Nat has chaired the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and other O'Reilly conferences for over a decade. He ran the first web server in New Zealand, co-wrote the best-selling Perl Cookbook, and was one of the founding Radar bloggers. He lives in New Zealand and consults in the Asia-Pacific region.

## Four short links: 6 February 2014

### Emotions Wanted, Future's So Bright, Machine Learning for Security, and Medieval Unicode Fonts

1. What Machines Can’t Do (NY Times) — In the 1950s, the bureaucracy was the computer. People were organized into technocratic systems in order to perform routinized information processing. But now the computer is the computer. The role of the human is not to be dispassionate, depersonalized or neutral. It is precisely the emotive traits that are rewarded: the voracious lust for understanding, the enthusiasm for work, the ability to grasp the gist, the empathetic sensitivity to what will attract attention and linger in the mind. Cf the fantastic The Most Human Human. (via Jim Stogdill)
2. The Technium: A Conversation with Kevin Kelly (Edge) — If we were sent back with a time machine, even 20 years, and reported to people what we have right now and describe what we were going to get in this device in our pocket—we’d have this free encyclopedia, and we’d have street maps to most of the cities of the world, and we’d have box scores in real time and stock quotes and weather reports, PDFs for every manual in the world—we’d make this very, very, very long list of things that we would say we would have and we get on this device in our pocket, and then we would tell them that most of this content was free. You would simply be declared insane. They would say there is no economic model to make this. What is the economics of this? It doesn’t make any sense, and it seems far-fetched and nearly impossible. But the next twenty years are going to make this last twenty years just pale. (via Sara Winge)
3. Applying Machine Learning to Network Security Monitoring (Slideshare) — interesting deck on big data + machine learning as applied to netsec. See also their ML Sec Project. (via Anton Chuvakin)
4. Medieval Unicode Font Initiative — code points for medieval markup. I would have put money on Ogonek being a fantasy warrior race. Go figure.
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## Four short links: 5 February 2014

### Graph Drawing, DARPA Open Source, Quantified Vehicle, and IoT Growth

1. sigma.js — Javascript graph-drawing library (node-edge graphs, not charts).
2. DARPA Open Catalog — all the open source published by DARPA. Sweet!
3. Quantified Vehicle Meetup — Boston meetup around intelligent automotive tech including on-board diagnostics, protocols, APIs, analytics, telematics, apps, software and devices.
4. AT&T See Future In Industrial Internet — partnering with GE, M2M-related customers increased by more than 38% last year. (via Jim Stogdill)
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## Four short links: 4 February 2014

### UX Fundamentals, Mozilla Persona, Pi Tests, and The Holodeck

1. UX Fundamentals, Crash Course — 31 posts introducing the fundamental practices and mindsets of UX.
2. Why We Love Persona And You Should Too — Mozilla’s identity system is an interesting offering. Fancy that, you might have single-sign on without Single Pwn-On.
3. Raspberry Pi As Test Harness — Pi accessory maker uses Pis to automate the testing of his … it’s Pis all the way down.
4. The Holodeck Begins to Take Shape — displays, computation, and interesting input devices, are coming together in various guises.
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## Four short links: 3 February 2014

### Ouroborosification, Kid Curricula, Geeky Furniture, and Data Leakage

1. How In-App Purchases Has Destroyed the Games Industry — fantastic before-and-after of a game, showing how it’s hollowed out for in-app-purchase upsell. the problem is that all the future generations of gamers are going to experience this as the default. They are going to grow up in a world, in which people actually think this is what gaming is like. That social engineering and scamming people is an acceptable way of doing business.
2. Making Makers — kid-tested curricula for kids learning to code, to 3D print, stop motion animation, and more. (via BoingBoing)
3. 555 Footstool in the Wild — awesome furniture in the shape of the ever-popular timing chip.
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## Four short links: 31 January 2014

### Mobile Libraries, Python Idioms, Graphics Book, and Declining Returns on Aging Link Bait

1. Bolts — Facebook’s library of small, low-level utility classes in iOS and Android.
2. Python Idioms (PDF) — useful cheatsheet.
3. Michael Abrash’s Graphics Programming Black Book — Markdown source in github. Notable for elegance and instructive for those learning to optimise. Coder soul food.
4. About Link Bait (Anil Dash) — excellent consideration of Upworthy’s distinctive click-provoking headlines, but my eye was caught by we often don’t sound like 2012 Upworthy anymore. Because those tricks are starting to dilute click rates. from Upworthy’s editor-at-large. Attention is a scarce resource, and our brains are very good at filtering.
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## Four short links: 30 January 2014

