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links for 2010-05-31

  • One problem which occurs whenever you try to optimize or speed up your computer is measuring how much of an effect your efforts have made. Confirmation bias can make it very, very hard to simply “eyeball” your computer’s speed because you’ll usually want to confirm that your efforts made an impact. This can be a problem as your computer ages. If you have no objective way of knowing how fast your computer is you won’t be able to figure out which optimizations work and which don’t.
  • An image to answer all of those questions – what is it, why should i use it
    (tags: socialmedia)
  • "Could this be the next government green initiative? Think about all the paper we would save not printing out handouts, meeting agendas, manuals, etc. "
  • Canon Hack Development Kit (or C.H.D.K. for short)….to reprogram his camera to snap one shot every 15 seconds on its journey into the stratosphere. The software has allowed photographers using more than 50 models of Canon PowerShot cameras to reprogram the time lapse instructions to record construction projects or to use motion-sensing programs to capture animals in the deep woods. It can also be used to alter the camera’s exposure control to produce imaginative images in difficult lighting. (The hacks do not work with the more expensive D.S.L.R. cameras). Development of the hack kit began as a volunteer project about three years ago. It can be customized by adding programs written in “ubasic” or “lua,” two common languages that are fairly easy for programmers. Many C.H.D.K. users also swap scripts with each other and modify the work of others.

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links for 2010-05-30

  • We are providing an archive of past auctions. Most of the records have been auctioned at ebay, certainly the largest auction house for rare vinyl records.

    Online auction houses are a very popular method for buying or selling records. At popsike.com, you can check the final auction price that a certain record has brought. Although this might not be a true indication of the record's real value, it does show what collectors are paying for rare items.

    There is no fixed price for a second-hand record, no matter how rare it is. The price of a rare record is purely determined by what people are prepared to pay for it.

  • “Dyyno came along with a breakthrough technology developed by 8 to 10 PhD students at Stanford Multimedia Labs working on a project to bring video distribution cost to zero, the same way text distribution is zero,” says Dyyno CEO Raj Jaswa who I met at the SDForum event on Collaboration 2.0 today.

    Using its own P2P technology, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup vies to beat more established Internet video streaming companies like YouTube, Ustream and Justin.tv. “The question is can you really do peer-to-peer in the Internet world which is uncontrolled peers, bandwith, processing point… and can you really do it live. And that’s the research the PhDs did and solved pretty much all the problems,” adds Jaswa.

    (tags: video dyyno)

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links for 2010-05-29

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links for 2010-05-28

  • “In order to be open to creativity, one must have the capacity for contructive use of solitude. One must overcome the fear of being alone.” ~Rollo May

    Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on twitter or identica.

    Creativity is a nebulous, murky topic that fascinates me endlessly — how does it work? What habits to creative people do that makes them so successful at creativity?

    I’ve reflected on my own creative habits, but decided I’d look at the habits that others consider important to their creativity. I picked a handful of creatives, almost at random — there are so many that picking the best would be impossible, so I just picked some that I admire, who came to mind when I thought of the word “creative”.

    (tags: creativity)
  • “Never continue in a job you don’t enjoy. If you’re happy in what you’re doing, you’ll like yourself, you’ll have inner peace. And if you have that, along with physical health, you’ll have more success than you could possibly have imagined.” – Roger Caras

    Minimalism has many benefits. It gives freedom, time, and reduces stress. Minimalism also reduces the amount of money that is required for survival. And as a result, it allows the opportunity to choose a job not based solely on the amount of the paycheck. If we can survive on a smaller budget, we are free to weigh other factors in choosing a job. Embrace minimalism. It opens up brand-new opportunities.

    To enjoy waking up in the morning, consider these 12 factors to look for in a job other than a payche

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links for 2010-05-27

  • Joe Wilcox writes: "About five years ago, when blogging as an analyst, I asserted that computing and informational relevance had started shifting from the Windows desktop to cloud services delivered anytime, anywhere and on anything. The day of Windows' reckoning is come: 2010 will mark dramatic shifts away from Microsoft's monopoly to something else. Change is inevitable, and like IBM in the 1980s, Microsoft can't hold back its destiny during this decade. The Windows era is over.

    What's surprising: New competition encroaching on Microsoft's Windows territory. Mobile device-to-cloud competition's shifting relevance bears striking similarities to the move from mainframes to PCs, and it is a long, ongoing trend. Microsoft's newer problem is sudden and unexpected: Competing operating systems moving up from smartphones to PCs or PC-like devices. Apple's iPhone OS on iPad is one example.

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links for 2010-05-26

  • How effective are the world's governments at using technology to become more responsive? Technology has revolutionised the way that we do business, but the public sector has traditionally moved more cautiously than the private one. Now, a report from the Centre for Technology Policy Research in the UK has made some recommendations for the use of technology as an enabling mechanism for government.

