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July 21, 2011

New augmented reality app would show the ghost of the World Trade Center whenever you look at New York

Yeah, that's not creepily obsessive or anything. Hey, here's an awesome idea for an app! How about an app that shows the faces of every civilian murdered by the U.S. military in Iraq hanging ghostly around Presidents Bush and Obama, and Cheney and any of the other NeoCons who pushed for war? 110 Stories, iPhone App Adds Twin Towers Into Views of Ground Zero
110 Stories by Brian August is an augmented reality iPhone app, currently under development, that will insert ghostly silhouettes of the World Trade Center towers when Ground Zero is viewed with the phone’s camera. Users will be able to upload tower composite photos to the app’s website, and anyone will be able to view the photos by selecting them from an interactive map. In the second phase of the project, 110 twin tower silhouette sculpture installations will be placed in vantage points around the city to provide a physical version of the same effect.

It's funny when adults can't figure out Facebook

Failbook: Oh, Dad… - Epic Fail Funny Videos and Funny Pictures

July 20, 2011

Google+ and the problem of Circles

David writes a nice primer here on how the design of GurglePlus is shaping the usage of it. For the record, I have a handful of circles going: Friends, Family, Acquaintances, Who Is This Again?, Following and I Don't Know This Guy. As well as one for my writing group. But I only end up publishing to the Public circle, because I haven't said anything that requires me to limit myself. Yet. I guess. David Demaree — Google and cognitive overhead
Are you tired of hearing about it yet? I’m getting there. There’s more chatter about Google right now than there is on Google , and most of what’s on Google is conversations about Google . I’m sure Google didn’t set out to build the world’s most narcissistic social network, but considering how it’s designed and the “problems” it’s designed to solve, it also seems inevitable that Google would turn out this way. In trying to make a slicker, friendlier Facebook they’ve built a machine that requires so much active maintenance that its users are bonding over how frustrating it is to use, like guests at a dinner party whose hosts have decided not to have plates, where the lack of plates becomes the best, easiest thing to talk about. It’s clear that Google is closer than they ever have been to getting people excited about a social networking product, but right now I’d say people are more intrigued than anything else. Some friends and I were talking about it at brunch a few days ago, and someone who didn’t have Google yet asked how it’s supposed to be better than Facebook. “Well,” one said, “you’re supposed to be able to control who sees your posts better. There are these Circle things.” Ah, yes. The Circle things. . . .

July 14, 2011

How To: Make Your Kid A Writer

Make Your Kid a Writer - Ta-Nehisi Coates - Personal - The Atlantic
What should you do to help your child pursue her dreams of becoming a writer? First of all, let her be bored. Let her have long afternoons with absolutely nothing to do. Limit her TV-watching time and her internet-playing time and take away her cell phone. Give her a whole summer of lazy mornings and dreamy afternoons. Make sure she has a library card and a comfy corner where she can curl up with a book. Give her a notebook and five bucks so she can pick out a great pen. Insist she spend time with the family. It's even better if this time is spent in another state, a cabin in the woods, a cottage on the lake, far from her friends and people her own age. Give her some tedious chores to do. Make her mow the lawn, do the dishes by hand, paint the garage. Make her go on long walks with you and tell her you just want to listen to the sounds of the neighborhood. Let her be lonely. Let her believe that no one in the world truly understands her. Give her the freedom to fall in love with the wrong person, to lose her heart, to have it smashed and abused and broken. Occasionally be too busy to listen, be distracted by other things, have your nose in a great book, be gone with your own friends. Let her have secrets. Let her have her own folder on the family computer. . . .