- Little Rice: Smartphones, Xiaomi, and the Chinese Dream (Amazon) — Clay Shirky’s new 128-page book/report about how Xiaomi exemplifies the balancing act that China has to perfect to navigate between cheap copies and innovation, between the demands of local and global markets, and between freedom and control. I’d buy Clay’s shopping list, the same way I’d gladly listen to Neil Gaiman telling the time. (via BoingBoing)
- Feed Siri Instructions From 16 Feet Away (Wired) — summary of a paywalled IEEE research paper Their clever hack uses those headphones’ cord as an antenna, exploiting its wire to convert surreptitious electromagnetic waves into electrical signals that appear to the phone’s operating system to be audio coming from the user’s microphone. […] It generates its electromagnetic waves with a laptop running the open source software GNU Radio, a USRP software-defined radio, an amplifier, and an antenna.
- User-Centered Design (Courtney Johnston) — the wall label should always give you cause to look back at the art work again. I love behaviour-based indirect measures of success like this.
- Choose Boring Technology (Dan McKinley) — going into the new hire required reading pile. See also the annotated slide deck.
Four short links: 15 October 2015
The Chinese Dream, Siri Hacked, Indirect Measures, and Boring Technology
Four short links: 24 April 2015
Jeff Jonas, Siri and Mesos, YouTube's Bandwidth Bill, and AWS Numbers
- Decoding Jeff Jonas (National Geographic) — “He thinks in three—no, four dimensions,” Nathan says. “He has a data warehouse in his head.” And that’s where the work takes place—in his head. Not on paper. Not on a computer. He resorts to paper only to work the details out. When asked about his thought process, Jonas reaches for words, then says: “It’s like a Rubik’s Cube. It all clicks into place. “The solution,” he says, is “simply there to find.” Jeff’s a genius and has his own language for explaining what he does. This quote goes a long way to explaining it.
- How Apple Uses Mesos for Siri — great to see not only some details of the tooling that Apple built, but also their acknowledgement of the open source foundations and ongoing engagement with those open source communities. There have been times in the past when Apple felt like a parasite on the commons rather than a participant.
- Cheaper Bandwidth or Bust: How Google Saved YouTube (ArsTechnica) — Remember YouTube’s $2 million-a-month bandwidth bill before the Google acquisition? While it wasn’t an overnight transition, apply Google’s data center expertise, and this cost drops to about $666,000 a month.
- AWS Business Numbers — Amazon Web Services generated $5.2 billion over the past four quarters, and almost $700 million in operating income. During the first quarter of 2015, AWS sales reached $1.6 billion, up 49% year-over-year, and roughly 7% of Amazon’s overall sales.
Four short links: 9 April 2014
Internet of Listeners, Mobile Deep Belief, Crowdsourced Spectrum Data, and Quantum Minecraft
- Jasper Project — an open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications. Shouting is the new swiping—I eagerly await Gartner touting the Internet-of-things-that-misunderstand-you.
- DeepBeliefSDK — deep neural network library for iOS. (via Pete Warden)
- Microsoft Spectrum Observatory — crowdsourcing spectrum utilisation information. Just open sourced their code.
- qcraft — beginner’s guide to quantum physics in Minecraft. (via Nelson Minar)
Four short links: 31 December 2012
Vanishing Landlines, Factory Help, Spectral Analyzer, and the State of the World
- Wireless Substitution (BoingBoing, CDC) — very nice graph showing the decline in landlines/growth in wireless.
- Maker’s Row — Our mission is to make the manufacturing process simple to understand and easy to access. From large corporations to first time designers, we are providing unparalleled access to industry-specific factories and suppliers across the United States.
- mySight (GitHub) — myspectral.com Spectruino analyzer for light spectra in UV/VIS/NIR.
- State of the World (Bruce Sterling, John Lebkowsky) — always a delight. Come 2013, I think it’s time for people in and around the “music industry” to stop blaming themselves, and thinking their situation is somehow special. Whatever happens to musicians will eventually happen to everybody. Nobody was or is really much better at “digital transition” than musicians were and are. If you’re superb at digitalization, that’s no great solution either. You just have to auto-disrupt and re-invent yourself over and over and over again.
Four short links: 7 October 2011
Telco-less Mobile Calls, Videogames, Open Source Hardware, Facial Recognition
- Viber — more and more people are wanting to talk to me via this, rather than Skype or direct phone call (req. wifi). Can’t tell whether massive disruptor or toy.
- Who Killed Videogames — “The players will come for the cute characters, and stay for the cruel mathematics.”
- Visual Diffs for Open Source Hardware — just what it says.
- Facebook Face Recognition Study — take profile photos from dating sites, facial-recognition match against Facebook photos to find identity, use to predict interests and social security numbers.
Four short links: 27 July 2011
- Twilio Client SDK — 1/4 cent/minute API-to-API calls, embeddable in browser apps.
- Postel’s Principle Reconsidered (ACM) — The Robustness Principle was formulated in an Internet of cooperators. The world has changed a lot since then. Everything, even services that you may think you control, is suspect. Excellent explanation of how interoperability and security are harder than they should be because of Postel’s Law (“Be conservative in what you do, be liberal in what you accept from others.”, RFC 793). (via Mike Olson)
- HTTP Pipelining on Mobiles — HTTP pipelining has a much higher adoption amongst mobile browsers. Opera Mini, Opera Mobile and the Android browser all use HTTP pipelining by default. Together they account for about 40% of mobile browsing. If you’re developing a mobile site, your site is experiencing HTTP pipelining daily, and you should understand how it works. (via John Clegg)
Four short links: 3 February 2010
Bad Census Data, Telephone Fraud, Math Art, and EBook Bugs
- Bad Census Data for The Last Decade (Freakonomics blog) — the “representative sample” of statistics data that the Census Bureau releases has apparently been flawed. It’s been used in thousands of studies, and the Census Bureau has refused to correct it.
- Modern Telephone Fraud — it’s actually an old fraud updated: an insecure digital PBX used to route expensive calls. Innocent company is whacked with bill at end of month. Interesting questions raised about what we expect company to do (pay?) and telco to do (forgive?). It’s a good reminder that every electronic product is now an avenue for fraud or intrusion, but we don’t plan or contract for these situations.
- Found Functions — Nikki Graziano adds mathematics to photographs. Her photos let me see the world through a mathematician’s eyes. (via sciblogs)
- Getting Past Good-Enough E-Books — fantastic list of TODOs for ebook publishers.
Innovation Battles Investment as FCC Road Show Returns to Cambridge
Opponents can shed their rhetoric and reveal new depths to their thought when you bring them together for rapid-fire exchanges, sometimes with their faces literally inches away from each other. That made it worth my while to truck down to the MIT Media Lab for yesterday’s Workshop on Innovation, Investment and the Open Internet, sponsored by the Federal Communications Commission. The event showed that innovation and investment are not always companions on the Internet. An in-depth look at the current state of the debate over competition and network neutrality.