    The document discusses the concept of open government, which it defines as a government subject to public scrutiny, in which employees work in "smarter, better informed ways". In order to achieve open government, an administration cannot simply tack technology onto existing processes, the report warns. Instead, it suggests changing key processes from the centre outwards.

  • Yesterday I took a 24-hour digital vacation, ostensibly to protect myself from people spoiling the last episode of Lost for me, but really to just take a break.

    It was lovely.

    A break from digital communication, which I try to do now and then, is refreshing. It clears your life of the noise, and allows you to find quiet, to focus on the important, to be at peace.

  • The UK government loves to claim that they aren’t wasting your money. However, the facts prove that this isn’t true. In fact, they are wasting your money on everything from stupid computer blunders to choosing to sell gold at the wrong time. These decisions have wasted £billions. With the general election about to happen, it’s important that we take a look at how the government spends our money and demand better choices in the future.

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links for 2010-05-25

  • (tags: Css)
  • Sarah Bourne, Director of Assistive Technology & Mass.gov Chief Technology Strategist, Information Technology Division writes background for accessibility: You can unplug your mouse to see what it's like when you have a mobility or dexterity problems. You can turn off the sound to see what it's like when you can't hear. But it's a little more difficult to replicate the experience of being blind.

    The human brain has a very strong visual bias. For instance, the thought of ordinary people using computers wasn't even imaginable until there was a graphical user interface (GUI.) Sighted people rarely realize how dependent they are on their vision because it's so central to how they do things. This makes it makes it hard to really understand how different web and other computer experiences are when you have a visual disability. …it's harder to learn and remember specific development techniques, which in turn makes it harder to integrate them with your other requirements."

  • Every IT person alive has fixed something in the "wrong" way, a way that wasn't scalable, secure, or otherwise proper, but a way that worked. It may have been intended to be temporary, but time passes and it becomes permanent. Over time, such fixes are often applied to problems caused by previous bad fixes. But they work, tenuously, for now.

    This sort of activity takes place constantly, and indeed, it might not become a huge problem for quite some time. But there will be a point when there's no more room for kludges and poor fixes.

    Simply put, when you've attached enough Band-Aids to the corpus that it's more bandage than not, isn't it time to start over?

    It's one thing to understand that such problems exist (and always will, to some degree) within a corporate IT infrastructure; it's quite another when the problem is extreme and affects products your company produces, sells, and supports.

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links for 2010-05-24

  • If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered what Google Maps would look like without any cities, roads, or highway shields. With the new “Google Maps API Styled Map Wizard”, you now have your chance. Designed for people who create map mashups, the wizard allows you to experiment with and create different map styles for Google Maps.

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links for 2010-05-23

  • If you’re anything like me, you’ve often wondered what Google Maps would look like without any cities, roads, or highway shields. With the new “Google Maps API Styled Map Wizard”, you now have your chance. Designed for people who create map mashups, the wizard allows you to experiment with and create different map styles for Google Maps.
  • Earlier this week, VC Mark Suster blogged the decree "Say No to Meetings." Suster argues that time is an entrepreneur's scarcest resource. And with all the pressures – from current and potential employees, vendors, and investors, Suster suggests that entrepreneurs learn to decline holding meetings.

    This may seem somewhat contradictory to the advice that entrepreneurs always stay in touch with advisors and investors. Suster clarifies, "I'm not saying "no more meetings" but rather "no, to more meetings."

    As much as saying "no" to meetings is a rallying cry we could all get behind, some meetings are simply unavoidable.

  • While grandma flips through photo albums on her sleek iPad, government agencies (and most corporations) process mission-critical transactions on cumbersome web-based front ends that function by tricking mainframes into thinking that they are connected to CRT terminals. These systems are written in computer languages like Assembler and COBOL, and cost a fortune to maintain. I’ve written about California’s legacy systems and the billions of dollars that are wasted on maintaining these. Given the short tenure of government officials, lobbying by entrenched government contractors, and slow pace of change in the enterprise-computing world, I’m not optimistic that much will change – even in the next decade. But there is hope on another front: the Open Government Initiative. This provides entrepreneurs with the data and with the APIs they need to solve problems themselves. They don’t need to wait for the government to modernize its legacy systems; they can simply build their own apps.
  • I can imagine all sorts of worlds and places, but I cannot imagine one without Ray Bradbury. Not Bradbury the man (I have met him. Each time I have spent any time with him I have been left the happier for it), but Bradbury the builder of dreams. The man who took an idea of the American Midwest and made it magical and tangible, who took his own childhood and all the people and things in it and used it to shape the world. The man who gave us a future to fear, one without stories, without books. The man who invented Hallowe’en in its modern incarnation.
  • (tags: privacy)

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links for 2010-05-21

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