Archive for the 'Weekly Links Roundup' Category

Weekly Links Roundup: December 20, 2010

I was traveling this past weekend, so unfortunately this week’s link roundup is coming later than last week’s, but hopefully it was worth the wait!

Food:

Restaurant Review: Kin Shop (NYT)

Sam Sifton’s poetic two star review of Kin Shop lives up to the restaurant he’s reviewing: “Mr. Dieterle is as Thai as John Boehner. But he cooks from the Thai larder as if he had stepped out of a novel by John Burdett, a farang who can see ghosts, who knows that the mind is Buddha’s seat, who bleeds fish sauce.” I was going to review Kin Shop at some point (since it’s totally awesome), but I don’t know how I can match this.

Harvard University’s Science & Cooking Series

With lectures from Ferran Adria (El Bulli), David Chang (Momofuku), Dan Barber (Blue Hill), among others, I really want to get around to watching these soon. They range from 1.5 to 2 hours each, so I don’t know when that will be, but I thought I’d post for everyone’s benefit.

For Eco-Friendly Santas: Algae Milk and Cookies (Fast Company)

Anyone tried these yet?

Technology:

App Inventor for Android (Google)

The barriers to entry for mobile applications keep coming down. If you’ve got some spare time, how ’bout mobile app developing on Android?

The iPod Nano Watch Nears $1 Million In Crowdsourced Funding From Kickstarter (TechCrunch)

Is crowdsourcing going to be a major future source of capital for entrepreneurs? With stories like these, it’s hard not to believe.

John Sculley On Steve Jobs, The Full Interview Transcript (Cult of Mac) and Error Message: Google Research Director Peter Norvig on Being Wrong (Slate)

A pair of interviews from current and former top level execs at Apple and Google. What is striking is the vastly different attitudes towards errors and perfection these companies exhibit in their culture. As much as I loathe the Apple ideologues, it looks like Google’s (and Microsoft’s old) approach hasn’t been too successful lately, given what’s gone on with Chrome OS and Google TV. Apple’s model may prove more enduring.

Ideas:

LATER: What does procrastination tell us about ourselves? (The New Yorker)

Great motivating read for those of you procrastinating on final papers or exams, or holiday gift buying at this time of year.

Might Gays Be Better Soldiers? (Good Magazine)

With the DADT repeal this past week, some unconventional wisdom about gays and the military.

Videos:

Video: 270 Films from 2010 in Six Minutes (Good Magazine)

Cool montage of the films of 2010. I don’t watch that many movies, so maybe you movie buffs out there will appreciate this more than me.

RSA Animate Series

I came across this series pretty recently and it has some awesome ten minute Ted-like films featuring animated sketches with former (including Sir Ken Robinson, the most famous of all TED speakers). I’d recommend the video on what motivates productivity at the workplace by Dan Pink as a good starting point.

Misc:

A Q&A With A Vacuum Cleaner Salesman (The Awl)

Kind of bizarre, but an interesting window into a part of America urban-inhabiting folk like me don’t see very often.

5 Typical Acts of Politeness That are Inefficient and Should be Banned and How to Live in New York City (Thought Catalog)

Great social insight from Thought Catalog, as always.

The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show cities meant to be home to millions lying deserted (Daily Mail)

While fascinating, this is just another in a steady stream of articles highlighting Chinese ghost towns and in particular, everyone’s favorite whipping boy, Kangbashi (also see here, here, here, and here (China Daily!)). While genuine excesses in the Chinese property marker are certainly driving some of this coverage, you have to question what other forces are at work to inspire five separate stories in major publications highlighting this one city in a year. Is it a human fascination with urban abandonment and ghost towns? Or is it driven by western visions of modern China? In any case, it’s hard to resist these photos.

Weekly Links Roundup: December 12, 2010

Cool Ideas:

Intermission: This Is How Cities and Technology Should Work (Good Magazine)

An awesome four minute animated video about the possibilities afforded by mobile technology in the not so distant future. The smartphone/iPad revolution has many more productivity and quality of life gains to provide before it’s all said and done, especially now that people are getting excited by possible monetary gains in the tech world again.

LEAKED: Here’s Groupon’s Secret Copywriting Guide (Business Insider)

A fascinating insight into the writing style Groupon uses over its email listserv. Very good writing tips for marketing, if nothing else.

Car Commuting Without Driving: Computerized Convoy Hits The Road (Fast Company)

Although Google’s self-driving car was really cool, this idea seems to have a lot more promise as a realistic application of self-driving cars. Combining the concept of trains with driving could allow for a better driving experience, optimized speeds to conserve fuel, while improving the quality of life for people with long commutes. Too many people are wasting hours of their weeks in a car doing things computers could do for them. We’re not all going to have access to high speed trains anytime soon, so ideas like this based more in economic realities are going to be essential.

Great commentary:

Nassim Taleb Imitates Kanye West (Falkenblog)

I haven’t read Nassim Taleb’s new book (nor do I plan to), but this was an awesomely-written review of Taleb’s new book. Interesting parallel between the two public figures as well.

NYTimes writes trend piece abt how effing hipsters use laptops in coffee shops (Hipster Runoff (semi-NSFW))

Hilarious social commentary as always from Hipster Runoff on the New York Times’ latest piece on “Laptopistan.”

America Underestimates – and Misunderstands – Its Economic Strengths (The Atlantic)

This piece by James Fallows is an inspiring call to action for all Americans in an age when there is far too much pessimism about the long-term prospects for the American economy floating around in popular media than is truly warranted.

Mashups:

Gorillaz To Release Free iPad-Made LP On Christmas Day (Sterogum)

Sweet.

Prime Minister’s Questions turns into Smiths reference contest (Foreign Policy)

People would actually watch C-Span if American politics were like this.

Infographic: Girl Talk’s Latest Mashup Masterpiece Deconstructed (Fast Company)

I’m a sucker for infographics. This is a particularly cool one.

Other stuff:

China snubs Nobel with rival peace prize (FT (paywall))

The Chinese government quickly backtracked from this prize after it became clear the whole thing was a major debacle, but it’s incredible how the Chinese often cope with uncomfortable realities in the information age by creating a parallel universe that suits their needs.

The year in lists….so far (Quick Before It Melts)

Great roundup of the best albums of 2010  lists from various sources. I had thought about putting one of these together, but thanks to QBiM for doing the work for everyone else.