AssembleMe is an information science blog written by Julius Schorzman that frequently sways off-topic.

Julius is the CEO of the Google Ventures backed company DailyCred. DailyCred makes working with OAuth super duper simple.

To view some of my old projects, visit Shopobot or CodeCodex.

You can follow me on Twitter if you really want to @schorzman.

Contact Me
This form does not yet contain any fields.

    Mother's Day Data

    DATA: Check out the US Census Bureau's Mother's Day fact sheet for a few interesting bits of data. A few highlights:

    • 25.1: Average age of women when they give birth for the first time — a record high. The average age has risen nearly four years since 1970.

    • 1-in-32: The odds of a woman delivering twins. Her odds of having triplets or other multiple births was approximately 1-in-540.

    • August: The most popular month in which to have a baby, with 359,000 births taking place that month in 2002. July, with 358,000, was just a shade behind.

    • Tuesday: The most popular day of the week in which to have a baby, with an average of almost 13,000 births taking place on Tuesdays during 2002.


    Unicode Poster

    INFO VISUALIZATION: You have to love Ian Albert. According to his website, he has "an obsession with high-resolution, high-fidelity digital images." He's not kidding either. He put together a, um, poster that displays every unicode character. Size: 22,017 × 42,807 pixels. Downloadable as a Bittorrent.

    There are some other gems on his site as well, like the Ultima 7 map. (Never played that game, but now I kinda want to.) Worth a look.


    FedEx Logo

    VISUAL COMMUNICATION: I ran across an interesting interview with the creator of the FedEx logo today at The Sneeze. They talk at length about the hidden arrow between the E and the x, which I had never noticed before.

    Why choose to keep the arrow so subtle? It seems to show remarkable restraint. Weren't you or the people at FedEx ever tempted to make it more obvious with an outline or a different color?

    A good question and one that I am frequently asked. An arrow, in and of itself, is one of the most mundane graphic devices in visual communications. Truly, there is nothing unique or particularly strategic (marketing-wise) in using an arrow as a brand identifier. Early on, before the brand rollout in mid-1994, FedEx’s public relations agency was preparing to emphasize the arrow as a secondary graphic to underscore the “speed/precision” positioning. They proposed to leverage this in their FedEx communications. Landor put its foot down and said, “No way.”



    LINKS & RESOURCES: I've been looking for a free, multi-platform, XHTML compatible WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) web page editor for a while. Nvu is all that and more, I really recommend it. Thank god I never have to open up an XHTML document in Dreamweaver again. That honestly is the most frustrating thing ever.

    UPDATE: Link fixed. Thanks Mark.


    500,000 Articles in Wikipedia English

    INFO SCIENCE: Wikipedia English just hit 500,000 articles:

    The Wikimedia Foundation announced today the creation of the 500,000th article in the English-language Wikipedia, its project to create a free, multilingual, online encyclopedia. The article was about "Involuntary settlements in the Soviet Union." The total of 500,000 articles far exceeds any other encyclopedia project. At the average of 2,500 characters per article, this is 1.25 gigabytes of raw text, which if printed double-sided would form a stack about 66 feet or over 6 stories tall. Other recent additions to its English-language edition include hundreds of full-length songs, almost a gigabyte of new images, and subject-specific portals.

    My prediction: One million entries in less than three years.


    Gizmo Parade

    LINKS & RESOURCES: Random tidbits from around the internets:

    Devonthink : A great information management product for OS X users. I downloaded it last night and I've been starting to use it as an open-file; a place where I throw just about everything, from research files, interesting websites, my old tax returns, and just about anything else you can think of. One for the PC is called Net Snippets and is nothing to write home about.

    Slogger: A Firefox extension that allows you to make a quick copy of a webpage for future use. (*cough* nytimes.com *cough*)

    Celestia: The home page got a much needed and long overdue facelift. Looks great! If you've still never used Celestia, download this badboy asap.

    The Apple Motion Sensor As A Human Interface Device: The guy who used the Powerbook motion sensor to make his webpages tilt back and forth is back, and this time you can actually download the program and use it to interact with various applications. Rad!

    43 Things: A communal list of what people want to do with their life. (My fav: "give my gmail invites to anyone needing one.")

    10 by 10: 100 pictures (well, a LOT are duplicates) that sum up what the news is right now. (Pretty good job -- today is Kofi, Condi, and this Schiavo person Republicans are grandstanding about.)

    Winplosion: This little guy adds Apple's Exposé features to Windows. Apple will sue in 5... 4... 3...

    Konfabulator: A framework that allows you to download and run a bunch of little random mini-apps that remind me of Tiger's Dashboard, only not quite as cool.

    Cute Little Kittens: Webapp of the year?


    The Internet Archive

    INFO SCIENCE: Check out Brewster Kahle - Universal Access to All Knowledge, a great new lecture posted on IT Conversations. I just listened to it while cleaning the bathroom (finally!), and it's a very engaging talk.

    Brewster Kahle is the founder of the Internet Archive. Until listening to this talk I had no idea the people at Archive were as busy as they are; there are some interesting features in the pipeline. In fact, exploring the Archive might temporarily distract me from that other most exciting .org project, Wikipedia.

    Two of the many things I took away from the talk:

    • I like his simple framework for analyzing new technology:

      • Should we (In this case, should we try and collect much of the world's information for future generations?)
      • Can we (Is it logistically possible?)
      • May we (Will congress and content providers (RIAA, etc.) allow it?)
      • Will we

    • DjVu is a cool technology that "allows the distribution on the Internet of very high resolution images of scanned documents, digital documents, and photographs. DjVu allows content developers to scan high-resolution color pages of books, magazines, catalogs, manuals, newspapers, historical or ancient documents, and make them available on the Web."

    • Phone companies suck. While most tech works by Moore's Law, bandwidth per dollar spent today is about the same as it was in 2000.


    Updated Site

    ASSEMBLEME: Site update:

    • CSS cleaned up, moved off main page

    • Redesigned header area

    • Cleaned up html

    • Changed comment settings

    • Removed some pointless graphics

    In the next day or two I'll be finished with project report on my trip planner which I'll link to from here as well.

    I drop shadows!


    The Layers of New York

    INFO VISUALIZATION: Tansparent New York is a fun little tool for looking at the layers of the city and finding how they interact.


    A9's OpenSearch - RSS-Based Search Results

    INFO SCIENCE: How fucking cool would it be if a large amount of websites gave you search results in a standardized XML format, rather then a non-standards based HTML format? Fucking cool, that's how cool. This would allow an awesome amount of integration between local applications and web applications, between existing search engines and black-box websites. Awesome.

    Well, A9 (Amazon's search engine) is out to do just that. OpenSearch is a new XML schema, backward compatible with RSS, used for returning search results to a client.

    From the site:

    Many sites today return search results as an tightly integrated part of the website itself. Unfortunately, those search results can't be easily reused or made available elsewhere, as they are usually wrapped in HTML and don't follow any one convention. OpenSearch offers an alternative: an open format that will enable those search results to be displayed anywhere, anytime. Rather than introduce yet another proprietary or closed protocol, OpenSearch is a straightforward and backward-compatible extension of RSS 2.0, the widely adopted XML-based format for content syndication.

    Up until now I thought Jeff Bezos' half-mad face leering towards the search biz was creepy, but if they keep the inovation coming, more power to them.

    Page 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 ... 28 Next 10 Entries »