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Four short links: Jan 1 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 1, 2014

Witrack — tracks the 3D motion of a user from the radio signals reflected off her body. It works even if the person is occluded from the WiTrack device or in a different room. WiTrack does not require the user …

Four short links: 17 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2013

Pencil — An open-source GUI prototyping tool that’s available for ALL platforms. lmctfy — open source version of Google’s container stack, which provides Linux application containers. ASCII WWDC — searchable full-text transcriptions of WWDC sessions. Cryptogeddon — an online infosec …

Four short links: 10 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 10, 2013

ActiveLit — interactive fiction as literacy tool. (via Text Adventures blog) Your Car is About to go Open Source (ComputerWorld) — an open-source IVI operating system would create a reusable platform consisting of core services, middleware and open application layer …

Four short links: 19 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 19, 2013

How Jim Henson Turned His Art Into a Business (Longreads) — When Henson joined on to the experimental PBS show Sesame Street in 1968, he was underpaid for his services creating Big Bird and Oscar. Yet he spent his free …

Four short links: 9 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 8, 2013

How Google’s Defragging Android (Ars Technica) — Android’s becoming a pudgy microkernel for the Google Play Services layer that’s in userland, closed source, and a way to bypass carriers’ lag for upgrades. Booting a Self-Signed Linux Kernel (Greg Kroah-Hartman) — …

Will Developers Move to Sputnik?

By Meghan Blanchette
August 22, 2013

Barton George (@barton808) is the Director of Development Programs at Dell, and the lead on Project Sputnik—Dell’s Ubuntu-based developer laptop (and its accompanying software). He sat down with me at OSCON to talk about what’s happened in the past year …

Four short links: 17 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 17, 2013

Hideout — augmented reality books. (via Hacker News) Patterns and Practices for Open Source Software Success (Stephen Walli) — Successful FOSS projects grow their communities outward to drive contribution to the core project. To build that community, a project needs …

Hadoop Training, OpenStreetMap Sprint, MakersFactory Kids’ Programming Camp, and More

By Jenn Webb
June 3, 2013

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note. Twisted Python: the engine of your Internet webcast: Jessica McKellar presents an architectural overview of the Python …

Four short links: 28 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 28, 2012

Mobile Content Strategy — Mobile is a catalyst that can help you make your content tighter without loss of clarity or information. If you make your content work well on mobile, it will work everywhere. Excellent presentation, one I want …

Seeking prior art where it most often is found in software

By Andy Oram
August 28, 2012

Patent ambushes are on the rise again, and cases such as Apple/Samsung shows that prior art really has to swing the decision–obviousness or novelty is not a strong enough defense. Obviousness and novelty are subjective decisions made by a patent …

The State of Open Source

By Kevin Shockey
June 26, 2012

Look at Pepsi and Coke. Do you think that they are willing to accept a decline in any aspect of their brand? No, they keep pushing, making sure everyone knows what they are drinking. I propose a similar campaign for open source. Let us make sure that users of cloud computing, for example, know what they are using. They are using free and open source software. Google Drive anyone?

Developer Week in Review: When giant corporations collide

Developer Week in Review: When giant corporations collide
By James Turner
April 6, 2012

If Microsoft and Linux can kiss and make up, why is Oracle having such a hard time getting along with Google? Elsewhere, a look inside elaborate game cheats.

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...

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.

Developer Week in Review: Flash marginalization continues

Developer Week in Review: Flash marginalization continues
By James Turner
February 23, 2012

If you use Linux, either start using Chrome as your browser or get ready to give up Flash. A developer faces execution in Iran because of how someone used software he wrote, and the world gets to see what it's like to build iPads and iPhones.

Four short links: 10 October 2011

By Nat Torkington
October 10, 2011

Why Education Startups Do Not Succeed --This fundamental investment vs. expenditure mindset changes everything. You think of education as fundamentally a quality problem. The average person thinks of education as fundamentally a cost problem. This and many other insights that repay the reading. (via Hacker News) Romo -- smartphone robotics platform Kickstarter project. Google Cloud SQL -- Google offers...

Developer Week in Review: Linux turns the big 3.0

Developer Week in Review: Linux turns the big 3.0
By James Turner
July 28, 2011

The Linux kernel gets to version 3.0. Meanwhile, Oracle doesn't seem to remember the warm reception that Sun gave Android, and big players get lawsuits on their doorsteps.

Helios Project Director Felled By Stroke; Linux Community Support Sought

Helios Project Director Felled By Stroke; Linux Community Support Sought
By Caitlyn Martin
June 14, 2011

One of the people behind the scenes has been Mr. Stark's partner, Diane Franklin, who has served as Logistics and Planning Director for the Helios Project for the past year. Ms. Franklin is retired and has served in this capacity without pay. Her skills allowed the project to better organize and distribute the resources they receive to those who need them.

Four short links: 9 June 2011

By Nat Torkington
June 9, 2011

Optimizing MongoDB -- shorter field names, barely hundreds of ops/s when not in RAM, updates hold a lock while they fetch the original from disk ... it's a pretty grim story. (via Artur Bergman) Is There a New Geek Anti-Intellectualism? -- focus is absolutely necessary if we are to gain knowledge. We will be ignoramuses indeed, if we merely...

