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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 …

Four short links: 21 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 21, 2014

Hack — PHP with types, generics, collections, lambdas. From Facebook. Solve Hard Things Early — Build great habits around communication and decision-making when everyone still knows each other well. Marginally Useful (Paul Ford) — The last two decades have suggested …

Prototype and adapt with the MEAN stack

By Valeri Karpov
February 25, 2014

Web development may seem like a bustling space where everything changes every 5 minutes, but, in reality, the fundamental high-level concepts of building a web application haven’t changed much since the introduction of Ajax. The libraries and concepts, like the …

Prototype and adapt with the MEAN stack

By Valeri Karpov
February 25, 2014

Web development may seem like a bustling space where everything changes every 5 minutes, but, in reality, the fundamental high-level concepts of building a web application haven’t changed much since the introduction of Ajax. The libraries and concepts, like the …

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 …

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 …

Four short links: 22 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 21, 2013

Google Educator MOOCs — online courses for teachers who use Google in their classrooms. Algorithms and Accountability — Thus, the appearance of an autocompletion suggestion during the search process might make people decide to search for this suggestion although they …

Self-Adaptive Is Not The Same As Feedback

By Philipp Janert
November 12, 2013

In a series of posts (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6), we have introduced the idea of feedback control as a way to keep complex systems on track, even when subject to uncertainty …

Feedback Controllers

By Philipp Janert
October 29, 2013

In the previous parts of this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4), we introduced feedback as a design principle or paradigm, that can help to keep systems “on track”, even in the presence of uncertainty and …

Programming with feedback

By Mike Loukides
October 25, 2013

Everyone knows what feedback is. It’s when sound systems suddenly make loud, painful screeching sounds. And that answer is correct, at least partly. Control theory, the study and application of feedback, is a discipline with a long history. If you’ve …

OpenStack release offers more flexibility and aids to performance

By Andy Oram
October 17, 2013

I talked this week to Jonathan Bryce and Mark Collier of OpenStack to look at the motivations behind the enhancements in the Havana release announced today. We focused on the main event–official support for the Ceilometer metering/monitoring project and the …

Why Feedback?

By Philipp Janert
October 16, 2013

In two previous posts (Part 1 and Part 2) we introduced the idea of feedback control. The basic idea is that we can keep a system (any system!) on track, by constantly monitoring its actual behavior, so that we can …

The Feedback Principle

By Philipp Janert
October 8, 2013

In a previous post, we introduced the basic feedback concept. Now it is time to take a closer look at this idea. Feedback is a method to keep systems on track. In other words, feedback is a way to make …

Predicting the future: Strata 2014 hot topics

By Alistair Croll
August 7, 2013

Conferences like Strata are planned a year in advance. The logistics and coordination required for an event of this magnitude takes a lot of planning, but it also takes a decent amount of prediction: Strata needs to skate to where …

Open Source convention considers situational awareness in cars, and more

By Andy Oram
July 29, 2013

Every conference draws people in order to make contacts, but the Open Source convention also inspires them with content. I had one friend withdraw from an important business meeting (sending an associate) in order to attend a tutorial. Lots of …

How to Get Fast, Cheap Feedback on Your Product with Tiny Tests

By Laura Klein
June 4, 2013

There’s a lot of advice about how to do great user research. I have some pretty strong opinions about it myself. But, as with exercise, the best kind of research is the kind that you actually DO. So, in the …

Survey on the Future of Open Source, and Lessons from the Past

By Andy Oram
May 15, 2013

I recently talked to two managers of Black Duck, the first company formed to help organizations deal with the licensing issues involved in adopting open source software. With Tim Yeaton, President and CEO, and Peter Vescuso, Executive Vice President of …

Upward Mobility: Dump Those iOS Delegates

By James Turner
May 13, 2013

Because so much of iOS programming involves the delegate pattern (the UITableViewDelegate being a prime example), it’s natural that when programmers are developing their own classes that need to be able to asynchronously call back to a client class, they …

Visualization of the Week: A DDoS attack on VideoLAN downloads infrastructure

By Jenn Webb
May 1, 2013

In the wake of a recent DDoS attack on open source software distributor VideoLAN, developer Ludovic Fauvet created a video visualization to show what the attack looked like. As Ryan W. Neal notes in a post at International Business Times, …

