Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-01-13

Wrest control from a snooping smart speaker with this teachable ‘parasite’ | TechCrunch“We looked at how cordyceps fungus and viruses can appropriate and control insects to fulfill their own agendas and were inspired to create our own parasite for smart home systems,” explain Karmann and Knudsen in a write-up of the project here. “Therefore we started Project Alias to demonstrate how maker-culture can be used to redefine our relationship with smart home technologies, by delegating more power from the designers to the end users of the products.” Elad Blog: Interesting Markets: 2019 EditionJust as there was a prior prosumer wave as part of IT productivity 1.0, we are experiencing a new “devsumer” wave, where consumers are more likely to take on lighter versions of developer-like work and products. A number of products have emerged that allow people to build simple software applications, or to use templated applications for their own work flow or productivity. You can think of this as taking a SQL database or excel spreadsheet and turning it into an app platform. These companies include Airtable and, in a vertical way specific to internal tools, Retool. In a different market segment, Notion and Coda are focused on the future of docs & productivity software, while other companies, such as Zapier and IFTTT allow you to simply stitch together APIs into workflows. There is […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-01-06

Programming SucksAlso, the bridge was designed as a suspension bridge, but nobody actually knew how to build a suspension bridge, so they got halfway through it and then just added extra support columns to keep the thing standing, but they left the suspension cables because they’re still sort of holding up parts of the bridge. Nobody knows which parts, but everybody’s pretty sure they’re important parts. **** This is what it is to learn programming. You get to know your useful tools, then you look around, and there are some handy new tools nearby and those tools show you the bottomless horror that was always right next to your bed. **** Remember that stuff about crazy people and bad code? The internet is that except it’s literally a billion times worse. Websites that are glorified shopping carts with maybe three dynamic pages are maintained by teams of people around the clock, because the truth is everything is breaking all the time, everywhere, for everyone. Right now someone who works for Facebook is getting tens of thousands of error messages and frantically trying to find the problem before the whole charade collapses. There’s a team at a Google office that hasn’t slept in three days. Somewhere there’s a database programmer surrounded by empty Mountain Dew bottles whose husband thinks she’s dead. […]

Forest xGump on a bench with the text simple is as simple does.

Show Posts in Same Category on Gravity Forms Post Creation

The goal here is to have someone create some content in a particular category (using Gravity Forms) and then end up seeing content from other people that is in that same category. There are lots of ways to do this but this in a simple and dynamic way. It has the added benefit of requiring no coding knowledge. It does rely on the Display Posts plugin and Gravity Forms. This is all it takes to show content from the same category in the Text confirmation display area. Sure you could also redirect to a category page but this gives you the ability to customize quite a bit more. I can use offset=”1″ to omit the post the person just submitted. I could go father and add/display only posts that are also tagged “awesome.” I could include excerpts, featured images etc. Nice and easy but lots of options.


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-12-30

What’s Next for Hack EducationI am hoping that the shift away from compiling all the goings-on for that weekly news round-up will give me more time to think deeply and critically about education and technology, instead of perpetually being enraged by how many terrible and silly things are marketed as “solutions” by folks who just want to sell a product or service – some aware, some unaware that their very well-funded load of futurist bullshit is pretty damn dystopian. —best wishes to Audrey as I couldn’t do more than skim those weekly round-ups because I found them so deeply depressing The Chaos – Gerard Nolst Trenité classic English poem containing about 800 of the worst irregularities in English spelling and pronunciation. Why Data Is Never Raw – The New Atlantis “Raw data is both an oxymoron and a bad idea; to the contrary, data should be cooked with care.” “Raw” carries a sense of natural or untouched, while “cooked” suggests the result of cognitive processes. But data is always the product of cognitive, cultural, and institutional processes that determine what to collect and how to collect it. In this sense, “raw data” is indeed a contradiction in terms. In the ordinary use of the term “raw data,” “raw” signifies that no processing was performed following data collection, but the term […]

A flowchart that was created by filling out a Gravity Form.

