Archived entries for Life...

Speaking in Singapore

I’m scheduled to present two sessions at the upcoming Webinale conference in Singapore on April 23rd and 24th.

More details soon, but wanted to give you advance notice.

Onion News Network Coming April 2007

Here’s the trailer:

I can’t wait!

Speaking in Hong Kong at @media 2007 Asia

@media 2007 - Asia I wanted to let you know that I’ll be speaking at @media again this year, this time at the Hong Kong event.

There are only a few days left for discounted registrations, so sign up quick.

All the details here on the @media 2007 Asia site.

It will be tough, but I’ll do my best to stand tall next to all the great speakers:

…the influential CSS Zen Garden creator Dave Shea, multiple book author Molly Holzschlag, the W3C’s Shawn Henry, JavaScript expert Jeremy Keith, HTML Dog author Patrick Griffiths, and Andy Budd, the author of the best selling CSS Mastery book.

See you there!

Tantek Çelik on HCI

Tantek Çelik, a true Web hero, offers “Three Hypotheses of Human Interface Design“. He puts some nice language around the concepts that “more clicks is more cognitive load”, that “more latency is more cognitive load”, and that therefore cognitive load is the enemy of usability. (quotes are paraphrases)

It follows that better sites load faster and require fewer clicks.

I know it may sound like that’s common sense, and to a certain degree it is, but I’m saddened by how infrequently that “common sense” drives contemporary design and engineering decisions.

Don’t stop with my summary. It’s worth it to read his examples and context, which you can do here.

YUI Party

I blogged this over on the YUIBlog last week (You’re Invited: YUI First Year Party), but figured I’d quickly post a notice here too in case you missed it. There are still a few dozen RSVP slots open, but they probably won’t last long.

If you’re interested in giving a quick five minute demo of something you’ve build with YUI, let me know…

See you there.

teaching the machine

A video called “Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us” is an engaging and enjoyable 4.5 minute non-verbal documentary taking us from ‘pencil’ to ‘Web 2.0′. It adds context to the advances that got us here, and suggests what might yet be in store. At about 03:40, highlights from an August 2005 Wired article, “We Are the Web,” are used to suggest that we are “teaching the machine.” I’m afraid that that notion is still inadequately understood and appreciated.

Perhaps the so-called “social web” isn’t about connecting people (not about helping people socialize), but about information conservation: If a person chooses to do something — no matter how small — it’s inherently interesting, precious, and valuable. We’ve barely started to figure out what to do with this second-generation information. Where we have it’s been exciting, useful, and successful: Flickr’s Interestingness and Clusters, the notion of “watching” on Upcoming, the newer “people who looked at this ultimately bought that” in Amazon, and of course Google’s PageRank. The idea isn’t new, but it’s still under appreciated.

Here’s the paragraph from Wired that surrounds the words used in the video:

And who will write the software that makes this contraption useful and productive? We will. In fact, we’re already doing it, each of us, every day. When we post and then tag pictures on the community photo album Flickr, we are teaching the Machine to give names to images. The thickening links between caption and picture form a neural net that can learn. Think of the 100 billion times per day humans click on a Web page as a way of teaching the Machine what we think is important. Each time we forge a link between words, we teach it an idea. Wikipedia encourages its citizen authors to link each fact in an article to a reference citation. Over time, a Wikipedia article becomes totally underlined in blue as ideas are cross-referenced. That massive cross-referencing is how brains think and remember. It is how neural nets answer questions. It is how our global skin of neurons will adapt autonomously and acquire a higher level of knowledge.

Here’s the video, which was created by Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology at Kansas State University:

(via via)



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