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OSI: The Internet That Wasn’t

What happened to the “beautiful dream”? While the Internet’s triumphant story has been well documented by its designers and the historians they have worked with, OSI has been forgotten by all but a handful of veterans of the Internet-OSI standards wars. To understand why, we need to dive into the early history of computer networking, a time when the vexing problems of digital convergence and global interconnection were very much on the minds of computer scientists, telecom engineers, policymakers, and industry executives. And to appreciate that history, you’ll have to set aside for a few minutes what you already know about the Internet. Try to imagine, if you can, that the Internet never existed.
posted by jenkinsEar on Dec 7, 2014 - 59 comments

The great thing about standards...

Today, October 14, 2014, is World Standards Day! Except in the USA, where it's celebrated October 23, 2014. (Canada splits the difference by celebrating it on October 15).
posted by GuyZero on Oct 14, 2014 - 23 comments

Invisible gorillas in the mist.

A different kind of standardized testing. Why the debate over ISO 29119, the proposed international standard for software testing, might matter to you. [more inside]
posted by Sheydem-tants on Sep 9, 2014 - 26 comments

The American Room - Behind the nation’s closed doors, with YouTube.

It’s a standardized room. "Like Diet Coke or iPhones, American rooms are a kind of product, built as quickly and cheaply as possible to a standardized specification. " Article describing the standard American room as viewed through youtube videos.
posted by amitai on Jul 30, 2014 - 51 comments

Who or what broke my kids?

Who or what broke my kids? "The basic premise of the activity is that students must sort cards including probability statements, terms such as unlikely and probable, pictorial representations, and fraction, decimal, and percent probabilities and place them on a number line based on their theoretical probability. I thought it would be an interactive way to gauge student understanding. Instead it turned into a ten minute nightmare where I was asked no less than 52 times if their answers were “right”. I took it well until I was asked for the 53rd time and then I lost it. We stopped class right there and proceeded to have a ten minute discussion on who broke them."
posted by escabeche on Jun 1, 2014 - 107 comments

Ding Dong the Bits Are Dead

Internet Explorer 6, listed by PC World as the eight worst tech product of all time has finally been inhumed.
posted by jenkinsEar on Apr 8, 2014 - 66 comments

Angel eyes, that old devil sent

"Angel Eyes" is a 1946 popular song composed by Matt Dennis, with lyrics by Earl Brent. It was introduced in the 1953 film, Jennifer. Because of its colourful harmonic changes "Angel Eyes" has become a popular jazz standard. When Sinatra held what he intended to be his farewell concert in 1971, he closed with "Angel Eyes". Some notable recordings include: Frank Sinatra 1958 (interpreted as a heartbroken drunk) , Bob Thompson & His Orchestra 1958, Anita O´Day 1960, Ella Fitzgerald 1960, Chet Baker 1975, Roberta Flack 1993, Sting 1995, Bruce Springsteen 1995 (at Sinatra's 80th birthday tribute), Aleka Kanellidou 2000, Fiona Apple 2007 [more inside]
posted by Lanark on Feb 16, 2014 - 9 comments

Love for Sale

"Love for Sale" is a song by Cole Porter, from the musical The New Yorkers which opened on Broadway on December 8, 1930 and closed in May 1931. The song is written from the viewpoint of a prostitute advertising various kinds of "love for sale": "Old love, new love, every love but true love". Originally considered in bad taste, even scandalous. In the initial Broadway production, it was performed by Kathryn Crawford, portraying a streetwalker. As a response to the criticism, the song was transferred from the white Crawford to the African American singer Elisabeth Welch. Despite the fact the song was banned from radio airplay, or perhaps because of it, it became a hit, with Libby Holman's version going to #5 and "Fred Waring's version (NSFW) going to #14, both in 1931. Other notable recordings since include: Frances Faye 1955, Billie Holiday 1956, Ella Fitzgerald 1956, Miles Davis 1959, Cannonball Adderley 1959, Eartha kitt 1965, Boney M. 1977, Elvis Costello 1981, Maude Maggart 2003, Jamie Cullum 2013 [more inside]
posted by Lanark on Feb 6, 2014 - 23 comments

Wrist Mounted Gadgets Ahoy!

