November 2005


Web22 Nov 2005 01:49 pm

Del.icio.us better watchout, because there is a new kid on the block: Simpy. While I have not noticed many new features out of del.icio.us since the experimental posting page, simpy is regularly adding useful new features. Thing I have noticed so far that Simpy does that del.icio.us doesn’t do (or I have failed to find):

  1. It lets you essentially make Boolean expressions with tags. So instead of clicking on Development, and then seeing that it shares some links with java – I would expect when I click on java, I would only see links that are *only* java AND development – not so on delicious – in stead I’ll see all of java. Being able to narrow down tags is a *huge* improvement. Not only can you focus in on tags, but you can also remove links from the results based on tag. Very useful. I pretty much always wished del.icio.us had this feature.
  2. Private links. Del.icio.us is great, and I love being able to share links with everyone – but there are some links that I just want to share across my browsers – and not other people. Say like the link to my bank and credit card company – or links from my company’s intranet.
  3. Groups. Simpy lets the user join groups, and post links for the consumption of the other people in the group – once a link has been posted, you can then mark it as read – allowing you to track what you ahve looked at. Sweet.
  4. Topics. Ever want to track someone else’s links on delicious? Simpy apparently lets you do this in what it calls a topic.
  5. Notes. Simpy lets you take notes with their system that you can tag the same way you tag links. Not much use to me yet, but an interesting idea – since it’s centralized, it offers the same benefits for notes that both systems offer for links.
  6. The killer one: Sync from del.icio.us. All the effort you have put into tagging things on del.icio.us is not lost – simpy can suck all the links out of your del.icio.us account, and it will tag them appropriately, meaning you lose nothing. This means testing Simpy is pretty risk free, because you can take your existing links, pull them in and see if you like it.

Now, it’s not all better then del.icio.us. If there is one single thing I think del.icio.us does far better it’s the link add form. The experimental interface for del.icio.us deals with tags far more eloquently then simpy’s tagging interface. Where del.icio.us will recommend tags to you from *your* tags, as well as showing you all your tags, and showing you popular ones, Simpy has a truncated list of your tags, and only tells you popular ones. This makes it *really* hard to consistantly use the same tags in your link collection. Furthur, del.icio.us’s link add page is far more eloquent allowing you to simply click or unclick the tag to add or remove tags. Simpy divides it across the page so that your tags are in a textbox, but there are a series of checkboxes on the side of the screen where you can add predefined tags. Unlike delicious, when you check one of those boxes, it doesn’t populate the link textbox, and unchecking it doesn’t remove one. The Simpy developers would do well to take a page from del.icio.us on tagging interface – the one area where del.icio.us far outshines simpy.

You can find me there are soulcatcher.

Cool Tech Friday18 Nov 2005 03:36 pm

So this is my first week testing an automated Cool Tech friday. When I ahve hacked on this a little more, I’ll even be able to take submissions from people for tech stories.

And now on to cool tech this week:

Biotech

  1. Deleting `Anti-Aging` Gene From Yeast Greatly Lengthens Life Span
  2. New Scientist Breaking News – Gene turn-off makes meek mice fearless
  3. Blood Vessels Grown From Skin – New York Times
  4. Giant ape lived along-side humans

Culture

  1. Democrats unveil universal broadband
  2. Massachusetts Governor Calls for More Tech Innovation
  3. UK to passivly monitor all vehicles

Entertainment

  1. Warner Brothers to Put Classic TV on Home Computer

Environment

  1. Huge Solar Plants Bloom in Desert
  2. Truckers Choose Hydrogen Power
  3. Australia pioneers geothermal energy

Military

  1. Marines Quiet About Brutal New Weapon: The SMAW-NE

Physics

  1. Is Gravity Leaking From Our Universe?
  2. The Universe is Only Pretending, 3 dimensions may not exist

Space

  1. Wired News: Making the Red Planet Green
  2. Celestial odd couple baffles astronomers
  3. Lunar lawnmower to deal with Moon dust menace
  4. Stereo View of the Sun
  5. Japanese `Minerva` Robot asteroid-explorer is lost in space

