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Four short links: 3 September 2014

By Nat Torkington
September 3, 2014

Distributed Systems Theory for the Distributed Systems Engineer — I tried to come up with a list of what I consider the basic concepts that are applicable to my every-day job as a distributed systems engineer; what I consider ‘table …

Four short links: 3 September 2014

By Nat Torkington
September 3, 2014

Distributed Systems Theory for the Distributed Systems Engineer — I tried to come up with a list of what I consider the basic concepts that are applicable to my every-day job as a distributed systems engineer; what I consider ‘table …

Four short links: 3 September 2014

By Nat Torkington
September 3, 2014

Distributed Systems Theory for the Distributed Systems Engineer — I tried to come up with a list of what I consider the basic concepts that are applicable to my every-day job as a distributed systems engineer; what I consider ‘table …

Four short links: 25 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 25, 2014

Greenscreen — Chromecast-based open source software for digital signs. Reverse Engineering Censorship in Chinese Cyberspace (PDF) — researchers create accounts and probe to see which things are blocked. Empirical transparency. USB Condom — A protective barrier between your device and …

Four short links: 25 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 25, 2014

Greenscreen — Chromecast-based open source software for digital signs. Reverse Engineering Censorship in Chinese Cyberspace (PDF) — researchers create accounts and probe to see which things are blocked. Empirical transparency. USB Condom — A protective barrier between your device and …

Four short links: 25 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 25, 2014

Greenscreen — Chromecast-based open source software for digital signs. Reverse Engineering Censorship in Chinese Cyberspace (PDF) — researchers create accounts and probe to see which things are blocked. Empirical transparency. USB Condom — A protective barrier between your device and …

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 …

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 …

Four short links: 13 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 13, 2013

Bunnie Huang Live (YouTube) — talk given at the Make:Live Stage at Maker Faire NYC, covering his experiences and advice for getting hardware made. (via Makezine) Bill Gates’s Best Books of 2013 — interesting list! The Robots are Here (Tyler …

Four short links: 29 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 29, 2013

Huaqiang Bei Map for Makers — excellent resource for visitors to an iconic huge electronics market in Shenzhen. (via Bunnie Huang) A 16th Century Dutchman Can Tell us Everything We Need to Know about GMO Patents — There’s nothing wrong …

Four short links: 7 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

The Thing System — connects to Things in your home, whether those things are media players such as the Sonos or the Apple TV, your Nest thermostat, your INSTEON home control system, or your Philips Hue lightbulbs — whether your …

Four short links: 21 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 20, 2013

blinkdb — The current version of BlinkDB supports a slightly constrained set of SQL-style declarative queries and provides approximate results for standard SQL aggregate queries, specifically queries involving COUNT, AVG, SUM and PERCENTILE and is being extended to support any …

Four short links: 6 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 5, 2013

White Hat’s Dilemma (Google Docs) — amazeballs preso with lots of tough ethical questions for people in the computer field. Chinese Hacking Team Caught Taking Over Decoy Water Plant (MIT Tech Review) — Wilhoit went on to show evidence that …

Four short links: 3 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 3, 2013

Causal Entropic Forces (PDF) — new paper from Sci Foo alum Alex Wissner-Gross connecting intelligence and entropy. (via Inside Science) Nyan Cat and Keyboard Cat Are Trademarked Memes (Ars Technica) — the business of this (presumably there will be royalties …

Four short links: 30 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2013

China = 41% of World’s Internet Attack Traffic (Bloomberg) — numbers are from Akamai’s research. Verizon Communications said in a separate report that China accounted for 96 percent of all global espionage cases it investigated. One interpretation is that China …

Four short links: 18 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 18, 2013

The Well Deserved Fortune of Satoshi Nakamoto — I can’t assure with 100% certainty that the all the black dots are owned by Satoshi, but almost all are owned by a single entity, and that entity began mining right from …

Four short links: 28 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 28, 2013

What American Startups Can Learn From the Cutthroat Chinese Software Industry — It follows that the idea of “viral” or “organic” growth doesn’t exist in China. “User acquisition is all about media buys. Platform-to-platform in China is war, and it …

Four short links: February 21 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 21, 2013

Administration Strategy on Mitigating the Theft of US Trade Secrets (Whitehouse, PDF) — the Chinese attacks on Facebook, NYT, and other large organisations are provoking policy responses. WSJ covers it nicely. What is this starting? (via Alex Howard) BodyMedia FitLink …

Four short links: 19 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 19, 2013

Using Silk Road — exploring the transactions, probability of being busted, and more. Had me at the heading Silk Road as Cyphernomicon’s black markets. Estimates of risk of participating in the underground economy. Travis CI — a hosted continuous integration …

Four short links: 15 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 15, 2013

