G+: Are you taking change management tips from Reed Hastings?I'm ok w/ the UI changes, but not the instant-removal of the Sharing feature. I relied on the RSS feed of my Shared Items page to update my self-hosted Wordpress blog, Facebook page, and ...

G+: Are you taking change management tips from Reed Hastings?

I'm ok w/ the UI changes, but not the instant-removal of the Sharing feature. I relied on the RSS feed of my Shared Items page to update my self-hosted WordPress blog, Facebook page, and Twitter. I'll have to find another way now.

Google Reader Gets a Redesign, Adds Google+ Integration

#FOOD 9.5 inch 6-egg brunch omelette with ham, Swiss cheese, onion, baby bell peppers and salsa (before closing). With homemade honeycrisp apple juice & local roast coffee!

#FOOD 9.5 inch 6-egg brunch omelette with ham, Swiss cheese, onion, baby bell peppers and salsa (before closing). With homemade honeycrisp apple juice & local roast coffee!

[Video Link]. Boing Boing reader Samuel Cockedey created this lovely short, and explains: This is a tribute to Ridley Scott and Vangelis, whose work on Blade Runner has been a huge source of inspiration in my shooting time lapses. Please watch in ...

[Video Link]. Boing Boing reader Samuel Cockedey created this lovely short, and explains:

This is a tribute to Ridley Scott and Vangelis, whose work on Blade Runner has been a huge source of inspiration in my shooting time lapses. Please watch in HD with sound on! Shot over a year in Tokyo with a Canon 5dmk2, mainly in the Shinjuku area. Music: "Main Titles" and "Blush Response" from the Blade Runner soundtrack. More information on the process here.​ Selected sequences available for licensing here.






Excerpted from I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain are Being Creatively Disrupted @ 2011 by Nick Bilton. Reprinted by Permission of Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Rando...

Excerpted from I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain are Being Creatively Disrupted @ 2011 by Nick Bilton. Reprinted by Permission of Crown Business, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York.

Does Your Surgeon Play Video Games?

The next time you have surgery, ask your surgeon if he or she played video games in the past.

201110191628A few years ago, researchers quizzed more than thirty surgeons and surgical residents on their video- game habits, identifying those who played video games frequently, those who played less frequently, and those who hardly played at all. Then they put all the surgeons through a laparoscopic surgery simulator, in which thin instruments akin to extremely long chopsticks are inserted into one or more small incisions through the skin along with a small camera that is inserted into an additional small opening. Minimally invasive surgery like this frequently is used for gallbladder removal, gynecologic procedures, and other procedures that once involved major cutting and stitching and could require hours on an operating table.

The researchers found that surgeons or residents who used to be avid video game players had significantly better laparoscopic skills than did those who'd never played. On average, the serious game players were 33 percent faster and made 37 percent fewer errors than their colleagues who didn't have prior video- game experience.

The more video games the surgeons had played in the past, the better their numbers. This wasn't tested on a group of kids who played twelve hours of video games a day and hadn't showered in weeks. These residents and practicing surgeons simply played three or more hours of action video games a week. Some of the more advanced video- game- playing students managed to make 47 percent fewer errors than others and were able to work as much as 39 percent faster.

The results were surprising given the criticism video games have received for rotting young minds, turning upstanding youngsters into juvenile delinquents, and just wasting time. Instead, surgeons and researchers have begun to test whether the games should be a key part of a future surgeon's education, since speed and accuracy are crucial to conquering the learning curve associated with using laparoscopic techniques to perform delicate procedures. Game skill, the researchers theorized, could translate into surgical skill and help cut "medical errors," which have become the eighth leading cause of death in this country.

A couple of years ago, a researcher at Arizona State University tried this out on surgeons at Banner Good Samaritan Medical Center, using a Wii golf club that was reshaped into a laparoscopic probe. One group of residents played a suite of games called Wii Play and a game that involves subtle hand movements, Marble Mania, using the probe, while another group didn't. The game players showed 48 percent more improvement in performing a simulated laparoscopic procedure compared with those who didn't play.

