links for 2009-11-10

  • Gmaps blog: "Our mobile users also got special treatment. With the launch of Google Maps for Mobile 3.2, the transit layer is available on Symbian S60, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and the new Motorola DROID, and transit directions were added to the Palm Pre. This means now transit directions are available in Google Maps on all major smartphone platforms"
  • Interesting graphic from the NYT. Graphs usually bore me, but this is engaging and relevant. Nice, subtle use of animation and background to add context.
  • A social network for zombies! I am SO THERE!!!!
  • "I’m not saying to give up. I’m not saying to purposefully fail. I am saying try that fucking impossible thing that you’ve wanted to try, but haven’t, because you’re afraid of failure. If you succeed, rock on. But if you fail, then that’s better. Because you will have learned something. Yeah, someone else succeeded, got to the top of the mountain before you, but maybe you stumbled into the cave full of gold beneath the mountain.

    "Or maybe you stumbled into the cave full of monsters. Shit! What now? Don’t worry; they’re made of delicious monster meat, so go to town on them. Slay the monsters. Corner the market on monster meat, and then laugh at the people at the top of the mountain saying, “What? Monster meat? That’s the new thing? What are you talking about?”

    "Failure. It makes monster meat.

  • "In the past few years, as newspapers’ economic fortunes have steadily declined, they have been more and more likely to emphasize their special role in America’s democratic system. (For the moment, I’m not making any argument about whether or not these claims are true. They may very well be. I’m just pointing them out.) The origins of this increasing tendency to emphasize the special democratic function of newspapers might be seen in these early debates about the federal shield law."
  • "Thanks to the American Society of News Editors, we can now read the compromise shield law hashed out last week by the White House, news-industry lobbyists, and the Senate Judiciary Committee. There are plenty of moving parts here, but I’ve been focused on the law’s definition of a journalist, as have others. The compromise takes an expansive view, covering amateur bloggers and student journalists as much as professional reporters."
  • OTM segment in which Nieman Lab blogger CW Anderson mentions that current shield law draft does *not* specifically cover reporters notes, only info that makes it into the story. I've asked for clarification of this. If true, then that seems to be a big gaping hole that anyone who publishes news/info should be concerned about. Most information gathered in course of reporting never gets published.
  • "Oct. 31 TechCrunch broke a big story called "Scamville: The Social Gaming Ecosystem of Hell" about how Zynga was making money by selling scam ads.

    "Arrington packaged his story with a video of himself taking on Anu Shukla, CEO of one of the scam-ad distributors. He also ran an "insider's confession" piece by a former scammer. He followed with a story on how Zynga CEO Mark Pincus acknowledged the problem & said Zynga would stop running those ads, & another story about how Anu Shukla was pushed out of her company, and another story about Shukla's replacement admitting that the company had, indeed, been running scammy ads. On Friday Arrington posted a video clip where Pincus, the CEO of Zynga, told a laughing audience of scumbag developers about all his scumbaggy things.

    "A Sat piece on Zynga (and other FB game companies) with the headline, "Virtual Goods Start Bringing Real Paydays." The two reporters interviewed & quoted Pincus, but included not a single word about the scammy ads."

links for 2009-11-08

  • December 7-8, 2007—This weekend, 30 open government advocates gathered to develop a set of principles of open government data. The meeting, held in Sebastopol, California, was designed to develop a more robust understanding of why open government data is essential to democracy.

    The Internet is the public space of the modern world, and through it governments now have the opportunity to better understand the needs of their citizens and citizens may participate more fully in their government. Information becomes more valuable as it is shared, less valuable as it is hoarded. Open data promotes increased civil discourse, improved public welfare, and a more efficient use of public resources.

    The group is offering a set of fundamental principles for open government data. By embracing the eight principles, governments of the world can become more effective, transparent, and relevant to our lives.

  • "UNICEF Innovations Unit is spearheading the RapidSMS project, an Open Source platform for SMS application development. UNICEF, the Millenium Villages Project, and others have successfully used RapidSMS to augment malnutrition prevention programs in Malawi and Kenya, document the status of refugees in Somalia, promote women’s literacy in Senegal, distribute malaria resistant bednets in Nigeria, and more. We will present the lessons on using ICT for international development learned through these deployments, and discuss how SMS can be used to make government and quasi-governmental efforts, like international development, more efficient and accountable."

links for 2009-11-07

  • "Mr. O’Rourke’s production style is precise and dry; he creates a sound picture in which tiny sonic details matter. But where his Drag City records are concerned, everything matters: the pacing, the length, the sound, the cover images. For this reason he won’t allow “The Visitor,” or any of his albums, to be sold as downloads, on iTunes or anywhere else. He’s taking a stand against the sound quality of MP3s; he’s also taking a stand in favor of artists being able to control the medium and reception of their work.

