"sensor networks" entries

Four short links: 5 July 2010

Four short links: 5 July 2010

Data Wholesaling, Sensor Networks, Transparent Science, and a Graph Database

  1. The Open Spending Data that Isn’t (OKFN) — the UK government mandated councils release details of expenditure over 500 pounds in size. Councils have been sending data to a proprietary service and claiming this is releasing it. Everyone needs to realise that government must always wholesale its data (offer bulk downloads), even when it doesn’t retail that data (offer useful visualisation or analysis tools for it).
  2. SenseAware — sensors for shipping that wirelessly report back where they are, whether there’s light (i.e., has the container been opened), what the temperature is. (via data4all on Twitter)
  3. Open Science, Open Data, Open Methods (Ben Goldacre) — open data is sometimes no use unless we also have open methods. (via OKFN)
  4. Sones — cross-platform open source graph database built on Mono.
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Four short links: 4 May 2010

Four short links: 4 May 2010

Software vs Biology, Virtual Keyboards, Massive Sensor Network Scheme, and MTurk via JavaScript

  1. Comparing genomes to computer operating systems in terms of the topology and evolution of their regulatory control networks (PNAS) — paper comparing structure and evolution of software design (exemplified by the Linux operating system) against biological systems (in the form of the e. coli bacterium). They found software has a lot more “middle manager” functions (functions that are called and then in turn call) as opposed to biology, where “workers” predominate (genes that make something, but which don’t trigger other genes). They also quantified how software and biology value different things (as measured what persists across generations of organisms, or versions of software): Reuse and persistence are negatively correlated in the E. coli regulatory network but positively correlated in the Linux call graph[…]. In other words, specialized nodes are more likely to be preserved in the regulatory network, but generic or reusable functions are persistent in the Linux call graph. (via Hacker News)
  2. Virtual Keyboards in Google Search — rolling out virtual keyboards across all Google searches. Very nice solution to the problem of “how the heck do I enter that character on this keyboard?”. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
  3. Information and Quantum Systems Lab at HP — working on the mathematical and physical foundations for the technologies that will form a new information ecosystem, the Central Nervous System for the Earth (CeNSE), consisting of a trillion nanoscale sensors and actuators embedded in the environment and connected via an array of networks with computing systems, software and services to exchange their information among analysis engines, storage systems and end users. (via dcarli on Twitter)
  4. Turkit Java/JavaScript API for running iterative tasks on Mechanical Turk. (via chrismessina on Twitter)
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Four short links: 20 April 2010

Four short links: 20 April 2010

CS Epigrams, Star Trek Made Real, Python Filings, and Difficult Games

  1. Epigrams in Programming — all from the remarkable Alan Perlis. By the time I learned that he was responsible for such gems as “Syntactic sugar causes cancer of the semicolon”, “A language that doesn’t affect the way you think about programming, is not worth knowing”, and “Around computers it is difficult to find the correct unit of time to measure progress. Some cathedrals took a century to complete. Can you imagine the grandeur and scope of a program that would take as long?”, he had died and I never had a chance to meet him. “The best book on programming for the layman is “Alice in Wonderland”; but that’s because it’s the best book on anything for the layman.”. (via Hacker News)
  2. Tricorder for Android — app that shows all the info from the sensors: local magnetic field, RF, acceleration, sound, etc. They really need a designer to make this look more like Star Trek than an Apple ][c program. (via attercop on Delicious)
  3. Will Wall Street Require Pythonwith Release 33-9117, the SEC is considering substitution of Python or another programming language for legal English as a basis for some of its regulations. Reminds me of Charlie Stross’s “Accelerando” where companies bylaws are written in Python and largely autonomous.
  4. Hatetris — game of Tetris that deliberately gives you the most difficult pieces. I love inversions like this, which present their own algorithmic challenges distinct from the original’s.
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Four short links: 19 March 2010