But not every game helps surgeons improve their skills. It turns out that Wii's Marble Mania stimulates the areas of the brain needed for surgery. Games such as Wii Tennis, where you swat your arms in the air as though you were hitting a virtual ball, did not help surgeons' scores. But many studies have found that even limited practice on video games may increase speed and skill in surgery.

It's no surprise, of course, that dexterity improves with practice. But what makes these studies stand out is how effectively human brains can make the leap to conquering new technologies and then putting those new skills to use in innovative and varied ways. For example, these studies consistently show that playing video games improves hand- eye coordination and increases one's capacity for visual attention and spatial distribution, among other skills. These increased brain functions are tied not only to game play but to several other real- world scenarios, including surgery.

You may feel like your brain cannot cope with so much information or jump seamlessly from one medium to another, just as you may have felt in high school that you couldn't learn a foreign language or conquer higher math.

But as the brain faces new language (or acronyms and abbreviations), new visual and auditory stimulation, or new and different ways of processing information, it can change and grow in the most remarkable fashion. In fact, it may well be a natural part of human behavior to seek out and develop unnatural new experiences and technologies and then incorporate them into our daily lives and storytelling.

Buy I Live in the Future and Here's How it Works: Why Your World, Work, and Brain are Being Creatively Disrupted from Amazon.com






I favorited a YouTube video: (Watch in 1080HD!) (For prints and access to raw images signup at http://bit.ly/nWIisM) From dust to dust, this time lapse covers over 5 weeks including the preparation of the event, from before the trash fence er...
I favorited a YouTube video: (Watch in 1080HD!)
(For prints and access to raw images signup at http://bit.ly/nWIisM)
From dust to dust, this time lapse covers over 5 weeks including the preparation of the event, from before the trash fence erection and after basical...

I liked a YouTube video: (Watch in 1080HD!) (For prints and access to raw images signup at http://bit.ly/nWIisM) From dust to dust, this time lapse covers over 5 weeks including the preparation of the event, from before the trash fence erecti...
I liked a YouTube video: (Watch in 1080HD!)
(For prints and access to raw images signup at http://bit.ly/nWIisM)
From dust to dust, this time lapse covers over 5 weeks including the preparation of the event, from before the trash fence erection and after basical...

California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared Sunday (10/16/2011) Steve Jobs Day in California, and Apple is holding an invitation-only memorial event for Steve Jobs at Stanford University. To commemorate Steve Jobs Day, I found a video I think he...

California Gov. Jerry Brown officially declared Sunday (10/16/2011) Steve Jobs Day in California, and Apple is holding an invitation-only memorial event for Steve Jobs at Stanford University. To commemorate Steve Jobs Day, I found a video I think he would have liked.

Of the dozens of memorial videos that honor Jobs, I thought this one was the most appropriate for the occasion, created by a musician who calls himself AzR. Here’s how he describes the production of this profoundly moving work of art:

“I made this song using only sounds from Apple products and Steve’s 2005 Stanford commencement speech. Every instrument, including drums, has been sampled from a Mac product, tuned by ear, and replayed in the context of the song.”

If you take away nothing else from this day, just remember what I think is the most important quote ever said by Steve Jobs: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.”

Here’s Steve Jobs delivering his memorable Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005:

Steve Jobs demos Apple Macintosh, 1984

Steve Jobs introduces the Macintosh to the world. Computing would never be the same.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: apple, Steve Jobs Day, Video


Most people reading this website will not be surprised to hear that the era of film is coming to an end. Even those of you who, like me, spent days in darkrooms perfecting your dodge technique, are likely unruffled at the notion. But in Hollywood film ...

