Links: Dec 2, 2005

I had about thirty-five Firefox links saved, then upgraded to Firefox 1.5 (go fighting … foxes) only to find that the SessionSaver extension didn’t work in 1.5. So with a clear conscience I now resolve to post fewer links at a time, but hopefully post more often as a result.

  • Hear From Your MP: I’m just grooving on the great work that the mySociety folks are doing. I moved back home and feel the urge to rark up our political system like this.
  • Gaze: a gazetteer web service from mySociety. Very cool! I love the new population extensions. It’s interesting to compare the population density (people per square kilometer) of my New Zealand town vs that of my former American town.
  • More Over Here: dig for more information on the topic of a page. Built out of Y! Term Extraction API, Flickr, Technorati, Y! News, Delicious, etc. Currently it only has a one-term idea of what the page is about, so doesn’t work too well with multitopic sites, etc. The author posted an explanation of how it can be used.
  • Silk: open source collaboration framework, like Microsoft SharePoint. Built by Akiva, whose CEO I spoke to at great length today about their open source strategy. I’m really impressed with their thinking and the way they went about preparing, deciding, and implementing their open source move.
  • GPL v3 Process Definition: the long road to GPL v3 is underway. Expect it to be a topic at OSCON.
  • Glitches Galore in VoIP: Business Week article on service problems with VoIP. “On average, VoIP call quality is worse than cellular, according to research by Internet performance consultancy Keynote. Audio delay (the time between when you speak and the listener can hear you) is often unacceptably long, leading to overlapping conversations. Keynote also found that about 3.1% of all VoIP calls made don’t go through at all.” Fodder for “>ETel, whose Early Registration period ends Monday 4 December.
  • Early Geek Radio: pre-podcasting Internet-offered interviews and radio shows. Features Tim and Dale c. 1994, as well as a pre-Internet Archive Brewster Kahle and Tim Berners-Lee before he was Sir Tim Berners-Lee. Anyone want to volunteer to work with them and write some Perl+LAME so they can offer MP3s as well as wave files and Real Audio?
  • Oregon City Builds A Reputation as a Hub For Software Revolution: want to guess which city? Hint: we have OSCON there. Need another hint? “Portland – a city where T-shirts on college campuses are more likely to sport Firefox than Che – is now seeing venture capitalists descending upon it, proof that all the heavyweight open-source talent here may indeed power the local economy.”
  • MapServer Foundation: open source product partners with AutoDesk (I believe it’s mandatory for me to add “makers of AutoCAD” at this point) to start a non-profit governance organization. AutoDesk open sourced one of their products (now branded “MapServer Enterprise”) while the original open source MapServer is now branded “MapServer Cheetah”. They’re still in the early days of building the non-profit. Background: Tyler Mitchell’s blog, the press release, the open letter to the community, and upbeat Directions magazine coverage.
  • NEXT 2005: awesome Danish conference I just missed. Would love to get there next year. They had, among other things: digital rocking horses, DJ robots, a programmable climbing wall, edible interfaces, 10×10 helium balloons functioning as pixels and the EyeD Concept car directly from Nike’s TechLab.
  • GTalkr: Flash-based client for Google Talk, so you can voice chat from any Flash-capable computer. Brilliant!
  • Jookster enters Beta: no longer requires a toolbar install. Thumbs-up sites, find the sites your friends like, use friends to filter classifieds, etc. delicious + orkut. I like the tip of the hat to the teens: “Easy to find and share cool bands and music with friends”.
  • Skype Videophone Coming: it’ll be interesting to see whether I can use it from NZ. I think my DSL provider must have crappy upstream bandwidth because I can’t videochat from my house using iChat. Skype’s codec is good for voice, I wonder whether they’ve worked similar magic for video?
  • WiPro Creates Linux-Based Phone Platform: lots of activity in this area. See OSDL Mobile Linux Initiative and TrollTech’s VoIP Framework.
  • Why Linux on X-Box 360 Will Be Hard: there’s nothing like a challenge. Glad to see Microsoft is intent on making it fun for people to hack their boxes.