    “You can no longer use context as part of your work,” he said, glumly, “because it doesn’t matter what you do, somebody’s going to change the context of it. The confusion of creativity, making something, with this Internet idea of democratization …” he trailed off, disgusted. “It sounds like old-man stuff, but I think it’s disastrous for the possibilities of any art form.”

links for 2009-11-06

  • "Mr. O’Rourke’s production style is precise and dry; he creates a sound picture in which tiny sonic details matter. But where his Drag City records are concerned, everything matters: the pacing, the length, the sound, the cover images. For this reason he won’t allow “The Visitor,” or any of his albums, to be sold as downloads, on iTunes or anywhere else. He’s taking a stand against the sound quality of MP3s; he’s also taking a stand in favor of artists being able to control the medium and reception of their work.

    “You can no longer use context as part of your work,” he said, glumly, “because it doesn’t matter what you do, somebody’s going to change the context of it. The confusion of creativity, making something, with this Internet idea of democratization …” he trailed off, disgusted. “It sounds like old-man stuff, but I think it’s disastrous for the possibilities of any art form.”

links for 2009-11-06

  • "Mr. O’Rourke’s production style is precise and dry; he creates a sound picture in which tiny sonic details matter. But where his Drag City records are concerned, everything matters: the pacing, the length, the sound, the cover images. For this reason he won’t allow “The Visitor,” or any of his albums, to be sold as downloads, on iTunes or anywhere else. He’s taking a stand against the sound quality of MP3s; he’s also taking a stand in favor of artists being able to control the medium and reception of their work.

    “You can no longer use context as part of your work,” he said, glumly, “because it doesn’t matter what you do, somebody’s going to change the context of it. The confusion of creativity, making something, with this Internet idea of democratization …” he trailed off, disgusted. “It sounds like old-man stuff, but I think it’s disastrous for the possibilities of any art form.”

links for 2009-11-06

  • "Mr. O’Rourke’s production style is precise and dry; he creates a sound picture in which tiny sonic details matter. But where his Drag City records are concerned, everything matters: the pacing, the length, the sound, the cover images. For this reason he won’t allow “The Visitor,” or any of his albums, to be sold as downloads, on iTunes or anywhere else. He’s taking a stand against the sound quality of MP3s; he’s also taking a stand in favor of artists being able to control the medium and reception of their work.

    “You can no longer use context as part of your work,” he said, glumly, “because it doesn’t matter what you do, somebody’s going to change the context of it. The confusion of creativity, making something, with this Internet idea of democratization …” he trailed off, disgusted. “It sounds like old-man stuff, but I think it’s disastrous for the possibilities of any art form.”

  • I'm trying this out:

    "Bookmarking on the iPhone and iPod touch works well enough in Safari, but it can clearly be improved upon. The latest app that tries to provide a better bookmarking experience on the iPhone is Read It Later (iTunes link), which also syncs with the company's desktop browser plugins and bookmarklets. Read It Later is similar to Instapaper. It lets you save pages through a bookmarklet in Safari and then read them in the app's built-in browser, both as a cached copy of the web page, or in a text-only mode."

  • Great resource site where you can find or suggest alternatives to crappy software and online tools.
  • "The Nook's killer feature is its ability to share books among friends — a feature the Kindle lacks. Barnes & Noble says users can lend their books to a friend's Nook, cellphone, or computer for up to 14 days at a time, but not all e-books will be available for lending.

    "…Sony is also hoping to win customers by adopting the open EPub format. This will allow users to read books purchased from the Sony store on any EPub-compatible device. In contrast, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble use proprietary digital formats, essentially locking users to the companies' devices. A Kindle user can't switch to a Nook or a Sony Reader without losing access to all the books they purchased through Amazon. However, with a price tag of $399, the Sony Reader Daily Edition is $140 more expensive than the Nook and the Kindle."

  • "I like to preach that journalism equals content plus engagement. I tell students that they can write an incredibly important story, but it isn’t journalism unless people – hopefully lots of people – consume it. Important but boring is not journalism. Something no one reads but the writer is not journalism. That’s more like a diary entry – perhaps helpful to the writer but certainly not journalism."
  • "The mission of the Earth & Mind blog is to facilitate discussion and discovery about how humans think and learn about the Earth and environment. Earth & Mind explores the intersection between Geosciences, Education and Cognitive Sciences."
  • If you use a Flip video cam and Final Cut for video editing, you'll need this app to format the clips in a way that will let Final Cut handle them easily

links for 2009-11-06

  • Nicole Lazzaro, XEODesign: "Often ignored by usability, neuroscience now proves that emotion deeply connects decision making and performance. Emotions also coordinate the actions between people. Therefore the next design challenge for desktop and cloud applications is not making a UI "easy," but rather making it more emotional and social. The trick is that emotions and social experiences cannot be designed directly. This presentation covers how the choices in games craft player emotions to increase engagement."

links for 2009-11-06

  • "Mr. O’Rourke’s production style is precise and dry; he creates a sound picture in which tiny sonic details matter. But where his Drag City records are concerned, everything matters: the pacing, the length, the sound, the cover images. For this reason he won’t allow “The Visitor,” or any of his albums, to be sold as downloads, on iTunes or anywhere else. He’s taking a stand against the sound quality of MP3s; he’s also taking a stand in favor of artists being able to control the medium and reception of their work.

