Monthly Archives: October 2006

Donald Duck gets involved in Mexican riot

I’ve been following anxiously the riots in Oaxaca, and the latest takeover of its main plaza by the federal police. I’ve been hoping for a clean way out of the conflict, though I know the chances are pretty low. Anyway, … Continue reading

Posted in Off Topic | 1 Comment

Because they can – Democamp Toronto 10

If there was a theme in yesterday’s Democamp 10, it was people building stuff just because they could. Most demos were of software that doesn’t really fulfill a need, but their developers felt it would be cool to do it. … Continue reading

Posted in democamp, torcamp | 1 Comment

Cheap shots at the Gartner Hype Curve

The Gartner Hype curve, or Hype cycle, summarizes the visibility and the maturity of currently hot technologies and forecasts the productivity they will have. At both of the workshops in CASCON that I went to, presenters showed us the most … Continue reading

Posted in Hype, Strategic Forecasting | 23 Comments


This past Sunday and Monday I went to a meeting of the Consortium for Software Engineering Research (CSER). Popular topics there were empirical software engineering, research ethics, diagnostics, and models and visualization. There were a couple of talks from Peggy … Continue reading

Posted in General, Information visualization, Software development | 4 Comments

Ben Shneiderman on Creativity and Visualization

Ben Shneiderman, a professor at the University of Maryland’s Human-Computer Interaction Lab and author of Leonardo’s Laptop, gave a talk at Ryerson University yesterday and at the University of Toronto today, on two different topics: At Ryerson he talked about … Continue reading

Posted in External cognition, Information visualization | 2 Comments

Tufte’s “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”

It feels a bit strange to discuss a book that you probably have heard about already if you cared about the topic, and if you haven’t heard of it, you might not care anyway. Still, I did not know about … Continue reading

Posted in Books | 2 Comments

Manufactured Landscapes – Beautiful nightmares

Manufactured Landscapes is a documentary film that follows photographer Ed Burtynsky at work, while he shoots fascinating pictures of the underbelly of our beast: industrial waste, gigantic manufacturing plants, oil wells, shipyards and mines. Most of the pictures concern China’s … Continue reading

Posted in Off Topic | 3 Comments

Fun with representations V – Maps of the abstract world

Representing information means mapping it into a particular medium –focusing on certain elements of the original data, ignoring the irrelevant ones, and, ideally, simplifying the process of understanding and using it. Unfortunately, our resulting information ‘maps’ are sometimes inappropriate: they … Continue reading

Posted in Cognition, External cognition, Software development, XCog | 10 Comments