“On Tuesday, Google introduced a social networking service called the Google project — which happens to look a lot like Facebook. The service, which is initially available to a select group of Google users who will soon be able to invite others, will let people share and discuss status updates, photos and links, much as they do on Facebook. But the Google project will be different in one significant way, which Google hopes will be enough to convince people to use yet another social network. It is meant for sharing with groups — like colleagues, roommates or hiking friends — not with all of one’s friends or the entire Web. It also offers group text messaging and video chat. “In real life, we have walls and windows and I can speak to you knowing who’s in the room, but in the online world, you get to a ‘Share’ box and you share with the whole world,” said Bradley Horowitz, a vice president for product management at Google, who is leading the company’s social efforts with Vic Gundotra, a senior vice president for engineering. “We have a different model.”—Google Introduces Facebook Competitor, Emphasizing Privacy - NYTimes.com
“Google launched an experimental tool called Swiffy in its Labs today, allowing developers to convert Flash (SWF) files to HTML5. That means you can reuse Flash content on devices without a Flash Player, explains Google on the project’s Labs’ page, even iPhone and iPads. And Swiffy’s output works in all Webkit browsers, including Chrome and Safari.”—Google Swiffy Converts Flash to HTML5
“The lions guarded the doors when the main branch of the New York Public Library was dedicated in May of 1911 and they watch over it still, rather haughtily looking over the heads of visitors to one of the world’s great libraries. Yet over the last 100 years, and particularly over the last 10, everything about the storage and dissemination of knowledge has changed. The lions still guard the building, but the information’s gone out the back door, metastasizing in the new chemistry of the Internet. With all this change — not to mention a possible $40 million budget cut looming — it would be no surprise if the library was floundering like the music industry, newspapers, or travel agents. (Hey, man, we all get disintermediated sooner or later.) But that’s the wild thing. The library isn’t floundering. Rather, it’s flourishing, putting out some of the most innovative online projects in the country. On the stuff you can measure — library visitors, website visitors, digital gallery images viewed — the numbers are up across the board compared with five years ago. On the stuff you can’t, like conceptual leadership, the NYPL is killing it. The library clearly has reevaluated its role within the Internet information ecosystem and found a set of new identities. Let’s start from here: One, the New York Public Library is a social network with three million active users and two, the New York Public Library is a media outfit. The library still lends books, but over the past year, the NYPL has established itself as a beacon in the carcass-strewn content landscape with smart e-publications, crowdsourcing projects, and an overall digital strategy that shows a far greater understanding of the power of the Internet than most traditional media companies show.”—What Big Media Can Learn From the New York Public Library - Alexis Madrigal - Technology - The Atlantic
“warsaw-based designer stanisław płoski has created ‘bonobo’, a bent plywood bicycle intended for urban cyclists. recently presented at DMY berlin 2011 as part of the ‘perspective’ exhibition, the bike features a strong and lightweight frame made solely from manipulated composite wood. balancing technology with a natural artisan quality, the design capitalizes on the inherent material properties, ensuring a smooth and comfortable ride.”—
The New York Public Library has partnered with Toronto-based company Bibliocommons to re-invent our catalog page. The new version (which will be easier to use and will allow patrons to rate books, create their own “shelves” and form online groups) will officially debut in September, but we’re giving our loyal users a chance to preview the page starting today. We want your feedback! You can check out the whole story of the partnership, or just get right to testing it out. Enjoy!
“Australian creative collective The Glue Society has unveiled its latest artwork, made for the second Sculpture By The Sea festival in Aarhus, Denmark. The work, titled I Wish You Hadn’t Asked, consists of a large house, where it rains on the inside…”—
“If you’re tall and you travel, then finding seats with the best legroom is an incredibly important exercise. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to do. It’s made far more difficult since legroom is measured using an awful proxy called “seat pitch.” Sometimes it makes you think you’ll have more legroom than you do, while other times, it might be the opposite. Either way, there are better ways to look at this. Seat pitch is the distance between one point on a seat and that same point on the seat behind. If you start measuring at the front of the seat bottom cushion, then you would stop at the front of the cushion in the seat behind (or in front, for that matter). This may have made sense when seats all looked pretty much the same, but that’s not the case now.”—The elusive hunt for legroom on planes - CNN.com