Adobe: 64-bit Flash Player Later This Year

Adobe:  64-bit Flash Player Later This Year
By Caitlyn Martin
June 9, 2011

The note from Mr. Offerman reads, in part: "I can confirm that Adobe will make 64-bit support in Flash Player "Square" available in a shipping release of Flash Player later this year."

On Virtualization and The Cloud: The Most Ridiculous Article I've Read in a Very Long Time

By Caitlyn Martin
June 8, 2011

In a piece published this morning called Don't Throw Away Your Physical Servers Just Yet, the author, Ken Hess, wrote a piece that ridicules and derides anyone who doesn't virtualize literally all, as in every last one, of their servers. No, I'm not exaggerating.

One Year Later: Adobe Abandons 64-bit Linux Again

One Year Later: Adobe Abandons 64-bit Linux Again
By Caitlyn Martin
June 7, 2011

Once again there are known security vulnerabilities in the now eight month old beta and no patches are available. In addition, the community forum page for discussing Flash Player "Square" has been deleted from the Adobe Labs website. If Adobe is continuing development on a 64-bit version of Flash Player they are not sharing any information with the public at this time. For the time being Adobe has effectively abandoned 64-bit Linux once again.

Feeding the community fuels advances at Red Hat and JBoss

By Andy Oram
May 8, 2011

Red Hat's usual modus operandi is the precise inverse of most companies based on open source. This drives what I heard at Red Hat Summit and JBoss World, solid progress along the lines laid out by Red Hat and JBoss in previous years.

Four short links: 11 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 11, 2011

Fundraising on Facebook -- only 7% [of companies surveyed] cited social networking as one of their most effective sources for customer acquisition [...] only 2.4% of non-profits were able to raise over 10k through Facebook in 2010. (via Chris Brogan) Groklaw Closes -- There will be other battles, and there already are, because the same people that propped SCO...

Four short links: 7 April 2011

By Nat Torkington
April 7, 2011

The Freight Train That is Android -- Google’s aim is defensive not offensive. They are not trying to make a profit on Android or Chrome. They want to take any layer that lives between themselves and the consumer and make it free (or even less than free). [...] In essence, they are not just building a moat; Google is...

Four short links: 18 March 2011

By Nat Torkington
March 18, 2011

Titles and Promotions (Ben Horowitz) -- Andreessen argues that people ask for many things from a company: salary, bonus, stock options, span of control, and titles. Of those, title is by far the cheapest, so it makes sense to give the highest titles possible. The hierarchy should have Presidents, Chiefs, and Senior Executive Vice Presidents. If it makes people...

Four short links: 25 February 2011

By Nat Torkington
February 25, 2011

Canonical's New Plan for Banshee -- Canonical prepare the Linux distribution Ubuntu. They will distribute the popular iTunes-alike Banshee, but instead of the standard Amazon store plugin (which generates much $ in affiliate revenue for the GNOME Foundation) they will have Canonical's own Amazon store plugin and keep 75% of the revenue (25% going to the GNOME Foundation). They're...

Developer Week in Review

Developer Week in Review
By James Turner
February 23, 2011

Coming up on the Week in Review: Revolt of the App Store developers, Ubuntu's innocence lost, and a report we swear you'll like.

Developer Year in Review: Operating Systems

Developer Year in Review: Operating Systems
By James Turner
January 5, 2011

Last year saw Linux fight free of one legal morass, and perhaps right into another; Microsoft take another swing at replacing XP; and Apple bring the App Store model to the desktop.

Four short links: 30 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 30, 2010

Groupon Editorial Manual (Scribd) -- When introducing something nonsensical (fake history, mixed metaphors), don't wink at the reader to let them in on the joke. Don't call it out with quotes, parenthesis, or any other narrative device. Speak your ignorance with total authority. Assert it as fact. This is how you can surprise the reader. If you call out...

Four short links: 21 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 21, 2010

Cash Cow Disease -- quite harsh on Google and Microsoft for "ingesting not investing" in promising startups, then disconnecting them from market signals. Like pixie dust, potential future advertising revenues can be sprinkled on any revenue-negative scheme to make it look brilliant. (via Dan Martell) Your Apps Are Watching You (Wall Street Journal) -- the iPhone apps transmitted more...

Four short links: 17 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 17, 2010

Down the ls(1) Rabbit Hole -- exactly how ls(1) does what it does, from logic to system calls to kernel. This is the kind of deep understanding of systems that lets great programmers cut great code. (via Hacker News) Towards a scientific concept of free will as a biological trait: spontaneous actions and decision-making in invertebrates (Royal Society) --...

Developer Week in Review

Developer Week in Review
By James Turner
December 8, 2010

Not one, not two, but three mobile OS events in the last week, including a sneak peak of the PSP handset. Also: The final nail is driven into the myth of the Linux developer, courtesy of the Linux Foundation itself.

Getting Drupal and mod_security to Play Nicely Together on Red Hat 5.x Servers

By Caitlyn Martin
November 3, 2010

Deploying Drupal on an Apache web server with mod_security or adding mod_security to an Apache server with Drupal running should be as easy as installing the relevant packages. Unfortunately, on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.4 and 5.5 servers it just isn't so.

