“It’s not a focus on opening up restaurants… it’s re-purposing land, arable land.”  Not something you hear everyday from a restaurant proprietor.   Continue reading »

Facebook owns the “book”, media mogul Rupert Murdoch owns the “sky”. George Orwell was right that our language would shrink with time, except that it’s thanks to corporate trademarks rather than totalitarian government. Then again, we have the government to blame for the legally imposed monopoly that is copyright…

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/kCldq7YW1KE/ via Byline Facebook is suing a little-known website for educators called Teachbook, claiming Facebook literally owns the -book when it comes to naming social networking sites.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/08/13/1242233/Rupert-Murdoch-Claims-To-Own-the-Sky-In-Skype?from=rss via Byline Crudely_Indecent writes “Not content to own just news stories, Rupert Murdoch is now going after individual words! His BSkyB is fighting a legal battle with Skype, claiming that it owns the ‘Sky’ in ‘Skype.’ From the article: ‘A spokesman for Sky confirmed that the company has been involved in a “five-year dispute with Skype” over trademark applications filed by the telecomms company. These are, the spokesman added: “including, but not limited to, television-related goods and services.”‘”

Get ready for a whole new wave of goth tattoo graffiti art, thanks to DeviantArt and HTML 5.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/lCzqjGTbMYY/ via Byline DeviantArt debuts a new browser-based drawing tool created entirely with web standards. Muro works in all modern browsers, and you can dive in and start drawing on a blank canvas, all without Flash or any other plug-in.

Blogs, wikis, videoconferencing? “No thanks,” say most professors; “PeopleSoft and PowerPoint will do.”

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When the rich get richer in the digital sphere, there’s no real consequences… right?
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Starting your own online business? It sounds like this open source software makes it easy.

http://books.slashdot.org/story/10/08/25/1245213/PrestaShop-13-Beginners-Guide?from=rss via Byline johhnyb writes “PrestaShop 1.3, Beginner’s Guide by John Horton does exactly what is suggested by the title in that it provides a comprehensive and detailed guide to novices looking to set up their own online shops. While it is aimed at total beginners it never talks down to the reader and neither does it merely scratch the surface of the topic requiring you to go off and search for the real valuable information somewhere else. This book takes you from clueless beginner (which I undoubtedly was) to someone equipped with the knowledge, resources and additional support to be quite confident in setting up an effective online retail presence (which I believe I now am).” Keep reading for the rest of johhnyb’s review.

Stop landfill odor with your own perfume-spraying truck. Kudos to New Jersey for thinking up this “innovation.”

Terry Gilliam is kicking himself for deleting this scene from the movie Brazil.

http://idle.slashdot.org/story/10/08/25/1623210/New-Jersey-County-Fights-Landfill-Odors-Using-Fragrant-Spray-Trucks?from=rss via Byline Not to be outdone by the Chinese and their deodorant guns, Middlesex County, New Jersey has unveiled their secret weapon against landfill stink, a perfume spraying truck. The flatbed truck equipped with special nozzles now drives around the 200-plus acre landfill spraying hundreds of gallons of a soapy, slightly citrus-scented liquid. From the article: “‘It has a pleasant, showery smell,’ said Richard Fitamant, executive director of the Middlesex County Utilities Authority, which runs the landfill. ‘It’s not offensive and it’s not overpowering. It’s a light scent.’ Faced with a competing mandate to handle the loads of trash while curbing the stench, officials have turned to the roving, over-sized air freshener to control the smells wafting from the 200-plus acre landfill.”

Two bits of good news for anyone who wants to start a simple location-based game: 1) SCVNGR offers a readymade tool for creating one; and 2) you’ll have little competition, as all the games made so far sound moronic.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/_ved4fNYzJo/ via Byline SCVNGR is a location-based gaming platform for mobile phones that has been used in alternate-reality games for campaigns ranging from the New England Patriots to Dexter. They scored $4 million in venture capital late last year. In this article, Jane Doh takes an in-depth look at this helpful tool for puzzle designers looking for a more local flavor….

SCVNGR tasks might be a riddle, a dare, a question, or more, and they are customized precisely for the location. For example, I checked in to my nearby police precinct (No, I was not in handcuffs), and, in addition to the usual “Say something here” functionality common to the other geo-location smartphone games, SCVNGR offered me a few tasks related to law enforcement. It asked me what my favorite constitutional amendment was (Duh, the Fifth!), and in “The Swords & Scales” challenge I was asked to pose as Lady Justice and upload the picture. (Hm, yes well, the zip ties were a problem.)

