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Four short links: 29 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 29, 2014

Online Community Detection for Large Complex Networks (PLosONE) — readable recount of earlier algorithms and inventions in the area, as well as a new algorithm with linear time complexity for large complex networks. sel4 — open source OS kernel (GPLv2, …

Four short links: 29 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 29, 2014

Online Community Detection for Large Complex Networks (PLosONE) — readable recount of earlier algorithms and inventions in the area, as well as a new algorithm with linear time complexity for large complex networks. sel4 — open source OS kernel (GPLv2, …

Four short links: 29 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 29, 2014

Online Community Detection for Large Complex Networks (PLosONE) — readable recount of earlier algorithms and inventions in the area, as well as a new algorithm with linear time complexity for large complex networks. sel4 — open source OS kernel (GPLv2, …

Four short links: 28 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 28, 2014

streisand — sets up a new server running L2TP/IPsec, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Stunnel, and a Tor bridge. It also generates custom configuration instructions for all of these services. At the end of the run you are given an HTML file …

Four short links: 28 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 28, 2014

streisand — sets up a new server running L2TP/IPsec, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Stunnel, and a Tor bridge. It also generates custom configuration instructions for all of these services. At the end of the run you are given an HTML file …

Four short links: 28 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 28, 2014

streisand — sets up a new server running L2TP/IPsec, OpenSSH, OpenVPN, Shadowsocks, Stunnel, and a Tor bridge. It also generates custom configuration instructions for all of these services. At the end of the run you are given an HTML file …

Four short links: 22 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 22, 2014

write-good — a naive `lint’ for English prose. cockroachdb — a scalable, geo-replicated, transactional datastore from a team that includes the person who built Spanner for Google. Spanner requires atomic clocks, cockroach does not (which has corresponding performance consequences). (via …

Four short links: 22 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 22, 2014

write-good — a naive `lint’ for English prose. cockroachdb — a scalable, geo-replicated, transactional datastore from a team that includes the person who built Spanner for Google. Spanner requires atomic clocks, cockroach does not (which has corresponding performance consequences). (via …

Four short links: 22 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 22, 2014

write-good — a naive `lint’ for English prose. cockroachdb — a scalable, geo-replicated, transactional datastore from a team that includes the person who built Spanner for Google. Spanner requires atomic clocks, cockroach does not (which has corresponding performance consequences). (via …

Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 8 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2014

Virtual Economies — new book from MIT Press on economics in games. The book will enable developers and designers to create and maintain successful virtual economies, introduce social scientists and policy makers to the power of virtual economies, and provide …

Four short links: 4 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 4, 2014

The Flipside of the Right To Be Forgotten (Business Insider) — deletion requests were granted for a former politician who wanted to remove links to a news article about his behavior when previously in office – so that he can …

Four short links: 4 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 4, 2014

The Flipside of the Right To Be Forgotten (Business Insider) — deletion requests were granted for a former politician who wanted to remove links to a news article about his behavior when previously in office – so that he can …

Four short links: 4 July 2014

By Nat Torkington
July 4, 2014

The Flipside of the Right To Be Forgotten (Business Insider) — deletion requests were granted for a former politician who wanted to remove links to a news article about his behavior when previously in office – so that he can …

Four short links: 15 May 2014

By Nat Torkington
May 15, 2014

Pervasive Monitoring is an Attack (Tim Bray) — if your ap­pli­ca­tion doesn’t sup­port pri­va­cy, that’s prob­a­bly a bug in your ap­pli­ca­tion. Reconciling Mozilla’s Mission and the W3C EME — essentially, “we don’t want to put a closed source bolus of …

Four short links: 9 May 2014

By Nat Torkington
May 8, 2014

Hardening Android for Security and Privacy — a brilliant project! prototype of a secure, full-featured, Android telecommunications device with full Tor support, individual application firewalling, true cell network baseband isolation, and optional ZRTP encrypted voice and video support. ZRTP does …

Four short links: 23 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 23, 2014

Samsung UX (Scribd) — little shop of self-catalogued UX horrors, courtesy discovery in a lawsuit. Dated (Android G1 as competition) but rewarding to see there are signs of self-awareness in the companies that inflict unusability on the world. Tools for …

Four short links: 31 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 31, 2014

Game Programming Patterns — a book in progress. Search for the Next Platform (Fred Wilson) — Mobile is now the last thing. And all of these big tech companies are looking for the next thing to make sure they don’t …

Four short links: 3 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 2, 2014

Commotion — open source mesh networks. WriteLaTeX — online collaborative LaTeX editor. No, really. This exists. In 2014. Distributed Systems — free book for download, goal is to bring together the ideas behind many of the more recent distributed systems …

Configuration and Scale at Facebook

By Simon St. Laurent
November 15, 2013

At OSCON, Phil Dibowitz reminded me how little I understand about large systems – as he puts it, really large systems, systems of systems, with some similarities but with different people controlling parts. His work at Facebook explores the challenges …

