A quick Textexpander hack

Textexpander on the Macintosh is one of the those utilities that becomes more and more useful over time. Just the other week I was looking at some of Brett Terpestra’s snippets and trying to figure out how to use them for my workflow. I often copy URL links for blog items between my RSS newsreader and a browser, like Firefox. But I really dislike the cruft that Feedburner puts into the URLs and I don’t want to save that cruft on any bookmarking services I might use.

Big data lectures

Summary of the big data explosion from the 2011 Strata Online conference sponsored by O’Reilly. Three interlocking changes exponential economics. The dramatic decrease in storage costs, and the increase in network connections/access points. sensor networks. The ubiquity of data collection. “Instrumented spimes” - term from Bruce Sterling for devices that are streaming information into the cloud/ether. cloud computing. Computational and data resources on demand. Success on the data stack

NetLibrary sucks! or why electronic books need better design now.

NetLibrary is a horrible interface for reading or doing research. Suppose I want to look up “Clifford Geertz” in the Encyclopedia of Social Anthropology. First I try a search - no results. I know this can’t be right. Geertz is a pinnacle of anthropology, social in particular. So I go to the name index. The index is not displayed as a single page of entries because each frame of the NetLibrary reader is tied to a physical book page.

I Feel Like I've Been Here Before - On The Social Network

To begin with: I liked the movie. I’ve liked most of the movies that David Fincher has made and I think that he’s one of the best directors working currently in Hollywood. But…there was something that bothered me. We’ve been here before. I’ve seen the same story again and again in Hollywood productions about Silicon Valley, magazines profiles of big businessmen, puff pieces for any and every magazine you can remember reading or not.

Nominatr: a web idea

I want a web site that combines an online poll with an open-ended survey to collect the poll possibilities. Let me unpack that with an example. Suppose four friends and I want to meet for coffee on Thursday, but we don’t know where to meet. So we ask a question: “Where should we meet on Thusday?” The poll is open for a day and during that time each person sends in the name of a place where they want to meet.

Technology, Theory, and Education - Interpolations on a Review by Geert Lovink

Via Anne Galloway at Purse Lip Square Jaw I come across some interesting reviews of Utopian Entrepreneur, a book by Brenda Laurel. Anne points to Geert Lovink’s review in particular. It might be true that, for instance, Derrida is in need of mediation. On the other hand, why is there no self-educated working class reading Deleuze? Why has the ‘educated proletarian’ become such an unlikely, even funny figure? I know this is a weird, untimely consideration.

Emergency Response and Hastily Formed Networks

The April issue of the Communications of the ACM contained an article about hastily formed networks. A hastily formed network is a network formed in response to a disaster or crisis of some kind. For example, the response to Katrina last summer and fall. Some students at SI collected material about the various responses to Katrina. Today I came across another story related to disaster response. It seems Tom Evslin and Jeff Pulver are trying to convince the FCC to mandate an emergency voice mail system for people affected by a disaster.

Retrieving Information from My Own Internet Tracks

I’ve been looking for a weblog post I read two or three months ago about the future of libraries, but so far I’ve failed to retrieve it. This kind of situation is one of the most frustrating technological problems I regularly encounter. There’s just no way to easily retrieve this information right now. I do have some programs on my Mac that help solve these problems. History Hound and browseback are two programs that keep track of pages that you display in your web browser.

Perl Module for RSS Aggregating

YAML and the Art of Unix Programming

YAML and the Art of Unix Programming My peregrinations around the web turned up a very interesting markup language called YAML. Basically it is designed to be very readable by humans and capable of easy computer manipulation. This might be useful if I ever get around to developing a book review or annotation system. I like the idea of using text files to enter the data. BibTex is another potent example.