Weekly Web Harvest for 2019-07-14

  • teenage engineering – PO-32 tonic
    never before has a drum machine that sounds this good
    with literally endless sound capabilities been set at a price this low.
    meet PO-32 tonic, the new gold standard drum machine.
    and yes, it comes in a gold plated cardboard box.

  • Haruspex – Wikipedia
    In the religion of Ancient Rome, a haruspex (plural haruspices; also called aruspex) was a person trained to practice a form of divination called haruspicy (haruspicina), the inspection of the entrails (exta—hence also extispicy (extispicium)) of sacrificed animals, especially the livers of sacrificed sheep and poultry. The reading of omens specifically from the liver is also known by the Greek term hepatoscopy (also hepatomancy).
  • “Effectiveness of Animation in Trend Visualization,” ten years later
    Our results found that animation is a paradox.
    It certainly wasn’t very effective for solving our tasks. Whether they had interactivity or not, users in the animation condition were less accurate than small multiples. Users took a very long time to answer questions when given an interactive animation, scrolling back and forth. When we took that control away, they’d quickly make their best guess. Despite that, interactive animation wasn’t much more accurate then non-interactive!
    But we also found that users really liked the animation view: Study participants described it as “fun”, “exciting”, and even “emotionally touching.” At the same time, though, some participants found it confusing: “the dots flew everywhere.”

  • An (anti) audioblogging manifesto
    Consider also this – the average person speaks at one hundred, perhaps
    one hundred fifty words per minute. Meanwhile, an accomplished reader
    can read ten times faster – up to a thousand words a minute, and that’s
    straight-up reading, not even skimming. You’re forcing people to listen
    to you at a speed that’s barely faster than the speed at which they can
    type. Why are you wasting their time? Is your voice really that
    beautiful?

  • FaceApp: Is The Russian Face-Aging App A Danger To Your Privacy?
    Feels like the intro paragraph is too pat but the full article shows the complexity of all this stuff and if facial recognition gets you into devices then thinking more about where your face is online will likely matter more and more.

    The weird decision in the article to focus on where a server is physically also makes no sense to me.

    What a mess.

  • [Folio] The Last Frontier, by Ted Conover | Harper’s Magazine
    In good weather, the large area between the mountain ranges has many appeals: incredible views, eagles and other wildlife, and land you can buy for a song. Five-acre lots on the prairie are typically priced at $3,000 to $5,000. (Land costs a lot more around the mountainous edges or in towns, where more people live.) But only the hardy can make it here year-round. The cheap land is almost all treeless and miles from anywhere, and the valley is famously windy.

    The McDonalds, the father still in jail awaiting trial for child abuse, were thinking hard about leaving the area before school started in the fall—possibly for Alabama, where they had come from years before. Another neighbor told me her cousin was visiting to withdraw from her addictions to meth and heroin. Paul was planting a garden and thinking of getting his last teeth pulled. Rick, also in the area, had sent out a group message on Facebook warning of the mountain lion he had seen on his property. Rhonda and Ke’Attrice, before long, would report that Rhonda’s house had been robbed while she was away; disillusioned, they said they might put it up for sale and move to Alaska.

Comments on this post

  1. dingwalljr said on July 22, 2019 at 1:24 pm

    Colour me skeptical on the (anti) audioblogging manifesto. The portion that you quoted is what grabbed my attention, as one of the routine course design elements I try to help instructors navigate is reading load. There’s no hard an fast rule that we use in our course designs, however, we try to take into account how much students are reading in a textbook, online articles, viewing in videos etc. The author of this manifesto proclaims that the avg person speaks 150wpm while an”accomplished reader can read ten times faster…” which implies 1500wpm. Then they backup a bit saying “… – up to a thousand words per minute, and that’s straight up reading…” So that calculation error raises my skepticism already, but looking at research on reading we see that, “Adults can read faster than 300 words per minute, but if the goal is to understand the meaning of sentences, rates beyond 300 words per minute reduce comprehension in a near linear fashion (Zacks and Treiman, 2016; Love, 2012; Carver, 1982).” (Barre, 2016). Looking at college students’ reading rates, and reading for retention, the number comes down considerably from 300wpm.

    While I think it’s important to consider the limitations of podcasts and vlogging in terms of scrubbing and finding the information you need (which is completely different from reading/written material), this entrance to the manifesto’s argument leaves a lot to be desired.

    • Tom Woodward said on July 23, 2019 at 7:43 am

      Winer tends to have very strong opinions and certainly isn’t talking about an educational setting. I was more interested in the idea of what skimming in audio would look/feel like and/or the relationship between text and audio that might give you the advantages of both. I do not enjoy audio/video myself because it’s so slow and difficult to skim. I have no patience and usually listen to it at 1.5x or 2x speed (which is something he doesn’t get into either). I would be curious about the impact of that on my understanding.

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