links and ramblings

I spent this evening playing with using Amazon's Mechanical Turk service to transcribe (often very badly-photographed) business cards for me, and then wrote some software to turn those results into various useful formats. It was a mostly-successful experiment, but I'm not quite ready to throw open the code and talk in detail about it — hopefully I'll have it ready for next week — so instead, have some links and ramblings.

  • This is a fascinating if curmudgeonly interview with the founder of New Urbanism, who seems to think us Millenials are destroying his cities with our techno music and our cheap food.
  • GNOME Accessibility UI fail: I turned on Accessibility features to play with the on-screen keyboard. Now if I hold Shift down for too long, it asks me if I want to turn on 'Slow Keys'. When I click 'Cancel' it turns them on anyway. Great job, guys.
  • Twitter promises a user-level streaming API Real Soon Now.
  • In the meantime, Twitter support is moving into core BarnOwl for 1.7!
  • Will the HTC Vision be the full-hardware-QWERTY-keyboard, Android 2.0 G1-killer, the phone I want to move to when my existing contract runs out in October? Stay tuned! (Warning, image is Photoshopped.)
  • Fellow web developers: we need to stop building these sites right now. (Another thing we need to stop doing: forcing a usability survey on our users in the most annoying fashion possible. Really. Stop it.)

That's all for now, folks!