26 March 2007

Unobviously Obvious

Google has a very weak incentive to “support” content of quality. Put another way, Google’s incentive to “support” content creators diminishes in quality.

Think about this intuitively: the more crap there is, the more stuff you have to wade through – the happier Google is (at least in the short run).

Let me put this even more succinctly. Google doesn’t care about absolute levels of quality – it only cares about relative levels of quality. And the more media it indexes, the stronger this dilution of incentives gets.

Umair Haque

22 March 2007

Slingshot

Joyent (the longest lasting beta test I’ve ever participated in) just announced Slingshot, a lightweight framework which allows Ruby on Rails applications to run offline on your PC/Mac and to easily sync the data between the online/offline versions. A desktop release of the Connector is scheduled for the end of next month. I can’t wait.

see First Impressions: Joyent and Bookmarks

22 March 2007

urlTea

urlTea is another URL-shortening tool with a nice twist: it let’s you annotate the shortened URL [http://urltea.com/9x?urltea-tiny-urls-with-semantics], and it also has a simple API.

21 March 2007

Linkmaker

Make Link – a useful Firefox extension which speeds up the process of creating links. It’s configurable, so you can create your very own link types (e.g. for Textile)

17 March 2007

Pet-cha

Cute project from Microsoft Research (who knew?): Asirra

Asirra (Animal Species Image Recognition for Restricting Access) refines captchas by asking users to identify photographs of cats and dogs and is offered as a free web service.

They’ve partnered up with petfinder, who provided Asirra

with over two million images of cats and dogs, manually classified by people at thousands of animal shelters across the United States. In exchange, we provide a small “Adopt Me!” link beneath each photo, supporting Petfinder’s primary mission of finding homes for homeless animals.

14 March 2007

Tag Descriptions

del.icio.us just added Tag Descriptions which let you annotate your tags to provide some sort of explicit reflections on your tagging heuristics.

I really admire Joshua Schachter for his ability to innovate (sometimes seeing the obvious first vs. adding features), for his resistance against popularity contests (i.e. digg, Technorati WTF) and for leaving out the crap.

12 March 2007

Dabble DB Commons

Now this is seriously cool: critically acclaimed Dabble DB announced a free version – the Dabble DB Commons

You get the same sweet features as their paid service (check out the 7 minute demo), the only difference is that all data are publicly accessible and licensed under a Creative Commons license.