May 09

Daily Links for May 15th through May 16th

  • Towns Find Obstacles To Saying ‘I Do’ To Mergers – CBS News – Some New Jersey lawmakers believe they’ve found a solution in having their cash-strapped state act as an ersatz Match.com for towns looking to merge. The state is offering to pay for studies and give a property tax credit to homeowners whose taxes would rise. The aim is to save money and escape Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s plans to slash aid to more than 300 towns with fewer than 10,000 residents. If that doesn’t work, these towns risk losing state aid.
  • GeoHive: Global Statistics – Welcome to GeoHive, a site with geopolitical data, statistics on the human population, Earth and more. The main kind of data you can find here is population statistics of regions, countries, provinces and cities. Next to that there are some statistics on economic factors like wealth, infrastructure; statistics on natural phenomena; ……. and yet, even more.
  • When women hide behind their children on Facebook. – Many of these women work. Many of them are in book clubs. Many of them are involved in causes. But this is how they choose to represent themselves. The choice may seem trivial, but the whole idea behind Facebook is to create a social persona, an image of who you are projected into hundreds of bedrooms and cafes and offices across the country. Why would that image be of someone else, however closely bound they are to your life, genetically and otherwise?
  • Op-Ed Contributor – A Degree in English – NYTimes.com – CONGRATULATIONS. You are graduating this month with a Baccalaureatus Scientiae in Compertis ad Salutem Pertinentibus Administrandis. It sounds impressive, but what does it have to do with your degree in health information management? Almost no one knows, and that’s why the Latin diploma needs to go.
  • What Does Your Credit-Card Company Know About You? – NYTimes.com – Luckily for the industry, small groups of executives at most of the large firms have spent the last decade studying cardholders from almost every angle, and collection agencies have developed more sophisticated dunning techniques. They have sought to draw psychological and behavioral lessons from the enormous amounts of data the credit-card companies collect every day. They’ve run thousands of tests and crunched the numbers on millions of accounts. One result of all that labor is the conversation between Santana — a former bouncer whose higher education consists solely of corporate-sponsored classes like “the Psychology of Collections” — and the man from Massachusetts. When Santana contacted the man last month, he was armed with detailed information about his life and trained in which psychological approaches were most likely to succeed.
  • Familiar Obama Phrase Being Groomed as a Slogan – NYTimes.com – Ready for a new New Deal? How about the New Foundation? As Mr. Obama labors to pull the country out of the deepest recession since the Great Depression and simultaneously overhaul energy, education and health care, he has coined an expression to encapsulate his ambitious program in the same way Franklin D. Roosevelt did in the 1930s. New Foundation may not come tripping off the tongue quite as easily as New Deal — it has twice as many syllables, after all — but it has become a staple of Mr. Obama’s speeches in the last month. Whether a 21st-century public buys a 20th-century political technique is another question.

May 09

Daily Links for May 8th

  • The Goonies Cast Members Talk Sequel at Reunion – The entire cast, along with director Richard Donner and producer Steven Spielberg, reunited in Hollywood On March 17, 2009 for the first time in 20 years, and wouldn’t you know it, a few of ‘em expressed interest in a sequel. For their 20th anniversary issue, Empire magazine just released a video from the interview and photo shoot on their website today that shows The Goonies crew bantering about the possibilities. But should the chatter be taken seriously? Take a look at what some cast members said below the jump and decide for yourself…
  • 240 Free Albums, Tracks and Links for Music Mashup Lovers – Audiotuts+ – If you like mashups, this post is for you.
  • Hullabaloo: Today in Utterly Crazy – Let's take a moment to meditate on this tenured professor at Cornell Law School, who has now spent close to 36 hours publicly obsessing over Barack Obama's choice of Dijon mustard for his hamburger. In any other country, anywhere in the world, the story itself, accompanied by 10 updates, two companion articles, and continued smug pronouncements that "I must have hit a nerve" uncovering the evil Dijon mustard/Presidential agenda and the refusal of the lib media to report the FACTS, would be followed by a small group of men coming to his house and asking if he would like to lay down for a bit, perhaps with some herbal tea and a friend. In America, this brilliant insight gets picked up by multiple top-ranked radio outlets and the most heavily-watched cable news station in America.
  • 10 Changes To WordPress That Would Make It A Killer CMS [Update] (Noscope) – What’s keeping this? A few things. Besides the necessary critical mass of not-blog-only-websites sporting WordPress, there are just a few hurdles keeping WordPress out in the cold. There’s the “isn’t WordPress that free Blogspot-like website?” confusion (for the love of goodness couldn’t you have called it “Wordpress-Spot”, “Spotpress” or just about anything else than WordPress.com?). Besides that, there are a few technical and therefore solvable issues, which I have tried to collect here.
  • Search Goes Real-Time With Scoopler. Twitter Dominates Results. – Scoopler is a search engine that gives you live updating real-time results across a variety of services. These include Twitter, Flickr, Digg, Delicious and others. You enter a query and the middle field on the page returns auto-updating results based on information coming in. The two columns that surround it give you hot search topics and popular content from around the web. It’s a pretty nice view of what is happening on the web at any given moment.

