Four short links: 18 August 2009

iPhone App Backstory, Cookie Resurrection, The Entrepreneuralism Lickmus test, and An Interesting Database

  1. The Making of the NPR News iPhone App — interesting behind-the-scenes look, with sketches and all. Station streams, however, presented a larger challenge. To begin with, NPR didn’t have direct stream links for any of its stations, so we built a Web spider that identified and captured more than 300 iPhone-compatible station streams. After that first pass, we worked with our station representatives to manually test each stream. In the process they found enough new streams to double our database. All of these streams are delivered to the app from NPR’s Station Finder API. (via mattb on Twitter)
  2. You Deleted Your Cookies? Think Again (Wired) — Flash keeps its own cookies, which are harder to delete. Several services even use the surreptitious data storage to reinstate traditional cookies that a user deleted, which is called ‘re-spawning’ in homage to video games where zombies come back to life even after being “killed,” the report found. So even if a user gets rid of a website’s tracking cookie, that cookie’s unique ID will be assigned back to a new cookie again using the Flash data as the “backup.” (via Simon Willison)
  3. Would You Lick It? (Rowan Simpson) — clever example of what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
  4. FluidDB — a shared “in the cloud” database built around tags: an object is a container for a set of tags which are name:value pairs, tag names have simple namespaces (e.g., “gnat/review” is the “review” tag in my namespace), all objects are world readable and writable but there are ACLs for tags, values can be any type (string, number, URL, Excel spreadsheet), and there’s a simple query language. I’m curious to see what applications spring up around shared data. They’re in limited alpha, controlling the # of users, so register now to play before everyone else.
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