Obviously I've been a little obsessed with RSS the past couple of weeks (get used to it:
it'll be everyone else's turn come July 1). Along the way, I've been trimming my
subscription list: I've been blogging for more than nine years now (!), and collecting feeds
for nearly as long. A lot of those URLs are now broken, which is a little sad. In a
precursor to the whole Google Reader situation, if you were on Feedburner, there's a pretty
good chance I'm not reading you anymore.
Speaking of things that people don't really do in a post-Twitter world, I was reminded this
week that I need to post another set of links--not so much because anyone else is
interested, but because between the dismal searchability of social media and the death of
bookmark services like Delicious, it's the only way I can be sure to find anything more than
three months from now. And so:
- A lot of people linked to Jeremy Keith's defense of RSS-as-API this week. Indeed, when I
was at CQ, getting RSS running for our various services and reports was one of my constant
campaigns. In many ways, it's one of the purest expressions of the web: a machine-readable
format of human-centric information.
- What reminded me of link-blogging in the first place was this study of privacy and
de-anonymization, which I knew I'd posted to one service or another but could not for
the life of me locate when I wanted it. It's a fascinating case of matching health records
to individuals through obscured metadata and demographics--food for thought in light of the
NSA metadata hubbub.
- Earlier than expected, and all too soon, Iain Banks died last week. Ken Macleod has a
passionate remembrance in the Guardian.
- I have always been skeptical of WebGL, but it looks like it'll graduate to legitimate
technology with a rumored inclusion in IE11. I still think it's a terrible API. That said,
article by Greg Tavares (one of the Chrome coders on WebGL) got me more excited about it
than any other tutorial has ever done. Tavares points out that it's not actually a 3D API,
but a 2D drawing API with decent tools for projection math. In that light, and given my love
for 2D, I've actually started screwing around with WebGL a little.
- If you are interested in using WebGL for 3D, though, this
presentation does a great job of presenting both the what and the why of the math
involved. It almost made me care about matrices again.
- It is taking years, but people are finally realizing that the
web is not killing long-form journalism. If anything, it may be enhancing its chances.
- I really enjoyed this retrospective
on the Portal 2 alternate reality game. The section on false clues and
coincidence is a testament to people's ability to match patterns, whether they exist or not.
It sounds like a fun gig.