A human approach to postmortem reviews

By Jenn Webb
April 25, 2013

There is nothing pleasant about postmortem reviews following an outage, and many companies struggle to execute positive, effective reviews. In a recent interview, Dave Zwieback (@mindweather), head of infrastructure at Knewton, said that we often focus only on technical issues …

Four steps to analyzing big data with Spark

By O'Reilly Strata
April 12, 2013

By Andy Konwinski, Ion Stoica, and Matei Zaharia In the UC Berkeley AMPLab, we have embarked on a six year project to build a powerful next generation big data analytics platform: the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack (BDAS). We have already …

The future of big data with BDAS, the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack

By O'Reilly Strata
February 18, 2013

By Andy Konwinski, Ion Stoica, and Matei Zaharia This month at Strata, the U.C. Berkeley AMPLab will be running a full day of big data tutorials.In this post, we present the motivation and vision for the Berkeley Data Analytics Stack (BDAS), and an …

Stacks get hacked: The inevitable rise of data warfare

By Alistair Croll
January 19, 2013

First, technology is good. Then it gets bad. Then it gets stable. This has been going on for a long time, likely since the invention of fire, knives, or the printed word. But I want to focus specifically on computing …

A Kindle developer’s 2013 wishlist

By Sanders Kleinfeld
December 2, 2012

2012 was a good year for Kindle developers. With the unveiling of the first-generation Fire tablet in late 2011 and the release of the KF8 Mobi format in early 2012, designing beautiful ebooks for the Kindle platform became a reality. …

George Church and the potential of synthetic biology

By Mike Loukides
November 9, 2012

A few weeks ago, I explained why I thought biohacking was one of the most important new trends in technology. If I didn’t convince you, Derek Jacoby’s review (below) of George Church’s new book, Regenesis, will. Church is no stranger …

Deconstructing a Twitter spam attack

By Peter Laflin
October 15, 2012

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the effect fake Twitter accounts have on brands trying to keep track of social media engagement. A recent tweet spam attack offers an instructive example. On the morning of October 1, …

Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012

Faster and stronger: Looking back on Velocity 2012
By Mike Loukides
July 10, 2012

Mike Loukides highlights talks from Velocity 2012, including: Bryan McQuade on the importance of understanding the full stack, Dr. Richard Cook on failures and complex systems, Mike Christian on redundant data centers, and John Rauser on the value of outliers.

Passage of CISPA in the U.S. House highlights need for viable cybersecurity legislation

By Alex Howard
April 27, 2012

The passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives has raised grave concerns about is potential effect on digital privacy and civil liberties.

Passage of CISPA in the U.S House highlights need for viable cybersecurity legislation

By Alex Howard
April 27, 2012

The passage of the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) in the U.S. House of Representatives has raised grave concerns about is potential effect on digital privacy and civil liberties.

Four short links: 10 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 10, 2012

The Instagram Architecture (High Scalability) -- great summary of the Instagram team's post about the technology that runs Instagram. Lots of Python goodness in here. Mosh -- ssh that lets you roam and stay connected. UTF-8 native. Android Economics -- working back from Google's declared valuation of Android royalties to figure out how much they have and how it's...

Four short links: 3 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 3, 2012

Why Our Kids Should Be Taught To Code (Guardian) -- if we don't act now we will be short-changing our children. [...] their world will be also shaped and configured by networked computing and if they don't have a deeper understanding of this stuff then they will effectively be intellectually crippled. They will grow up as passive consumers of...

Passwords and interviews

Passwords and interviews
By Mike Loukides
March 26, 2012

A candidate that forks over a social media password during an interview could become an employee that gives out a pasword in other situations. Employers aren't making that connection.

Four short links: 19 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 19, 2012

Examining His Own Body (Science Now) -- Stanford prof. has sequenced his DNA and is now getting massively Quantified Self on his metabolism, infections, etc. This caught my eye: George Church, who has pioneered DNA sequencing technology and runs the Personal Genome Project* at Harvard Medical School in Boston that enrolls people willing to share genomic and medical information...

Four short links: 16 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 16, 2012

Militarizing Your Backyard With Python and Computer Vision (video) -- using a water cannon, computer video, Arduino, and Python to keep marauding squirrel hordes under control. See the finished result for Yakkity Saxed moist rodent goodness. Soundbite -- dialogue search for Apple's Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere Pro. Boris Soundbite quickly and accurately finds any word or phrase...

