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March 07 2013

January 25 2012

Four short links: 25 January 2012

  1. Mobile Overtaking Web -- provocatively packaged extrapolations of ComScore and similar numbers to conclude that Americans spend more time interacting with mobile apps than with web sites. I'm sure you could beat an iPhone developer to death with the error bars.
  2. Best Privacy Policy Ever -- satiric privacy policy from a Firefox plugin.
  3. The Time for Libraries is Now -- forceful presentation on the need for librarians (aka "information professionals") in an age of excess information.
  4. Google 2011 vs Microsoft 1995 (Nelson Minar) -- interesting analysis which prompted Andy Baio's comment Google will be in trouble if their strategy succeeds, or if it doesn't.

October 05 2011

Four short links: 5 October 2011

  1. Ghostery -- a browser plugin to block trackers, web bugs, dodgy scripts, ads, and anything else you care to remove from your browsing experience. It looks like a very well done adblocker, but it's done (a) closed-source and (b) for-profit. Blocking trackers is something every browser *should* do, but because browser makers make (or hope to make) money from ads, they don't. In theory, Mozilla should do it. Even if they were to take up the mantle, though, they're unlikely to make anything for IE or Chrome. So it's in the hands of companies with inarticulate business models. (via Andy Baio)
  2. Perspectives -- Firefox plugin that lets you know when you've encountered an SSL certificate that's different from the ones that other Perspectives users see (e.g., you're being man-in-the-middled by Iran). (via Francois Maurier)
  3. Always Connected -- "I've got a full day of staring at glowing rectangles ahead of me! Better get started ...". I have made mornings and evenings backlight-free zones in an effort to carve out some of the day free of glowing rectangles. (I do still read myself to sleep on the Kindle, though, but it's not backlit)
  4. Is Teaching MapReduce Healthy for Students? -- Google’s narrow MapReduce API conflates logical semantics (define a function over all items in a collection) with an expensive physical implementation (utilize a parallel barrier). As it happens, many common cluster-wide operations over a collection of items do not require a barrier even though they may require all-to-all communication. But there’s no way to tell the API whether a particular Reduce method has that property, so the runtime always does the most expensive thing imaginable in distributed coordination: global synchronization. Detailed and interesting criticism of whether Hadoop is the BASIC of parallel tools. (via Pete Warden)

October 03 2011

Four short links: 3 October 2011

  1. Mozilla's Secure Coding Guidelines -- the Mozilla recommendations for web application security. See also OWASP, Google's Browser Security Handbook and Google's course.
  2. Scroller -- MIT-licensed Javascript library for accelerated panning and zooming, from Zynga. (via Hacker News)
  3. How Fast-Flux Service Networks Operate -- explanation of a technique used by botnets and other malware hordes to make it hard to figure out on which machines the services are actually running. For an example, see The Inside Story of the Kelihos Botnet Takedown.
  4. Log In -- clever humour built out of password dialog boxes.

September 30 2011

Four short links: 30 September 2011

  1. Fingerprinting Cameras Through Sensor Noise -- using the pattern of noise consistent between images taken from the same camera to uniquely identify the device. (via Pete Warden)
  2. Stopping Bots with Hashes and Honeypots (Ned Batchelder) -- solid techniques for preventing spambots. (via Andy Baio)
  3. Most Popular Infographics Generalized (Flowing Data) -- it's only funny because it's true.
  4. London Hospital to Deploy Open Source Record System -- hot on the heels of the NHS canning a failed expensive development of electronic health records. (via Glyn Moody)

September 22 2011

Four short links: 22 September 2011

  1. Implicit and Explicit Feedback -- for preferences and recommendations, implicit signals (what people clicked on and actually listened to) turn out to be strongly correlated with what they would say if you asked. (via Greg Linden)
  2. Pivoting to Monetize Mobile Hyperlocal Social Gamification by Going Viral -- Schuyler Erle's stellar talk at the open source geospatial tools conference. Video, may cause your sides to ache.
  3. repl.it -- browser-based environment for exploring different programming languages from FORTH to Python and Javascript by way of Brainfuck and LOLCODE.
  4. Twitter Storm (GitHub) -- distributed realtime computation system, intended for realtime what Hadoop is to batch processing. Interesting because you improve most reporting and control systems when you move them closer to real-time. Eclipse-licensed open source.

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