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Instant Wild: Smart People, Awesome Technology

By Edie Freedman
April 3, 2014

ZSL’s Alasdair Davies tells us how it’s done. Alasdair Davies is a Technical Advisor for the Zoological Society of London’s Conservation Technology program and a web developer for the EDGE of Existence program. His current focus is the delivery of ZSL’s Instant Wild project, the …

The post Instant Wild: Smart People, Awesome Technology appeared first on Animals.

Putting Developers to the Test

By James Turner
July 1, 2013

Let’s imagine for a moment that you’re one of the world’s greatest chefs. You are a graduate of the CIA, have run a four-star restaurant, and had your own show on the Food Network. Now you’re interviewing to run the …

O'Reilly Radar Show 3/12/12: Best data interviews from Strata California 2012

O'Reilly Radar Show 3/12/12: Best data interviews from Strata California 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 12, 2012

Hadoop creator Doug Cutting discussing the similarities between Linux and the big data world, Max Gadney from After the Flood explains the benefits of video data graphics, Kaggle's Jeremy Howard looks at the difference between big data and analytics.

O'Reilly Radar Show 3/12/12: Best data interviews from Strata California 2012

By Mac Slocum
March 12, 2012

Hadoop creator Doug Cutting discussing the similarities between Linux and the big data world, Max Gadney from After the Flood explains the benefits of video data graphics, Kaggle's Jeremy Howard looks at the difference between big data and analytics.

@RIARadio - MAX 2010 Day 2

By Garth Braithwaite
November 16, 2010

Day 2 we talked to Kevin Lynch, Elad Elrom, Bruno Fonzi, Roundarch (Adam Flater, Jesse Freeman, and David Meeker), Kevin Wentzel, Universal Mind (Joe Johnston, Chris Scott, and Mike Nimer), EffectiveUI (RJ Owen and Leonard Souza), Brian Rinaldi, Puneet Goel, Ted Patrick, Steve & Brenda Rankin, and RIM (Mike Kirkup)

Four short links: 13 May 2010

By Nat Torkington
May 13, 2010

Don't Simply Build a More Open Facebook, Build a Better One -- Most people don’t care so much about whether technology is “open” or “closed” so long as it works. (Case in point: iPhone.) Rather than starting your plans by picking which “open” standards you’ll use, start by designing a better social networking service and then determine how “open”...

The military goes social

By James Turner
April 27, 2010

For most of the 20th century, a soldier in the field could only communicate with their family and friends via letters that might take weeks or months to make their way to the recipient. But as the battlefield goes high tech, so have the ways soldiers can talk to the outside world. Price Floyd, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, talked to Radar about how the public face of the military is changing.

Sean McCracken Interview

By Jesse Freeman
April 26, 2010

Tell us about how you got started with Flash and what attracted you to the language? My first real encounter with flash was with Flash 8 Professional. Back then I was working at Warner Music Group, at a dead...

Citizens as public sensors

Citizens as public sensors
By James Turner
April 12, 2010

Gov 2.0 discussions tend to center on transparency and making data available to the general public. But information can flow in both directions. SeeClickFix believes citizens can offer as much to local government as government can offer to the people. SeeClickFix co-founder Jeff Blasius discusses the service in this Q&A.

Brian Aker on post-Oracle MySQL

By James Turner
April 8, 2010

In time for next week's MySQL Conference & Expo, Brian Aker discussed a number of topics with us, including Oracle's motivations for buying Sun and the rise of NoSQL.

Joe Stump on data, APIs, and why location is up for grabs

Joe Stump on data, APIs, and why location is up for grabs
By James Turner
March 23, 2010

I recently had a long conversation with Joe Stump, CTO of SimpleGeo, about location, geodata, and the NoSQL movement. Stump, who was formerly lead architect at Digg, had a lot to say. Here's the highlights, you can find the full interview elsewhere on Radar.