Drop Kicker is a blog that investigates products on Kickstarter and Indiegogo that look scientifically implausible, outright impossible, or completely scammy
posted by The Whelk on Dec 6, 2013 - 15 comments

A number sentence for 5 cookies and 6 cups of whole milk?

The Washington Post reports on a ridiculous mathematics test for first graders administered under New York's Common Core standards initiative. [Common Core previously.]
posted by Westringia F. on Nov 1, 2013 - 197 comments

Freedom from....

The New York Times asks seven 'experts': Does makeup ultimately damage a woman’s self-esteem, or elevate it? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jan 16, 2013 - 260 comments

On The Sublime - Louis Armstrong, and Ella Fitzgerald and Oscar Peterson

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson - You Go To My Head

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson - How Long Has This Been Going On ?

Louis Armstrong & Oscar Peterson - I Get A Kick Out of You

Three songs from one of the most sublime sessions ever recorded... [more inside]
posted by y2karl on Jul 18, 2012 - 14 comments

The IE Tax.

Kogan will be imposing a tax on IE 7.
posted by idiopath on Jun 14, 2012 - 99 comments

The Browser Wars never ended

Is Webkit, the web browser engine used by Safari and Chrome, turning into IE6? Concern is growing that reliance on proprietry CSS features marked by vendor prefixes could be breaking the web.
posted by Artw on Feb 15, 2012 - 57 comments

It's a finglonger, obviously

The NIST Digital Archives is an online collection of scientific instruments from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. But even the experts don't always know what it is they've got, and they'd like your help. Any idea what you're supposed to do with Eight Dials Set in a Wooden Frame? How about Metal Instrument in Wood Case?
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 14, 2011 - 20 comments

Video Wars, round II

We expect even more rapid innovation in the web media platform in the coming year and are focusing our investments in those technologies that are developed and licensed based on open web principles. To that end, we are changing Chrome’s HTML5 <video> support to make it consistent with the codecs already supported by the open Chromium project. Specifically, we are supporting the WebM (VP8) and Theora video codecs, and will consider adding support for other high-quality open codecs in the future. Though H.264 plays an important role in video, as our goal is to enable open innovation, support for the codec will be removed and our resources directed towards completely open codec technologies. - Google's Chrome is will be joining Firefox in no longer licensing the MPEG-LA H.264 video codec favoured by Apple and Microsoft for use in the HTML5 <video> tag (previously). Not everyone is seeing this as a good thing.
posted by Artw on Jan 13, 2011 - 145 comments

Like Democracy Itself, It Needs Defending

Long Live the Web — An impassioned plea to actively support openness on the Web from Tim Berners-Lee. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Nov 19, 2010 - 8 comments

The Meaning of Degrees

Too anxious to take exams? University of Manitoba will give you a PhD anyway. A professor is suspended for disagreeing with that decision.
posted by binturong on Nov 3, 2010 - 102 comments

Lies, Damned Lies, and Medical Science.

'Much of what medical researchers conclude in their studies is misleading, exaggerated, or flat-out wrong.' Dr. John P. A. Ioannidis, adjunct professor at Tufts University School of Medicine is a meta-researcher. 'He and his team have shown, again and again, and in many different ways, that much of what biomedical researchers conclude in published studies—conclusions that doctors keep in mind when they prescribe antibiotics or blood-pressure medication, or when they advise us to consume more fiber or less meat, or when they recommend surgery for heart disease or back pain—is misleading, exaggerated, and often flat-out wrong. He charges that as much as 90 percent of the published medical information that doctors rely on is flawed. His work has been widely accepted by the medical community; it has been published in the field’s top journals, where it is heavily cited; and he is a big draw at conferences.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Oct 18, 2010 - 68 comments

