And we’re looking for a few good hackers. Please spread the word, and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There’s too much data, and too few hackers.
The city dropped 10 years of incredibly detailed crime information a
few weeks ago, and we’ve barely touched it. The state of Illinois just
released an 9500-column-wide data set on school performance. And there may just be a few important elections peeking over the horizon.
The Chicago Tribune needs you. Your city needs you.
BSG is coming to the United Nations, and I’ll be there. Woot!
On March 17, there will be a “Battlestar” retrospective at the U.N. in New York and a panel discussion of how the show examined issues such as “human rights, children and armed conflict, terrorism, human rights and reconciliation and dialogue among civilizations and faith,” according to Sci Fi.
The “Battlestar” contingent on the panel will consist of executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, as well as stars Mary McDonnell (who plays president Laura Roslin on the show) and Edward James Olmos (Admiral William Adama).
UN representatives on the panel are Radhika Coomaraswamy, special representative of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict; Craig Mokhiber, deputy director of the New York office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; and Robert Orr, assistant secretary-general for policy planning, executive office of the Secretary-General.
The panel will be moderated by “Battlestar” fan Whoopi Goldberg.
Tune in at 7PM EDT for the play-by-play!
In her TED talk, Unveiling the “Sixth Sense,” game-changing wearable tech, Pattie Maes demos a system that creates interactive visual layers over the real world. The actual implementation, a tiny projector tied to a wearable computer that watches your fingers for input (using colored marker caps to identify fingertips!) is cheap, but not something you’d likely want to wear to the store.
But imagine for a moment a similar system, one that detects more subtle gestures and does not physically project light onto the objects you’re manipulating. A device that annotates the real world and presents information about the person in front of you, the product you’re considering purchasing or the comparitive likelihood of catching a cab at this corner or the next block over.
Map for driving by eszter, based on MacGyver Tip: Heads up display with a reversed paper map from LifeHacker.
I’ve blogged about this before, but Maes’ talk reminded me how important this technology will be. It *will* happen, and although there’s much work left to do in the end user interface (Rainbow’s End by Vernor Vinge, and Counting Heads by David Marusek present brilliant visions of how they might work) the inputs to these systems are coming online today.
Feeds, tweets and APIs aren’t just for the web
Twitter, when paired with TweetDeck gives me an always-on, ambient awareness of events worldwide. Its like a tiny, quiet news radio, feeding me timely information on events I care about. When I’m at my desk, I can hear the Internet hum. Soon, that spatial restriction will be lifted.
I already use Amazon from my phone’s web browser when I’m shopping, but the APIs are there to build new, better interfaces, that, as the Maes’ demos in her talk, can port Amazon ratings and everything else into the real world.
The NYT’s and The Guardian’s new APIs are similarly useful, but present even richer information. Detailed, expert analysis of not just products, but news and events. (And surely Bittman’s recipe for Roast Chicken With Cumin, Honey and Orange would be handy to have on a heads-up display, at the grocery store, when cooking, and when you’re regaling friends with the elegant simplicity of roasting a whole bird.)
Who’s building the future?
Of the 1180 APIs cataloged at ProgrammableWeb, only 18 are categorized as “news”. If news orgs want to hang on to their last shred of credibility as the essential information providers of the last century, they’d best get on it.
APIs are the future of information, and the content creators who adopt them will augment our reality.
ChangeTracker is a little tool that updates an RSS feed, emails, and tweets when pages change at whitehouse.gov, recovery.gov and financialstability.gov. It’s also the first project of my internship at ProPublica! Woot!
We put to together a bit of tricky internet plumbing and massaging of the tubes. ChangeTracker tweets, emails and feeds an RSS that links to pages at Versionista (a totally awesome tool, previously blogged about) that show left-right diffs of the page changed.
And we’re giving away the code! So it’s dead-simple for anyone to copy our work and set up change trackers for any web site.
Needless to say, it fills me with joy that I work at such a badass non-profit newsroom.