responsibly? http://ping.fm/uOeNB

CrisisCamp is June 12-14th in Washington, DC

CrisisCamp is an unconference to bring together domain experts, hackers, makers, developers, and first responders to improve technology and practice for humanitarian crisis management and disaster relief. This is the first event in what I hope will become a movement, and it's happening on June 12 - 14, 2009 in Washington, DC. Across the world, everyday people can find... http://ping.fm/ow34z

Friday, June 5, 2009

Four short links: 5 June 2009

Visual Programming Environments for Kids -- detailed writeup of the research and coding done by Shone Sadler to build a visual programming environment for robots, so simple that kids can use it. (via steveweiss on Twitter) The Nation's CTO Lays Out His Priorities -- it's still not entirely clear how the CTO and CIO's roles differ, as both are... http://ping.fm/ioOIj

FBML, YML, OSML oh my! HTML, meet Social

Given how quickly the Social Web is coming together, I believe that HTML will need to support social elements someday soon. It's great to see this type of innovation by Facebook running in the wild, but the web itself ultimately evolves best when multiple competing approaches come together. Just as OAuth brought together the best practices from AOL, Flickr, Google, Yahoo! and others, there is a similar opportunity to bring together FBML, YML and OSML along with the client-side benefits of XFBML. http://ping.fm/eXSq8

The World's (Phone) Reactions to Obama's Inauguration

On Obama's Inauguration Day the world watched... and called each other. And those calls were voluminous and corresponded to parts of his speech. To see just how the world reached out to each other MIT's Senseable City Lab and AT&T teamed up to analyze the call records of that day. In honor of Obama's 100th day in office they... http://ping.fm/fKcvP

3D Glasses: Virtual Reality, Meet the iPhone

A light flickers from two distinct points in time. As a child in the early-1970s, one of my toys was a View-Master, a binoculars-like device for viewing 3D images (called stereograms), essentially a mini-program excerpted from popular destinations, TV shows, cartoons, events and the like. Flash forward to the present, and we are suddenly on the cusp of a game-changing event; one that I believe kicks the door open for 3D and VR apps to become mainstream. I am talking about the release of iPhone OS version 3.0. http://ping.fm/RG7he

OSCON 2009 Highlights

OSCON 2009 is just around the corner, this year in San Jose, California. When I spoke at the Silicon Valley Linux Users Group last night, they asked me for a few highlights. It's tough to pick from over 200 sessions, all the best-of-the-best out of 800 submissions (and there were at least 100 more I wish I could have fit... http://ping.fm/r8Ihj

Thursday, June 4, 2009

TOSBack: EFF's Much-Needed Terms of Service Tracker

The EFF just launched a service for tracking Terms of Service changes of 44 major sites including Google, Apple and recursively the EFF. TOSBack provides a feed of changes. In the screenshot below you can see a comparison of Facebook's privacy policy, which has been updated to Facebook's new address. The full set of companies at launch are: Amazon,... http://ping.fm/CB60f

Ignite Show: Veronica Belmont on the Do's and Don'ts of Making Memes

At Ignite SF on 4/1 Veronica Belmont shared some do's and don'ts on businesses and their attempts at viral marketing campaigns. Her advice is simple (Don't be a jerk, Don't try too hard, Be funny). Vanessa's examples run the gamut from one of the best (Subservient Chicken) to the recent and risky (Skittles). You can get the Ignite show... http://ping.fm/9NJyD

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Google Squared is an Exponential Improvement in Search

One of the things I've learned about Google is that the most amazing things will come out of them with barely a whisper of fanfare. Such is the case with Google Squared, a new Google Labs tool that was released today. What does Google Squared do? It organizes and tables information from searches for you in a way that makes it much more useful. http://ping.fm/UkSSU

The Economic Crisis and the US Online Job Market

In my previous post, I noted that despite the large decline in total number of job postings, the number Hadoop/MapReduce job postings increased by 49%. What is the current state of the online job market? The financial crisis that began in the Fall of 2008 has had a lasting negative effect on the U.S. online job market. Since late 2008, there have been significantly less jobs posted online. http://tinyurl.com/rcam5w

Four short links: 3 June 2009

Tinychat -- very simple web-based take on videochat. Pro members get higher resolution, more rooms, and privacy. (I like the "free = public, charge for private" business model) One Click Orgs -- One Click Orgs is building a website where groups can quickly create a legal structure and get a simple system for group decisions. We think social enterprises,... http://ping.fm/hFmDL

Mapumental: Time & Scenicness in Maps

MySociety has given us a sneak peak at Mapumental, a map app that lets you pivot on travel-time, "scenicness", and house-price in the London area. Just enter a postal code and if you're looking for a home in the area Mapumental should be very helpful to you. It is an update to a previous foray into temporal maps (you... http://ping.fm/2ddDY

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Four short links: 2 June 2009

TypeKit -- Jeff Veen's new startup, making typography on the web fail to suck. Every major browser is about to support the ability to link to a font. That means you can write a bit of CSS, include a URL to a font file, and have your page display with the typography you expect. While it’s technically quite easy... http://ping.fm/s4242

Monday, June 1, 2009

Loki's Net

Every culture has its Trickster myths because Trickster lives on the edge of what the rest of us perceive as "real." He crosses boundaries so often and with such ease, not to mention panache, that our own boundaries expand because of him. Trickster is "the doorway leading out, the spirit of the road at dusk" (Lewis Hyde) that doesn't belong to any town but is in-between all towns; the province of thieves and spies. Here's an updated version of an old Trickster tale that I think is particularly relevant to the topic of this post--the national security risks associated with a more open Government in general and social software in particular. http://ping.fm/uH0K5

Four short links: 1 June 2009

Spymaster -- a faux-spy game on Twitter: Each player becomes a master of a spy ring based upon their Twitter followers list. The more people that follow you and are playing characters in Spymaster, the more powerful your network will be. As a spymaster, you can perform tasks or attack other spymasters on Twitter. With each successful attempt, you... http://ping.fm/wvc4S

Most Hadoop Jobs Are In California

Given the recent buzz surrounding Hadoop and MapReduce, I was curious if employers were beginning to mention either term in their job postings. Fortunately I have access to a massive job data warehouse dating back to mid-2005. In partnership with SimplyHired and Greenplum, we maintain a data warehouse that contains most of the online job postings in the U.S. While... http://ping.fm/koqfq