2005.03.16

Yahoo! Research Labs Buzz Game

Yahoo! Research Labs and O'Reilly Media Collaborate to Introduce Tech Buzz Game, Inviting Participants to Predict Future Technology Trends Based on Popularity of Yahoo! Search Terms

The Tech Buzz Game is a fantasy prediction market for high-tech products, concepts, and trends. As a player, your goal is to predict how popular various technologies will be in the future. Popularity or buzz is measured by Yahoo! Search frequency over time. Predictions are made by buying virtual stock in the products or technologies you believe will succeed, and selling stock in the technologies you think will flop. In other words, you "put your play money where your mouth is.

At the O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference today, Yahoo's principal scientist Dr Gary Flake announced, among other things, the Tech Buzz Game, which "leverages search query volume and frequency on Yahoo! Search" and puts that "buzz" in play in a stock market model. Using the 10,000 in play money that you get with a free game username, you can buy and sell shares of technology concepts like "bittorrent", "podcasting", "Macintosh Tiger", "yahoo photos" and other things. Things terms are broken down into markets, which as each zero-sum-game distinct markets "Browser Wars", "Mobile Development Environments ", and "Rumor Mill".

Check out this and more at the new Yahoo Research Labs site that launched in conjunction with the ETech conference. You can also read up on this year's ETech Conference, or read the Tech Buzz Game's press release.

(By the way, as of this writing I'm in 9th place on the game's leaderboard - out of 697 currently. We'll see if my beginner's luck holds out.)

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Posted by Nate Koechley on March 16, 2005 at 01:24 AM in Blogging, RSS, Events, Layered Semantic Markup, Pop Culture, Sandbox Stuff, Ugly Experiments, Search, Search Engines, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Networking and Community, Yahoo! | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.06

Aliens of the Deep

"Aliens of the Deep" brings some of the deepest-ever (3,500 meters, or more than 2 miles) underwater exploration to completely amazing and mind-blowing hard-core 3D IMAX film. This film has been playing at the Metreon movie theater downtown (San Francisco) for about the last two months, and literally several times a week I've talked about going to see it. Aimee and I planned on it first, then with Derek. Well, Derek and I finally went to see it yesterday, and it was worth every penny ($10).

First of all, the concept is fascinating. At these depths, life exists completely without photosynthesis -- sunlight has never touched these areas. At these depths, the environment is as unwelcoming as imaginable: incomprehensible extremes of pressure, darkness, temperature. It would be easy to imagine that zero life exists in these environments, and yet it thrives. For the people who look to space, these environments are quite similar to what may be encountered on distant planets and moons. These environments are also quite similar to the earliest days of Earth. And so, to find life in these areas -- massive amounts are down these -- is to realize that oceans under the deep ice of Jupiter's moon Europa, or the surface or core of an ancient Mars may have identical conditions. As they say a few times in the movie, exploring [life at the] the awesome depths of the oceans is the best experience to prepare for exploring [life in] outer space.

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Second, the movie is the best possible eye candy. IMAX screens are already a treat, and 3D put it way over the edge. I don't remember ever being to a modern 3D movie, but I highly recommend it. It works. It's great. Whomever's working on this stuff has nailed it. After a few seconds, your eyes calibrate and you're in for a treat. In addition to all the underwater sequences, there are several other sequences that totally max out the visual experience. One is an exploration of earth's life forms. An elephants trunk comes right out of the screen and touches you in your seat. In another, animation brings you from 10 light years distant, in through our atmosphere, through the ocean, down to the thermal ridges where the newest ocean-bottom crust is formed. It's probably a 60 second sequence, and one of the treats of the movie. I could almost feel the smoke coming out of my ears as my brain cranked overtime to process the scale, orientation, detail and 3D-ness of it all. Totally fun.

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But of course the most amazing part of the movie is the underwater photography we came to see. One sequence gets centimeters away from a giant 10-foot bizzaro jellyfish creature. One of the most amazing creatures, the film is so high quality that you can see the incredibly fine network of cells that give it shape. You seem to see it nearly pulsing with energy, and it's translucent skin reveals internal organs moving around beautifully. Truly alien. Other animals life in the volcanic plumes of 750-degree superheated water that the earth's center vents through ocean-bottom chimneys along the central-ocean spine. In these areas, new crust is continually formed, representing some of the most primitive geology observable. Massive amounts of animals live in the boundaries between this awesomely-hot gassy water, and the awesomely-cold deep-ocean water.

Academy Award®-winning director James Cameron combines his talents as a filmmaker with his passion for exploration in all forms in "Aliens of the Deep," an Earthship Production presented in IMAX® 3-D by Walt Disney Pictures and Walden Media. Inspired by concepts from the field of astrobiology-the study of life on other worlds-Cameron explores the idea that the bizarre creatures living in the extreme environments found on the ocean floor might provide a blueprint for what life is like elsewhere in the universe. The director is joined in the journey by a team of young marine biologists and NASA researchers who share his interests and excitement as they consider the correlation between life under water and the life we may one day find in outer space.

"Aliens of the Deep" presents the dramatic and visually stunning highlights of a series of expeditions to deep-ocean hydrothermal vents, where super-heated, mineral-charged water gives life to some of the strangest animals on Earth-6-foot-tall worms with blood-red plumes, blind white crabs, and an astonishing biomass of white shrimp, all competing to find just the right location in the flow of near-boiling water. This adventure brings the audience face to face with what it might be like to travel far into space and encounter life on other worlds.

