- YIMBY — Swedish site for “Yes, In My Back Yard”. Provides an opportunity for the net to aggregate positive desires (“please put a bus stop on my street”, “we want wind power”) rather than simply aggregating complaints. (via cityofsound on Twitter)
- Getting People in the Door — a summary of some findings about people’s approaches to the physical layout of shopping space. People like to walk in a loop. They avoid “cul de sacs” that they can see are dead-ends, because they don’t want to get bored walking through the same merchandise twice. Apply these to your next office space.
- OpenBricks — embedded Linux framework that provides easy creation of custom distributions for industrial embedded devices. It features a complete embedded development kit for rapid deployment on x86, ARM, PowerPC and MIPS systems.
- Dilbert on Data — pay attention, data miners. (via Kevin Marks)
Trading platforms, truth in graphs, European financial stats, and Mandelbrot's passing.
In this edition of Strata Week: The London Stock Exchange moves from .Net to open source; learn how graphical scales can lie; the Euroean Central Bank president calls for better financial statistics; and we bid farewell to the father of fractals.
Personal Ad Preferences, Android Kernel, EC2 Deconstructed, Symbian Opened
- Google Ad Preferences — my defaults look reasonable and tailored to my interest. Creepy but kinda cool: I guess that if I have to have ads, they should be ones I’m not going to hate. (via rabble on Twitter)
- Android and the Linux Kernel — the Android kernel is forked from the standard Linux kernel, and a Linux kernel maintainer says that Google has made no efforts to integrate. (via Slashdot)
- On Amazon EC2’s Underlying Architecture — fascinating deconstruction of the EC2 physical and virtual servers, without resorting to breaking NDAs. (via Hacker News)
- First Full Open Source Symbian Release (BBC) — source code will be available for download from the Symbian Foundation web site as of 1400GMT. Nokia bought Symbian for US$410M in 2008 (for comparison, AOL bought Netscape for $4.2B in 1999 but the source code tarball had been escape-podded from the company a year before the deal closed). This makes Symbian more open than Android, says the head of the foundation: “About a third of the Android code base is open and nothing more,” says Williams. “And what is open is a collection of middleware. Everything else is closed or proprietary.” (quote from Wired’s story).
Best Science Blogging, Nat Friedman, State of the World, MTA Data
- The Open Laboratory — collection of the best science writing on blogs from the last year. For more, see an interview with the author. Part of a growing trend where online comes first and feeds offline. (via sciblogs)
- Nat Friedman Leaving Novell — one of the original Ximian founders, with interests in many directions and the coding chops to make them real. He’ll found another startup, topic as yet unknown, which will be one to watch.
- Bruce Sterling’s State of the World 2010 — sometimes funny, often thought-provoking, always interesting. Americans really want and need and desire a Futuristic Vision Thing, they get all lonesome and moody without one, but it’s absolutely gotta be one of those good-old-fashioned American Futuristic Vision Things, just like the Americans had in the 1950s when everybody else was still on fire from total war and cleaning up the death camps.
- MTA Releases Data — NYC finally releases transit data, free for developers to reuse. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- Julie Learns to Program — blog from our own Julie Steele as she learns her first programming language. The point is: it’s in me. I wasn’t sure that is was, and now I know—it is. And what, exactly, is “it”? It is the bug. It is the combination of native curiosity and stubbornness that made me play around with the code and take some wild guesses instead of running straight to Google (or choosing to stay within the bounds of the exercise). That might sound like a small thing, but I know it is not. I was determined to make the program do what I wanted it to do, I came up with a few guesses as to how to do that, and I kept trying different things until I succeeded (and then I felt thrilled). As much as I have to learn, I know now that I really am hooked. And that I’ll get there.
- WWW::Mechanize::Firefox — Perl module to control Firefox, using the same interface as the WWW::Mechanize web robot module. (via straup on Delicious)
- Anatomy of SSDs — teeth-rattlingly technical Linux Magazine article explaining the different types of SSDs (Solid State Disks–imagine a hard drive made of rapid-access Flash memory). Artur Bergman told me that installing an SSD drive in his MacBook Pro gave the greatest performance increase of any computer upgrade he’d performed since he went from no computer to one.
DIY Baby Rocker, Unix Systems Glory, Encrypting Ephemera, and Explaining Creative Joy
- Linux Baby Rocker — inventive use of a CD drive and the eject command … (via Hacker News)
- I Like Unicorn Because It’s Unix — forceful rant about the need to rediscover Unix systems programming. Reminds me of the Varnish notes where the author explains that it works better because it uses the operating system instead of recreating it poorly.
- Encrypting Ephemeral Storage and EBS Volumes on Amazon — step-by-step instructions. (via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
- You Have No Life — if a video smacks even slightly of concentrated effort or advance planning, someone will inevitably scoff that the subject has a) “too much time on his hands” or b) “no life.” Ten times out of ten. […] After six years I lack a succinct, meaningful response to my students’ defensive, clannish embrace of mediocrity, though I’m grateful for this tweet, which comes pretty close: dwineman: You say “looks like somebody has too much time on their hands” but all I hear is “I’m sad because I don’t know what creativity feels like.”
NoSQL, Gov 2.0 Videos, Linux Conf, Geodata Grump
- WTF Is A Supercolumn? — Cassandra is a NoSQL database, a triplestore that scales superwell. Because it’s not the usual relational thing we’re accustomed to, the language can be a barrier to learning: ColumnFamily, SuperColumns, and more. This post explains what’s what, with examples. (via joshua on Delicious)
- Gov 2.0 Summit Videos — When I grow up, I want to be Clay Shirky, Tom Steinberg, and Carl Malamud. Some videos are up, others coming up soon–stay tuned for Carl’s, which received the only standing O of the show. [updated with link to Carl’s talk when it was released]
- linux.conf.au Schedule Posted — bring the thunda down unda in 2010. The schedule was just released.
- Transport for London Does Not Like the Ordnance Survey — an Official Information Request yielded the Transport for London response to an Ordnance Survey “strategy consultation”. The OS should appoint an independent body to review their licence documents and pay them based on the number of words deleted. Sound advice too–OS have crippled the geospatial industry in the UK by charging for their (admittedly finely-detailed) data. (via mattb on delicious)