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February 19 2014

Four short links: 19 February 2014

  1. 1746 Slippy Map of London — very nice use of Google Maps to recontextualise historic maps. (via USvTh3m)
  2. TPP Comic — the comic explaining TPP that you’ve been waiting for. (via BoingBoing)
  3. Synthetic Biology Investor’s Lament — some hypotheses about why synbio is so slow to fire.
  4. vizcities — open source 3D (OpenGL) city and data visualisation platform, using open data.

February 17 2014

Four short links: 17 February 2014

  1. imsg — use iMessage from the commandline.
  2. Facebook Data Science Team Posts About Love — I tell people, “this is what you look like to SkyNet.”
  3. A System for Detecting Software Plagiarism — the research behind the undergraduate bete noir.
  4. 3D GIFs — this is awesome because brain.

February 10 2014

Four short links: 10 February 2014

  1. Bruce Sterling at transmediale 2014 (YouTube) — “if it works, it’s already obsolete.” Sterling does a great job of capturing the current time: spies in your Internet, lost trust with the BigCos, the impermanence of status quo, the need to create. (via BoingBoing)
  2. No-one Should Fork Android (Ars Technica) — this article is bang on. Google Mobile Services (the Play functionality) is closed-source, what makes Android more than a bare-metal OS, and is where G is focusing its development. Google’s Android team treats openness like a bug and routes around it.
  3. Data Pipelines (Hakkalabs) — interesting overview of the data pipelines of Stripe, Tapad, Etsy, and Square.
  4. Visualising Salesforce Data in Minecraft — would almost make me look forward to using Salesforce. Almost.

February 08 2014

Four short links: 7 February 2014

  1. 12 Predictions About the Future of Programming (Infoworld) — not a bad set of predictions, except for the inane “squeezing” view of open source.
  2. Conceal (Github) — Facebook Android tool for apps to encrypt data and large files stored in public locations, for example SD cards.
  3. Dreamliner Softwareall three of the jet’s navigation computers failed at the same time. “The cockpit software system went blank,” IBN Live, an Indian television station, reported. The Internet of Rebooting Things.
  4. Contiki — open source connective OS for IoT.
  5. February 05 2014

    Four short links: 5 February 2014

    1. sigma.js — Javascript graph-drawing library (node-edge graphs, not charts).
    2. DARPA Open Catalog — all the open source published by DARPA. Sweet!
    3. Quantified Vehicle Meetup — Boston meetup around intelligent automotive tech including on-board diagnostics, protocols, APIs, analytics, telematics, apps, software and devices.
    4. AT&T See Future In Industrial Internet — partnering with GE, M2M-related customers increased by more than 38% last year. (via Jim Stogdill)

    January 31 2014

    Four short links: 31 January 2014

    1. Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android.
    2. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet.
    3. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. Coder soul food.
    4. About Link Bait (Anil Dash) — excellent consideration of Upworthy’s distinctive click-provoking headlines, but my eye was caught by we often don’t sound like 2012 Upworthy anymore. Because those tricks are starting to dilute click rates. from Upworthy’s editor-at-large. Attention is a scarce resource, and our brains are very good at filtering.

    January 28 2014

    Four short links: 28 January 2014

    1. Intel On-Device Voice Recognition (Quartz) — interesting because the tension between client-side and server-side functionality is still alive and well. Features migrate from core to edge and back again as cycles, data, algorithms, and responsiveness expectations change.
    2. Meet Microsoft’s Personal Assistant (Bloomberg) — total information awareness assistant. By Seeing, Hearing, and Knowing All, in the future even elevators will be trying to read our minds. (via The Next Web)
    3. Microsoft Contributes Cloud Server Designs to Open Compute ProjectAs part of this effort, Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. is open sourcing the software code we created for the management of hardware operations, such as server diagnostics, power supply and fan control. We would like to help build an open source software community within OCP as well. (via Data Center Knowledge)
    4. Open Tissue Wiki — open source (ZLib license) generic algorithms and data structures for rapid development of interactive modeling and simulation.

    January 27 2014

    Four short links: 27 January 2014

    1. Druid — open source clustered data store (not key-value store) for real-time exploratory analytics on large datasets.
    2. It’s Time to Engineer Some Filter Failure (Jon Udell) — Our filters have become so successful that we fail to notice: We don’t control them, They have agendas, and They distort our connections to people and ideas. That idea that algorithms have agendas is worth emphasising. Reality doesn’t have an agenda, but the deployer of a similarity metric has decided what features to look for, what metric they’re optimising, and what to do with the similarity data. These are all choices with an agenda.
    3. Capstone — open source multi-architecture disassembly engine.
    4. The Future of Employment (PDF) — We note that this prediction implies a truncation in the current trend towards labour market polarization, with growing employment in high and low-wage occupations, accompanied by a hollowing-out of middle-income jobs. Rather than reducing the demand for middle-income occupations, which has been the pattern over the past decades, our model predicts that computerisation will mainly substitute for low-skill and low-wage jobs in the near future. By contrast, high-skill and high-wage occupations are the least susceptible to computer capital. (via The Atlantic)

