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Using Big Data and Game Play to Improve Mental Fitness

By Bonnie Feldman
January 29, 2014

This article was written together with Ellen M. Martin and Melinda Speckmann. Games have been part of human culture for millennia. It is no surprise that elements of play can be powerful digital tools to grab our attention and keep …

Handling Data at a New Particle Accelerator

By Andrew Collette
November 20, 2013

Most people working on complex software systems have had That Moment, when you throw up your hands and say “If only we could start from scratch!” Generally, it’s not possible. But every now and then, the chance comes along to build a …

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: 24 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 24, 2013

Ubiquity — Sears Holdings has formed a new unit to market space from former Sears and Kmart retail stores as a home for data centers, disaster recovery space and wireless towers. Google Abandons Open Standards for Instant Messaging (EFF) — …

Four short links: 8 April 2013

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2013

mozpay — a JavaScript API inspired by google.payments.inapp.buy() but modified for things like multiple payment providers and carrier billing. When a web app invokes navigator.mozPay() in Firefox OS, the device shows a secure window with a concise UI. After authenticating, …

Masking the complexity of the machine

By Jon Bruner
February 15, 2013

The Internet has thrived on abstraction and modularity. Web services hide their complexity behind APIs and standardized protocols, and these clean interfaces make it easy to turn them into modules of larger systems that can take advantage of the most …

…and along with EPUB 3: New CSS!

By Nellie McKesson
February 11, 2013

Hopefully you all read Sanders Kleinfeld’s great writeup about O’Reilly’s move to EPUB 3, and the changes and challenges that brings. Along with updating our toolchain, we also revisited our EPUB design and took a stab at improving the user …

Strata Week: AWS and Rackspace, compared

By Jenn Webb
November 2, 2012

Here are a few stories from the data space that caught my attention this week. Rackspace vs Amazon As Rackspace continues to ramp up its services to compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) — this week, announcing a partnership with …

They promised us flying cars

By Alasdair Allan
August 3, 2012

We may be living in the future, but it hasn’t entirely worked out how we were promised. I remember the predictions clearly: the 21st century was supposed to be full of self-driving cars, personal communicators, replicators and private space ships. …

Four short links: 18 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 18, 2012

Overlapping S-Curves of Various Products (PNG) -- product adoption speed over time. (via Beta Knowledge) High School Makerspaces Q&A with Dale Dougherty (Radioshack) -- Experimentation is one of the things we’re trying to promote. If you do experiments, a number of them fail and you learn from that failure and say, “Gee, I could have done that differently.” It’s...

Top stories: February 27-March 2, 2012

Top stories: February 27-March 2, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 2, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Mike Loukides examined the clumsy state of human connections in our tech products, Dale Dougherty made the case for Maker-friendly cities, and we looked at key shifts in publishing's business models.

Creating Maker-friendly cities

Creating Maker-friendly cities
By Dale Dougherty
February 27, 2012

Governments, particularly local governments, need to do more to understand and adapt to what might be called DIY citizenship.

OpenStack Foundation requires further definition

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2011

The thinness of detail about the Foundation is probably a good sign, because it means that Rackspace and its partners are seeking input from the community about important parameters.

OpenStack Foundation requires further definition

By Andy Oram
October 7, 2011

The thinness of detail about the Foundation is probably a good sign, because it means that Rackspace and its partners are seeking input from the community about important parameters.

Developer Week in Review: Would your passcode pass muster?

Developer Week in Review: Would your passcode pass muster?
By James Turner
June 30, 2011

A weekly lawsuit update, MySpace is purchased for a bargain price, and your darkest suspicions about the stupidity of passcode selections is confirmed.

The quiet rise of machine learning

The quiet rise of machine learning
By Jenn Webb
April 11, 2011

From Goodreads to Google to Orbitz, machine learning is slowly becoming part of everyday life. Alasdair Allan discusses current uses and how machine learning factors into his own robotic telescope network.

The abandonment of technology

The abandonment of technology
By Alasdair Allan
March 3, 2011

We face a choice between a future of accelerating technological progress and an age of declining possibilities and narrowing horizons. That choice depends on the problems we choose to solve.

