• Hype! - I love building stuff, but being in a small independent team, there simply aren’t enough of us to make Hype Machine work on every platform out there. So we were thrilled to see Matt use our API to create a free Android app that lets you check out what’s new on the Hype Machine. Try it out, though I am obviously biased. :)
• Cloudskipper - Listening to music in the default Android player works for some, but frequently gets clumsy and limiting. The guys at Cloudskipper were frustrated with this and built something much more elegant and social. There is also a decent app from Winamp, if the old-school thunderbolt is dear to you.
• Soundcloud - You know that huge community of musicians, and audio enthusiasts that hangs out on Soundcloud.com? Well, you can dive right in on your Android phone. There is even an instant recording feature that quickly uploads what you capture, onto the site.
“When Tweetie became part of the Twitter family the user growth was huge, creating more opportunities for developers to build applications for the growing audience. With TweetDeck now joining us we expect to see even more opportunities become available to you and look forward to seeing what you create.”—
“Part of Dropbox’s ability to scale successfully, said Houston, is the startup’s focus on hiring fewer, better engineers and creating an office environment that its employees want to work in. The startup does not force mandatory office hours, nor does it instruct team members on how or where to work, Houston shared.”—
The people at Dropbox are awesome. This note about scheduling is right on. Plenty of folks get in at noon and stay, by my standards, really late. I get in between 7 and 9, and usually leave between 5:30-6. The difference is that I have kids, and most folks at Dropbox don’t. The flexibility of the environment makes this schedule work just fine with the noon-midnight folks.
The standard process of organizing knowledge by departments, and sub-departments, and further breaking it up into separate courses, tends to conceal the homogeneity of knowledge, and at the same time to omit much that falls between the courses.
[…a] goal of this course is to reveal the essential unity of all knowledge rather than the fragments which appear as individual topics are taught. In your future anything and everything you know might be useful, but if you believe the problem is in one area, you are not apt to use information that is relevant but which occurred in another course.
“Down the aisle is Welch’s 100% Grape Juice, with no fat and emblazoned with a red-heart certification from the American Heart Association. An eight-ounce glass has 36 grams of sugar; a regular-sized Snickers, by comparison, has 30.”—
This shouldn’t be normalized by bits but by hours. I’d like to see what percentage of internet hours netflix takes up in the evening. Ohh, and the analytics guy in me wants to see a histogram of percentages, so I can see what share of home internet users spend >N% of their internet time watching netflix. This average covers people that don’t subscribe after all.
My guess is that you’ll see that those that use netflix use it a lot, but this isn’t really represented well in a single average.
“In high schools, the vocational arts have all but vanished. We’ve elevated the importance of “higher education” to such a lofty perch that all other forms of knowledge are now labeled “alternative.” Millions of parents and kids see apprenticeships and on-the-job-training opportunities as “vocational consolation prizes,” best suited for those not cut out for a four-year degree. And still, we talk about millions of “shovel ready” jobs for a society that doesn’t encourage people to pick up a shovel.”—
“I hesitate to generalize about all artists and all technologists. Which marks me right there, as an engineer by training. Trained to obsess about edge cases and tiny details — missing the forest for the trees makes no sense, the forest is just many individuals trees, repeated, at scale.
Which strikes to heart of one of the key differences I’ve experienced watching and collaborating with artists.
As an engineer my creative act begins by removing ambiguity. What’s the simplest possible thing we can do? What’s the core of the idea? What’s the minimal viable product? When you say pigs should fly, is that sustained flight? Self powered? Do you mean flapping or simply moving through the air? Does flight imply control? Or would a porcine trebuchet get us to a version 1 beta? Maybe we could do some testing by putting a pig on top of a tall tower?
Artists I’ve worked with often take the opposite approach. How can we remove all the walls around this idea? How do we make the possibility space of this idea infinite? Flying pigs are really just an example of the impulse towards freedom that we’re trying to address, let’s not get too caught up on the pigs, or the flight.
Additionally as a technologist I’m often driven by an inner fantasy life of utility (and utopia) with a secret hope of broad impact. Artists seem compelled by the innate desire to express the inexpressible, and a secret hope of widely inspiring. Basely, the difference between being right and being true.”—
Beautiful, though I think that really good technologists (and artists) are those that find themselves contending with both sides of this.
The best technologists that I’ve known don’t create forests that are repetitions of a single tree, because that doesn’t satisfy the obsessive: the locations of the trees relative to one another obviously affect how they would grow, so the geek digs in and roughs out a way to model the relationships and their effects.
Similarly, artists may well be trying to achieve something inexpressible, but the best ones I’ve met obsess over the mechanics underlying that inexpressibility. They may not know exactly why a piece “works,” but they can tell you an awful lot about all the decisions they made along the way.
Rafer sez: This is such white-washed crap. This Facebook assignment is so minor league — and so relatively overdisclosed — relative to the bad juju that Burson-Marsteller profits from that it’s unmeasurable. B-M got better about it’s own PR after 9/11 (not merely a correlation), but to quote the Guardian in early 2002 while the truth was still out there:
Burson-Marsteller is the company that governments with poor human rights records and corporations in trouble with environmentalists have turned to when in crisis. The world’s biggest PR company was employed by the Nigerian government to discredit reports of genocide during the Biafran war, the Argentinian junta after the disappearance of 35,000 civilians, and the Indonesian government after the massacres in East Timor. It also worked to improve the image of the late Romanian president Nicolae Ceausescu and the Saudi royal family.