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On Software, Satisfaction, and Being CEO

By Amy Jollymore
April 18, 2014

I was honored to be on stage with four notable women in technology, last month at DeveloperWeek. The panel included Jennifer Davis, Anne Ward, Anna Chiara Bellini, and Selby Walker. Each of the panelists responded in earnest to questions that explored …

Four short links: 17 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

Playbook for Strategic Foresight & Innovation — MANY pages of framework and exercises. Good for what it is, but also as a model for how to disseminate your ideas and frame for the world to consume. Why I’m a Crabby …

Biomimicry in the real world

By Mike Loukides
April 17, 2014

A couple of years ago, I visited the World Science Festival in New York and saw Festo’s robotic bird. It was amazing. I’ve seen things that looked more or less like a bird, and that flew, but clearly weren’t flying like a bird. …

Four short links: 16 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

morris.js — pretty time-series line graphs. Open Source CT Scanner — all the awesome. Alan Kay’s Reading List — in case you’re wondering what to add to the pile beside your bed. (via Alex Dong) Foldscope — origami optical microscope, …

Announcing BioCoder issue 3

By Mike Loukides
April 15, 2014

We’re excited about the third issue of BioCoder, O’Reilly’s newsletter about the revolution in biology and biotechnology. In the first article of our new issue, Ryan Bethencourt asks the question “What does Biotechnology Want?” Playing with Kevin Kelly’s ideas about how technological development drives …

Four short links: 14 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 14, 2014

dategrep — print lines matching ranges of dates. Genius! Business Case Guidance in Agile Projects (gov.uk) — how the UK govt signs off on Agile projects, which normally governments have no clue over how to handle properly. Hyper Growth Done …

Distributed science

By Mike Loukides
April 11, 2014

In my post on biohacking and bioterrorism, I briefly mentioned the possibility of vaccines and other treatments developed outside of institutional research. That may be far-fetched, and I certainly hope we’re never in a situation where DIY treatments are the only …

Full-stack developers

By Mike Loukides
April 10, 2014

Since Facebook’s Carlos Bueno wrote the canonical article about the full stack, there has been no shortage of posts trying to define it. For a time, Facebook allegedly only hired “full-stack developers.” That probably wasn’t quite true, even if they thought …

Biohacking and the problem of bioterrorism

By Mike Loukides
April 8, 2014

You don’t get very far discussing synthetic biology and biohacking before someone asks about bioterrorism. So, let’s meet the monster head-on. I won’t downplay the possibility of a bioterror attack. It’s already happened. The Anthrax-contaminated letters that were sent to political figures …

Podcast: Personalizing hardware with data? Personalizing people with CRISPR?

By Jim Stogdill
April 7, 2014

This week in our Radar podcast, Jon and I both had colds. You’ll be pleased to know that I edited out all the sneezes, coughs, and general upper respiratory mayhem, but unfortunately there is no Audacity filter for a voice …

5 Fun Facts about HBase that you didn’t know

By Ben Lorica
April 6, 2014

With HBaseCon right around the corner, I wanted to take stock of one of the more popular1 components in the Hadoop ecosystem. Over the last few years, many more companies have come to rely on HBase to run key products …

Four short links: 1 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 1, 2014

Connected for a Purpose (Jim Stogdill) — At a recent conference, an executive at a major auto manufacturer described his company’s efforts to digitize their line-up like this: “We’re basically wrapping a two-ton car around an iPad. Eloquent critique of …

Formulating Elixir

By Simon St. Laurent
March 28, 2014

I was delighted to sit down with Jose Valim, the creator of Elixir, earlier this month. He and Dave Thomas had just given a brave keynote exploring the barriers that keep people from taking advantage of Erlang’s many superpowers, challenging …

The Web is Eating Software

By Simon St. Laurent
March 19, 2014

A few years ago, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen wrote that “software is eating the world”: Six decades into the computer revolution, four decades since the invention of the microprocessor, and two decades into the rise of the modern Internet, all …

Four short links: 14 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 14, 2014

The Facebook experiment has failed. Let’s go back — Facebook gets worse the more you use it. The innovation within Facebook happens within a framework that’s taken as given. This essay questions that frame, well. Meet the People Making New …

Four short links: 7 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 7, 2014

Coalesce — communication framework for distributed JavaScript. Looking for important unsolved problems in computer science? Reusable tools for distributed anything. Where Do All The Women Go? — Inclusion of at least one woman among the conveners increased the proportion of …

An Invitation to Practical Machine Learning

By Ellen Friedman
March 3, 2014

Does it make sense for me to have a car? If so, which one is the best choice for my needs: a gasoline, hybrid, or electric?  And should I buy or lease? In order to make an effective decision, I …