Alberti would have had an aneurysm if he had seen this Augmented Perspective.

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Just look at that slimy software. It’s as though this Softimage researcher, Eric Mootz, is reverse-engineering the work of biologists who are looking at how slime molds resemble computer networks.

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09lucerne Lego Naboo Mini smaOr, how my twelve-year-old got featured in Wired, BoingBoing, and News.com, by purchasing a product and then doing the opposite of what it says on the instructions. It’s a lesson on how to make work that goes viral.

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Fred Brooks: design starts with scarcity.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/zBtNIiLINAU/ via Byline Computer scientist Fred Brooks told the world how to design software in The Mythical Man-Month. Now, 35 years later, he’s back with The Design of Design, which extends his ideas into fields such as architecture and leadership….

“The critical thing about the design process is to identify your scarcest resource. Despite what you may think, that very often is not money. For example, in a NASA moon shot, money is abundant but lightness is scarce; every ounce of weight requires tons of material below. On the design of a beach vacation home, the limitation may be your ocean-front footage. You have to make sure your whole team understands what scarce resource you’re optimizing.”

GardenpoolLooking to reduce your water and grocery bills simultaneously? Follow these three steps to thinking outside the box–er, pool. Via Bruce Sterling and William Emory.

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Good news for any students needing access to books etc. from Amazon (via Matt Leavitt and Owen Smith).

This is pretty great, all people with a .edu address gets a year of free amazon prime!


tell everyone!

At least if your surgeon is using this new augmented reality viewer.

I’m afraid the soothing music doesn’t make up for the creepy video.

http://www.wired.com/beyond_the_beyond/2010/08/augmented-reality-osirix-surgery/ via Byline

“We applied mixed reality (MR) consist of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, in which electronically-generated dynamic 3D images are superimposed on the actual space in front of the surgeon, on the patient’s operative field or the surface of the abdomen, and evaluated such a system as a reference for surgical navigation and education.

“First we performed MDCT and generated anatomical VR imaging using DICOM viewer OsiriX and previewed on the patient body surface of the operative field from the projector as MR navigation. (((”Previewed on the patient body surface” A-OK remark for 2010)))

“Our image overlay surgical navigation system OsiriX provided accurate image guided navigation for minimally invasive surgery.”

via @kurakura

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=28670d984d82bb4f003ffa1d73de829c via Byline Some doctors in Massachusetts are handing out coupons for use at farmers’ markets in an effort to promote healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.

http://feeds.wired.com/~r/wired/index/~3/Sz72MmtSvMQ/ via Byline This New York bike sharing startup uses GPS and wireless technology to make finding and reserving a bicycle as easy as using a smartphone….

SoBi doesn’t use cycle stations; the bikes are parked throughout the city (starting in New York) at regular racks. Bikes could, in fact, be anywhere at any given time, not just at a designated station that could be blocks away. Users can grab any bike that isn’t already reserved and drop it off anywhere. No need to search for a drop-off station.

Like a Zipcar, each SoBi bike has its own “lockbox” (shown above) that communicates wirelessly with SoBi servers via GPS and a cellular receiver (an H-24 module from Motorola). When you make a reservation online or via smartphone, a map displays all the bikes in the area and gives you the option of unlocking a specific bike by clicking on it.

http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=dc5d41dd3901e39f763a0f16e9afa2c3 via Byline The Android App Inventor from Google is intended to help nontechnical types create their own apps. An intrepid explorer plunges into do-it-yourself territory….

Truth is, Android App Inventor is only the latest in a long line of “programming for the rest of us” kits: HyperCard, Automator, Scratch and so on. Each, at its debut, was hailed as a breakthrough. Each promised the dawn of a new era. And not a single one wound up delivering the idiot-proof, drag-and-drop software-creation process they promised. It may well be that “programming for nonprogrammers” is simply an oxymoron.

Another item for your checklist of what to do after graduation: change your name.


Google’s Eric Schmidt says that people’s private lives are so well documented now that the young will have to change their names when reaching adulthood to avoid their youthful indiscretions. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal Schmidt says: “I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.”

Vivek Wadhwa at TechCrunch does the numbers to prove that Google and Microsoft don’t create jobs, but your startup company will.

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