Developer Week in Review

By James Turner
October 27, 2010

Heading up developer news this week: Is XP really dead this time? Linux release notes are an exercise in futility. Apple pulls the rug out from two development environments on the Mac. And Adobe gives tablet programmers more options.

Strata Week: Statistically speaking

Strata Week: Statistically speaking
By Julie Steele
October 21, 2010

In this edition of Strata Week: The London Stock Exchange moves from .Net to open source; learn how graphical scales can lie; the Euroean Central Bank president calls for better financial statistics; and we bid farewell to the father of fractals.

Four short links: 19 October 2010

By Nat Torkington
October 19, 2010

YIMBY -- Swedish site for "Yes, In My Back Yard". Provides an opportunity for the net to aggregate positive desires ("please put a bus stop on my street", "we want wind power") rather than simply aggregating complaints. (via cityofsound on Twitter) Getting People in the Door -- a summary of some findings about people's approaches to the physical layout...

Loss Leaders and Linux

Loss Leaders and Linux
By Caitlyn Martin
September 28, 2010

I bought a low-end, small footprint desktop: an eMachines EL-1300G. The cost at a local big box retailer was $159. A friend of mine was so impressed she went to the store right before Christmas to buy one as a gift for her sister. The price had dropped to $149. Of course, the systems came preloaded with Windows. Linux was not an option.

Controlling Interest in Mandriva Sold To Russian Firm; Former Developers Fork Distribution

Controlling Interest in Mandriva Sold To Russian Firm; Former Developers Fork Distribution
By Caitlyn Martin
September 20, 2010

Last Friday the newspaper Vedomosti reported that a Russian firm, NGI, has purchased a controlling interest in Mandriva.

Debunking the 1% Myth

By Caitlyn Martin
September 7, 2010

It seems like almost every day someone in the tech press or someone commenting in a technical forum will claim that Linux adoption on the desktop (including laptops) is insignificant. The number that is thrown around is 1%. These claims are even repeated by some who advocate for Linux adoption. Both the idea that Linux market share on the desktop is insignificant and the 1% figure are simply false and have been for many years.

Are You Intimidated By Breakfast Cereal?

By Caitlyn Martin
September 4, 2010

An article by Graham Morrison for Tech Radar UK this past week struck a bit of a raw nerve for me. It was one of a type we see periodically in the tech press and the title pretty much tells the story:  The trouble with Linux: there's too much choice. To Mr. Morrison and all the others who have written articles like this one I say: Hogwash!

Gnash 0.8.8: A Huge Improvement Over Previous Versions

By Caitlyn Martin
August 27, 2010

Early this week Gnash 0.8.8 was released. Despite the small increment in version number, which would make this seem like a minor maintenance release, the difference between version 0.8.8 and the earlier 0.8.7 is like night and day.

Report from Debian Conference

By Andy Oram
August 6, 2010

DebConf 2010 was held in New York City. This blog covers several interesting presentations and some general observations about the Debian community.

Four short links: 28 July 2010

By Nat Torkington
July 28, 2010

The end of the road for the Nexus One (LWN) -- The pessimistic among us can be forgiven for concluding that the battle for open handsets is being lost. The carriers determine which devices will be successful in the market, and they have absolutely no interest in openness. Customers are irresistibly drawn to heavily advertised, shiny devices with low...

Red Hat Overhauls the Enterprise Software Stack

By Andy Oram
June 24, 2010

Red Hat is openly badgering large, IT-driven organizations to move away from comfortable patterns and to adopt what they believe to be the best virtualization platform, the best cloud API, the best data storage mechanism, and so on.

Mandriva Saved By New Investors

Mandriva Saved By New Investors
By Caitlyn Martin
June 22, 2010

After weeks of concern about the "catastrophic state of it's finances" and an indefiniete delay in the release of version 2010.1, the French website LeMagIT is reporting that Mandriva has been saved by new investors.

Running 64-bit Linux? No Flash For You!

By Caitlyn Martin
June 18, 2010

Adobe has, at least temporarily, ended support for Flash Player on 64-bit Linux. No updated version is available. Adobe's message for 64-bit Linux users, at least for now, is "No Flash for you!"

Avoiding Linux Installation Problems on the HP Mini 110 and Mini 210 Netbooks

Avoiding Linux Installation Problems on the HP Mini 110 and Mini 210 Netbooks
By Caitlyn Martin
June 13, 2010

I first ran into what turns out to be a recurring problem when I installed Pardus 2009 last fall. The installer would lock up... Since then I have run into an almost identical problem in openSUSE11.2, Slackware 13.1 and SalixOS 13.1... It appears that the wireless chipset as implemented in these netbooks conflicts with the ssb module, causing the system to freeze.

I'm a BSD

By Rick Jelliffe
June 11, 2010

This week I am taking FreeBSD 8.0 for a spin. So far, I like it enough that it will probably be my normal desktop environment. It seems to have the right stuff: my PC seems markedly faster. FreeBSD's slogan is...


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