Getting in (and Out of) Line

Getting in (and Out of) Line [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Aug 8, 2010 - 33 comments

Inspire the web with just 10K

10k Apart — Fond memories of the 5K Awards resurface with this modern spin on the idea. It’s time to get back to basics — back to optimizing every little byte like your life depends on it. Your challenge? Build a web app in less than 10 kilobytes.
posted by netbros on Aug 2, 2010 - 29 comments

""Motorcyclist fired me--because Arai and Shoei didn't like a helmet-standards piece I wrote for the New York Times"

Last year long-time motorcycle journalist Dexter Ford wrote this article for the NYT about helmet safety standards, a followup to his 2005 article "Blowing the Lid Off". Leaked emails (pdf) reveal that helmet manufacturers/advertisers were none too pleased, ultimately resulting in Ford being fired. (via hellforleather) [more inside]
posted by aerotive on Jul 11, 2010 - 36 comments

"Tweet?" Delete.

Standards editor Philip Corbett at the New York Times (allegedly) issues memo officially discouraging use of the word "tweet." [more inside]
posted by hat on Jun 12, 2010 - 106 comments

Fuzzy Wuzzy

The New York Times covers a 'new celebrity trend', Unshaven Women, Free Spirits or Unkempt?
posted by zarq on Apr 13, 2010 - 272 comments

“Tampon is not a dirty word, and neither is vagina."

After decades of selling tampons and "sanitary products" with ads containing nebulous, euphemistic images and language, Kotex launched a new product line, 'U by Kotex' and a 'Declaration of Real Talk Campaign' to encourage girls and women to speak about menstruation without embarrassment. Ironically, their ad was rejected by the major US television networks for mentioning the word 'vagina'. Here's the 'safe for the viewing public' version. / YT channel. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2010 - 193 comments

Sic Transit Gloria VML

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) - a sort of image format which records shapes and lines instead of pixels - is partially supported in most web browsers but not in Internet Explorer. Javascript libraries such as dojo.gfx and Raphaël have tried to bridge the gap programmatically with impressive results but it remains difficult to simply draw something in one of the available illustration tools and display it on the web (without converting to a raster graphic as Wikipedia does.) But hope for compatibility may be on the horizon: Microsoft has just joined the W3C SVG Working Group. (previously)
posted by XMLicious on Jan 7, 2010 - 51 comments

Why do we have an IMG element?

Why do we have an IMG element?
posted by chunking express on Nov 3, 2009 - 84 comments

Operation Pancake

An expose of non-vegan ingredients in pancakes at LA Vegan Thai inspired the QuarryGirl.Com writers to conduct their own extremely thorough investigation of LA vegan restaurants, testing their meals for traces of casein, egg, and shellfish. Over $1000 and a chain of interviews up to Taiwan later, they find that half the restaurants aren't as vegan as they claim, with half registering Positive or High and one registering Overload. Some restaurants vowed to conduct their own tests or requested further assistance; one banned them from the establishment.
posted by divabat on Jul 5, 2009 - 260 comments

New US Fuel Economy Plan: Win, Lose, or Draw?

Car companies were facing a variety of efficiency and emission standards throughout the United States, from the Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, On May 19th, and then an even stricter emission standard from California and 13 other states (plus DC). On May 19th, President Obama announced nation-wide new vehicle fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks through 2016. The goal is to rapidly increase fuel efficiency,without compromising safety, by an average of 5, culminating in 39 MPG for cars and 30 MPG for light trucks. Currently, no auto makers are meet the final standards, though some are closer than others. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on May 28, 2009 - 85 comments