Four short links: 19 March 2010

Load Testing, Chinese Manufacturing, Heroic Forking, and Ubicomp

  1. Tsung — GPLed multi-protocol (HTTP, PostgreSQL, MySQL, WebDAV, SOAP, XMPP) load tester written in Erlang.
  2. Myth of China’s Manufacturing ProwessThe latest data shows […] that the United States is still the largest manufacturer in the world. In 2008, U.S. manufacturing output was $1.8 trillion, compared to $1.4 trillion in China (UN data. China’s data do not separate manufacturing from mining and utilities. So the actual Chinese manufacturing number should be much smaller). Also contains pointers to an interesting discussion of lack of opportunities for college grads in China.
  3. OpenSSO and the Value of Open Source — Oracle are removing all open source downloads and wiki mentions, leaving only the enterprise OpenSSO product on their web site. A Norwegian company has stepped in and will continue the open source project. This is essentially a fork, but for the forces of good. (via normnz on Twitter)
  4. The Internet of Things — 5m video on sensor networks, etc. (via imran on Twitter)
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Four short links: 12 January 2010

Four short links: 12 January 2010

Navigating Discussions, Sensing The World, Patent Trolls, and Privacy Power

  1. Tldran application for navigating through large-scale online discussions. The application visualizes structures and patterns within ongoing conversations to let the user browse to content of most interest. In addition to visual overviews, it also incorporates features such as thread summarization, non-linear navigation, multi-dimensional filtering, and various other features that improve the experience of participating in large-discussions.
  2. City Senses — Chris Heathcote points out that Pachube can be used as a sensor for the world, not just for energy. His pilot projects are good, and I’d like to see more. The biggest change I’m predicting for the next 10 years is the rise of sensor networks: smart stuff, aware environments, and loquacious locations.
  3. Aggressive Patent Trolls — 1/3 of Union Square Ventures startups are threatened by patent trolls. (via Hacker News)
  4. Anopticon — Italian project to document the location of CCTV cameras, many of which were set up illegally. The site is in Italian, but there’s some information on this article in The Register. Information is power, and this is a clever way for citizens to regain power in the privacy war. (via Nicholas Clark)
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Participatory Sensing – An Interview with Deborah Estrin

While the iPhone doesn’t ship nearly as much as its humbler brethren – the iPhone opened up many minds about the potential of phones to do a whole lot more than talk. In that regard it is a peek into the future. The iPhone is a rich portable computer with onboard sensors. Specifically, it is a location-aware (GPS), motion-aware (accelerometer),…

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Four short links: 7 October 2009

Four short links: 7 October 2009

Ongoing Palm Fail, YouTube Numbers, Plugin Patent Pain, Bivalve-Oriented Architecture

  1. Followup to jwz’s Palm App Store Fiasco — redux: still nothing concrete from Palm, but they’re saying they’ll create a second-rate app store into which open source apps will go (along with apps that Palm hasn’t reviewed).
  2. Schmidt on YouTube — the interesting bit for me was Every minute, more than 10 hours of video is uploaded to the site.
  3. Company that won $585M from Microsoft sues Apple, GoogleThe infamous ‘906 patent granted to Eolas and the University of California was one of the first patents to get the young online tech scene going in 1998. The patent addresses third-party browser plug-ins to run various forms of media as an “embedded program object”—essentially a program that runs within another program. Eolas promptly sued Microsoft for its implementation of ActiveX in Internet Explorer, which set in motion a years-long legal battle between the two companies. and won $585M, now they’re suing many large Internet companies. (via Hacker News)
  4. IBM Uses Mussels as Sensor NetworkConcerned with the environmental and revenue impacts of leaks during oil drilling, StatOil sought an innovative and automated way to detect leaks. They wanted to replace a manual process that included deep sea drivers. StatOil’s innovation, they attached RFID tags to the shells of blue mussels. When the blue mussels sense an oil leak, they close which prompts the RFID tags to emit closure events. In response to the events, the drilling line is automatically stopped. And, in case you are wondering, this is of no harm to the blue mussels. (via monkchips on Twitter)
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Four short links: 21 August 2009

