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Horseshoes, hand grenades, and building mobile applications

By Matthew Gast
March 28, 2014

As the old proverb goes, “close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades.” It doesn’t quite apply when building mobile applications, however. Smaller screens and the resistance to extensive keyboard input define the input and output constraints of mobile apps, …

Exploring Proximity with iBeacons

By Hari K Gottipati
January 7, 2014

In the last couple of months, iBeacon is making a lot of noise. iBeacons are small wireless sensors placed inside any physical space that transmit data to your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth 4.0 and Bluetooth …

Upward Mobility: Why iBeacons Matter

By James Turner
October 21, 2013

Fans of near field communications payment solutions were, yet again, disappointed when the new batch of iPhones failed to include NFC in their list of features. While it might indeed be nifty for iPhone users to be able to join …

Four short links: 24 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 24, 2013

Measuring Heart Rate with a Smartphone Camera — not yet realtime, but promising sensor development. iBeacons — low-power, short-distance location monitoring beacons. Any iOS device that supports Bluetooth Low Energy can become an iBeacon, and can detect other iBeacons when …

Four short links: 7 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 7, 2013

Toxic Behaviour — only 5% of toxic behavior comes from toxic people; 77% of it comes from people who are usually good. More Encryption Is Not The Solution (Poul-Henning Kamp) — To an intelligence agency, a well-thought-out weakness can easily …

Location Functionality in Mobile Apps

By Rachel Roumeliotis
July 1, 2013

Andy Gup (@agup) is a Developer Evangelist at ESRI and OSCON 2013 Speaker. In this interview we talk about location capabilities in apps as well as location analytics. NOTE: If you are interested in attending OSCON to check out Andy’s …

Four short links: 25 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 25, 2013

Cliodynamics: History as Science — a systematic application of the scientific method to history: verbal theories should be translated into mathematical models, precise predictions derived, and then rigorously tested on empirical material. In short, history needs to become an analytical, …

Four short links: 24 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 24, 2013

Reading Runes in Animal Movement (YouTube) — accessible TEDxRiverTawe 2013 talk by Professor Rory Wilson, on his work tracking movements of animals in time and space. The value comes from high-resolution time series data: many samples/second, very granular. Best Science …

Square Wallet, the Apple Store, and Uber: Software Above the Level of a Single Device

By Tim O'Reilly
November 8, 2012

Back in 2003, Dave Stutz, in his parting letter to Microsoft, wrote a prescient line about the future of technology: “Useful software written above the level of the single device will command high margins for a long time to come. Stop …

Christopher Schmitt and Simon St. Laurent discuss HTML5

Christopher Schmitt and Simon St. Laurent discuss HTML5
By Laurie Petrycki
April 12, 2012

HTML5 author Christopher Schmitt talks with O'Reilly editor Simon St. Laurent about why it's a great time to be a web developer.

Top Stories: March 19-23, 2012

Top Stories: March 19-23, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 23, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: StreetEasy's Sebastian Delmont explained why his team left Google Maps behind, we looked at the ins and outs of the Dart programming platform, and Jim Stogdill considered the alternatives to always-on living.

Why StreetEasy rolled its own maps

Why StreetEasy rolled its own maps
By David Sims
March 19, 2012

Google's decision to start charging for its Maps API is leading some companies to mull other options. In this interview, StreetEasy's Sebastian Delmont explains why and how his team made a change.

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 16, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Computational linguist Robert Munro explained why location language is far more complex than many realize, we looked at how Kickstarter's crowdfunding is helping game developers, and Joe Wikert explored the major trends shaping ebook prices.

Understanding place and space in a decreasingly English world

By David Sims
March 12, 2012

Robert Munro, a computational linguist and speaker at Where 2012, says the subtleties of spatial distinctions are growing in importance as more of the world's digital information takes the form of non-English, unstructured text.

Understanding place and space in a decreasingly English world

Understanding place and space in a decreasingly English world
By David Sims
March 12, 2012

Robert Munro, a computational linguist and speaker at Where 2012, says the subtleties of spatial distinctions are growing in importance as more of the world's digital information takes the form of non-English, unstructured text.

Why Uber's data fascinates a neuroscientist

By David Sims
March 6, 2012

Neuroscientist Bradley Voytek's interest in networks and nodes goes beyond the human brain. Here, he discusses the data generated by car-service company Uber and how the company has influenced his research.

Why Uber's data fascinates a neuroscientist

Why Uber's data fascinates a neuroscientist
By David Sims
March 6, 2012

Neuroscientist Bradley Voytek's interest in networks and nodes goes beyond the human brain. Here, he discusses the data generated by car-service company Uber and how the company has influenced his research.

