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May 09 2011

Four short links: 9 May 2011

  1. UDID DeAnonymization -- a developer exposed an API that connected UDID to other information such as Facebook ID. The API has been closed, but it remains true that your iPhone has a primary key and darn near every app developer has a database linking your UDID to other details about you. Apple requires this to not be public, but every private database is a bad architecture choice or security slipup away from being a public database.
  2. Be Your Own Souvenir -- Kinect + 3D printer = print a tiny figurine of yourself. Kinect has solved a very real part of the input problem that 3D fabbing had. (via BoingBoing)
  3. Campher -- Perl embedded in Go, by Brad Fitzpatrick.
  4. Slides from JS Conf 2011 -- more than thirty talks, from greats like David Flanagan, Thomas Fuchs, and Tom Hughes-Croucher. (via Isaac Z Schlueter)

January 21 2011

Four short links: 21 January 2011

  1. Proof-of-Concept Android Trojan Captures Spoken Credit-Card Numbers -- Soundminer sits in the background and waits for a call to be placed [...] the application listens out for the user entering credit card information or a PIN and silently records the information, performing the necessary analysis to turn it from a sound recording into a number. Very clever use of sensors for evil! (via Slashdot)
  2. Cloud9 IDE -- open source IDE for node.js. I'm using it as I learn node.js, and it's sweet as, bro.
  3. The Quantified Self Conference -- May 28-29 in Mountain View. (via Pete Warden)
  4. Bram Cohen Demos P2P Streaming -- the creator of BitTorrent is winding up to release a streaming protocol that is also P2P. (via Hacker News)

December 06 2010

Four short links: 6 December 2010

  1. Apple I Basic as Mac OS X Scripting Language -- great hack. The “apple1basic” executable is a statically recompiled version of the original binary. All code is running natively. It plugs right into UNIX stdin and stdout. You can pass it the filename of a BASIC program to run. You can run BASIC programs like shell scripts. (via Hacker News)
  2. How to Discredit Net Neutrality -- the Level3-Comcast dispute isn't as straightforward as you might think (or as I implied). Increasingly, advocates of net neutrality have pegged their case to a larger and more powerful role for FCC regulation in the internet industry. And thus the net neutrality debate, instead of focusing on developing new institutional arrangements to preserve internet freedom on BOTH the demand and supply side, descends into a replay of the early 1980s, Reagan-era punch and judy show between democrats and republicans, with one arguing for "more government" and the other for "less government." Neither talking much sense about what the government should actually do. There's a missing discussion here about competition preventing carrier abuses, competition that the US lacks.
  3. The Dark Side of Open Source Conferences (Val Aurora) -- A good first step is for conferences and communities to adopt and enforce explicit policies or codes of conduct that spell out what kind of behavior won't be tolerated and what response it will get. Much in the way that people don't stop speeding unless they get speeding tickets, or that murder is totally unacceptable to most people but laws against it still exist, harassment at conferences may seem obviously wrong, but stopping it will require written rules and enforceable penalties.
  4. iDev Blog-a-Day -- love the layout and the content's good too.

August 31 2010

Points of Control: The Web 2.0 Summit Map

In my blog post State of the Internet Operating System a few months ago (and the followup Handicapping the Internet Platform Wars), I used the analogy of "the Great Game" played out between England and Russia in the late Victorian era for control of access to India through what is now Afghanistan. In our planning for this year's Web 2.0 Summit, John Battelle and I have expanded on this metaphor, exploring the many ways that Internet companies at all levels of the stack are looking for points of control that will give them competitive advantage in the years to come.

Now, John has developed that idea even further, with a super-cool interactive map that shows the Internet platform wars in a kind of fantasy landscape, highlighting each of the players and some of the moves they might make against each other. Click on the link at the top of the image below to get to the full interactive version. You might also want to read John Battelle's description of the points of control map and how to use it.

Some of the battlegrounds are already clear, as Google has entered the phone hardware market to match Apple's early lead, while Apple is ramping up its presence in advertising and location-based services to try to catch up to Google. Meanwhile, Facebook adds features to compete with Twitter and Foursquare, Google (and everyone else) keeps trying to find the magic bullet for social networking, and tries to eat Yelp's lunch with Place Pages, Microsoft gains share in search and tries again to become a player in the phone market. Areas like social gaming, payment, speech and image recognition, location services, advertising, tablets and other new form factors for connected devices, are all rife with new startups, potential acquisition plays, and straight-up competition.

In the map, we've tried to highlight some of the possible competitive vectors. I'm sure you'll have other ideas about companies, possible lines of attack, and possible alliances. We hope to hear your feedback, and we hope to see you at the Web 2.0 Summit, where we'll be talking with many of the key players, and handicapping the next stage of the Great Game.




