Amazing Code Repository Visualization (Joomla)

This is amazing stuff. The description from the YouTube page says it best: “This Code Swarm provides an animated visual representation of the changes made to the Joomla! source code since 2005. The names that appear are the users who have made changes to the source code. The stars/highlights represent commits made to the Subversion repository. The histogram to the bottom left displays activity. Look out for the date displayed in the right hand corner.”

That “instance” floating around in there is me. Even without the “holy cow, that’s me!” factor, this is a wonderful visualization tool.

Idea: Typo Swap Key

This one is simple. Keyboards need a key that means “swap the characters on either side of the cursor”. I type words like “htis” all too often, and I suspect I’m not alone. Instead of positioning the cursor, deleting a letter, moving the cursor, and re-typing the letter, how about positioning the cursor between the offending letters and pressing “Swap”. While we’re at it, make variations such as Control-Swap to switch the two letters immediately behind the cursor, and Alt-Swap to exchange the two letters at the beginning of the latest word.

Now there’s something I could use. A lot.

Let’s Just Call it the Canadian Conference Board of Incompetence

In The Conference Board of Canada’s Deceptive, Plagiarized Digital Economy Report Michael Geist attacks the Conference Board for a variety of faults that call its claims of objectivity into question. Subsequently, in Conference Board of Canada Responds, Stands By Its Report he comments on their inadequate response.

What is perhaps most informative is this quote from the response “The Conference Board regularly produces custom research. Our guidelines for financed research require the design and method of research, as well as the content of the report, to be determined solely by the Conference Board.” [Note to conference board: that is how you cite sources.]

This quote suggests that they take full responsibility for the incompetence, sloppy methodology, poor fact checking, and many other faults in their work. They appear to either be completely disconnected from reality or to be fully aware that they have no credibility whatsoever.

I suppose it doesn’t matter which.

A Site that Provides De-Fluffed Transcipts of Web Content

Abstract: A site where users can post transcripts of videos and overly wordy articles. Users paste in the URL of the original source and get transcripts posted by other users.

Problem: Lots of people are posting essentially empty infomercial-style content – frequently in video formats – posing as useful advice. The problem is you have to spend effort sifting through various introductory remarks and claims before you can determine if the advice is of any actual use. In the case where the content is a video, this can be a frustrating waste of time.

Solution: Provide a way for people who have invested their time for little return to summarize any valuable content for others. Index the summaries by source URL so that additional software, such as a web browser plug-in, can find the short version automatically.

As an example if the original transcript reads something like this, in part: “Hi, this is Joe Hacker, the PC Performance Expert(tm). We hope you catch our weekly show and daily podcasts on…[blah blah blah]”, the transcript might read “To improve system performance, defragment your system disk on a regular basis with JK Defrag, available from www.kessels.com.”

Cveats:

  • The site will be subject to hackers and spammers who will post irrelevant content. Some sort of trusted user rating system is needed to ensure the spam is eliminated and best versions rise to the top.
  • There may be some copyright concerns with transcripts. One way to limit this is to restrict the size of the synopsis.

Announcing the Ideas Category

Ideas are cheap. Really. There are hundreds, thousands, millions of them floating around out there. Many of them aren’t all that unique. Most are so vague that they don’t even rate being called an idea [One of my favourites: “I’ve got an idea, let’s create an environment that empowers decision makers!” – that’s not an idea, it’s vacuous fluff.]

The vast majority ideas aren’t “good” for a variety of reasons. But even after you cull non-ideas and bad ideas, and remove the duplicates, there’s still a lot of good ideas. Lots and lots. Too many.

I suffer from idea-osis.

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