- Intercepted Drones — The demonstration of the near-disaster, led by Professor Todd Humphreys and his team at the UTA’s Radionavigation Laboratory, points to a “gaping hole” in the US’s plan to open US airspace to thousands of drones, Fox noted: namely, drones can be turned into weapons, given the right equipment. Drones are AI for the physical world: disconnected agents, unsettling because they live in this uncanny valley of almost-independence. Military drones are doubly disconcerting. If von Clauswitz were around today, he’d say drones are the computation of politics by other means.
- Microsoft Censors Its Cloud Storage Service — upload porn, get your accounts (all your Microsoft accounts) frozen.
- Uncle Sam Wants You … to Troll (Wired) — Amanullah has a different view. You don’t necessarily need to deface the forums if you can troll them to the point where their most malign influences are neutralized.
- Wroblewski’s Theorem — “Anything that can be connected to the Internet, will be.”
UK Copyright Modernisation, Lessons from Cisco's Evil, Automation, and Kinect Tool
- HM Government Consultation on Modernising Copyright (PDF) — from all appearances, the UK Govt is prepared to be progressive and tech-savvy in considering updates to copyright law. Proof of the pudding is in the eating (i.e., wait and see whether the process is coopted by maximalists) but an optimistic start.
- Cisco Provides a Lesson (Eric Raymond) — This is why anyone who makes excuses for closed source in network-facing software is not just a fool deluded by shiny marketing but a malignant idiot whose complicity with what those vendors do will injure his neighbors as well as himself. [...] If you don’t own it, it will surely own you.
- Automate or Perish (Technology Review) — As the MIT economist David Autor has argued, the job market is being “hollowed out.” [...] Any work that is repetitive or fairly well structured is open to full or partial automation. Being human confers less and less of an advantage these days.
- Kinectable Pipe (Github) — command-line tool that writes skeleton data (as reported by Kinect) to stdout as text. Because Kinect programming is a pain in the neck, and by trivializing the device’s output into a simple text format, it becomes infinitely easier to digest in the scripting language of your choice.
Shifts for sysadmins and a surprising use for Chef.
OpsCode chief community officer Jesse Robbins discusses cloud infrastructure automation and the most surprising use of Chef he's seen so far.
Storage architectures show simplicity's power and how to build clouds at scale.
Simple systems scale effectively, while complex systems struggle to overcome the multiplicative effect of potential failure points. This shows us why the most reliable and scalable clouds are those made up of fewer, simpler parts.
Cloud-based electronic health record services are gaining traction.
Brian Ahier looks at offerings from CareCloud and athenahealth that combine cloud-based access with electronic health records.
Analytics in Excel, HTTP Debugger, Analytics for Personalized Healthcare, and EFF To The Rescue
- Excel Cloud Data Analytics (Microsoft Research) — clever–a cloud analytics backend with Excel as the frontend. Almost every business and finance person I’ve known has been way more comfortable with Excel than any other tool. (via Dr Data)
- HTTP Client — Mac OS X app for inspecting and automating a lot of HTTP. cf the lovely Charles proxy for debugging. (via Nelson Minar)
- The Creative Destruction of Medicine — using big data, gadgets, and sweet tech in general to personalize and improve healthcare. (via New York Times)
- EFF Wins Protection of Time Zone Database (EFF) — I posted about the silliness before (maintainers of the only comprehensive database of time zones was being threatened by astrologers). The EFF stepped in, beat back the buffoons, and now we’re back to being responsible when we screw up timezones for phone calls.
"Inside Cyber Warfare" author Jeffrey Carr discusses current security trends.
Is an attack on a U.S. business' network an attack on the U.S. itself? "Inside Cyber Warfare" author Jeffrey Carr discusses the intermingling of corporate and government interests in this interview.
Where to store all that genome data? Also, clarifying the work of digital humanities scholars.
We take a look at the big data obstacles and opportunities for genomics, digital humanities scholars respond to Stanley Fish's mischaracterization of what they do with data, and Hadoop World and the Strata Conference merge.
It's a situation crying out for networked transfer, but HIPAA requires careful attention to security and privacy.
Welcome to the feedback economy, a guide for empowered patients, and 3 developer topics that will define 2012.
This week on O'Reilly: Alistair Croll explained why the information economy is giving way to the feedback economy, Fred Trotter examined the epatient movement, and we looked at the three big stories that will shape the developer world in the months ahead.