Gravity Forms + Mermaid JS = Decision Flowcharts

I was building something in JSPlumb the other day1 and it prompted Tim to ask if we could build flowcharts based on survey responses so that respondents could see their choices in context. I thought we could and it led to this simple example2 that I think will have lots of interesting and broad applications down the road. This is one of those things that is halfway to an actual answer. It gives you the foundation to build specific things pretty quickly without a lot of technical knowledge but it does require attention to detail and understanding some logical3 writing patterns. My semi-coding audience may be mostly in my mind but it works for me and maybe for our ALT Lab R+D group. If this ends up expanding well, it’s possible Jeff will make it into a more substantial solution plugin like he’s done so well with a number of other things that started out this way. Foundational Elements This uses Gravity Forms and a little plugin I made to add the Mermaid css and js to posts. The plugin also adds a little content filter to add the data to WordPress without it getting messed up by the editor. I went back and forth on which way I’d create the flowcharts. I opted for Mermaid because I though the […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-12-16

That Isn’t a Mistake – dy/danBut the vast majority of the work we label “mistakes” is students doing exactly what they meant to do. We just don’t understand what they meant to do. Teaching effectively means I need to know what a student knows and what to ask or say to help her develop that knowledge. Calling her ideas a mistake transforms them from a window into her knowledge into a mirror of my own, and I am instantly less effective. Influencers Are Faking Brand Deals – The AtlanticThe owner of one sunglasses brand, who asked to remain anonymous so as not to alienate anyone in the influencer community, said the practice has put him in a tough position as a stream of mid-level influencers post mediocre-quality sponsored content seemingly on his behalf, without his approval or control. Byrne’s EuclidA reproduction of Oliver Byrne’s celebrated work from 1847 plus interactive diagrams, cross references, and posters designed by Nicholas Rougeux Federal court says NY ban on nunchucks unconstitutionalThe ruling went over the history of the ban, and said it “arose out of a concern that, as a result of the rising popularity ‘of ‘Kung Fu’ movies and shows,? ‘various circles of the state’s youth’ — including ‘muggers and street gangs’ — were ‘widely’ using nunchaku to cause ‘many serious injuries.’” ??? […]


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-12-09

Soviet big red missile button switch, surplus – Varusteleka.comSoviet big red missile button switch, surplus Deleting array elements in JavaScript – delete vs splice – Stack Overflow****use splice instead delete will delete the object property, but will not reindex the array or update its length. This makes it appears as if it is undefined: Why Ratings and Feedback Forms Don’t Work – The AtlanticChasing ever more ratings abandons the original lesson of mechanical feedback: Specific, critical information can make a system perform well. The thoughts, opinions, experiences, and advice that consumers are asked to share all seem to have equal significance—and organizations seek ever more quantities of that feedback. An app called DropThought, for instance, promises to “capture feedback anywhere” from users who can reply “easily with one click using their smartphones.” Any thought, any response is worth capturing.

Ben Franklin bust with 'think it through' written on his forehead.

Photography – #165

View this post on Instagram #phomag_tour condensation as filter A post shared by @ twwoodward on Dec 6, 2018 at 11:48am PST View this post on Instagram #phomag A post shared by @ twwoodward on Dec 6, 2018 at 4:29pm PST View this post on Instagram Strange lights, strange shadows A post shared by @ twwoodward on Dec 8, 2018 at 7:18am PST View this post on Instagram A post shared by @twwoodward on Dec 7, 2018 at 2:45pm PST


Weekly Web Harvest for 2018-12-02

?³ #wcus on Twitter: “TinyMCE was never tying to be a layout tool, like MicroSoft Word does not try to be PowerPoint. The Block-Based editor is trying to be both a typing tool and a layout tool. Today, I think it fails at providing a fluid interface to TinyMCE was never tying to be a layout tool, like MicroSoft Word does not try to be PowerPoint. The Block-Based editor is trying to be both a typing tool and a layout tool. Today, I think it fails at providing a fluid interface to make either task feel enjoyable. The “Yellow Jackets” Riots In France Are What Happens When Facebook Gets Involved With Local NewsThe same month that Nogueira set up his first group, Mark Zuckerberg announced two algorithm changes to Facebook’s News Feed that would “prioritize news that is trustworthy, informative, and local.” The updates were meant to combat sensationalism, misinformation, and political polarization by emphasizing local networks over publisher pages. One change upranks news from local publishers only. Another change made the same month prioritizes posts from friends and family, hoping to inspire back-and-forth discussion in the comments of posts. CoyoteVestAre you concerned for the safety of your small dog? It’s a dangerous world where coyotes, aggressive dogs, and even birds of prey can injure or kill your small dog […]