- New Zealand Government Budget App — when the NZ budget is announced, it’ll go live on iOS and Android apps. Tablet users get details, mobile users get talking points and speeches. Half-political, but an interesting approach to reaching out to voters with political actions.
- Health Care Data Dump (Washington Post) — 5B health insurance claims (attempted anonymized) to be released. Researchers will be able to access that data, largely using it to probe a critical question: What makes health care so expensive?
- Perl 5.16.0 Out — two epic things here: 590k lines of changes, and announcement quote from Auden. Auden is my favourite poet, Perl my favourite programming language.
- WYSIHTML5 (GitHub) — wysihtml5 is an open source rich text editor based on HTML5 technology and the progressive-enhancement approach. It uses a sophisticated security concept and aims to generate fully valid HTML5 markup by preventing unmaintainable tag soups and inline styles.
Budget App, Health Insurance Data, Perl Release, and HTML5 WYSIWYG Editor
CPAN's Sweet 0x10, Social Reading, Questioning Polls, and 3D Manufacturing
- CPAN Turns 0x10 — sixteenth anniversary of the creation of the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. Now holds 480k objects.
- Subtext — social bookreading by adding chat, links, etc. to a book. I haven’t tried the implementation yet but I’ve wanted this for years. (Just haven’t wanted to jump into the cesspool of rights negotiations enough to actually build it :-) (via David Eagleman)
- Questions to Ask about Election Polls — information to help you critically consume data analysis. (via Rachel Cunliffe)
- Technologies, Potential, and Implications of Additive Manufacturing (PDF) — AM is a group of emerging technologies that create objects from the bottom-up by adding material one cross-sectional layer at a time. […] Ultimately, AM has the potential to be as disruptive as the personal computer and the internet. The digitization of physical artifacts allows for global sharing and distribution of designed solutions. It enables crowd-sourced design (and individual fabrication) of physical hardware. It lowers the barriers to manufacturing, and allows everyone to become an entrepreneur. (via Bruce Sterling)
Microsoft embraces HTML5, selling a startup at 15, and a new version of Java looms.
For Microsoft programmers, the week brought fear, uncertainty and doubt regarding their future as an elite class of developers. For a lucky teen, it brought a big paycheck. And for fans of Java, it brought a new version of the popular language one step closer to release.
In-app purchasing called into question, Mono moves on, and you've got new perl.
This week Apple's iOS developer community got a patent wake up call, the recently discarded Mono project found a new home, and a favorite scripting language got a new version.
- UDID DeAnonymization — a developer exposed an API that connected UDID to other information such as Facebook ID. The API has been closed, but it remains true that your iPhone has a primary key and darn near every app developer has a database linking your UDID to other details about you. Apple requires this to not be public, but every private database is a bad architecture choice or security slipup away from being a public database.
- Be Your Own Souvenir — Kinect + 3D printer = print a tiny figurine of yourself. Kinect has solved a very real part of the input problem that 3D fabbing had. (via BoingBoing)
- Campher — Perl embedded in Go, by Brad Fitzpatrick.
- Slides from JS Conf 2011 — more than thirty talks, from greats like David Flanagan, Thomas Fuchs, and Tom Hughes-Croucher. (via Isaac Z Schlueter)
Elegant Boxes, Dashboard in PHP, Management Theory Disparaged, and Obsolete Technology
- Lines (Mark Jason Dominus) — If you wanted to hear more about phylogeny, Java programming, or tree algorithms, you are about to be disappointed. The subject of my article today is those fat black lines. Anatomy of a clever piece of everyday programming. There is no part of this program of which I am proud. Rather, I am proud of the thing as a whole. It did the job I needed, and it did it by 5 PM. Larry Wall once said that “a Perl script is correct if it’s halfway readable and gets the job done before your boss fires you.” Thank you, Larry.
- PHP Clone of Panic Status Board (GitHub) — The Panic status board shows state of downloads, servers, countdown, etc. It’s a dashboard for the company. This PHP implementation lets you build your own. (via Hacker News)
- The Management Myth (The Atlantic) — a philosophy PhD gets an MBA, works as management consultant, then calls bullshit on the whole thing. Taylorism, like much of management theory to come, is at its core a collection of quasi-religious dicta on the virtue of being good at what you do, ensconced in a protective bubble of parables (otherwise known as case studies). (via BoingBoing)
- Obsolete Technology — or, as I like to think of it, post-Zombie-apocalypse technology. Bone up on your kilns if you want your earthen cookware once our undead overlords are running (or, at least, lurching) the country. (via Bruce Sterling)
Borders, Monitoring, Data Visualization, and Localization
- What Went Wrong at Borders (The Atlantic) — a short summary of the decline and fall of Borders. Borders has a special place in our hearts at O’Reilly: it was a buyer for Borders who pointed out that Programming Perl was one of their top-selling books in any category, which got Tim focused on the Open Source story.
- Virtues of Monitoring — great explanation of the different levels of monitoring you could (and should) have in your application. (via Simon Willison)
- Getting Started with Processing and Data Visualization — a quick intro to building data visualizations with Processing. Nice variety in the examples, too. (via Hacker News)
- A Localization Horror Story — how hard it is to localize correctly. A wonderful article that is ruthlessly accurate in its descriptions of the pains of localizing software, which is no easier today despite the article being over a decade old.
Java's wild ride, multicore drives functional, and a look at how the usual programming suspects stacked up in 2010.
This year brought confusion and chaos in the Java space, continued growth for functional languages due to the attack of multicore, and the usual popularity for all of the dynamic languages we know and love.
Component Costs, Streaming Server, RC Parts, and MySQL SSD Goodness
- Conflict Minerals and Blood Tech (Joey Devilla) — electronic components have a human and environmental cost. I remember Saul Griffith asking me, “do you want to kill gorillas or dolphins?” for one component. Now we can add child militias and horrific rape to the list. (via Simon Willison)
- Meteor — an open source HTTP server that serves streaming data feeds (for apps that need Comet-style persistent connections). (via gianouts on Delicious)
- Hobby King RC Store — online source for remote control goodness, as recommended by Dan Shapiro at Foo.
- RethinkDB — MySQL storage engine optimised for SSD drives. See also TechCrunch article.
Hiring Strategy, Data Catalogue Software, Web Frameworks, and Perl Lives
- Google Hiring by the Lake Wobegon Strategy — having just run some interviews myself, I recognise the wisdom in what they say. Another hiring strategy we use is no hiring manager. Whenever you give project managers responsibility for hiring for their own projects they’ll take the best candidate in the pool, even if that candidate is sub-standard for the company, because every manager wants some help for their project rather than no help. That’s why we do all hiring at the company level, not the project level. First we decide which candidates are above the hiring threshold, and then we decide what projects they can best contribute to. (via Hacker News)
- CKAN 1.0 Released — an open source registry system for datasets. It powers data.gov.uk and more than a half-dozen other national catalogues around the world.
- Perl 5.12.1 Released — lovely to see regular stable releases coming from the Perl line, and active development of the next versions with new features. 5.12 featured new work to help developers with APIs and versions, future proofing (literally: 2038 is no longer a bad year), DTrace support, and lots more.