March 2010 Archives

Thoughts from the front lines of payment's big shift

The CEO of Rentalic, winner of the the PayPal X Developer Challenge, looks at the future of payment

By nature of his company's first-place win in the PayPal X Developer Challenge, Rentalic CEO Punsri Abeywickrema has a unique vantage point in the payment world. In this short Q&A, Abeywickrema discusses the current and future state of payment and the role startups will play in shaping that landscape.

Play on the iPad: the Magic Circle and a marketplace

Justin Hall on the iPad's gaming possibilities and Apple's restrictions

The prospect of touching, moving, and grabbing your way through a game could open up all sorts of innovation on the iPad, but will developers feel limited by Apple's strict policies? Justin Hall examines the push and pull between the iPad's functionality and its closely-monitored app universe.

Four short links: 31 March 2010

Four short links: 31 March 2010

Messaging, Predicting, Visualising, and Patenting

  1. ZeroMQ — bold claim of “Fastest. Messaging. Ever.” LGPL, C++ with bindings for many languages, past version 2 already. (via edd on Twitter)
  2. Prediction Market News (David Pennock) — HSX is going to be a real marketplace with real $. The real HSX will of course say goodbye to the virtual specialist and the opening weekend adjust, two facets of the game that make it fun to play, but that create significant amounts of (virtual) wealth out of thin air. The Cantor Gaming group is engaged in other interesting initiatives. They are taking over a sportsbook in Las Vegas and turning it into more of a derivatives exchange with live in-game betting, a step toward my dream of a geek-friendly casino. Interestingly, another company called Veriana Networks is close to launching a competing Hollywood derivatives market called the Trend Exchange.
  3. A Pivot Visualization of my WordPress Blog (Jon Udell) — using pro-am data exploration tools from Microsoft (Pivot) to work with information from his blog. Contains the scripts he used to do it.
  4. Select Committee Report on Patents Bill (PDF) — New Zealand Government select committee recommends no software patents in NZ. We recommend amending clause 15 to include computer programs among inventions that may not be patented. We received many submissions concerning the patentability of computer programs. Under the Patents Act 1953 computer programs can be patented in New Zealand provided they produce a commercially useful effect [footnote: Under the Patents Act 1953 mathematical algorithms as such are not patentable. They may be patented under the Patents Act when used in a computer, so long as they produce a commercially useful effect.] Open source, or free, software has grown in popularity since the 1980s Protecting software by patenting it is inconsistent with the open source model, and its proponents oppose it. A number of submitters argued that there is no “inventive step” in software development, as “new” software invariably builds on existing software. They felt that computer software should be excluded from patent protection as software patents can stifle innovation and competition, and can be granted for trivial or existing techniques. In general we accept this position.

Where 2.0: The Big Conversations

Where 2.0 is starting today. We have a full program with keynotes from Blaise Aguera y Arcas (Bing), John Hanke & Michael Jones (Google), Jeremy Stoppelman (Yelp), Danny Sullivan (Search Engine Land), Michael Arrington (Techcrunch), Dennis Crowley (Foursquare), Keith Lee (MyTown) and Josh Williams (Gowalla). Here are some of the topics that will come up over the next three…

Is the "e" in ebooks the new blink tag?

How one vowel creates a limiting design paradigm

The first group/publisher/company/person who moves away from the ebook and to content — content that can be delivered to a variety of media, digital and non-digital, with display and style applied separate from and after content creation — wins.

Four short links: 30 March 2010

Four short links: 30 March 2010

ACTA, Google Books, and APIs vs Data

  1. PublicACTA — New Zealand is hosting the final round of ACTA negotiations, and InternetNZ and other concerned technology-aware citizens will also host a PublicACTA conference. The goal is to produce a statement from the citizens, one which can be given to the negotiators ahead of the final round. If you can’t make it to NZ for April 10, the site has an interesting blog and the conference itself will be live streamed.
  2. Submission on Copying in the Digital Environment — ahead of the ACTA round, New Zealand negotiators invited submissions around certain questions. This fantastic response from an artist and author reminds me why the fight is so important. 2. The idea that all copying must be authorised (or else be illegal) makes no sense in the digital environment. The internet works through copying – that’s how the technology of it functions, and it’s also how its power to promote and market ideas and art is unleashed. For example, when my work “goes viral” – i.e. is copied from website to blog to aggregation site to tweet to email (and so on) – I benefit enormously from that exposure. This is not something I can engineer or control, and when it has happened it has always come as a pleasant surprise. I have benefited from these frenzies of “unauthorised” copying in a number of ways, from international commissions to increased sales. I have learned that such copying is in my interests; in fact, it is essential to my success in the digital environment. (via starrjulie on Twitter)
  3. Jon Orwant of Google Books — Jon’s an O’Reilly alum, and engineering manager for Google Books. David Weinberger liveblogged a talk Jon gave to Harvard librarians. Google Books want to scan all books. Has done 12M out of the 120 works (which have 174 manifestations — different versions and editions, etc.). About 4B pages, 40+ libraries, 400 languages (“Three in Klingon”). Google Books is in the first stage: Scanning. Second: Scaling. Third: What do we do with all this? 20% are public domain.
  4. We Have an API — Nat Friedman asks for a “download all the data” link instead of an API that dribbles out data like a pensioner with a prostate problem (my words, not his). I loved Francis Irving’s observation, buried in the comments, that A “download data” item is just an API call that can return all the data..

The State of the Internet Operating System

Ask yourself for a moment, what is the operating system of a Google or Bing search? What is the operating system of a mobile phone call? What is the operating system of maps and directions on your phone? What is the operating system of a tweet? I’ve been talking for years about “the internet operating system“, but I realized I’ve never written an extended post to define what I think it is, where it is going, and the choices we face. This is that missing post.

Where 2.0: Ignite & NAVTEQ's LBS Challenge Tuesday Night

The Where 2.0 Conference starts tomorrow with workshops all day. In the evening we will have our kick-off event in the Ballroom at the San Jose Marriott. As always we start off with a series of Ignite talks. This year in the middle of Ignite we are going to host the NAVTEQ LBS Challenge Awards. The Ignite talks look…

The iPad needs its HyperCard

Easy to use content creation tools are key to the iPad's long-term success.

Dale Dougherty says that for the iPad to be something different, it must not be just a delivery platform but a creative one. It needs to offer professionals and amateurs an opportunity to create a unique experience with interactive media.

Four short links: 29 March 2010

Four short links: 29 March 2010

Distributed Comments, Graph Exploration, Body as UI, and Genomic Advertising

  1. Salmon Protocol — protocol to unite comments and annotations with original web pages. A distributed solution to the problem that Disqus tackles in a centralised fashion. Important because we’ll all be historians of our earlier lives and dissipated prolific micro-content is a historian’s nightmare.
  2. Gephi — open source (GPLv3) interactive visualization and exploration platform for all kinds of networks and complex systems, dynamic and hierarchical graphs. I believe tools for data exploration, versus static infographics, are the only way to develop a new sense for data. (via mattb on Delicious)
  3. Skinput — a bio-acoustic sensor lets you use your skin to write, tap, drag, etc. See also BBC article. (via Mike Loukides)
  4. First Synthetic Genome Secret Messages Decoded (Wired) — the first synthetic genome contained advertisements (“VENTNERINSTITVTE”, “CRAIGVENTNER”). I can’t figure out whether it’s a cheeky easter egg in the finest geek tradition, or whether it’s as if the Apollo 11 had “BUY COKE” on the side or Magellan’s yachts had sails emblazoned with “VENETIAN GLASS: BEST IN THE WORLD!”. (via christianbok on Twitter)