Posts Tagged: links

Tidbits for Your Weekend

Photo of Pear blossom taken by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

I have been collecting links for about a month now, some of these you may have already seen but enjoy the ones you have not yet read:

From the Stories, Myth, and Fiction Beat:

Tor.com’s short fiction and poetry series: Nevertheless, She Persisted containing the marvelous The Jump Rope Rhyme by Jo Walton, plus many others

A morning coffee break in the woods, with good companions

Four Kinds of Dystopia

The Fairy Tales of Giambattista Basile’s Il Pentameron

From The Science Beat:

Comet 41P/T-G-K Tangles with the Great Bear : Get out your binoculars and look for the comet in the next two weeks.

New Way to Fight Superbugs Found in Noxious Weed : When folk medicine helps fight MRSA

A Medical Marvel : Wherein reviewing old manuscripts yields a 1000 year old eye cure from Bald’s Leechbook, an Anglo-Saxon medical recipe book.

The Very Drugged Nazis : What is says on the tin

Gotta See It! Four Planets Directly Imaged In Motion Around The Star HR 8799

Researchers create ‘time crystals’ envisioned by Princeton scientists : How about adding a little time to your crystal molecules?

The Education Beat:

And for centuries, segregated by age but never by background, all students congregate in the large meeting room for their 40 minutes of quiet reflection every week. While the meetings always begin in silence, they can eventually be punctuated by the thoughts of anyone in the room who has something to share.

School officials concede that the meeting is sometimes viewed as an imposition by younger students, but say this tends not to be a lasting attitude.

“Invariably, when alums come back here, the thing they say they miss the most is our weekly meeting,” said Travis Larrabee, the high school director. “In what other part of society do you sit in silence with 500 other people?” – Before Matt Ryan’s Ascent, a Quiet Grounding in the Quaker Way

Wanted: Factory Workers, Degree Required

In Hillsdale College, a ‘Shining City on a Hill’ for Conservatives

The question remains is it possible to have a liberal great books education that builds on the western canon and adds in a diverse array of women, POC, the 20th Cent, and post-modernism? I know so. I learned it at Scripps College from 1986-1988.

Sunday Tidbits : The First 2017 Edition

:: A few Sunday Tidbits for you ::

A lovely flash fiction story on what Cassandra also saw that she did not tell the Trojans about

2017 in (potential) Bright Comets :: If you don’t already have Astro Bob on your RSS Feed / Subscription, you should.

Stephen Hawking on This is the most dangerous time for our planet :: Ok folks, how are we all working to pull out of this tail spin of our own making?

And in other notes, my two gently used hardback books by Roberto Calasso have arrived.

Sunday Tidbits: After a bit of a lull – Apple says Game On!, Sharanya, Mie, and Fusion!

A quick round of Sunday tidbits and links for you…

1) T’would appear that Apple is waking up from its rather sleepy mobile photo lull and is declaring game on to the newly minted Microsoft Mobile (entity formerly known as Nokia Device and Services) in two sweeps with the declaration of:

Apple Patent Shows Off Unique Use of OIS for “Super Resolution” Photos

and the defection of a certain Mr. Ari Partinen from the top ranks of the Nokia Camera team

Now it should get interesting. One wonders if a certain Mr. Alakarhu and a certain Ms. Björknäs will stay put at the newly signed building in Espoo? Will Google / Samsung up their mobile camera game or will we have round ___ of the Apple v. Microsoft tech brinkmanship?

2) The ever amazing Sharanya Manivannan has published a short story, “Sweet”, in the debut issue of The Affair and is interviewed in “A Q&A with Sharanya Manivannan on her story ‘Sweet’, published in the inaugural issue of ‘The Affair’

If you aren’t already following Sharanya on Twitter or reading her blog, go do it now.

3) In my searches for good recipes for various Japanese recipes, I have found myself at Cookpad and a bit baffled by the translations that Google gives me. Thus, when I read that Mie is now the North American office / staff member for Cookpad En, I was very excited. Not only for a great position for Mie, but also that means that Mie’s excellent abilities in blogging, cross cultural exchange, and blogging will mean the opening up and un-confusing a great wealth of contemporary Japanese foodways. So EXCITED. Go Mie, Go!

4) 3QuarksDaily asks: When are you Past Your Prime?

5) Charlie Stross has two great blog posts for thinking about technology, now, the future, and the world, read the comments:
a) The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative – A call for the internet protocol to be rebuilt before it is too late:

The trouble is, the success of the internet protocols created a networking monoculture that the NSA themselves came to rely on for their internal infrastructure. The same security holes that the NSA relied on to gain access to your (or Osama bin Laden’s) email allowed gangsters to steal passwords and login credentials and credit card numbers. And ultimately these same baked-in security holes allowed Edward Snowden—who, let us remember, is merely one guy: a talented system administrator and programmer, but no Clark Kent—to rampage through their internal information systems.

b) The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism – Given that the U.S. spent over $4 Trillion on the most recent Iraq War, what is a few fusion reactors at $100 billion a pop?

I’ve got two candidates for such investments: (a) commercial thermonuclear fusion reactors, and (b) colonizing Venus.

