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Archived Research Resources

links for 2009-02-10

  • At Google we're committed to helping enable a future where access to personal energy information helps everyone make smarter energy choices. To get started, we're working on a tool called Google PowerMeter which will show consumers their electricity consumption in near real-time in a secure iGoogle Gadget. We think PowerMeter will offer more useful and actionable feedback than complicated monthly paper bills that provide little detail on consumption or how to save energy.
  • Creative thinking and problem-solving tools don't have to cost a lot of money. In fact, there are a surprising number of free brainstorming tools available on the Web that can help you generate breakthrough ideas today. Here are some of the most notable ones:
  • Portland, Ore., has become the first U.S. city to launch an official "Twisitor Center." This cyber-style cousin to the more traditional walk-in visitor information center relies on Twitter technology to connect travelers with those who can answer their questions and help plan their trips. (Twitter is a free social-networking service that allows subscribers to send and receive short, real-time updates, messages and questions.)

    "Other cities are connecting with visitors through Twitter," explained Martin Stoll, CEO of GoSeeTell Network, the company that created Portland's Twisitor Center concept. "But Portland is the first city to set up a virtual visitor center to which people can direct travel questions just by adding a simple tag to their tweets [messages]."

    (tags: twitter)
  • When someone visits a website you’ve designed, the odds are that they don’t care much about the colors, images or sounds, they’re immediately looking at the text.

    No matter how many bells and whistles you’ve built into a website, everyone relies on text to accomplish whatever they’re visiting the site to do.

    That alone should make typography, the art of arranging type, a priority for any web designer.

  • (tags: Intranet)
  • Literature, film, scientific journals, newspapers, court records, corporate documents and other material, accumulated over centuries, needed to be adapted for computer databases. Once there, it had to be arranged — along with newer, born-digital material — in a way that would let people find what they needed and keep finding it well into the future.

    The people entrusted to find a place for this wealth of information are known as digital asset managers, or sometimes as digital archivists and digital preservation officers. Whatever they are called, demand for them is expanding.

  • Twitter lives in its own bubble of The Future, while the rest of us are barnacles unfortunate enough to scrape by in the present. The office itself feels like 2000 … but more adult. These guys are smarter than we were. They have only 28 employees, and the office has few decorations, save for two green ceramic deer in the corner and papier-mâché hanging from the ceiling that reads EVERY TWEET COUNTS.
  • At the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, some of the most interesting discussions revolved around whether we would be in the same mess today if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters. The consensus (and this is among the dead white men who parade annually at Davos) is that the optimal bank would have been Lehman Brothers and Sisters.

    Wall Street is one of the most male-dominated bastions in the business world; senior staff meetings resemble a urologist’s waiting room. Aside from issues of fairness, there’s evidence that the result is second-rate decision-making.

  • Art, History, Conversation
    Kottke writes: "fantastic substitute for that art history class you never took in college.
    smARThistory.org is a free multi-media web-book designed as a dynamic enhancement (or even substitute) for the traditional and static art history textbook. This looks like a great resource."
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