Personalization and the future of Digg

Personalization and the future of Digg
By James Turner
March 11, 2010

I recently talked to Joe Stump, CTO of SimpleGeo, about a number of topics related to location and databases. However, in the course of the interview, we also got around to discussing Digg. Previous to launching SimpleGeo, Joe was the Chief Architect at Digg, and he has a lot of insight into where the site is heading. We'll be running the rest of the interview soon, but what Joe told me about Digg got me thinking.

When it Comes to Tweets, the Key is Location, Location, Location!

When it Comes to Tweets, the Key is Location, Location, Location!
By James Turner
February 23, 2010

When you only have 140 characters to get your message across, you have to depend a lot on context. For Twitter, a big part of that context has become location. Knowing where someone is tweeting from can add a lot of value to the experience, and it's Raffi Krikorian's job to integrate location into Twitter. Raffi will be talking about this and other location-related topics at the upcoming Where 2.0 conference. We began by asking him how Twitter determines location, and whether it will always be an opt-in option.

Interview With Elad Elrom

By Jesse Freeman
February 1, 2010

About Elad Elrom Elad Elrom is a technical writer, technical lead, and senior Flash engineer. As a technical writer, Elad wrote books covering Flash technologies. He maintains an active blog and has spoken at several conferences regarding the Flash...

When it Comes to News, Why Won't People Eat Their Vegetables?

By James Turner
January 27, 2010

One of the basic questions in journalism these days is the one of what news consumers actually want. Chris Lee believes that today's citizenry is getting too much of what they want, and too little of what they need. With the Tools of Change for Publishing conference approaching, it seemed appropriate to talk to Lee, who has spent his professional life in the trenches of broadcast journalism, about where the industry is going and what the future of news looks like.

Bringing e-Books to Africa and the Middle East

Bringing e-Books to Africa and the Middle East
By James Turner
January 19, 2010

In the United States, Western Europe and Asia, e-Books are becoming a major player, especially now that e-Readers like the Kindle and Nook are available. But people living in the Arabic speaking world or Africa haven't been invited to the dance. Two of the keynote speakers at the upcoming Tools of Change conference are working to improve access to e-Books in these areas: Arthur Attwell in South Africa and Ramy Habeeb in Egypt. We talked to each of them about how e-Books are important in their area of the world, and the challenges that they are facing.

Innovation from the Edges: PayPal Taps the Developer Community to Build Next-Gen Payment Apps

Innovation from the Edges: PayPal Taps the Developer Community to Build Next-Gen Payment Apps
By James Turner
December 14, 2009

Two enduring tenets of Web 2.0 are "A platform beats an application every time" and "All the smart people don't work for you." Companies that take those bits of wisdom to heart find ways to engage developer communities to extend their products--and the result can be creative, surprising new applications that would never have been developed from within. Online payment giant PayPal recently announced the PayPal X APIs, a new group of developer APIs designed to enable new applications that can more tightly integrate with PayPal services. To encourage developers to create some awesome applications with the APIs, PayPal is offering prizes $100,000 and $50,000 (in cash plus waived transaction fees) for the best new applications. We caught up with PayPal's director for their Developer Network, Naveed Anwar, as he prepared to deliver a talk in Beijing, and he filled us in on what the new PayPal APIs bring to the table for application designers, and laid out the details of the challenge.

Steve Souders: Making Web Sites Faster in the Web 2.0 Age

Steve Souders: Making Web Sites Faster in the Web 2.0 Age
By James Turner
November 30, 2009

As much as anything else, a user's impression of a web site has to do with how fast the site loads. But modern Web 2.0 websites aren't your father's Oldsmobile. Chocked full of rich Flash content and massive JavaScript libraries, they present a new set of challenges to engineers trying to maximized the performance of their sites. You need to design your sites to be Fast by Default. That's the theme of the upcoming Velocity Online Conference, co-chaired by Google performance guru Steve Souders. Souders is the author of High Performance Web Sites and Even Faster Web Sites, and spent some time discussing the new world of web site performance with me.

The iPhone: Tricorder Version 1.0?

