Top Stories: October 17-21, 2011 - The joys of animated geo data, Angry Birds and the future of mobile testing, and a look inside The Guardian's creative process.

Top Stories: October 17-21, 2011 - The joys of animated geo data, Angry Birds and the future of mobile testing, and a look inside The Guardian's creative process.
By Mac Slocum
October 21, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Andy Kirk explained why data, maps and animation work so well together, we discovered the connection between a game-playing robot and the future of mobile app testing, and we learned how The Guardian develops its data journalism.

Publishing News: The news is free but the API will cost you - New revenue streams for news orgs, Amazon gnaws away at the publishing industry, and Kobo launches Vox.

Publishing News: The news is free but the API will cost you - New revenue streams for news orgs, Amazon gnaws away at the publishing industry, and Kobo launches Vox.
By Jenn Webb
October 21, 2011

News organizations look to commercial endeavors for unorthodox revenue. Also, Amazon continues to extend its reach into publishing and Kobo jumps on the tablet bandwagon.

Developer Week in Review: Talking to your phone - Getting serious about Siri, Open Office on the rocks, and Google embraces SQL.

Developer Week in Review: Talking to your phone - Getting serious about Siri, Open Office on the rocks, and Google embraces SQL.
By James Turner
October 21, 2011

This week, we ask if Apple's Siri has more than novelty value, and decide it does. Open Office needs you (or at least your money) to stay afloat, and Google bends to developer pressure and finally adds SQL support to its cloud computing platform.

Note to visualization creators: Add subtitles and narration - Embedded information makes animated visualizations more accessible.

Note to visualization creators: Add subtitles and narration - Embedded information makes animated visualizations more accessible.
By Mac Slocum
October 20, 2011

An animated visualization from NASA shows how subtitles and simple narration can make complex graphics easier to understand. We need more of this.

Strata Week: A step toward personal data control - Singly believes your data tells your story, news orgs debate word clouds, and Mary Meeker looks at the latest Internet trends.

Strata Week: A step toward personal data control - Singly believes your data tells your story, news orgs debate word clouds, and Mary Meeker looks at the latest Internet trends.
By Audrey Watters
October 20, 2011

Data democratization takes a step forward with Singly 1.0, The New York Times and The Guardian debate the finer points of word clouds, and Mary Meeker presents her annual report on Internet trends.

OSEHRA and the future of VA VistA - Veterans Affairs launches its electronic health record system as an open-source project.

By Fred Trotter
October 19, 2011

Veterans Affairs is taking the bold step of making governance of the VistA system open source. If you care about healthcare software, the new Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA) is worth your involvement.

Building books for platforms, from the ground up - Jon Feldman on "Speakeasy Cocktails" and a new approach to content development.

Building books for platforms, from the ground up - Jon Feldman on
By Jenn Webb
October 19, 2011

In this interview, Open Air Publishing's Jon Feldman says publishers aren't truly embracing digital and are simply pushing out flat electronic versions of print books. He talks about the development of "Speakeasy Cocktails" and how it embraces the rich ebook experience.

Visualization deconstructed: Why animated geospatial data works - Inside animated geo visualizations.

Visualization deconstructed: Why animated geospatial data works - Inside animated geo visualizations.
By Andy Kirk
October 19, 2011

When you plot geographic data onto the scenery of a map and then create a shifting window into that scene through the sequence of time, you create a deep, data-driven story.

Four short links: 19 October 2011 - Ubiquitous Multitouch, Bitcoin Bust, vim Text Concepts, and Storage Troubles

By Nat Torkington
October 19, 2011

OmniTouch: Wearable Interaction Everywhere -- compact projector + kinect equivalents in shoulder-mounted multitouch glory. (via Slashdot) Price of Bitcoin Still Dropping -- currency is a confidence game, and there's no confidence in Bitcoins since the massive Mt Gox exchange hack. vim Text Objects -- I'm an emacs user, so this is like reading Herodotus. "On the far side of...

Day one of FLOSS Manuals book sprint at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 19, 2011

Four teams at Google launched into endeavors that will lead, less than 72 hours from now, to complete books on four open source projects.

Six ways to think about an "infinite canvas" - How would content look, feel and act in an unlimited space?

Six ways to think about an
By Peter Meyers
October 18, 2011

Imagine a canvas that's elastic and infinite. Now consider the content that could exist in this domain. How would it work? How would you interact with it? Pete Meyers considers these questions and more.

Data journalism and "Don Draper moments" - Alastair Dant on how tech, data and narrative come together at The Guardian.

Data journalism and
By Audrey Watters
October 18, 2011

The Guardian's Alastair Dant discusses the organization's interactive stories, including its World Cup Twitter replay, along with the steps his team takes when starting a new data project.