Film_35_mm_-_amorce_croix_avec_agrafes

Most people reading this website will not be surprised to hear that the era of film is coming to an end. Even those of you who, like me, spent days in darkrooms perfecting your dodge technique, are likely unruffled at the notion. But in Hollywood film has been clinging tenaciously to life, if only out of a sort of traditionalist inertia. But this last year was marked by a sort of quiet final surrender by the film cadre: Arri, Panavision, and Aaton have all ceased production of film cameras. These companies have been driving the film industry for decades, and for them all to throw in the towel at once suggests that the end truly is approaching.

The story of the last few years of film is told extremely well in Debra Kaufman’s article at Creative Cow, which touches on the many people and industries which film moviemaking has both relied on and contributed to. To call its end a tragedy would be a sentimental overstatement, but the world rarely moves on without leaving some things behind, and it’s good to acknowledge that.

Practically speaking, there has been pressure for years on these film camera companies to switch entirely to digital, and a few things finally put them past the point of no return. While they have been doing good business in a way, the number of productions using film has been steadily declining, and the need for new film cameras hasn’t been strong in years. They’re phenomenally expensive, for one thing; even major production houses tend to only have a couple on hand or rent from a partner. Panavision and the others have been tweaking and repairing these cameras for a long time, but selling very, very few.

The competition from digital has also stepped up, even from within. Can Arri justify the cost put into their film department when everybody is crowing about the Alexa, which is by all accounts amazing? Then you have the upstarts like RED, whose totally new technology and research put the unwary old guard on the run, and Canon, whose 5D mk II has proven a popular option for filmmakers on a budget.

Changes in the industry, too, have portended film’s demise. TV production has made a sudden shift to digital, especially after labor disputes that led many actors and producers to join with the union covering digital productions instead of film. The earthquake in Japan flooded the one facility that makes a certain HD tape format, prompting a number of production houses to switch to all-digital. And of course the ongoing replacement of film projectors with digital continued to put pressure on the film ecosystem; in July, the National Association of Theatre Owners announced that fully half of their thousands of theaters were converted to digital, and they’re adding 700 every month.

What’s a film-based business model to do? Shut down quietly and with dignity, it seems. Film itself will likely be around for a while longer, though Kodak and Fujifilm are only going to continue production as long as it’s a good business decision. But with Kodak nearing bankruptcy and Fujifilm more and more embracing digital, the future isn’t looking bright for 35mm.

But will it disappear forever? It’s impossible to say, but the answer is a bit like that for books: they’ll remain in production for a long, long time, but will be marginalized to the extreme and bought only by collectors and traditionalists. As AbleCine’s Moe Shore estimates: “In 100 years, yes. In ten years, I think we’ll still have film cameras. So somewhere between 10 and 100 years.” Sounds reasonable. Some will say good riddance, and some will never convert, but that the industry is moving on is just a fact.

Whatever the specifics of the era’s demise turn out to be, here’s a modest salute to the film camera companies that have enabled so much creativity. They’re finally embracing the next wave with the humility proper to a venerable but truly outdated technology like film, and hopefully the next century will be as productive as the last.

On June 17, 2009, Mashable made a mistake. In a report about the volume of Twitter activity surrounding the #IranElection movement, we accidentally used a “b” instead of an “m,” inflating the number of total tweets one thousand-fold. This,...



Mashable OP-ED: This post reflects the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of Mashable as a publication.

On June 17, 2009, Mashable made a mistake. In a report about the volume of Twitter activity surrounding the #IranElection movement, we accidentally used a “b” instead of an “m,” inflating the number of total tweets one thousand-fold. This, on its own, is not spectacular. Though we certainly try to avoid it, every organization makes mistakes like this. The great thing about the web is that we were able to fix the error within minutes of the article going out. “Billion” became “million,” our readers had the correct information. No big deal.

Except that also within minutes, Ann Curry of NBC News, a very highly respected journalist with an international following, had tweeted our original, incorrect version to her followers. Her repetition of our mistake lent legitimacy to an incorrect stat.

That episode reveals the best and worst of the state of news media today. On one hand, speed allows for flexibility. We were able to correct a mistake almost immediately, instead of having to wait until the next day’s edition. If “Dewey Defeats Truman” happened today, a correction could be made with much greater ease.

