links for 2010-06-05

  • "The past was not as golden, nor is the present as tawdry, as the pessimists suggest, but the only thing really worth arguing about is the future.

    "…Abundance breaks more things than scarcity. We are now witnessing the rapid stress of older institutions accompanied by the slow and fitful development of cultural alternatives. Just as required education was a response to print, using the Internet well will require new cultural institutions as well, not just new technologies.

    "It is tempting to want PatientsLikeMe without the dumb videos, just as we might want scientific journals without the erotic novels, but that's not how media works. Increased freedom to create means increased freedom to create throwaway material, as well as freedom to indulge in the experimentation that eventually makes the good new stuff possible."

  • When I first showed my Dad this iPad, the first thing he wanted to know was could he edit a spreadsheet on it. Now I see there's an option for a windows user like him.

    But you can't print anything directly from an iPad, as far as I know. That's gonna be a deal killer for many folks.

  • Starting Wednesday, searching for iPhone and Android apps–from your iPhone or Android phone–will likely yield a mobile app as its result. The trick, it seems, is to enter the magic word, "download," before the name of the app you seek.
    The resulting link and surround context, like a star rating and number of user reviews, isn't a direct download URL per se. More accurately, tapping the Google result opens the app's corresponding product page in the Android Market or in the iPhone's App Store.
    Google isn't promising that app searches will work for every Android or iPhone title, but its uber-engine should populate results for popular and highly rated apps. The one remaining question we have is why someone would intentionally favor as an app resource rather than the phone's built-in storefront, particularly if the Web search leads to that marketplace anyhow.
  • Resource page for installing many crucial bookmarklets, to make mobile safari easier to use.
  • "AOL, which currently outsources search to Google, began negotiating a new search deal last week, CEO Tim Armstrong said yesterday at the D8 Conference out in California.

    "Tim is just being coy. AOL isn't negotiating a search deal. It's negotiating a sale.

    "A source familiar with Tim and AOL's strategic thinking suggests that an outcome of these negotiations could be AOL's sale to Microsoft."

  • I am SO GOING to this!

    "A Festival of Locative Media and Urban Community Projects and Symposium June 11 – 13, 2010. Hands-on community workshops June 19, 2010

    "City Centered is a free, three-day festival of locative media and urban community in San Francisco. The event includes demonstrations and installations in the Tenderloin district, a symposium in the Mission district and community training workshops.

    "Over two weekends, it will engage artists, educators, civic organizations and community members of all ages in exploring how how locative media can act as a platform and venue for community-led expression. All events are free and open to the public.

links for 2010-06-04

AT&T: Way to spin a mobile data plan backstep! (OR: Why I’m going Android)

You may have heard that yesterday AT&T stopped offering unlimited mobile data plans.

Their spin, according to this press release: New Lower-Priced Wireless Data Plans to Make Mobile Internet More Affordable to More People

Hah! That’s smooth! But now, the real point: AT&T now offers only these pay-as-you-go data plan options for new or renewing mobile contracts:

  • 200 MB/month: $15/month, plus an extra $15 for each additional 200 MB
  • 2G/month: $25/month, plus an extra $10 for each additional 1G
  • Tethering service: $20 month

No more all you can eat. Which makes sense! AT&T’s network can’t really handle unlimited mobile broadband for a large swath of its smartphone and tablet users. No US mobile carrier can. That’s just begging for network congestion — which annoys everyone and is bad for business… Continue reading

links for 2010-06-03

  • "Froyo would give EVO users some great advantages over the Sense UI with Android 2.1, but you would be sacrificing some sexiness. Hell, if you’ve owned a G1, we already know that you seek functionality over aesthetics, but stock Android has never looked better. With Android 2.2 ported to your rooted HTC EVO 4G, you won’t have to shell out an extra $30 a month to get tethering and hotspot features, as Froyo now supports these natively. Take that, Sprint (NYSE: S).

    "There’s has been no public release of the EVO 4G rooting process, nor a release of the port itself, but from the video below, things look like they are developing swimmingly. You can see the EVO clearly getting down and dirty with the Android 2.2 OS. While it’s not a complete walk through, this is surely the real deal."

