"Linux" entries

Four short links: 30 December 2010

Four short links: 30 December 2010

Systematic Voice, gTLD Branding, Haikuleaks, and PS3 Code Signing

  1. Groupon Editorial Manual (Scribd) — When introducing something nonsensical (fake history, mixed metaphors), don’t wink at the reader to let them in on the joke. Don’t call it out with quotes, parenthesis, or any other narrative device. Speak your ignorance with total authority. Assert it as fact. This is how you can surprise the reader. If you call out your joke, even in a subtle way, it spoils the surprise. Think of yourself as an objective, confident, albeit totally unqualified and frequently blatantly ignorant voice speaking at a panel you shouldn’t have been invited to. It’s interesting to see a quirky voice encoded in rules. Corporates obviously need this, to scale and to ensure consistency between staff, whereas in startups it emerges through the unique gifts and circumstance of employees (think Flickr’s Friendly Hipster voice). (via Brady Forrest on Twitter)
  2. Deloitte Corporate gTLD (Slideshare) — Deloitte one of the early bidders to buy their own top-level domain as a branding move. The application fee alone is $185,000.
  3. Haikuleaks — automated finder of haiku from within the wikileaked cables. (via Andy Baio on Twitter)
  4. PS3 Code-signing Key Broken — the private keys giving Sony a monopoly on distributing games for the PS3 have been broken. Claimed to be to let Linux run on the boxes, rather than pirated games. Remains to be seen whether the experience of the PS3 user will become richer for the lack of Sony gatekeeping. There’s even a key generator now. (via Hacker News)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 21 December 2010

Four short links: 21 December 2010

Big Companyitis, Spyware Apps, Maturing Cloud, and Mobile Sync

  1. Cash Cow Disease — quite harsh on Google and Microsoft for “ingesting not investing” in promising startups, then disconnecting them from market signals. Like pixie dust, potential future advertising revenues can be sprinkled on any revenue-negative scheme to make it look brilliant. (via Dan Martell)
  2. Your Apps Are Watching You (Wall Street Journal) — the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system […] Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone’s ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies. […] Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a “supercookie,” […] on iPhones, this number is the “UDID,” or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can’t be blocked or deleted. “The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”
  3. On Undo’s Undue Importance (Paul Kedrosky) — The mainstream has money and risks, and so it cares immensely. It wants products and services where big failures aren’t catastrophic, and where small failures, the sorts of thing that “undo” fixes, can be rolled back. Undo matters, in other words, because its appearance almost always signals that a market has gone from fringe to mainstream, with profits set to follow. (via Tim O’Reilly on Twitter)
  4. libimobiledevice — open source library that talks the protocols to support iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad® and Apple TV® devices without jailbreaking or proprietary libraries.
Comments Off on Four short links: 21 December 2010
Four short links: 17 December 2010

Four short links: 17 December 2010

Systems Programming, Peer Review, Web Mining, Facebook Design

  1. Down the ls(1) Rabbit Hole — exactly how ls(1) does what it does, from logic to system calls to kernel. This is the kind of deep understanding of systems that lets great programmers cut great code. (via Hacker News)
  2. Towards a scientific concept of free will as a biological trait: spontaneous actions and decision-making in invertebrates (Royal Society) — peer-reviewed published paper that was initially reviewed and improved in Google Docs and got comments there, in FriendFeed, and on his blog. The bitter irony: Royal Society charged him €2000 to make it available for free download. (via Fabiana Kubke)
  3. Bixo — an open source web mining toolkit. (via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
  4. How Facebook Does Design — podcast (with transcript) with stories about how tweaking design improved the user activity on Facebook. One of the designers thought closing your account should be more like leaving summer camp (you know a place which has all your friends, and you don’t want to leave.) So he created this page above for deactivation which has all your friends waving good-bye to you as you deactivate. Give you that final tug of the heart before you leave. This reduced the deactivation rate by 7%.
Comments Off on Four short links: 17 December 2010

Strata Week: Statistically speaking

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.