The iPhone: Tricorder Version 1.0?
By James Turner
November 17, 2009

The iPhone, in addition to revolutionizing how people thought about mobile phone user interfaces, also was one of the first devices to offer a suite of sensors measuring everything from the visual environment to position to acceleration, all in a package that could fit in your shirt pocket. On December 3rd, O'Reilly will be offering a one-day online edition of the Where 2.0 conference, focusing on the iPhone sensors, and what you can do with them. Alasdair Allan (the University of Exeter and Babilim Light Industries) and Jeffrey Powers (Occipital) will be among the speakers, and I recently spoke with each of them about how the iPhone has evolved as a sensing platform and the new and interesting things being done with the device.

The Minds Behind Some of the Most Addictive Games Around

By James Turner
November 6, 2009

The gaming industry tends to focus on the high end products, first person shooters that crank out a bazillion polygons a seconds and RPGs with spend more time developing the plot in cut scenes than in actual gameplay. But for every person playing Borderlands, there are scores playing casual games like Bejeweled and Zuma. PopCap Games has been at the forefront of casual game development, with a catalog that includes bestselling titles like Peggle and Plants vs Zombies, in addition to the two previously mentioned. I recently had a chance to talk to Jason Kapalka, one of the founders and the creative director of PopCap. We discussed the evolution of PopCap, how the casual gaming industry differs from mainstream gaming, and the challenges of creating games that can be engaging, without being frustrating.

David Hoover's Top 5 Tips for Apprentices

David Hoover's Top 5 Tips for Apprentices
By James Turner
September 29, 2009

If you're a senior developer with years of experience under your belt, it may be hard to remember what it was like coming out of college with a newly minted CS degree, and entering the workplace. But as David Hoover argues, helping these newcomers to the workforce to succeed can be the difference between effective, motivated developers and confused, discouraged ones. Hoover is the author of the new O'Reilly book Apprenticeship Patterns, and he says that people coming right out of college may, in fact, be less motivated than someone who has been working for a while.

Snow Leopard, 10 Days In - No Major Problems, But No Rush to Upgrade Either

Snow Leopard, 10 Days In - No Major Problems, But No Rush to Upgrade Either
By James Turner
September 8, 2009

A week ago last Friday, Apple unleashed Snow Leopard (aka OS X 10.6) on the world. So far, there haven't been many rumblings either way, although the trade press has been generally kind. We thought it might be a good idea to check in with Chris Seibold, author of the upcoming Pocket Guide for Snow Leopard, to get his take on how things have been going.

Augmenting Reality with the iPhone - Acrossair's Nearest Tube will be one of the first "Terminator Vision" applications

Augmenting Reality with the iPhone - Acrossair's Nearest Tube will be one of the first
By James Turner
August 27, 2009

With the release of the 3.1 iPhone OS, application developers will finally be able to develop augmented reality (AR) apps. In other words, Terminator Vision is right around the corner. I recently talked to Chetan Damani, one of the founders of Acrossair, about their new AR applications, Nearest Tube, and what's involved in developing AR applications for the iPhone.

How NPR is Embracing Open Source and Open APIs

How NPR is Embracing Open Source and Open APIs
By James Turner
July 17, 2009

News providers, like most content providers, are interested in having their content seen by as many people as possible. But unlike many news organizations, whose primary concern may be monetizing their content, National Public Radio is interested in turning it into a resource for people to use in new and novel ways as well. Daniel Jacobson is in charge making that content available to developers and end users in a wide variety of formats, and has been doing so using an Open API that NPR developed specifically for that purpose. Daniel will talk about how the project is going at OSCON next week, here's a preview of what he'll be talking about.

Making Government Transparent Using R

By James Turner
July 14, 2009

With Open Source now considered an accepted part of the software industry, some people are starting to wonder if we can't bring the same degree of openness and innovation into government. Danese Cooper, who is actively involved in the open source community through her work with the Open Source Initiative and Apache, as well as working as an R wonk for Revolution Computing, would love to see the government become more open. Part of that openness is being able to access and interpret the mass of data that the government collects, something Cooper thinks R would be a great tool for. She'll be talking about R and Open Government at O'Reilly's Open Source Conference, OSCON.

