riverrun research | beta

from swerve of shore to bend of bay

links for 2011-03-22

  • The CIA and U.S. intelligence have gotten a lot of things wrong in recent years, at great cost to our national well-being. A significant part of the problem lies in “analysis,” where data is supposed to be interpreted but is all too often misinterpreted.

    Gregory F. Treverton and C. Bryan Gabbard have written a new study of “analytic tradecraft,” published by RAND, that takes up the nature of the problem and looks at some of the solutions being put in place.

    Some of the approaches to improving analysis they point to are technological. For example, there is a program called GENOA -II, designed to help intelligence analysts work better in groups. Among other things, it attempts to “automate team processes,” develop “cognitive aids that allow humans and machines to ‘think together’ in real-time about complicated problems,” and find ways to “overcome the biases and limitations of the human cognitive system.”

    This sounds great. But count me deeply skeptical.

    (tags: tradecraft)
  • In this intimate fireside chat, Calacanis interviews his personal publishing and pundit hero, Tim O'Reilly, about Tim O'Reilly. Typically Tim's the moderator or discussing a theory, but Tim's never discussed how he built O'Reilly, the Web 2.0 conference and himself, into the most respected technology publisher on the planet. Calacanis hopes to tease out the secrets of Tim's success, and how year-after-year, and decade-after-decade, he remains relevant and engaged. This panel is a first and a must for publishers, technologies, brand builders and thinkers.
  • What is Gapers Block? Gapers Block is a Chicago-centric web publication providing information on news, events and other interesting stuff around town. Gapers Block wants you to slow down and check out your city!

    OK, what's a "gapers block"?
    There are many terms for the slowdown in traffic that occurs when there's an accident on the side of the road. Some people call it rubbernecking, others a lookie-loo. Here in Chicago (and a few other places where Chicago expats are common) we call it a gapers block or gapers delay. What better name for a site that asks you to slow down and check out all the cool things in the city?
    Consider GB an antidote to all those sites infatuated with the coasts. On the front page, you'll find Merge, a weblog on a wide range of topics updated throughout the day; Slowdown, a calendar highlighting events you may not have heard about; a daily

  • WebAnywhere is a web-based screen reader for the web. It requires no special software to be installed on the client machine and, therefore, enables blind people to access the web from any computer they happen to have access to that has a sound card. Visit wa.cs.washington.edu to access WebAnywhere directly. And, it's completely FREE to use!

    WebAnywhere will run on any machine, even heavily locked-down public terminals, regardless of what operating system it is running and regardless of what browsers are installed. WebAnywhere does not seek to replace existing screen readers – it has some big limitations, namely that it will not provide access to desktop applications like word processors or spreadsheets.

  • We'll review the basics of Web accessibility as they relate to users who are blind and have low vision. We'll test drive screen readers to see what they do well and what really trips them up.

    Then we'll dive into creating meaningful image descriptions for people who are blind, including complex images like charts, graphs, tables and illustrations. We'll discuss what makes good alt text, when to leave @alt empty, and when to go way beyond @alt with @longdesc and other methods. There will be lots of opportunity to write and review image descriptions.

    We will discuss how people who are blind and visually impaired gather information about the visual world and how this understanding can help you create image description appropriate for the intended audience, whether it's young children, high-school students or marine biologist

  • WAT 2011
    * additional features for inspecting images, skip links and tables developed by Jim Thatcher
    * bundled the aViewer application with the WAT
    * added back-in a references menu
    * Toolbar button to access the developer tools panel built in to Internet Explorer
    * HTML5 conformance checking
    * ARIA Landmark role display
    * HTML5 section elements display
  • EFF is fighting these illegal activities on multiple fronts. In Hepting v. AT&T, EFF filed the first case against a telecom for violating its customers' privacy. In addition, EFF is representing victims of the illegal surveillance program in Jewel v. NSA, a lawsuit filed in September 2008 against the government seeking to stop the warrantless wiretapping and hold the government officials behind the program accountable.

    EFF is not alone in this fight. There are multiple cases challenging various parts of the illegal surveillance against both the telecoms and the government. This page collects information on EFF's cases as well as cases brought by individuals, the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California and of Illinois, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and others.

  • It feels like we’re in a Golden Age of the web, led by consumer internet services and e-commerce. Just consider these stats: Facebook—over 600 million users. Twitter—25 billion tweets last year. Tumblr—1 billion page views a week. Zynga—100 million users on Cityville in just 6 weeks. We’re witnessing a generation of consumer web companies growing at an unprecedented rate in terms of both user adoption and revenue.

    But here’s a little secret that’s gone unnoticed by most. It’s women. Female users are the unsung heroines behind the most engaging, fastest growing, and most valuable consumer internet and e-commerce companies. Especially when it comes to social and shopping, women rule the Internet.

  • Cymbidium orchids, native to tropical Asia, produce large attractive flowers, popular as both cut flowers and corsages. Cymbidiums are potted plants grown in the home or a greenhouse. Unlike some other orchids, however, cybidiums can tolerate outside conditions, if moderate temperatures prevail. Cymbidiums bloom once each season. The time of bloom depends on the particular variety. Despite the reputation orchids have as being difficult to care for, growing cymbidiums is relatively easy as long as you follow a few simple guidelines.

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