ENTRIES TAGGED "mozilla"

Four short links: 19 June 2012

Four short links: 19 June 2012

Map Usage, Transit Data, Mozilla Web Maker, and Print-to-Web Design

  1. Mobile Maps (Luke Wroblewski) — In the US, Google gets about 31 million users a month on its Maps app on iOS. On average those users spend more than 75 minutes apiece in the app each month.
  2. The Importance of Public Traffic Data (Anil Dash) — Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s first collaboration was a startup called Traf-O-Data, which recorded and analyzed traffic at intersections in their hometown using custom-built devices along with some smart software. Jack Dorsey’s first successful application was a platform for dispatch routing, designed to optimize the flow of cars by optimizing the flow of information. It’s easy to see these debates as being about esoteric “open data” battles with governments and big corporations. But it matters because the work we do to build our cities directly drives the work we do to build our communities online.
  3. Mozilla ThimbleWrite and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser. Instantly preview your work. Then host and share your finished pages with a single click.
  4. Design of the Guardian iPad App (Mark Porter) — thoughtful analysis of the options and ideas behind the new Guardian iPad app. Unlike the iPhone and Android apps, which are built on feeds from the website, this one actually recycles the already-formatted newspaper pages. A script analyses the InDesign files from the printed paper and uses various parameters (page number, physical area and position that a story occupies, headline size, image size etc) to assign a value to the story. The content is then automatically rebuilt according to those values in a new InDesign template for the app. (via Josh Porter)
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Four short links: 29 February 2012

Four short links: 29 February 2012

StuxNet Deep Dive, Museum 3D Scanning, Tracking The Trackers, and HTML5 Game Code

  1. StuxNet Deep Dive — extremely technical talk, but this page has a redux. The presenter’s thesis, well-argued, is that StuxNet was absolutely aimed specifically at the Natanz facility. (via Chris Douglas)
  2. Smithsonian Digitizing Items (CNet) — two-person project, only able to do a few items a year, but still an excellent advance. See also Bronwyn Holloway-Smith’s art project around artifact replicas.
  3. Collusion (Mozilla) — have your browser tell you the third parties tracking your web browsing. (via Hacker News)
  4. Survivor (Github) — HTML5 implementation of an Atari/C64 game. If you wanted to learn how to write HTML5 arcade games, you could do worse than study this project. (via Andy Baio)
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Four short links: 21 December 2011

Four short links: 21 December 2011

Be a Data Hound, Secure Traveling, Secure SMS, Mozilla's Wider Focus

  1. AntiMap — open source Android software to gather arbitrary data and visualize it. This enables you to be a 21C Francis Galton, the man who walked the streets of England using a pin to prick holes on a cross of card in his pocket, all to keep track of the relative average beauty of women in different parts of the country. He was such an obsessive data gatherer that, during one particularly boring meeting, he kept track of fidgets from each of the other meeting participants. Now you can too.
  2. Defending Privacy at the U.S. Border: A Guide for Travelers Carrying Digital Devices (EFF) — a must read guide for travelers with commercial, political, or personal confidences they would like to keep. (via Marcia Hofmann)
  3. TextSecure Open Sourced — GPLv3 release of the source code to an encrypting text message app for Android.
  4. Meet the New Mozilla (David Ascher) — Mozilla looks up from the browser and realizes apps and mobile are the new battlegrounds for proprietary vs open web. Bravo!
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Four short links: 19 December 2011

Four short links: 19 December 2011

Version Control, Web-based ID, Mobile Design, and Node.js Tools

  1. The History of Version Control (Francis Irving) — concise history of the key advances in managing source code versions. Worth it just for the delicious apposition of “history” and “version control”.
  2. BrowserID — Mozilla’s authentication solution. BrowserID aims to provide a secure way of proving your identity to servers across the Internet, without having to create separate usernames and passwords each time. Instead of a new username, it uses your email address as your identity which allows it to be decentralized since anyone can send you an email verification message. It’s currently implemented via JavaScript but hopefully it will be built into the browser in the future. (via Nelson Minar)
  3. A Look Inside Mobile Design Patterns — Sample chapter on how different apps handle invitations, from a new [O'Reilly-published, huzzah!] book on mobile design patterns. (via David Kaneda)
  4. Node Toolbox — concise compendium of resources for node.js development.
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Four short links: 16 November 2011

Four short links: 16 November 2011

Mozilla's World View, USB Power, Farm Automation, and CSS Reference

  1. Q&A with Rob O’Callahan (ComputerWorld) — an excellent insight into how Mozilla sees the world. In particular how proprietary mobile ecosystems are the new proprietary desktop ecosystems, and how the risks for the web are the same (writing for one device, not for all).
  2. Bikes That Charge USB DevicesGerman bicycle maker Silverback has recently launched two bikes with built-in USB ports that can charge devices as the rider pedals. (via Julie Starr)
  3. Mobile Farm Robots (Wired) — The Harvest Automation robots are knee-high, wheeled machines. Each robot has a gripper for grasping pots, a deck for carrying pots, and an array of sensors to keep track of where it is and what’s around it. Teams of robots zip around nursery fields, single-mindedly spacing and grouping plants. Think Wall-E without the doe eyes and cuddly personality, or the little forest-tending ‘bots in the 1972 sci-fi classic Silent Running.
  4. ThinkUp 1.0 — out of beta, the software to build your own archive of your social network presence is ready for prime time. See Anil’s post for a pointed take on why this is desperately important right now.
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Four short links: 21 October 2011