  • Another upcoming Android phone to consider
  • Most likely my next phone.mob
  • This is VERY useful if you have an iphone and are considering getting a new iphone with a new plan. Figure out which plan your data usage would warrant.
  • "The application of Twitter as a means of sourcing has irrefutably revolutionized the practice of gathering news; however, when Tweeters are utilized as sources, how do journalists validate the information that appears on the Twitosphere?
    – Look for parallels in users’ tweets
    – Try to gauge a user’s reliability
    – Try to steer clear of users with an agenda
    – Avoid profane and hate-filled rhetoric.
  • "Bing Health Maps is very straightforward to use – (1) Select a state and, (2) Select a Community Health Indicator. The map will re-center on the respective state and color-code the counties within that state based on unit-based reporting. You can select health indicators such as Birth Indicators (low birth weight, premature births, births to women under 18, etc.); Death Measures (homicide, lung cancer, stroke, etc.) or Health Risk Factors (obesity, smokers, high blood pressure, etc.). If the opacity doesn’t suit your fancy there’s a slider to increase or decrease it.

    "Once the map is loaded with the respective counties shaded you can click on any county to get all of the factors listed under the Community Health Indicator list all in one popup for that county."

links for 2010-06-02

  • "New pricing is good news for smartphone customers, who won’t go bankrupt if they exceed their monthly data limit. But from the iPad user’s perspective, AT&T’s new pricing is a big letdown compared to the previous, unlimited data plan. Even the most active iPhone users won’t burn through more than a couple of gigabytes every month, but iPad is a far more demanding device traffic-wise, and activities such as Netflix streaming will quickly exceed the limit in AT&T’s DataPro plan. 2 gigabytes per month is just not enough data for a device such as the iPad, and we sense that many users will feel let down by AT&T’s new data plans."
  • "Though I’m a traditionally trained reporter, most of my journalism has been online, where documenting how a story has been found is both easily done (through links) and often done. Bloggers generally explain how they discovered a news item.

    "As a result, bloggers also set themselves up for accusations that they’ve just “ripped off” some traditional news outlet. By carefully listing an originating source, and sometimes a “via” source, they expose how news flows.

    "In contrast, a traditional media outlet typically does not document how a story came to life. It’s all a mystery. News just seems to emerge magically out of thin air in the middle of a newsroom. Or, it’s down to all those hard-working reporters out there defending democracy despite newspapers earning less these days because of all those rip-off bloggers."

  • Argh… This reporter called me at 7:30 am PT to interview me for this story, woke me up… And the one quote from me she includes is wrong.

    Actually, I said that if all the local government wants to do is tweet alerts, and not use social media for two-way interaction, then the probably won't get the results they want.


  • "Interactive almanac of state politics. Ballotpedia is a free, collaborative, online encyclopedia about elections, ballot measures and access, petitions and ballot law, recalls, school and local ballot measures, and state legislatures."
  • Good beginner resource for SEO
  • Good basic starting point. Intended for commercial sites, but applies to organization sites & other projects.
  • "Internationally, the iPhone platform has significantly more unique devices than Android in the AdMob network. The ratio of iPhone OS devices to Android devices was 3.5 to 1. The report breaks out the geographic distribution of the devices in more detail; 75% of Android devices are in the North America, compared to 49% of iPhone OS devices. Keep in mind that these unique device numbers are from the AdMob network only and reflect the adoption of our products and business operations."
  • Great data resource from MobileActive. Looking for projects and examples on mobile data? Look here!
  • "The SMS and PDA-based surveying of the World Food Programme (WFP). WFP's food security monitoring systems are set up in many countries. While some countries are still submitting paper records, there is a push to incorporate PDAs or SMS data transmission for faster and more reliable monitoring of food security.

    "The data collected includes both food security baseline data and food insecurity indicators. The bulk of WFP's data collected focuses on nutritional indicators, market prices, import, cross border trades, socioeconomic indicators, and health indicators. The UN agency is trialing both FrontlineSMS and RapidSMS, two mobile data collection software tools, in its current projects, as well as PDAs but is likely going to standardize its operations using one of the two with some custom gateway software."

  • "RapidSMS is proving to be useful, though, by helping to eliminate some key inefficiencies associated with implementing large-scale, complex and data-rich programs in remote locations. As demonstrated in the case of insecticide-treated bednet distribution in Nigeria, RapidSMS’ flexibility and openness make it a versatile tool which organizations can customize depending on the specific needs and context.

 By enabling fast and informed decision-making, RapidSMS is meant to, first and foremost, “support the workers on the frontlines,” Kochi says. Whether it’s food aid delivery logisticians in a remote village in Ethiopia getting access to critical information concerning food availability, or community health workers in Zambia and Malawi having HIV/AIDS test and diagnosis results at their fingertips, RapidSMS is ensuring frontline workers no longer have to make their decisions in the dark."
  • "Today’s video: Hal Roberts and Ethan Zuckerman. They lay out Berkman’s Media Cloud platform — and discuss how it can be used by researchers to analyze patterns of influence in the news media."

links for 2010-06-01