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Four short links: 17 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

Playbook for Strategic Foresight & Innovation — MANY pages of framework and exercises. Good for what it is, but also as a model for how to disseminate your ideas and frame for the world to consume. Why I’m a Crabby …

Biomimicry in the real world

By Mike Loukides
April 17, 2014

A couple of years ago, I visited the World Science Festival in New York and saw Festo’s robotic bird. It was amazing. I’ve seen things that looked more or less like a bird, and that flew, but clearly weren’t flying like a bird. …

Four short links: 16 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

morris.js — pretty time-series line graphs. Open Source CT Scanner — all the awesome. Alan Kay’s Reading List — in case you’re wondering what to add to the pile beside your bed. (via Alex Dong) Foldscope — origami optical microscope, …

Deliberations on DevOps

By Rajat Bhargava
April 17, 2014

There is a growing movement in the tech world, which over the past couple of years—and even more so in the past few months—has gained significant momentum and is changing the way organizations operate and do business. Much like the …

Disposable architecture?

By Jenn Webb
April 16, 2014

I’ve noticed a number of faint signals recently pointing to a general shift in the speed of technology and the repercussions it’s having on the products we’re seeing come to market. This recent Tweet from Tom Scott got me really …

DevOps Hiring

By Dave Zwieback
April 16, 2014

Traditional recruiting is broken. The biggest problem is that goals and incentives of candidates, hiring managers, and recruiters are often misaligned. For instance, taken to the extreme, a headhunter’s best candidate is one who survives at a new job just …

#IoTH: The Internet of Things and Humans

By Tim O'Reilly
April 15, 2014

Rod Smith of IBM and I had a call the other day to prepare for our onstage conversation at O’Reilly’s upcoming Solid Conference, and I was surprised to find how much we were in agreement about one idea: so many of the …

Ohai, New Ohai Plugins!

By Jon Cowie
April 15, 2014

When you start to use the Chef configuration management system, you will quickly encounter a tool it ships with called Ohai which collects information about the underlying system to expose to the Chef Client as attributes during its run. These attributes allows you to easily incorporate …

Announcing BioCoder issue 3

By Mike Loukides
April 15, 2014

We’re excited about the third issue of BioCoder, O’Reilly’s newsletter about the revolution in biology and biotechnology. In the first article of our new issue, Ryan Bethencourt asks the question “What does Biotechnology Want?” Playing with Kevin Kelly’s ideas about how technological development drives …

Four short links: 15 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 15, 2014

Funders Punish Open Access Dodgers (Nature) — US’s NIH and UK’s Wellcome Trust are withholding funding from academics who haven’t released their data despite it being a condition of past funding. It’s open access’s grab twist and pull move. Digitize …

What’s New in Java 8: Lambdas

By Madhusudhan Konda
April 14, 2014

Java 8 is here, and, with it, come lambdas. Although long overdue, lambdas are a remarkable new feature that could make us rethink our programming styles and strategies. In particular, they offer exciting new possibilities for functional programming. While lambdas …

Four short links: 14 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 14, 2014

dategrep — print lines matching ranges of dates. Genius! Business Case Guidance in Agile Projects (gov.uk) — how the UK govt signs off on Agile projects, which normally governments have no clue over how to handle properly. Hyper Growth Done …

Simplifying Django

By Meghan Blanchette
April 12, 2014

The following comes to you from Julia Elman and Mark Lavin. Julia is a a hybrid designer/developer who has been working her brand of web skills since 2002; and Mark is the Development Director at Caktus Consulting Group in Carrboro, …

Distributed science

By Mike Loukides
April 11, 2014

In my post on biohacking and bioterrorism, I briefly mentioned the possibility of vaccines and other treatments developed outside of institutional research. That may be far-fetched, and I certainly hope we’re never in a situation where DIY treatments are the only …

Health IT is a growth area for programmers

By Andy Oram
April 11, 2014

O’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who …

Security and the Internet of stuff in your life

By Jim Stogdill
April 10, 2014

Your computer is important. It has access to your Amazon account, probably your bank, your tax returns, and maybe even your medical records. It’s scary when it gets pwnd, and it gets pwned regularly because it’s essentially impossible to fully …

Leading by example: two stories

By Tim O'Reilly
April 10, 2014

I was struck recently by two stories in the New York Times. The first, “Bishops Follow Pope’s Example: Opulence Is Out,” tells how bishop after bishop, either inspired by the Pope’s example or afraid of being shamed for not doing …

Can We Extend the Web Cleanly?

