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September 14 2013

Formstone / Ben Plum

Formstone / Ben Plum
http://www.benplum.com/formstone

A growing collection of #jQuery #interface #plugins focused on structure and customization.

#webdesign

July 23 2013

Interactive map: bike movements in New York City and Washington, D.C.

From midnight to 7:30 A.M., New York is uncharacteristically quiet, its Citibikes–the city’s new shared bicycles–largely stationary and clustered in residential neighborhoods. Then things begin to move: commuters check out the bikes en masse in residential areas across Manhattan and, over the next two hours, relocate them to Midtown, the Flatiron district, SoHo, and Wall Street. There they remain concentrated, mostly used for local trips, until they start to move back outward around 5 P.M.

Washington, D.C.’s bike-share program exhibits a similar pattern, though, as you’d expect, the movement starts a little earlier in the morning. On my animated map, both cities look like they’re breathing–inhaling and then exhaling once over the course of 12 hours or so.

The map below shows availability at bike stations in New York City and the Washington, D.C. area across the course of the day. Solid blue dots represent completely-full bike stations; white dots indicate empty bike stations. Click on any station to see a graph of average availability over time. I’ve written a few thoughts on what this means about the program below the graphic.

We can see some interesting patterns in the bike share data here. First of all, use of bikes for commuting is evidently highest in the residential areas immediately adjacent to dense commercial areas. That makes sense; a bike commute from the East Village to Union Square is extremely easy, and that’s also the sort of trip that tends to be surprisingly difficult by subway. The more remote bike stations in Brooklyn and Arlington exhibit fairly flat availability profiles over the course of the day, suggesting that to the degree they’re used at all, it’s mostly for local trips.

A bit about the map: I built this by scraping the data feeds that underlie the New York and Washington real-time availability maps every 10 minutes and storing them in a database. (Here is New York’s feed; here is Washington’s.) I averaged availability by station in 10-minute increments over seven weekdays of collected data. The map uses JavaScript (mostly jQuery) to manipulate an SVG image–changing opacity of bike-share stations depending to represent availability and rendering a graph every time a station is clicked. I used Python and MySQL for the back-end work of collecting the data, aggregating it, and publishing it to a JSON file that the front-end code downloads and parses.

This map, by the way, is an extremely simple example of what’s possible when the physical world is instrumented and programmable. I’ve written about sensor-laden machinery in my research report on the industrial internet, and we plan to continue our work on the programmable world in the coming months.

July 12 2013

DevDocs ❝Provides access to the following API documentations : HTML, CSS, DOM, DOM Events,…

DevDocs
http://devdocs.io

Provides access to the following API documentations: HTML, CSS, DOM, DOM Events, JavaScript and jQuery. The material comes from the usual places (Mozilla Developer Network et al.), but has been consistently and pleasantly styled and provides a slick search user interface. Upcoming feature: offline capability.

#HTML #CSS #DOM #JavaScript #jQuery #documentation

February 05 2013

Four short links: 5 February 2013

  1. toolbar — tooltips in jQuery, cf hint.css which is tooltips in CSS.
  2. Security Engineering — 2ed now available online for free. (via /r/netsec)
  3. Economics of Netflix’s $100M New Show (The Atlantic) — Up until now, Netflix’s strategy has involved paying content makers and distributors, like Disney and Epix, for streaming rights to their movies and TV shows. It turns out, however, the company is overpaying on a lot of those deals. [...] [T]hese deals cost Netflix billions.
  4. Inceptiona FireWire physical memory manipulation and hacking tool exploiting IEEE 1394 SBP-2 DMA. The tool can unlock (any password accepted) and escalate privileges to Administrator/root on almost* any powered on machine you have physical access to. The tool can attack over FireWire, Thunderbolt, ExpressCard, PC Card and any other PCI/PCIe interfaces. (via BoingBoing)

September 10 2012

Four short links: 10 September 2012

  1. The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena (Wired) — With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on individuals or corporations, as long as a government agent declares the information is relevant to an investigation. Low barrier to obtain one, no oversight–the officials aren’t required to keep track of the subpoenas they issue!
  2. jQuery Gantt
  3. (GitHub) — open-source (MIT) jQuery plugin for editing and displaying Gantt charts. Author has written an introductory article to get you started. (via Javascript Weekly)

  4. Black Swan Farming (Paul Graham) — The first time Peter Thiel spoke at YC he drew a Venn diagram that illustrates the situation perfectly. He drew two intersecting circles, one labelled “seems like a bad idea” and the other “is a good idea.” The intersection is the sweet spot for startups.
  5. Learning C with GDB (Hacker School) — hells yes.

