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Great magazine articles

I was going to wait until I had read each of these great articles that all won the "Sidney Awards" but this post was getting stale. And then part two of the Sidney awards article came out, and I still hadn't published this. So, enough already.

If you appreciate really excellent non fiction writing, you owe it to yourself to read some of these. All the ones I've read so far, about topics I didn't know I would find interesting, have been excellent.

New Yorker Magazine: There and back again.

New York Magazine: Gawker

Weekly Standard: Roger Stone, Political Animal

Portfolio Magazine: Michael Lewis on the evolution of an investor

Commentary Magazine: Crime, Drugs and Welfare, and other good news

Vanity Fair: A death in the family

Claremont Institute: Review of 'God is not great'

The New Republic: About the Israel Lobby so- called
New York Review of Book: On Immigration
Edge: Moral Psychology and the misunderstanding of religion

Chronicle Review: Shumpeter

City Journa: The abduction of opera

Virtual Cable takes your GPS and raises you a heads-up display

This is really cool! Check out this post from Autoblog:

Filed under: Safety, TechTwo things plague GPS users: being forced to deal with dubious direction vocalizations and the amount of time spent looking at the screen when you should be paying attention to the road. MVS is developing a solution and it's likely the most revolutionary concept to date.

The system is comprised of a series of mirrors that project a three- dimensional line onto the windshield giving drivers a heads-up display of their intended path of travel.

(from: Virtual Cable takes your GPS and raises you a heads-up display)

The other really cool idea I have seen for making it easier to follow a route computed by the GPS is to project a virtual car on your windscreen which you are supposed to just follow. This was from an Engadget article about a Microsoft Patent.

Australian police testing super cruiser

Check out this post from Autoblog:

Filed under: Concept Cars, Government/Legal, Holden, Police/EmergencyThe transformation from police cruiser to police destroyer is almost complete. Researchers at Australia's National Safety Agency, along with Holden, Motorola and the Monash University Accident Research Center, have created an Emergency Services Concept Car that is not your standard black-and-white.

They claim the development of the car was necessitated by overheating issues in current cruisers and adequate power management. Emergency services personnel had so much technology crammed into their vehicles that they needed a better way to keep things cool and in control. We guess that once they replaced most of the peripherals with one central, voice-activated computer, they realized all the other stuff they could stuff inside.

So they added a license-plate reading camera that can process 5,000 to 8,000 license plates in ten hours. There are three additional cameras to keep track of, well, everything. There's a device for police to be able to send messages over another vehicle's car stereo. And there's also an item called "Starcatch" that fires a GPS dart into a vehicle that the police want to follow. It's only a concept vehicle for now, but the Aussie authorities are showing interest.

[Source: Courier Mail via Jalopnik]

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(from: Australian police testing super cruiser)

More fun with sprouts

Ok, you can tell I like this new gadget builder, SproutBuilder.

I've never had a simple way to create small (or big for that matter) Flash animations. Yes, I know it makes me regress to stupid jokes form my youth, but what the heck.

Of interest is that it took me about 5 minutes to make this flash animation while I was watching the Dems debate. Pretty cool.

[GEEKY] Check out WebGen

Sites that have to support a huge amount of traffic tend to want to be static html. No matter how fast PHP or perl is, in the end, static pages win. So tools pop up to allow you to generate a templated site, but generate it into static html to kind of have your cake and eat it too.

Webgen is one of those static web site generators. Here's what it does:

"When webgen is run it combines the template with each of the page files and generates the HTML output files. During this process special tags are substituted so that, for example, a menu is generated. Actually, this website was generated with webgen and, for example, the menu that you can see was created dynamically. For more information look at the documentation!" (from Webgen)

Continuing coverage of Demo 2008

Yesterday was a busy day! I saw lots of excellent products and ideas. I don't know how useful the Liveblog was for y'all, but it was a handy way to have me take notes and concentrate on what was happening. You wouldn't think you need help concentrating, but sitting in a big dark room for hours on end can wear out your attention span.

See my new sprout

The widget to the left was created using Sprout - in fact they insist that those be called "Sprouts" - don't ask me why. Notice how it's spinning and counting down? It's flash.

Sprout is a very cool service with which I can create widgets which are actually live Flash scripts that do interesting things. Sprout will host them on their servers, and let me link to them with an embed code.

But it gets more interesting. Notice how there's a share button? If you click on that it will show you embed code so you can further put that (wonderful little) widget on your site too. And it gets cooler still, becuase there are metrics collected so I can follow these widgets as they travel through the web. Cool.

I can think of some powerful yet simple things to do with these, like how about we create some 'i Love BlogBridge' badges, that look cool and get people to put them on their sites (how? I don't know, but…) And they can be animated and even include actions which get measured separately.

The possibilities are great!