- Inside bit.ly’s Distributed Systems — this is a 101 for modern web distributed systems design.
- Patent Trolls are Now 67% of New Patent Lawsuits in USA (WaPo) — data from PwC.
- Intel Made Half a Billion from Internet of Things Last Year (Quartz) — half a billion here, half a billion there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.
- Google’s Project Zero (Wired) — G pays a team to attack common software and report the bugs to the manufacturer. Interesting hypothesis about how the numbers inbalance between Every Russian 14 Year Old and this small team doesn’t matter: modern hacker exploits often chain together a series of hackable flaws to defeat a computer’s defenses. Kill one of those bugs and the entire exploit fails. That means Project Zero may be able to nix entire collections of exploits by finding and patching flaws in a small part of an operating system, like the “sandbox” that’s meant to limit an application’s access to the rest of the computer. ”On certain attack surfaces, we’re optimistic we can fix the bugs faster than they’re being introduced,” Hawkes says. “If you funnel your research into these limited areas, you increase the chances of bug collisions.”
ENTRIES TAGGED "patents"
Distributed Systems Design 101, Patent Trolls, Intel's Half a Billion from IoT, and Google's Project Zero.
Decision Trees, Decision Modifications, Mobile Patents, Web Client
- Quick DT — open source (Java) decision tree learner.
- Revealing Hidden Changes to Supreme Court Opinions — WHEREAS, It is now well-documented that the Supreme Court of the United States makes changes to its opinions after the opinion is published; and WHEREAS, Only “Four legal publishers are granted access to “change pages” that show all revisions. Those documents are not made public, and the court refused to provide copies to The New York Times”; and WHEREAS, git makes it easy to identify when changes have been made; RESOLVED, I shall apply a cron job to at least identify when the actual PDF has changed so everyone can see which documents have changed.
- Microsoft’s “Killer” Android Patents Revealed (Ars Technica) — Chinese Government required them disclosed as part of MSFT-Nokia merger. The patent lists are strategically significant, because Microsoft has managed to build a huge patent-licensing business by taxing Android phones without revealing what kind of legal leverage they really have over those phones.
- HTTPie — a command line HTTP client, a user-friendly HTTP client.
Hardening Android, Samsung Connivery, Scalable WebSockets, and Hardware Machine Learning
- Hardening Android for Security and Privacy — a brilliant project! prototype of a secure, full-featured, Android telecommunications device with full Tor support, individual application firewalling, true cell network baseband isolation, and optional ZRTP encrypted voice and video support. ZRTP does run over UDP which is not yet possible to send over Tor, but we are able to send SIP account login and call setup over Tor independently.
- The Great Smartphone War (Vanity Fair) — “I represented [the Swedish telecommunications company] Ericsson, and they couldn’t lie if their lives depended on it, and I represented Samsung and they couldn’t tell the truth if their lives depended on it.” That’s the most catching quote, but interesting to see Samsung’s patent strategy described as copying others, delaying the lawsuits, settling before judgement, and in the meanwhile ramping up their own innovation. Perhaps the other glory part is the description of Samsung employee shredding and eating incriminating documents while stalling lawyers out front. An excellent read.
- socketcluster — highly scalable realtime WebSockets based on Engine.io. They have screenshots of 100k messages/second on an 8-core EC2 m3.2xlarge instance.
- Machine Learning on a Board — everything good becomes hardware, whether in GPUs or specialist CPUs. This one has a “Machine Learning Co-Processor”. Interesting idea, to package up inputs and outputs with specialist CPU, but I wonder whether it’s a solution in search of a problem. (via Pete Warden)
Mobile UX, Ideation Tools, Causal Consistency, and Intellectual Ventures Patent Fail
- Samsung UX (Scribd) — little shop of self-catalogued UX horrors, courtesy discovery in a lawsuit. Dated (Android G1 as competition) but rewarding to see there are signs of self-awareness in the companies that inflict unusability on the world.
- Tools for Ideation and Problem Solving (Dan Lockton) — comprehensive and analytical take on different systems for ideas and solutions.
- Don’t Settle for Eventual Consistency (ACM) — proposes “causal consistency”, prototyped in COPS and Eiger from Princeton.
- Intellectual Ventures Loses Patent Case (Ars Technica) — The Capital One case ended last Wednesday, when a Virginia federal judge threw out the two IV patents that remained in the case. It’s the first IV patent case seen through to a judgment, and it ended in a total loss for the patent-holding giant: both patents were invalidated, one on multiple grounds.
Rise of the Patent Troll, Farm Data, The Block Chain, and Better Writing
- Rise of the Patent Troll: Everything is a Remix (YouTube) — primer on patent trolls, in language anyone can follow. Part of the fixpatents.org campaign. (via BoingBoing)
- Petabytes of Field Data (GigaOm) — Farm Intelligence using sensors and computer vision to generate data for better farm decision making.
