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June 29 2012

Top Stories: June 25-29, 2012

Here's a look at the top stories published across O'Reilly sites this week.

William Gibson got some of it right
"Neuromancer," written 28 years ago, predicted a technological wonderland we're still waiting for. But its corporate dystopia is already here.


Why learn C?
"Head First C" co-author David Griffith discusses C's continued popularity and why C and Arduino work well together.


"Lightweight" DRM isn't the answer
In this open letter to the IDPF's Executive Director, Bill McCoy, O'Reilly GM & Publisher Joe Wikert explains why a DRM-free approach is far better than any "lightweight" DRM option.


Ten years of Foo Camp
We curate topic areas and interesting people, but Foo Camp is designed to be an idea collider. It's an intentional serendipity engine that works the seams in between.

Predictive data analytics is saving lives and taxpayer dollars in New York City
A predictive data analytics team in the Mayor's Office of New York City is finding patterns in regulatory data that can then be applied to law, health and better allocation of taxpayer resources.


OSCON 2012 — Join the world's open source pioneers, builders, and innovators July 16-20 in Portland, Oregon. Learn about open development, challenge your assumptions, and fire up your brain. Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR.

January 13 2012

Developer Week in Review: A big moment for Kinect?

Hope everyone is having a good year, so far. We're just getting our first snow of the season up here in New England (Snowtober not included...). Alas, I shan't be able to watch the Patriots and Broncos gird themselves for epic battle this Saturday (except after the fact on TiVo), as I'll be speaking that evening at the Arisia SF Convention in downtown Boston. I'll be participating on a panel discussing the legacy of Steve Jobs, and since one of the other panelists is Richard Stallman, it should make for a lively discussion.

Kinect for Windows makes it a good time to be a chiropractor

Say what you will about Microsoft, but its Kinect user input system has been a hot item since it was first released for the Xbox 360. The Kinect has also been a hacker's favorite, as researchers and makers alike have repurposed it for all sorts of body-tracking applications.

Come February, Microsoft will be releasing the first version of the Kinect specifically designed for Windows PCs, complete with a free SDK and runtime. This means that Windows developers can now start designing games and applications that use gestures and body positioning. A future full of "Minority Report"-style user interfaces can't be far away. And with people having to writhe and contort to use their computers, a 15-minute warm up and stretch will become mandatory company policy across the world.

Of more immediate interest: Will the hardware be open enough for folks to create non-Windows SDKs? I suspect a lot of Linux and Mac developers would love to play with a Kinect, and if Microsoft is smart, they'll take the money and smile.

A patent for those half-days

Like mobile phone litigation, software patent abuses are such a frequent occurrence that if I chose to chronicle them all, there would be no room left every week to discuss anything else. But every once in a while, a patent of such mind-altering "well, duh!" magnitude is granted that it must be acknowledged.

Enter the current subject: IBM's recently granted patent for a system that notifies people who try to email you if you're on vacation. But wait, you respond, just about every email system in existence lets you set yourself on vacation and send an auto-response to anyone who emails you. Ah, you fool, but can it handle the case where you only take a half day off? That's what this patent covers.

If NYC crashes with a null pointer exception, we'll know why

It may be more PR than promise, but New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pledged to learn coding, as part of Codecademy's Code Year project.

Between Codecademy, the Kahn Academy and free courseware now being offered by prestigious institutions such as MIT and Stanford, there's never been more resources available to the average person who wants to learn software engineering. The question is, how will the corporate world react to a cadre of self-taught developers? We often hear there's a shortage of engineering talent in the U.S., but will companies hire newbie coders who learned it all online?

Strata 2012 — The 2012 Strata Conference, being held Feb. 28-March 1 in Santa Clara, Calif., will offer three full days of hands-on data training and information-rich sessions. Strata brings together the people, tools, and technologies you need to make data work.

Save 20% on registration with the code RADAR20

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Related:

November 19 2008

56 Leonard Street

Building by Herzog & de Meuron
Video by Tronic Studios

tronicstudio.com/

May 19 2008

Work Architecture Company by Archdaily

Interview made to Amale Andraos & Dan Wood by Archdaily

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