Four short links: 18 October 2011 - Search Education, Classic Source, Analyzing Encrypted VoIP, and SQL Injection

By Nat Torkington
October 18, 2011

Web Search Education (Google) -- lesson plans and materials for teaching people how to use search, from operators to critically evaluating sites. This latter area is the weakest: when I teach innocents about the web, I show them organic vs paid results, discuss why people advertise, how people pay for their sites, noticing domain names and organizations, etc. I...

FLOSS Manuals sprint starts at Google Summer of Code summit

By Andy Oram
October 18, 2011

Four free software projects have each sent three to five volunteers to write books about the projects this week. Along the way we'll all learn about the group writing process and the particular use of book sprints to make documentation for free software.

In Progress: Web 2.0 Summit

By Mac Slocum
October 17, 2011

Related coverage: The Web 2 Summit Points of Control map has a new data layer

Inside the German ebook market - Max Franke offers an insider's perspective.

Inside the German ebook market - Max Franke offers an insider's perspective.
By Jenn Webb
October 17, 2011

In this podcast, Max Franke of epubli sat down with Joe Wikert to discuss the ebook market in Germany. He says though the German digital publishing market is still small compared to the US, he expects it to grow as more tablets and ereaders enter the market.

Open Question: What needs to happen for tablets to replace laptops? - Moving from "tablet-plus-laptop" to "tablet-only."

Open Question: What needs to happen for tablets to replace laptops? - Moving from
By Mac Slocum
October 17, 2011

What will it take for tablets to equal — or surpass — their laptop cousins? See specific wish lists and weigh in with your own thoughts.

Four short links: 17 October 2011 - From Reddit to Movie, Google Audited, Web Delays, and Sugared CSS

By Nat Torkington
October 17, 2011

Story Written in Reddit -- historical scifi based on the question "Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?" Movie rights were just acquired by Warners. (via BoingBoing) Auditing Google -- the comically complex games played to move profits to...

BioCurious opens its lab in Sunnyvale, CA - Inside a new DIY bio lab.

BioCurious opens its lab in Sunnyvale, CA - Inside a new DIY bio lab.
By Andy Oram
October 16, 2011

BioCurious has officially opened its first lab, with a mission of involving ordinary people off the street in biological experiments, using hands-on learning, and promoting open source hardware and software.

lifeIMAGE and the quest for medical imaging exchange

By Andy Oram
October 15, 2011

Medical imaging was one of the first areas of medicine to computerize. But the field still fails to capitalize on many of the advantages that other parts of the computer field take for granted: access anywhere, seamless integration, and (perhaps most important for a health field) clear enforcement of permissions.

International Open Government Data Camp looks to build community - In its second year, the camp's organizers aspire to galvanize more governments to open up their data.

By Alex Howard
October 15, 2011

The second International Open Government Data Camp will convene advocates, activists, civic media, citizens and officials to exchange ideas, code and expertise in Warsaw, Poland.

Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011 - The obstacles of indoor navigation, "Moneyball" for software engineers, and a call for hyperlinking restraint.

Top Stories: October 10-14, 2011 - The obstacles of indoor navigation,
By Mac Slocum
October 14, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Nick Farina explained why smartphones have yet to crack the indoor navigation problem, we explored the relationship between "Moneyball" and software engineering, and Pete Meyers looked at the pros and cons of links in ebooks.

Publishing News: Amazon fires up B&N and BAM - An Amazon deal starts a bookseller war, content tidbits from conferences, and the application of Wikipedia's success.

Publishing News: Amazon fires up B&N and BAM - An Amazon deal starts a bookseller war, content tidbits from conferences, and the application of Wikipedia's success.
By Jenn Webb
October 14, 2011

In this week's publishing news: B&N and BAM pulled DC Comics graphic novels off the shelves in a huff. Also, interesting data points surface at book conferences, and what newspapers can learn from Wikipedia.

Head First iPhone and iPad Development and iOS5

By Tracey Pilone
October 14, 2011

Well, iOS5 is out, and that means that Head First iPhone and iPad Development officially needs some tweaking to work with the latest tools! First, a quick overview of the new features in iOS 5. For the OS itself, the...

Visualization of the Week: Sentiment in the Bible - Sentiment analysis sheds new light on an old book.

Visualization of the Week: Sentiment in the Bible - Sentiment analysis sheds new light on an old book.
By Audrey Watters
October 14, 2011

OpenBible.info found a novel way to examine one of the world's most analyzed texts: Create a visualization showing the rise and fall of sentiment across the Bible.