Fusion: we are not fifty years away any more. We’re about thirty years and $100Bn away. Or we’re about 8-10 years and $200Bn and a Manhattan Program level of urgency away—it depends on the political and legislative framework. However, building tokamak fusion reactors (like ITER) is never going to be cheap; to get 1Gw of electrical power out implies a 5Gw thermal reactor (and a third of its power is going to go into maintaining the fusion reaction). More realistically, tokamaks will come in 5Gw power output and larger sizes, making them an order of magnitude larger than today’s big-ass 1Gw PWR, AGR, and AP1000 reactors. We’re looking at startup costs of $25-50Bn per reactor, and a requirement for up to 1000 of the suckers if we want to roll it out globally as a major energy source.

So: it’s a project that will plausibly soak up $25-50Tn and take 10-30 years to roll out while needing 30-60 years to break even and start to provide a return on the capital investment. A good way of making the Koch brothers atone for their sins while preserving the illusion of their wealth, right?

Naah, that’s small beer

Go read, people, go read. Then comment.

Hit the Road on a Sunday Evening

Listen: This American Life’s 494: Hit the Road
View and Listen: Photos and more audio from Andrew Forsthoefel’s walking trip across America on Transom.org.
View: Travel around various places with the Moon, by Leonid Tishkov.
Chew: Paul Miller takes a road trip of a very different type: He eschews the internet in all its forms for a year.
Chew and debate: Vanessa Veselka asks why there are no female road narratives in literature and popular culture. Commenters disagree with her and give examples of their own road trips or good fictional road narratives.

A Few Tasty Links for Your Fourth of July Enjoyment

It is 12:41pm here in Seal Beach, California, socked in with the dreaded ‘June Gloom’, aka the Marine Inversion Layer, and it is chilly for a mid-summer day at 66F/18C and there is a bit of wind. The Sun has made no effort to come out for a visit. Hopefully, old Sol will burn the clouds soon.
In the meantime, here a few nice links for your Fourth of July reading enjoyement…
How America got its name: The suprising story of an obscure scholar, an adventurer’s letter, and a pun

When Ringmann read this news, he was thrilled. As a good classicist, he knew that the poet Virgil had prophesied the existence of a vast southern land across the ocean to the west, destined to be ruled by Rome. And he drew what he felt was the obvious conclusion: Vespucci had reached this legendary place. He had discovered the fourth part of the world. At last, Europe’s Christians, the heirs of ancient Rome, could begin their long-prophesied imperial expansion to the west.

Nick Patrick on Did Americans in 1776 have British accents?

Reading David McCullough’s 1776, I found myself wondering: Did Americans in 1776 have British accents? If so, when did American accents diverge from British accents?
The answer surprised me.
I’d always assumed that Americans used to have British accents, and that American accents diverged after the Revolutionary War, while British accents remained more or less the same.
Americans in 1776 did have British accents in that American accents and British accents hadn’t yet diverged. That’s not too surprising.
What is surprising, though, is that those accents were much closer to today’s American accents than to today’s British accents. While both have changed over time, it’s actually British accents that have changed much more drastically since then.

The Tyburn Angling Society:

Nonetheless, in addition to a regular circuit of dinners, drinks, and fishing outings, the Tyburn Angling Society is committed to resurfacing the ancient stream — still theirs to fish, they argue, by a never-repealed royal decree. “You could have people fishing by the river in the middle of Mayfair,” Jim Bowdidge told the Evening Standard, “We would get the Wild Trout Trust to get the habitat right for small wild brown trout. Properly done, we could have salmon.”

John Scalzi on Status Check, Re: USA:

The 234th birthday of the United States of America is a fine time to check in with one’s self about how one feels about being a citizen of this country, so today’s question: Am I proud to be an American?
I am. The United States, like so many things, is better as an idealized concept than it is as an actual entity, on account that the nation is made up of people, and while most people mean well, in a day-to-day sense they struggle with their ideals, which are often so inconvenient to their desires. And so, like a married family-values politician with a Craigslist personal ad, or a vegan Febreezing the apartment so no one will catch the smell of bacon, America often finds itself failing its own expectations for itself and others.

Last but not least, the quote of the day from Kevin Lawver:

Happy “Crap, We Lost Some Colonies” Day, Brits!

Update! 12:54pm on 07.04.10 – The Sun is doing his job & is burning through the clouds, Seal Beach now has some sun, some clouds, and is still chilly. Wahoo.
Happy Fourth of July!

Monday TidBits

I am currently buried under in work and thus don’t have any real photos to post from today and the two blog posts that live in my head about the Nokia N900 will have to wait for a day or so.
In the meantime, here is a few delightful links for you:
The Language of Food on Ceviche and Fish & Chips. A wonderful cultural historical linguistical exploration of vinegared meat from the Persia of the Sassanids to vinegared fish dishes of modern day Peru and the UK.
Tom Chi in his OK/Cancel form writing on how developers and designers need to work together and not in separated worlds in Bowman vs Google? Why Data and Design Need Each Other
These last two articles are on the differences between US/Nordic or Apple/Nokia in terms of advertising and approach written by Teemu Arina, who I met last year at Nokia Open Lab 2008, and Karri Ojanen, who I have not met but I love his name & admire his work. I have been formulating my own thoughts on the essential (good) differences between the design & advertising cultures of Apple v. Nokia which in many ways stem from the differences between Norther California and Finland culturally, and Teemu & Mr. Ojanen have beat me to the punch in: Interactive value creation, Apples and Nokias and with Digital (Advertising) in the Nordics.