On the other hand, the speed at which the real-time web operates also allows false information to spread quickly. The Chicago Tribune only printed about 150,000 copies of their infamous headline gaffe; how many millions of people can see a mistaken tweet? That widespread perception is more difficult to correct.


The Speed of the Web Both Empowers and Undermines the Media


"Mashable.com reporting,"we're approaching one billion tweets on the situation" in #iranelection" - Ann Curry, Twitter

As my Curry anecdote illustrates, there are reasons to be both excited and fearful for the state of the fourth estate.

There is a case to be made that now is the greatest time in history to be a journalist. There is more access to all media, meaning a larger section of the populace has the chance to stay informed. In places where people have lived under oppressive regimes — like Egypt — the democratization of media has given hope for a freer society. Digital tools now exist that encourage reporting with greater depth. Journalism can be undertaken by crowds working in unison, allowing vast amounts of information to be pored over in ways never before possible. Mistakes can be corrected in real-time and stories can be updated as they unfold.

There is also a case to be made that journalism is in trouble. The rise of blogging and social media means that journalism is now firmly in the domain of the people, and there is a risk that all those voices will drown each other out; that sorting fact from fiction has become too difficult; that the established standards of journalistic ethics and integrity have fallen by the wayside; that information spreads too fast to be properly vetted and investigated.

A recent study by the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 94% of American Internet users have turned to the web for news, yet 70% agreed with the statement, “The amount of news and information available from different sources today is overwhelming.” And that’s only going to get worse.

Ray Kurzweil’s law of accelerating rate of change, which certainly seems to apply here (just think of how you got your news 20 years ago vs. 10 years ago vs. today), indicates that information is only going to keep increasing. The news cycle is going to keep shortening. The stream is going to get more saturated.

For that reason, media literacy has become at once more important and more complex.


What It Means to be Literate in the Digital Age


Are you illiterate if you don’t know how to interpret a tweet? If you can’t tell the difference between fact and fiction on Twitter, does that mean you are lacking media literacy skills?

In 2009, while a debate raged in the halls of the U.S. Congress about a federal stimulus bill to jump start the nation’s fading economy, one curious Twitter user decided to conduct a social experiment. He started seeding Twitter with false information about the stimulus bill. Using the Twitter account “@InTheStimulus,” the user started spreading falsities around Twitter with a surprising effect — the the information was picked up and retweeted so much that people began to believe it. In fact, a large number of members of Congress actually began to recite the “facts” on the floors of the House and Senate.

So, were all those Congresspeople illiterate? Maybe.

“Literacy has always been defined by the technology,” said Nichole Pinkard, founder of Chicago’s Digital Youth Network in a PBS special on 21st century learning that aired in February. “Before the printing press, your ability to orally recite something meant [you were] literate.”

In today’s media-saturated world, the concept of literacy is again changing. According to Pinkard, kids in school today may not be considered literate in the future if they don’t fundamentally understand new forms of media — things like blogs, Twitter and streaming video. To be truly literate, though, you also need to be able to think critically about media, discern fact from fiction, news from opinion, trusted from untrustworthy. These issues have always been thorny, but the explosion of self-publishing has only made media literacy more vital to the preservation of our democratic society.


Social Tools Are Not Enough; Literacy Must be Taught


Of course, one could also argue that the “@InTheStumulus” story is really just an example of sloppy reporting. Any journalist worth his or her salt wouldn’t use tweets as a source without first vetting that information. But there’s the rub — much of the information we consume today doesn’t come from trained journalists. Think of it as back-fence gossip amplified a million-fold.

Don’t get me wrong — a lot of so-called citizen journalism is great. Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube — these are invaluable tools for getting information out quickly. It is for that reason that journalists are starting to rely on them to source stories, and to great effect. There’s nothing like having a network of first responders armed with pocket-sized computers that stretches around the globe and includes a billion people.