    January 24 2014

    Four short links: 24 January 2014

    1. What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating Point Arithmetic — in short, “it will hurt you.”
    2. Ori a distributed file system built for offline operation and empowers the user with control over synchronization operations and conflict resolution. We provide history through light weight snapshots and allow users to verify the history has not been tampered with. Through the use of replication instances can be resilient and recover damaged data from other nodes.
    3. RoboEartha Cloud Robotics infrastructure, which includes everything needed to close the loop from robot to the cloud and back to the robot. RoboEarth’s World-Wide-Web style database stores knowledge generated by humans – and robots – in a machine-readable format. Data stored in the RoboEarth knowledge base include software components, maps for navigation (e.g., object locations, world models), task knowledge (e.g., action recipes, manipulation strategies), and object recognition models (e.g., images, object models).
    4. Mother — domestic sensors and an app with an appallingly presumptuous name. (Also, wasn’t “Mother” the name of the ship computer in Alien?) (via BoingBoing)

    January 23 2014

    Four short links: 23 January 2014

    1. Microsoft Research Adopts Open Access Policy for Publications — +1
    2. Light Table is Open Source — this matters because these experiments in semantic interactivity inform technical UIs of the future, and the more ubiquitous this code is then the more effect it can have and the sooner we can have the future.
    3. The Six Things That Make Stories Go Viral Will Amaze and Astound You (New Yorker) — Berger and Milkman found that two features predictably determined an article’s success: how positive its message was and how much it excited its reader. The obvious part is that we develop immunity to things that catch our attention: our brains are well-developed systems for filtering, and the only constant is that advertisers will need novelty.
    4. The Story of Holacracy’s Founder (Quartz) — background on the interesting flat organisation culture system that’s gaining traction in startups.

    January 22 2014

    Four short links: 22 January 2014

    1. How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love (Wired) — if he doesn’t end up working for OK Cupid, productising this as a new service, something is wrong with the world.
    2. Humin: The App That Uses Context to Enable Better Human Connections (WaPo) — Humin is part of a growing trend of apps and services attempting to use context and anticipation to better serve users. The precogs are coming. I knew it.
    3. Spoiled Onions — analysis identifying bad actors in the Tor network, Since September 2013, we discovered several malicious or misconfigured exit relays[...]. These exit relays engaged in various attacks such as SSH and HTTPS MitM, HTML injection, and SSL stripping. We also found exit relays which were unintentionally interfering with network traffic because they were subject to DNS censorship.
    4. My Mind (Github) — a web application for creating and managing Mind maps. It is free to use and you can fork its source code. It is distributed under the terms of the MIT license.

    January 20 2014

    Four short links: 20 January 2014

    1. idb (Github) — a tool to simplify some common tasks for iOS pentesting and research: screenshots, logs, plists/databases/caches, app binary decryption/download, etc. (via ShmooCon)
    2. Twitter Infrastructure — an interview with Raffi Krikorian, VP of Platform Engineering. Details on SOA, deployment schedule, rollouts, and culture. (via Nelson Minar)
    3. Orbit (Github) — a standalone Javascript lib for data access and synchronization.
    4. Chromium is the New C Runtime — using Chrome’s open source core as the standard stack of networking, crash report, testing, logging, strings, encryption, concurrency, etc. libraries for C programming.

    January 13 2014

    Four short links: 13 January 2014

    1. s3mper (Github) — Netflix’s library to add consistency checking to S3. (via Netflix tech blog)
    2. Powerup Smartphone-Controlled Paper Airplane — boggle. You know the future is here when you realise you’re on the Internet of Trivial Things.
    3. clmtrackr (Github) — real-time face recognition, deformation, and substitution in Javascript. Boggle.
    4. Nine Wearables (Quartz) — a roundup of Glass-inspired wearables, including projecting onto contact lenses which wins today’s “most squicky idea” award.

    January 06 2014

    Four short links: 6 January 2014

    1. 4043-byte 8086 Emulator manages to implement most of the hardware in a 1980’s era IBM-PC using a few hundred fewer bits than the total number of transistors used to implement the original 8086 CPU. Entry in the obfuscated C contest.
    2. Hacking the CES Scavenger HuntAt which point—now you have your own iBeacon hardware—you can just go ahead and set the UUID, Major and Minor numbers of your beacon to each of the CES scavenger hunt beacon identities in turn, and then bring your beacon into range of your cell phone running which should be running the CES mobile app. Once you’ve shown the app all of the beacons, you’ll have “finished” the scavenger hunt and can claim your prize. Of course doing that isn’t legal. It’s called fraud and will probably land you in serious trouble. iBeacons have great possibilities, but with great possibilities come easy hacks when they’re misused.
    3. Filtering: Seven Principles — JP Rangaswami laying down some basic principles on which filters should be built. 1. Filters should be built such that they are selectable by subscriber, not publisher. I think the basic is: 0: Customers should be able to run their own filters across the information you’re showing them.
    4. Tremor-Correcting Steadicam — brilliant use of technology. Sensors + microcontrollers + actuators = a genuinely better life. Beats figuring out better algorithms to pimp eyeballs to Brands You Love. (via BoingBoing)

