Jenn Webb

Jenn Webb is a veteran of the newspaper industry turned freelance scribe, editor and researcher. She is a nerd with a passion for technology and cultural disruption. She currently serves as O'Reilly Radar's online managing editor and is investigating the future of UI design beyond the screen.

Visualization of the Week: Hospital procedure charges across the U.S., compared

The New York Times and The Washington Post created visualizations using data released by The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released procedure billing data on more than 3,000 U.S. hospitals. The New York Times and The Washington Post have put together interactive visualizations to help consumers compare costs. The New York Times’ visualization compares costs on a per-hospital basis:

Read more…

Comment

Driving the Momentum of Modern Web App Development

Ido Green on modern web app design considerations and characteristics of great web apps

The rapid pace of improvements in browser technologies and the growith of HTML5 have presented many opportunities and challenges for web app developers. In the following interview, Ido Green, developer advocate for Google Chrome OS, reviews some characteristics of the “modern” web app and covers a few design points and helpful tools developers should keep in mind. Green will expand on these ideas in an upcoming free webcast, “Modern Web Applications Utilizing HTML5 APIs,” on Thursday, May 30 at 10 a.m. PT.

What is a “modern” web app?

ido_green

Ido Green

Ido Green: A “modern” web app is an application that utilizes HTML5 APIs and browser technologies to let the users accomplish a certain goal.

In most of the “great” web applications we see several characteristics:

  • They are self contained (maybe from here we got the term “one page application”) with one main goal.
  • They feel “native”: they are leveraging HTML5 APIs that let the app have “native” capabilities, like Offline, Geo, drag and drop, transitions, etc.
  • They are “offline first,” since we wish our users to be productive when there is no connection or when there is a flaky connection. These apps are built from the ground up with the idea of “offline.” It’s similar to a native app that you will “install” first and later fetch the data.
  • They are device aware: the apps are working great on mobile devices as well as on laptops and desktops.
  • They offer great performance: the great modern apps are utilizing CSS3, HTML5 and the mobile browsers to give the users a smooth experience where everything is working fast. The “offline first” methodology is helping here as well.

Read more…

Comment: 1

Building Modern Web Apps, Build 2013, TechEd North America, and More

Tech events you don't want to miss

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note.

Modern Web Applications Utilizing HTML5 APIs webcast: Ido Green covers techniques and tools for building great “modern” web apps, including tips on Chrome DevTools, HTML5 power tools, and modern web app design techniques. Register for this free webcast.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, May 30 Location: Online webcast

TechEd North America: This is Microsoft’s main conference for IT professionals and enterprise developers. Get hands-on experience with more than 200 self-paced labs. If you need to convince your boss to let you go, there’s even a guide to help. For more information and to register, visit the TechEd website.
Date: June 3–6 Location: New Orleans, LA

Read more…

Comment: 1

Strata Week: Intel wants you to reap the benefits from your personal data

Intel's Data Economy Initiative, your personal records are exposed, Sears gets into the data center business, and ODI wants Git for data publishing.

Intel’s taking the lead in the new “data economy”

Intel is looking to take the lead in what it has dubbed the “data economy,” helping consumers and individuals realize and retain more value from their personal data. Antonio Regalado and Jessica Leber report at MIT Technology Review that the the world’s largest computer chip maker has launched a “Data Economy Initiative.” Ken Anderson, a cultural anthropologist who is in charge of the project, described the initiative to them as “a multiyear study whose goal is to explore new uses of technology that might let people benefit more directly, and in new ways, from their own data.”

As part of the initiative, Intel is funding hackathons to encourage developers to experiment with personal data in new ways, Regalado and Leber note. “[Intel] has also paid for a rebellious-sounding website called We the Data,” they report, “featuring raised fists and stories comparing Facebook to Exxon Mobil.” Read more…

Comment

Visualization of the Week: CIA rendition flights of terror suspects

The Rendition Project has published an interactive visualization of three year's worth of suspected rendition flights.

The Rendition Project, a collaboration between academics at Kent and Kingston universities and the NGO Reprieve, has developed an interactive visualization of the extent of CIA rendition flights of terror suspects.

