Celebrate the International Year of Astronomy with... →
I am extremely excited about this initiative to get high-quality telescopes into as many hands as possible as part of the International Year of Astronomy. These 25-50x optical instruments were professionally developed, yet they’re only $15 (plus shipping) each — $12.50 if you’d care to donate one to a developing country. I ordered three (one for me, one as a gift, and one...
looplabs' Electro-House Blender →
If you enjoy noodling around with electronic music, this site is a blast and couldn’t be easier. Arrange loops for various percussion, synths, bass, and effects to create original song mixes and share them with others. Playing around doesn’t require registration, but saving and sharing mixes does. Great fun! [Via MakeUseOf]
USA, Canada and the EU attempt to kill treaty to... →
Helping to spread the word on this, via Boing Boing. It seems that a treaty to protect the rights of blind people is being opposed by the Obama administration and a few other countries. Why? This treaty would not benefit the publishing industry and their considerable lobby. It would instead benefit people with reading disabilities across the world who want to access written works without...
The IMAX Hoax →
A while ago Seltzerlizard reblogged an excellent warning against the current IMAX movie scam — I fell victim to this when I went to see Watchmen, paying extra money to get the big screen experience and being completely disappointed and confused. The language in that post was a little, uh, salty, though. This article in the LF Examiner provides a good alternative overview of the problem,...
Pirated pop keeps stars popular →
This BBC article discusses new research that not only refutes the Long Tail theory, it also suggests that P2P file sharing promotes and profits the major label’s biggest musical acts. To me it seems rather obvious that people aren’t going to wade around looking for obscure stuff they don’t already know about. If they’re going to pirate something, it’s going to be...
Surprise: Fox RENEWS 'Dollhouse' →
Could it be? One of my favorite new shows is actually being renewed, despite several reports to the contrary. Looks like we have another season of Dollhouse to look forward to. If you haven’t checked it out, you now have all summer to catch up… [via A.V. Club]
Best In Class: Digital Cameras →
If you’re in the market for a digital camera, this is the perfect place to go. Choose your criteria and budget, and their experts will narrow down the dizzying array of choices to just a few, with tons of additional information for you zero in on the perfect fit. I’ve found that some recommended models have newer versions out, but it’s still a valuable resource.
The ScanSnap S300M →
I just picked up this Fujitsu document scanner, and couldn’t be happier. With one button push, it scans both sides of a document (both one page and multi-page), then converts it into a PDF. I then have the PDF sent to Yojimbo so that I can access it quickly and easily … and the whole process only takes a few seconds. I do wish it came with full OCR capabilities like the Windows...
We must ensure ISPs don't stop the next Google... →
Cory Doctorow lays down the best-written case for net neutrality I’ve seen thus far. This is the article I’ll be giving people to introduce them to the concept, and explain why it’s vital for us to address. [via Scott McLeod]
A very cool (and very large) side-scrolling comic that highlights parallel stories. You simply can’t do this in any other medium… [via Scott McCloud]
Since its debut over the weekend, I’ve been blown away by this “computational knowledge engine”. It’s not just a new kind of search engine. Rather, it seeks to give us the power to compute whatever we need by storing as much data and as many algorithms, methods, and models as it can. It’s perfect for math and science studies, but I can think of a host of other...
New track: Ioaio Get more of my music at...
The Free Music Archive →
Good music, from good bands, for free. Curated by WFMU, and including picks from places like KEXP, this is the real deal. Many of these come with Creative Commons licensing, which allows further distribution and remixing. [via VSL:Web]
Free Children Stories →
Children’s literature has become quite expensive these days, but once again the Internet shows us that we can break through traditional models of distribution and get great stuff out there for little to no cost. Daniel Errico shares his stories for children with the world on this site, for free. Cool. [via Freakonomics]
The Future: "Good Enough" Computing →
Keir Thomas unearths an article from the year 2025 about how Microsoft finally went down … and it makes perfect sense. Unless you’re a heavy gamer, movie producer, computer graphics specialist, geek enthusiast, or graphic designer there’s simply no reason to have a cutting edge PC. Today’s “entry level” system will bring you everything you need to get the...
I wish there were a million more web toys out there … this one features a dropping ball that makes tones when it hits barriers you create. The result is musical, strange, and incredibly. fun. [via Good Experience Games]
The Economic Security Planner →
This retirement calculator is different than most — it helps calculate how much you should save and spend each year to have a stable standard of living now and through retirement. Even though I went on the conservative side in my estimates, it’s still depressing to see how much I need to save vs. how much I actually do. And I like to think of myself as being prepared! Yeah, right. ...
America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire →
I find this Wall Street Journal piece astonishing — you mean to tell me there are now more professional bloggers than fire fighters or computer programmers in the United States, and that their average income is $75,000? Perhaps the real question is how many of these pro bloggers are more interested in truth and quality than in knee-jerk senationalism and advertising revenue? [via Romanesko...
The 3/50 Project →
The 3/50 Project is a wonderful idea: take some of your money each month, and spend it at local, independent businesses. The benefits are many, but for me it feels great to support the community in which I live. I often find myself ordering stuff online or buying at a big chain without being mindful of locally-owned alternatives that are just as good (and often better). [via Creature...
Barry Schwartz talked at this year’s TED Conference about the war on wisdom, why it’s so important, and what we can do to stop it. This was the best 20 minutes of learning I’ve had all week, and I wish everyone could take a moment to watch, especially teachers (most of whom already know this). Be sure to set it to Full Screen if my tiny view is to small for you. [via...
101 Undiscovered Freebies →
Here’s another good list of free software to consider, this time from PC World. While it’s more Windows oriented (of course), many of these are available in Mac and Linux flavors, too. Note: while there’s great stuff in here, there’s also some stuff that might not be suitable to your specific computing preferences, so caveat emptor, OK? [via Lifehacker]
Monopolies vs. Municipalities →
DailyTech has an article about a North Carolina municipality that is fighting against Time Warner Cable for the right to offer better (and less expensive) Internet service to its citizens. After voting to run ultra-fast fiber optic cable out to every home and business, the city went to Time Warner and Embarq to offer them use of the superior infrastructure for providing voice, cable, and Internet...
Panda Cloud Antivirus →
This one is interesting … it’s a new, free antivirus protection for Windows computers that uses the power of cloud computing to do the heavy lifting. It takes up fewer system resources, virus definition updates are automatic, and there’s zero configuration once it’s installed. According to Panda Security, the well-respected company that’s providing this service,...