- Bullish on Blockchain (Fred Wilson) — our 2014 fund will be built during the blockchain cycle. “The blockchain” is bitcoin’s distributed consensus system, interesting because it’s the return of p2p from the Chasm of Ridicule or whatever the Gartner Trite Cycle calls the time between first investment bubble and second investment bubble under another name.
- Hemingway — online writing tool to help you make your writing clear and direct. (via Nina Simon)
Library Box, Data-Driven Racial Profiling, Internet of Washing Machines, and Nokia's IoT R&D
- Librarybox 2.0 — fork of PirateBox for the TP-Link MR 3020, customized for educational, library, and other needs. Wifi hotspot with free and anonymous file sharing. v2 adds mesh networking and more. (via BoingBoing)
- Chicago PD’s Using Big Data to Justify Racial Profiling (Cory Doctorow) — The CPD refuses to share the names of the people on its secret watchlist, nor will it disclose the algorithm that put it there. [...] Asserting that you’re doing science but you can’t explain how you’re doing it is a nonsense on its face. Spot on.
- Cloudwash (BERG) — very good mockup of how and why your washing machine might be connected to the net and bound to your mobile phone. No face on it, though. They’re losing their touch.
- What’s Left of Nokia to Bet on Internet of Things (MIT Technology Review) — With the devices division gone, the Advanced Technologies business will cut licensing deals and perform advanced R&D with partners, with around 600 people around the globe, mainly in Silicon Valley and Finland. Hopefully will not devolve into being a patent troll. [...] “We are now talking about the idea of a programmable world. [...] If you believe in such a vision, as I do, then a lot of our technological assets will help in the future evolution of this world: global connectivity, our expertise in radio connectivity, materials, imaging and sensing technologies.”
Throwable Sensor, 3D Printer Patents, Internet Inequality, and Carbon Fiber Printing
- Bounce Explorer — throwable sensor (video, CO2, etc) for first responders.
- Sintering Patent Expires Today — key patent expires, though there are others in the field. Sintering is where the printer fuses powder with a laser, which produces smooth surfaces and works for ceramics and other materials beyond plastic. Hope is that sintering printers will see same massive growth that FDM (current tech) printers saw after the FDM patent expired 5 years ago.
- Internet is the Greatest Legal Facilitator of Inequality in Human History (The Atlantic) — hyperbole aside, this piece does a good job of outlining “why they hate us” and what the systemic challenges are.
- First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer Announced — $5000 price tag. Nice!
History of the Future, Managing without Managers, Intellectual Ventures, and Quantified Cigarette
- A History of the Future in 100 Objects — is out! It’s design fiction, describing the future of technology in faux Wired-like product writeups. Amazon already beating the timeline.
- Projects and Priorities Without Managers (Ryan Carson) — love what he’s doing with Treehouse. Very Googley. The more I read about these low-touch systems, the more obviously important self-reporting is. It is vital that everyone posts daily updates on what they’re working on or this whole idea will fall down.
- Intellectual Ventures Patent Collection — astonishing collection, ready to be sliced and diced in Cambia’s Lens tool. See the accompanying blog post for charts, graphs, and explanation of where the data came from.
- Smokio Electronic Cigarette — the quantified cigarette (not yet announced) for measuring your (electronic) cigarette consumption and uploading the data (natch) to your smartphone. Soon your cigarette will have an IPv6 address, a bluetooth connection, and firmware to be pwned.
Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
As the end of December approaches, it’s time to take a look at the year that was. In a lot of ways, 2013 was a status quo year for mobile, with nothing earthshaking to report, just a steady progression of what already is getting more, um, is-y?
We started the year with Apple on top in the tablet space, Android on top in the handset space, and that’s how we ended the year. Microsoft appears to have abandoned the handset space after a decade of attempts to take market-share, and made their move on the tablet space instead with the Surface. In spite of expensive choreographer board room commercials, the Surface didn’t make a huge dent in Apple’s iPad dominance. But Microsoft did better than Blackberry, whose frantic flailing in the market has come to represent nothing so much as a fish out of water.
Will WebRTC disrupt or be disrupted?
WebRTC promises to deliver computer to computer communications with minimal reliance on central servers to manage the conversation. Peer-to-peer systems promise smoother exchanges without the tremendous scale challenges of running video, for example, through central points.
The WebRTC Conference and Expo was unlike any other web conference I’ve attended. Though technologies in development are common at tech conferences, I can’t remember attending a show that was focused on a technology whose future had these levels of promise and uncertainty. Also, despite the name, WebRTC doesn’t resemble much of the Web despite being built into some browsers (more hopefully coming soon) and supporting HTTP(S) proxying.