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Health hackathon brings to life agile solutions for unmet needs

By Andy Oram
February 20, 2014

I think the main achievement of hackathons can be measured not by what apps are developed–reportedly, few are commercialized and maintained–but by people who find each other. The Blue Button Innovation Challenge brought together a lot of people who had …

How To (Semi-)Automate JavaScript Refactoring

By Simon St. Laurent
February 20, 2014

Computers aren’t ready to write much of our code for us, but they can still help us clean and improve our code. At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Giles Bowkett demonstrated a wide variety of ways …

Four short links: 20 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 20, 2014

Practical Typography — informative and elegant. Nokia Treasure Tag — Bluetooth-chatty locators for keyrings, wallets, etc. Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility — signals for those looking to identify dodgy content, as well as hygiene factors for those looking to provide …

Debugging for Beginners

By Brian MacDonald
February 20, 2014

I discussed one thing that developers hate last time around — commenting — so I thought I’d follow up with another big source of developer frustration: Debugging. Bugs happen. Every developer in the history of programming has had to debug, …

Bitcoin security model: trust by computation

By Andreas Antonopoulos
February 19, 2014

Bitcoin is a distributed consensus network that maintains a secure and trusted distributed ledger through a process called “proof-of-work.” Bitcoin fundamentally inverts the trust mechanism of a distributed system. Traditionally, as we see in payment and banking systems, trust is …

The home automation paradox

By Scott Jenson
February 19, 2014

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Scott Jenson’s blog, Exploring the World Beyond Mobile. This lightly edited version is republished here with permission. The level of hype around the “Internet of Things” (IoT) is getting a bit out of …

Data Structures in JavaScript

By Michael McMillan
February 19, 2014

By now, you are aware that JavaScript is no longer a web browser-only programming language. Over the past several years, several server-side JavaScript engines and frameworks have been introduced, including the Mozilla JavaScript shell and, most importantly, Node.js. These systems …

Four short links: 19 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 19, 2014

1746 Slippy Map of London — very nice use of Google Maps to recontextualise historic maps. (via USvTh3m) TPP Comic — the comic explaining TPP that you’ve been waiting for. (via BoingBoing) Synthetic Biology Investor’s Lament — some hypotheses about …

The RSA/NSA controversy concerns you!

By Jeffrey Carr
February 18, 2014

As a cyber security author and CEO of a security consulting company, I was personally shocked by the RSA’s attitude about the alleged secret payments it received from the NSA as well as its willingness to weaken its BSAFE product; …

Four short links: 18 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 18, 2014

Offensive Computer Security — 2014 class notes, lectures, etc. from FSU. All CC-licensed. Twitter I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down (Quinn Norton) — The net doesn’t make social problems. It amplifies them until they can’t be ignored. And …

A Different Kind of Quantified Self

By Edie Freedman
February 18, 2014

I just got a personal tracking device that tells me how many calories I’ve burned, how much sleep I got last night, and how many more steps I need to take to meet my daily goal. Lots of people I …

The post A Different Kind of Quantified Self appeared first on Animals.

I, Cyborg

By Glen Martin
February 17, 2014

There is an existential unease lying at the root of the Internet of Things — a sense that we may emerge not less than human, certainly, but other than human. Well, not to worry. As Kelsey Breseman, co-founder of Technical Machine, points out, we don’t need to …

Four short links: 17 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 17, 2014

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

Bridging the gap between research and implementation

By Ben Lorica
February 15, 2014

One of the most popular offerings at Strata Santa Clara was Hardcore Data Science day. Over the next few weeks we hope to profile some of the speakers who presented, and make the video of the talks available as a …

Four short links: 14 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 14, 2014

Bitcoin: Understanding and Assessing Potential Opportunities (Slideshare) — VC deck on Bitcoin market and opportunities, long-term and short-term. Interesting lens on the development and gaps. Queensland Police Map Crime Scenes with 3D Scanner (ComputerWorld) — can’t wait for the 3D …

An introduction to TypeScript

By Peter Cooper
February 13, 2014

At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s conference dedicated to the Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5, Microsoft’s Luke Hoban spoke about TypeScript, a strict superset of JavaScript that adds optional static typing, modules, and classes. In Introduction to TypeScript, Luke presented a 40 …

Writing without knowing

By Simon St. Laurent
February 13, 2014

Sometimes you just need to leap into sharing your learning, even when you haven’t yet learned much. “Beginner’s mind” usually becomes more abstract as a person advances, making it difficult for beginners to learn from experts. If you can dare …