Why polyfills matter

By Brandon Satrom
February 26, 2014

From its nascent days, the growth of the web has been marked by the waxing and waning of technologies, frameworks and ideas. Old ideas and technologies expire and fade away, and new ones arise in their place. Much as the …

Why Polyfills Matter

By Brandon Satrom
February 26, 2014

From its nascent days, the growth of the web has been marked by the waxing and waning of technologies, frameworks and ideas. Old ideas and technologies expire and fade away, and new ones arise in their place. Much as the …

DIYbio and the hacking metaphor

By Michael Scroggins
February 23, 2014

The following is from the second issue of BioCoder, the quarterly newsletter for synthetic biologists, DIY biologists, neurobiologists, and more. Download your free copy today. Within DIYbio, one cannot escape the hacking metaphor. The metaphor is ubiquitous and, to a …

DIYbio and the hacking metaphor

By Michael Scroggins
February 23, 2014

The following is from the second issue of BioCoder, the quarterly newsletter for synthetic biologists, DIY biologists, neurobiologists, and more. Download your free copy today. Within DIYbio, one cannot escape the hacking metaphor. The metaphor is ubiquitous and, to a …

Four short links: 21 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 21, 2014

Mapping Twitter Topic Networks (Pew Internet) — Conversations on Twitter create networks with identifiable contours as people reply to and mention one another in their tweets. These conversational structures differ, depending on the subject and the people driving the conversation. …

How To (Semi-)Automate JavaScript Refactoring

By Simon St. Laurent
February 20, 2014

Computers aren’t ready to write much of our code for us, but they can still help us clean and improve our code. At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Giles Bowkett demonstrated a wide variety of ways …

Four short links: 18 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 18, 2014

Offensive Computer Security — 2014 class notes, lectures, etc. from FSU. All CC-licensed. Twitter I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down (Quinn Norton) — The net doesn’t make social problems. It amplifies them until they can’t be ignored. And …

Bridging the gap between research and implementation

By Ben Lorica
February 15, 2014

One of the most popular offerings at Strata Santa Clara was Hardcore Data Science day. Over the next few weeks we hope to profile some of the speakers who presented, and make the video of the talks available as a …

Big Data solutions through the combination of tools

By Ben Lorica
February 9, 2014

As a user who tends to mix-and-match many different tools, not having to deal with configuring and assembling a suite of tools is a big win. So I’m really liking the recent trend towards more integrated and packaged solutions. A …

Academic biology and its discontents

By Mike Loukides
February 6, 2014

When we started BioCoder, we assumed that we were addressing the DIYbio community: interested amateur hobbyists and experimenters without much formal background in biology, who were learning and working in independent hackerspaces. A couple of conversations have made me question that …

Building Rich Web UIs with Knockout.js

By Peter Cooper
January 30, 2014

  At Fluent 2013, O’Reilly’s Web Platform, JavaScript and HTML5 conference, Microsoft’s Steve Sanderson gave a tight 20 minute introductory tour of Knockout.js, a popular JavaScript UI library built around declarative bindings and the Model-View ViewModel (MVVM) pattern. In his …

Transcending UIAlertView on iOS 7

By Matt Neuburg
January 30, 2014

Of all the new features and APIs that iOS 7 provides to developers, none, in my opinion, is as important from a user interface perspective as custom view controller transitions, the ability to insert your own animation when a view …

Cheese, art, and synthetic biology

By Mike Loukides
January 29, 2014

We’ve published the second issue of BioCoder! In this interview excerpt from the new edition, Christina Agapakis talks with Katherine Liu about the intersection of art and science, and the changes in how we think about biotechnology. It’s one of …

The new bot on the block

By Glen Martin
January 27, 2014

Fukushima changed robotics. More precisely, it changed the way the Japanese view robotics. And given the historic preeminence of the Japanese in robotic technology, that shift is resonating through the entire sector. Before the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami of 2011, …

What I use for data visualization

By Ben Lorica
January 26, 2014

Depending on the nature of the problem, data size, and deliverable, I still draw upon an array of tools for data visualization. As I survey the Design track at next month’s Strata conference, I see creators and power users of …

pushState to the Future: Progressive Enhancement Using HTML5 pushState at Twitter

By Peter Cooper
January 23, 2014

Fluent is O’Reilly’s conference dedicated to the Web Platform and all that entails, with a focus on JavaScript and HTML5. In 2013, over 1000 attendees and speakers like Brendan Eich, the creator of JavaScript and CTO of Mozilla, Paul Irish …

Four short links: 22 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 22, 2014

How a Math Genius Hacked OkCupid to Find True Love (Wired) — if he doesn’t end up working for OK Cupid, productising this as a new service, something is wrong with the world. Humin: The App That Uses Context to …

Finding the Meaning in “Meaningful Use”

By Julie Steele
January 22, 2014

Ever wonder what the heck “meaningful use” really means? By now, you’ve probably heard it come up in discussions of healthcare data. You might even know that it specifically pertains to electronic health records (EHRs). But what is it really …

BeetleCopter View of the Serengeti

By Edie Freedman
January 21, 2014

One of my earliest posts on this blog was about BeetleCam, a remote-controlled mobile camera built by Will and Matt Burrard-Lucas to get close up to all kinds of wildlife. Their goal was to shoot photographs without disturbing the animals …

The post BeetleCopter View of the Serengeti appeared first on Animals.

