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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 …

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 …

Academic biology and its discontents

By Mike Loukides
February 6, 2014

When we startedBioCoder, 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 …

Four short links: 29 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 29, 2014

Bounce Explorer — throwable sensor (video, CO2, etc) for first responders. Sintering Patent Expires Today — key patent expires, though there are others in the field. Sintering is where the printer fuses powder with a laser, which produces smooth surfaces …

Biotech’s Cambrian Era

By Ryan Bethencourt
October 15, 2013

As I write this article, I’m reflecting on the long expanses of otherworldly playa I’ve just left, watching sandstorms pass in front of me while in altered mental states and contemplating the future of our beloved biotech industry. I have, …

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 …

Sharing is a competitive advantage

By Courtney Nash
September 5, 2013

In October, we’re bringing our Velocity conference to New York for the first time. Let’s face it, a company expanding its conference to other locations isn’t anything that unique. And given the thriving startup scene in New York, there’s no …

Changing Careers to Coding

By Suzanne Axtell
July 8, 2013

Etsy has received widespread praise for its partnership with Hacker School torecruit more women for coding education generally and for its ownengineering department specifically. As a follow-on to thisinterview with Etsy’s Marc Hedlund, I spoke with Bethany Macri, a software …

Do’s and Don’t's for Changing the Ratio in Tech

By Suzanne Axtell
April 18, 2013

You’ve probably heard ofEtsy, the bustling online marketplace for crafters and artists. You probably wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of its customers are women, both buyers and sellers. Ditto that the Etsy team is a pretty good representation …

Four short links: 22 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 22, 2013

Indiepocalypse: Harlem Shake Edition (Andy Baio) — After four weeks topping the Billboard Hot 100, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’s “Thrift Shop” was replaced this week by Baauer’s “Harlem Shake,” the song that inspired the Internet meme. SplinterNet — an Android …

Frozen turkeys are thermal batteries

By Jim Stogdill
February 11, 2013

I went to San Diego two weeks ago for DistribuTECH as part of our ongoing investigation into the industrial Internet. DistribuTECH is a very large conference for electric utility operators in the U.S. and while I was there ran into …

Forking the book

By Adam Hyde
January 22, 2013

As one of the first mass produced industrial artifacts the book remains a solid cultural signifier of stability. That aura is pretty strong and attractive and makes it pretty hard to think about books as being anything other than static …

Industrial Internet links: smart cities return, pilotless commercial aircraft, and more

By Jon Bruner
January 7, 2013

Mining the urban data (The Economist) — The “smart city” hype cycle has moved beyond ambitious top-down projects and has started to produce useful results: real-time transit data in London, smart meters in Amsterdam. The next step, if Singapore has …

Four short links: 16 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 16, 2012

Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation (Mother Jones) — The new platform allowed OFA to collect feedback from the ground on an enormous scale, and respond accordingly. In short, it made the flow of information bidirectional. “What it …

In the 2012 election, big data-driven analysis and campaigns were the big winners

By Alex Howard
November 8, 2012

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama was elected to a second term in office. In a world of technology and political punditry, the big winner is Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger at Five Thirty Eight. (Break out your …

Four short links: 30 October 2012

By Nat Torkington
October 30, 2012

Fastly’s S3 Latency Monitor — The graph represents real-time response latency for Amazon S3 as seen by Fastly’s Ashburn, VA edge server. I’ve been watching #sandy’s effect on the Internet in real-time, while listening to its effect on people in …

Got Your Pocket Consultant? Hope so!

Got Your Pocket Consultant? Hope so!
By William Stanek
September 12, 2012

Pocket Consultants are the portable and precise pocket-sized guides that deliver ready answers for day-to-day administration. Pocket Consultants zero in on core operations and daily tasks using quick-reference tables, instructions, and lists. Inside each Pocket Consultant, you get focused information...

Commerce Weekly: U.S. merchants take on mobile payment

Commerce Weekly: U.S. merchants take on mobile payment
By Jenn Webb
August 16, 2012

Merchants enter mobile payment arena With mobile payments on the brink of booming, everyone is angling to get in the game, from payment companies like PayPal and Square to mobile carrier ventures like Isis and Vodaphone to Internet giants like …

Four short links: 16 July 2012

By Nat Torkington
July 16, 2012

Britain To Provide Free Access to Scientific Publications (Guardian) — the Finch report is being implemented! British universities now pay around 200m a year in subscription fees to journal publishers, but under the new scheme, authors will pay “article processing …

Four short links: 28 May 2012

By Nat Torkington
May 28, 2012

Canada Wages War on Knowledge -- Library and Archives Canada is ending acquisitions, not digitizing material, dispersing its collection to underfunded private and public collections around Canada, and providing little in the way of access to the scraps they did keep. Apparently Canada has been overrun by Huns and Vandals. Imminent sack of Toronto predicted. (via BoingBoing) Cyberpunk Dress...