Commerce Weekly: PayPal wants to "one click" across the web - PayPal has a big vision for single sign on, and a reporter searches for Bitcoin's creator.

Commerce Weekly: PayPal wants to
By David Sims
October 14, 2011

PayPal Access is a single sign-on tool that enables transactions — and it's got sweeping ambitions. Elsewhere, a reporter searches for Bitcoin's developer. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

You share something, you get something back: How the web is redefining privacy - O'Reilly Media CIO, Jonathan Reichental, speaks at TEDx in Chicago.

By Jonathan Reichental, Ph.D.
October 14, 2011

Combining a mix of freely available public domain information and our own sharing behaviors on the web clearly suggests that we must redefine our view of privacy.

Four short links: 14 October 2011 - Relativity in Short Words, Set Math, Design Inspiration, and Internet of Things

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2011

Theory of Relativity in Words of Four Letters or Less -- this does just what it says, and well too. I like it, as you may too. At the end, you may even know more than you do now. Effective Set Reconciliation Without Prior Context (PDF) -- paper on using Bloom filters to do set union (deduplication) efficiently. Useful...

Developer Week in Review: Two giants fall - Steve Jobs and the App Store, goodbye to Dennis Ritchie, and an internal Google critique goes public.

Developer Week in Review: Two giants fall - Steve Jobs and the App Store, goodbye to Dennis Ritchie, and an internal Google critique goes public.
By James Turner
October 13, 2011

Better late than never, a few thoughts on Steve Jobs. Also, a Unix pioneer leaves us, and Google's dirty laundry is accidentally hung out to dry.

TOC NY 2012

By Tony Quartarolo
October 13, 2011

Strata Week: Simplifying MapReduce through Java - MapReduce gets easier, a new search engine for data, and now you can monitor the universe's forces on your phone.

Strata Week: Simplifying MapReduce through Java - MapReduce gets easier, a new search engine for data, and now you can monitor the universe's forces on your phone.
By Audrey Watters
October 13, 2011

Cloudera's Crunch hopes to make MapReduce easier, Datafiniti launches a search engine for data, and the University of Oxford releases an Android app for monitoring CERN data.

Velocity is coming to Europe - Velocity Europe will be held Nov. 8-9, 2011 in Berlin.

Velocity is coming to Europe - Velocity Europe will be held Nov. 8-9, 2011 in Berlin.
By John Allspaw
October 13, 2011

The Velocity Conference has already turned once exotic topics like database scaling and mobile performance into common knowledge. Now, Velocity is bringing its mix of web ops and performance evangelism to Europe.

Bob Lee on Java references and the state of Java - Square CTO Bob Lee digs into Java's current position.

Bob Lee on Java references and the state of Java - Square CTO Bob Lee digs into Java's current position.
By Timothy M. O'Brien
October 13, 2011

In this short interview from JavaOne, Square CTO Bob Lee discusses Java references and weighs in on the state of Java and the industry.

You Registered Your Copy, Right?

By Gene McCullagh
October 13, 2011

As photographers we can easily fall into the deep well of creative pursuits and forget about the practical side to creating images. While the rights to your image are set the moment you press the shutter release, proving that is another matter. And that is where the value of registering your copyright becomes important. Most, if not all, countries have some sort of creative protections in place. I will look at this from the U.S. perspective so please investigate your country's copyright laws and procedures if you are not in the U.S..

Four short links: 13 October 2011 - Memorable Indexes, Mobile Sensors, Augmented Reality Toys, and Collaborative Editing

By Nat Torkington
October 13, 2011

Memorable Indexes (Futility Closet) -- Carroll's index also includes entries for "Boots for horizontal weather," "Horizontal rain, boots for," "Rain, horizontal, boots for," and "Weather, horizontal, boots for". They're silly and whimsical, but the underlying problem of making multiple accessible entrypoints into a single corpus of content is with us today and only compounded by the vast growth of...

Data in the HR department - Google's Kathryn Dekas on how a data-driven mindset applies to human resources.

Data in the HR department - Google's Kathryn Dekas on how a data-driven mindset applies to human resources.
By Audrey Watters
October 12, 2011

Google's people analytics manager Kathryn Dekas discusses the ways in which human resources departments can use data for the benefit of both employers and employees.

Viewing content at the atomic level - Adam Salomone on breaking down, monetizing and enriching content.

Viewing content at the atomic level - Adam Salomone on breaking down, monetizing and enriching content.
By Jenn Webb
October 12, 2011

In this podcast, Adam Salomone of The Harvard Common Press talks about the great potential for granular content and says it's time for publishers to start thinking about incremental revenue potential. He also addresses content enrichment, advertising revenue and the importance of flexible workflows.

