In pursuit of textual glory

Category: Analysis

New Ways to Sift Data

At an experimental Web site, Many Eyes, (www.many-eyes.com), users can upload the data they want to visualize, then try sophisticated tools to generate interactive displays. These might range from maps of relationships in the New Testament to a display of the comparative frequency of words used in speeches by Senators Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama.

The site was created by scientists at the Watson Research Center of I.B.M. in Cambridge, Mass., to help people publish and discuss graphics in a group. Those who register at the site can comment on one another’s work, perhaps visualizing the same information with different tools and discovering unexpected patterns in the data.

Novelties – Lines and Bubbles and Bars, Oh My! New Ways to Sift Data – NYTimes.com.

Interesting concept.


What’s wrong with Disco

There has been a lot of viral marketing lately about the disc burning app ” Disco ”  and I frankly fail to see what it’s all about. I purchased the app after it came out of public beta a short while ago. For 14$ I am almost starting to regret buying the app for it really has a long way to go before it has Toast for breakfast !

Here is a list of things that are whacky and is by no mean exhaustive.

– The custom UI distracts the user from figuring out what is where. I had a hell of a time figuring out how to name a disc.

– The UI asks you to insert a disc or drop files, but when you insert a non session disc it does not tell you that you cannot burn any more session to that disc, something that a disc burning app should do.

– There is no such thing as a primer or an explanation for what session are all about and what the three options when selected or unselected do to the disc that you burn. An absolute must as I would be annoyed by coasters.

– My first disc was burnt and the final message that came up on the app window was ” A coaster has been burnt “, no kidding. I was annoyed as hell. There was absolutely no detailed error message that told me what went wrong. I was burning this on a 20” iMac and was not testing its sudden motion sensor.

– Imaging “DMG in ~ Desktop” – what the hell does that mean, and what are the other two options. What am I supposed to set them at?

– Disc types, what are they all about. I want to burn discs, audio, video and the like, not decide on what file formats to burn them in. I want Disco to figure it out, aka Toast.

– Can I choose an external drive?

– The whole smoke thing actually adds to the problem. Reading through the comments on the Disco blog, one gets the feeling that the beta users have been wanting a smoke machine rather than a disc burning app. It is nice that it can produce smoke but the disc burning issues have to be set right first.

– I would like a ” Test smoke ” button, so that I dont have to burn something just to see the cool smoke or fire or goo.

– Whats with the fixed burn speeds.

– Why does Disco not burn avi files to DVD format aka Toast?

– No progress indicator?

– Spandex, has a lot of things wrong with it. To cut a long story short, it doesnt seem to be working. I am unable to span large files. An explanation or an assessment of the files when dropped on Disco to tell me whether or not they can be spanned would be nice.

– Discography. Oh boy I love this. Its a great tool. Shame that it doesnt work. I have burnt 6 discs, but cannot look through the files. I tried typing  in the names of the files but nothing shows up. The developers have to fix this soon.

Way to go befor having Toast for breakfast.

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The Zune has been uncovered, and many a pundit are playing up some of the oddest features ever seen in a media player and that is the Wifi sharing capability.

It is supposedly brings the mp3 player out of the pocket and into the realm of the social networking group, wherein people would Zune each other and discover new tracks and photos.

What I really dont get is the social networking part of it. On a social networking site the anonymity of the internet lets people live a double life and emboldens them to come out with their likes and dislikes, that they probably would not reveal to those sitting next to them. The Zune will let people discover others’ music and photos?? I am not sure how many people would willingly share their photos and music with a total stranger who in reality has to be within wifi distance, say on a train or a bus or even a park. Zuning does not assure the user the anonymity of the internet where such exchanges probably still hide your identity. And if the person you want to share the photos and music are that close then why dont they just lend them their iPod to have a look at!!

QS New Interface

I updated the QS app today and discovered a new interface element that introduces a much wanted introduction to the app’s amazing features into the application interface itself. It also has a small inbuilt browser interface that takes you to the Blacktree.com website and takes you through stuff like tips and tricks in using QS. Screenshot below.

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