Top 5 Make Smarter - Battle of Fort Sumter, Roger Ebert Ted Talk, HTML5 Boilerplate Build, Concurrent Programming in Python 3.2, Ubuntu eBook

First up in this month’s Make Smarter, via the Google Earth Blog, is the Battle of Fort Sumter in Google Earth. The KMZ file includes 3D models of the fort and the battery of guns firing on it, historical map overlays, civil war era photos, and links to Wikipedia about the battle and various locations. Not only is it a great education on the Battle of Sumter, it’s a great example of how geo-visualization can bring history to life.

Next up is a very moving TED Talk by Roger Ebert, who lost the ability to speak and eat but hasn’t lost his voice.

Nettuts+ has a great tutorial on using the HTML5 Boilerplate build script (Ant), something I had no idea was in there. It is fully configurable and can concatenate and minify JavaScript, minify CSS, optimize images, remove development-only coding, and minify HTML. If you’re using Boilerplate, it’s a great way to reduct page load times. The demo site earned PageSpeed and Yslow ratings of 95+.

If you’re a cutting edge Python ninja, check out’s Using the New Python 3.2 Concurrent Programming Features. Warning: it may hurt your brain.

And finally, Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal is due out in a few weeks. I’ve been on the beta for about a week now, and it’s awesome. Unity is great, and nobody is more surprised by that than I (my previous position was take your phone UI and shove it). If you are just getting started with Ubuntu, check out the Ubuntu Pocket Guide and Reference, which is available as a free eBook. It doesn’t cover Unity, but there’s enough in common with Gnome 2 to get you started.