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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: 10 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 10, 2014

Rise of the Patent Troll: Everything is a Remix (YouTube) — primer on patent trolls, in language anyone can follow. Part of the fixpatents.org campaign. (via BoingBoing) Petabytes of Field Data (GigaOm) — Farm Intelligence using sensors and computer vision …

Four short links: 19 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 19, 2014

The Transformation of the Workplace Through Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, and Automation — fascinating legal questions about the rise of the automated workforce. . Is an employer required to bargain if it wishes to acquire robots to do work previously performed …

Battery technology is not keeping pace with computing power demands

By Matthew Gast
March 13, 2014

I’ve spent the past decade of my professional life working to enable connectivity everywhere with Wi-Fi. Back when I started working with Wi-Fi, it was a way of connecting laptops to the network more easily. These days, Wi-Fi is more …

Four short links: 9 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 9, 2014

Artificial Labour and Ubiquitous Interactive Machine Learning (Greg Borenstein) — in which design fiction, actual machine learning, legal discovery, and comics meet. One of the major themes to emerge in the 2H2K project is something we’ve taken to calling “artificial …

Four short links: 2 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 2, 2014

slic3r — converts a digital 3D model into printing instructions for your 3D printer. It cuts the model into horizontal slices (layers), generates toolpaths to fill them and calculates the amount of material to be extruded. gCodeViewer — GCode is …

Four short links: 31 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 31, 2013

Toyota Manufacturing Principles (Joseph Cohen) — Jidoka: Automation with a Human Touch. The idea of jidoka is that humans should work with machines to produce the best possible outcome, leveraging the execution ability of a machine and the judgement of …

Four short links: 23 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 23, 2013

DelFly Explorer — 20 grams, 9 minutes of autonomous flight, via barometer and new stereo vision system. (via Wayne Radinsky) Banning Autonomous Killing Machines (Tech Republic) — While no autonomous weapons have been built yet, it’s not a theoretical concern, …

Four short links: 20 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 20, 2013

A History of the Future in 100 Objects — is out! It’s design fiction, describing the future of technology in faux Wired-like product writeups. Amazon already beating the timeline. Projects and Priorities Without Managers (Ryan Carson) — love what he’s …

Preventing Problems in PHP Security

By Chris Cornutt
December 19, 2013

As any PHP developer that’s been around for a while will tell you, there’s a certain kind of stigma that comes with the language. They’ll hear it from their peers using other languages that PHP is “sloppy” or that “it’s …

Four short links: 11 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 11, 2013

Meet Jack, or What The Government Could Do With All That Location Data (ACLU) — sham slidedeck which helps laypeople see how our data exhaust can be used against us to keep us safe. PirateBay Moves Domains — different ccTLDs …

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: 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 …

Patents, they’re not what they used to be

By Jim Stogdill
November 21, 2013

When I was about 16, I went to visit my grandfather in Denver, where he’d decided to retire. He moved there after spending 30 years in Midland, Michigan working for Dow Chemical. I guess he went west for the dry …

Four short links: 18 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 18, 2013

The Virtuous Pipeline of Code (Public Resource) — Chicago partnering with Public Resource to open its legal codes for good. “This is great! What can we do to help?” Bravo Chicago, and everyone else—take note! Smithsonian’s 3D Data — models …

Four short links: 14 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 14, 2013

TPPA Trades Away Internet Freedoms (EFF) — commentary on the wikileaked text of the trade agreement. Deep Learning 101 — introduction to the machine learning trend of choice. Large Scale Rapid Prototyping Robots — an informal list of large rapid …

Four short links: 6 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 6, 2013

Apple Transparency Report (PDF) — contains a warrant canary, the statement Apple has never received an order under Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act. We would expect to challenge an order if served on us which will of course …

Four short links: 1 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 1, 2013

Analogy as the Core of Cognition (YouTube) — a Douglas Hofstadter lecture at Stanford. Why Isn’t Programming Futuristic? (Ian Bicking) — delicious provocations for the future of programming languages. Border Check — visualisation of where your packet go, and the …

