“Writing a novel (or a story, for that matter) is confusing work. There are just so many characters running all over the place, dropping hints and having revelations. So it’s no surprise that many authors plan out their works beforehand, in chart or list or scribble form, in order to keep everything straight. After the jump, you’ll find a mini collection of those planning papers, so you can take a peek into the process of some of your favorite authors, from James Salter to J.K. Rowling.”
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“Oregon-based optics manufacturer Bodelin will begin shipping its brand-new ProScope Micro Mobile on May 1. One version fits the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, and iPod Touch; another the iPad; and another the iPad Mini. Whatever size, it will set you back $149.”
“I use a trick with co-workers when we’re trying to decide where to eat for lunch and no one has any ideas. I recommend McDonald’s.
An interesting thing happens. Everyone unanimously agrees that we can’t possibly go to McDonald’s, and better lunch suggestions emerge. Magic!
It’s as if we’ve broken the ice with the worst possible idea, and now that the discussion has started, people suddenly get very creative. I call it the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones.”
“I’ll start with the bottom line – Here you can find my code for extracting the main topics/noun phrases from a given sentence. It works fine with real sentences (from a blog/news article). It’s a bit less accurate compared to the default NLTK tools, but it works much faster!”
“Overall, 52% of recent library users say their use of the library in the past five years has not changed to any great extent. At the same time, 26% of recent library users say their library use has increased and 22% say their use has decreased. The table below highlights their answers about why their library use changed:”
“Considering how much typing on a glass touch screen blows in comparison to using hard keys, it’s easy to imagine how BlackBerry saw the first iPhone back in 2007 and thought, “Bah, this isn’t a threat.” We all know how that turned out. But typing on glass still blows, and voice dictation on mobile devices (while pretty awesome) isn’t a good fit for every situation. So how can we un-blowify touch-screen typing? Two interesting software -design approaches have recently emerged: one rethinks how the keyboard looks, while the other rethinks how the keyboard acts. (Spoiler alert: I think the latter has more potential.)”
“There is no doubt that Big Data will transform business. But in an age of connected and empowered individuals, precision targeting must be balanced with personal value. If you want to build loyalty, spend less time using data to tell customers about you, and spend more time telling them something about themselves.”
“The first aspect of how Apple attained and maintains its current position explains how the company got its foot in the door. The iPhone, when it was first unveiled in 2007, so captured the attention of consumers that it figuratively sucked all the oxygen out of the mobile industry, immediately becoming a famous household brand worldwide.
It was a product with clear value to a large audience, a concept cleverly captured in a photo posted to Reddit comparing 1993 to 2013.”
“Does your business need data? Of course. But buying into something as faddish as the supposed importance of the size of one’s data is the kind of thing only pointy-haired Dilbert bosses would do. The same issues that have plagued science since its inception—data quality, overall goals and the importance of context and intuition—are inherent in the way that businesses use data to make decisions. Remember: Gregor Mendel uncovered the secrets of genetic inheritance with just enough data to fill a notebook. The important thing is gathering the right data, not gathering some arbitrary quantity of it.”
“We forget that physical objects are also just specific embodiments – or presentations – of their content and function. A paperback book and an ebook file are two embodiments of the text they each contain; the ebook isn’t descended from the paperback. They’re siblings, from different media spheres, one of which happens to have been invented more recently.
The biggest intellectual stumbling-block we’re facing is the fallacy that just because physical embodiments came first, they’re also somehow canonical. The publishing industry is choking itself to death with that assumption, despite readily available examples of innovative, digitally-native approaches.”
“Saying ‘no’ has more creative power than ideas, insights and talent combined. No guards time, the thread from which we weave our creations. The math of time is simple: you have less than you think and need more than you know.”
Mark Alan Stamaty’s brilliant and surreal 1973 picture book, “Who Needs Donuts?”, is another I’m about to pack up. Mr. Stamaty tattoos every available surface in his books with surreal and witty detail. This book, reissued by Alfred A. Knopf in 2003, deserves to become a classic.
It’s one I’ve read to my children at least 500 times. To this day we can’t drive past a Dunkin’ Donuts without someone in the back seat plaintively or sarcastically mewling the book’s central question: “Who needs doughnuts, when you’ve got love?”
“So I went to Google to interview some of the people who are working on its search engine. And what I heard floored me. “The Star Trek computer is not just a metaphor that we use to explain to others what we’re building,” Singhal told me. “It is the ideal that we’re aiming to build—the ideal version done realistically.” He added that the search team does refer to Star Trek internally when they’re discussing how to improve the search engine. “It comes up often,” Singhal said. “For instance, we might say, ‘Captain Kirk never pulled out a keyboard to ask a question.’ So in that way it becomes one of the design principles—we see that because the Star Trek computer actively relies on speech, if we want to do that we need to work to push the barrier of speech recognition and machine understanding.”
The movie is well known for “Downfall Parodies”. One scene in the film, in which Hitler launches into a furious tirade upon finally realizing that the war is truly lost, has become a staple of internet videos. In these videos, the original audio of Ganz’s voice is retained, but new subtitles are added so that he now seems to be reacting instead to some setback in present-day politics, sports, popular culture, or everyday life. Other scenes from various portions of the film have been parodied in the same manner, notably the scenes where Hitler orders Otto Günsche to find SS-Gruppenführer Hermann Fegelein, and where Hitler discusses a counterattack against advancing Soviet forces with his generals. By 2010, there were thousands of such parodies, including many in which a self-aware Hitler is incensed that people keep making Downfall parodies, and videos that depict Hitler as having a fierce rivalry with Fegelein, with the latter plotting mischief against his superior through a number of cruel and often comical antics. Clips from other films, such as Inglourious Basterds, Dear Friend Hitler and even films or footage that have little or nothing to do with Downfall’s subject matter, are also juxtaposed for humorous effect. Parodies that make use of special effects or computer-generated imagery are also starting to become popular among fans, ranging from superimposing the characters’ heads on other footage, to rotoscoping scenes from the film into different backgrounds.
Add Hitler to the list of people frustrated by Google’s decision to shut down Google Reader.
The 3M ambassador also outlined pitfalls companies should avoid in order not to stifle creativity:
- Asking for a 5-year plan
- Insisting people go through all levels with a new idea
- Being control-conscious
- Expressing criticism and withholding praise
- Being suspicious of every idea that originates below you
- Making a decision to reorganize in secret and maximize surprise
Two artists have created a new way to to record your special moments – pictures with movement.
The ‘cinemagraphs’ look like still photos but actually feature a subtle area of movement designed to grab your eye and keep you looking. The effect is slightly eerie – but utterly captivating.
Today, Microsoft announced two new gestures for Kinect for Windows, the PC-specific version of its Kinect interface. Within the new Windows for Kinect 1.7 SDK are two new gestures: the “push” or “click” gesture, and a closed-fist gesture for scrolling and panning a screen. Both could help power interactive wall-sized displays at your doctors’ office — or the mall.
A few weeks ago I posted here a poster on iPad basics which many of you have downloaded to use with their students in the class. Today, I am sharing with you another great resource on iPad. This is not a graphic but a quick reference card on everything you and your students need to know about iPad. From the hardware to networking features , this little manual can serve as a leading guide to a better manipulation of your iPad.
I am not sure how much iPading you are doing in your classroom but whether you use iPad just occasionally or you adopt it as a consistent learning and teaching tool, the reference card below will definitely give you a hand in improving your iPad use. I suggest that you share it with your students and go through it with them section by section and make sure they understand it before they start using their iPads again.