Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Facebook pays $40,000 "bug bounty" to hackers

Facebook pays $40,000 "bug bounty" to hackers - CNN, Aug. 30, 2011

Facebook wants you to try to hack into its site -- and if you succeed, it will pay you for the details.

Facebook said this week that that it has paid out more than $40,000 under its new "bug bounty" security initiative.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

HTML5 Microformats - Google Recipe Search

Google Recipe Search

With HTML5 quickly becoming "next AJAX", that is a buzzword for "next great technology",
one of its elements are "Microformats": standardized way to add "semantic markup" to HTML web pages.

The idea is not new, in fact there is a few significant previous attempts to do the same,
with limited results, including W3C Semantic Web RDFa.

So, what is different this time?
Google, Microsoft and Yahoo are committed to utilize this additional tags for search results.
This should help bring better organized web pages higher in search results,
and enable search filtering better than just keywords.

Here is example of Google using additional info for filtering recipes.

This site provides a collection of schemas, i.e., html tags, that webmasters can use to markup their pages in ways recognized by major search providers. Search engines including Bing, Google and Yahoo! rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Amazon Android Tablet vs Apple iPad

Amazon Will Be Tablet Product Strategists' New Frenemy

If Amazon launches a tablet at a sub-$300 price point — assuming it has enough supply to meet demand — we see Amazon selling 3-5 million tablets in Q4 alone.

The bottom line: A year from now, “Amazon” will be synonymous with “Android” on tablets, a strong second to Apple’s iPad. If you haven’t yet contemplated how Apple-Amazon tablet domination will change your product strategy, now is the time to plan and act.

In Apple’s Shadow, Amazon Labors - MarketWatch

Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock has outperformed Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL)
over the past year, past two years, and past five years.
market cap of the two companies is hardly a comparison at all: Amazon's is $90 billion to Apple's $337 billion. Amazon's annual revenue is close to Apple's but its profits are not.

Amazon Content to Spur $249 Android Tablet

tablet could cost $300 to make, but Amazon would discount it by $51 to entice consumers to buy it. The Amazon would expect to make up the difference in movie rentals, music downloads, Kindle book sales, other application purchases and advertising.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Why Cities Keep on Growing, Corporations Always Die, and Life Gets Faster

podcast: Geoffrey B. West: Why Cities Keep on Growing, Corporations Always Die, and Life Gets Faster - The Long Now

For people who like data (and science), this is a fascinating story...

The conclusion: cities survive because (people in them) innovate faster.
Network effect. And Cities are more efficient. File more patents to survive...
And corporations: in average, they get big, become slow, and die.

As organisms, cities, and companies scale up, they all gain in efficiency, but then they vary. The bigger an organism, the slower. Yet the bigger a city is, the faster it runs. And cities are structurally immortal, while corporations are structurally doomed. Scaling up always creates new problems; cities can innovate faster than the problems indefinitely, while corporations cannot.

These revolutionary findings come from Geoffrey West's examination of vast quantities of data on the metabolic/economic behavior of organisms and organizations.

A Physicist Solves the City @ New York Times

Geoffrey West @ Wikipedia

Metabolic theory of ecology

Video of presentation at Google:
Scaling Laws In Biology And Other Complex Systems

Talk at TED:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Microsoft HTML5 Web Camps

Microsoft Web Camps

HTML5 Web Camp Resources - Devhammer's Den

Microsoft Dev. Event - HTML5 is "in", and Silverlight... when needed...

This is (again) a 180 degree change of the "big ship" direction,
similar to time of Web 1.0 wars, Netscape and IE...
Microsoft is still able to change quickly...

Now is the time for the Web 3.x, Mobile Web.
(Sorry, W3C, the world is not ready for "public" Semantic Web just yet...)

My guess is that Microsoft wants to provide universal "back end"
for that Mobile Web (Azure "Cloud"), and "the best" tools for this.