    January 02 2014

    December 30 2013

    Four short links: 30 December 2013

    1. tooldiaga collection of methods for statistical pattern recognition. Implemented in C.
    2. Hacking MicroSD Cards (Bunnie Huang) — In my explorations of the electronics markets in China, I’ve seen shop keepers burning firmware on cards that “expand” the capacity of the card — in other words, they load a firmware that reports the capacity of a card is much larger than the actual available storage. The fact that this is possible at the point of sale means that most likely, the update mechanism is not secured. MicroSD cards come with embedded microcontrollers whose firmware can be exploited.
    3. 30c3 — recordings from the 30th Chaos Communication Congress.
    4. IOT Companies, Products, Devices, and Software by Sector (Mike Nicholls) — astonishing amount of work in the space, especially given this list is inevitably incomplete.

    December 27 2013

    Four short links: 27 December 2013

    1. Intel XDKIf you can write code in HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript*, you can use the Intel® XDK to build an HTML5 web app or a hybrid app for all of the major app stores. It’s a .exe. What more do I need to say? FFS.
    2. Behind the Scenes of a Dashboard Design — the design decisions that go into displaying complex info.
    3. Superconductora web framework for creating data visualizations that scale to real-time interactions with up to 1,000,000 data points. It compiles to WebCL, WebGL, and web workers. (via Ben Lorica)
    4. BIDMach: Large-scale Learning with Zero Memory Allocation (PDF) — GPU-accelerated machine learning. In this paper we describe a caching approach that allows code with complex matrix (graph) expressions at massive scale, i.e. multi-terabyte data, with zero memory allocation after the initial setup. (via Siah)

    December 26 2013

    Four short links: 26 December 2013

    1. Nest Protect Teardown (Sparkfun) — initial teardown of another piece of domestic industrial Internet.
    2. LogsThe distributed log can be seen as the data structure which models the problem of consensus. Not kidding when he calls it “real-time data’s unifying abstraction”.
    3. Mining the Web to Predict Future Events (PDF) — Mining 22 years of news stories to predict future events. (via Ben Lorica)
    4. Nanocubesa fast datastructure for in-memory data cubes developed at the Information Visualization department at AT&T Labs – Research. Nanocubes can be used to explore datasets with billions of elements at interactive rates in a web browser, and in some cases it uses sufficiently little memory that you can run a nanocube in a modern-day laptop. (via Ben Lorica)

    December 25 2013

    Four short links: 25 December 2013

    1. Inside Netflix’s HR (HBR) — Which idea in the culture deck was the hardest sell with employees? “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” It’s a pretty blunt statement of our hunger for excellence. They talk about how those conversations play out in practice.
    2. Top Science Longreads for 2013 (Ed Yong) — for your Christmas reading.
    3. CocoaSPDY — open source library for SPDY (fast HTTP replacement, supported in Chrome) for iOS and OS X.
    4. The Internet of Things Will Replace the Web — invisible buttons loaded with anticipatory actions keyed from mined sensor data. And we’ll complain it’s slow and doesn’t know that I don’t like The Beatles before my coffee and who wrote this crap anyway?

    December 18 2013

    Four short links: 18 December 2013

    1. Cyberpunk 2013 — a roleplaying game shows a Gibsonian view of 2013 from 1988. (via Ben Hammersley)
    2. The Future Computer Utility — 1967 prediction of the current state. There are several reasons why some form of regulation may be required. Consider one of the more dramatic ones, that of privacy and freedom from tampering. Highly sensitive personal and important business information will be stored in many of the contemplated systems. Information will be exchanged over easy-to-tap telephone lines. At best, nothing more than trust—or, at best, a lack of technical sophistication—stands in the way of a would-be eavesdropper. All data flow over the lines of the commercial telephone system. Hanky-panky by an imaginative computer designer, operator, technician, communications worker, or programmer could have disastrous consequences. As time-shared computers come into wider use, and hold more sensitive information, these problems can only increase. Today we lack the mechanisms to insure adequate safeguards. Because of the difficulty in rebuilding complex systems to incorporate safeguards at a later date, it appears desirable to anticipate these problems. (via New Yorker)
    3. Lantronix XPort Pro Lx6a secure embedded device server supporting IPv6, that barely larger than an RJ45 connector. The device runs Linux or the company’s Evolution OS, and is destined to be used in wired industrial IoT / M2M applications.
    4. Pond — interesting post-NSA experiment in forward secure, asynchronous messaging for the discerning. Pond messages are asynchronous, but are not a record; they expire automatically a week after they are received. Pond seeks to prevent leaking traffic information against everyone except a global passive attacker. (via Morgan Mayhem)
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