Four short links: 14 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

An Interactive Machine Learning System for Recognizing Hand Gestures (Greg Borenstein) — a mixed-initiative interactive machine learning system for recognizing hand gestures. It attempts to give the user visibility into the classifier’s prediction confidence and control of the conditions under …

Four short links: 23 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 23, 2013

Bradley Manning and the Two Americas (Quinn Norton) — The first America built the Internet, but the second America moved onto it. And they both think they own the place now. The best explanation you’ll find for wtf is going …

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: 14 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2013

bookcision — bookmarklet to download your Kindle highlights. (via Nelson Minar) Algorithm for a Perfectly Balanced Photo Gallery — remember this when it comes time to lay out your 2013 “Happy Holidays!” card. Long Stories (Fast Company Labs) — Our …

Four short links: 11 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 11, 2013

Sifted — 7 minute animation set in a point cloud world, using photogrammetry in film-making. My brilliant cousin Ben wrote the software behind it. See this newspaper article and tv report for more. Vehicle Tech Out of Sync with Drivers’ …

Four short links: 8 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 8, 2013

QCL: A Language for Quantum Computing — QCL is a high level, architecture independent programming language for quantum computers, with a syntax derived from classical procedural languages like C or Pascal. This allows for the complete implementation and simulation of …

Four short links: 18 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2013

Our Backbone Stack (Pamela Fox) — fascinating glimpse into the tech used and why. Automating Card Games Using OpenCV and Python — My vision for an automated version of the game was simple. Players sit across a table on which …

Four short links: 20 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 20, 2013

Our Fair Deal — international coalition (EFF, InternetNZ, Demand Progress, Creative Freedom Foundation, many others) raising awareness and petitioning lawmakers to reject copyright proposals that restrict the open Internet, access to knowledge, economic opportunity and our fundamental rights. (via Susan …

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 …

Four short links: 26 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 24, 2013

The Engagement Cliff — Gallup surveyed nearly 500,000 students in grades five through 12 from more than 1,700 public schools in 37 states in 2012 and found that by the time students get to high school only about 4 in …

Let’s do this the hard way

By Edd Dumbill
March 27, 2013

Recent discoveries of security vulnerabilities in Rails and MongoDB led me to thinking about how people get to write software. In engineering, you don’t get to build a structure people can walk into without years of study. In software, we …

SCOTUS “first sale” ruling a big win for everyone but content publishers and software makers

By Jenn Webb
March 20, 2013

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Kirtsaeng dba Bluechristine99 v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. yesterday, upholding the “first sale” doctrine in the case of copies of copyrighted materials lawfully made outside the United States. O’Reilly GM and publisher Joe …

Four short links: 20 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 20, 2013

Digital Music Consumption on the Internet: Evidence from Clickstream Data (Scribd) — The goal of this paper is to analyze the behavior of digital music consumers on the Internet. Using clickstream data on a panel of more than 16,000 European …

Four short links: 14 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 14, 2013

Our Weirdness is Free (Gabriella Coleman) — Often lacking an overarching strategy, Anonymous operates tactically, along the lines proposed by the French Jesuit thinker Michel de Certeau. “Because it does not have a place, a tactic depends on time—it is …

Four short links: 7 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 7, 2013

Pharmacovigilance — Signals from The Crowd (PDF) — in the NY Times’ words: Using automated software tools to examine queries by 6 million Internet users taken from Web search logs in 2010, the researchers looked for searches relating to an …

Four short links: 4 March 2013

By Nat Torkington
March 4, 2013

Life Inside the Aaron Swartz Investigation — do hard things and risk failure. What else are we on this earth for? crossfilter — open source (Apache 2) JavaScript library for exploring large multivariate datasets in the browser. Crossfilter supports extremely …