Four short links: 21 August 2009

Moody Twitter, Future Geohistory, News Sucks, Whyless in Wonderland

  1. TwitterMood — using Twitter as a giant mood sensor for the world (see also temporal correlations, via kellan on delicious).
  2. What Will Remain of UsThe sea that brought trade to Dunwich was not entirely benevolent. The town was losing ground as early as 1086 when the Domesday Book, a survey of all holdings in England, was published; between 1066 and 1086 more than half of Dunwich’s taxable farmland had washed away. Major storms in 1287, 1328, 1347, and 1740 swallowed up more land. By 1844, only 237 people lived in Dunwich. Today, less than half as many reside there in a handful of ruins on dry land. (via blackbeltjones on Delicious)
  3. The Three Key Parts of Stories You Don’t Usually GetIn reality, these longstanding facts provide the true foundation of journalism. But in practice, they play second-fiddle to the news, condensed beyond all meaning into a paragraph halfway down in a news story, tucked away in a remote corner of our news sites. Take a look at that WaPo page again. Currently, a link sits on the far right side of the page, a third of the way down, labeled “What you need to know.” Click on that link, and you’re taken here: a linkless, five-paragraph blog post from May. This basically captures our approach to providing the necessary background to follow the news.
  4. Eulogy to _why — a pseudonymous Ruby character, _why the Lucky Stiff, recently vanished from the net: all his sites and accounts were deleted. It’s possible this is because someone tried to identify him, it’s possible that his accounts were hacked. Either way, this is a touching tribute to him from John Resig. I for one would like to see more appreciation while the people are still around. Today, tell two good people that you enjoy what they do. You know you can.
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Four short links: 28 July 2009

Four short links: 28 July 2009

UI Library, 3rd Party Wave Server, Mobile Phones + Parasites, Single API to Cloud Providers

  1. CNMAT Resource LibraryThe CNMAT Resource Library is our fast growing collection of materials, sensors, gestural controllers, interface devices, tools, demos, prototypes and products – all organized and annotated to support the design of physical interaction systems, “new lutherie” and art installations. (via egoodman on Delicious)
  2. PyGoWave Server — first third-party Google Wave server, based on Django.
  3. Mobile Phones Identify Parasites and Bacteria — UCB Researchers developed a cell phone microscope, or CellScope, that not only takes color images of malaria parasites, but of tuberculosis bacteria labeled with fluorescent markers.. The sensor network is built out, and the computers in our pockets surprise us with their uses. (via BoingBoing)
  4. libcloud — a unified interface to cloud providers, written in Python and open source. Covers EC2, EC2-EU, Slicehost, Rackspace, Linode, VPS.net, GoGrid, flexiscale, Eucalyptus. (via joshua on Delicious)
Comments: 2
Four short links: 1 July 2009

Four short links: 1 July 2009

Web Awards, Speed Thrills, Magazines in the Cloud, Augmented Reality

  1. The Onyas — New Zealand web design awards launch, from the people behind Webstock and Full Code Press. The name comes from “good on ya”, the highest praise that traditionally taciturn New Zealanders are allowed by law to give.
  2. The Year of Business Metrics: Don’t make your users run away! — wrapup of the Velocity conference. AOL: Users who had a slower experience view far fewer pages. Some interesting notes on performance from a Google-Bing study: Notice that as the delays get longer the Time To Click increases at a more extreme rate (1000ms increases by 1900ms). The theory is that the user gets distracted and unengaged in the page. In other words, they’ve lost the user’s full attention and have to get it back. […] As much as five weeks later, some users, especially those who saw delays greater than 400MS, were still searching less than before. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
  3. Printcasting — very simple content management system for print magazines that lets anyone start a magazine, add content, sign up contributors, sell ads, and go. Clever!
  4. Pachube Augmented Reality Hack — sexy hack that pushes all my buttons: computer vision, Arduino, sensor network, ubiquitous computing, pervasive alternate reality cyborg villians with chalk designs hellbent on world domination and the enslavement of the human race to use as meatsack AA batteries for their sex toys. Okay, four out of five ain’t bad. (via bruces on Twitter)

Pachube Augmented Reality Demo

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