Four short links: 5 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 5, 2013

Influx DB — open-source, distributed, time series, events, and metrics database with no external dependencies. Omega (PDF) — flexible, scalable schedulers for large compute clusters. From Google Research. GraspJS — Search and replace your JavaScript code based on its structure …

Four short links: 27 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 24, 2013

The Amen Break (YouTube) — fascinating 20m history of the amen break, a handful of bars of drum solo from a forgotten 1969 song which became the origin of a huge amount of popular music from rap to jungle and …

Four short links: 15 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 14, 2013

github realtime activity — audio triggered by github activity, built with choir.io. Makies Hit Shelves at Selfridges — 3d printing business gaining mainstream distribution. Win! The Datacenter as Computer — we must treat the datacenter itself as one massive warehouse-scale …

Four short links: 9 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 8, 2013

DEFCON Documentary — free download, I’m looking forward to watching it on the flight back to NZ. Global-Scale Systems — botnets as example of the scale of networks and systems we’ll have to build but don’t have experience in. MediaGoblin …

Scaling People, Process, and Technology with Python

By Dave Himrod
July 15, 2013

NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Dave’s talk or the many other cool sessions, click over to the OSCON website where you can use the discount code OS13PROG to get 20% off your registration fee. …

Head Games: Ego and Entrepreneurial Failure

By Tom Eisenmann
July 9, 2013

Entrepreneurial success hinges in large part on a founder’s mastery of psychology. This requires the ability to manage one’s responses to what Ben Horowitz calls “The Struggle,” that is, the emotional roller coaster of startup life. Paul DeJoe captures the …

Learning to Wait: Asynchronous Becomes Normal

By Simon St. Laurent
July 3, 2013

The biggest change I’ve seen in the last few years of software development isn’t a new language, a new environment, or magical new algorithms. The biggest change is that programmers in many different arenas, working independently, have come to accept …

Strata Week: The rise of the robot essay graders

By Audrey Watters
April 19, 2012

In this week's data news, a look at the performance of automated essay-grading software, scaling Instagram, and an audit of the UK government's open data initiative.

Strata Week: The rise of the robot essay graders

Strata Week: The rise of the robot essay graders
By Audrey Watters
April 19, 2012

In this week's data news, a look at the performance of automated essay-grading software, scaling Instagram, and an audit of the UK government's open data initiative.

Strata Week: The data behind Yahoo's front page

By Audrey Watters
February 16, 2012

In this week's data news: Yahoo visualizes its front page traffic and demographics, why Tumblr is tougher to scale than Twitter, and a look at what you need to consider as you build visualizations.

Strata Week: The data behind Yahoo's front page

Strata Week: The data behind Yahoo's front page
By Audrey Watters
February 16, 2012

In this week's data news: Yahoo visualizes its front page traffic and demographics, why Tumblr is tougher to scale than Twitter, and a look at what you need to consider as you build visualizations.

Four short links: 9 March 2011

By Nat Torkington
March 9, 2011

R Studio -- AGPLv3-licensed IDE for R. It brings your R console, source code, plots, help, history, and workspace browser into one cohesive package. We've added some neat productivity features like a searchable endless command history, function/symbol completion, data import dialog with preview, one-click Sweave compile, and more. Source on github. Built as a web-app on Google AppEngine, from...

Four short links: 18 February 2011

By Nat Torkington
February 18, 2011

DSPL: DataSet Publishing Language (Google Code) -- a representation language for the data and metadata of datasets. Datasets described in this format can be processed by Google and visualized in the Google Public Data Explorer. XML metadata on CSV, geo-enabled, with linkable data. (via Michal Migurski on Delicious) Why is Evidence So Hard for Politicians -- Ben Goldacre nails...

Four short links: 22 September 2010

By Nat Torkington
September 22, 2010

The Rise of Amazon Web Services -- Stephen O'Grady points out that Amazon has become an enterprise sales company but we don't treat it as such because we think of it as a retail company that's dabbling in technology. I think of Amazon as an automation company: they automate and optimize everything, and a data center is just a...

Four short links: 9 September 2010

By Nat Torkington
September 9, 2010

CloudUSB -- a USB key containing your operating environment and your data + a protected folder so nobody can access you data, even if you lost the key + a backup program which keeps a copy of your data on an online disk, with double password protection. (via ferrouswheel on Twitter) FCC APIs -- for spectrum licenses, consumer broadband...

Four short links: 29 July 2010

By Nat Torkington
July 29, 2010

How to Raise Funds for Non-Profits (Joi Ichi) -- One organization sent a message to all of their donors during the Haiti crisis asking them to give to an NGO that they had vetted. They didn't ask for any money for themselves. This had a hugely positive effect and the donors trust in the group increased. Wallets aren't zero...

