In games, an insight into the rules of evolution#

[C]ooperation is one of the three basic principles of evolution. The other two are mutation and selection. On their own, mutation and selection can transform a species, giving rise to new traits like limbs and eyes. But cooperation is essential for life to evolve to a new level of organization.


iTweet is the best iPhone Twitter interface I've seen so far, despite some unfortunate design choices.

The best part? The one thing I've wanted from jump -- an option to view only those tweets that have been posted since you last checked -- works wonderfully.

The Future of Software#

The Future of Software is "a micro site that over a period of one month will take a look at some of the major trends that are changing and influencing the software business."

Very cool.

Who's minding the mind?#

[W]e have unconscious behavioral guidance systems that are continually furnishing suggestions through the day about what to do next, and the brain is considering and often acting on those, all before conscious awareness. [...] [O]nce covertly activated, an unconscious goal persists with the same determination that is evident in our conscious pursuits.


XRAY "is a free cross browser tool that lets you see the box model in action for any element, letting you see beneath the skin of any web page."

This is awesome.

The real Transformers#

Researchers are programming robots to learn in humanlike ways and show humanlike traits. Could this be the beginning of robot consciousness — and of a better understanding of ourselves?

Yes! While none of the presented ideas/fears are necessarily new, it's still nice to see such mainstream coverage of the topic (you know, it being the future of our species and all).

A-list technology bloggers: what are they good for?#

Besides geeking about Websites everyone heard about a year ago, the only things I’ve learned from the A-list blog crowd recently is that the founder of Digg has launched a knock-off of Twitter and that a guy who built a knock-off of Digg while he was at AOL has gotten millions in funding to implement the dumbest search engine idea I’ve heard this decade. Yeah, useful stuff.

Yojimbo, a solution looking for a problem

July 28, 2007

Anyone out there care to ping me real quick and let me know what you use Yojimbo1 for? I've a sneaking suspicion I can get some serious mileage out of the application, but I'm not quite sure I'm totally grokking it just yet. I think part of the problem may be that I'm generally fairly organized (especially when it comes to computer stuff), and so a dedicated "information manager" may be a bit superfluous given my circumstances.

That said, I can definitely feel some Yojimbo-powered, obsessive-compulsive tendency welling up inside of me, I just can't figure out how to take advantage of it and output something productive/useful. Help me.

  1. This probably goes without saying, but "yojimbo" may be the worst product name ever, and, subconsciously, is likely what kept me from playing around with the program until very recently.   

Time may not exist#

It may be that the best way to think about quantum reality is to give up the notion of time -- that the fundamental description of the universe must be timeless. [...] Time may be an approximate concept that emerges at large scales -- a bit like the concept of ‘surface of the water,’ which makes sense macroscopically but which loses a precise sense at the level of the atoms.

I'm addicted to food shows

July 28, 2007

Even though I've never prepared a square meal, I can't stop watching shows about food. The irony here cannot be overstated, and saying that I've never made a square meal is actually giving me too much credit; if I'm coming clean, the most I've ever "made" is grilled chicken on a George Foreman grill. I'm 27 years old!

It's well known within my circle that I absolutely do not cook, nor do I even stock my kitchen with microvable (or other) food anymore because I eat it all within two days of buying it (which belies my somewhat diminutive size) — it's cheaper to just eat out (I'll argue that math all day long).

The point is, I have no idea why I'm so fascinated with food shows, and why, when I plop down in front of the TV, they always seem to take precedence over everything else on my DVR (save maybe, some guilty-pleasure, tasteless "reality TV").

Some of my favorites:

The state of e-mail misery#

We're at a funny evolutionary moment: Feeling has not yet caught up with technology. Technology has made it impossible to keep up with all that's said to us (two million e-mails are sent every second now, according to a recent estimate) but our consciences still berate us as if we could. Ours is the anxiety, alternately low and high, ironic and sincere, of the submerged.

Clive Thompson on how Twitter creates a social sixth sense#

[W]hen my four closest friends send me dozens of updates a week for five months, I begin to develop an almost telepathic awareness of the people most important to me.

This is exactly why I use Twitter and am constantly urging my real-life, meatspace friends to do the same (but they're a stubborn bunch, that MySpace crowd).

Pistol Shrimp#

Pistol shrimp can "shoot a blast of water at 100km/h and at the temperature of the sun."

You've never seen anything like this.

National Geographic on "swarm" intelligence#

Whether we're talking about ants, bees, pigeons, or caribou, the ingredients of smart group behavior—decentralized control, response to local cues, simple rules of thumb—add up to a shrewd strategy to cope with complexity.