Mike Loukides is Vice President of Content Strategy for O'Reilly Media, Inc. He's edited many highly regarded books on technical subjects that don't involve Windows programming. He''s particularly interested in programming languages, Unix and what passes for Unix these days, and system and network administration. Mike is the author of System Performance Tuning", and a coauthor of "Unix Power Tools." Most recently, he's been fooling around with data and data analysis, languages like R, Mathematica, and Octave, and thinking about how to make books social.

## Shakespeare and the myth of publishing

### Reinventing publishing: what can we do now that we're no longer tied to the myth of stable literary objects?

Note: this post started as a Foo Camp 2013 session. A few weeks ago, Tim O’Reilly sent around a link to Who Edited Shakespeare?, which discussed the editor for the First Folio edition of Shakespeare’s plays. It included a lot of evidence that someone had done a lot of work regularizing spelling and doing other…

A couple of years ago, Claudia Perlich introduced me to Foster Provost, her PhD adviser. Foster showed me the book he was writing with Tom Fawcett, and using in his teaching at NYU. Foster and Tom have a long history of applying data to practical business problems. Their…
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## The web performance I want

### Cruftifying web pages is not what Velocity is about.

There’s been a lot said and written about web performance since the Velocity conference. And steps both forward and back — is the web getting faster? Are developers using increased performance to add more useless gunk to their pages, taking back performance gains almost as quickly as they’re achieved? I don’t want to leap into that argument;

## On Batteries and Innovation

### Despite reports of breakthroughs in battery technology, the hard problems of battery innovation remain hard.

Lately there’s been a spate of articles about breakthroughs in battery technology. Better batteries are important, for any of a number of reasons: electric cars, smoothing out variations in the power grid, cell phones, and laptops that don’t need to be recharged daily. All of these nascent technologies are important, but some of them leave me cold,…

## Networked Things?

### The magic starts when household devices can communicate over a network.

Well over a decade ago, Bill Joy was mocked for talking about a future that included network-enabled refrigerators. That was both unfair and unproductive, and since then, I’ve been interested in a related game: take the most unlikely household product you can and figure out what you could do if it were network-enabled. That might have been a…

### Facebook scraping could lead to machine-generated spam so good that it's indistinguishable from legitimate messages.

A recent blog post inquired about the incidence of Facebook-based spear phishing: the author suddenly started receiving email that appeared to be from friends (though it wasn’t posted from their usual email addresses), making the usual kinds of offers and asking him to click on the usual links. He wondered whether this was a phenomenon and how…

## Really Understanding Computation

### Tom Stuart's new book will shed light on what you're really doing when you're programming.

It’s great to see that Tom Stuart’s Understanding Computation has made it out. I’ve been excited about this book ever since we signed it. Understanding Computation started from Tom’s talk Programming with…
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## Understanding skepticism

### Skepticism isn't a blanket rejection of data; it's central to understanding data.

I’d like to correct the impression, given by Derrick Harris on GigaOm, that I’m part of a backlash against “big data.” I’m not skeptical about data or the power of data, but you don’t have to look very far or very hard to see data abused. The best people to be skeptical about the data, and to…

## Burning the silos

### The boundaries created by traditional management are just getting in the way of reducing product cycle times.

If I’ve seen any theme come up repeatedly over the past year, it’s getting product cycle times down. It’s not the sexiest or most interesting theme, but it’s everywhere: if it’s not on the front burner, it’s always simmering in the background. Cutting product cycles to the bare minimum is one of the main themes of the Velocity Conference and…
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## Yet another Kickstarter: Otherlabs’ Home Milling Machine

If you have a good memory, you know that I’ve written about 3D printers. Technically, I grew up with the laser printer; my first computer industry job (part-time while getting an English PhD) was with Imagen, a startup that built the first laser printer that cost under $20,000, then the first that cost under$10,000, then under \$7,000,…