Tech

  1. $100-laptop created for world’s poorest countries
  2. Turner Entertainment turns to holographic storage – Computerworld
  3. The 11-Year Quest to Create Disappearing Colored Bubbles
  4. Popular Science Best of Whats New 2005
Music17 Nov 2005 01:38 pm

I recently installed Audioscrobbler, a plugin for XMMS, Winamp, iTunes, and just about every other music player under the sun on Linux, Windows and Mac. Audioscrobbler records the names of the songs you listen to, and puts it in a community database that you can later access via webservices. Not only does it give you good recommendations based on listening patters over a large number of people, it also allows for tagging – thus finally bringing the folksonomy phenomenon to music. Essentially Audioscrobbler is the del.icio.us or flickr of music.

Tied to this is last.fm, a website that lets the Audioscrobbler community interact, but also a business with a non-obnoxious business model – All the software is open source, you can have a normal account that is free, and it appears all the social aspects of the system are also free. They seem to be making money with a small number of ads,and a premier account that lets you listen to music streamed from their site – a personal radio station that will play music based on your personal statistics.

You can find me on there as soulcatcher.

Cool Tech Friday11 Nov 2005 04:58 pm

Electronics/Robotics/mechanics

  1. Half Life 2 (A computer game) used to train people in serious jobs
  2. MIT’s fab lab
  3. Self parking cars

Biotech

  1. Organ printing one step closer
  2. Whew….Caffine doesn’t raise blood pressure
  3. Safe Smokes?
  4. Anonymous sperm donership not so anonymous now
  5. Nanotubes new tool in fight against cancer
  6. Nanotube cancer cure
  7. Stem cell hope hits home

Physics

  1. Scientists closing in on gravity waves
  2. New power source brings up questions about Quantum Mechanics

Space

  1. Science projects on ISS halted
  2. Venus Express en route to umm…well…Venus
  3. Space Tug design uses Gravity to deflect asteroids
  4. Lichens…..In…..Spaaaaaaace

Military

  1. Non-lethal laser rifle created: PHASR

Environment

  1. Storing liquid CO2 deep in the oceans
  2. British helping china to build Eco-Cities
  3. New turbine design may boost wind energy yield
  4. New ideas to make hydrogen power feasable
  5. Biodiesel for home use

Humor

  1. Tin foil hats *help* government control radio waves
  2. Cunning rat outsmarts scientists

Culture

  1. Vatican disses Intelligent Design
  2. Patents exert a chilling effect on science, not stimulus
  3. Intelligent Design proponents get the boot in PA
  4. Intelligent Design proponents get approval in KS

Cool Tech Friday04 Nov 2005 03:23 pm

Electronics/Robotics/mechanics

  1. Seeing through walls
  2. Breakthrough in lasers
  3. Robots may perform surgury in space
  4. NBC Nightly News to be show on the net
  5. Using cell phones to track traffic
  6. End of the light bulb

Biotech

  1. Los Alamos Bug: Artifical life
  2. Remote controlled humans
  3. Map of human genetic variation completed
  4. Gene found in black death survivors halts HIV
  5. Fertilization gene discovered
  6. Warm blooded fish?

Physics

  1. IBM Slows the speed of light

Space

  1. Video of the closest know star to the galactic core black hole found
  2. Nasa returning to rockets
  3. Nasa’s Space Elevator contest finds no winners
  4. Martian rovers energizer bunny like (2)
  5. Mars swings unusually close to earth
  6. Martian dust storm visible with terrestial telescopes
  7. Student made satellite launches
  8. Probe to study pluto’s moons
  9. ISS hits 5th year of habitation
  10. Nasa puts the breaks on stellar romance
  11. Esa Venus mission on hold

Environment

  1. Tropical Storm Alpha Sets Naming Record
  2. Wilma: Natural capacitor and particle accelerator
  3. Hydrogen fuel cell car tested

Culture

  1. Worse jobs in science
  2. Is the US hostile to science?
  3. Using copyrights to fight Intelligent Design
  4. Best science photographs of 2005