Ed Startups in a Nutshell (Dan Meyer) — I couldn’t agree with Dan more: The Internet is like a round pipe. Lecture videos and machine-scored exercises are like round pegs. They pass easily from one end of the pipe to …

Four short links: 13 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 13, 2013

CA Assembly Bill No. 292 — This bill would provide that the full text of the California Code of Regulations shall bear an open access creative commons attribution license, allowing any individual, at no cost, to use, distribute, and create …

Four short links: 1 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 1, 2013

Icon Fonts are Awesome — yes, yes they are. (via Fog Creek) What the Rails Security Issue Means for Your Startup — excellent, clear, emphatic advice on how and why security matters and what it looks like when you take …

Four short links: 30 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 30, 2013

Chinese Attack UAV (Alibaba) — Small attack UAV is characterized with small size, light weight, convenient carrying, rapid outfield expansion procedure, easy operation and maintenance; the system only needs 2-3 operators to operate, can be carried by surveillance personnel to …

Four short links: 11 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 11, 2013

How to Redesign Your App Without Pissing Everybody Off (Anil Dash) — the basic straightforward stuff that gets your users on-side. Anil’s making a career out of being an adult. Clockwork Raven (Twitter) — open source project to send data …

Four short links: 7 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 10, 2013

DroneNet: How to Build It (John Robb) — It’s possible to break the FAA’s “line of sight” rules regarding drones right now and get away with it to enable fast decentralized growth. This strategy works. e.g. PayPal flagrantly broke banking …

Four short links: 7 January 2012

By Nat Torkington
January 7, 2013

DroneNet: How to Build It (John Robb) — It’s possible to break the FAA’s “line of sight” rules regarding drones right now and get away with it to enable fast decentralized growth. This strategy works. e.g. PayPal flagrantly broke banking …

Four short links: 18 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 18, 2012

Credibility Ranking of Tweets During High Impact Events (PDF) — interesting research. Situational awareness information is information that leads to gain in the knowledge or update about details of the event, like the location, people aff ected, causes, etc. We found …

Four short links: 13 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 13, 2012

Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012 — most are political, unlike Overly Attached Girlfriend. Evaporative Cooling — thoughtful piece about the tendency of event quality to trend down unless checked by invisible walls. (via Hacker News) What Was It …

Four short links: 20 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 20, 2012

The Shape of the Internet Has Changed — 98 percent of internet traffic now consists of content that can be stored on servers. 45% of Internet traffic today is from CDNs, and a handful of them at that, which makes …

Four short links: 1 August 2012

By Nat Torkington
August 1, 2012

China Hackers Hit EU Point Man and DC (Bloomberg) — wow. The extent to which EU and US government and business computer systems have been penetrated is astonishing. Stolen information is flowing out of the networks of law firms, investment …

Four short links: 27 July 2012

By Nat Torkington
July 27, 2012

Social Media in China (Fast Company) — fascinating interview with Tricia Wang. We often don’t think we have a lot to learn from tech companies outside of the U.S., but Twitter should look to Weibo for inspiration for what can …

Four short links: 29 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 29, 2012

Tricorder Project -- open sourced designs for a tricorder, released as part of the Qualcomm Tricorder X Prize. (via Slashdot) Microsoft's New Open Sourced Stacks (Miguel de Icaza) -- not just open sourced (some of the code had been under MS Permissive License before, now it's Apache) but developed in public with git: ASP.NET MVC, ASP.NET Web API, ASP.NET...

Four short links: 22 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 22, 2012

Stamen Watercolour Maps -- I saw a preview of this a week or two ago and was in awe. It is truly the most beautiful thing I've seen a computer do. It's not just a clever hack, it's art. Genius. And they're CC-licensed. Screens Up Close -- gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad's retina display...

Four short links: 9 January 2012

By Nat Torkington
January 9, 2012

Mr Daisey and the Apple Factor (This American Life) -- episode looking at the claims of human rights problems in Apple's Chinese factories. OpenPilot -- open source UAVs with cameras. Yes, a DIY spy drone on autopilot. (via Jim Stogdill) mbox -- more technical information than you ever thought you'd need, to be saved for the time when you...

Four short links: 1 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 1, 2011

Things Turbo Pascal is Smaller Than -- next time you're bragging about your efficient code, spare a thought for the Pascal IDE and compiler that lived in 39,731 bytes. This list of more bloated things is hilarious. The China Startup Report (Slideshare) -- interesting to see the low salary comes with expectation of bonuses but little interest in equity...

Four short links: 26 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 26, 2011

911 Footage -- the Internet Archive has published a great collection of video from Sep 11 2001. A tremendous boon to researchers. Why Are Finland's Schools Successful? (Smithsonian Magazine) -- not sure if why they're successful is ever definitively anointed, but the article is fascinating reading. deck.js -- Javascript presentation library. Why Amazon Can't Make a Kindle in the...