The State of the Web 2008

The State of the Web 2008 is a report from Web Directions that includes details and analysis of all the responses to over 50 questions covering technologies, techniques, philosophies and practices that today’s web professionals employ. The survey was open for just under 3 weeks, from December 1st to 20th 2008. In total, over 1200 designers and developers from around the world responded to the survey. Respondents were likely to be self-educating, “early adopters” who keep abreast of developments in their field. Here are the tabular results. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 12, 2009 - 7 comments

The Free Site Validator

The Free Site Validator is for all y'all web designers who are tired of putting each and every page through the W3C Markup Validation Service. Enter the URL you'd like checked, start the report and you'll soon have every page of the site examined for valid markup and link rot. It also uses OpenID so you might already have an account! [via 456 Berea Street] [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Oct 30, 2008 - 13 comments

Standards fail.

Only 4.3% of the web validates. Opera have finished a scan and validation check of the net using their new MAMA spider and have got an extremely interesting dataset. Did you check your website today?
posted by jaduncan on Oct 16, 2008 - 81 comments

The new Nazi army: How the U.S. military is allowing the far-right to join its ranks.

Nazis in the military is dedicated to the investigative project undertaken by journalist Matthew Kennard while studying for a MS in Investigative Journalism at Columbia University in New York. It was completed over six months and explores the increasingly liberal attitude of the U.S. military to neo-Nazis and white supremacists serving in the armed forces. via [more inside]
posted by hortense on Sep 6, 2008 - 81 comments

Warning: this FPP may cause seizures.

The new video, "Run", from R&B group Gnarls Barkley (best known for their ultra-popular and painfully ubitquitous 2006 hit song "Crazy") has been banned from MTV for failing the Harding Test, a set of criteria determining the likelihood of video material triggering seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy (PSE), approximately 1 in 6000 people*. The video is now circulating online. [Watch at your own risk. May cause seizures.] [more inside]
posted by loiseau on Mar 8, 2008 - 88 comments

X-IE-VERSION-FREEZE

It slipped through the cracks on my radar, but apparently the IE8 team has met with some web standards gurus and decided that in order to move forward with full standards compliance (and support the known quirks of IE6/7 for corporate intranets), a new "version targeting" system should be put in place. Other browser vendors are not amused. Should IE just give up? [more inside]
posted by revmitcz on Feb 1, 2008 - 107 comments

B s f t e W b + e t o h e = The full picture

Essential Video Resources - primers, guides and links for the video editor and technician [more inside]
posted by Gyan on Dec 14, 2007 - 6 comments

I think the dragons be somewhere on the other side of Mordorsoft Mountains.

The Web Is Agreement: a poster (large, huge) designed by Paul Downey.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 31, 2007 - 22 comments

Paranoia vs Preparation

Traditionally, media doesn't print names/photos of people only accused, but not yet convicted, but not always. Lots of towns have a police blotter section where arrests are listed. Here in Seattle, the FBI recently asked the public for help in identifying two men seen acting suspicious on the ferry system. The Seattle PI has decided not to publish the photos. Other local media have. The commentary on if the PI made the right choice follows predictable paths...
posted by nomisxid on Aug 21, 2007 - 33 comments

Don Edrington

He's a computer tutor for seniors, who also seems to have a giant collection of music that's rare these days. Shortly before leaving to fight in Korea, he was kissed by Celia Cruz in 1951, among other adventures.
posted by StrikeTheViol on Jul 19, 2007 - 12 comments

Railroad Gauges and Standardization

The Days They Changed the Gauge. Early in the development of railroads in the American South, the builders departed from the standard 4' 8 1/2" gauge and built their railroads with the rails 5 feet apart. As part of a trend of increased government standardization, between May 30 and June 1 1886, workers moved over 11,000 miles of track 3 inches to the new standard gauge of 4' 9". [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on May 31, 2007 - 29 comments

what people like

What's attractive? Averaged female faces from Hot or Not "These women do not exist.They are a composite of about 30 faces that I created to find out the current standard of good looks on the Internet." also by age and origin
posted by petsounds on Feb 12, 2007 - 103 comments

24 (Web) Ways of 2006

24 Ways - 2006 Edition This year's possibly useful 24 articles containing 24 tips and tutorials for those of us who love CSS and other related web development techniques. Last year's links are included too.
posted by juiceCake on Dec 30, 2006 - 4 comments

"We were surprised by how few had tested their websites with disabled users," he said.