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 …

Privacy in the Online Ecosystem: Obligations and Best Practices Are Evolving

By Alysa Hutnik
February 8, 2013

At the end of 2012, the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) hosted the public workshop, “The Big Picture – Comprehensive Online Data Collection,” which focused on privacy concerns relating to the comprehensive collection of consumer online data by Internet service providers …

Four short links: 29 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 29, 2013

FISA Amendment Hits Non-Citizens — FISAAA essentially makes it lawful for the US to conduct purely political surveillance on foreigners’ data accessible in US Cloud providers. [...] [A] US judiciary subcommittee on FISAAA in 2008 stated that the Fourth Amendment …

Four short links: 22 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 22, 2013

Design Like Nobody’s Patenting Anything (Wired) — profile of Maker favourites Sparkfun. Instead of relying on patents for protection, the team prefers to outrace other entrants in the field. “The open source model just forces us to innovate,” says Boudreaux. …

Four short links: 21 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 21, 2012

Amazon’s Product Development Technique — the product manager should keep iterating on the press release until they’ve come up with benefits that actually sound like benefits. Iterating on a press release is a lot less expensive than iterating on the …

Four short links: 11 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 11, 2012

Burrito Bomber — drone that delivers burritos. (via BoingBoing) Copyright Hardliners Adopt the Language of Reform — Sadly, in the end, Barnier’s “copyright fit for the Internet age” looks depressingly like the current, dysfunctional version: one based on a non-existent …

Four short links: 31 October 2012

By Nat Torkington
October 31, 2012

Turing Complete User — General Purpose Users can write an article in their e-mail client, layout their business card in Excel and shave in front of a web cam. They can also find a way to publish photos online without …

Four short links: 25 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 24, 2012

Stewart Brand Interview (Wired) — full of interesting tidbits. This line from the interviewer, Kevin Kelly, resonated: One other trajectory I have noticed about the past 20 years: Excitement about the future has waned. The future is deflating. It is …

Four short links: 16 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 17, 2012

Aaron Swartz Defense Fund — American computer systems are under attack every day of the week from foreign governments, and the idiot prosecutor is wasting resources doubling down on this vindictive nonsense. Baghdad Community Hackerspace Workshops (Kickstarter) — Makerspace in …

Four short links: 14 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 14, 2012

Post Lingo — automatically transcribe incoming emails from foreign tongues. (via Brian McConnell) All Briefs Should Now Be in Comic Book Form — does wonders for mass audience acceptance of the arguments. (via Andy Lester) Magic Carpet Can Detect and …

Four short links: 10 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 10, 2012

The Disturbing, Unchecked Rise of the Administrative Subpoena (Wired) — With a federal official’s signature, banks, hospitals, bookstores, telecommunications companies and even utilities and internet service providers — virtually all businesses — are required to hand over sensitive data on …

Four short links: 4 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 4, 2012

Visual Strategies — book of useful tips for improving visualisations, described as “a useful Tufte”. (via NY Times) Copyright Enforcement Bots Killed Hugo Streaming (io9) — automated content policing ‘bots killed the live stream, and uStream wouldn’t bring it back. …

Four short links: 3 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 3, 2012

The Seductive Allure of Edu-Tech Reform (Chris Lehmann) — While it may be seductive to think that rooms of children on computers, each following some computerized instruction at their pace, monitored by school aides, with a handful of teachers around …

Four short links: 30 August 2012

By Nat Torkington
August 30, 2012

TOS;DR — terms of service rendered comprehensible. “Make the hard stuff easy” is a great template for good ideas, and this just nails it. Sick of Impact Factors — typically only 15% of the papers in a journal account for …

Hawaii and health care: A small state takes a giant step forward

By Ann Waldo
August 21, 2012

In an era characterized by political polarization and legislative stalemate, the tiny state of Hawaii has just demonstrated extraordinary leadership. The rest of the country should now recognize, applaud, and most of all, learn from Hawaii’s accomplishment. Hawaii enacted a …


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