- Things Turbo Pascal is Smaller Than — next time you’re bragging about your efficient code, spare a thought for the Pascal IDE and compiler that lived in 39,731 bytes. This list of more bloated things is hilarious.
- The China Startup Report (Slideshare) — interesting to see the low salary comes with expectation of bonuses but little interest in equity (as there are few exits other than IPO, for reasons the presentation goes into).
- Shape Method — fun HTML5 challenge that will also expand your appreciation of fonts.
- Open Source All The Things! — SparkFun looking aggressively for things to “open source” from their business. I have a lot of time for companies that contribute to the commons above and beyond their legally-mandated minimum, particularly those who aren’t just dumping their unwanted junk there. Google does this well, Facebook is learning. Good on ya, SparkFun.
Code Bloat, Chinese Startups, Font Fun, and Businesses Embracing Open Source
Open Access, Retro Crypto, Open Source Q&A, and Music Visualization
- Open Access Week — a global event promoting Open Access as a new norm in scholarship and research.
- The Copiale Cipher — cracking a historical code with computers. Details in the paper: The book describes the initiation of “DER CANDIDAT” into a secret society, some functions of which are encoded with logograms. (via Discover Magazine)
- Coordino — open source Quota-like question-and-answer software. (via Smashing Magazine)
- Baroque.me — visualization of the first prelude from the first Cello Suite by Bach. Music is notoriously difficult to visualize (Disney’s Fantasia is the earliest attempt that I know of) as there is so much it’s possible to capture. (via Andy Baio)
How metrics-driven decisions can build better software teams.
Don't dismiss "Moneyball" just because it began in the sports world. Many of the system's metrics-based techniques can also apply to software teams.
HP bails, Oracle fails, and the UK teaches coding (including Wales).
WebOS is going to the great operating system repository in the sky, Oracle finds yet another way to peeve developers, and the UK tries to create a new generation of programmers.
Unregulated Printing, Mobile Data, Open Source ERP, and Future Technology
- Gun Part on Thingiverse — we’re used to thinking of the legal problems caused by cheap and decentralized copies of digital works. Now the problems we had with pipe bombs (designs are free on the net, the parts are cheap) are just as applicable to every type of restricted object (in this case, a gun). The difference between regulating speech (design of an object) and regulating possession of objects is blurring and it’ll be interesting to see where this goes. (via Jesse Robbins)
- Mobile Data (Luke Wrobewski) — Mobile data traffic is now outpacing fixed broadband traffic. Last year, it grew 4.2 times as fast. The entire list of interesting numbers repays reading.
- Technology Time Out (Slideshare) — my presentation to employees embarking on a hackathon, about future trends, the role of software developers, and the need to work on meaningful stuff.
Proprietary software has its place.
James Turner says the notion that proprietary software is somehow dirty or a corruption of principles ignores the realities of competition, economics, and context.
Distributed Drug Money, Science Game, Beautiful Machine Learning, and Stream Event Processing
- Silk Road (Gawker) — Tor-delivered “web” site that is like an eBay for drugs, currency is Bitcoins. Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin core development team, says in an email that bitcoin is not as anonymous as the denizens of Silk Road would like to believe. He explains that because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public log, though the identities of all the parties are anonymous, law enforcement could use sophisticated network analysis techniques to parse the transaction flow and track down individual Bitcoin users. “Attempting major illicit transactions with bitcoin, given existing statistical analysis techniques deployed in the field by law enforcement, is pretty damned dumb,” he says. The site is viewable here, and here’s a discussion of delivering hidden web sites with Tor. (via Nelson Minar)
- Dr Waller — a big game using DC Comics characters where players end up crowdsourcing science on GalaxyZoo. A nice variant on the captcha/ESP-style game that Luis von Ahn is known for. (via BoingBoing)
- Machine Learning Demos — hypnotically beautiful. Code for download.
- Esper — stream event processing engine, GPLv2-licensed Java. (via Stream Event Processing with Esper and Edd Dumbill)
Best practices sound good in isolation, but they can suck the life out of developers.
The software industry is now full of "best practices," and many of them make sense when considered in isolation. But when you lump them all on the backs of developers, you end up with dispirited bureaucrats/bean counters.