A Suggestion for External Communication

Part Two of my improve Nokia’s Communication Idea Set.
One of the frustrations in participating in projects / campaigns with WOM World can be the difficulty in communication and getting timely information. This is not news to the folks at WOM World (we had a big conversation last week about this) nor to other folks who work on campaigns/projects with them. Now let me break this down into the problem, the extenuating circumstances, and the proposed solution:
The Problem:
I love participating in projects / campaigns / whatever you want to call it with WOM World & Nokia but I find myself frustrated that much of the information that is needed to complete my side of the project right either comes late or quite a bit into the campaign. Take the example of the lack of Nokia viNe widget for the last month and a half of that campaign and then finding out about a similar widget by some other team at Nokia via another blog.
The Circumstances:
(please note that the following are not unique to WOM World or Nokia, but happen all over the world in a variety of businesses)
1) Nokia is working with at least 3 external agencies / vendors on any one campaign: Interactive ad agency, WOM World/1000 heads for the outward facing blogger interface & social media marketing, a possible pr agency, etc. This is on top of the one or two or more internal Nokia teams that may be involved in the project (the developers who are making the service, the marketing team, etc). This is a lot of cats to herd. And it is a lot of folks to be informing each other of what each member of their teams is up to, as well as what other teams at Nokia may be up to that might help the campaign/project at hand, all while on a tight deadline.
2) Almost every company on the planet has teams that are understaffed and overworked. It is a reality of the business system. ‘Nuff said.
3) WOM World’s primary mission is to follow social media and bloggers and then let the world know about what those folks have said. WOM World does not create its own content. At the same time as WOM World is blogging about what we are blogging about, they are also sending and receiving mobile devices all over for trials, and participating in / conducting Nokia campaigns with bloggers and social media folk, as well as interacting with Nokia and other agencies to make sure that WOM World’s portion is working. See #1 & #2 above and you get the point.
4) Ok, I could now talk about how different cultures view the dissemination of information or lack thereof, company cultures, and transparency v. Finnish mind reading tricks, but I won’t muddle up the subject at hand with more details or conjecture.
The Proposed Solution:
Provide a back channel for each of the projects / campaigns as a way of getting information out there and keeping folks informed, and as a way to build community.
What do I mean by a back channel? Before Nokia Open Lab in Sept. most of the participants had very little information other than initial email invite, as the website for the event was not up yet, so Roland Tanglao set up a wiki to help us communicate and share more info that folks may have gleaned.
By having this wiki, the Open Lab participants were able to share our flight times to meet up at the airport, information about the event, information about Helsinki, and most importantly – after the event – links to our blog posts, photos, tweets, etc that we created about the event.
Instead of talking less in public spaces about the Open Lab because we had our own private place to talk to each other, we talked more in public because we had more information and we felt more empowered.
So, I propose that for each campaign / project that Nokia and WOM World work on (either together or separately) with bloggers and social media folk, that a wiki or Friend Feed or an old school link portal or some other way for us to aggregate all the information we need to share with each other, as well as a listing of all the posts / tweets / etc that we have written about the campaign / project.
Arguments Against:
Since I floated this idea by WOM World’s Donna and Siobhan last week, I already have the objections to my idea. Of which the biggest objection is that if a wiki is set up, then the fear would be that the participants would just chat to each other on the wiki / forum / back channel and would not post about the project.
Counter Argument:
In the instance of the Nokia Open Lab 2008, having the wiki did not stop us from blogging and tweeting about it. In fact, we posted more and responded to each other in our blogs because we were sharing information and we had built a community.
WOM World may have posted a few links to our writings during and after the event, but by having a back channel we were able to self-aggregate all of our social media and blog links about the Open Lab and it can be viewed by the public which only increases the Long Tail effect for the event.
When we were talking last week Siobhan suggested that FriendFeed would work within the constraints of WOM World’s primary mission, as it could aggregate all the posts for all of the participants of any given project. But, unless FriendFeed has good filters for all of the incoming feeds, we would also see all of the other posts by the same folks.
A wiki or like, either on the WOM World site or external wiki like PBwiki, would also allow us to share links and information that would be helpful during the project, like my finding the Maps + Photography widget last week, it would allow not just the participants but the whole world see a complete or almost complete list of the posts on the project both during and after in one place, as well as build community.
The Conclusion:
Please help those of us without degrees in Finnish Mind Reading out. I would love to know who the other participants in the Nokia viNe project are, I know a few, but it would be great to follow all and not just thier viNe posts but also their blogs and other social media, as well as to share information that will allow all of us to better participate in the project.
Information + Links + Community = a Big Win for Nokia in the long run.