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Exploring software, hardware, everywhere

By Jim Stogdill
March 17, 2014

Last week, Tim O’Reilly and I sat down in San Francisco and had a conversation about the collision of hardware and software. The fact that digital entrepreneurs see hardware as part of their available palette now is really interesting, as …

Upward Mobility: Animating the Leaves of Fall (in Australia)

By James Turner
March 17, 2014

One of nicest features of iOS development is that, frequently, you can pull off visual effects that look amazing without having to write a lot of code. It may be about to start the spring season here, but Down Under …

The dangers of data-driven list-making

By Alistair Croll
March 17, 2014

Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on Tilt the Windmill; it is republished here with permission. Startupfest’s Pamela Perotti asked for my thoughts on this great Forbes piece by Lightspeed’s Barry Eggers about using big data to build top ten …

Four short links: 17 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 17, 2014

De-Design the Web — quiz, can you recognise common websites from just their wireframes? For the non-designer (like myself) it’s a potent reminder of the power of design. Design’s front of mind as we chew on the Internet of Affordances. …

Crowdsourcing Feature discovery

By Ben Lorica
March 15, 2014

Data scientists were among the earliest and most enthusiastic users of crowdsourcing services. Lukas Biewald noted in a recent talk that one of the reasons he started CrowdFlower was that as a data scientist he got frustrated with having to …

Lean Urbanism

By Tim O'Reilly
March 14, 2014

Through an interesting confluence, I recently came across three different instances of the same question: what is the “minimum viable product” for urban renewal? Last Monday, I visited the O’Reilly Media office in the old Pfizer building in Brooklyn, and …

Four short links: 14 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 14, 2014

The Facebook experiment has failed. Let’s go back — Facebook gets worse the more you use it. The innovation within Facebook happens within a framework that’s taken as given. This essay questions that frame, well. Meet the People Making New …

Battery technology is not keeping pace with computing power demands

By Matthew Gast
March 13, 2014

I’ve spent the past decade of my professional life working to enable connectivity everywhere with Wi-Fi. Back when I started working with Wi-Fi, it was a way of connecting laptops to the network more easily. These days, Wi-Fi is more …

Four short links: 13 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 13, 2014

Is Parallel Programming Hard? And, If So, What Can You Do About It? — book by Paul E. McKenney, on single-machine multi-CPU parallel programming. Malignant Computation — The bitcoin mining network would work just as well if it had far …

Sharks on Twitter

By Edie Freedman
March 12, 2014

An item from the O’Reilly Solid Newsletter that caught my eye: Surfing in West Australia? Check your Twitter feed first. 338 local sharks are on Twitter, and tweet when they get within .6 miles of shore. The sharks have been tagged …

The post Sharks on Twitter appeared first on Animals.

Malignant computation

By Fred Trotter
March 12, 2014

Cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, could revolutionize money to the same degree that the Internet has revolutionized communication. However, like any economic marketplace, human exuberance is the greatest threat to the cryptocurrency phenomenon. Markets fail to the degree that the market can …

The Essence of Feedback Control

By Philipp Janert
March 12, 2014

A while back, I wrote up some notes on the use of feedback control in auto-scaling server instances in a data center. Afterwards, a reader contacted me to ask whether the article didn’t “boil down to ‘pick your auto-scaling metrics …

Four short links: 12 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 12, 2014

High Volume Web Sites — Tim Berners-Lee answers my question on provisioning a popular web server in 1993. The info.cern.ch server which has the Subject Catalogue gets probably a relatively high usage, about 10k requests a day, or (thinks…) one …

The Story I’ll Tell at the Web’s 25th Birthday Party

By Nat Torkington
March 12, 2014

I’ve known the Web a long time. We go way back. Past Web 2.0 and Ajax, past DHTML, past tables, past cgi.pl, past Plexus, back to HTTP/0.9 and the NCSA daemon and the line mode client. Back then we didn’t …

Failure is a fundamental component of business evolution

By Andreas Antonopoulos
March 11, 2014

This post originally appeared on Andreas Antonopoulos’ personal biographical site; it is republished here with permission. In the free market, failure is always an option. The United States has one of the world’s most vibrant entrepreneurial cultures, where millions of …

