Author Archives: Tom Woodward

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-03-12

  • xkcd: Chat Systems

    I need to make image embedding possible for these weekly posts

  • Gene drives could halt malaria in West Africa — if residents agree to it

    These scientists are planning to release mosquitoes equipped with “gene drives,” a technology that overrides nature’s genetic rules to give every baby mosquito a certain trait that normally only half would acquire. Once such an insect gets out into the wild, it will move indiscriminately and spread its modified trait without respect for political borders.

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-03-05

  • Can the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker Be Found in Cuba? | Audubon

    Gallagher helped her purify water for the group, impressed with how much more convenient it was than a camping straw, which filters bacteria one sip at a time and does not filter viruses and which was all he carried in his bag, though he has neither a naiveté about waterborne illness nor an ironclad digestive tract. A partial list of places where Gallagher has suffered severe gastrointestinal distress includes: Mexico, Costa Rica, and Peru. In Mexico, he also got Hepatitis A. Which is a virus.

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-26

  • My FreeCell Win Percentage is All I Have – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency

    The events of 2016 and ensuing chaos that seems to be 2017 have destroyed every illusion of control I thought I had over my life. So no, I do not think I’m placing too much weight on the value of my FreeCell win percentage, thank you very much.

  • This site is “taking the edge off rant mode” by making readers pass a quiz before commenting » Nieman Journalism Lab

    Digital security is a controversial topic, and the conversation around security issues can become heated. But the conversation in the comments of the article was respectful and productive: Commenters shared links to books and other research, asked clarifying questions, and offered constructive feedback.

    The team at NRKbeta attributes the civil tenor of its comments to a feature it introduced last month. On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they’re allowed to post a comment. (For instance, in the digital surveillance story: “What does DGF stand for?”)

  • Exploring the world of digital detoxing | The Policy and Internet Blog

    The analogy between sugary, salty, or fatty foods and seductive technologies is drawn a lot — it was even made by danah boyd in 2009. Digital detoxing comes from a standpoint that tech companies aren’t necessarily working to enable meaningful connection, and are instead aiming to “hook” people in. That’s often compared to food companies that exist to make a profit rather than improve your individual nutrition, using whatever salt, sugar, flavourings, or packaging they have at their disposal to make you keep coming back.

    There are two different ways of “fixing” perceived problems with tech: there’s technical fixes that might only let you use the site for certain amounts of time, or re-designing it so that it’s less seductive; then there’s normative fixes, which could be on an individual level deciding to make a change, or even society wide, like the French labour law giving the “right to disconnect” from work emails on evenings and weekends.

    One that sort of embodies both of these is The Time Well Spent project, run by Tristan Harris and the OII’s James Williams. They suggest different metrics for tech platforms, such as how well they enable good experiences away from the computer altogether. Like organic food stickers, they’ve suggested putting a stamp on websites whose companies have these different metrics. That could encourage people to demand better online experiences, and encourage tech companies to design accordingly.

  • Musical Chord Progression Arpeggiator

    This is straight amazing.

  • Ushahidi

    Ushahidi, which translates to “testimony” in Swahili, was developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election violence in 2008. Since then, thousands have used our crowdsourcing tools to raise their voice. We’re a technology leader in Africa, headquartered in Nairobi, with a global team.

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152
Not the best picture but I do love this fence construction technique.

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152
This photo op kept me pinned for quite a while so I figured my own capture was earned.

Photography #152
From the Vasa museum which was really awesome. h/t Grant Potter for the suggestion.

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Photography #152

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-12

  • A Surreal Trip to a Domain-Names Conference – The Atlantic

    As a person who grew up online during the heyday of weird domain hacks, I mostly thought of domain names as a very niche genre of experimental poetry, one in which radical constraints (availability, brevity, the cadence of an interrupting “dot”) produce small, densely packed pockets of internet magic.

  • Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That’s not how he’s governing. – The Washington Post

    Phones — especially phones with their flashes turned on for improved visibility — are portable television satellite trucks and, if compromised, can be used to get a great deal of information about what’s happening nearby, unless precautions are taken.

  • January 17, 2017 : The Daily Papert

    School treats them like children in an impoverishing sense where children are assumed to be people who don’t have good ideas, whose knowledge is limited, who have to be told rather than exploring, discovering, creating, possessing knowledge. I think that’s the shift that we can bring around, about, and we have to … I see setting up that vision as the most important, maybe the most important act in the world because all the other things like saving the environment and the planet will flow from new ways of thinking that depend in turn on children growing up with a different relationship to knowledge and with the world, and a different vision of themselves.”

  • you-draw-it – bl.ocks.org

    How to do that awesome draw/predict the chart interactive piece from NYT

WP JSON to Google Sheets – Reflective Data

WP JSON to Google Sheets – Reflective Data


Image from page 86 of “Refraction and motility of the eye, with chapters on color blindness and the field of vision” (1920) flickr photo by Internet Archive Book Images shared with no copyright restriction (Flickr Commons)

Way back in 2015, I wrote a little plugin1 to count URLs, get the word count and do other stuff so I could reflect on my blog posts.