May 09

Daily Links for May 7th

  • Pew Research Center: A Fast Look at How Impressions of Barack Obama Have Changed – Interactive display, showing what went up, and what went down.
  • 10 Things to Be Clear About Before You Start a Company – ReadWriteStart – 1. Is this your first venture? 2. Are you really an entrepreneur? 3. Does your venture involve something you understand really well? 4. Can your mother understand the value proposition? 5. Can you see the right wave? 6. What does your startup want to be when it grows up? 7. Starting a company is hard and uncertain. 8. Get a partner or fly solo? 9. Would you refuse a well-paying job to do this? 10. Can you raise appropriate financing?
  • Facebook Mutual Friend Network Visualization in Flash – The interface lets you see which of your friends know each other. At any given time it will show one of your friends as the selected node (in bold), and any mutual friends as additional nodes. Lines between nodes represent friendships. Clicking a node will select it and you and the new person's mutual friends will appear. Finally, the colour of the circles represents gender for now: red is female, blue is male, and green is unknown.
  • Top excuses and tactics: Why haven’t you started your own business? « I Will Teach You To Be Rich – What are the reasons that we don’t follow through? Maybe it’s a genuine lack of technical skill, or we don’t know where to get started, or our friends around us talk us down. More commonly, we talk ourselves out of it.
  • 65 Indispensable Websites for Business Owners – Entrepreneur.com – Get your business going, keep it going strong or take it in a new direction with this compilation of web sites for entrepreneurs.
  • VocabGrabber : Thinkmap Visual Thesaurus – VocabGrabber analyzes any text you're interested in, generating lists of the most useful vocabulary words and showing you how those words are used in context. Just copy text from a document and paste it into the box, and then click on the "Grab Vocabulary!" button. VocabGrabber will automatically create a list of vocabulary from your text, which you can then sort, filter, and save.
  • The List : CJR::What the business press did (and didn’t do) while the financial crisis was brewing – Warnings come in many forms, of course. In our search, we came across plenty of stories that were useful to readers in all sorts of ways, even if they weren’t investigations (e.g. “Blacks Are Much More Likely To Get Subprime Mortgages,” WSJ, 4/11/05; “Clouds sighted off CDO asset pool,” FT, 4/18/05) and added them. We also found stories that covered lending and Wall Street in depth, and may have been fine stories in other ways, but weren’t really warnings (e.g. “Battle Ready: In Morgan Stanley Rebellion, Purcell Puts Up Tough Fight…,” WSJ4/4/05). We included those, too, to give a sense of what Wall Street coverage during the period actually looked like. We also included bits of context to give a sense of what was happening on the finance beat at the time. As we went, we saw that stories fell into identifiable types (e.g. “consumer stories” about bad mortgages, “investor stories” about a housing bubble, etc.) and so placed them into seven categories.
  • Beware of Snarlin’ Arlen: The Daily Beast – And then, less attractively, there’s his brazenly calculating opportunism that consistently has placed his narrow self-interests over every other consideration, prompting columnist David Broder to write the other day that “he will stick with you only as long as it serves his own interests—and not a day longer.” Add to that an insatiable vanity that, by most accounts, has driven him to get more than one facelift, a deep desire for flattery (not, by any means, unique among senators), and the need to be treated like a raja. (“Where are your bearers?” fellow Sen. Joe Biden teased when they met on the track at Union Station.) And, just below the surface, a simmering rage that occasionally manifests itself in brutal abuse of underlings. Why so mad? I wouldn’t presume to psychoanalyze the man, but it’s not for nothing that he’s called Snarlin’ Arlen.
  • Amazon.com: Star Trek: Countdown TPB: J. J. Abrams, Robert Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Tim Jones, Mike Johnson, David Messina: Books – The countdown to the motion picture event of 2009 begins here, in the exclusive graphic novel prequel to Star Trek, the upcoming blockbuster film from Paramount Pictures! JJ Abrams, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman present the origin of Nero, the mysterious Romulan who will ultimately threaten the survival of the entire universe. Don't miss this story that brings STAR TREK back to the big screen!
  • Beginners Guides: Hard Drive Data Recovery – PCSTATS.com – Killed a hard drive without backing up? Deleted your babies first photo and already emptied the recycling bin? Not to worry, you can probably recover your data with the help of this guide from PCSTATS. – Version 2.1.0
  • How to Make hard drive recover – Instructables search Instructables – Video and text tutorials for "hard drive recover" from Instructables.com.
  • Presentations & Information | My Hard Drive Died! | Scott A. Moulton – You will find video presentations where Scott A. Moulton has appeared at many conferences as well as additional information about hard drives, serial numbers, clean rooms and even a 21 page white-paper on the "click of death."
  • Hard Drive Data Recovery – Hard Drive Recovery Software – How to Fix a Hard Drive – Popular Mechanics
  • 13 Great Free Backup Programs for Windows, Mac, and Linux