    “You can no longer use context as part of your work,” he said, glumly, “because it doesn’t matter what you do, somebody’s going to change the context of it. The confusion of creativity, making something, with this Internet idea of democratization …” he trailed off, disgusted. “It sounds like old-man stuff, but I think it’s disastrous for the possibilities of any art form.”

  • I'm trying this out:

    "Bookmarking on the iPhone and iPod touch works well enough in Safari, but it can clearly be improved upon. The latest app that tries to provide a better bookmarking experience on the iPhone is Read It Later (iTunes link), which also syncs with the company's desktop browser plugins and bookmarklets. Read It Later is similar to Instapaper. It lets you save pages through a bookmarklet in Safari and then read them in the app's built-in browser, both as a cached copy of the web page, or in a text-only mode."

  • Great resource site where you can find or suggest alternatives to crappy software and online tools.
  • "The Nook's killer feature is its ability to share books among friends — a feature the Kindle lacks. Barnes & Noble says users can lend their books to a friend's Nook, cellphone, or computer for up to 14 days at a time, but not all e-books will be available for lending.

    "…Sony is also hoping to win customers by adopting the open EPub format. This will allow users to read books purchased from the Sony store on any EPub-compatible device. In contrast, both Amazon and Barnes & Noble use proprietary digital formats, essentially locking users to the companies' devices. A Kindle user can't switch to a Nook or a Sony Reader without losing access to all the books they purchased through Amazon. However, with a price tag of $399, the Sony Reader Daily Edition is $140 more expensive than the Nook and the Kindle."

  • "I like to preach that journalism equals content plus engagement. I tell students that they can write an incredibly important story, but it isn’t journalism unless people – hopefully lots of people – consume it. Important but boring is not journalism. Something no one reads but the writer is not journalism. That’s more like a diary entry – perhaps helpful to the writer but certainly not journalism."
  • "The mission of the Earth & Mind blog is to facilitate discussion and discovery about how humans think and learn about the Earth and environment. Earth & Mind explores the intersection between Geosciences, Education and Cognitive Sciences."
  • If you use a Flip video cam and Final Cut for video editing, you'll need this app to format the clips in a way that will let Final Cut handle them easily
  • Nicole Lazzaro, XEODesign: "Often ignored by usability, neuroscience now proves that emotion deeply connects decision making and performance. Emotions also coordinate the actions between people. Therefore the next design challenge for desktop and cloud applications is not making a UI "easy," but rather making it more emotional and social. The trick is that emotions and social experiences cannot be designed directly. This presentation covers how the choices in games craft player emotions to increase engagement."

links for 2009-11-06

  • Google writes: "We want to expand upon the Gwave platform, which is why we've put together the initial draft of the Google Wave Federation Protocol, the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers.

    "Yes, that's between wave providers: anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server. The wave protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together."

  • Um, shouldn't they be focusing on improving 3G coverage rather than suing each other?

    "AT&T on Tuesday sued Verizon for allegedly misleading customers with its "there's a map for that" ads. The complaint argues that Verizon is deliberately exaggerating the gaps in AT&T's coverage through its map of 3G networks, making it seem as though some areas have no coverage at all, not just 3G. The campaign has already had to alter maps after some earlier protests from AT&T."

links for 2009-11-06

  • Google writes: "We want to expand upon the Gwave platform, which is why we've put together the initial draft of the Google Wave Federation Protocol, the underlying network protocol for sharing waves between wave providers.

    "Yes, that's between wave providers: anyone can build a wave server and interoperate, much like anyone can run their own SMTP server. The wave protocol is open to contributions by the broader community with the goal to continue to improve how we share information, together."

  • Um, shouldn't they be focusing on improving 3G coverage rather than suing each other?

    "AT&T on Tuesday sued Verizon for allegedly misleading customers with its "there's a map for that" ads. The complaint argues that Verizon is deliberately exaggerating the gaps in AT&T's coverage through its map of 3G networks, making it seem as though some areas have no coverage at all, not just 3G. The campaign has already had to alter maps after some earlier protests from AT&T."