“Blockly Games is a series of educational games that teach programming. It is designed for children who have not had prior experience with computer programming. By the end of these games, players are ready to use conventional text-based languages.”—About Blockly Games
CommentPress is an open source theme and plugin for the WordPress blogging engine that allows readers to comment paragraph-by-paragraph, line-by-line or block-by-block in the margins of a text. Annotate, gloss, workshop, debate: with CommentPress you can do all of these things on a finer-grained level, turning a document into a conversation. It can be applied to a fixed document (paper/essay/book etc.) or to a running blog.
“Here’s how to think about it. A company is defined as the sum of three values: resources, processes and priorities (RPP). Everything of value can be classified into these three categories.”—Who’s buying whom? | Asymco
“Proponents of the Surveillance Dividend frame their benefits as self-evident and apolitical: we are told that informationalizing problems just makes them more knowable and more manageable. But there’s nothing self-evident or apolitical about the tools and methods of the Surveillance Dividend. In reality, they only see what they want to see and they only know what they want to know. What they often don’t know and don’t want to see is their own politics.”—Digital Surveillance : Like clueless guinea pigs - The Digital Debate - FAZ
“(…) whether health – or anything else for that matter – constitutes an “information problem” is not a question to be taken lightly. Silicon Valley, for the most part, has already answered it for us – in the affirmative. Give them any problem – and, a few apps later, an “information” solution is magically found. Recast that way, the problem inevitably leads to the invocation of the Surveillance Dividend and its unquestionable benefits. But shouldn’t we also inquire what happens once health, education, poverty are recast as problems presumed to be solvable via information?”—Digital Surveillance : Like clueless guinea pigs - The Digital Debate - FAZ
“The worst enemy of major consumer electronics companies is not suddenly weakening sales, which sometimes shake firms out of their stupor. It’s that last, big, almost obsolete blockbuster that gives executives a reason to avoid change.”—Nintendo 3DS Doomed The Company to Fail, Not Wii U | BGR
“An illegal prime is a prime number that represents information whose possession or distribution is forbidden in some legal jurisdiction. One of the first illegal primes was found in 2001. When interpreted in a particular way, it describes a computer program that bypasses the digital rights management scheme used on DVDs. Distribution of such a program in the United States is illegal under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. An illegal prime is a kind of illegal number.”—Illegal prime - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“IÃ×e been talking (and hyping) Rails for so long that itÃÔ all wierd to finally have it out in the open. Mind you, weÃÓe still not talking about a 1.0 release, but the package currently on offer is still something IÃÎ very comfortable to share with the world. Undoubtedly, there could be more documentation and more examples, but Real Artists Ship and this piece will grow in public. Enjoy Rails!”—[ANN] Rails 0.5.0: The end of vaporware!
“Avoiding burnout is difficult to write about, because the basic premise is obnoxious. Burnout is a rich man’s game. Rice farmers don’t get burned out and spend long afternoons thinking about whether to switch to sorghum. Most people don’t have the luxury of thinking about their lives in those terms. But at the rarefied socioeconomic heights of computerland, it’s true that if you run a popular project by yourself for a long time, there’s a high risk that it will wear you out.”—Pinboard Turns Five (Pinboard Blog)
“I see my role much like a small-town praire banker in the 1880’s. My job is to project an aura of calm, solvency, and permanence in an industry where none of those adjectives applies.”—Pinboard Turns Five (Pinboard Blog)
“every time someone visits News Feed there are on average 1,5001 potential stories from friends, people they follow and Pages for them to see, and most people don’t have enough time to see them all. These stories include everything from wedding photos posted by a best friend, to an acquaintance checking in to a restaurant.”—News Feed FYI: A Window Into News Feed | Facebook for Business
“IAC is giddy over its investment. “Services like Tinder and OkCupid acclimate new groups of people to meeting online,” CEO Gregory Blatt said on a July 31 earnings call. “Once people have used technology to meet other people, no matter what the service was they initially used, a barrier’s been broken, and they’re more likely to do it again.” Tinder may one day draw revenue of its own, but for now it’s essentially a gateway drug to Match.com, which had operating income of $205 million for 2012. “The more people we can get to try these services, whether we own them or not, the more likely they are to use our other services,” Blatt added. “Of course, it’s better when we own them.””—Dating App Tinder Catches Fire - Businessweek
A facial recognition search system identifies one or more likely names (or other personal identifiers) corresponding to the facial image(s) in a query as follows. After receiving the visual query with one or more facial images, the system identifies images that potentially match the respective facial image in accordance with visual similarity criteria. Then one or more persons associated with the potential images are identified. For each identified person, person-specific data comprising metrics of social connectivity to the requester are retrieved from a plurality of applications such as communications applications, social networking applications, calendar applications, and collaborative applications. An ordered list of persons is then generated by ranking the identified persons in accordance with at least metrics of visual similarity between the respective facial image and the potential image matches and with the social connection metrics. Finally, at least one person identifier from the list is sent to the requester.