I wish Hollywood made more of these. Bringing exploration, understanding, big questions, and inspirational science to the big screen is good for the world. I think everybody in the audience left inspired. I'd go see a movie like this at least once a month, and I'd probably even pay 3 times as much. Nothing but the biggest props to James Cameron for putting his money into something besides his Hollywood mansion. Keep it up.

Go see it while you can. (It's only 48 minutes -- you could even check it out during your lunch break.)

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 6, 2005 at 02:06 PM in Events, Location: Madison, Wisconsin, My life..., Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.03.03

Take the Edge Off

As Russ says, "Not only is it hysterical, it's accurate (and we all know it)."

Boondocks is the only comic I read. It's routinely good. I like it's hiphopness. My Yahoo! offers it, of course.

Posted by Nate Koechley on March 3, 2005 at 09:45 AM in Humor, Idea, Politics, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.02.16

FeedBurner Stats, Podcasts, Specialized RSS Clients


podcast_growth
Originally uploaded by natekoechley.
Feedburner, an RSS feed tracking company (that I use to understand my RSS statistics and readership), has been releasing some very interesting statistics recently. This batch provides some insight into the Podcasting space:


  • Since the beginning of 2005, the number of podcast feeds managed by Feedburner has more than doubled from 871 to 1746.

  • Four different rss aggregators specialized for podcasts are in the Top 50 RSS Aggregators list. This illustrates a trend that's sure to continue... There are already clients specializing in aggregating video -- how long until photo-specific show up?



Thanks for sharing, Feedburner, it's a great post. Thanks also for the interesting and valuable service you provide.


Posted by Nate Koechley on February 16, 2005 at 12:44 AM in Blogging, RSS, Browsers, Metadata, Pop Culture, References, Software and Tools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.01.28

We the People: Women and Men in the United States

I totally love that soooo much data floats around freely these days, thanks to the Web. Even when it doesn't related to me personally, I like thinking that it's perfect and crucial for somebody's interests. Today's example is a special report on Women from the US Census Bureau (via).

Some Factoids

  • Men outnumber women through age 34; Women outnumber men after age 34, increasing with age.
  • In 1970, 36 percent of women 20 to 24 and 12 percent of women 25 to 29 had not married. By 2000, the proportions rose to 69 percent and 38 percent, respectively.
  • Married-couple households dropped from 69 percent of all households in 1970 to 53 percent in 2000.
  • A greater percentage of women graduate high school. I greater percentage of men graduate college.
  • A greater percentage of men than women are in the workforce.
  • 47% of the workforce was female in 2000, up from 37% in 1970.
  • The % of women in the workforce did not increase for Construction, Extraction, and Maintenance industries.
  • Women continue to earn less than men. [Surprisingly to me,] Black, Hispanic and Other women earn 85% of mens pay, while White women earn only 70%.
  • Poverty: 13.5% of the female population; 11.2% of the male population.

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 28, 2005 at 11:11 AM in Idea, News, Other, Politics, Pop Culture, References | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2005.01.22

Arch Bishop Don Magic Juan's B-Day Pictures

Don Magic Juan's Birthday Photos

Great photo album from Don Magic Juan's birthday soiree. Photos by Will Okun. (via Frank151)

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 22, 2005 at 02:38 PM in Events, Music [1], Other, Photos, Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.01.20

Metafilter Tags

Matt Haughey writes: "Jumping on the delicious and flickr bandwagon, I've added tags to MetaFilter"

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 20, 2005 at 01:30 PM in Blogging, RSS, Idea, Information Architecture, Interaction Design, Knowledge & Content Management, Metadata, Pop Culture, Social Networking and Community | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2005.01.11

Personal Music Services; The Long Tail

The music service Personal Activaire will be more interesting when it podcasts. I don't feel like putting my mp3 player in a FedEx box. Make it a podcast, and now we're talking. (By the way, I only want the good songs, not the whole album. Haven't you read The Long Tail?.)

Posted by Nate Koechley on January 11, 2005 at 02:34 AM in Design, Gadgets, Music [1], Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

2004.12.16

Lindsay Lohan's Thanksgiving Blunt Session

An ofoto.com photo album of Lindsay Lohan and her friends smoking blunts in their car and partying., apparently on Thanksgiving.

I gotta say, even though she's not captured on film, she earned herself a little cool in my book.

Posted by Nate Koechley on December 16, 2004 at 05:18 PM in Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

2004.11.22

Gallop: Third of Americans Say Evidence Has NOT Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory!

A report out today by The Gallop Organization "Third of Americans Say Evidence Has Supported Darwin's Evolution Theory".

Only about a third of Americans believe that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution is a scientific theory that has been well supported by the evidence, while just as many say that it is just one of many theories and has not been supported by the evidence. The rest say they don't know enough to say. Forty-five percent of Americans also believe that God created human beings pretty much in their present form about 10,000 years ago. A third of Americans are biblical literalists who believe that the Bible is the actual word of God and is to be taken literally, word for word.

Amazing. :(

Posted by Nate Koechley on November 22, 2004 at 12:39 PM in Pop Culture | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack