Hyperinflation in Diablo 3 — interesting discussion about how video games regulate currency availability, and how Diablo 3 appears to have messed up. several weeks after the game’s debut a source claimed that there were at least 1,000 bots active 24/7 in the Diablo 3 game world, allegedly “harvesting” (producing) 4 million virtual gold per hour. Most of the gold generated by the ruthlessly productive, rapidly adapting bots found its way to third party vendors in a black market which undercut the prices in the sanctioned, in-game auction houses.
Call Me Maybe (Kyle Kingsbury) — a series on network partitions. We’re going to learn about distributed consensus, discuss the CAP theorem’s implications, and demonstrate how different databases behave under partition.
OpenWorm (The Atlantic) — simulating the c. elegans nematode worm in software. OpenWorm isn’t like these other initiatives; it’s a scrappy, open-source project that began with a tweet and that’s coordinated on Google Hangouts by scientists spread from San Diego to Russia. If it succeeds, it will have created a first in executable biology: a simulated animal using the principles of life to exist on a computer.
Raspberry Pi Wireless Attack Toolkit — A collection of pre-configured or automatically-configured tools that automate and ease the process of creating robust Man-in-the-middle attacks. The toolkit allows your to easily select between several attack modes and is specifically designed to be easily extendable with custom payloads, tools, and attacks. The cornerstone of this project is the ability to inject Browser Exploitation Framework Hooks into a web browser without any warnings, alarms, or alerts to the user. We accomplish this objective mainly through wireless attacks, but also have a limpet mine mode with ettercap and a few other tricks.
Industrial Robot with SDK For Researchers (IEEE Spectrum) — $22,000 industrial robot with 7 degrees-of-freedom arms, integrated cameras, sonar, and torque sensors on every joint. [...] The Baxter research version is still running a core software system that is proprietary, not open. But on top of that the company built the SDK layer, based on ROS (Robot Operation System), and this layer is open source. In addition, there are also some libraries of low level tasks (such as joint control and positioning) that Rethink made open.
OtherMill (Kickstarter) — An easy to use, affordable, computer controlled mill. Take all your DIY projects further with custom circuits and precision machining. (via Mike Loukides)
go-raft (GitHub) — open source implementation of the Raft distributed consensus protocol, in Go. (via Ian Davis)
Solar Energy: This is What a Disruptive Technology Looks Like (Brian McConnell) — In 1977, solar cells cost upwards of $70 per Watt of capacity. In 2013, that cost has dropped to $0.74 per Watt, a 100:1 improvement (source: The Economist). On average, solar power improves 14% per year in terms of energy production per dollar invested.
Open Source Cancer Informatics Software (NCIP) — we have tackled the main recommendation that came out of our June meeting with open-source thought leaders: Keep it simple. Make barriers to entry as low as possible, and reuse available resources. Specifically, we have adopted a software license that is approved by the Open Source Initiative (OSI) and have begun to migrate the code developed under the cancer Biomedical Informatics Grid® (caBIG®) Program to a public repository. Our goal in taking these steps is to remove as many barriers as possible to community participation in the continuing development of these assets. Awesome! (via John Scott)
NPR’s Framework for Easy Apps — their three architectural maxims: Servers are for chumps; If it doesn’t work on mobile, it doesn’t work; and Build for use. Refactor for reuse..
Random Junk in People’s Labs (Reddit) — reminded me of the contents of my “tmp” and “Downloads” and “Documents” directories: unstructured historical crap with no expiration and no current use. (Caution: swearing in the title of the Reddit post) (via Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi)
Sync — BitTorrent’s alpha-level tech to “automatically sync files between computers via secure, distributed technology.” Not only is it “slick for alpha” (as one friend described), it’s bloody useful: I know at least one multimillion-dollar project built on their own homegrown implementation of this same idea. (via Jason Ryan)
Cash Cow Disease — quite harsh on Google and Microsoft for “ingesting not investing” in promising startups, then disconnecting them from market signals. Like pixie dust, potential future advertising revenues can be sprinkled on any revenue-negative scheme to make it look brilliant. (via Dan Martell)
Your Apps Are Watching You (Wall Street Journal) — the iPhone apps transmitted more data than the apps on phones using Google Inc.’s Android operating system [...] Both the Android and iPhone versions of Pandora, a popular music app, sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. iPhone and Android versions of a game called Paper Toss—players try to throw paper wads into a trash can—each sent the phone’s ID number to at least five ad companies. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies. [...] Among all apps tested, the most widely shared detail was the unique ID number assigned to every phone. It is effectively a “supercookie,” [...] on iPhones, this number is the “UDID,” or Unique Device Identifier. Android IDs go by other names. These IDs are set by phone makers, carriers or makers of the operating system, and typically can’t be blocked or deleted. “The great thing about mobile is you can’t clear a UDID like you can a cookie,” says Meghan O’Holleran of Traffic Marketplace, an Internet ad network that is expanding into mobile apps. “That’s how we track everything.”
On Undo’s Undue Importance (Paul Kedrosky) — The mainstream has money and risks, and so it cares immensely. It wants products and services where big failures aren’t catastrophic, and where small failures, the sorts of thing that “undo” fixes, can be rolled back. Undo matters, in other words, because its appearance almost always signals that a market has gone from fringe to mainstream, with profits set to follow. (via Tim O’Reilly on Twitter)
libimobiledevice — open source library that talks the protocols to support iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad® and Apple TV® devices without jailbreaking or proprietary libraries.
