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.
I love you but you love meat
It’s hard to live under the same roof with different dietary constraints. Some people adapt, some people supplement, some people grow apart. In my experience, adaptation (and embracing of cuisine) is a very good predictor of the longevity of a relationship. I have a valentine this year because my fiancÃ©e adapted.
Obama: not bubble-sort
Nerds will find humor in this Eric Schmidt/Barack Obama quote about sorting:
Pretending to be a technologist isn’t always advisable here, but Obama gave a convincing answer on his visit to the Googleplex in November when he was asked by chief executive Eric Schmidt about “the most efficient way to sort a million 32-bit integers,” a problem in computer coding. (Obama apparently had been given the question in advance and was told it stumped McCain on his visit to Google.)
Without missing a beat, Obama said, correctly, “I think the bubble sort would be the wrong way to go.” Then he smiled.
“C’mon, who told him that?” Schmidt asked.
The future of vinyl
The Financial Times has a nice piece on the reuse of a former EMI record plant by Portalspace Records. The photo slideshow with accompanying British voiceover is well worth the registration to FT.com. It’s great to hear some optimism from people in the industry still pressing records.
Fixing NPR’s pledge drive
I swear that every week is an NPR pledge drive. I know they say they only do it a few times a year, but every time I feel like one just ended. Every time my response to the whole affair is, “if you really want me to pledge, give the option of paying my way out of this radio hell you call a pledge drive.”
I think the technology has come far enough that they could. I connect to WNYC through a web stream anyway, and I like my local channel (especially Soterious Johnson). I would easily pay $50 if they provided me with a unique stream that had a maximum of 1 connection and expired when the pledge drive ended. This stream could default to national programming when they’re yammering on about matching funds and special offers. I’m guessing that there would be a whole bunch of people just like me that would pay to make the pain go away.
Google releases social graph API
Brad Fitzpatrick and the Google Open Social team have released a Social Graph API to query the social relationships available on public web content. More in the blog post.
Patrick Winston – How to Speak
Every year during MIT’s Independent Activities Period (IAP), Professor Patrick Winston gives a wonderfully reflexive and recursive talk about giving talks titled How to Speak. This lecture provides some useful speaking heuristics, especially if you’re in the business of helping people learn. This year the talk will be given Friday, Feburary 1 at 11am in room 6-120, but for those not in Boston, you can watch his 1999 performance in full (albeit a tad bit out-of-date):
Echonest audio API
The Echonest, a startup out of the Media Lab located in Somerville, MA, just launched an Audio Analysis API which processes MP3s and returns an XML document with a number of features including tempo, loudness, time signature, fades, timbre and a whole lot more. These can be used in a number of different cool demos that they are providing as reader exercises
Regionalism and religiosity
This map on religion and regionalism is fascinating, and reminds me a lot of the pop/soda/coke regional map.
B.J. Fogg at PARC today
B.J. Fogg, esteemed Stanford professor of persuasive computing, taught a class last semester about creating engaging Facebook applications. The students were, suffice to say, quite successful.
Mr. Fogg will be discussing the class today an open PARC forum titled, Facebook applications, mass persuasion, & world peace. The talk is 4-5pm at the George E. Pake Auditorium. It should be a pretty engaging discussion.