Four short links: 21 October 2011

Mozilla's Projects, YouTube Insults, iPhone Ultrasound, RoR Intro

  1. What Mozilla is Up To (Luke Wroblewski) — notes from a talk that Brendan Eich gave at Web 2.0 Summit. The new browser war is between the Web and new walled gardens of native networked apps. Interesting to see the effort Mozilla’s putting into native-alike Web apps.
  2. YouTube Insult Generator (Adrian Holovaty) — mines YouTube for insults of a particular form.
  3. Ultrasound for iPhone (Geekwire) — this personal sensor is $8000 today, but bound to drop. I want personal ultrasound at least once a month. How long until it’s in the $200-500 range? (via BERG London)
  4. Web Applications Class at Stanford OpenClassroom — a Ruby on Rails class taught by John Ousterhout, creator of TCL/Tk and log-structured filesystems.
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Four short links: 3 October 2011

Four short links: 3 October 2011

Mozilla Security Guidelines, Javascript Scroller, Botnet Techniques, and Password Humour

  1. Mozilla’s Secure Coding Guidelines — the Mozilla recommendations for web application security. See also OWASP, Google’s Browser Security Handbook and Google’s course.
  2. Scroller — MIT-licensed Javascript library for accelerated panning and zooming, from Zynga. (via Hacker News)
  3. How Fast-Flux Service Networks Operate — explanation of a technique used by botnets and other malware hordes to make it hard to figure out on which machines the services are actually running. For an example, see The Inside Story of the Kelihos Botnet Takedown.
  4. Log In — clever humour built out of password dialog boxes.
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Four short links: 13 September 2011

Four short links: 13 September 2011

Lie with Research, Learning as You Teach, 3D Printing, and Future of Javascript

  1. Dan Saffer: How To Lie with Design Research (Google Video) — Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. As William Blake said, “Both read the Bible day and night, But thou read’st black where I read white.” (via Keith Bolland)
  2. Teaching What You Don’t Know (Sci Blogs) — As that lecturer said, learning new things—while challenging—is also stimulating & fun. If that sense of excitement and enjoyment carries through to your actual classes, then you’ll speak with passion and enthusiasm—how better to in turn enthuse your students? Ties in with the Maori concept of Ako, that teacher and student learn from each other.
  3. Bored of 3D Printers (Tom Armitage) — made me wonder how long it would be before we drop the “3D” prefix and expect a “printer” to emit objects. That said, I love Tom’s neologism artefactory.
  4. Future of Javascript from Google’s Internal SummitJavascript has fundamental flaws that cannot be fixed merely by evolving the language. Their two-pronged strategy is to work with ECMA (the standards body responsible for the language) and simultaneously develop Yet Another New Language. I still don’t know which box to file this in: techowank fantasy (“I will build the ultimate language and all will fall in line before me!” — btdt, have the broken coffee mug), arrogant corporate forkwits, genuine frustration with the path of progress, evil play for ownership. Read Alex Russell’s commentary on this (Alex is the creator of Dojo, now an employee of Google) for some context. I have to say, We Will Build A Better Javascript doesn’t fill me with confidence when it comes from folks producing Chrome-specific demos (causing involuntary shudders as we all flash back to “this site best experienced in Microsoft Internet Explorer” days). Trust makes Google possible: Microsoft wanted to roll an identity solution out to the public but was beaten to pieces for it; Google was begged to provide an API for gmail account authentication. The difference was trust: Google had it and Microsoft had lost it. When Google loses our trust, whether by hostile self-interested forking, by promoting antifeature proprietary or effectively-proprietary integrated technologies over the open web, or by traditional trust-losing techniques such as security failures or over-exploitative use of data, they’re fucked. I use a lot of Google services and love them to pieces, but they must be ever-vigilant for hubris. Everyone at Google should look humbly at Yahoo!, which once served customers and worked well with others but whose death was ensured around 2000 when they rolled out popups and began eating the sheep instead of shearing them.
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Four short links: 27 January 2011

Four short links: 27 January 2011

New Browser, Google APIs, NFC Checkin, and XSS Prevention

  1. Mozilla Home Dash — love this experiment in rethinking the browser from Mozilla. They call it a “browse-based browser” as opposed to “search-based browser” (hello, Chrome). Made me realize that, with Chrome, Google’s achieved a 0-click interface to search–you search without meaning to as you type in URLs, you see advertising results without ever having visited a web site.
  2. Periodic Table of Google APIs — cute graphic, part of a large push from Google to hire more outreach engineers to do evangelism, etc. The first visible signs of Google’s hiring binge.
  3. NFC in the Real World (Dan Hill) — smooth airline checkin with fobs mailed to frequent fliers.
  4. XSS Prevention Cheat Sheet (OWASP) — HTML entity encoding doesn’t work if you’re putting untrusted data inside a script tag anywhere, or an event handler attribute like onmouseover, or inside CSS, or in a URL. So even if you use an HTML entity encoding method everywhere, you are still most likely vulnerable to XSS. You MUST use the escape syntax for the part of the HTML document you’re putting untrusted data into. That’s what the rules below are all about. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 11 November 2010

Four short links: 11 November 2010

Bounty Paid, C Archived, Blind Queried, and Links Shared

  1. Open Kinect — less than a week after the bounty for developing an open source driver for Microsoft’s Kinect controller was announced, it is claimed. libfreenect is the software.
  2. CCAN — the Comprehensive C Archive Network.
  3. TextCAPTCHAs — simple questions, written in English, that are accessible to blind users.
  4. F1 — Mozilla browser extension for sharing links via Twitter, Facebook, and Gmail. (via Chris Blizzard on Twitter)
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