Comment: 1
Four short links: 19 October 2010

Four short links: 19 October 2010

Positive Gov2, Psychology of Places, Open Source Embedded Devices, and Dilbert on Data

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. OpenBricksembedded 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.
  4. Dilbert on Data — pay attention, data miners. (via Kevin Marks)
Comments Off on Four short links: 19 October 2010
Four short links: 28 July 2010

Four short links: 28 July 2010

End of Open Phones, More Geek Women, Social-ish Teenagers, and Premium Cycles

  1. The end of the road for the Nexus One (LWN) — The pessimistic among us can be forgiven for concluding that the battle for open handsets is being lost. The carriers determine which devices will be successful in the market, and they have absolutely no interest in openness. Customers are irresistibly drawn to heavily advertised, shiny devices with low up-front costs; they just do not see any reason to insist on more open devices or, even, freedom from carrier lock-in. Attempts to create a market in open handsets – Nexus One, OpenMoko – seem to go down in flames. By this reasoning, we may well all be using Linux-based handsets in the future, but the freedom that attracted many of us to Linux will have been lost. (via Hacker News)
  2. Women in Technology — says almost everything I learned from helping women into O’Reilly conferences. Amen!
  3. Teenagers and Social Participation (Nina Simone) — [M]any older visitors enjoy the vibrancy of social events and are more than willing to share stories with other visitors in the context of a museum experience as long as it isn’t overly technology mediated. There is another, surprising group that is much less likely to participate in dialogue with strangers: teenagers.
  4. Three New Features for Reddit Gold — I’ve been watching this with interest. They asked supports to sign up to subscription program before they said what they’d offer in return. Now they’re developing premium features to see what sticks. They’re offering the ability to turn off ads, no surprise there, but also some features (such as resortable lists) that are computationally expensive. I like the idea of offering subscribers the expensive-to-compute services above and beyond freemium.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 15 March 2010

Four short links: 15 March 2010

Digital Libraries, Story Analysis, Scriptable Google Apps, Forensic Rooting

  1. A German Library for the 21st Century (Der Spiegel) — But browsing in Europeana is just not very pleasurable. The results are displayed in thumbnail images the size of postage stamps. And if you click through for a closer look, you’re taken to the corresponding institute. Soon you’re wandering helplessly around a dozen different museum and library Web sites — and you end up lost somewhere between the “Vlaamse Kunstcollectie” and the “Wielkopolska Biblioteka Cyfrowa.” Would it not be preferable to incorporate all the exhibits within the familiar scope of Europeana? “We would have preferred that,” says Gradmann. “But then the museums would not have participated.” They insist on presenting their own treasures. This is a problem encountered everywhere around the world: users hate silos but institutions hate the thought of letting go of their content. We’re going to have to let go to win. (via Penny Carnaby)
  2. StoryGardena web-based tool for gathering and analyzing a large number of stories contributed by the public. The content of the stories, along with some associated survey questions, are processed in an automated semantic computing process for an immediate, interactive display for the lay public, and in a more thorough manual process for expert analysis.
  3. Google Apps Script — VBA for the 2010s. Currently mainly for spreadsheets, but some hooks into Gmail and Google Calendar.
  4. There’s a Rootkit in the Closet — lovely explanation of finding and isolating a rootkit, reconstructing how it got there and deconstructing the rootkit to figure out what it did. It’s a detective story, no less exciting than when Cliff Stohl wrote The Cuckoo’s Egg.
Comments: 2
Four short links: 4 February 2010

Four short links: 4 February 2010

Personal Ad Preferences, Android Kernel, EC2 Deconstructed, Symbian Opened

  1. Google Ad Preferencesmy 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)
  2. 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)
  3. On Amazon EC2’s Underlying Architecture — fascinating deconstruction of the EC2 physical and virtual servers, without resorting to breaking NDAs. (via Hacker News)
  4. 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).
Comments Off on Four short links: 4 February 2010
Four short links: 15 January 2010

Four short links: 15 January 2010

Best Science Blogging, Nat Friedman, State of the World, MTA Data

  1. 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)
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. MTA Releases Data — NYC finally releases transit data, free for developers to reuse. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
Comments Off on Four short links: 15 January 2010
Four short links: 6 November 2009

Four short links: 6 November 2009

Barcode Scanning, Downloadable Community Book, Gov Hack Day, Android Kludges

  1. Red Laser — “impossibly accurate barcode scanning”. Uses Google Product Search to identify products that you scan using the camera on the phone. I remember Rael and I talking to Jeff Bezos about this years ago, before camphones had the resolution to decode barcodes. The future is here and it’s $1.99 on the App Store … (via Ed Corkery on Twitter)
  2. The Art of Community For Free Download — Jono Bacon’s O’Reilly book on community management now available for free download (still available for purchase!).
  3. Gov Hack — Australian government ran a hack day with their open data, this is their writeup.
  4. Android Mythbusters — slides for talk by Matt Porter at Embedded Linux Conference Europe. A (long) catalogue of the kludges in Android.
Comment: 1