“After reading as much as I can, and after talking to many smart folks in the space, I’ve come to a few conclusions: (1) The block chain as a computer science innovation is for real; and (2) there are 101 business applications that can be rewritten by harnessing its attributes; but (3) it is very early days and right now, most of the best minds working in this space are focused on payments and stored value.”—A Brief Survey Of The Block Chain And Business Processes – Haywire
“That is, a central strategic problem for both Amazon and Facebook, amongst others, is that their businesses have moved from the essentially neutral platform of the web browser, where there has been no real change in the user interaction model in 20 years, to the much messier, mediated and fast-changing platform of smartphones, where the web is just one icon and platform owners are continually adding new ways that users much discover and engage with content, such as iBeacon or Google Now. They didn’t need to make browsers because browsers had become transparent commodities, but smartphones aren’t. This of course is why Google itself made Android - to make sure that it would not be shut out in this new environment. Making an entire new OS is not an sensible option for Amazon or Facebook at this stage, but building on top of a free, open-source one is worth at least thinking about. But, again, in doing that you need to solve the users’ problems, not just your own.”—Amazon and Android forks — Benedict Evans
“The Kade children are as children elsewhere: agile with machines. They quickly learn to landscape them, magnify the font size, prop them up like tablets for relaxed reading. They have no trouble with the interface. They make the Kindle do things I didn’t know it could do. The children find hidden features, text-to-voice features, make the devices read to them — robotically but surprisingly clearly — and follow along as the text moves in unison, helping them navigate words that might be a bit out of their English register. Most importantly, the children learn to find books. Books they love, books they must read for homework. Books with curious titles.”—Ebooks for all — The Message — Medium
“One way to think about this is if you imagine the very first tool made, say, a stone hammer. That stone hammer could be used to kill somebody, or it could be used to make a structure, but before that stone hammer became a tool, that possibility of making that choice did not exist. Technology is continually giving us ways to do harm and to do well; it’s amplifying both. It’s amplifying our power to do well and our power to do harm, but the fact that we also have a new choice each time is a new good. That, in itself, is an unalloyed good—the fact that we have another choice and that additional choice tips that balance in one direction towards a net good. So you have the power to do evil expanded. You have the power to do good expanded. You think that’s a wash. In fact, we now have a choice that we did not have before, and that tips it very, very slightly in the category of the sum of good.”—The Technium | Edge.org
“Technological progress may ultimately usher in an era of affluence so great that our main dilemma each day will be trying to decide whether we should write a symphony or paint a masterpiece. But in between then and now, there will be great dislocations and the wealthy can be counted upon to use their riches to make government work for their own interests rather than for the general welfare. Because that’s obviously what’s happening right now, and it’s very difficult to see how simply getting out of Silicon Valley’s way will change that fundamental dynamic in any meaningful way.”—Tech’s toxic political culture: The stealth libertarianism of Silicon Valley bigwigs - Salon.com
“If, as entrepreneur Marc Andreessen has said, such “software is eating the world”, then apps like Uber are just the hors d’oeuvres. The next course contains the more interesting questions: what happens when we apply those affordances and dynamics to the core services of everyday life that are not just serving desires — as Spotify, Vine or Amazon do — but needs, like mobility, health, waste, energy, food, water and education?”—Dan Hill’s Opinion column on the Uber taxi app and civic services