Four short links: 13 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 13, 2014

The Common Crawl WWW Ranking — open data, open methodology, behind an open ranking of the top sites on the web. Preprint paper available. (via Slashdot) Felton’s Sensors (Quartz) — inside the gadgets Nicholas Felton uses to quantify himself. Myo …

Searching for the software stack for the physical world

By Matthew Gast
February 12, 2014

When I flip through a book on networking, one of the first things I look for is the protocol stack diagram. An elegant representation of the protocol stack can help you make sense of where to put things, separate out …

Why Ruby blocks exist

By Jay McGavren
February 12, 2014

It seems like more and more languages these days are getting support for closures in one form or another. (Even Java is getting in on the game, finally.) Ruby has had closure-like structures called blocks since its early days, though, and they’re …

New Advanced Java Course Covers Algorithms and Data Structures

By gheineman
February 11, 2014

Computer science is commonly described as the scientific and practical approach to computation and its applications, and it depends on a solid working knowledge of data structures and applications. Many Computer Scientists were drawn to the field because they were introduced to algorithms early in their education or professional development. Too often, however, the texts …

The post New Advanced Java Course Covers Algorithms and Data Structures appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Iterate on Performance

By Lara Swanson
February 11, 2014

The two most important tasks to ensure your site remains fast are benchmarking and iterating on your site’s page load time. Quick performance wins can be celebrated today, but the health of your site will thrive with routine check-ins and …

Four short links: 11 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 11, 2014

China’s $122BB Boom in Shadow Banking is Happening on Phones (Quartz) — Tencent’s recently launched online money market fund (MMF), Licai Tong, drew in 10 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) in just six days in the last week of January. The …

Math Courses the O’Reilly School Way — Propelling Online Math Education

By Debra Woods
February 10, 2014

Introducing O’Reilly School of Technology’s new series of math courses delivered through Making Math. Our approach signals a groundbreaking contribution to the evolution of online math education. A wise math professor once said, “…the problem with introductory lectures is that they are full of words that have not yet taken on meaning and full of …

The post Math Courses the O’Reilly School Way — Propelling Online Math Education appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

More 1876 than 1995

By Glen Martin
February 10, 2014

Philadelphia’s Centennial Exposition of 1876 was America’s first World’s Fair, and was ostensibly held to mark the nation’s 100th birthday. But it heralded the future as much as it celebrated the past, showcasing the country’s strongest suit: technology. The centerpiece …

Four short links: 10 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 10, 2014

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 …

Big Data solutions through the combination of tools

By Ben Lorica
February 9, 2014

As a user who tends to mix-and-match many different tools, not having to deal with configuring and assembling a suite of tools is a big win. So I’m really liking the recent trend towards more integrated and packaged solutions. A …

Four short links: 7 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 8, 2014

12 Predictions About the Future of Programming (Infoworld) — not a bad set of predictions, except for the inane “squeezing” view of open source. Conceal (Github) — Facebook Android tool for apps to encrypt data and large files stored in …

Why Solid, why now

By Jim Stogdill
February 7, 2014

A few years ago at OSCON, one of the tutorials demonstrated how to click a virtual light switch in Second Life and have a real desk lamp light up in the room. Looking back, it was rather trivial, but it …

The art of commenting

By Brian MacDonald
February 7, 2014

Ask any developer what programming task they enjoy least, and odds are you’ll hear “documentation” as an answer. After all, you came here to write code, didn’t you? Who wants to write boring text about the code? In fact, documentation …

Building the Right Thing vs. Building the Thing Right

By Laura Klein
February 7, 2014

I love it when companies test prototypes. Love love love it. But it makes me incredibly sad when they use prototype testing for the wrong thing. First, let me give you my definition of “prototype testing” here. I often build …

Self-directed learning, and O’Reilly’s role in the ConnectED program

By Tim O'Reilly
February 6, 2014

I wanted to provide a bit of perspective on the donation, announced on Wednesday by the White House, of a Safari Books Online subscription providing access to O’Reilly Media books, videos, and other educational content to every high school in …

Go Node Without Code

By Simon St. Laurent
February 6, 2014

At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Adobe Community Manager Brian Rinaldi showed off ways Node makes possible a new world of utilities, showing JavaScript developers a toolkit they will want to integrate into their workflows. In …