### In-Game Economy, AI Ethics, Data Repository, and Regulated Disruption

1. $200k of Spaceships Destroyed (The Verge) — More than 2,200 of the game’s players, members of EVE’s largest alliances, came together to shoot each other out of the sky. The resultant damage was valued at more than$200,000 of real-world money. [...] Already, the battle has had an impact on the economics and politics of EVE’s universe: as both side scramble to rearm and rebuild, the price of in-game resource tritanium is starting to rise. “This sort of conflict,” Coker said, “is what science fiction warned us about.”
2. Google Now Has an AI Ethics Committee (HufPo) — sorry for the HufPo link. One of the requirements of the DeepMind acquisition was that Google agreed to create an AI safety and ethics review board to ensure this technology is developed safely. Page’s First Law of Robotics: A robot may not block an advertisement, nor through inaction, allow an advertisement to come to harm.
3. Academic Torrentsa scalable, secure, and fault-tolerant repository for data, with blazing fast download speeds built on BitTorrent.
4. Hack Schools Meet California Regulators (Venturebeat) — turns out vocational training is a regulated profession. Regulation meets disruption, annihilate in burst of press releases.
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## Four short links: 29 January 2014

### Throwable Sensor, 3D Printer Patents, Internet Inequality, and Carbon Fiber Printing

1. Bounce Explorer — throwable sensor (video, CO2, etc) for first responders.
2. Sintering Patent Expires Today — key patent expires, though there are others in the field. Sintering is where the printer fuses powder with a laser, which produces smooth surfaces and works for ceramics and other materials beyond plastic. Hope is that sintering printers will see same massive growth that FDM (current tech) printers saw after the FDM patent expired 5 years ago.
3. Internet is the Greatest Legal Facilitator of Inequality in Human History (The Atlantic) — hyperbole aside, this piece does a good job of outlining “why they hate us” and what the systemic challenges are.
4. First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer Announced — \$5000 price tag. Nice!
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## Four short links: 28 January 2014

### Client-Server, Total Information Awareness, MSFT Joins OCP, and Tissue Modelling

1. Intel On-Device Voice Recognition (Quartz) — interesting because the tension between client-side and server-side functionality is still alive and well. Features migrate from core to edge and back again as cycles, data, algorithms, and responsiveness expectations change.
2. Meet Microsoft’s Personal Assistant (Bloomberg) — total information awareness assistant. By Seeing, Hearing, and Knowing All, in the future even elevators will be trying to read our minds. (via The Next Web)
3. Microsoft Contributes Cloud Server Designs to Open Compute ProjectAs part of this effort, Microsoft Open Technologies Inc. is open sourcing the software code we created for the management of hardware operations, such as server diagnostics, power supply and fan control. We would like to help build an open source software community within OCP as well. (via Data Center Knowledge)
4. Open Tissue Wiki — open source (ZLib license) generic algorithms and data structures for rapid development of interactive modeling and simulation.
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## Four short links: 27 January 2014

### Real Time Exploratory Analytics, Algorithmic Agendas, Disassembly Engine, and Future of Employment

1. Druid — open source clustered data store (not key-value store) for real-time exploratory analytics on large datasets.
2. It’s Time to Engineer Some Filter Failure (Jon Udell) — Our filters have become so successful that we fail to notice: We don’t control them, They have agendas, and They distort our connections to people and ideas. That idea that algorithms have agendas is worth emphasising. Reality doesn’t have an agenda, but the deployer of a similarity metric has decided what features to look for, what metric they’re optimising, and what to do with the similarity data. These are all choices with an agenda.
3. Capstone — open source multi-architecture disassembly engine.
4. The Future of Employment (PDF) — We note that this prediction implies a truncation in the current trend towards labour market polarization, with growing employment in high and low-wage occupations, accompanied by a hollowing-out of middle-income jobs. Rather than reducing the demand for middle-income occupations, which has been the pattern over the past decades, our model predicts that computerisation will mainly substitute for low-skill and low-wage jobs in the near future. By contrast, high-skill and high-wage occupations are the least susceptible to computer capital. (via The Atlantic)
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## Four short links: 24 January 2014

### Floating Point, Secure Distributed FS, Cloud Robotics, and Domestic Sensors

1. What Every Computer Scientist Should Know About Floating Point Arithmetic — in short, “it will hurt you.”
2. Ori a distributed file system built for offline operation and empowers the user with control over synchronization operations and conflict resolution. We provide history through light weight snapshots and allow users to verify the history has not been tampered with. Through the use of replication instances can be resilient and recover damaged data from other nodes.
3. RoboEartha Cloud Robotics infrastructure, which includes everything needed to close the loop from robot to the cloud and back to the robot. RoboEarth’s World-Wide-Web style database stores knowledge generated by humans – and robots – in a machine-readable format. Data stored in the RoboEarth knowledge base include software components, maps for navigation (e.g., object locations, world models), task knowledge (e.g., action recipes, manipulation strategies), and object recognition models (e.g., images, object models).
4. Mother — domestic sensors and an app with an appallingly presumptuous name. (Also, wasn’t “Mother” the name of the ship computer in Alien?) (via BoingBoing)
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