Stacks in JavaScript

By Michael McMillan
March 11, 2014

In a previous blog post, I discussed why it is important for JavaScript developers to learn how to implement the classic data structures of computer science, such as stacks, lists, queues, and so on. I also talked about how in …

Four short links: 11 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 11, 2014

In-Game Graph Analysis (The Economist) — one MLB team has bought a Cray Ulrika graph-processing appliance for in-game analysis of data. Please hold, boggling. (via Courtney Nash) Disney Bets $1B on Technology (BusinessWeek) — MyMagic+ promises far more radical change. …

Resilience over strength

By Glen Martin
March 10, 2014

As we accelerate toward the great convergence of hardware and software — where almost everything we do may be monitored and transformed into commoditized data points — a 1989 observation from novelist and essayist Cynthia Ozick seems increasingly, and uncomfortably, …

Event-driven application design with JavaScript

By Patrick Mulder
March 10, 2014

When you start building dashboards for interacting with data, such as calculators, editors, or result browsers, understanding JavaScript and client-side MVC becomes important. Why do you need an event-driven application design and a separation of interface state and behavior? Let …

Four short links: 10 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 10, 2014

Wolfram Language — a broad attempt to integrate types, operations, and databases along with deployment, parallelism, and real-time I/O. The demo video is impressive, not just in execution but in ambition. Healthy skepticism still necessary. Maury, Innovation, and Change (Cory …

Instrumenting collaboration tools used in data projects

By Ben Lorica
March 8, 2014

As I noted in a previous post, model building is just one component of the analytic lifecycle. Many analytic projects result in models that get deployed in production environments. Moreover, companies are beginning to treat analytics as mission-critical software and …

Thinking with things

By Jenn Webb
March 7, 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 …

The connected car experience continues to fall short

By Roger Chen
March 7, 2014

Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on Roger Chen’s blog, Beyond the bell curve. It is reposted here with permission. There’s been a lot of buzz about the connected car recently. That’s nothing new, but it feels a little more …

Wearables and the immediacy of communication

By Matthew Gast
March 7, 2014

I drown in e-mail, which is a common affliction. With meetings during the day, I need to defer e-mail to breaks between meetings or until the evening, which prevents it from being a real-time communications medium. Everybody builds a communication …

Death to the screen

By Glen Martin
March 7, 2014

You know the “Next Big Thing” is no longer waiting in the wings when you hear it dissected on talk radio. That’s now the case with the Industrial Internet — or the Internet of Things, or the collision of software …

Four short links: 7 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 7, 2014

Coalesce — communication framework for distributed JavaScript. Looking for important unsolved problems in computer science? Reusable tools for distributed anything. Where Do All The Women Go? — Inclusion of at least one woman among the conveners increased the proportion of …

The Creep Factor: How to Think About Big Data and Privacy

By Tim O'Reilly
March 6, 2014

There was a great passage in Alexis Madrigal’s recent interview with Gibu Thomas, who runs innovation at Walmart: “Our philosophy is pretty simple: When we use data, be transparent to the customers so that they can know what’s going on. …

A concrete approach to learning how to program for beginners

By Semmy Purewal
March 6, 2014

As someone who has previously taught computer programming for nearly a decade, I’m often asked questions that involve “what’s the best way to go about learning to program computers,” or “what’s the best way to get a software engineering job,” …

Four short links: 6 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 6, 2014

Repo Surveillance Network — An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles …

Big data and privacy: an uneasy face-off for government to face

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

Understand the four layers of JavaScript OOP in one short lesson

By Amy Jollymore
March 5, 2014

Last week Axel Rauschmayer presented “The Four Layers of JavaScript OOP.” His approach to teaching JavaScript OOP is doing so incrementally, through layers. Each of the four layers builds upon the last. The lesson runs just under an hour. The …

Machine Data at Strata: “BigData++”

By O'Reilly Strata
March 5, 2014

By David Andrzejewski of SumoLogic A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting the machine data track of talks at Strata Santa Clara. Like “big data”, the phrase “machine data” is associated with multiple (sometimes conflicting) definitions, ­two …

Change is hard. Adherence is harder.

