Links for 21st October 2008

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. Pandemics: Google takes on real viruses

    "Money from the internet giant will provide funding for six projects that aim to detect new diseases and understand the conditions that help them spread – potentially saving millions of lives in the process."

    Tagged with: Googlephilanthropydiseaseresearchinvestment

  2. Space is Gonna Do Me Good

    "It seems to me, though, that SF might be on the verge of exhibiting a collective loss of faith in the old dream of space travel beyond our solar system. Maybe it's already happened. On his blog, that excellent writer Ian McDonald has stated his position very clearly – he doesn't feel that he's engaging with anything real when he writes about spaceships. I can't argue with that; I feel differently but it's that personal response that's precisely the issue here. Writers should go with their hearts and minds, and not follow the pack. If you believe in something, write about it with conviction and sincerity. If you don't, don't." Al Reynolds.

    Tagged with: sfspacefuturismpredictionmappingsciencfictionscifi

  3. Tutorial: Creating Custom Write Panels in WordPress

    A little bit more tricksy than my usual, but could be handy further down the line, esp. for end-user branded stuff.

    Tagged with: webdevwordpresstutorialcustom-fieldsphpadminplugin

  4. The cost of First Click Free

    "At the very least, First Click Free provides another boost to the web's centripetal force, as Google further strengthens the advantage that its dominance of search provides. Google doesn't like to think of itself as locking in users to its search engine, but if you get a privileged view of the web when you go through Google, isn't that, as Lenssen suggests, a subtle form of lock-in? Isn't Google's web just a little bit better than the traditional unmediated web?" Er, isn't that something called a 'business model'?

    Tagged with: Googlesearchpublishingmonopolyparanoia

  5. design engaged (the second)

    "All these effects, and more, are going to be magnified by animated, augmented urban spam. There's a massive step change between moving posters and TV Everywhere. Especially when that TV is starting to know you're there and react to you. And this matters for a couple of reasons. (Probably also obvious) Firstly, because living in Bladerunner brought to you by Cillit Bang would be horrible, just as a person. Secondly, because I think it actually makes for counter-productive marketing. Annoying your potential customers in more and more places is not a useful strategy for businesses." Via Commandante Sterling.

    Tagged with: marketingmediadesignurbanspimeubicompspamadvertising

  6. QuickStart Configures Your Ubuntu System Without Terminal Work

    "… a free automation utility for Ubuntu Linux systems, makes it easy to perform partial or full system backups of any partition, synchronize folders and update them on a schedule, and take care of other tasks a beginner would normally need to spend serious time researching."

    Tagged with: ubuntulinuxconfigappQuickStart

  7. Giant toy rabbit spotted from space

    "A group of Austrian artists have made a giant pink toy rabbit in the Italian Alps can be seen via satellite from outer space." It's a mad mad mad mad world.

    Tagged with: artEuropegianttoyrabbit

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