DD-WRT — replacement firmware for cheap wireless router boxes that add new functionality like wireless bridging and quality-of-service controls (so Skype doesn’t break up while you’re web-browsing). Not a new thing, but worth remembering that it exists.
Why You Shouldn’t Do It All Yourself — this resonated with where I am in a few projects. One of the hardest things to learn in management is how not to do it all yourself. People often call this a problem with “delegation”. But the problem isn’t with telling others what to do. The problem is learning how not to do it all yourself. (via br3nda)
The Story Behind The Story (The Atlantic) — I would describe their approach as post-journalistic. It sees democracy, by definition, as perpetual political battle. The blogger’s role is to help his side. Distortions and inaccuracies, lapses of judgment, the absence of context, all of these things matter only a little, because they are committed by both sides, and tend to come out a wash. Nobody is actually right about anything, no matter how certain they pretend to be. The truth is something that emerges from the cauldron of debate. No, not the truth: victory, because winning is way more important than being right. Power is the highest achievement. There is nothing new about this. But we never used to mistake it for journalism. Today it is rapidly replacing journalism, leading us toward a world where all information is spun, and where all “news” is unapologetically propaganda.
OkTrends — analytics from a dating site show what works in email. We analyzed over 500,000 first contacts on our dating site, OkCupid. Our program looked at keywords and phrases, how they affected reply rates, and what trends were statistically significant. The result: a set of rules for what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself online. (read their note on how they protected privacy before freaking out)
Learn GitHub — Here we have tried to compile the best online learning Git resource available. There are a number of articles and screencasts, written and arranged to try to make learning Git as quick and easy as possible.
What The Future’s All About (Webstock Words) — Bruce Sterling on the future. We’re not going to get a future Cloud World as somehow opposed to a future Augmented Reality World. It can’t happen. The ideas can be clearly distinguished, but ideas about technology, labels for technology, predictions and suppositions about technology, they don’t map onto actual real-world technology. Human culture doesn’t work like a logical argument.
Prophet and SD 0.7 Are Now Available — Prophet is a lightweight schemaless database designed for peer to peer replication and disconnected operation. Prophet keeps a full copy of your data and (history) on your laptop, desktop or server. Prophet syncs when you want it to, so you can use Prophet-backed applications whether or not you have network. SD (Simple Defects) is a peer-to-peer issue tracking system built on top of Prophet. In addition to being a full-fledged distributed bug tracker, SD can also bidirectionally sync with your RT, Hiveminder, Trac, GitHub or Google Code issue tracker.
Google’s R Style Guide — R is a high-level programming language used primarily for statistical computing and graphics. The goal of the R Programming Style Guide is to make our R code easier to read, share, and verify. The rules below were designed in collaboration with the entire R user community at Google. (via Bo Cowgill’s blog)
Making Sense of Revision Control Systems (ACM Queue) — good introduction to the subject from Bryan O’Sullivan, author of Mercurial: The Definitive Guide (aka Distributed Revision Control with Mercurial) that covers Subversion, Mercurial, and git. Under the distributed view of revision control, every commit is potentially a branch of its own. If Bob and Alice start from the exact same view of history, and each one makes a commit, they have already created a tiny anonymous fork in the history of the project. Neither will know about this until one pulls the other’s changes in, at which point they will have to merge with them. These tiny branches and merges are so frequent with Mercurial and Git that users of these tools look at branching and merging in a very different way from Subversion users. The parallel and branchy nature of a project’s development is clearly visible in its history, making it obvious who made which changes when, and exactly which other changes theirs were based upon.
Ideas Are Awesome — Ideas Are Awesome is a web culture aggregator tracking emerging marketing, design, and technology memes. We are currently tracking: simplify, empower, give, inspire, connect, adapt. (via cheeky_geeky on Twitter)
OO Concepts Survey Result — There were 3785 people who completed the survey. These charts show the proportion who gave the different possible responses for each question. If you’re an OO programmer, use this to determine how aberrant your practices are (hint: most people are neither zealous nor consistent).
Bokode — a new camera based interaction solution where an ordinary camera can detect small optical tags from a relatively large distance. Current optical tags, such as barcodes, must be read within a short range and the codes occupy valuable physical space on products. We present a new low-cost optical design so that the tags can be shrunk to 3mm visible diameter, and unmodified ordinary cameras several meters away can be set up to decode the identity plus the relative distance and angle. The design exploits the bokeh effect of ordinary cameras lenses, which maps rays exiting from an out of focus scene point into a disk like blur on the camera sensor. (via waxy)
Apple’s iPhone Wrecking the Cell Industry — bleat bleat. Andy Oram’s comment hits the mark: The music companies and AT&T were like travelers who refused to believe they were taking a long trip. They didn’t pack warm clothing, and therefore had to buy it at disadvantageous terms when they came to need it. Apple was more sophisticated about where all companies are going technologically, so they had what others needed.
Fruux — a lightweight and convenient system preference pane, that syncs your Address Book, Calendars, Tasks and Bookmarks between different Macs. (via Daniel Raffel)
Redflax — notable not just for art, but for the Maori quote: He toi whakaaro, he mana tangata – roughly translates: where there is creativity/artistic expression, there is human dignity/prowess.
Google’s Chiller-less Data Center — Belgium has only 7 days (on average) when the ambient air temperature isn’t enough to cool the data center. Finally, a business model for unpleasantly-cold climates.