The NASA Make Challenge

The NASA Make Challenge
By Dale Dougherty
March 1, 2011

Makers can participate in a new kind of space program, one that expands beyond NASA to include commercial space collaboration.

Open sourcing space

Open sourcing space
By Dale Dougherty
November 3, 2010

The space race has been reignited, but in a much different way. With off-the-shelf components and your own initiative, you can now launch a satellite or weather balloon. Dale Dougherty looks at this new wave of roll-your-own exploration.

Space IT, the final frontier

By Alex Howard
August 20, 2010

The first NASA IT Summit showcased the technology of today and the potential of the future. We take an in-depth look at the event and discuss NASA's IT shifts with NASA CTO for IT Chris Kemp and NASA CIO Linda Cureton.

OpenStack offered as Rackspace's answer to calls for an open cloud

OpenStack offered as Rackspace's answer to calls for an open cloud
By Andy Oram
July 20, 2010

When Rackspace and NASA announced OpenStack, I thought of it as either a PR or yet another attempt to impose some pet project on the world as a standard. But it may actually a newsworthy intervention into the furiously evolving cloud industry.

Open space data can improve lives (and save birds)

By Alex Howard
May 21, 2010

Jeanne Holm, the former chief knowledge architect at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discusses her efforts to build an an international ontology for space data.

The Watering Hole - Forget the Women, Mars Needs Tow Trucks!

The Watering Hole - Forget the Women, Mars Needs Tow Trucks!
By James Turner
February 5, 2010

Next time, JPL should make sure to get the towing package with their rover insurance.

Can open source guide a moon mission?

Can open source guide a moon mission?
By Mac Slocum
February 1, 2010

The Open Luna Foundation has a $500 million plan to build a moon outpost, and it's going to rely on open source to make it happen. Question is: does the distributed nature of open source lend itself to complex, mission-critical ideas? Take a look at key elements of the Open Luna project and share your thoughts.

The Watering Hole - And You Thought the LHC Was Dangerous?

The Watering Hole - And You Thought the LHC Was Dangerous?
By James Turner
January 28, 2010

The world will end, not with a bang, but with a Tweet

Time Lapse of Galactic Center of Milky Way rising over Texas Star Party

Time Lapse of Galactic Center of Milky Way rising over Texas Star Party
By Jesse Robbins
May 21, 2009

Galactic Center of Milky Way Rises over Texas Star Party from William Castleman. According to William Castleman: The time-lapse sequence was taken with the simplest equipment that I brought to the star party. I put the Canon EOS-5D (AA screen modified to record hydrogen alpha at 656 nm) with an EF 15mm f/2.8 lens on a weighted tripod. Exposures were...

Space Shuttle Atlantis during Solar Transit

By Jesse Robbins
May 17, 2009

In this tightly cropped image, the NASA space shuttle Atlantis is seen in silhouette during solar transit, Tuesday, May 12, 2009, from Florida. This image was made before Atlantis and the crew of STS-125 had grappled the Hubble Space Telescope. Photo Credit: (NASA/Thierry Legault) Thierry made this image using a solar-filtered Takahashi 5-inch refracting telescope and a Canon 5D...

2 Years Later, the Facebook App Platform is Still Thriving

By Ben Lorica
May 13, 2009

In a few weeks, the Facebook application platform will mark its second anniversary. While it garnered lots of press coverage in the months after it launched, the arrival of the iTunes app store shifted attention away from Facebook's vibrant ecosystem. The media glow is understandable: among other things, the younger iTunes platform is adding apps at a much faster rate...

NASA's Kepler Promises to Irreversibly Alter Humanity's Relationship to the Cosmos

NASA's Kepler Promises to Irreversibly Alter Humanity's Relationship to the Cosmos
By Timothy M. O'Brien
March 7, 2009

NASA's just launched Kepler Mission promises to dramatically expand the catalog of known exoplanets from a few hundred to a few thousand. This post assembles some information about the mission and man this mission was named after Johannes Kepler. In the words of Sagan, "Kepler was the first person in the history of the human species to understand correctly and quantitatively how the planets move, how the solar system works."

Facebook is Growing Fast in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East

By Ben Lorica
March 5, 2009

With Facebook recently passing 175 million users, I decided to update my analysis of its user base. The weekly growth in number of users has remained steady, with the last 5 weeks being exceptionally strong: Facebook added over 25 million users since early February. The share of U.S. users inched up slightly from 30% to 31%. The company added users...