Apr 09

Daily Links for April 27th through April 28th

  • mental_floss Blog » Flu Epidemic vs. Flu Pandemic: What’s the Difference? – A “flu pandemic,” however, does mean that Pestilence has moved in and is setting up shop. A flu pandemic has two main characteristics: That it’s a new strain of the virus, meaning that few people, if any, have resistance to it, and that it’s managed to work its way to more than one continent.
  • Jalopnik – Survey: Sat-Nav Systems Make Drivers 12% More Fuel Efficient – Sat Nav – A recent survey from social science research firm NuStats, finds drivers using sat-nav systems use 12% less fuel than GPS-less motorists.
    The results show drivers using navigation devices drove shorter distances and spent less time driving. Overall fuel consumption dropped from 2.2 gallons / 62 miles to 1.93 gallons. The study found a nearly 1553 mile drop in distance driven per year per driver, and an average of $541 in annual savings on fuel.
  • H1N1 Swine Flu in Google Earth | Google Earth Blog – There have been many maps being shared showing locations of suspected and confirmed cases of Swine Flu in the last couple of days. See GoogleMapsMania for a string of posts on different maps using Google Maps. Of the maps I've seen so far, the one by Google Maps user Niman (who has a profile that says 'Biomedical Research, Pittsburgh, PA USA) seems to do the best job. View it in Google Maps here, or even better – view it in Google Earth [Google Earth Required. You must have GE installed.] (where you can see all the points at once and it automatically updates via the network link). Purple means confirmed cases, pink suspected, and yellow are negative cases (not swine flu).
  • All Spin Zone » We’ve Got a Pattern: Police Murdered in Okaloosa – That’s five police officers dead because of two men with screws loose who believed Barack Obama was out to get them or their guns or both.
  • Magic and the Brain: Teller Reveals the Neuroscience of Illusion – For Teller (that's his full legal name), magic is more than entertainment. He wants his tricks to reveal the everyday fraud of perception so that people become aware of the tension between what is and what seems to be. Our brains don't see everything—the world is too big, too full of stimuli. So the brain takes shortcuts, constructing a picture of reality with relatively simple algorithms for what things are supposed to look like. Magicians capitalize on those rules. "Every time you perform a magic trick, you're engaging in experimental psychology," Teller says. "If the audience asks, 'How the hell did he do that?' then the experiment was successful. I've exploited the efficiencies of your mind."
  • Science is Sexy: What is Swine Flu? How Does an Animal Disease Spread to a Human Host? – So what’s the take away message from all of this? Can we do anything about this? Well as individuals it’s wise to go through the same sanitary practices as we might during flu season. Also, traveling to places which have reported cases probably isn’t a great idea. Governments and regulatory bodies like the CDC and the WHO are in an “all hands on deck” kind of status right now. As the outbreaks continue (they are expected to grow for at least the time being), these groups will be tracking any reported cases and trying to treat those infected.
  • Color + Design Blog / All 120 Crayon Names, Color Codes and Fun Facts by COLOURlovers – For the last 100 years or so kids have been exploring and creating worlds of color with Crayons. For a lot of us, our life long love affairs with color began with these wax sticks and a blank sheet of paper. According to a Yale University study, the scent of Crayola crayons is among the 20 most recognizable to American adults. Coffee and peanut butter are 1 and 2. Here we go down crayon color memory lane with all 120 color names and hex codes, fun facts and photos.
  • The Nudge—By Scott Horton (Harper’s Magazine) – In the grand scheme of things, these “nudges” were minor tweaks designed to elicit more rational behavior. But, in many respects, what the Obama administration has done these last few months is simply scale up the logic of nudging, albeit massively. Not all of Obama’s nudges fall out of behavioral economics, per se. Some involve changing incentives to encourage certain activities and discourage others. Some involve fostering competition to trigger innovation. But, as in the behavioral examples, the Obamanauts typically have an outcome they want to promote. And, like the behaviorists, they instinctively recoil from imposing it unilaterally. So, instead, they monkey around with the choices people face, seeking to influence decision-making rather than mandate decisions.