By Simon St. Laurent
April 10, 2014

“Design by Committee” is rarely a compliment. Can the Web shift away from that model, retaining some order without falling into troublesome chaos? The Manifesto Part of the excitement around the Extensible Web Manifesto was that it wanted to move …

The evolving purpose of design

By Glen Martin
April 10, 2014

For more than a century, design has been determined by its applications to the physical world. As architect Louis Sullivan expressed in an 1896 essay, “The Tall Office Building Artistically Considered“: “It is the pervading law of all things organic …

Full-stack developers

By Mike Loukides
April 10, 2014

Since Facebook’s Carlos Bueno wrote the canonical article about the full stack, there has been no shortage of posts trying to define it. For a time, Facebook allegedly only hired “full-stack developers.” That probably wasn’t quite true, even if they thought …

Four short links: 10 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 10, 2014

Rise of the Patent Troll: Everything is a Remix (YouTube) — primer on patent trolls, in language anyone can follow. Part of the fixpatents.org campaign. (via BoingBoing) Petabytes of Field Data (GigaOm) — Farm Intelligence using sensors and computer vision …

The backlash against big data, continued

By Mike Loukides
April 9, 2014

Yawn. Yet another article trashing “big data,” this time an op-ed in the Times. This one is better than most, and ends with the truism that data isn’t a silver bullet. It certainly isn’t. I’ll spare you all the links (most of …

Ruby: The Unit Test-Friendly Language

By Jay McGavren
April 9, 2014

Let’s say you have a Ruby class that retrieves the contents of web pages, and you need to write a unit test for it… [crayon-534543185a863979836296/] You’ve tested the get_response method, and now you need to test get_body. You’re using MiniTest, …

Four short links: 9 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 9, 2014

Jasper Project — an open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications. Shouting is the new swiping—I eagerly await Gartner touting the Internet-of-things-that-misunderstand-you. DeepBeliefSDK — deep neural network library for iOS. (via Pete Warden) Microsoft Spectrum Observatory — crowdsourcing spectrum …

Venal Sins: Cash, Sex, and IT Infrastructure

By Mike Barlow
April 8, 2014

Yet again, I reveal the base instincts driving my interest in big data. It’s not the science – it’s the cash. And yes, on some level, I find the idea of all that cash sexy. Yes, I know it’s a …

Biohacking and the problem of bioterrorism

By Mike Loukides
April 8, 2014

You don’t get very far discussing synthetic biology and biohacking before someone asks about bioterrorism. So, let’s meet the monster head-on. I won’t downplay the possibility of a bioterror attack. It’s already happened. The Anthrax-contaminated letters that were sent to political figures …

Business models that make the Internet of Things feasible

By Andy Oram
April 8, 2014

For some people, it’s too early to plan mass consumerization of the Internet of Things. Developers are contentedly tinkering with Arduinos and clip cables, demonstrating cool one-off applications. We know that home automation can save energy, keep the elderly and …

Building an Activity Feed System with Storm

By Meghan Blanchette
April 8, 2014

Editor’s Note: The Clojure Cookbook is a recently published book by experienced Clojurists Luke VanderHart and Ryan Neufeld. It seeks to be a practical collection of tasks for intermediate Clojure programmers. In addition to providing their own recipes, Ryan and …

The backlash against big data, continued

By Mike Loukides
April 8, 2014

Yawn. Yet another article trashing “big data,” this time an op-ed in the Times. This one is better than most, and ends with the truism that data isn’t a silver bullet. It certainly isn’t. I’ll spare you all the links (most of …

Four short links: 8 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2014

Next Five Years for Robots — plausible summary of the near future progression, taken from Helen Greiner’s DEMOlabs talk. Raspberry Pi Compute Module — a Raspberry Pi shrunk down to fit on a SODIMM with onboard memory, whose connectors you …

Podcast: Personalizing hardware with data? Personalizing people with CRISPR?

By Jim Stogdill
April 7, 2014

This week in our Radar podcast, Jon and I both had colds. You’ll be pleased to know that I edited out all the sneezes, coughs, and general upper respiratory mayhem, but unfortunately there is no Audacity filter for a voice …

Overcoming the Bottleneck in Content-Driven Website Design

By John Baker
April 7, 2014

Students of web design need to understand the relationship between content and presentation. It affects all programmers who work on the web, no matter which language they use. As an experienced designer and instructor of the O’Reilly School of Technology Introduction to HTML/CSS course, I’ve found that an effective approach to design begins with a …

The post Overcoming the Bottleneck in Content-Driven Website Design appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

O’Reilly School of Technology 2013: Because It’s There

By Kerry Beck
April 7, 2014

“The first American sighting of Pike’s Peak is often credited to members of the Pike expedition, led by Zebulon Pike. After a failed attempt to climb to the top in November 1806, Pike wrote in his journal: …here we found the snow middle deep; no sign of beast or bird inhabiting this region. The thermometer …

The post O’Reilly School of Technology 2013: Because It’s There appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Advances in health IT must be viewed as a whole

By Andy Oram
April 7, 2014

Reformers in health care claim gigantic disruption on the horizon: devices that track our movements, new treatments through massive data crunching, fluid electronic records that reflect the patient’s status wherever she goes, and even the end of the doctor’s role. …