June 27 2012

Four short links: 27 June 2012

  1. Turing Centenary Speech (Bruce Sterling) -- so many thoughtbombs, this repays rereading. We’re okay with certain people who “think different” to the extent of buying Apple iPads. We’re rather hostile toward people who “think so very differently” that their work will make no sense for thirty years — if ever. We’ll test them, and see if we can find some way to get them to generate wealth for us, but we’re not considerate of them as unusual, troubled entities wandering sideways through a world they never made. ... Cognition exists, and computation exists, but they’re not the same phenomenon with two different masks on. ... Explain to me, as an engineer, why it’s so important to aspire to build systems with “Artificial Intelligence,” and yet you’d scorn to build “Artificial Femininity.” What is that about? ... Every day I face all these unstable heaps of creative machinery. How do we judge art created with, by, and or through these devices? What is our proper role with them? [...] How do we judge what we’re doing? How do we distribute praise and blame, rewards and demerits, how do to guide it, how do we attribute meaning to it? ... oh just read the whole damn piece, it's the best thing you'll read this month.
  2. Handsontable -- Excel-like grid editing plugin for jQuery (MIT-licensed).
  3. Lumoback (Kickstarter) -- smart posture sensor which provides a gentle vibration when you slouch to remind you to sit or stand straight. It is worn on your lower back and designed to be slim, sleek and so comfortable that you barely feel it when you have it on. (via Tim O'Reilly)
  4. Robot Hand Beats You At Rock-Paper-Scissors (IEEE) -- tl;dr: computer vision and fast robotics means it chooses after you reveal, but it happens so quickly that you don't realize it's cheating. (via Hacker News)

May 08 2012

jQuery took on a common problem and then grew through support

As part of our Velocity Profiles series, we're highlighting interesting conversations we've had with web ops and performance pros.

In the following interview from Velocity 2011, jQuery creator John Resig (@jeresig) discusses the early days of jQuery, the obstacles of cross-platform mobile development, and JavaScript's golden age.

Highlights from the interview include:

  • The initial goals for jQuery and why it caught on — Resig's web app projects kept bumping up against cross-browser issues, so he took a step back and built a JavaScript library that addressed his frustrations. He also notes that good documentation and feedback mechanisms are big reasons why jQuery caught on so quickly. "Put yourself in the shoes of someone who's trying to use your thing," he says. [Discussed 22 seconds in.]

  • The challenges of developing jQuery Mobile — "It's been a rocky adventure," Resig says. The core issue is the same as on the desktop side — cross-browser compatibility — but Resig says there's an extra twist: mobile has "even more browsers, and they're weirder." [Discussed at 2:28.]
  • Is JavaScript in a golden age? — It's in a "prolonged golden age," Resig says. The key shift is that many developers now acknowledge JavaScript's importance. "You can't build a web application without understanding JavaScript. JavaScript is a fundamental aspect of any sort of web development you do today." [Discussed at 4:05.]

The full interview is available in the following video.

Velocity 2012: Web Operations & Performance — The smartest minds in web operations and performance are coming together for the Velocity Conference, being held June 25-27 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

Related:

February 21 2012

Four short links: 21 February 2012

  1. Stop Paying Your jQuery Tax (Sam Saffron) -- performance advice for front-end developers. The faster your site responds, the more customers will use it.
  2. George Dyson Interviewed (Wired) -- a different perspective on computing, worth reading.
  3. VLC 2.0.0 -- VLC lets you bypass manufacturers' designed-in brokenness so your computer can play media. Glad to see it still being actively developed.
  4. Critical Truth About Power Laws (Science Magazine) -- Although power laws have been reported in areas ranging from finance and molecular biology to geophysics and the Internet, the data are typically insufficient and the mechanistic insights are almost always too limited for the identification of power-law behavior to be scientifically useful (see the figure). Indeed, even most statistically "successful" calculations of power laws offer little more than anecdotal value. (no PDF available unless you pay, because that's how great science works)

January 18 2012

Four short links: 18 January 2012

  1. Many Core Processors -- not the first time I've heard nondeterministic computing discussed as a solution to some of our parallel-programming travails. Can't imagine what a pleasure it is to debug.
  2. Pinterest Cloned -- it's not the pilfering of the idea that offends my sensibilities, it's the blatant clone of every aspect of the UI. I never thought much of the old Apple look'n'feel lawsuit but this really rubs me the wrong way.
  3. What You May Not Know About jQuery -- far more than DOM and AJAX calls. (via Javascript Weekly)
  4. Spark -- Scala-implemented alternative framework to the model of parallelism in MapReduce. (via Pete Warden)

December 16 2011

Four short links: 16 December 2011

  1. Subway Map jQuery Plugin -- create your own London Underground-style maps. (via Chris Spurgeon)
  2. Webcraft and Programming for Free Range Students -- a p2pu class for teachers of web stuff and programming.
  3. Arts, Humanities, and Complex Networks 2012 -- CFP for a conference in Chicago, looking for visualization and data-analysis papers with a background in the humanities.
  4. How to Go Mo -- clever idea. Everyone at a company should be able to say "hey, our site looks like crap on mobile browsers!", bringing pressure to fix it. 1/3 of people browse the web on their phone.