Sequencing a Genome a Week

Sequencing a Genome a Week
By James Turner
July 13, 2009

The Human Genome Project took X years to fully sequence a single human's genetic information. At Washington University's Genome Center, they can now do one in a week. But when you're generating that much data, just keeping track of it can become a major challenge in itself. David Dooling is in charge of managing the massive output of the Center's herd of gene sequencing machines, and making it available to researchers inside the Center and around the world. He'll be speaking at OSCON, O'Reilly's Open Source Conference, on how he uses open source tools to keep things under control, and he agreed to give us an overview of how the field of genomics is evolving.

Jono Bacon on the Value of Good Communities

Jono Bacon on the Value of Good Communities
By James Turner
July 9, 2009

Ubuntu has enjoyed fantastic success over the past few years, becoming one of the dominant Linux distributions, and the distribution of choice for netbooks. Jono Bacon's job is to make sure that that success continues, by keeping the huge Ubuntu developer community happy and productive. We caught up with Jono in advance of his appearance at OSCON, the O'Reilly Open Source Convention, and he was more than happy to talk about the efforts underway to not only improve the Ubuntu community, but also bring together other communities, such as Gnome and KDE, to help them work better together. Jono officially works for Canonical, a company founded by South African entrepreneur Mark Shuttleworth for the promotion of Ubuntu and other free software projects.

Patrick Collison Puts the Squeeze on Wikipedia

Patrick Collison Puts the Squeeze on Wikipedia
By James Turner
July 2, 2009

Think about Wikipedia, what some consider the most complete general survey of human knowledge we have at the moment. Now imagine squeezing it down to fit comfortably on an 8GB iPhone. Sound daunting? Well, that's just what Patrick Collison's iPhone application does. App Store purchasers of Collison's open source application can browser and search the full text of Wikipedia when stuck in a plane, or trapped in the middle of nowhere (or as defined by AT&T coverage...) Collison will be presenting a talk on how he did it at OSCON, O'Reilly's Open Source conference at the end of July, and he spent some time talking to me about it recently.

Walking the Censorship Tightrope with Google's Marissa Mayer

Walking the Censorship Tightrope with Google's Marissa Mayer
By James Turner
June 15, 2009

Google sometimes finds itself at an difficult crossroad of wanting to make as much information available to as many people as possible, while still trying to obey the laws of the countries they operate in. I recently had a chance to talk to Marissa Mayer, who started at Google as their first female engineer, and has now risen to the ranks of vice president in charge of some of Google's most critical product areas, such as search, maps and Chrome. We talked about some of Google's future product directions, and also about how Google makes the decision as to when information has to be withheld from the users. Marissa will be delivering a keynote address at the O'Reilly Velocity conference next week.

Velocity Preview - The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number at Microsoft

Velocity Preview - The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number at Microsoft
By James Turner
May 18, 2009

The psychology of engineering user experiences on the web can be difficult. How much rich content can you place up on a page before the load time drives away your visitors? Get the answer wrong, and you can end up with a ghost town; get it right and you're a star. Eric Schurman knows this well, since he is responsible for just those kind of trade-off decisions on some of Microsoft's highest traffic pages. He'll be speaking at O'Reilly's Velocity Conference in June, and he recently talked with us about how Microsoft tests different user experiences on small groups of visitors.

Google Engineering Explains Microformat Support in Searches

Google Engineering Explains Microformat Support in Searches
By James Turner
May 12, 2009

Today, Google is releasing support for parsing and display of microformat data in their search results. While the initial launch will be limited to a specific set of partners (including LinkedIn, Yelp and CNet reviews), the intent is that very quickly, anyone who marks their pages up with the appropriate microformat data will be able to make their information understandable...

