Rants & Ramblings

random commentary about culture, media, politics, technology and whatnot.

technology

dec
28
2010

distellamap | ben fry

Visualizations of the code in various classic Atari games (Adventure, Air Raid, Combat, Pac-Man, Pitfall, Q-Bert), by Ben Fry. (Via Max)

dec
16
2010

R.I.P. Delicious: You Were So Beautiful to Me | ReadWriteWeb

This news pleases me not at all. Marshall Kirkpatrick writes, “Yahoo announced internally today that it is closing down Delicious. No date has been given for its closure. It’s a loss not just for the many people who used Delicious to archive links of interest to them around the web, it’s a loss for the future — for what could have been. Five years later, people are just beginning to appreciate the value of passively published user activity data made available for analysis, personalization and more. That could have been you, Delicious.”

nov
30
2010

Netflix Partner Says Comcast 'Toll' Threatens Online Video Delivery | Media Decoder | NYTimes.com

Brian Stelter writes, “In theory, without government action, Comcast could speed up streams of NBC programs and slow down streams of its rivals’ programs … With nearly 17 million broadband Internet customers, Comcast is the nation’s largest such service provider.”

nov
24
2010

Explain The Internet To A 19th Century British Street Urchin | Fast Company

In this latest installment, the author of Everything Explained Through Flowcharts travels to 19th (and 31st) century London — braving the plague, Jack the Ripper, and countless robbery attempts — to explain the 20th century’s most life-changing tool.” (Link via Dari)

nov
17
2010

Apple Destroyed Products | Fubiz

A strangely beautiful gallery of Apple products that have been destroyed in various ways.

nov
13
2010

Bunny on Strike

For my birthday last year, Rob got me a Nabaztag wifi bunny. Since then, I’ve employed the bunny — named Winston — as an alarm clock / timekeeper / weather announcer / general comic relief. But dear Winston is also …

nov
05
2010

A large-scale concert on sale is, in essence, a denial-of-service attack.

— Ticketfly CEO Andrew Dreskin, on supporting online demand for high-profile concert tickets (source)

Photos as Web Content | Jakob Nielsen's Alertbox

Nielsen reports on the results of his eyetracking studies: “Users pay close attention to photos and other images that contain relevant information but ignore fluffy pictures used to ‘jazz up’ Web pages.”

oct
05
2010

Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.

— Google CEO Eric Schmidt, on implants (source)

sep
08
2010

National Mall wireless Internet officially up and running | TBD.com

The new hotspots, which can be found under the name ‘DC Wifi,’ cover a stretch of the Mall all the way from 3rd Street on the east to 14th Street on the west.”

may
10
2010

Apple developing Flash alternative named Gianduia | AppleInsider

As Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight duke it out over their plugin-based, HTML-alternative web platforms, Apple is using Gianduia, its new a client-side, standards based framework for Rich Internet Apps, to create production quality online apps for its retail users.” (Delicious tags: webdesign webdev flash apple adobe javascript)

jan
28
2009

online news, circa 1981

This circa-1981 San Francisco local news report about an experimental new online news service is a bit of a freakout. My, how things have changed. Or not, even. Newscaster: Imagine, if you will, sitting down to your morning coffee, turning …

jul
03
2008

wii fat

CNet’s Nate Lanxon has a helpful video about how to game the system (though he concludes at the end — and I agree — that it’s rather pointless to cheat at Wii Fit, given that the whole idea is to …

jun
06
2008

pretty pictures

Twitter outages annoy me far more than I’d like to admit — yes, I’ve apparently become that attached to the service — but at least they offer lovely stock illustrations on their error pages. The one at right, by Australia-based …

apr
01
2008

getting into the april fool's spirit

True to form, ThinkGeek is offering its typical array of themed products as well. I want Wii Sports for iPhone (no link, sadly), though I could be convinced to get the Betamax-to-HD-DVD Converter. (Still doesn’t beat last year’s SnuzNLuz Wifi …

mar
12
2008

testing out the google chart api

Google recently released a tool that allows users to quickly create impressively clean dynamic charts and graphs. I played around with it a bit this morning and found it super-easy to use. For example, check out these charts of last …

jan
27
2008

interface niceties

I’ve noticed an interesting bug with Google Calendar when entering new events. When I create an event, Google Calendar tries to take what I’ve typed and turn it into a new calendar item. Usually, it’s pretty smart. However, when an …

dec
29
2007

netscape is dead

Netscape has been dying a slow death for some time, eclipsed by Mozilla and then Firefox. Today brings word that AOL has decided to officially kill it. AOL’s focus on transitioning to an ad-supported web business leaves little room for …

dec
15
2007

wii nerd

I’m more than a year behind the power curve on this one, but I found out today that the Wii Remote uses Bluetooth to talk to the game console. Up until now, I’d assumed that the Wiimote transmitted data to …

dec
04
2007

not my kind of technology

I consider myself fairly savvy when it comes to dealing with technology — at least, computer technology. But put me in front of a jammed copier, a fax machine or a fancy coffeemaker in need of emptying (today’s challenge), and …

dec
03
2007

geeks on the road

Geeks abound in Arlington, if the vanity license plates I’ve seen of late are any indication. Last night, I saw a car parked next to the Nature Conservancy in Ballston with the license plate “NSFW.” His hazard lights were on, …