"API" entries

Strata Week: What happens when 200,000 hard drives work together?

IBM is building a massive 120-petabyte array and Infochimps releases a unified geo schema.

IBM takes data storage to a whole new level (120 petabytes, to be exact), Infochimps' new API tries to make life easier for geo developers, and the "Internet of people" keeps an eye on Hurricane Irene.

Four short links: 1 September 2011

Four short links: 1 September 2011

Android Charting, Illusion of Insight, Mapping API, and Science Storytelling

  1. A Chart Engine — Android charting engine.
  2. The Illusion of Asymmetric Insight — we are driven to create and form groups and then believe others are wrong just because they are others.
  3. Urban Mapping API — add rich geographic data to web and non-web applications.
  4. Tell Us A Story, Victoria — a university science story-telling contest.

Scaling Google+

Joseph Smarr of Google+ on early lessons, an API, and pseudonyms.

In a recent interview, Google's Joseph Smarr discussed what he's learned from Google+ thus far. Specifically: how quickly the social network has scaled, the importance of the user interface, and future plans for a Google+ API.

Four short links: 13 June 2011

Four short links: 13 June 2011

Remote Fingerprint Scans, Playdough Circuits, Update-Sync, and Tweet Failage

  1. AIRPrint — prototype box scans a fingerprint from six feet away. (via Greg Linden)
  2. Squishy Circuits — teaching electronic circuits with conductive and insulating playdough. (via Hacker News)
  3. GraphLab — alternative take on Map-Reduce, called Update-Sync, where tasks run on connected sets of nodes rather than on one node at a time.
  4. Tower Bridge Closed — the @towerbridge account was a cute hack from Tom Armitage, whereby the public site for the London Tower Bridge was scraped and connected to Twitter, so you would see tweets like “I am closing after the MV Dixie has passed Upstream” and get a feel for the ambient activity in your city. Twitter turned over @towerbridge to the most tediously vomit-in-your-own-mouth-they’re-so-anodyne beige corporate tweets ever (account description: “Leading tourist attraction situated inside Tower Bridge”, sample tweet: “Looking for something to do it the City this weekend, check out http://www.visitthecity.co.uk/ and you’re always welcome at @TowerBridge”) and deleted the past history of tweets. Way to embrace the community of engaged passionate fans, guys! Welcome to Twitter, try not to step in your social media strategy as you cross the threshold–oh no, too late.
Four short links: 18 May 2011

Four short links: 18 May 2011

Future Libraries, Innovation History, Entity Extraction API, and Outside Insight

  1. The Future of the Library (Seth Godin) — We need librarians more than we ever did. What we don’t need are mere clerks who guard dead paper. Librarians are too important to be a dwindling voice in our culture. For the right librarian, this is the chance of a lifetime. Passionate railing against a straw man. The library profession is diverse, but huge numbers of them are grappling with the new identity of the library in a digital age. This kind of facile outside-in “get with the Internet times” message is almost laughably displaying ignorance of actual librarians, as much as “the book is dead!” displays ignorance of books and literacy. Libraries are already much more than book caves, and already see themselves as navigators to a world of knowledge for people who need that navigation help. They disproportionately serve the under-privileged, they are public spaces, they are brave and constant battlers at the front line of freedom to access information. This kind of patronising “wake up and smell the digital roses!” wank is exactly what gives technologists a bad name in other professions. Go back to your tribes of purple cows, Seth, and leave librarians to get on with helping people find, access, and use information.
  2. An Old Word for a New World (PDF) — paper on how “innovation”, which used to be pejorative, came now to be laudable. (via Evgeny Mozorov)
  3. AlchemyAPI — free (as in beer) entity extraction API. (via Andy Baio)
  4. Referrals by LinkedIn — the thing with social software is that outsiders can have strong visibility into the success of your software, in a way that antisocial software can’t.

Winners of the writable API competition

Announcing the three prize winners of the O'Reilly writable API competition.

We ran a developer contest to see what folks could do with O'Reilly's new "writable" API. Today we're announcing the winners.

Four short links: 11 May 2011

Four short links: 11 May 2011

API Explorer, Random Sampling, Open Cultural Collections, and Video Lectures

  1. webshell — command-line tool for debugging/exploring APIs, open sourced (Apache v2) and written in node.js. (via Sean Coates)
  2. sample — command-line filter for random sampling of input. Useful when you’ve got heaps of data and want to run your algorithms on a random sample of it. (via Scott Vokes)
  3. Yale Offers Open Access To PD Materials in CollectionsThe goal of the new policy is to make high quality digital images of Yale’s vast cultural heritage collections in the public domain openly and freely available. No license will be required for the transmission of the images & no limitations imposed on their use. (via Fiona Rigby)
  4. Resistance to Putting Lectures Online (Sydney Morning Herald) — lecturers are worried that their off-the-cuff mistakes would be mocked on YouTube (they will be), but also that students wouldn’t attend lectures. Nobody seems to have asked whether students actually learn from lectures.

Shopping for APIs

Mashape CEO Augusto Marietti on APIs, community and reputation.

How can a marketplace for APIs help developers tackle discovery and distribution? Mashape CEO Augusto Marietti explores that question in this interview.

Uniform APIs for the data web

The Open Data Protocol is a promising approach for uniform APIs.

What if blogs had come of age in an era when a uniform kind of API was expected? We could then ask questions of blogs in the same way we could ask questions of event services.

A writable API competition

Got a great idea for O'Reilly's new API? Make it happen and you might win a prize.

Featured Post: We’re launching a developer contest to see what folks can do with O’Reilly’s new “writeable” API. Find out what you’ll need to get started.