This month I posted 15 entries, crafted 18 tweets, listened to 136 songs, bookmarked 4 sites, took 5 photos and favorited 11 things.
Sudo Make Me a Sandwich: The Video
A couple dudes build a sandwich-making robot to bring the classic comic strip to life. [via boing boing]
Bloomberg to Close Broadway Around Times and Herald Squares
Surprisingly, the city believes this will improve traffic flow around Times Square. And while it helps that I'm in favor of giving pedestrians and cyclists more power, I'm loving how the defeat of the congestion pricing bill has resulted in our mayor taking things into his own hands.
Posted February 25, 2009
Last Friday I attended the second half of the Times Open conference. The NYT put on the event so developers could "spend the day with industry leaders, learning about applications, data resources and the trends that will shape the way you work." Our hosts were incredibly gracious and I had a chance to see the tour the art floor (thanks Khoi and John!). Unfortunately, the event itself was disappointing.
While I can't speak to the morning sessions, the afternoon was spent getting an overview of the various APIs and attending "breakout sessions" with the other attendees, save for Jacob Harris' interesting talk about the interactive newsroom. The overviews would have been more useful if the breakout sessions had some structure. Instead of going to various rooms (that went unused) to discuss a specific topic, folks milled about, chatting with each other. If you consider the breakout sessions as just breaks, the 8 hour conference had only 4 hours of presentations.
My goal at the conference was to get my hands dirty with the APIs, discuss the implications of a news organization opening up its data and to meet some interesting people. I did get to meet a few interesting folks, but the conference didn't help me on the first two points. The lack of small group breakouts meant I walked away with fewer practical concepts and interesting questions in my head than I would have otherwise.
I don't feel too bad about being a debbie-downer because the NYT developers all were quite interesting and I am genuinely excited by the stuff they're building. In fact, I've got a couple more NYT-related posts floating around in my brain. Still, I do hope they'll take my advice next time and provide some more structured breakouts. An active backchannel may appear to be a positive, but I'd much rather the attendees be focused on the event and engaging with each other in real life.
Tom Rhodes Redraws Video Game Characters
Damn, these are cute. I love the goomba, koopa troopa, Bub and Bob. [via drawn]
Drummer Josh Freese Has a Unique Take on Variable Album Pricing
Part of the $20,000 package: "Maynard James Keenan, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo and Josh take you miniature golfing and then drop you off on the side of the freeway (all filmed and posted on YouTube)" [via glass]
Haagen Dazs' Five: Ice Creams Created with 5 Ingredients
I'll be buying this as soon as I can find it. Between this and Pepsi Throwback, packaged foods are rending the right way. [via 37 Signals]
I meant to publish this slideshow when the NYT published it last month. I could flip thousands of photos like this. Another cool thing: the audio that accompanies the piece ended at almost the exact same time I finished clicking through the photos. Say hello to the median.
SND's Top 5 Newspaper Designs of 2008
My favorite by a good margin was the last in the slideshow, Welt am Sonntag. [via Khoi]
Transparent OLED Displays
The booth jockey suggests using them for heads up displays in a car, but I want to see someone stack 3 of these together and make some true 3-D art. [via tdominey]
I Get Your Fail
Chronicles beautiful images created during video game development. [via modcult]
NYT Announces Their Article API
I'm super excited to see what comes of this. Also, I'll be at the Times Open event a week from today. If you're gonna be there, keep an eye out for me.
The Hardest Job in Football: Recording a Game
The Atlantic follows the intricacy of shooting a football game. I love this line, "'There were seven steals!' he says. 'Seven! Five of them resulted in baskets!' The team repeatedly stealing the ball was Kentucky, 'and everybody knew that they always applied a full-court press after a basket! The steals were critical to their success in the game, and the audience didn't even see them!'" [via kottke]
Douglas Bowman Explains the Imageless Buttons Used in Gmail
Gmail released some new buttons (and keyboard commands for labels!) today and Doug explains how he built round buttons with a gradient without using any images. Impressive.