Four short links: 20 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 20, 2014

idb (Github) — a tool to simplify some common tasks for iOS pentesting and research: screenshots, logs, plists/databases/caches, app binary decryption/download, etc. (via ShmooCon) Twitter Infrastructure — an interview with Raffi Krikorian, VP of Platform Engineering. Details on SOA, deployment …

Is Text the Programmer’s Silver Bullet?

By Simon St. Laurent
January 8, 2014

Will programming ever depart the land of text? I loved this article on the divides between user and programmer cultures, but sharing it brought responses on the values of programmer culture. Every time I wonder publicly about programming interfaces, or …

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, …

Introducing Animal Warrior

By Edie Freedman
January 6, 2014

Animal Warrior* has all of the elements of a great video game: a perilous task, bad guys, all kinds of obstacles to overcome and puzzles to solve, exotic settings, high-tech weaponry, and general mayhem.   Well, it could have all …

The post Introducing Animal Warrior appeared first on Animals.

Four short links: 6 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 6, 2014

4043-byte 8086 Emulator — manages to implement most of the hardware in a 1980’s era IBM-PC using a few hundred fewer bits than the total number of transistors used to implement the original 8086 CPU. Entry in the obfuscated C …

Online Education 2.0: Making Learning at OST

By Matthew Bronson
January 3, 2014

It became clear to me early on that the “secret sauce” in an OST education for our students is the personal interaction and mentoring of our instructors. At OST, we frequently hear comments like: Some parts of the assignments were really challenging and I would get stuck. I would send Mary my error code and …

The post Online Education 2.0: Making Learning at OST appeared first on O'Reilly School of Technology.

Tweets loud and quiet

By Jon Bruner
December 18, 2013

Writers who cover Twitter find the grandiose irresistible: nearly every article about the service’s IPO this fall mentioned the heroes of the Arab Spring who toppled dictators with 140-character stabs, or the size of Lady Gaga’s readership, which is larger …

The birdie and the shark

By Mike Loukides
December 13, 2013

While I’ve been skeptical of Twitter’s direction ever since they decided they no longer cared about the developer ecosystem they created, I have to admit that I was impressed by the speed at which they rolled back an unfortunate change to their …

Update: Wildlife Conservation “Build and Fly” UAV Challenge

By Edie Freedman
December 11, 2013

Taking to the skies to save rhinos This October I wrote a post about the Wildlife Conservation “Build and Fly” UAV Challenge, a project sponsored by Kashmir-Robotics to help save the rhinos of Kruger National Park. Up to 100 teams …

The post Update: Wildlife Conservation “Build and Fly” UAV Challenge appeared first on Animals.

Podcast: news that reaches beyond the screen

By Jon Bruner
December 10, 2013

Reporters, editors and designers are looking for new ways to interact with readers and with the physical world–drawing data in through sensors and expressing it through new immersive formats. In this episode of the Radar podcast, recorded at News Foo …

Supercomputing on the cheap with Parallella

By Federico Lucifredi
December 10, 2013

Packing impressive supercomputing power inside a small credit card-sized board running Ubuntu, Adapteva‘s $99 ARM-based Parallella system includes the unique Ephiphany numerical accelerator that promises to unleash industrial strength parallel processing on the desktop at a rock-bottom price. The Massachusetts-based …

Four short links: 5 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 5, 2013

Deducer — An R Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Everyone. Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap (PDF, FAA) — first pass at regulatory framework for drones. (via Anil Dash) Bitcoin Stats — …

Data Scientists and Data Engineers like Python and Scala

By Ben Lorica
December 1, 2013

In exchange for getting personalized recommendations many Meetup members declare1 topics that they’re interested in. I recently looked at the topics listed by members of a few local, data Meetups that I’ve frequented. These Meetups vary in size from 600 …

Peer to Peer Reaching the Browser through WebRTC

By Simon St. Laurent
November 27, 2013

WebRTC promises to deliver computer to computer communications with minimal reliance on central servers to manage the conversation. Peer-to-peer systems promise smoother exchanges without the tremendous scale challenges of running video, for example, through central points. The WebRTC Conference and …


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