Four short links: 18 May 2010

By Nat Torkington
May 18, 2010

Tondo Interactive Table to Analyze Medical Errors (MedGadget) -- use of a multitouch table to help clinical staff identify and track medical errors. (via IVLINE on Twitter) Steve Huffman Lessons Learned While at Reddit (SlideShare) -- uptime and scale. It's interesting that most everyone reinvents tuples as a way to scale databases, hence the popularity of NoSQL systems. HumbleFinance...

Four short links: 28 April 2010

By Nat Torkington
April 28, 2010

Fair Use in the US Economy (PDF) -- prepared by IT lobby in the US, it's the counterpart to Big ©'s fictitious billions of dollars of losses due to file sharing. Take each with a grain of salt, but this is interesting because it talks about the industries and businesses that the fair use laws make possible. Disassembled Household...

Four short links: 9 February 2010

By Nat Torkington
February 9, 2010

Track DC -- informative drill-down report from Washington DC government about the different departments. (via Sunlight Labs blog) Errors in Scientific Software -- a 1994 study of scientific software that found inconsistent interfaces (1 in 7 for Fortran, 1 in 37 for C) and poor use of arithmetic such that significant figures declined from 6sf in the data to...

Four short links: 4 January 2010

By Nat Torkington
January 4, 2010

Why Git Is So Fast -- interesting mailing list post about the problems that the JGit folks had when they tried to make their Java version of Git go faster. Higher level languages hide enough of the machine that we can't make all of these optimizations. A reminder that you must know and control the systems you're running on...

Four short links: 22 December 2009

By Nat Torkington
December 22, 2009

Trading Shares in Milliseconds (Technology Review) -- With the rise of automation, the bulk of U.S. stock trading has moved from the once-crowded floor of Manhattan's New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to silent server farms run by exchanges and broker-dealers across the country: the proportion of all trades that the NYSE handles has shrunk from 80 percent in 2005...

Four short links: 22 October 2009

By Nat Torkington
October 22, 2009

Eight Billion Minutes Spent on Facebook Daily -- you weren't using that cognitive surplus, were you? How We Made Github Fast -- high-level summary is that the new "fast, good, cheap--pick any two" is "fast, new, easy--pick any two". (via Simon Willison) Isaac Mao, China, 40M Blogs and Counting -- Today, there are 40 million bloggers in China and...

Four short links: 10 July 2009

By Nat Torkington
July 9, 2009

Ceph -- open source distributed filesystem from UCSC. Ceph is built from the ground up to seamlessly and gracefully scale from gigabytes to petabytes and beyond. Scalability is considered in terms of workload as well as total storage. Ceph is designed to handle workloads in which tens thousands of clients or more simultaneously access the same file, or write...

Announcing: Spike Night at Velocity

Announcing: Spike Night at Velocity
By Scott Ruthfield
June 19, 2009

Guest blogger Scott Ruthfield is a Program Committee member of the O'Reilly Velocity: Web Performance & Operations Conference.  Web Operations is not for the casual observer: it's for a particular kind of adrenaline junkie that's motivated by graphs and servers spinning out of control.  Jumping in, on-your-feet analysis, and experience-based-experimentation are all part of solving new problems caused by unexpected user and machine behavior,...

Four short links: 8 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 8, 2009

How to Project on 3D Geometry -- the fine art (and math) of distorting an image so that it looks undistorted when projected onto a non-flat 3D surface. Confused? See the images below. (via straup on Delicious) ZinePal -- Create your own printable magazine from any online content. (via warrenellis on Delicious) What The Government Doesn't Understand About The...

Velocity 2009 - Big Ideas (early registration deadline)

Velocity 2009 - Big Ideas (early registration deadline)
By Jesse Robbins
May 8, 2009

(tag cloud created from Velocity session & speaker information using wordle.net) My favorite interview question to ask candidates is: "What happens when you type www.(amazon|google|yahoo).com in your browser and press return?" While the actual process of serving and rendering a page takes seconds to complete, describing it in real detail can take an hour. A good answer spans every part...

Southern California Linux Expo: freedom in a service economy, and more

Southern California Linux Expo: freedom in a service economy, and more
By Andy Oram
February 22, 2009

This evening's SCALE blog covers Bradley Kuhn's keynote on Software as a Service, Jono Bacon on security, Red Hat's counsel on patents, and much more (with ample indulgence for my own opinions).

libproxy tries to fix what sucks about proxies--and other news from first day of Southern California Linux Expo

libproxy tries to fix what sucks about proxies--and other news from first day of Southern California Linux Expo
By Andy Oram
February 21, 2009

Application support for proxies is inconsistent. Nathaniel McCallum and his colleagues have done a pretty exhaustive study of application support for proxies. This is a classic problem crying out for standardization, and libproxy tries to fill that gap. Existing applications would have to be rewritten, but for an interface that provides only three calls, how much trouble can that be?

A Sense Of Scale

By Harold Davis
January 14, 2008

When a photo is about pattern, the thrill of composition can come from a dissonance in size. Is the subject big or small? What is the sense of scale? In these kinds of photos, that which seems to be big is actually small, or that which appears to be small is actually big. The viewer gets a thrill when the...


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