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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: 2 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 2, 2014

Resilient Distributed Datasets: A Fault-Tolerant Abstraction for In-Memory Cluster Computing (PDF) — Berkeley research paper behind Apache Spark. (via Nelson Minar) Angular Tour — trivially add tour tips (“This is the widget basket, drag and drop for widget goodness!” type …

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 …

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. …

Four short links: 11 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2013

Living Light — 3D printed cephalopods filled with bioluminescent bacteria. PAGING CORY DOCTOROW, YOUR ORGASMATRON HAS ARRIVED. (via Sci Blogs) Repacking Lego Batteries with a CNC Mill — check out the video. Patrick programmed a CNC machine to drill out …

Four short links: 9 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

Android Malware Numbers — (Quartz) less than an estimated 0.001% of app installations on Android are able to evade the system’s multi-layered defenses and cause harm to users, based on Google’s analysis of 1.5B downloads and installs. Facebook Operations Chief …

Computing Twitter Influence, Part 1: Arriving at a Base Metric

By Matthew Russell
September 25, 2013

This post introduces a series that explores the problem of approximating a Twitter account’s influence. With the ubiquity of social media and its effects on everything from how we shop to how we vote at the polls, it’s critical that we …

Four short links: 20 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2013

Wormhole — Facebook’s pub/sub system. Wormhole propagates changes issued in one system to all systems that need to reflect those changes – within and across data centers. Nanocubes — Fast Visualization of Large Spatiotemporal Datasets. Sean Gourley on Relevance (YouTube) …

Strata Week: Why we should care about what the NSA may or may not be doing

By Jenn Webb
June 14, 2013

It’s a question of power, not privacy — and what is the NSA really doing? In the wake of the leaked NSA data-collection programs, the Pew Research Center conducted a national survey to measure American’s response. The survey found that …

Phishing in Facebook’s Pond

By Mike Loukides
June 5, 2013

A recent blog post inquired about the incidence of Facebook-based spear phishing: the author suddenly started receiving email that appeared to be from friends (though it wasn’t posted from their usual email addresses), making the usual kinds of offers and …

Four short links: 10 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 10, 2013

The Remixing Dilemma — summary of research on remixed projects, finding that (1) Projects with moderate amounts of code are remixed more often than either very simple or very complex projects. (2) Projects by more prominent creators are more generative. …

Four short links: 6 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 6, 2013

Nautilus — elegantly-designed science web ‘zine. Includes Artificial Emotions on AI, neuro, and psych efforts to recognise and simulate emotions. A Short Essay on 3D Printing — This hands-off approach to culpability cannot last long. If you design something to …

Numbers never lie…unless you’re talking social media

By Rob Eagar
April 30, 2013

Back in college, I took a class on statistics and never forgot the first lesson my professor taught us, which was, “Anyone can manipulate numbers to make them mean whatever they want.” I see this point magnified today by the …

Go native, go big, and go deep

By Zigurd Mednieks
April 29, 2013

Apps have to get bigger and more ambitious. A key question for the developer community is how do you create big, integrated, multi-functional, configurable apps for the mobile enterprise? Curiously, Facebook is providing some answers by not using HTML5 and …

If followers can sponsor updates on Facebook, social advertising has a new horizon

By Alex Howard
March 7, 2013

This week, I found that one of my Facebook updates received significantly more attention that others I’ve posted. On the one hand, it was a share of an important New York Times story focusing on the first time a baby …

Money matters most in book marketing

By Rob Eagar
February 19, 2013

A recent Reuters/Ipsos poll revealed that four out of five Facebook users have never bought a product or service as a result of advertising or comments on the social network site. In addition, researchers at the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute found that …

Visualization of the Week: Identify your insiders, outsiders, connectors and gateways

By Jenn Webb
January 30, 2013

WolframAlpha announced an upgrade to its Personal Analytics for Facebook platform that allows users to visualize a number of aspects of their Facebook ecosystem. John Burnham outlines the updates on the WolframAlpha blog, noting that the popular visualization from the …

Why isn’t social media more like real life?