Read more…

Comment

How Web Pages Can Extend (or Drain) Mobile Device Battery Life

Dr. Angela Nicoara on mobile browser energy consumption and ways developers can minimize energy use through design.

According to recent Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecasts (PDF), the number of mobile-connected devices will surpass the world’s population this year, and by 2015, there will be 788 million mobile-only Internet users. A recent paper, “Who Killed My Battery: Analyzing Mobile Browser Energy Consumption (PDF),” pulled together by the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Center in Silicon Valley and Stanford University researchers and published in the ACM 21st International World Wide Web Conference (WWW 2012) proceedings (PDF), takes a look at the growing popularity of mobile web browsing and the effects on energy consumption.

I reached out to Dr. Angela Nicoara, senior research scientist at the Deutsche Telekom Innovation Center in Silicon Valley who worked on the project, to find out why mobile browser energy consumption is a growing concern and what developers need to know going forward. Our interview follows. Dr. Nicoara will present the researchers’ findings in the “Who Killed My Battery: Analyzing Mobile Browser Energy Consumption” session at the Fluent 2013 conference next week in San Francisco, CA.

Why is browser energy consumption becoming more of an issue with the growth of smartphones and mobile browsing?

Dr. Angela Nicoara

Dr. Angela Nicoara

Dr. Angela Nicoara: Despite the explosive growth of smartphones and growing popularity of mobile web browsing, their utility has been and will remain severely limited by the battery life. Smartphones’ energy constraints are here to stay, and as such, optimizing the energy consumption of the phone browser while surfing the Web is of critical importance today and will remain so in the foreseeable future.

Read more…

Comment

Building Windows 8 Apps, Hadoop Developer Track Course, Write/Speak/Code, and More

Tech events you don't want to miss.

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note.

Zero to App in Two Weeks webcast: Kraig Brockschmidt shares lessons learned to help you improve your productivity and app-building efforts when programming Windows 8 apps in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Register for this free webcast.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, May 21 Location: Online webcast

Apache Hadoop Developer’s Track – 1 Day Course: This Big Data Cloud University class reviews Hadoop’s essential server components and details its relation to MapReduce, Hive and Pig programming. Course instruction includes hands-on labs. For more information or to register, visit the class website.
Date: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT, May 25 Location: Los Angeles, CA

Read more…

Comment

Strata Week: Are customized Google maps a neutrality win or the next “filter bubble”?

Two views on new Google Maps; a look at predictive, intelligent apps; and Aaron Swartz's and Kevin Poulsen's anonymous inbox launches.

Google aims for a new level of map customization

Google introduced a new version of Google maps at Google I/O this week that learns from each use to customize itself to individual users, adapting based on user clicks and searches. A post on the Google blog outlines the updates, which include recommendations for places you might enjoy (based upon your map activity), ratings and reviews, integrated Google Earth, and tours generated from user photos, to name a few.

Read more…

Comment

Visualization of the Week: Real-time Wikipedia edits

The Wikipedia Recent Changes Map visualizes Wikipedia edits around the world in real-time.

Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi have put together an addictive visualization of real-time edits on Wikipedia, mapped across the world. Every time an edit is made, the user’s location and the entry they edited are listed along with a corresponding dot on the map.

Wikipedia-Recent-Changes-Map

Click here for the full visualization.


Read more…

Comment

Tech Events You Don’t Want to Miss

Taming Taxonomy, AnDevCon, UXPA Boston, and more.

Each Monday, we round up upcoming event highlights from the programming and technology spaces. Have an event to share? Send us a note.

Kicking up the Dust with NodeJS and a Bunch of Other JavaScript Goodness: Bill Scott talks about employing dust.js and node.js at PayPal, and explains how JavaScript is enabling Lean UX and Lean Engineering. Register for this free webcast.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, May 15 Location: Online webcast

Debugging Mobile Apps webcast: Jonathan Stark discusses limitations in troubleshooting tools in mobile app development and describes cutting-edge technologies and techniques to make mobile app debugging a bit less painful.
Date: 10 a.m. PT, May 16 Location: Online webcast

Read more…

Comment