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs
By Audrey Watters
May 25, 2012

This week's visualization comes from The New York Times and compares the last 30 years of tech IPOs (hint: watch for the big blue dot).

Visualization of the Week: 30 years of tech IPOs

By Audrey Watters
May 25, 2012

This week's visualization comes from The New York Times and compares the last 30 years of tech IPOs (hint: watch for the big blue dot).

Health Information Technology: putting the patient back into health care

By Andy Oram
May 21, 2012

In health information technology, we have a rare chance to ensure that the most affected members of the public actually have their own direct representative. A letter in support of Regina Holliday.

Permission to be horrible and other ways to generate creativity

By Suzanne Axtell
March 1, 2012

Author and web design consultant Denise R. Jacobs reveals lessons she learned about creativity while writing her first book. She also discusses her efforts to give women and people of color more visibility in the tech world.

Report from HIMSS 12: wrap-up of the largest health IT conference

By Andy Oram
February 29, 2012

Recalcitrant instincts that depressed me and progressive suggestions that restored me. Details DICOM, Watson, and other interesting projects.

Report from HIMSS: health care tries to leap the chasm from the average to the superb

By Andy Oram
February 22, 2012

HIMSS has promoted good causes, but only recently has it addressed cost, interoperability, and open source issues that can allow health IT to break out of the elite of institutions large or sophisticated enough to adopt the right practices.

Report from HIMSS: health care tries to leap the chasm from the average to the superb

By Andy Oram
February 22, 2012

HIMSS has promoted good causes, but only recently has it addressed cost, interoperability, and open source issues that can allow health IT to break out of the elite of institutions large or sophisticated enough to adopt the right practices.

Four short links: 30 December 2011

By Nat Torkington
December 30, 2011

Hadoop Hits 1.0 -- open source distributed computation engine, heavily used in big data analysis, hits 1.0. Sparse and Low-Rank Approximation Wiki -- interesting technique: instead of sampling at 2x the rate you need to discriminate then compressing to trade noise for space, use these sampling algorithms to (intelligently) noisily sample at the lower bit rate to begin with....

My Thoughts on Codecademy

By Scott Gray
December 29, 2011

Creator and director of the O'Reilly School of Technology, Scott Gray, discusses the state of tech journalism, education, as well as his thoughts on the future and Codeacademy.

Four short links: 7 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 7, 2011

California and Bust (Vanity Fair) -- Michael Lewis digs into city and state finances, and the news ain't good. Tonido Plug 2 -- with only watts a day, you could have your own low-cost compute farm that runs off a car battery and a cheap solar panel. William Gibson Interview (The Paris Review) -- It's harder to imagine the...

Top Stories: September 26-30, 2011

Top Stories: September 26-30, 2011
By Mac Slocum
September 30, 2011

This week on O'Reilly: Marc Goodman revealed how criminals use crowdsourcing, we explored the link between wearable tech and at-a-glance moments, and Alasdair Allan explained why external accessories will be the focus of the next mobile battle.

Four short links: 31 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 31, 2011

Rinderpest Eradicated -- only the second disease that mankind has managed to eradicate. This one was a measles-like virus that killed cattle and caused famines. A reminder of how astonishingly difficult it is to eradicate disease, but what a massive victory it is when it happens. (via Courtney Johnston) Magnetic South -- the 6.3 earthquake that trashed Christchurch, New...

Would I Attend My Own Conference?

By Sarah Milstein
March 24, 2011

When you’re deciding whether to attend a conference, and you’re checking out the website, what do you consider? Most likely, you’ll look at the program, searching for names you know and session titles that describe compelling topics. If you’re like me—some of you are and some of you aren’t—you’ll also look for diversity among the speakers. If every speaker is...