By Jim Stogdill
December 19, 2012

I finally got around to looking at my personal network graph on Linkedin Labs the other day. It was a fun exercise and I got at least one interesting insight from it. Take a look at these two well defined …

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: 12 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 12, 2012

Teaching Programming to a Highly Motivated Beginner (CACM) — I don’t think there is any better way to internalize knowledge than first spending hours upon hours growing emotionally distraught over such struggles and only then being helped by a mentor. …

Four short links: 7 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 7, 2012

A Slower Speed of Light — game where you control the speed of light and discover the wonders of relativity. (via Andy Baio) Facebook Demetricator — removes all statistics and numbers from Facebook’s chrome (“37 people like this” becomes “people …

Strata Week: A realistic look at big data obstacles

By Jenn Webb
October 12, 2012

Here are a few stories from the data space that caught my attention this week. Big obstacles for big data For the latest issue of Foreign Policy, Uri Friedman put together a summarized history of big data to show “[h]ow …

Commerce Weekly: Will NYC taxis get Square?

By Jenn Webb
October 11, 2012

Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the commerce space this week. Square may be courting cabs Square not only is gearing up to launch in Starbucks stores in November — it may also be looking to …

You still need your own website

By Mac Slocum
July 3, 2012

Brett Slatkin's hope for a federated social web hasn't worked out as expected, so he's shifting perspective from infrastructure to user behavior. Here he explains why you shouldn't abandon your website for third-party platforms.

You still need your own website

You still need your own website
By Mac Slocum
July 3, 2012

Brett Slatkin's hope for a federated social web hasn't worked out as expected, so he's shifting perspective from infrastructure to user behavior. Here he explains why you shouldn't abandon your website for third-party platforms.

Commerce Weekly: Streamlining Facebook's ads

Commerce Weekly: Streamlining Facebook's ads
By Jenn Webb
June 21, 2012

Payvment launches a one-click Facebook ad service, PayPal revamps its website with consumers and mobile in mind, and a Best Buy exec says in-store mobile use has a scale issue. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Four short links: 18 June 2012

By Nat Torkington
June 18, 2012

What Facebook Knows (MIT Tech Review) -- Analyzing the 69 billion friend connections among those 721 million people showed that the world is smaller than we thought: four intermediary friends are usually enough to introduce anyone to a random stranger. and our close friends strongly sway which information we share, but overall their impact is dwarfed by the collective...

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs
By Audrey Watters
May 25, 2012

This week's visualization comes from The New York Times and compares the last 30 years of tech IPOs (hint: watch for the big blue dot).

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs

By Audrey Watters
May 25, 2012

This week's visualization comes from The New York Times and compares the last 30 years of tech IPOs (hint: watch for the big blue dot).

Four short links: 25 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 25, 2012

Meet The New Boss, Worse Than The Old Boss -- transcript of a thoughtful music industry insider considering the effect of the net on the business. The other problem? I’ve been expecting for years now to see aggregate revenue flowing to artist increase. Disintermediation promised us this. It hasn’t happened. Everywhere I look artists seem to be working more...

Commerce Weekly: Facebook continues its mobile acquisition spree

Commerce Weekly: Facebook continues its mobile acquisition spree
By Jenn Webb
May 24, 2012

Facebook puts its IPO money to use, seven strategies to help retail businesses survive "showrooming," and grocery shopping sans checkout lines. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Four short links: 14 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 14, 2012

Shiri = Japanese Robotic Ass (YouTube) -- I couldn't watch after 2m30s or so when he starts slapping the robot ass. I never imagined a butt as UI. I eagerly await the hobbyist version, the Arduino Ass Shield. (via Ed Yong) Facebook Tests 'Pay to Promote' Tool (BBC) -- pay to raise prominence of your message, feature being tested...

Four short links: 7 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 7, 2012

Liquid Feedback -- MIT-licensed voting software from the Pirate Party. See this Spiegel Online piece about how it is used for more details. (via Tim O'Reilly) Putting Gestures Into Objects (Ars Technica) -- Disney and CMU have a system called Touché, where objects can tell whether they're being clasped, swiped, pinched, etc. and by how many fingers. (via BoingBoing)...

Four short links: 27 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 27, 2012

The Third Industrial Revolution (The Economist) -- A number of remarkable technologies are converging: clever software, novel materials, more dexterous robots, new processes (notably three-dimensional printing) and a whole range of web-based services. The factory of the past was based on cranking out zillions of identical products: Ford famously said that car-buyers could have any colour they liked, as...