Related:

June 02 2010

Four short links: 2 June 2010

  1. Wikileaks Launched on Stolen Documents (Wired) -- Wired claims the first set of documents was obtained by running a Tor node that users connected to ("exit node") and saving the plaintext that was sent to the users, without their knowledge. Reminds me of the adage that nothing big in Silicon Valley starts without being some degree of evil first: YouTube turning a blind eye to copyright infringement, Facebook games and spam, etc.
  2. VC Investments in Education -- Cleantech investors are chasing a 3x larger market than Education and yet are putting 50-60x the money to work chasing those returns.
  3. Cells: A Massively Multi-Agent Python Programming Game -- a sweet-looking update on the old Core War game.
  4. Google IO 2010 Session Videos Online -- I'm keen to learn more about BigData and Prediction APIs, which seem to me an eminently sensible move by Google to play to their strengths.

May 03 2010

Four short links: 3 May 2010

  1. Science Hack Day -- Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th, 2010, in the Guardian offices in London. A meeting place for the designer/coder class and scientists, with datasets as the common language. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  2. Facebook's Evil Interface (EFF) -- Facebook's new M.O. is to say "to better help you, we took away your privacy. If you are stupid and wish to attempt to retain your privacy, don't not avoid to fail to click here. Now click here. Now click here ... ha, moved it! Moved it again! Gotcha!". Attempting to use Facebook to talk to friends without having your friendships and interests pimped to the data mining Johns is as hard as canceling an AOL subscription.
  3. Make Your Own 3G Router -- an easter-egg inside the new Chumby model (which O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures invested in).
  4. Australian Government's Response to the Web 2.0 Taskforce -- it's all positive: all but one recommendation accepted. Another very positive step from the Aussies.

April 15 2010

Four short links: 15 April 2010

  1. Is Making Public Data Available a Threatening Act? (Pete Warden) -- Imagine a thought experiment where I downloaded the income, charitable donations, pets and military service information for all 89,000 Boulder residents listed in InfoUSA's marketing database, and put that information up in a public web page. That's obviously pretty freaky, but absolutely anyone with $7,000 to spare can grab exactly the same information! That intuitive reaction is very hard to model. Is it because at the moment someone has to make more of an effort to get that information? Do we actually prefer that our information is for sale, rather than free? Or are we just comfortable with a 'privacy through obscurity' regime?
  2. BioTorrents: A File Sharing Service for Scientific Data -- described in a PLoSone article. BitTorrent for bio datasets. (via Fabiana Kubke)
  3. The Open Knowledge Conference -- Saturday 24th April 2010 in London. Check out the programme, killer topics and people.
  4. Library of Congress to Archive All Tweets -- Twitter is handing the archive of all public tweets to the Library of Congress, with a search interface. I like this new slant on national libraries' roles as repositories of nationally and historically important digital text.

April 13 2010

Four short links: 13 April 2010

  1. 0to255 -- simple cute colour-generator. (via Hacker News)
  2. ProPublica Wins Pulitzer Prize (NYTimes) -- important landmark in the rise of online journalism. The award is a landmark for ProPublica, founded in 2007, and the other digital news outlets that have sprouted around the country. Over the last few years, the Pulitzer Prize board has relaxed the eligibility rules, allowing news sites to submit work published only online; this year there were many such submissions.
  3. Big Data Workshop -- unconference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. (via jchris on Twitter
  4. 3D Machu Picchu, Created With LIDAR -- viewable in Google Earth, took over 1,200 hours of work. (via skry on Twitter)

March 17 2010

Four short links: 17 March 2010

  1. Common MySQL Queries -- a useful reference.
  2. MySociety's Next 12 Months -- two new projects, FixMyTransport and "Project Fosbury". The latter is a more general tool to help people organise their own campaigns for change.
  3. riak -- scalable key-value store with JSON interface. (via joshua on Delicious)
  4. Notes from NoSQL Live Boston -- full of juicy nuggets of info from the NoSQL conference.

March 16 2010

Four short links: 16 March 2010

  1. Government is an Elephant (Public Strategist) -- if Government is to be a platform, it will end up competing with the members of its ecosystems (the same way Apple's Dashboard competed with Konfabulator, and Google's MyMaps competed with Platial). If you think people squawk when a company competes, just wait until the competition is taxpayer-funded ....
  2. Recordings from NoSQL Live Boston -- also available in podcasts.
  3. Modeling Scale Usage Heterogeneity the Bayesian Way -- people use 1-5 scales in different ways (some cluster around the middle, some choose extremes, etc.). This shows how to identify the types of users, compensate for their interpretation of the scale, and how it leads to more accurate results.
  4. Building a Better Teacher -- fascinating discussion about classroom management that applies to parenting, training, leading a meeting, and many other activities that take place outside of the school classroom. (via Mind Hacks)

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