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Health IT is a growth area for programmers

By Andy Oram
April 11, 2014

O’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who …

Wearable intelligence

By Glen Martin
April 1, 2014

The age of ubiquitous computing is accelerating, and it’s creating some interesting social turbulence, particularly where wearable hardware is concerned. Intelligent devices other than phones and screens — smart headsets, glasses, watches, bracelets — are insinuating themselves into our daily …

Four short links: 31 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 31, 2014

Game Programming Patterns — a book in progress. Search for the Next Platform (Fred Wilson) — Mobile is now the last thing. And all of these big tech companies are looking for the next thing to make sure they don’t …

Pursuing adoption of free and open source software in governments

By Andy Oram
March 25, 2014

Free and open source software creates a natural — and even necessary — fit with government. I joined a panel this past weekend at the Free Software Foundation conference LibrePlanet on this topic and have covered it previously in a …

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 …

What’s Up With Big Data Ethics?

By O'Reilly Strata
March 18, 2014

by Jonathan H. King & Neil M. Richards If you develop software or manage databases, you’re probably at the point now where the phrase “Big Data” makes you roll your eyes. Yes, it’s hyped quite a lot these days. But, …

Four short links: 10 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 10, 2014

Wolfram Language — a broad attempt to integrate types, operations, and databases along with deployment, parallelism, and real-time I/O. The demo video is impressive, not just in execution but in ambition. Healthy skepticism still necessary. Maury, Innovation, and Change (Cory …

Four short links: 6 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 6, 2014

Repo Surveillance Network — An automated reader attached to the spotter car takes a picture of every ­license plate it passes and sends it to a company in Texas that already has more than 1.8 billion plate scans from vehicles …

Big data and privacy: an uneasy face-off for government to face

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

The technical aspects of privacy

By Andy Oram
March 5, 2014

Thrust into controversy by Edward Snowden’s first revelations last year, President Obama belatedly welcomed a “conversation” about privacy. As cynical as you may feel about US spying, that conversation with the federal government has now begun. In particular, the first …

Four short links: 27 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 27, 2014

Our Comrade, The Electron (Maciej Ceglowski) — a walk through the life of the inventor of the Theremin, with a pointed rant about how we came to build the surveillance state for the state. One of the best conference talks …

Four short links: 26 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 26, 2014

Librarybox 2.0 — fork of PirateBox for the TP-Link MR 3020, customized for educational, library, and other needs. Wifi hotspot with free and anonymous file sharing. v2 adds mesh networking and more. (via BoingBoing) Chicago PD’s Using Big Data to …

The RSA/NSA controversy concerns you!

By Jeffrey Carr
February 18, 2014

As a cyber security author and CEO of a security consulting company, I was personally shocked by the RSA’s attitude about the alleged secret payments it received from the NSA as well as its willingness to weaken its BSAFE product; …

Four short links: 4 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 4, 2014

UX Fundamentals, Crash Course — 31 posts introducing the fundamental practices and mindsets of UX. Why We Love Persona And You Should Too — Mozilla’s identity system is an interesting offering. Fancy that, you might have single-sign on without Single …

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: 21 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 21, 2014

On Being a Senior Engineer (Etsy) — Mature engineers know that no matter how complete, elegant, or superior their designs are, it won’t matter if no one wants to work alongside them because they are assholes. Control Theory (Coursera) — …

How did we end up with a centralized Internet for the NSA to mine?

By Andy Oram
January 8, 2014

I’m sure it was a Wired editor, and not the author Steven Levy, who assigned the title “How the NSA Almost Killed the Internet” to yesterday’s fine article about the pressures on large social networking sites. Whoever chose the title, …

Four short links: 7 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 7, 2014

Pebble Gets App Store (ReadWrite Web) — as both Pebble and MetaWatch go after the high-end watch market. Wearables becoming more than a nerd novelty. Thinking About the Network as Filter (JP Rangaswami) — Constant re-openings of the same debate …

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: 9 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 9, 2013

Reform Government Surveillance — hard not to view this as a demarcation dispute. “Ruthlessly collecting every detail of online behaviour is something we do clandestinely for advertising purposes, it shouldn’t be corrupted because of your obsession over national security!” Brian …

Four short links: 20 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 20, 2013

Innovation and the Coming Shape of Social Transformation (Techonomy) — great interview with Tim O’Reilly and Max Levchin. in electronics and in our devices, we’re getting more and more a sense of how to fix things, where they break. And …

Four short links: 13 November 2013

By Nat Torkington
November 12, 2013

ISS Enjoys Malware — Kaspersky reveals ISS had XP malware infestation before they shifted to Linux. The Gravity movie would have had more registry editing sessions if the producers had cared about FACTUAL ACCURACY. Big Data Approach to Computational Creativity …

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 …

How Secure is Your Old and Inactive User Data?

By Jon Callas
November 4, 2013

A couple weeks ago Brian Krebs announced that Adobe had a serious breach, of customer data as well as source code for a number of its software products. Nicole Perlroth of The New York Times updated that to say that …

Four short links: 31 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 31, 2013

Insect-Inspired Collision-Resistant Robot — clever hack to make it stable despite bouncing off things. The Battle for Power on the Internet (Bruce Schneier) — the state of cyberspace. [M]ost of the time, a new technology benefits the nimble first. [...] …

Four short links: 21 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 21, 2013

Google’s Iron Grip on Android (Ars Technica) — While Google will never go the entire way and completely close Android, the company seems to be doing everything it can to give itself leverage over the existing open source project. And …

Four short links: 8 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

Lightworks — open source non-linear video editing software, with quite a history. Puzzlescript — open source puzzle game engine for HTML5. pudb — full-screen (text-mode) Python debugger. Freelan — free, open-source, multi-platform, highly-configurable and peer-to-peer VPN software.

Four short links: 7 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 7, 2013

The Thing System — connects to Things in your home, whether those things are media players such as the Sonos or the Apple TV, your Nest thermostat, your INSTEON home control system, or your Philips Hue lightbulbs — whether your …

Security After the Death of Trust

By Simon St. Laurent
October 2, 2013

Security has to reboot. What has passed for strong security until now is going to be considered only casual security going forward. As I put it last week, the damage that has become visible over the past few months means …

Four short links: 25 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 24, 2013

Salesforce Architecture — Our search tier runs on commodity Linux hosts, each of which is augmented with a 640 GiB PCI-E flash drive which serves as a caching layer for search requests. These hosts get their data from a shared …

Upward Mobility: Dig Out Your Tin-Foil Hats

By James Turner
September 23, 2013

The continual drip-drip-drop of NSA secrets, courtesy of Monsieur Snowden, has provided many of us with a new piece of daily entertainment. But as much fun as it can be to see No Such Agency’s dirty laundry being aired in …

Four short links: 12 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 12, 2013

Amazon Compute Numbers (ReadWrite) — AWS offers five times the utilized compute capacity of each of its other 14 top competitors—combined. (via Matt Asay) MIT Educational MMO — The initial phase will cover topics in biology, algebra, geometry, probability, and …

Four short links: 11 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 9, 2013

On the NSA — intelligent unpacking of what the NSA crypto-weakening allegations mean. Overview of the 2013 OWASP Top 10 — rundown of web evil to avoid. (via Ecryption) Easy 6502 — teaches 6502 assembler, with an emulator built into …

Four short links: 4 September 2013

By Nat Torkington
September 4, 2013

MegaPWN (GitHub) — Your MEGA master key is supposed to be a secret, but MEGA or anyone else with access to your computer can easily find it without you noticing. Browser crypto is only as secure as the browser and …

Keeping Apps in the Air With TestFlight

By James Turner
August 26, 2013

For most iOS developers, TestFlightApp has become the go-to tool when they want to distribute a development build to testers. For those not familiar with the site, you can register applications, and then upload IPA files signed with either a development …

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: 13 August 2013

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2013

How Things Work: Summer Games Edition — admire the real craftsmanship in those early games. This has a great description of using raster interrupts to extend the number of sprites, and how and why double-buffering was expensive in terms of …

Four short links: 5 July 2013

By Nat Torkington
July 5, 2013

Quantitative Analysis of the Full Bitcoin Transaction Graph (PDF) — We analyzed all these large transactions by following in detail the way these sums were accumulated and the way they were dispersed, and realized that almost all these large transactions …

Four short links: 28 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 28, 2013

Huxley vs Orwell — buy Amusing Ourselves to Death if this rings true. The future is here, it’s just not evenly surveilled. (via rone) KeyMe — keys in the cloud. (Digital designs as backups for physical objects) Motorola Advanced Technology …

Four short links: 21 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2013

Ant-Sized Computers (MIT TR) — The KL02 chip, made by Freescale, is shorter on each side than most ants are long and crams in memory, RAM, a processor, and more. Some Thoughts on Digital Manufacturing (Nick Pinkston) — Whenever I …

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 …

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 …

Strata Week: Wireless body area networks bring humans into the Internet of Things

By Jenn Webb
June 7, 2013

Collaborative sensor networks of humans, and your body may be the next two-factor authenticator There has been much coverage recently of the Internet of Things, connecting everything from washers and dryers to thermostats to cars to the Internet. Wearable sensors …

Four short links: 7 June 2013

By Nat Torkington
June 7, 2013

Accumulo — NSA’s BigTable implementation, released as an Apache project. How the Robots Lost (Business Week) — the decline of high-frequency trading profits (basically, markets worked and imbalances in speed and knowledge have been corrected). Notable for the regulators getting …

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: 30 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 30, 2013

Facebook IPO Tech Post-Mortem (PDF) — SEC’s analysis of the failures that led to the NASDAQ kicking Facebook’s IPO in the NADSAQ. (via Quartz) Run That Town — SimCity for real cities, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics and using …

Four short links: 22 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 22, 2013

XBox One Kinect Controller (Guardian) — the new Kinect controller can detect gaze, heartbeat, and the buttons on your shirt. Surveillance and the Internet of Things (Bruce Schneier) — Lots has been written about the “Internet of Things” and how …

Four short links: 16 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 16, 2013

Australian Filter Scope Creep — The Federal Government has confirmed its financial regulator has started requiring Australian Internet service providers to block websites suspected of providing fraudulent financial opportunities, in a move which appears to also open the door for …

Four short links: 14 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 14, 2013

Behind the Banner — visualization of what happens in the 150ms when the cabal of data vultures decide which ad to show you. They pass around your data as enthusiastically as a pipe at a Grateful Dead concert, and you’ve …

Genomics and Privacy at the Crossroads

By James Turner
May 13, 2013

Two weeks ago, I had the privilege to attend the 2013 Genomes, Environments and Traits conference in Boston, as a participant of Harvard Medical School’s Personal Genome Project. Several hundreds of us attended the conference, eager to learn what new breakthroughs might …


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