Commerce Weekly: Facebook's shopping spree continues

Commerce Weekly: Facebook's shopping spree continues
By Jenn Webb
April 19, 2012

Facebook buys into e-commerce, Jason Calacanis opines on Apple's entry into mobile payments, and survey results look good for mobile commerce. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Visualization of the Week: Clustering your social graph

Visualization of the Week: Clustering your social graph
By Audrey Watters
April 6, 2012

This week's visualization clusters your Facebook friends based on shared education, location, occupation, and interests.

Visualization of the Week: Clustering your social graph

By Audrey Watters
April 6, 2012

This week's visualization clusters your Facebook friends based on shared education, location, occupation, and interests.

Commerce Weekly: The do's and don'ts of geo marketing

Commerce Weekly: The do's and don'ts of geo marketing
By David Sims
April 5, 2012

Placecast's CEO describes layers of context that make for rich, geo-targeted messages. Also, talent flees Google Wallet, and Facebook's IPO may make life harder for mobile carriers. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Four short links: 4 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 4, 2012

Typing Club -- lessons to improve your touch-typing, building you up letter by letter to speed and mastery. Like how I learned, only without the typewriters and the bibs and the roomful of girls. It wasn't easy being the only boy in typing class, but somehow I managed. (via EdTech ideas) SQL Injection via HTTP Headers -- excellent introduction...

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: 23 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 23, 2012

Cache Them If You Can (Steve Souders) -- the percentage of resources that are cacheable has increased 4% during the past year. Over that same time the number of requests per page has increased 12% and total transfer size has increased 24%. Natural -- MIT-licensed general natural language facility for nodejs. Tokenizing, stemming, classification, phonetics, tf-idf, WordNet, string similarity,...

Four short links: 7 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 7, 2012

Government Agencies and Colleges Demand Applicants' Facebook Passwords (MSN) -- "Schools are in the business of educating, not spying," he added. "We don't hire private investigators to follow students wherever they go. If students say stupid things online, they should educate them ... not engage in prior restraint." Hear, hear. Reminded me of danah boyd on teen password sharing....

Commerce Weekly: The mobile payment system that's ready now

Commerce Weekly: The mobile payment system that's ready now
By David Sims
February 23, 2012

Direct billing stretches beyond its gaming roots, social commerce disappoints, and a refresher on how to dial a phone. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Four short links: 20 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 20, 2012

University Copyright Fail -- This week, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Toronto signed a deal with the licensing group Access Copyright that includes: provisions defining e-mailing hyperlinks as equivalent to photocopying a document; a flat fee of $27.50 for each full-time equivalent student; and, surveillance of academic staff email. (via Fabiana Kubke) Peanutty -- I'm...

How to create a visualization

By Pete Warden
February 13, 2012

Creating a visualization requires more than just data and imagery. Pete Warden outlines the process and actions that drove his new Facebook visualization project.

How to create a visualization

How to create a visualization
By Pete Warden
February 13, 2012

Creating a visualization requires more than just data and imagery. Pete Warden outlines the process and actions that drove his new Facebook visualization project.

Commerce Weekly: Facebook finds a mobile commerce partner

Commerce Weekly: Facebook finds a mobile commerce partner
By David Sims
February 10, 2012

Bango will run Facebook's mCommerce platform, Google Wallet hacked, and PayPal pilots shopping walls. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)

Developer Week in Review: Brother, can you spare $100 billion?

Developer Week in Review: Brother, can you spare $100 billion?
By James Turner
February 2, 2012

If you haven't heard that Facebook is going public, I hope you live under a comfortable rock. While you wait for the IPO, brush up your Lua if you run a wiki, just don't leave any empty files lying around.

Four short links: 2 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 2, 2012

Beautiful Buttons for Bootstrap -- cute little button creator, with sliders for hue, saturation, and "puffiness". CMU iPad Course -- iTunes U has the video lectures for a CMU intro to iPad programming. Inspiring Matter -- the conference aims to bring together designers, scientists, artists and humanities people working with materials research and innovation to talk about how they...

Four short links: 24 January 2012

By Nat Torkington
January 24, 2012

fbootstrap (GitHub) -- HTML, CSS, and JS toolkit for Facebook apps based on Twitter's popular Bootstrap library. Focus on the User -- adds a bookmarklet "Don't Be Evil" which shows your Google search as it would have been before Google+ began artificially inserting itself into Google search results. Written by Facebook engineer and Firefox co-creator Blake Ross, this is...


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