Radiohead has just released an amazing video for “House of Cards” that uses no cameras, only lasers and visualization, to produce a sort of vector video game effect:
If you’re interested in the technique, you should check out the making of the video, which includes a cameo by visualization superstar Aaron Koblin. Oh, and they open sourced the data. Holy crap that’s awesome. Go Google, Radiohead and Aaron.
Over the past couple of weeks, I have been getting some random messages from friends on Friendster (this is probably the first time in over a year). The first three or four, I didn’t think anything of it, but finally a good friend sent me a message, so I logged on and found this:
Which is obviously some sort of spam, possibly from a XSS hack. This reminds me of the first effective email worm I ever experienced, where someone I thought highly of (a professor at MIT) sent me a link about photos of Anna Kournikova, and of course I clicked… never again.
Until now. It goes to show how important the sender is in propagating a worm; a really intelligent spammer would take this into account, use the email/social network address book to determine who the likely influenced people are, and message these people first.
Amanda pointed me to an Economist article about the dabbawala, a food distribution group in India that is being noticed for their ingenuity in business structure and supply chain logistics. The group pays all 5000 members equally, and has achieved a 99.9999% delivery accuracy. Watch them in action:
We were discussing recently the goal of being photographed jumping in front of all Seven Wonders of the World. Turns out there are at least seven lists of seven wonders of the world.
I just received an email noting that the Harvard Book Store is for sale. I know that online book sales has limited the ability for book stores to succeed, but I personally think that Harvard Book Store is the best in the world. I hope this sale doesn’t affect its standing.
New York Magazine has an interview with Xiaotu Zhang, founder of Grand Sichuan in New York City, who has some interesting things to say about Chinese cooking. And which NYC Chinatown is best? Flushing, of course.
The long-form article summarization service Brijit decided to close its doors today. It would appear that their business model (paying people to summarize long-form news articles) was not viable. I may be in the minority, but I used the tool as a clipping service, subscribing to feeds of articles about the industry (Facebook, Social Networks, etc.). I’m really sad to see it go; it was one of the only tools I actually used on a regular basis. You can still get access to their archives.
Cheese is a mixture of heroin and over-the-counter cold medication. An NPR story this morning covered the epidemic usage of this drug among Hispanic elementary school children in Dallas. Cheese is extremely cheap — only $1 or $2 a dose, and “well within a middle-schooler’s lunch budget.” Dr. Carlos Tirado at the University of Texas had the following chilling quote:
“We didn’t know what to do with a 9-year-old in opiate withdrawal, or what the treatment ramifications of that are. Do you send a 9-year-old to an AA meeting?”
You may have come across a Google Street View shot of a fellow getting caught counting money. Some folks over at reddit have done some sleuthwork to uncover multiple angles, and multiple different deals done by the same fellow. With multiple license plate numbers.
French newspaper Le Monde has a nice infographic of social networks around the world, RÃ©seaux sociaux : des audiences diffÃ©rentes selon les continents. Unlike search, which has been dominated by two players and a few local upstarts, this map looks like patchwork.