"mozilla" entries

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
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.
Comments: 3
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)
Comment: 1
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)
Comments: 2
Four short links: 8 September 2010

Four short links: 8 September 2010

Mozilla Updated License Draft, Government Problems, T3h Internets, and Online Voting System

  1. Alpha Draft of Mozilla Public License v2 OutThe highlight of this release is new patent language, modeled on Apache’s. We believe that this language should give better protection to MPL-using communities, make it possible for MPL-licensed projects to use Apache code, and be simpler to understand. (via webmink on Twitter)
  2. Challenge.gov — contest-like environment for solving problems. Not all are glowing examples of government innovation: $12,000 for healthy recipes for kids–this is not a previously-unsolved problem. More relevant: NASA Centennial Challenge to build an aircraft that can fly 200 miles in less than two hours using the energy equivalent of less than 1 gallon of gas per occupant. (via scilib on Twitter)
  3. A Virtual Counter-Revolution (The Economist) — It is still too early to say that the internet has fragmented into “internets”, but there is a danger that it may splinter along geographical and commercial boundaries. (via mgeist on Twitter)
  4. Selectricity — open source system to run online votes, from Benjamin Mako Hill.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 27 May 2010

Four short links: 27 May 2010

Big Dumps, 3D Printing Atom Movers, Faceted Browsing, and Useful Math

  1. Socorro: Mozilla’s Crash Reporting System (Laura Thomson) — We receive on our peak day each week 2.5 million crash reports, and process 15% of those, for a total of 50 GB. In total, we receive around 320Gb each day. Moving to a Hadoop-based system in the future, as they’re limited by database and filesystem storage.
  2. DIY Atomic Force Microscopy — use a 3D printer to make the parts so you can build a cheap and simple AFM head suitable for single molecule force spectroscopy. (via Vik Olliver)
  3. Elastic Lists — open-sourced ActionScript for a clever faceted browsing system. (via Flowing Data)
  4. The Most IMPORTANT Video You’ll Ever See (YouTube) — a math lesson everyone should have. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 5 May 2010

Four short links: 5 May 2010

Web IDEs, Timely Election Displays, Face Recognition, # Books/Kindle

  1. Sketch for Processing — an IDE for Processing based on Mozilla’s Bespin.
  2. British Election Results to be Broadcast on Big Ben — the monument is the message. Lovely integration of real-time data and architecture, an early step for urban infrastructure as display.
  3. Face.com API — an alpha API for face recognition.
  4. Average Number of Books/Kindle — short spreadsheet figuring out, from cited numbers. (Spoiler: the answer is 27)
Comment: 1
Four short links: 23 January 2010

Four short links: 23 January 2010

Wikileaks Fundraising, Internet Censorship, Unfree as in Video, and Museums Online

  1. WikiLeaks Fundraising — PayPal has frozen WikiLeaks’ assets. Interesting: they need $600k/yr to run.
  2. The Great Australian Internet Blackout — online protest to raise awareness about the Great Firewall of Australia.
  3. HTML5 Video: Problems Ahead — YouTube and Vimeo won’t support a free codec (file format). The web is undeniably better for Mozilla having entered the browser market, and it would have been impossible for us to do so if there had been a multi-million-dollar licensing fee required for handling HTML, CSS, JavaScript or the like. It’s not just a matter of Mozilla licensing formats such as H.264 for browsers and their users: sites would have to license to distribute content.
  4. History of the World in 100 Objects (BBC) — a radio show, telling the history of humanity in 100 objects from the British Library. Exquisitely high quality commentary (available in original audio and in textual transcript), hi-resolution images, maps, timelines, and more. It’s growing day by day as episodes air, and shows how a quintessentially offline place like a museum can add to the online world.
Comments: 2