Interesting stuff from around the web 2008-09-21

Eadward Muybridge’s 1878 investigation into whether horses’ feet were actually all off the ground at once during a trot.
Eadward Muybridge’s 1878 investigation into whether horses’ feet were actually all off the ground at once during a trot.

Born To Run – Human Evolution [DISCOVER Magazine]
Biomechanical research reveals a surprising key to the survival of our species: Humans are built to outrun nearly every other animal on the planet over long distances.

Prisoner’s Dilemma Visualisation [James Alliban]
Nice visualisation of the Prisoner’s Dilemma (a classic example of game theory) using Processing.

More Google news

Google Visualization API [Google Code]
The Google Visualization API lets you access multiple sources of structured data that you can display, choosing from a large selection of visualizations.

GAudi – Google’s new audio index [Official Google Blog]
It’s currently in Google Labs and is restricted to content from political sources but it still looks interesting. In addition to being able to search for terms you can also jump directly to the point in the video where the keyword is mentioned.

The social web: All about the small stuff [Official Google Blog]
The promise of the social web is about making it easy to share the small stuff – to make it effortless and rebuild that feeling of connectedness that comes from knowing the details.

More background on Matt’s hack: streaming content to iTunes

Things to do with /programmes #431: iTunes! [BBC Radio Labs]
Matt’s write up of his work on streaming iPlayer content through iTunes.

Very surprised the blog sphere hasn’t picked up on the implications of this hack but there you go.

Interesting stuff from around the web 2008-09-01

Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project
Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project

Some Google news

Google Chrome, Google’s Browser Project [blogoscoped.com]
Built with WebKit but with added cool features – some UX stuff but more interestingly a new JavaScript virtual machine, multi-threading and sensible security policies. And all Open Sourced.

Google’s undocumented favicon to png convertor [via Simon Willison]
Showing the favicon of a domain next to a link is a really nice trick, but it’s slightly tricky to achieve as IE won’t display a .ico file if you link to it from an img element, so you need to convert the images server-side. This undocumented Google API does that for you, meaning it’s much easier to add favicons as a feature to your site.

Some cool hacking…

Solar powered ice maker [Hack a Day]
The system uses solar heat to facilitate evaporation of a coolant. When the sun goes down and the coolant turns back to liquid, its temperature drops drastically due to extreme pressure differences. The unit can produce 14 pounds of ice per day with zero carbon footprint.

Archrs – an everyday story of web development [BBC – Radio Labs]
Tristan’s review of his work on a new Archer’s prototype. Unfortunately it didn’t get launched – which is a real shame it would have been great.

And finally some project management stuff

The Need for Leadership in Scrum [NetObjectives]
An interesting take on the role of management and leadership within organisations using Scrum. Where leadership as the “ability to create a solid vision of a better future for those people he/she is leading.” A leader must have a compelling desire to move towards that vision. And management as the “ability to match people’s tasks with their skills.”

Interesting Stuff from around the web 2008-08-15

The telegraph room at the original Mundaneum in Brussels

The Mundaneum Museum Honors the First Concept of the World Wide Web [NYTimes.com]
In 1934, Otlet sketched out plans for a global network of computers (or “electric telescopes,” as he called them) that would allow people to search and browse through millions of interlinked documents, images, audio and video files.

If this can be made to work this will be massive [MIT News Office]
Inspired by the photosynthesis performed by plants, Nocera and Matthew Kanan, a postdoctoral fellow in Nocera’s lab, have developed an unprecedented process that will allow the sun’s energy to be used to split water into hydrogen and oxygen gases. Later, the oxygen and hydrogen may be recombined inside a fuel cell, creating carbon-free electricity to power your house or your electric car, day or night.

Date set for Large Hadron Collider switch on [vnunet.com]
The first beams will be fired from the device on September 10 and its massive data grid will begin collecting data and analysing particles formed as the beams smash together.

Some BBC stuff…

BBC news trialing something new – inline links [news.bbc.co.uk]
It uses technology from apture.com to add in page pop ups. It’s a time limited trial to see what folk think.

MusicBrainz Releases missing release dates [aelius.com/njh]
The BBC is moving as much music information as possible out of internal BBC databases and into MusicBrainz. If you would like to help by adding release dates to MusicBrainz releases that we have written reviews for that would be great!

And finally another top rant from Stevey…

Business Requirements are Bullshit [Stevey’s Blog Rants]
“For our Case Study, I will not do any research and the product will be entirely fictional. This is the approach used by most real companies… Don’t gather business requirements: hire domain experts.”

Interesting stuff for 2008-08-02

'Ice Queen' the first time scientists have been able to monitor Martian ice at a place where temperatures are cold enough that the ice doesn't immediately sublimate, or vaporize, away.

MarsPhoenix reports it finds, collects and measures a sample of water on Mars [twitter]
“An ice-containing sample made it into the TEGA oven. I can now say I’m the first mission to Mars to touch and then *taste* the water. FTW!”

Has A Surfer/Snowboarder Who Lives In A Van Rewritten Physics? Maybe [Outside Online]
To be honest I have no idea whether there’s anything in this but I love the idea and I think it’s fantastic that this sort of work can be carried out on the slopes rather than the lab.

Matthew’s announcement about the new artist pages
Gives a good editorial perspective and a bit of light relief from all the tech :)

More info on our work on the recent BBC music site [BBC Radio Labs Blog]
More info on the API.

BBC Music/MusicBrainz bookmarklet [metade.org]
Makes navigating the new BBC artist pages easier – a bookmarklet that flips between MusicBrainz and bbc/music.