Four short links: 7 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 7, 2014

Can We Design Systems to Automate Ethics — code in self-driving cars will implement a solution to the trolley problem. But which solution? My First Post on Medium (Andy Baio) — one or two glitches but otherwise fine demonstration of …

5 Fun Facts about HBase that you didn’t know

By Ben Lorica
April 6, 2014

With HBaseCon right around the corner, I wanted to take stock of one of the more popular1 components in the Hadoop ecosystem. Over the last few years, many more companies have come to rely on HBase to run key products …

Bridging the Divide Between Big Data and (Big) Algorithms

By O'Reilly Strata
April 5, 2014

By Alice Zheng In February, GraphLab took a road trip to Strata, a Big Data conference organized by O’Reilly. It was a gathering of close to 3100 people–engineers, business folks, industry evangelists, and data scientists. We had a lot of …

Podcast: thinking with data

By Jon Bruner
April 5, 2014

Max Shron and Jake Porway spoke with me at Strata a few weeks ago about frameworks for making reasoned arguments with data. Max’s recent O’Reilly book, Thinking with Data, outlines the crucial process of developing good questions and creating a plan to answer them. Jake’s nonprofit, DataKind, connects …

Emotional AI: The Human Side of Machine Learning

By O'Reilly Strata
April 5, 2014

By Kira Radinsky When you think about what goes into winning a Nobel Prize in a field like economics, it’s a lot like machine learning. In order to make a breakthrough, you need to identify an interesting theory for explaining …

Four short links: 4 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 4, 2014

C# Compiler Open Sourced — bit by the bit, the ship of Microsoft turns. The Web’s Declarative Composable Future — this. For the first time since 1993, I feel like the web platform is taking a step towards being a …

Application programming for iBeacons

By Matthew Gast
April 4, 2014

Once you are set up with an iBeacon, no matter whether it is a dedicated device or a program running on a host device, you are ready to start writing applications. The iBeacon “protocol” is simple, as we saw in …

The Power of HTML

By Simon St. Laurent
April 4, 2014

For a growing number of developers, “web” means “JavaScript”. Programmers like to focus on programming languages, but the Web’s basic power comes from its support for communications, not programming. I asked Jen Simmons, host of the Web Ahead podcast, to …

Tailoring CSS for performance

By Roseanne Fallin
April 4, 2014

In my last article, I demonstrated how improved performance and a lower PageSpeed Insights score were accomplished by removing unnecessary external JavaScript and CSS requests. YepNope was also used to manage the asynchronous loading of external requests. After the improvements, …

3 topologies driving IoT networking standards

By Mark Pacelle
April 4, 2014

There are a lot of moving parts in the networking for the Internet of Things; a lot to sort out between WiFi, WiFi LP, Bluetooth, Bluetooth LE, Zigbee, Z-Wave, EnOcean and others. Some standards are governed by open, independent standards …

Four Hot Web Development Trends Learned at Conferences

By Sean Crawford
April 3, 2014

This Full-Stack Web Developer Talks about the Latest Web Development Trends Discussed at O’Reilly Media Conferences I’m finding that participating in tech conferences is a great way for me to keep up to date on modern web development trends. I attended my first OSCON last summer and more recently, I attended O’Reilly’s Fluent 2014. Here …

The post Four Hot Web Development Trends Learned at Conferences appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Four short links: 3 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 3, 2014

dat — github-like tool for data, still v. early. It’s overdue. (via Nelson Minar) Novena Open Laptop — Bunnie Huang’s laptop goes on sale. Crowd Forecasting (NPR) — How is it possible that a group of average citizens doing Google …

Joi Ito: “Deploy or Die”

By Jon Bruner
April 3, 2014

It was a pleasure, as always, to talk with Joi Ito a couple of weeks ago. He and I are co-chairing Solid, our new conference about the intersection of software and the physical world, and we recorded part of our conversation …

Facebook’s Hack, HHVM, and the Future of PHP

By Josh Lockhart
April 3, 2014

Facebook recently released Hack, a new programming language that looks and acts like PHP. Underneath the hood, however, are a ton of features like static typing, generics, native collections, and many more features for which PHP developers have long been …

Instant Wild: Smart People, Awesome Technology

By Edie Freedman
April 3, 2014

ZSL’s Alasdair Davies tells us how it’s done. Alasdair Davies is a Technical Advisor for the Zoological Society of London’s Conservation Technology program and a web developer for the EDGE of Existence program. His current focus is the delivery of ZSL’s Instant Wild project, the …

The post Instant Wild: Smart People, Awesome Technology appeared first on Animals.

Humanizing emerging technologies

By Jenn Webb
April 2, 2014

Editor’s note: we’re running a series of five excerpts from our forthcoming book Designing for Emerging Technologies, a compilation of works by industry experts in areas of user experience design related to genomics, robotics, the Internet of Things, and the …


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