Monday, 29 August 2011

List of Sites I like


English Sites

The Gates Notes
Bill Gates’ web site, my favourite is his reading list.

Vaclav Smil
Distinguished Professor Emeritus, an advisor to Bill Gates on world issues.
Video of influential thinkers presenting their idea to change the world in culture, technology, art, and many others. documentaries
Lots of great documentaries

All of Bach
Every Friday a performance of Bach’s composition is uploaded for free (St. Matthew Passion is already up), from the Netherlands Bach Society.

Contains midi tracks of classical choral works for individual vocal parts to help learning them.

The Pulitzer Prize
Lists current and past prize winners and finalists.

Thoughts Maybe
An online library of free documentaries.

Aeon Magazine
Essays and videos on Philosophy, Technology, Health, and Culture.

An oral history of the digital transformation of news – a project of the Harvard Kennedy School, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy.

Kevin Kelly
Author of What Technology Wants, has tons of material links to fascinating documentaries from many fields.

Khan Academy
An educational web site with a huge collection of videos on math, science, business, and even history.

Offers online courses from universities around the world for free, some even give out certificates.

How We Get to Next
An extension of Steven Johnson’s book How We Got To Now, with articles and links exploring innovations for the future.

Google Cultural Institute
Google’s virtual museum on the art works and sights of the world.

Macaulay Library from Cornell University
The largest collection of sounds from the natural world.

Gresham College
Free public lectures with both video, audio, podcast, and transcripts on a wide range of subjects.
Has video interviews/speeches of influential thinkers in tech, culture, and more

Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation
Collection of health data collected globally for analysis by country and other axis.
Blog of Don Norman, author of The Design of Everyday Things.  A great resource on interaction design.

MIT Open Course Ware
MIT’s free course materials online.

Paul Graham
Thoughts and essays from the cofounder of VC firm Y Combinator.

Design Mind
From Frog Design.

Simply Albert
From Albert Lai, a Canadian internet entrepreneur. 

Video interviews from award winning journalist Charlie Rose.

Governor General’s Literary Award
From Canada Council for the Arts

Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
A Canadian literary award for non-fiction.

Technology Review
Magazine from MIT about emerging technology.

Digital Riptide
An oral history of journalism and the impact of digitization, from the Harvard Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy.

Clay Shirky’s blog
Contains Clay Shirky’s essay on internet’s impact on society.
Blog of Malcolm Gladwell, author of The Tipping Point and Outliers.

Steven Sinofsky’s Microsoft TechTalk
Blog from the Microsoft’s President of the Windows Division.  It has many good posts about what it’s like working for Microsoft as a Program Manager, Developer (SDE), etc…

Larry Smith’s Blog
Thoughts on the economy from one of my favourite professors.

Ray Ozzie’s Blog
From Microsoft’s former Chief Software Architect – A geek in Japan
Japan from the view of a foreign technologist who lived there for 8 years and has a very good camera

Blog of Fred Wilson, VC and principal of Union Square Ventures.

Part of the Wall Street Journal Network, ” is a Web site devoted to news, analysis and opinion on technology, the Internet and media.”





Video: Salman Khan, founder of Khan academy, on TED and Charlie Rose

I had previously posted about Salmon Khan.  Here are two more videos that shows how Khan academy works (TED video) and what Salman Khan’s aspirations for the academy and himself are (Charlie Rose video).


Salman Khan TED Talk, with Bill Gates Q&A at the end


Salman Khan on Charlie Rose

Sunday, 21 August 2011

How fast has the data grown on the web?

According to Think Quarterly (2011 Q3) – “In 2003, a total of 5 exabytes of data existed. Now we generate that every two days.”

Monday, 8 August 2011

Businessweek: Computer Camp: No Canoes, Just Coding (and Kickball)

Instead of going to camp for being close to nature, there is a growing number going to intensive 2-week programming camps.  See article.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Memos by Bill Gates and Ray Ozzie

Once in a while the Chief Software Architect at Microsoft (formerly Bill Gates and until recently, Ray Ozzie) would write a memo to focus the company on the current and future trend and set the strategic direction for the company. 

The following memos are about the importance of the internet, cloud computing, and the continuous service for connected devices, respectively.  Through them we get a glimpse of what goes on in the minds of these tech giants. : )  Enjoy:

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Bill Gates’ recommended reading

Bill reads a lot, and fortunately for us he is sharing what he reads on his web site in the “Books” section. It got started recently but more will come later.


Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Article: How Khan Academy is Changing the Rules of Education (by Clive Thompson)

Here is a great article about Khan Academy, a very promising educational non-profit web site that contains educational videos, problem sets, and a dashboard that’s helping students to learn and challenging traditional educational system in the process.

This site was started by Salman Khan, a man passionate about learning and teaching, and it started out as a “help cousin to understand her math at school” thing on YouTube.  It now has funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation and Google, among others.  Bill Gates claims his children use the site to help with their school work as well.

Khan Academy shows the many promises of technology in delivering personalized education – online video lectures for students to learn in their private time, re-watching the parts they didn’t get without criticism, doing problem sets at their own pace, have their learning statistics collected and used by teachers to focus the help given to each individual, and students are motivated by rewards points given by the system based on their progress and effort (number of problems sets achieved, the courses taken, etc).


Article: Inside Google+ – How the Search Giant Plans to Go Social (by Steven Levy)

Here is a good article by Steven Levy from on Google+.  It provides some background on the building of this product.  Some of the main points are:

  • Google+ has two main “content sources”: sparks (where information about your interest comes in), and streams (where information from your social connection flows in)
  • Google realizes that search result quality can be much improved with social/personal information and now is investing “orders of magnitude” more into social efforts
  • Some of Google’s main assets: strong user loyalty, strong cash position for acquisition, and mastery in determining relevant information and links