Apr 09

Daily Links for April 2nd

  • Pew Research Center: Public Knows Basic Facts About Financial Crisis – The latest Pew Research Center News IQ survey finds the American public reasonably well-informed about a number of basic facts pertaining to the current economic situation.
  • Top 10 remodeling projects for resale (Page 1 of 5) – Here's the lowdown on the top 10 home improvement projects by resale value from this 19th annual report, which is based on e-mail surveys returned from 2,188 members of the National Association of Realtors. In calculating costs, the report authors considered complete cost-to-construct figures (including labor, material, subtrade contractors and gross profit).
  • Behold the Google Server, ye nations, and weep – What’s most compelling about this model is the banality of the hardware. Any one of us could create a similar server but to chain them together inside enclosed containers is an amazing feat.
  • Shocking News: Scientists Say Workplace Social Networking Increases Productivity! – ReadWriteWeb – Can you believe that using social networking sites at work can increase your workplace productivity? A new study just published by Australian scientists found that taking time to visit websites of personal interest, including news sites and YouTube, provided workers a mental break that ultimately increased their ability to concentrate and was correlated with a 9% increase in total productivity. Reporters are shocked by the findings. We're in shock that this is where the state of academic study is concerning social technology use vs. workplace filtering technology when it comes to productivity. A 9% increase in productivity? Try using these social technologies for on topic work and you'll see productivity increases that make 9% look like nothing.
  • Check Username Availability at Multiple Social Networking Sites – Check to see if your desired username or vanity url is still available at dozens of popular Social Networking and Social Bookmarking websites. Promote your brand consistently by registering a username that is still available on the majority of the most popular sites. Find the best username with namechk. Aviary Backflip Badoo BallHype bebo behance.net BlinkList Blip.fm Blogger Blogmarks brightkite Buzznet cafemom Corkd Current Cyworld DailyMotion delicious Digg diigo Disqus eBay epinions Etsy Facebook Faves FFFFound! Flickr Flixter Fotolog FriendFeed funnyordie Good Reads hi5 identica iLike iliketotallyloveit ImageShack IMEEM Jaiku Kaboodle kwippy last.fm LinkedIn LiveJournal mixx Multiply MySpace Netlog newsvine ning Odeo Picasa Plurk Posterous Propeller reddit Rejaw Revver ryze Skyrock Slashdot SlideSix SmugMug Sphinn Squidoo Steam
  • Calculated Risk: Philly Fed State Indexes: We’re all Red States now! – Here is a map of the three month change in the Philly Fed state coincident indicators. All 50 states are showing declining activity. This is the new definition of "Red states". This is what a widespread recession looks like based on the Philly Fed states indexes.
  • Incentive Program Comparo: GM vs. Ford vs. Hyundai – Each automaker's incentive program might look similar on the surface, but there are important differences. They all offer what's called payment protection, which means that if you buy one of their vehicles and lose your job within a certain period of time, the automaker will make your payments for a certain number of months (or until you get a new job, whichever comes first).
  • OpenSIUC – Michael Heaney, Seth Masket, Joanne Miller, and Dara Strolovich: Healing the Rift? Social Networks and Reconciliation between Obama and Clinton Delegates in 2008 – Using original data from surveys of 449 pledged delegates at the 2008 Democratic National Convention, this research examines the conditions under which the delegates for one candidate embrace the opposing candidate.