Usability Exchange -- a testing service determining site accessibility for disabled users. They're only in the UK now, but it seems like a great idea. Organisations set up their tests online and submit them directly to disabled testers in our database. Testers are then free to complete these tests in their own time, earning money for each test they complete. As tests are completed by users, organisations can view test results, web page logs and other information in real time. More here at BBC, including some concerns.
posted by amberglow on Mar 17, 2006 - 17 comments

SOS or Safegaurd organic standards

SOS or Safegaurd Organic Standards is what the Organic Consumers Association is calling their effort to protect the USDA's National Organic Program's organic food standards adopted in 2002. A rider attached to the 2006 agriculture appropriations bill and sponsored by the Organic Trade Association contains changes to the standards that in their view will make "technical corrections" to the national organic standards. This became necessary in their view after a 73-year-old organic blueberry farmer from Maine named Arthur Harvey won a court appeal against the USDA, arguing that federal regulations guiding organic food standards were less stringent than the original legislation had intended. This issue is splitting the organic standards lobbying community. Or perhaps this has been in the works for sometime as large corporate food producers have moved to take advantage of the rapid growth of the organics market. (more inside)
posted by flummox on Oct 9, 2005 - 14 comments

A bunch of 4-yr old art prodigies

Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder*
*Statement suspect for museum curators, "critics", "experts" and "connosieurs".
posted by daksya on Mar 13, 2005 - 56 comments

Curse for free

Dropping an F-bomb on the radio, and in Canada you apologize. In the States, having this happen on your station would cost you many dollars.
posted by evilcolonel on Feb 18, 2005 - 36 comments

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the browser.

Internet Explorer 7. Dean Edwards does what a team of developers with billions behind them apparently can't -- update IE to work with modern standards. Almost, anyway... as he says, it's still in alpha, and has its quirks, but check out the Pure CSS Menus demo, for example.
posted by weston on Jul 29, 2004 - 19 comments

Defining Deviancy Down

Defining Deviancy Down In 1993, one of our greatest statesmen, Sen. Daniel P. Moynihan (D- N.Y.) published one of the most important pieces of social theory entitled "Defining Deviancy Down." Moynihan started from Emile Durkheim's proposition that there is a limit to the amount of deviant behavior any community can "afford to recognize" (called the "Durkheim Constant"). As the amount of deviancy increases, the community has to adjust its standards so that conduct once thought deviant is no longer deemed so. Consequently, if we are not vigilant about enforcing them, our standards would be constantly devolving in order to normalize rampant deviancy. Shortly after Moynihan's article, Charles Krauthammer offered his now-famous response to Moynihan's article in which he argued that the corollary is that society can also "define deviancy up."

Moynihan's theory has been applied to movies, courage, dress codes, sexual indiscretions, corporate behavior, and possibly even to webpages. One might feel compelled to ask, "Do standards even mean anything?" Today, the debate still rages about where we ought to be defeatist about the devolution of standards, or whether we can right the boat by establishing base principles and fight to raise standards up.
posted by Seth on Jun 16, 2004 - 63 comments

Nippallujah

Start saving for your childrens future therapy. What they learned this month is dead bodies being burnt and strung up on a bridge is ok to print on the front page of a newspaper, and watch on the news at dinner time; but you better not see any nipple, even for a half a second.
posted by CrazyJub on Apr 3, 2004 - 67 comments

The Physical Attributes of a Beautiful Face

The first time ever I saw your face: Is beauty perhaps not entirely in the eye of the beholder? [Via LinkFilter.]
posted by Carlos Quevedo on May 17, 2003 - 25 comments

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