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Archive for the 'Good reads' Category

Richard Feynman and the Connection Machine

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Via Hacker News, here’s an account by Thinking Machines founder Danny Hillis about the early days of the company that produced the amazing Connection Machine, and their unlikely employee, Nobel laureate Richard Feynman. A fascinating and beautifully written account. link

Want to make code art? Here’s your book.

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

I am sometimes asked by my art college students for a good book to introduce them to programming, that explains the basic concepts (such as functions and variables) and that is written for creative people, rather than computer science majors. Unfortunately, the book that worked so well for me is no longer available, nor relevant, […]

Puzzle Building and the Creative Mind

Monday, February 4th, 2008

If you’re interested in the puzzles on this website, and would like to learn more about what goes into making them, you may enjoy the article I wrote for this month’s Mung Being magazine, where I am the resident puzzle constructor. The article amounts to a FAQ, or IAQ (infrequently asked questions) for the puzzle […]

“Throwing Newton in Jail”

Monday, October 8th, 2007

Here’s Yahoo!’s Ian Rogers lecturing some music industry folks about the problems that plague online music distribution. My favorite quote: …If you don’t get a 404, you’ll get a Save As… dialog or the SAME GOD DAMN QUICKTIME BAR FROM 1995. OMFG. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? THIS IS ALL WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED IN 15 YEARS ON […]

Jim’s Current Reads: Temeraire

Monday, September 25th, 2006

I don’t read a whole lot of fantasy literature, and in particular, I don’t have much use for warmed over Tolkien, such as the works of Terry Brooks. Having said that, I am currently getting a kick out of reading the Temeraire series, by Naomi Novik. The books, which reimagine the Napoleonic wars with an […]

Some AOL search statistics

Thursday, August 17th, 2006

I’ve been trawling thru the leaked AOL data with some perl scripts and came up with a few statistics. The data contains search records for about 658 million users collected over a three month period from March to May 2006. According to AOL spokesperson Andrew Weinstein, this represents 0.33% of the search traffic conducted through […]

AOL: Funny Ha Ha, Funny Sad

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

Two weeks ago, AOL mistakenly released about 3 months worth of search logs. In the data, the user-ids were replaced with numbers, in an attempt to “anonymize” the data. Despite this anonymization, the release of this data clearly violated the privacy of a great number of AOL users, and AOL quickly stopped publishing the data, […]

Wild, Weird, and Wonderful

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

After watching seasons one and two of HBO’s excellent series Carnivale on DVD, I wanted to learn more about carnivals and circuses in the early 20th century, so I picked up four different books on the subject. Here is my report. Mark Sloan’s Wild Weird and Wonderful, The American Circus 1901-1927 is my favorite book […]

Tag Cloud Tips

Saturday, June 10th, 2006

What are Tag Clouds, you ask? Here’s a sample. I’ve provided some tips for building Tag Clouds at O’Reilly’s ONLamp website. This is an excerpt from my longer article, Building Tag Clouds with Perl and PHP.

Clouds, clouds, everywhere

Wednesday, May 24th, 2006

When I told my family I wrote an article about tag clouds for O’Reilly, they went “Huh? What’s that?” But then again, these are the same folks that thought I was writing an article for this guy, instead of these guys. Anyway, this is a tag cloud: 2d algorithmic ALSA audio automatic bison blog book […]