“Note that all talk about “percentages” in judging TT performance is just numerology. Designing a machine to exhibit 100% Turing indistinguishable performance capacity is an empirical goal, like designing a plane with the capacity to fly. Nothing short of the TTT or “total” flight, respectively, meets the goal. For once we recognize that Turing-indistinguishable performance capacity is our mandate, the Totality criterion comes with the territory. Subtotal “toy” efforts are interesting only insofar as they contain the means to scale up to life-size. A “plane” that can only fall, jump, or taxi on the ground is no plane at all; and gliding is pertinent only if it can scale up to autonomous flight.”—The Turing Test Is Not A Trick: Turing Indistinguishability Is A Scientific Criterion
“But most of the debates about online privacy aren’t really about privacy at all. They’re about informed consent and how we make the decision to make the privacy / convenience trade. Most of the convenience benefits are seen best from inside the graph. And most of the privacy invasion is only apparent when you step outside and look down. Which makes things tricky.”—Data ghosts in the Facebook machine | Smethurst
“Email is the copy-paste of the Internet. It is passing notes in class. It is writing postcards. It is no less the place of manifestos or the mystery of language and all the hand-written letters before it regardless of its delivery medium. It is a conceptual framework that affords more than the alternatives and even where it fails it still demands less than other choices and so it still comes out ahead of everything else. It is hardly perfect but built-in to its use is the idea that the person at the other end of a message isn’t a complete idiot and can fill in the blanks, or just hit reply and ask you to elaborate if they can’t.”—[this is aaronland] the internet of non-sequiturs
“Building great management and great culture is never easy nor complete, but both are much harder to tackle when product has already shipped. Take advantage of the benefits of build phase to start early and tackle these hard problems before they become so massive they put the company’s success on the line.”—Pocket : Facebook VP of Engineering on Solving Hard Things Early
“The user of the future will fly her own computer. She will own and control her own identity and her own data. She will even host her own apps. She will not be part of someone else’s Big Data. She will be her own Little Data. Unless she’s a really severe geek, she will pay some service to store and execute her Urbit ship - but she can move it anywhere else, anytime, for the cost of the bandwidth.”—Urbit · Personal Cloud Computing
“In fact, “mor” may be what is sometimes called a phonestheme: a part of a word that tends to carry a certain connotation not because of etymology or formal definition but just by association. Words that start with “gl” often have to do with light (glow, gleam, glimmer, glitter, glisten, etc.) even though they are not all related historically; similarly, words that start with “sn” often relate to the nose (snoot, sniffle, snot, snore, sneeze, etc.). It doesn’t mean that all words with those letters have the meaning in common, but there is a common thread among a notable set of them.”—Why is the ‘mor’ in ‘Voldemort’ so evil-sounding? - The Week
MailCatcher runs a super simple SMTP server which catches any message sent to it to display in a web interface. Run mailcatcher, set your favourite app to deliver to smtp://127.0.0.1:1025 instead of your default SMTP server, then check out http://127.0.0.1:1080 to see the mail that’s arrived so far.
“But by the same token, Mt. Gox’s fall, and the systemic threat it for a time seemed to have exposed, represents a trial by fire from which bitcoin has emerged, if not stronger, then at least more proven. “There were remedies in place which allowed the vast majority of the infrastructure to resume operation quickly,” says Matt Branton, a bitcoin entrepreneur who runs the retail content service Coinlock. “The way the community comes together when bugs are discovered tells you a lot more about the strength of bitcoin than this particular flaw does.” That its oldest servicer’s implosion has not taken the rest of bitcoin with it may be the greatest testament yet to the power of the technology, and the community that backs it.”—Cryptocalypse now: Bitcoin’s issue with ‘transaction malleability’ - Term Sheet