"mozilla" entries

Four short links: 8 April 2013

Four short links: 8 April 2013

Mozilla Payments, Firefox Cleans Cookies, Lost: One Web Please Return to Those Who Love It, and 3D from Spaaaaace

  1. mozpaya JavaScript API inspired by google.payments.inapp.buy() but modified for things like multiple payment providers and carrier billing. When a web app invokes navigator.mozPay() in Firefox OS, the device shows a secure window with a concise UI. After authenticating, the user can easily charge the payment to her mobile carrier bill or credit card. When completed, the app delivers the product. Repeat purchases are quick and easy.
  2. Firefox Looks Like it Will Reject Third-Party Cookies (ComputerWorld) — kudos Mozilla! Now we’ll see whether such a cookie policy does deliver a better user experience. Can privacy coexist with a good user experience? Answers on a tweet, please, to @radar.
  3. How We Lost the Web (Anil Dash) — excellent talk about the decreasing openness and vanishing shared culture of the web. See also David Weinberger’s transcription.
  4. 3D From Space Shuttle Footage? — neat idea! Filming in 3D generally requires two cameras that are separated laterally, to create the parallax effected needed for stereoscopic vision. Fortunately, videos shot from Earth orbit can be converted to 3D without a second camera, because the camera is constantly in motion.
Comments: 3
Four short links: 29 March 2013

Four short links: 29 March 2013

Titan Improved, Security Tweeps, Probabilistic Programming, and 3D-Printable Optics

  1. Titan 0.3 Out — graph database now has full-text, geo, and numeric-range index backends.
  2. Mozilla Security Community Do a Reddit AMA — if you wanted a list of sharp web security people to follow on Twitter, you could do a lot worse than this.
  3. Probabilistic Programming and Bayesian Methods for Hackers (Github) — An introduction to Bayesian methods + probabilistic programming in data analysis with a computation/understanding-first, mathematics-second point of view. All in pure Python. See also Why Probabilistic Programming Matters and Trends to Watch: Logic and Probabilistic Programming. (via Mike Loukides and Renee DiRestra)
  4. Open Source 3D-Printable Optics Equipment (PLOSone) — This study demonstrates an open-source optical library, which significantly reduces the costs associated with much optical equipment, while also enabling relatively easily adapted customizable designs. The cost reductions in general are over 97%, with some components representing only 1% of the current commercial investment for optical products of similar function. The results of this study make its clear that this method of scientific hardware development enables a much broader audience to participate in optical experimentation both as research and teaching platforms than previous proprietary methods.
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Four short links: 28 September 2012

Four short links: 28 September 2012

Mobile Content, Google Math, Mobile Linux, and Mozilla's Strategy

  1. Mobile Content StrategyMobile is a catalyst that can help you make your content tighter without loss of clarity or information. If you make your content work well on mobile, it will work everywhere. Excellent presentation, one I want to thump on every decision-maker’s desk and say “THIS!”.
  2. Math at Google (PDF) — presentation showing the different types of math used to build Google. Good as overview, and as way to motivate highschool and college kids to do their math homework. “See, it really is useful! Really!” (via Ben Lorica)
  3. Tizen 2.0 Alpha Released — Tizen is the Linux Foundation’s mobile Linux kernel, device drivers, middleware subsystems, and Web APIs. (via The Linux Foundation)
  4. Explaining WebMaker Crisply (Mark Surman) — if you’ve wondered wtf Mozilla is up to, this is excellent. Mozilla has big priorities right now: the web on the desktop; the web on mobile; and web literacy.
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Four short links: 12 July 2012

Four short links: 12 July 2012

Mozilla Single Sign-On, Designed Technology, Identifying Crackpots, and Web Page Design

  1. Mozilla Persona — single sign-on for the web.
  2. Interview with Alan Kay (Dr Dobbs Journal) — The Internet was done so well that most people think of it as a natural resource like the Pacific Ocean, rather than something that was man-made. When was the last time a technology with a scale like that was so error-free? The Web, in comparison, is a joke. The Web was done by amateurs. (via Daniel Bachhuber)
  3. Crackpots, Geniuses, and How to Tell The Difference (BoingBoing) — think critically, all the time. If you’re told you can’t trust any other sources of information (especially because of Big Conspiracy, or because so-and-so expert is a bad person in other areas of his or her life), be cautious. Replication is a powerful tool. It helps us get past accidental and intentional biases to see something closer to the truth. Suppressing replication is also powerful, because it leaves you with no way to check against bias.
  4. Properties of Intuitive Web Pages (Luke Wroblewski) — Intuitive design is how we give our users super powers. This enables them to do new things.
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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)
Comment: 1
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!
Comments: 2
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.
Comment: 1
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.
Comment: 1