May 30 2011

Four short links: 30 May 2011

  1. Chartify -- jQuery plugin to create Google charts from HTML tables. (via Rasmus Sellberg)
  2. Designing Incentives for Crowdsourcing Workers (Crowdflower) -- In a tough turn for the sociologists and psychologists, none of the purely social/psychological treatments had any significant effects at all.
  3. The gTLD Boondoggle -- ICANN promised back in 1998 that they would bring the world lots of new domains. So far they haven't, the world has not come to an end, and the Internet has not collapsed. The absence of demand for new TLDs from actual users (as opposed to domain promoters and the occasional astroturf) is deafening. What we do see is a lot of concern that there will be more mistakes like .XXX, and pressure from governments both via the GAC and directly to ensure it doesn't happen again. It's a bugger when you go hunting for a new product's domain name and realize "all the good ones are taken", but that's an argument against domain squatters/speculators not an argument for opening up new top-level-domain vistas.
  4. Atul Gawande's Medical School Commencement Address (New Yorker) -- every lesson in here about healthcare is just as applicable to software development. Read it. (via Courtney Johnston)

May 13 2011

Four short links: 13 May 2011

  1. Mathematical Intimidation: Driven by the Data (PDF) -- excellent article from Notices of the American Mathematical Society about the flaws in "value-added modelling", the latest fad whereby data about students' results in different classes are analysed to identify the effect of each teacher. People recognize that tests are an imperfect measure of educational success, but when sophisticated mathematics is applied, they believe the imperfections go away by some mathematical magic. But this is not magic. What really happens is that the mathematics is used to disguise the problems and intimidate people into ignoring them—a modern, mathematical version of the Emperor’s New Clothes. A critical instance of Hilary Mason's Clean data > More Data > Fancy Math. (via Audrey Watters)
  2. Classification of HTTP-based APIs -- The classification achieves an explicit differentiation between the various kinds of uses of HTTP and provides a foundation to analyse and describe the system properties induced. (via Brian Mulloy)
  3. Cancer Clusters (BBC) -- straightforward demonstration of how naive analysis of random numbers can yield "patterns".
  4. FitText.js -- a jQuery plugin for inflating type.

November 22 2010

Four short links: 22 November 2010

  1. Snippet -- JQuery syntax highlighter built on Syntax Highlighting in JavaScript. Snippet is MIT-licensed, SJHS is GPLv3.
  2. Fear of Forking -- (Brian Aker) GitHub has begun to feel like the Sourceforge of the distributed revision control world. It feels like it is littered with half started, never completed, or just never merged trees. If you can easily takes changes from the main tree, the incentive to have your tree merged back into the canonical tree is low.
  3. Product Invention Workshops (BERG London) -- Matt Webb explains what they do with customers. Output takes the form, generally, of these microbriefs. A microbrief is how we encapsulate recommendations: it’s a sketch and short description of a new product or effort that will easily test out some hypothesis or concept arrived at in the workshop. It’s sketched enough that people outside the workshop can understand it. And it’s a hook to communicate the more abstract principles which have emerged in the days. Their process isn't their secret weapon, it's their creativity, empathy, and communication skills that make them so valuable.
  4. OneMicron -- Janet Isawa's beautiful animations of biological science. (via BoingBoing who linked to this NYTimes piece)

October 06 2010

Four short links: 6 October 2010

  1. “Poetic” Statistical Machine Translation: Rhyme and Meter (PDF) -- Google Research paper on how to machine translate text into poetry. This is the best paper I've read in a long time: clever premise, straightforward implementation, and magnificent results. There's a very workable translation of Oscar Wilde's "Ballad of Reading Gaol" into a different meter, which you'll know isn't easy if you've ever tried your hand at poetry more complex than "there once was a young man called Enis". (via Poetic Machine Translation on the Google Research blog)
  2. Android Most Popular Operating System in US Among Recent Smartphone Buyers (Nielsen blog) -- the graphs say it all. Note how the growth in Android handset numbers doesn't come at the expense of Blackberry or iPhone users? Android users aren't switchers, they're new smartphone owners. (via Hacker News)
  3. Government Data to be Machine Readable (Guardian) -- UK government to require all responses to Freedom of Information Act requests to be machine readable.
  4. jQuery Fundamentals -- CC-SA-licensed book on jQuery programming. (via darren on Twitter)

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