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February 24, 2011

Filed under: random»linky

The Bottom Link

Last week was the budget. This week is the leftovers.

  • I've developed an interest in correction tracking for new media lately, and there are two interesting developments on that front. Kurt at Ars Technica has debuted Copypasta, a tool for adding collaborative editing to any site. Mediabugs, on the other hand, is more of a centralized database of errors, and they just introduced a WordPress plugin for journalism blogs.
  • Know how we used to post corrections to blogs in the old days? The comments. Uphill, both ways. Now get off my lawn.
  • I don't know what's more terrifying: that they've actually finished Atlas Shrugged, The Movie, or that this is "part one." As always, we quote John Rogers:
    There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old's life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.
  • Yeah, so maybe buying a Robocop statue for Detroit is not the best use of $50,000. But on the other hand, if you needed a great example of the ways that the Internet tends to privilege frivolous gestures over useful action, it's the best thing since OLPC.
  • Speaking of Detroit, it does actually have grocery stores. Some good thoughts on urbanization, corporate branding, and perceptions of poverty.
  • I complain a lot about the current state of rich HTML graphics: <canvas>, for example, is in the running for the worst API I've seen since the original DOM. If you're used to Flash's excellent display tree API, you may want to look into AS3 guru Grant Skinner's Easel.js library. Myself, I think it's still unclear that browser performance is there yet.
  • Android 2.3 ("Gingerbread") was just pushed out to my Nexus One. Right off the bat, the new power off animation cracks me up--it's basically the "shrink to a white dot" from very old CRT television sets. Of course, that effect was caused by the physical movement of the cathode ray gun inside the set, which has no equivalent in the LCD/OLED screens we use for almost everything today. It's like a comedy record-scratch: cultural artifacts that everyone recognizes more for semantic meaning than through any direct physical experience with the original. There ought to be a name for that.
  • I switched my laptop to a solid-state drive this week (an Intel X25, after a Corsair drive flaked out during sleep mode). I'm not getting the full use out of it, because my BIOS doesn't support full SATA2 speeds without a hack that I'm a little scared to install, but the improvement I have seen is impressive--games, especially, load almost instantly, which has done a lot to move my spare time from the XBox to the PC. Given that CPU speeds have topped out, if you're looking to rejuvenate an aging laptop, this is probably the way to go.

Future - Present - Past