- Web Search Education (Google) — lesson plans and materials for teaching people how to use search, from operators to critically evaluating sites. This latter area is the weakest: when I teach innocents about the web, I show them organic vs paid results, discuss why people advertise, how people pay for their sites, noticing domain names and organizations, etc. I wonder how much of the weakness of Google’s materials is due to their business model.
- Metroid Source Code — reverse-engineered source code from the original classic Metroid. (via Hacker News)
- Speaker Recognition From Encrypted VoIP Communications (PDF) — speaker identification, even one encrypted VoIP communications, is 70-75% among a pool of 10 candidates. Impressive. (via Bruce Schneier)
- SQL Injection Cheat Sheet — rundown of the different techniques for doing SQL injection. (via Gaëtan De Brucker)
Engaging in-depth on the web with peer-to-peer connections.
As the web platform continues to evolve, tools have emerged for connecting people and computers in new and interesting ways. Web Real-Time Communication (WebRTC) stands out as one of the most significant and disruptive of these emerging technologies, allowing developers to embed peer-to-peer real-time communication in the browser without proprietary plugins, while breaking away from the traditional client-server paradigm.
Since Google released and open-sourced the WebRTC project in early 2011, the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) have been working together to formalize the WebRTC standard and 1.0 stable release. Companies like Twilio and Vidyo have adopted WebRTC as a protocol for video chat in the browser, and established telco and VoIP players such as Cisco, Ericsson, and Telefónica have also lent support to the project.
At the most recent meeting of the IETF, Simon Pietro Romano, author of Real-Time Communication with WebRTC, hosted a panel to discuss developments in the WebRTC community and the road ahead. The panel, who are driving forces behind ongoing standardization and implementation, included:
- Justin Uberti, tech lead for the WebRTC team at Google
- Eric Rescorla of Mozilla
- Dan Burnett, editor of the PeerConnection and getUserMedia W3C WEBRTC specification
- Cullen Jennings, Cisco Fellow and Co-Chair of the IETF RTCWeb
I’d encourage you to listen to the whole conversation, but to get started, you might explore these highlights.
The VoIP modules form a door through which Drupal can move into a vast
world of touch tone telephones, smart telephones, and text messaging,
and therefore toward integrating a huge range of users in developing
regions who use those technologies instead of desktop or laptop
Search Education, Classic Source, Analyzing Encrypted VoIP, and SQL Injection
Demo Talks, Twitter Analysis, Free Courseware, Open Source VoIP
- Anatomy of a Y Combinator Demo Day Pitch (Bryce Roberts) — lovely deconstruction of the basic six slide show, demonstrating exactly how to give a talk with your audience in mind.
- Who Says What to Whom on Twitter (Yahoo! Research) — we find a striking concentration of attention on Twitter—roughly 50% of tweets consumed are generated by just 20K elite users—where the media produces the most information, but celebrities are the most followed. One of the researchers is Duncan Watts of Small Worlds fame.
- Saylor Foundation Free Education Initiative — notes, readings, tests, that take you through the curriculum for real university courses. Important because most online education stuff is either lectures, or course notes, but never enough for you to autodidacticise. (via Regan Mian)
- Blink — A state of the art, easy to use SIP client available for Mac, Windows and Linux. SIP = open standard for voice over IP. (via Simon Phipps)
Visualize open networks–and remember how far we've already come from
the days before flat-rate long distance phone calls (much less app
stores for cell phones).
- Wall Street on the Tundra — Michael Lewis’s long but fascinating glimpse into Iceland’s rise and fall as hubris-filled banker to the world. One of the many lessons is not to believe the post-hoc explanations for success: “Icelanders—or at any rate Icelandic men—had their own explanations for why, when they leapt into global finance, they broke world records: the natural superiority of Icelanders. Because they were small and isolated it had taken 1,100 years for them—and the world—to understand and exploit their natural gifts, but now that the world was flat and money flowed freely, unfair disadvantages had vanished. Iceland’s president, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, gave speeches abroad in which he explained why Icelanders were banking prodigies.”. For more on the financial meltdown, also read The Real Cause of the Financial Crisis–it’s spot on.
- The Cult of Done Manifesto (Bre Pettis) — magnificent call to arms for JFDI, Just Do It.
- Twilio — your web apps can trigger voice calls and respond to incoming calls through a simple REST and XML API. It’s wildly simple. Using it, This Line Is Secure was able to launch very quickly. I’m still not able to think in terms of phones, unable to see when a voice-drop or numeric-key interface works for an app, but I’ll bet that playing with Twilio will help me develop that sense without the cost of Asterisk hardware.
- Let Startups Bail Us Out — Reid Hoffman writes in favour of ensuring an adequate supply of startups. “Consider a few start-ups from the past century: Microsoft, MTV, CNN, FedEx, Intel, Hewlett-Packard, Burger King. Each opened during a period of economic downturn. Today, these brands employ hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. We need to prepare for the next Burger King. By empowering individuals and small businesses, an innovation stimulus can help germinate stable industry players for the long term.” (via Caterina)
A lot of Python and databases today, with some hardware and Twitter pranking/security worries to taste:
- Free Telephony Project, Open Telephony Hardware — professionally-designed mass-manufactured hardware for telephony projects. E.g., IP04 runs Asterisk and has four phone jacks and removable Flash storage. Software, schematics, and PCB files released under GPL v2 or later.
- Tokyo Cabinet: A Modern Implementation of DBM — ok, so there’s definitely something going on with these alternative databases. Here’s the 1979 BTree library reinvented for the modern age, then extended with PyTyrant, a database server for Tokyo Cabinet that offers HTTP REST, memcached, and a simple binary protocol. Cabinet is staggeringly fast, as this article makes clear. And if that wasn’t enough wow for one day, Tokyo Dystopia is the full-text search engine. The Tyrant tutorial shows you how to get the server up and running. And what would technology be without a Slideshare presentation? (via Stinky)
- Whoosh — a pure Python fulltext search library.
Google's GrandCentral (Radar coverage) was down over the weekend resulting in missed calls and other phone problems for its users. This is very similar to the the two day Skype outage last year where I said that "You Become what You Disrupt". I've spoken about this issue several times, most recently at the Princeton CITP "Computing in the Cloud" workshop….