But for every Jakarta bombing account or Osama bin Laden raid, there is a celebrity death rumor or a misquoted fact. For now, most trained journalists understand how to vet sources — whether digital or analog. But that’s because journalists have a strong background in media literacy. Somewhere along the line, someone taught us the skills necessary to think critically about the information we consume, how to recognize a trusted source, and how to sniff out bias and ulterior motives.

What happens if media literacy training doesn’t keep up with the acceleration of the information stream? What happens as the line between trained and citizen journalism continues to blur? What happens if our kids can’t pick out fact from fiction?

According to the News Literacy Project, “because the focus on standardized testing in schools has tended to push civics or current events courses out of classrooms, schools today frequently do not address” media literacy.

And that’s what has people worried. Journalism is alive and well, but only if we continue to teach our kids to be discerning consumers of media. That’s why projects like the News Literacy Project, Center for Media Literacy and 21st Century Literacy are so important. It’s not enough to just make sure today’s youth know how to use digital media tools, we also need to make sure they know how to truly understand the information they find.


Continue the Discussion


Many of the top minds in new media will convene in New York City on November 4th for the Mashable Media Summit to discuss the very issues affecting 21st century journalism. Media literacy is just one of those issues. As always, we also invite you to add your thoughts in the comments section below.


A Look Back at Last Year’s Mashable Media Summit


Mashable Media Summit

Click here to view this gallery.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, rubenhi

More About: features, journalism, mashable media summit, Media, Social Media


Richard Feynman, God of Perfect Analogies, explains why it's not a failure or a scandal when scientists adapt and change their understanding of the world. This is a really important point, applicable in a lot of public debates over science, espec...

Richard Feynman, God of Perfect Analogies, explains why it's not a failure or a scandal when scientists adapt and change their understanding of the world. This is a really important point, applicable in a lot of public debates over science, especially those focused on evolution and climate change. Science isn't about writing things on tablets of stone. It's about taking a theory and constantly digging deeper into it—adding layers of nuance, finding stuff that doesn't make sense, and using both to build a more complete picture. Even if the big idea is right, the details will change. That's how science is supposed to work.

Via W. Younes

Video Link






When It's Gone It's Gone, an online one-of-a-kind store, is selling this Royal Navy ejector seat that's been fitted with legs for use as an office desk-chair. Not sure what the ergonomics are like (I assume that a pilot's seat has to be at least mod...

When It's Gone It's Gone, an online one-of-a-kind store, is selling this Royal Navy ejector seat that's been fitted with legs for use as an office desk-chair. Not sure what the ergonomics are like (I assume that a pilot's seat has to be at least moderately comfy, though!), and as for price, it's a strictly "make an offer" affair.

Our Martin Baker Mk6 ejector seat for sale, originally used in a Royal Navy Buccaneer, has been fitted with a stainless steel frame, transforming it into the unique seat it is today! Complete with original 'chutes, harness and eject handles, the seat is guaranteed to turn heads in the office or look great at home!

The Mk.6MSB was fitted to the Buccaneer jet used by both RAF and Royal Navy. This seat in particular was fitted to XV157 which flew first with the Royal Navy from '66, including operating from the aircraft carrier HMS Eagle (where its was coded 107/E) and RAF squadrons from '69. XV157 was sadly scrapped in '91, at which point this seat was removed and converted to a training seat.

The ejector seat has been kept in its original authentic condition to preserve its' history; parts are original to the chair, including straps, parachute, seat cushion and handles. Paintwork has been kept as the original. Rockets are present - including pitch rockets - minus cartridge and propellant.

(via Crib Candy)






Who has tim to actually visit places anymore? Not me. Too much stuff to do that doesn't involve curiosity or exercise. That's why these Google Maps "Worldwide Carpets" area rugs are so perfect. More...

Who has tim to actually visit places anymore? Not me. Too much stuff to do that doesn't involve curiosity or exercise. That's why these Google Maps "Worldwide Carpets" area rugs are so perfect. More »