Monthly Archives: January 2013

Marissa Mayer Is Late All The Time – Business Insider

Professionalism and punctuality are almost taken for granted when it comes to CEOs and corporate managers. Well, this is not always true and the lack of such ‘basic good practices’ certainly does not set a good example across co-workers and employees. Regardless the position and tenure held within the company’s hierarchy, there are things that never get old. Punctuality is the new sexy!

Here the new from Business Insider:

Marissa Mayer Is Late All The Time – Business Insider.

Codecademy’s Zach Sims Talks Education 2.0 And Learning To Code At DLD | TechCrunch

I am a big, passionate fan of Codecademy and I can spend hours playing with Javascript and the new courses’ materials (e.g. Phython and Ruby). The idea behind such community is to actively involve the user or the wannabe programmer by providing more than tutorials and exercises. Codeacademy, in fact, allows you to become a course creator by delivering your own materials and lessons and contributing back to the community itself. Codeacademy’s creator, Zach Sims, has recently given a talk at DLD Conference (Digital-Life-Design) on the history of the service, its very positive receptions among users and IT experts and future plans for improvements.

Here the article from TechCrunch:

Codecademy’s Zach Sims Talks Education 2.0 And Learning To Code At DLD | TechCrunch.

Facebook and its new Search Engine

Tuesday morning (15th of January), Facebook announced its new Search Engine called Graph Search during a press event at Menlo Park headquarters. Graph Search is designed to perform targeted and complex searches such as “find all my friends who live in London and like rock music”. Besides, Graph Search offers a rich auto-complete system together with a “power bar” located on the right-hand side of the page to refine your searches. Although Facebook is not running ads on Graph Search (yet), its use in marketing and advertising is potentially rather ludicrous. A shared provocative thought: Do I really need to use Graph Search to know which of my friends live in X place and have Y interest? Am I not supposed hold such information beforehand, since they are my “friends”? The term “friend”, once again, is being used in the loosest possible sense.

Drinking Mirror app shows how booze ravages your looks | CNET UK

It is Monday and I feel the need to post something which is not too intellectual or engaging. I have stumbled upon an article on Drinking Mirror, the apps that shows you the effect of alcohol abuse on your appearance. All you need is to upload a straight-on photo of yourself and enter how many glasses of wine (the only option, currently) you drink a week. A unflattering look at your “future you” will appear on the screen, suggesting that you will need to take immediate action to prevent this from becoming reality. Perhaps a successful deterrent?

Drinking Mirror app shows how booze ravages your looks | CNET UK.

Coding project that allows you “paraphrasing” classical music as you stream it

Coming from both an academic environment and 5 years violin classes at the School of Music, I was particularly interested in reading about Orchestrated Text, a Sheffield based project that uses a combination of HTML 5 and Javascript to load snippets of descriptive text as the music is streamed. The text aims to heighten and deepen the listener’s experience by portraying the imagery space behind the notes of Winter from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The text is based on the Deutsche Grammophon “La Gran Musica” series of CDs and books, whose purpose is to provide the listener with a guided tour for each classical piece and use the textual medium to enhance the listening experience. The project’s creator, Richard Birkin from Sheffield based media company Mudlark, soon stumbled upon one of the main challenges: synchronising each piece of the text with the music while it buffered. He found inspiration from the work of Nick Catalano and Matt Merkle for their Portal 2 site whose code was the main starting point. After getting more and more familiar with timing triggers and animation sequencing/re-sequencing, Birking was ready to present Orchestrated Text to the world of classical music fans, whose reception is already very positive. As the page loads the classical piece, each snippet of the text is queued up and attached to a time and animation instruction. As the track reaches each timing, the browser renders the text according to the animation instruction. I can personally see a bright future for Orchestrated Text, especially for educational purposes. Despite being currently at a prototypical stage, this project is a promising educational tool that combines the richness of both audio and texual media by equipping the listening with a real-time ‘paraphrasing’ facility to flow throughout the piece’s message.

The full Wired article (on which my post is based):

Coding project aims to deepen the experience of streaming classical music (Wired UK).

Waiting for Cebit 2013, here some updates from CES 2013

In preparation to Cebit 2013 (I am seriously planning to attend, this year), I have taken a look at what it is going on at CES (Consumer Electronics Show), held each January in the Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, US. Among the 20.000 new consumer products launched, Mashable selects the top 10 tech ‘objects of desire’: the impressive Kingston 1TB USB 3.0 Flash Drive, Panasonic’s 20 inch 4 K resolution Tablet, the world’s largest UHD TV and (impossible not to mention) the third generation LEGO Mindstorms EV3. Exciting gadgets!

RIP Aaron Swartz – a sad news

I have just came across the news of Aaron Swartz’s death, co-founder of Reddit and prolific Internet activist. It saddens me that such a bright and inquisitive mind will not be contributing anymore to our ‘Internet society’ with his fresh and technologically savy ideas. I would like to pay a tribute to his figure by posting Cory Doctorow’s article, co-editor of Boing Boing:

RIP, Aaron Swartz – Boing Boing.