Web 2.0 and Cloud Computing

By Tim O'Reilly
October 26, 2008

A couple of months ago, Hugh Macleod created a bit of buzz with his blog post The Cloud's Best Kept Secret. Hugh's argument: that cloud computing will lead to a huge monopoly. Of course, a couple of weeks ago, Larry Ellison made the opposite point, arguing that salesforce.com is "barely profitable", and that no one will make much money...

Perl on App Engine?

By Artur Bergman
July 23, 2008

I am a Perl hacker. I have written parts of the core, created CPAN modules and written tons of perl code. In fact I am addicted to it ; or rather, CPAN. I have been wanting to play around with Google App Engine, but I haven't had time to get up to speed in Python. Today at OSCON I met up with Brad Fitzpatrick, who told me he had permission from Google to talk about and work on a Perl on App Engine project.

He makes it clear that,

I'm happy to announce that the Google App Engine team has given me permission to talk about a 20% project inside Google to to add Perl support to App Engine.  To be clear:  I'm not a member of the App Engine team and the App Engine team is not promising to add Perl support.  They're just saying that I (along with other Perl hackers here at Google) are now allowed to work on this 20% project of ours out in the open where other Perl hackers can help us out, should you be so inclined.

The plan is to harden Perl (one layer of defense in App Engine's hardened environment); implement Protocol Buffers and stubs of the backend services, so people can write App Engine applications on their local servers.

There is more information at Brad's LiveJournal, as well as the the Perl-AppEngine project. Capturing the creative spirit here at OSCON, Brad and I hacked together a new module that emulates a protected environment, Sys::Protect (generally good idea for any web application).

Facebook Growth By Country and the Slowdown in App Usage

By Ben Lorica
July 21, 2008

With the Facebook Developers conference slated for later this week, I thought it would be a good time to give a brief update of a previous post on Facebook demographics. What follows are recently published number of users by country and region, along with growth rates for select regions and countries. Over the last four weeks, the fastest growing regions were South America, Central America and the Carribean:

BarCampBank is spreading

By Jesse Robbins
June 12, 2008

When Ben Black and I organized the first BarCampBank in North America last year, we hoped that it would spread. According to William Azaroff's post on NetBanker, the movement is there and growing: What's all this about BarCampBanks? From a North American premiere in Seattle almost a year ago, we've witnessed two more in the last few months, and eight...

Where Does Facebook Grow From Here

By Ben Lorica
May 27, 2008

Facebook publishes demographic data through its advertising platform. Potential advertisers can obtain estimates for the number of Facebook users by age group, gender, education, country, and even relationship status! While the estimates most likely rely on user supplied data, they provide the best publicly available numbers on the Facebook user base. Facebook currently has about 75M users spread across more...

Myspace/Facebook App Platforms & Total Installs

By Ben Lorica
May 19, 2008

Within a few months, Myspace has quietly built an application platform with over twelve hundred applications. I previously posted a graph for Facebook app categories, in which I compared the categories using the number of active users. Unlike the older Facebook platform, Myspace only provides the number of installs: It took a few months before Facebook started publishing active usage...

MySpace's Data Availability is not Data Portability

By David Recordon
May 9, 2008

Arguably vaporware, yesterday MySpace, Yahoo!, eBay, Photobucket (also owned by News Corp), and Twitter announced the Data Availability Initiative. While I could write at length about how this shows the big companies have already realized how to diminish the DataPortability group's brand by linking anything they do "data portability", that isn't the point of this post. The crux of the...

Open Source "Social App Server" Might Crack Garden Walls?

By Jim Stogdill
March 26, 2008

New social application server space may crack social network garden walls.

Sneaking Around With Other People's Platforms ... and a Countdown to Graphing Social Patterns West

By Dave McClure
February 27, 2008

Multiple Platforms, One Geek. What's a man to do?

Microsoft Office Live Workspace and Macs

By Todd Ogasawara
December 20, 2007

Microsoft's Office Live Workspace stores, shares, and displays Microsoft Office documents on the web. And, it works with Firefox on a Mac.


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The Watering Hole