Academic biology and its discontents

By Mike Loukides
February 6, 2014

When we started BioCoder, we assumed that we were addressing the DIYbio community: interested amateur hobbyists and experimenters without much formal background in biology, who were learning and working in independent hackerspaces. A couple of conversations have made me question that …

Parsing HTML with Perl

By A. Sinan Unur
February 6, 2014

The need to extract interesting bits of an HTML document comes up often enough that by now we have all seen many ways of doing it wrong and some ways of doing it right for some values of “right”. One …

Four short links: 6 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 5, 2014

What Machines Can’t Do (NY Times) — In the 1950s, the bureaucracy was the computer. People were organized into technocratic systems in order to perform routinized information processing. But now the computer is the computer. The role of the human …

The Challenge of Health Data Security

By Julie Steele
February 5, 2014

Dr. Andrew Litt, Chief Medical Officer at Dell, made a thoughtful blog post last week about the trade-offs inherent in designing for both the security and accessibility of medical data, especially in an era of BYOD (bring your own device) …

Trope or fact? Technology creates more jobs than it destroys

By Jim Stogdill
February 5, 2014

Editor’s note: We’re trying something new here. I read this back-and-forth exchange and decided we should give it a try. Or, more accurately, since we’re already having plenty of back-and-forth email exchanges like that, we just need to start publishing …

What should programming look like?

By Simon St. Laurent
February 5, 2014

Even as we all scramble to use the programming tools we have today, developers look ahead hopefully, dreaming of better tools. What shape should those tools take? Who should they be for? A few months ago, I had the privilege …

Four short links: 5 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 5, 2014

sigma.js — Javascript graph-drawing library (node-edge graphs, not charts). DARPA Open Catalog — all the open source published by DARPA. Sweet! Quantified Vehicle Meetup — Boston meetup around intelligent automotive tech including on-board diagnostics, protocols, APIs, analytics, telematics, apps, software …

Health technology brings care plans alive

By Andy Oram
February 4, 2014

Challenges and hackathons are meant to surprise you. If the winner is a known leader in the field with lists of familiar credentials festooning the team’s resumes, there was no point to starting the challenge in the first place. Pharmaceutical …

Bluetooth Low Energy: what do we do with you?

By Mike Loukides
February 4, 2014

“The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” as Jeff Hammerbacher said. And it’s not just data analysts: it’s creeping into every aspect of technology, including hardware. One of the more exciting developments …

Responsive Web Design Performance

By Lara Swanson
February 4, 2014

A recent study showed that mobile is the primary Internet access method for a vast number of global Internet users. Roughly 50% of Internet users in Africa and Asia are mobile-only, in contrast to 25% in the United States. This …

The Industrial Internet of Things

By Kipp Bradford
February 4, 2014

A few days ago, a company called Echelon caused a stir when it released a new product called IzoT. You may never have heard of Echelon; for most of us, they are merely a part of the invisible glue that …

Four short links: 4 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 4, 2014

UX Fundamentals, Crash Course — 31 posts introducing the fundamental practices and mindsets of UX. Why We Love Persona And You Should Too — Mozilla’s identity system is an interesting offering. Fancy that, you might have single-sign on without Single …

how might we ….

By O'Reilly Strata
February 3, 2014

By Bo Peng and Aaron Wolf of Datascope Analytics At Datascope Analytics, our ideation workshop combines elements from human-centered design principles to develop innovative and valuable ideas/solutions/strategies for our clients. From our workshop experience, we’ve developed a few key techniques that …

Upward Mobility: Your phone is your robot’s best friend

By James Turner
February 3, 2014

Recently, Glenn Martin wrote an article describing how robotics in moving out of the factory and into the house. And while Glenn restricted himself mainly to the type of robots that pop into your head when someone says the word …

Four short links: 3 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 3, 2014

How In-App Purchases Has Destroyed the Games Industry — fantastic before-and-after of a game, showing how it’s hollowed out for in-app-purchase upsell. the problem is that all the future generations of gamers are going to experience this as the default. …

How does the medical device tax affect innovation and the health/medical startup scene?

By Shahid Shah
February 1, 2014

When the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was passed on a party line vote several years ago, it included a somewhat controversial provision to tax, at 2.3% starting in 2013, the sale of any medical device classified by the IRS as …

Drone on

By Glen Martin
January 31, 2014

Jeff Bezos’ recent demonstration of a drone aircraft simulating delivery of an Amazon parcel was more stunt than technological breakthrough. We aren’t there yet. Yes, such things may well come to pass, but there are obstacles aplenty to overcome — not so …


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