Four short links: 1 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 1, 2012

Crowdsourcing Radiation Data in Japan (Freaklabs) -- wardriving pollution detection. Backyard Brains -- measuring electrical activity of a neuron in a cockroach leg. Astonishing how much science is within the reach of backyard hackers now. (via BoingBoing) Cotton Candy Stick Pre-Orders -- a $200 Android computer on a USB stick, with HDMI out etc. Raspberry Pi Launches -- $35...

Four short links: 14 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 14, 2012

Why I Hate The STOCK Act (Clay Johnson) -- an attempt to reform insider trading within government, but because Congress exempts itself from substantial penalties then it has little effect where it's needed most. We won't see change on the issues that matter to us (copyright, due process for Internet takedowns, privacy, etc.) while the lawmakers are distracted by...

Business-government ties complicate cyber security

By Howard Wen
February 6, 2012

Is an attack on a U.S. business' network an attack on the U.S. itself? "Inside Cyber Warfare" author Jeffrey Carr discusses the intermingling of corporate and government interests in this interview.

The hidden language and "wonderful experience" of product reviews

The hidden language and
By Ciara Byrne
January 9, 2012

How much is an Amazon review — good or bad — worth? Computer scientist and NYU professor Panagiotis Ipeirotis analyzed the text in thousands of Amazon reviews to find out.

The hidden language and "wonderful experience" of product reviews

By Ciara Byrne
January 9, 2012

How much is an Amazon review — good or bad — worth? Computer scientist and NYU professor Panagiotis Ipeirotis analyzed the text in thousands of Amazon reviews to find out.

Top Stories: January 2-6, 2012

Top Stories: January 2-6, 2012
By Mac Slocum
January 6, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Alistair Croll explained why the information economy is giving way to the feedback economy, Fred Trotter examined the epatient movement, and we looked at the three big stories that will shape the developer world in the months ahead.

The feedback economy

By Alistair Croll
January 4, 2012

We're moving beyond an information economy. The efficiencies and optimizations that come from constant and iterative feedback will soon become the norm for businesses and governments.

The feedback economy

The feedback economy
By Alistair Croll
January 4, 2012

We're moving beyond an information economy. The efficiencies and optimizations that come from constant and iterative feedback will soon become the norm for businesses and governments.

Why cloud services are a tempting target for attackers

Why cloud services are a tempting target for attackers
By Jeffrey Carr
December 5, 2011

Before organizations embrace the efficiencies and cost savings of cloud services, they should also closely consider the security repercussions and liabilities attached to the cloud.

Why cloud services are a tempting target for attackers

By Jeffrey Carr
December 5, 2011

Before organizations embrace the efficiencies and cost savings of cloud services, they should also closely consider the security repercussions and liabilities attached to the cloud.

Four short links: 1 December 2011

By Nat Torkington
December 1, 2011

Cutting Their Own Throats (Charlie Stross) -- DRM on ebooks gives Amazon a great tool for locking ebook customers into the Kindle platform. This essay is gold and so very true. Read, believe. v1.0 of Arduino Out -- this is the dev environment, with language additions and lots of features in the libraries. Glad to see the 1.0 stamp...

Four short links: 16 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 16, 2011

Q&A with Rob O'Callahan (ComputerWorld) -- an excellent insight into how Mozilla sees the world. In particular how proprietary mobile ecosystems are the new proprietary desktop ecosystems, and how the risks for the web are the same (writing for one device, not for all). Bikes That Charge USB Devices -- German bicycle maker Silverback has recently launched two bikes...

Four short links: 3 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 3, 2011

Feedback Without Frustration (YouTube) -- Scott Berkun at the HIVE conference talks about how feedback fails, and how to get it successfully. He is so good. Americhrome -- history of the official palette of the United States of America. Discovering Talented Musicians with Musical Analysis (Google Research blgo) -- very clever, they do acoustical analysis and then train up...

OpenStack Foundation requires further definition

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2011

The thinness of detail about the Foundation is probably a good sign, because it means that Rackspace and its partners are seeking input from the community about important parameters.

OpenStack Foundation requires further definition

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2011

The thinness of detail about the Foundation is probably a good sign, because it means that Rackspace and its partners are seeking input from the community about important parameters.

High voltage music: Behind the scenes with ArcAttack

High voltage music: Behind the scenes with ArcAttack
By James Turner
September 27, 2011

ArcAttack creates a maniacal combination of music and mad science that uses half-million-volt Tesla coils to play songs. We caught up with Steve Ward, a recent addition to the ArcAttack crew, at MakerFaire NY and asked him about the technology behind the show.


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