Making cell phones useful for school

Making cell phones useful for school
By Marie Bjerede
February 24, 2011

A variation on the monitoring technology that allows educators to safely use computers in the classroom is also available for cell phones. But there's a hitch: phone manufacturers and chip suppliers will need to create phones that are kid-safe and school-ready.

Social data and geospatial mapping join the crisis response toolset

Social data and geospatial mapping join the crisis response toolset
By Alex Howard
January 27, 2011

A new web app put to the test during Australia's recent flooding shows how crowdsourced social intelligence can be integrated into crisis response

Four short links: 28 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 28, 2010

Amazon Sold 158 Items/Second on Cyber Monday (TechCrunch) -- I remember when 20 hits/s on a Sun web server was considered pretty friggin' amazing. Just pause a moment and ponder the infrastructure Amazon has marshaled to be able to do this: data centers, replication, load balancers, payment processing, fulfillment, elastic cloud computing, storage servers, cheap power, bandwidth beyond comprehension....

Teachers as Makers

Teachers as Makers
By Dale Dougherty
December 11, 2010

When I began talking with folks from the National Writing Project last year, we hit on the idea that getting teachers to see themselves as makers was a great way to encourage making in schools.

Women helping women get into tech

Women helping women get into tech
By James Turner
October 6, 2010

Computer science programs have an iffy track record recruiting women into the tech space. Sara Chipps, co-founder of Girl Develop IT, has a new approach: create an inclusive environment where dumb questions are encouraged and practical application is key. In this Q&A, Chipps discusses her project and the pressures women face in the tech world.

Education as a platform

Education as a platform
By Marie Bjerede
September 28, 2010

Parents want to understand their kids' achievements beyond letters on a report card. If a wealth of multi-dimensional assessments were only a click away, how many families would use them and in so doing help make them better?

Four short links: 30 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 30, 2010

Free as in Smokescreen (Mike Shaver) -- H.264, one of the ways video can be delivered in HTML5, is covered by patents. This prevents Mozilla from shipping an H.264 player, which fragments web video. The MPEG LA group who manage the patents for H.264 did a great piece of PR bullshit, saying "this will be permanently royalty-free to consumers"....

Tracking the signal of emerging technologies

By Alex Howard
August 26, 2010

The first NASA IT Summit featured deep views into the future, including an interplanetary Internet, the evolution of computational computing and Gartner's top emerging technologies.

Hearing those digital cries for help

By Alex Howard
August 11, 2010

The Red Cross will convene an Emergency Social Data Summit in Washington, D.C. to explore the power of online platforms for civic empowerment and improved response to crises.

Teachers become senseis while tech handles drills

By Marie Bjerede
August 5, 2010

San Diego's High Tech High has found success with ALEKS, a software package that uses simple feedback to reinforce fundamental math skills. This example hints at a revised teacher-tech relationship, where the technology handles drills while teachers coach and offer guidance. Toss in additions like mobile access and 24/7 connectivity, and new possibilities -- and new questions -- arise. In this post, Marie Bjerede examines all these angles.

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...

A constellation you should know

By Lucy Gray
June 14, 2010

This blog post has been sitting on my computer’s desktop for a few weeks now.... I’m finally getting around to telling you about a great week I had at the end of May. It started off with a brief trip to Northern California with stops at Dale’s amazing Maker Faire (equally impressive were his sprinting skills as he leapt into...

Don't get stuck in Edu 2010

By Marie Bjerede
June 8, 2010

The National EdTech Plan aspires to bring together the best of what we know of teaching and learning with the very best technology has to offer in 2010, yet we can be certain that technology will offer even more in 2012, 2015, and 2020.

Crisis Commons releases open source oil spill reporting

By Alex Howard
May 26, 2010

The new iPhone and Android apps will allow organizations responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico to report on the go. "The cool thing about the app is that the photos and information will be open to anyone to use," said Heather Blanchard, co-founder of Crisis Commons.

Educational technology needs to grow like a weed

By Marie Bjerede
May 18, 2010

Iterative development and feedback loops have lifted the software world. Now it's time for educational technology and reform to benefit from the same techniques.

Using Technology to Support Global Education

By Lucy Gray
May 14, 2010

In the summer of 2006, I was very fortunate to travel to Europe with colleagues in the Apple Distinguished Educator program and it proved to be an inspiring, life-changing event for me. Tasked with writing a global awareness curriculum infused with digital content, we spent 10 days in Berlin and Prague, constantly photographing, filming, and discussing our experiences. As a...


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