Four short links: 12 October 2011 - Google Platforms, Securing Software, Interactive Design, and Building Proverbs

By Nat Torkington
October 12, 2011

Steve Yegge's Google Platforms Rant -- epic. Read it. (updated with new link) Guidelines for Securing Open Source Software (EFF) -- advice from the team that audited some commonly-used open source libraries. Avoid giving the user options that could compromise security, in the form of modes, dialogs, preferences, or tweaks of any sort. As security expert Ian Grigg puts...

API Versioning

By George Reese
October 12, 2011

API versioning is something a lot of API designers don't worry about until the second version of their API. API versioning, however, is a controversial subject with strong opinions on both version representation and behavior.

When content customization is baked in, ownership trumps access - Corey Pressman addresses the digital-era quandary of ownership versus access.

When content customization is baked in, ownership trumps access - Corey Pressman addresses the digital-era quandary of ownership versus access.
By Jenn Webb
October 11, 2011

For existing ebook converts already untethered from the symbolic function of a book collection, access to content is quite compelling, says Exprima Media's Corey Pressman. But he says for personalization and customization, ownership is important.

Why indoor navigation is so hard - Your phone can get you to the museum, but it can't guide you to the T-Rex.

Why indoor navigation is so hard - Your phone can get you to the museum, but it can't guide you to the T-Rex.
By Nick Farina
October 11, 2011

The mapping applications built into smartphones are fantastic ... until you arrive at your destination. Here, Nick Farina explains how indoor navigation apps can and should work.

In Progress: Web 2.0 Expo NY

By Mac Slocum
October 11, 2011

Related coverage: How to (Mostly) Control Your Reputation Online Deceptive UX and What to Do About It

Lightroom Brush Buildup

By Gene McCullagh
October 11, 2011

Adjustment brushes are a really nice feature in Lightroom. Since they made their appearance localized adjustments became easy within Lightroom and I have found less of a reason to roundtrip images to Photoshop for these kinds of edits. A few months ago we took an in-depth look at the adjustment brush, Adjustment Brush Basics - Part 1 and Adjustment Brush Basics - Part 2. If you are unfamiliar with this tool that would be a good place to start.

Four short links: 11 October 2011 - Coaching, Geospatial Tracking, Eye-Tracking, and Networked Objects

By Nat Torkington
October 11, 2011

Personal Best (New Yorker) -- excellent Atul Gawande column on coaching which has me wondering how to open up different aspects of my life to improvement. Interesting to me because, behind every continuous- or self-improvement technique are the questions: "do you want to get better?" and "if so, how far will you go in pursuit of that goal?". CyberTracker...

Linking in ebooks: How much is too much? - Ebook hyperlinks don't always lead to a smooth reading experience.

Linking in ebooks: How much is too much? - Ebook hyperlinks don't always lead to a smooth reading experience.
By Peter Meyers
October 11, 2011

Ebook producers must decide if the destinations behind embedded links are worth the disruptions they might cause.

Addressing the state of econtent - Javier Celaya on the future of ereading and epublishing.

Addressing the state of econtent - Javier Celaya on the future of ereading and epublishing.
By Joe Wikert
October 10, 2011

In this podcast, Dosdoce Digital Culture's Javier Celaya sat down with Joe Wikert to discuss what may impact the future of econtent, including sales, devices, service and DRM.

Hooked on context - Valla Vakili on Small Demons, contextual discovery and a very different type of metadata.

Hooked on context - Valla Vakili on Small Demons, contextual discovery and a very different type of metadata.
By Jenn Webb
October 10, 2011

While some companies try to solve the recommendation problem, Small Demons has other ideas. "Discovery is the ultimate problem we're trying to solve and the ultimate value we're trying to create," says Small Demon's founder and CEO Valla Vakili in this interview.

TOC Frankfurt launches with a global ebook market survey - Free report: "The Global eBook Market: Current Conditions & Future Projections"

TOC Frankfurt launches with a global ebook market survey - Free report:
By Jenn Webb
October 10, 2011

"The Global eBook Market" survey examines how the main drivers of digital change in the publishing industry impact emerging ebook markets across Europe, Brazil and China.

Happening now: Android Open

By Mac Slocum
October 10, 2011

Related coverage: 3 Android predictions: In your home, in your clothes, in your car Wearing Android on your sleeve

Moneyball for software engineering - How metrics-driven decisions can build better software teams.

Moneyball for software engineering - How metrics-driven decisions can build better software teams.
By Jonathan Alexander
October 10, 2011

Don't dismiss "Moneyball" just because it began in the sports world. Many of the system's metrics-based techniques can also apply to software teams.


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