Four short links: 24 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 24, 2011

STM in PyPy -- a proposal to add software transactional memory to the all-Python Python interpreter as a way of simplifying concurrent programming. I first learned about STM from Haskell's Simon Peyton-Jones at OSCON. (via Nelson Minar) Werner Vogels' Static Web Site on S3 -- nice writeup of the toolchain to publish a web site to static files served...

Four short links: 6 July 2011

By Nat Torkington
July 6, 2011

China Wants to Buy Facebook (Forbes) -- Beijing approached a fund that buys stock from former Facebook employees to see if it could assemble a stake large enough "to matter." This has implications for Facebook entering China. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg is reportedly "wary about the compromises Facebook would have to make to do business there." If she...

Four short links: 26 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 26, 2011

Draft Horses Bring Fibre to Remote Locations -- I love the conjunction of old and new, as draft horses prove the best way to lay fibre in remote Vermont. (via David Isenberg) Chinese Political Prisoners Gold-Farming (Guardian) -- "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told...

Four short links: 23 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 23, 2011

PC Emulator in Javascript -- days later and it's mindboggling. US Home Prices as Opera (Flowing Data) -- reminded me of Douglas Adams's "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" which has software that turns your company's performance numbers into music. The yearly accounts of most British companies emerged sounding like the Dead March from "Saul", but in Japan they went...

Four short links: 2 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 2, 2011

Chinese Internet Cafes (Bryce Roberts) -- a good quick read. My note: people valued the same things in Internet cafes that they value in public libraries, and the uses are very similar. They pose a similar threat to the already-successful, which is why public libraries are threatened in many Western countries. SIFT -- the Scale Invariant Feature Transform library,...

Four short links: 26 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 26, 2011

Barnes and Noble Nook Color Gets Android Upgrade (Wired) -- was an e-reader, but now Barnes and Noble are offering an upgrade to turn it into a fully-fledged Android tablet. The only thing you won't be able to do is download apps from the Google marketplace. The Nook retails for $250. (via Glyn Moody) Anime Site Treats Piracy as...

ePayments Week: Android's predicted ascendance

ePayments Week: Android's predicted ascendance
By David Sims
April 14, 2011

Gartner says Android can take half the smartphone market by the end of 2012. Also, China's mobile customers can slip NFC SIMM cards into their handsets, and geolocation company Quova challenges developers.

Hints of iPhone envy in China

By Cliff Miller
April 13, 2011

A survey of Chinese phone owners conducted through the Sina micro-blog service finds that iPhones are a prized possession, while Android interest is tepid and things aren't looking good for Nokia.

Four short links: 6 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 6, 2011

Timeline Setter -- ProPublica-released open source tool for building timelines from spreadsheets of event data. See their post for more information. (via Laurel Ruma) Return to Shenzhen Part 1 -- Nate from SparkFun makes a trip to component capital of the world. It's like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for geeks. a special market that dealt exclusively with bulk...

Four short links: 3 March 2011

By Nat Torkington
March 3, 2011

Guangzhou City Map -- Chinese city maps: they use orthographic projection (think SimCity) and not satellite images. A nice compromise for usability, information content, and invisible censorship. (via Hacker News) Broken Windows, Broken Code, Broken Systems -- So, given that most of us live in the real world where some things are just left undone, where do we draw...

Four short links: 17 February 2011

By Nat Torkington
February 17, 2011

The True Cost of Publishing on the Kindle -- an article, apparently by a horrified negotiator with Amazon, revealing that magazine and newspaper publishers pay the WhisperNet delivery costs of their editions. That's not Amazon overhead, it comes out of the publisher's royalty slice. (via Hacker News) Fonts in Use -- examples of sweet typography and the fonts that...

Four short links: 24 January 2011

By Nat Torkington
January 24, 2011

The Inside Story of How Facebook Responded to Tunisian Hacks (The Atlantic) -- After more than ten days of intensive investigation and study, Facebook's security team realized something very, very bad was going on. The country's Internet service providers were running a malicious piece of code that was recording users' login information when they went to sites like Facebook....

Four short links: 17 January 2011

By Nat Torkington
January 17, 2011

Remove DRM from EBooks -- it's been done, and the tools are getting easier to use. The Kindle DRM-remover uses gdb to hook into the Kindle for Mac application, watch when a book's decoded and snaffle the key. (via BoingBoing) AliBaba's Data Possibilities (The Economist) -- Alibaba has a huge and barely exploited asset: the data it has gathered...

Four short links: 7 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 7, 2010

Synopsis Data Structures for Massive Data Sets (PDF) -- survey of data structures that reduce the problem space when dealing with large data sets. (via Pete Warden) Optimism -- you build what you're thinking of. Time to figure out the optimistic future and build that. "Work as if you lived in the early days of a better nation.” --attributed...


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