Makers and hackers: The Where Conference is looking for you

By Brady Forrest
February 3, 2012

The 2012 Where Conference is looking for makers, hackers, developers and do-it-yourselfers who are working in the geolocation and mapping spaces.

Makers and hackers: The Where Conference is looking for you

Makers and hackers: The Where Conference is looking for you
By Brady Forrest
February 3, 2012

The 2012 Where Conference is looking for makers, hackers, developers and do-it-yourselfers who are working in the geolocation and mapping spaces.

Why indoor navigation is so hard

Why indoor navigation is so hard
By Nick Farina
October 11, 2011

The mapping applications built into smartphones are fantastic ... until you arrive at your destination. Here, Nick Farina explains how indoor navigation apps can and should work.

ePayments Week: The rise of location-triggered offers

ePayments Week: The rise of location-triggered offers
By David Sims
August 25, 2011

Placecast offers merchants a geofence to corral customers. Also, UK researcher YouGov says iPhone users are more willing to buy with their phones, and telecoms bury Androids with crapware.

Developer Week in Review: Lion drops pre-installed MySQL

Developer Week in Review: Lion drops pre-installed MySQL
By James Turner
August 3, 2011

A pre-installed version of MySQL is noticeably absent from Lion Server, South Korea penalizes Apple for the location brouhaha, and Java 7's compiler injects a bit of randomness into software development.

Strata Week: Google Plus focuses on data control

By Audrey Watters
June 30, 2011

Google launches Google+, saying "It's your data" and giving users better control over sharing. Yahoo spins out its Hadoop division into a separate company. And a self-published author creates a book out of his iPhone tracking maps.

Strata Week: Google Plus focuses on data control

Strata Week: Google Plus focuses on data control
By Audrey Watters
June 30, 2011

Google launches Google+, saying "It's your data" and giving users better control over sharing. Yahoo spins out its Hadoop division into a separate company. And a self-published author creates a book out of his iPhone tracking maps.

Want to know where to build a new store? Check your human density data

Want to know where to build a new store? Check your human density data
By Jenn Webb
May 25, 2011

Ted Morgan, Skyhook co-founder and CEO, discusses the value of human density data and why it will help drive marketing, business and development decisions.

ePayments Week: Can check-in services prove their value?

ePayments Week: Can check-in services prove their value?
By David Sims
May 12, 2011

A recent survey questions whether the teen market has any interest in check-ins. Also, Facebook gets access to Skype through its investor Microsoft, and some thoughts on taking Facebook Credits and Apple's payment system beyond their walled gardens.

Softly buzzing phones could yield better augmented reality

Softly buzzing phones could yield better augmented reality
By Jenn Webb
May 5, 2011

Dennis Crowley, co-founder of Foursquare, says subtle interactions — like a buzzing phone — could lead to better augmented reality experiences than those provided through cameras and screens.

ePayments Week: What does the attention around tracking mean?

ePayments Week: What does the attention around tracking mean?
By David Sims
April 28, 2011

The iPhone location story helped some mobile users understand that their phones know where they are. What will it mean for the carriers and services that use that data? Plus: Google and Facebook get into the deals business and mobile banking evolves.

The iPhone tracking story, one week later

The iPhone tracking story, one week later
By Pete Warden
April 27, 2011

Apple announces fixes and sheds more light on location data. Plus, a look at some of the reporting and potential applications that have popped up.

Additional iPhone tracking research

By Pete Warden
April 24, 2011

The iPhone tracking story led to a host of related investigations. Here's a look at some of the latest developments.

iPhone tracking: The day after

iPhone tracking: The day after
By Pete Warden
April 22, 2011

The iPhone tracking story published here a few days ago struck an unexpected nerve. Here's a selection of the most interesting immediate reactions.

ePayments Week: Where adds context to PayPal

ePayments Week: Where adds context to PayPal
By David Sims
April 21, 2011

EBay's purchase of a mobile advertising and check-in service adds another piece to its mobile payment puzzle. Also, the White House calls for an online identity ecosystem and two researchers discover caches of location data left unencrypted on their iPhones.

Data News: Week in Review

Data News: Week in Review
By Audrey Watters
April 21, 2011

In the latest Data News: The tracking data saved in a hidden iOS 4 file causes a stir, the value of crowdsourcing during crisis response is questioned, and the Senate finally releases its financial data ... in PDF.

Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves

Got an iPhone or 3G iPad? Apple is recording your moves
By Alasdair Allan
April 20, 2011

Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan have discovered that iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS 4 are regularly recording the location of devices into a hidden file.

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.

3 big challenges in location development

3 big challenges in location development
By Bruce Stewart
April 14, 2011

With the goal of indexing the entire web by location, Fwix founder Darian Shirazi has had to dig in deep to location-based development issues. In this interview, Shirazi discusses challenges he sees in location and how Fwix is addressing them.

The convergence of biometrics, location and surveillance

The convergence of biometrics, location and surveillance
By Bruce Stewart
April 8, 2011

Future applications of biometrics promise increased security and convenience, but they could also dilute our expectations of privacy. In this interview, Where 2.0 speakers Mary Haskett and Alex Kilpatrick discuss what lies ahead in the biometrics world.

ePayments Week: Tapping our hunger for Facebook Credits

ePayments Week: Tapping our hunger for Facebook Credits
By David Sims
April 7, 2011

IFeelGoods finds some shoppers choose virtual currency over the real stuff. Also, American Express teams with Foursquare for geolocated offers, Isis plans a tap-and-pay test in Utah, and Boku steps out of the gaming world to pay for real goods.

4 SXSWi themes reveal the story within the story

4 SXSWi themes reveal the story within the story
By Alex Howard
March 29, 2011

The 2011 South by Southwest Interactive festival offered a reflection of what's to come, with hyperkinetic socializing, pervasive connectivity and an interest in communicating at the right time, not just in real time.

Geolocated images reveal a place's visual identity

Geolocated images reveal a place's visual identity
By Brady Forrest
March 15, 2011

Cartagr.am uses Instagram's new API to create maps out of geolocated images. The resulting visualizations reveal a location's different sides.

Are we too reliant on GPS?

Are we too reliant on GPS?
By Bruce Stewart
March 14, 2011

A number of mistaken and intentional misuses of GPS technology have raised concerns among researches and government agencies.

Location data could let retailers entice customers in new ways

Location data could let retailers entice customers in new ways
By Jenn Webb
March 8, 2011

As more retailers dive into the app market, maximizing the use of location-based data could maximize sales potential as well. Here's a look at some of the current and theoretical applications.

Privacy law needs a reboot

Privacy law needs a reboot
By Bruce Stewart
February 28, 2011

Electronic privacy protections worked great when mobile was a novelty and location services were confined to paper maps. But now, the ACLU's Nicole Ozer says companies and consumers need to pay heed to privacy concerns while we wait for the law to catch up.

ePayments Week: How big a bite will Apple take?

ePayments Week: How big a bite will Apple take?
By David Sims
February 3, 2011

In the latest ePayments Week: With contactless payments coming to an iPhone near you, analysts wonder whether Apple will share its 160 million iTunes customers.

The "dying craft" of data on discs

By David Sims
January 27, 2011

Urban Mapping CEO Ian White discusses the changing way that data is being sold, and the move to providing data as a service.

New geolocation app connects citizen first responders to heart attack victims

New geolocation app connects citizen first responders to heart attack victims
By Alex Howard
January 25, 2011

A new iPhone app will dispatch trained citizens to help others in cardiac arrest. The app is the latest evolution of the role of citizens as sensors, where resources and information are connected to those who need it most in the moment.

Healthier living through mobile location data

Healthier living through mobile location data
By Bruce Stewart
January 25, 2011

RunKeeper CEO Jason Jacobs discusses the state of mobile location technology and how he sees it evolving in the near future (hint: we may be on the verge of "thoughtful" services).

Open question: How much location information are you willing to share?

Open question: How much location information are you willing to share?
By Mac Slocum
November 9, 2010

A recent back-channel conversation here at O'Reilly focused on the overlap between location, data, and privacy. It was an interesting and bewildering discussion that's worth opening up publicly. So that's what we're going to do.

Welcome Laurel Ruma to Where 2.0

Welcome Laurel Ruma to Where 2.0
By Brady Forrest
October 21, 2010

Laurel Ruma and Brady Forest will co-chair Where 2.0 2011, running April 19-21, 2011 in Santa Clara, Calif.

Four short links: 23 September 2010

By Nat Torkington
September 23, 2010

Universal Location Service -- API access to location information from mobiles on Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T. "Universe" here is defined, naturally, to be "United States of America". The Bubble Cursor in Javascript -- Javascript implementation of a circular cursor that grows and shrinks in size depending on proximity to something interesting. The Revenge of the Intuitive (Brian Eno,...


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