Musings on, in the age of digitization and photocopies and the dying off of old collectors, what it means to be a book collector
by Johan Kugelberg of Boo-Hooray
(the guy who cataloged Afrika Bambaataa's collection for Cornell University
, and I can't believe there isn't a Previously for that!) [more inside]
Jack Goldman died this month.
Mac? Windows? X11? You may think of visionaries who shaped technology as you know it. You might imagine that they were the original thinkers or visionary businessmen. You're wrong. The guy who laid the foundations started out trying to invent the electric car at Ford
, before being hired to Xerox creating the legendary PARC labs that invented computing as we know it; he lived to see his prediction
that "...any electric car produced in our lifetime will have to be a hybrid" come true.
Programmers Who Defined The Technology Industry: Where Are They Now?
Since SRI and Xerox invented the GUI and the mouse in the late 1970s, technology has leaped forward, but the way we interact with our computers has stood still. "10/GUI aims to bridge this gap
by rethinking the desktop to leverage technology in an intuitive and powerful way."
In the early 1990s Mark
at Xerox PARC coined the term ubiquitous computing
"ubicomp" to describe the way he thought computing ought to look in
the post-PC era: computers would be invisible, "in the woodwork everywhere around us." Ubicomp has been discussed here a few times before
(in fact a
MeFite went on to write a book
about it)...but with a flood of manufacturers
racing to offer
up their versions
of the so-called digital home
, is Weiser's vision moving closer to reality?
"Sleuths Crack Tracking Code Discovered in Color Printers".
Does this creep anyone else out? Some more pictures of the code.
It gets scarier: "But Seth Schoen, the EFF technologist who led the organization's research, said he had seen the coding on documents produced by printers that were at least 10 years old." So who knows how long this has actually been going on?
is a 12-minute dialogue-free film by director Virgil Widrich about a guy inadvertently duplicating himself over and over (320 x 240 streaming Real format download link
). The most interesting aspect of the short, however, is that it was made frame-by-frame of photocopies, manipulated for jarring visual effects and then shot with a camera to put together the final cut. (Mentioned
previously by film aficionado pxe2000.) Also see Widrich's photocopied short Fast Film
with even more calamitous, unraveling effects. Get this guy toner refills for his birthday.
is chock full of interesting historical GUI miscellanea, including a chart depicting the evolution of component icons
in various operating systems from 1984 to the present, a 39-page 1984 Apple ad
, and a 1981 article on the Xerox Alto Computer
. (via Buzz).
Boobscan - the name sums it up.
Personally I prefer this to the nobscan site posted the other day. Just sharing in the name of gender equality. (Warning: if it's not obvious enough, this link will lead to a site featuring nudity - maracas on the glass plate to be exact.)
Pre-internet, it was used to drop your pants and sit down in the office photocopier. Now you can scan your nob
and display it proudly to the rest of the world. Now I guess this is what they really meant about the Internet bringing great progress to the world...
(Disclaimer: kids probably shouldn't see this)
The US Government should buy it and make it a national monument.
PARC up for sale? I didn't realize that Xerox was hurting so badly.
Is it still "file sharing" if you don't share?
According to a Xerox Parc study, 70% of Gnutella users are downloading music, but they aren't sharing with others. Some Gnutella developers say this is a self-correcting problem and that new users will step up to fill the gap. Others think this is the start of a growing trend and the whole copyright infringement issue might go away if the greed of users in a peer-to-peer network prevents it from succeeding in the first place.
John Seely Brown interviewed by Wired.
The former head of Xerox Parc. There were two really insightful quotes I came across in this article;
Lurk is the cognitive apprenticeship term for legitimate peripheral participation. The culture of the Internet allows you to link, lurk, and learn. Once you lurk you can pick up the genre of that community, and you can move from the periphery to the center safely asking a question.
Sort of like Metafilter =) And...
Bob Metcalfe has it all wrong: The power of a network isn't the square of the number of people - it's the number of communities it supports. If you look at n people, there are potentially 2**n communities.
I've actually wondered about Metcalfe's law. This n^2 has always seemed metaphorical to me, but it seems a lot of people mention it as if it were a literal relationship. What is the "value" of a network anyway? Anyone know of research on this?