Velocity Preview - Keeping Twitter Tweeting

By James Turner
May 7, 2009

If there's a site that exemplifies explosive growth, it has to be Twitter. It seems like everywhere you look, someone is Tweeting, or talking about Tweeting, or Tweeting about Tweeting. Keeping the site responsive under that type of increase is no easy job, but it's one that John Adams has to deal with every day, working in Twitter Operations. He'll...

Where 2.0 Preview - DARPA's TIGR Project Helps Platoons Stay Alive

Where 2.0 Preview - DARPA's TIGR Project Helps Platoons Stay Alive
By James Turner
April 21, 2009

Soldiers on the ground need to know the territory they patrol like the back of their hand. Knowing where insurgents like to plant IEDs or that an important political leader lives in a certain house can prove the difference between success and failure. But what happens when a platoon transfers out of Baghdad and a brand new one moves in? All that experience used to go out the window. But thanks to TIGR, a map-based knowledge-base developed by DARPA, platoons can now document information they learn on patrol, as well as accessing the latest intelligence. In this interview, hear how TIGR was developed, how it is helping troops stay alive and perform their missions better, and what the realities of deploying a brand new technology into a war zone are.

Where 2.0 Preview - Building the SENSEable City

By James Turner
April 15, 2009

A lot of information we have about cities comes through direct and intentioned observation and study, but could a lot of the time and expense spent on this research be garnered just as well by mining the data that citizens generate in their day-to-day lives through cell phone traffic and internet usage? That's one of the questions that Andrea Vaccari, a research associate at the MIT SENSEable City Lab, is trying to find out. Andrea will be speaking at the Where 2.0 Conference in May on the research that the SENSEable City Project is doing.

Where 2.0 Preview - Tyler Bell on Yahoo's Open Location Project

Where 2.0 Preview - Tyler Bell on Yahoo's Open Location Project
By James Turner
April 14, 2009

Location can be a vague concept to pin down. To a surveyor, location means latitude and longitude accurate to a few millimeters, while to a cab driver, a street address would be much more useful. If you're German, I can tell you that I live in the United States. To a Californian, I live in New Hampshire. And to someone from Manchester, I live in Derry. Unfortunately, the way that location is currently stored and presented online is both non-uniform and frequently at a level of precision inappropriate for the end-user. That's part of what Open Location is trying to fix. Tyler Bell, who took his doctorate from Oxford to Yahoo, is currently the product lead for the Yahoo Geo Technology Group. At O'Reilly's Where 2.0 Conference, he'll be discussing Open Location.

Where 2.0 Preview - Pelago's Jeff Holden on Creating Stories Out of Your Life

Where 2.0 Preview - Pelago's Jeff Holden on Creating Stories Out of Your Life
By James Turner
April 10, 2009

Tools like Twitter and Facebook have let people share in near real-time what they are doing. Now with a new generation of location aware mobile devices, you can tell your friends or the entire world where you're doing it. Jeff Holden's company, Pelago, is one of many trying to come up with a killer application that blends location, images, text and social networking to create a new kind of group awareness. Before starting Pelago, Jeff had a long career as the Senior Vice President of Consumer Websites for Amazon and before that, the Director of Supply Chain Optimization Systems. In this preview of his talk at Where 2.0, Jeff talks about creating stories through location-tagged information, distributing software through Apple's App Store, his work at Amazon, and the privacy implications of location becoming ubiquitous.

Where 2.0 Preview: Eric Gunderson of Development Seed on the Promise of Open Data

Where 2.0 Preview: Eric Gunderson of Development Seed on the Promise of Open Data
By James Turner
April 3, 2009

When we think about how government uses geographic information, we tend to think about USGS maps or census data, very centralized and preplanned projects meant to produce a very specific set of products. But Development Seed believes that there are a lot more that could be done if these types of data could be mashed up easily with each other as well as with alternate sources such as social networks. Eric Gunderson, President of Development Seed, will speaking at O'Reilly's Where 2.0 Conference in June, and he recently took some time to speak to us about the potential benefits that open access to government data brings.


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