By Julie Steele
March 5, 2014

If you’ve ever tried to count calories, go on a diet, start a new exercise program, change your sleep patterns, spend less time sitting, or make any other type of positive health change, then you know how difficult it is …

Podcast: automation and an abundance-oriented economy

By Jenn Webb
March 5, 2014

What happens if emerging technology and automation result in a world of abundance, where anyone at anytime can produce anything they need and there’s no need for jobs? In his recent Strata keynote, James Burke warned that society is not …

The technical aspects of privacy

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

Javascript without the this

By Pete Hodgson
March 5, 2014

One of JavaScript’s many wrinkles is the way that this works. It can be quite confusing, since the semantics are quite different from the purely lexical scoping rules which apply for regular variables in JavaScript. What this references can often …

Four short links: 5 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 5, 2014

$1 Gesture-Recognizing Device (GigaOm) — the AllSee is the size of a quarter, harvests RF for power, and detects the variations in signal strength caused by gestures. A Conversation with Sydney Brenner — The thing is to have no discipline …

Defining and sculpting interactions between man and technology

By Jenn Webb
March 4, 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 …

Reflections on Eric Raymond’s “Myth of the Fall”

By Tim O'Reilly
March 4, 2014

Eric Raymond’s “Myth of the Fall“, an account of the rise of software portability and reusable open source code (rather than the fall from a free software eden), should be required reading for free and open source developers, and for …

Death to the screen

By Glen Martin
March 4, 2014

You know the “Next Big Thing” is no longer waiting in the wings when you hear it dissected on talk radio. That’s now the case with the Industrial Internet — or the Internet of Things, or the collision of software …

The new PHP

By Josh Lockhart
March 4, 2014

The programming language many love to hate is experiencing a renaissance. This is not your parents’ PHP. The new PHP is a more mature language with community standards, a growing affinity for interoperable components, and a passionate movement to improve …

Four short links: 4 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 4, 2014

It’s Complicated — Danah Boyd’s new book on teens use of the online world is available for PDF download (but buy a copy anyway!). Building a Solid World — O’Reilly research paper about the “software-enhanced networked physical world”. Gonna be …

Are You Ready for an Advanced JavaScript Course?

By Elisabeth Robson
March 4, 2014

New Advanced JavaScript Essentials Course Takes You from a “Scripter” to a Knowledgeable Programmer with a Deep Dive into the JavaScript Language One of the great things about JavaScript is that it’s relatively easy to get started. All you need is a text editor and a browser. That, plus a couple of lines of code …

The post Are You Ready for an Advanced JavaScript Course? appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Building a Solid World

By Jon Bruner
March 4, 2014

This is an excerpt from Building a Solid World, a free paper by Mike Loukides and myself about the convergence of software and the physical world. Our new Solid conference is about the “intersection of software and hardware.” But what does …

An Invitation to Practical Machine Learning

By Ellen Friedman
March 3, 2014

Does it make sense for me to have a car? If so, which one is the best choice for my needs: a gasoline, hybrid, or electric?  And should I buy or lease? In order to make an effective decision, I …

Building a Solid World

By Jon Bruner
March 3, 2014

This is an excerpt from Building a Solid World, a free paper by Mike Loukides and myself about the convergence of software and the physical world. Our new Solid conference is about the “intersection of software and hardware.” But what does …

Four short links: 3 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 3, 2014

The Programming Error That Cost Mt Gox 2609 Bitcoins — in the unforgiving world of crypto-currency, it’s easy to miscode and vanish your money. Ford Invites Open-Source Community to Tinker Away — One example: Nelson has re-tasked the motor from …

Interface Languages and Feature Discovery

By Ben Lorica
March 2, 2014

Here are a few more observations based on conversations I had during the just concluded Strata Santa Clara conference. Interface languages: Python, R, SQL (and Scala) This is a great time to be a data scientist or data engineer who …

Four short links: 28 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 28, 2014

Programming Minecraft Pi with Python — an early draft, but shows promise for kids. (via Raspberry Pi) Terasaur — BitTorrent for mad-large files, making it easy for datasets to be saved and exchanged. Bucky — Open-source tool to measure the …

Implementing Hypermedia Clients: It’s Not Rocket Science

By Simon St. Laurent
February 28, 2014

At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Layer 7 Principal API Architect Mike Amundsen demonstrated how to build hypermedia clients, for situations with and without humans in the driver’s seat. (If you’d like to know more about …


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