The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

In 2005, Tim Berners-Lee …
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starts a blog. Go thank him for the Internet. (Waxtastic.)

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Retail Politics
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Jay Bookman tells it like it is:

Think back a little more than a year ago, to the political campaigns of 2004. One of the hottest issues in presidential debates and congressional campaigns was the threat to traditional marriage posed by gay people seeking the right to wed. …

But a year later, it seems pertinent to ask: Have you heard or read a single word about a federal gay-marriage amendment since the election?

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A Google of One
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The new Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems Lab at Berkeley has generated buzz because Google, Microsoft, and Sun are stepping up together to fund some basic computer science research.

But beyond that, the RAD Lab’s vision itself is amazingly radical. They want to do for internet apps what the web did for information publishing. That is: lower the barrier of entry to zero. They write:

If we succeed, the next killer Internet app will be written, deployed, operated, at Google-like scales, by a single programmer.

That is so audacious! I love it!

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Hands-On Revolution
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Notes on some quality time with the Nintendo Revolution. I was just talking with some friends yesterday about modern (traditional) video game controllers, and how impenetrable they are if you haven’t been slowly training your hands over the years to manipulate seventeen buttons simultaneously. The Revolution looks to be a lot more accessible.

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Global Stories You Missed
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Foreign Policy rounds up ten big stories that fell through the cracks in 2005. Take a spin and get re-acquainted with what’s actually happening in the world.

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'Pedia Still Astonishingly Awesome
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wikitanica.jpg

Many of you may have already caught this Nature article posted on Boing Boing. Nature conducted a peer review of 42 entries from Wikipedia and the Encyclopedia Britannica. The results:

Only eight serious errors, such as misinterpretations of important concepts, were detected in the pairs of articles reviewed, four from each encyclopaedia. But reviewers also found many factual errors, omissions or misleading statements: 162 and 123 in Wikipedia and Britannica, respectively.

I’m pretty darn awed by that.

If you’ve been watching Romenesko’s letters this week, you might have caught Karen Heyman’s letter about Wikipedia’s problems. A snippet:

Unless you already know a field, you can have no idea that an apparently definitive entry presents only one side of an ongoing fight between specialists. That it may be changed, and changed back again, hardly helps matters. This, btw, is the best explanation as to why simply sitting back and saying, “It’s okay now, it’s changed,” ultimately would not have worked for Seigenthaler. Chances are high that later somebody would have come along to “fix” the correction.

Wikipedia is a fantastic idea, a wonderful service, with entries that often reflect great effort and care. Unfortunately, inevitably, as it’s grown, the flaws built into its original design have become more obvious. Egalitarian editing may be a noble goal, but the reality is that if Wikipedia is to truly fulfill its promise, it needs a way to vet contributors, to let users know whether an entry on neuroscience was written and edited by a senior professor, a student who just took Psych 101, or a layperson who’s paraphrasing an old issue of Scientific American. Certainly prankster Brian Chase’s initial belief that Wikipedia was a joke site says a great deal about how some of its entries appear to the general public. If Seigenthaler’s complaint actually leads to more accountability, far from hurting Wikipedia, he may ultimately have saved it.

I’ll cross-post my reply to Ms. Heyman below:

Read more…

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Great Philip Roth Interview
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I’m totally scared of this dude. (Via 3quarks daily.)

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Miyazaki Does Earthsea
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Oh wow. Two favorites collide: Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli will do an adaptation of the Earthsea books by Ursula K. LeGuin.

(The Sci-Fi Channel did one, too, but it was bad.)

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Little Wheels Turning
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Remember Kiva, the web-based microfinance organization? (Mentioned here before.)

The first round of lendees just paid off their loans, co-founder Matthew Flannery reports. A little while ago I threw a few bucks into a loan for a store in Tanzania… I’ll keep you posted as it kicks into gear.

Flannery’s blog has been really good so far; I recommend it if you’re at all interested in this kind of stuff. He is a former TiVo engineer turned microfinance portal developer! Nice.

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The Monster at Our Door?
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Interesting and panoramic Salon interview with Mike Davis about bird flu.

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