Given some (k)new knowledge2, I figured I could make a version that runs in Google Sheets and indeed I can. The reason I like this as an alternative to the plugin is that it works for anyone who has access to Google Sheets even if they can’t install plugins. Google Sheets also offers a lower barrier to messing with your own data once you get start capturing it. You can count the !s, or a variety of emoticons, or how often you use the word “spaces,” or whatever you want- all without the ability to program in php or javascript.

I think it starts to open up different doors for students3 to gather their own kind of data for reflection and amusement. It starts to get at the DIY ethos inherent in the quantified self communities.

The sheet is here. I’m going to build it out into something a bit more robust and plug/play in the near future but figured I’d throw this up in the interest of transparency.


//builds the URL based on the base URL in A1 on a sheet named URL 
function getJson() {
  var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActive();
  var sheet = ss.getSheetByName('URL');
  var url = sheet.getRange('A1').getValue();
  var feed = url +'/wp-json/wp/v2/posts/';
  var fetch =  UrlFetchApp.fetch(feed);
  var data = JSON.parse(fetch.getContentText());
  

//writes data to a sheet named data
  var log = ss.getSheetByName('data');
  var row = log.getLastRow();
  
  var len = data.length;
  var i = 0;
  while (i < len){
    var id = theId(data,i);
    var title = theName(data,i);
    var url = theUrl(data,i);
    var date = theDate(data,i);    
    var countUrl = countUrls(data,i);    
    var words = countWords(data,i);  
    var imgs = countImgs(data,i);
    

    log.insertRowAfter(1);
    log.getRange('A2').setValue(id);
    log.getRange('B2').setValue(title);
    log.getRange('C2').setValue(url);
    log.getRange('D2').setValue(words);
    log.getRange('E2').setValue(countUrl);
    log.getRange('F2').setValue(imgs);
    i++;
  }
}

function theId(data, i){
  var id = data[i].id;
  return id;
}

function theName(data, i){
  var title = data[i].title.rendered;
  return title;
}

function theUrl(data, i){
  var url = data[i].link;
  return url;
}

function theDate(data, i){
  var date = data[i].date;
  return date;
}

function countUrls(data, i){
  var data = data[i].content.rendered;
  var count = data.match(/(href="http:|href="https:)+/g).length;
  return count;
}

function countWords(data, i){
  var data = data[i].content.rendered;
  var count = data.split(' ').length;
  return count;
}


//should probably do this if false stuff for all of them . . . 
function countImgs(data, i){
  var data = data[i].content.rendered;
  var count = data.match(/(<img )+/g);
  if (count) {
  return count.length;
  }else{
   return 0; 
  }
}


1 and a blog post or I’d never be able to find it

2 Kickin’ the new k-nowledge . . . an MC to a degree that you can’t get in college

3 and other humans

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-05

  • you-draw-it – bl.ocks.org

    How to do that awesome draw/predict the chart interactive piece from NYT

  • Where To Catch Me

    For personal reasons, I stopped accepting ordinary speaking engagements in August 2002. Your offer will have to be exceptionally interesting to pass my filters.

  • The Final Flight of Martin McNally | Feature | St. Louis News and Events | Riverfront Times

    But nothing could have prepared McNally for the interference of a young Florissant businessman, David Hanley, who was among the bystanders ogling the drama from the terminal.

    Hanley did not remain a bystander for long. As the jet taxied down the runway, its massive engines revving in preparation for takeoff, Hanley’s 1971 Cadillac Eldorado crashed through the runway’s perimeter, battering through a fence at 80 miles per hour on a collision course with Flight 119.

    The plane, heavy with fuel, was essentially a bomb with wings. Over the intercom, the captain’s voice crackled with panic. “Oh my god, there’s a vehicle on the runway!”

Weekly Web Harvest for 2017-02-05

  • you-draw-it – bl.ocks.org

    How to do that awesome draw/predict the chart interactive piece from NYT

  • Where To Catch Me

    For personal reasons, I stopped accepting ordinary speaking engagements in August 2002. Your offer will have to be exceptionally interesting to pass my filters.

  • The Final Flight of Martin McNally | Feature | St. Louis News and Events | Riverfront Times

    But nothing could have prepared McNally for the interference of a young Florissant businessman, David Hanley, who was among the bystanders ogling the drama from the terminal.

    Hanley did not remain a bystander for long. As the jet taxied down the runway, its massive engines revving in preparation for takeoff, Hanley’s 1971 Cadillac Eldorado crashed through the runway’s perimeter, battering through a fence at 80 miles per hour on a collision course with Flight 119.

    The plane, heavy with fuel, was essentially a bomb with wings. Over the intercom, the captain’s voice crackled with panic. “Oh my god, there’s a vehicle on the runway!”

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