It is clear that HTML5 platform can be used for most of mobile apps.
Such apps heavily depend on back end,
and this is the "epicenter" of this new "web earthquake".

Microsoft answer: Web Matrix to start with, with "Razor" syntax.
To upgrade to large system, ASP.NET MVC3, keep Razor views.
On the client side, jQuery javascript, plus Silverlight when needed.

It is likely that there will be much more announced on
"Build Windows"
conference, September 13-16, 2011.
Presentations will also be available online, for free.

Some useful "HTML5" tools:

Web Platform Installer

A Book Apart, Responsive Web Design
recommended book about html5, css3...

Modernizr - HTML5 Cross Browser Polyfills & Shims

Raphaël—JavaScript Library
Raphaël is a small JavaScript library that should simplify your work with vector graphics on the web. If you want to create your own specific chart or image crop and rotate widget, for example, you can achieve it simply and easily with this library.
Raphaël ['ræfeɪəl] uses the SVG W3C Recommendation and VML (old IE) as a base for creating graphics. This means every graphical object you create is also a DOM object, so you can attach JavaScript event handlers or modify them later. Raphaël’s goal is to provide an adapter that will make drawing vector art compatible cross-browser and easy.

X-Icon Editor
X-Icon Editor is an HTML5 application (based on <canvas>) that allows you to create high resolution icons that lets your sites shine with IE9. With X-Icon Editor you can quickly get your site ready with a large icon which will be available for pinned sites and the new tab page. Create your own site icon today!

Media Queries
a collection of sites using (HTML5) "media queries"
to adjust design based on device screen size

Discover the F12 developer tools in IE9 | Feature | .net magazine

Ken Burns effect with Javascript and Canvas
Nice HTML5 demo - slideshow with transition effects.

Steve Jobs: 'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.'


The Life And Awesomeness Of Steve Jobs

'Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.'
Perhaps Steve's most famous speech was his Stanford Commencement speech in 2005.

Portfolio of 313 patents underscores Steve Jobs' attention to detail
Jobs “was likely to have had an especially prominent role" in the 33 patents "where his name appears first."

Most patents Jobs where Jobs was heavily involved “cover the look and feel of a product.” More than 200 Apple patents that are shared by Jobs with industrial design chief Jonathan Ive back up this detail.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years

Teach Yourself Programming in Ten Years
by Peter Norvig, Director of Research @ Google

Researchers... have shown it takes about ten years to develop expertise in any of a wide variety of areas, including chess playing, music composition, telegraph operation, painting, piano playing, swimming, tennis, and research in neuropsychology and topology. The key is deliberative practice: not just doing it again and again, but challenging yourself with a task that is just beyond your current ability, trying it, analyzing your performance while and after doing it, and correcting any mistakes. Then repeat. And repeat again.

C++ in 10 minutes Code

Time to master a subject is 10 years in average.
But learning time does depend on teacher.

Jesse Liberty is a great author and teacher,
"10 minutes" is one in series of "shrinking time" books (21 days, 7 days, 24 hours...)
Is also has a good "Yet Another Podcast" site...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Earthquake, US East Cost, Map Centered at 37°N, 75°W

USGS: Map Centered at 37°N, 75°W

East Coast earthquake causes shutdown of Virginia nuclear plant

magnitude-5.8 earthquake shut down the North Anna nuclear plant roughly 40 miles northwest of Richmond, Va., not far from the quake’s epicenter.

That nuclear power plant is designed to withstand 6.2 magnitude quake... too close for comfort...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Khan Academy And The Future Of Learning | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

The Khan Academy And The Future Of Learning | On Point with Tom Ashbrook

Salman Khan, founder and executive director of the Khan Academy.

Courtney Cadwell, 7th grade math teacher at Egan Junior High School.

Peter Norvig, Director of Research at Google. He is teaching a free online course “Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” at Stanford University this fall.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

HTML5 Presentation & Cheatsheet

HTML5 Presentation
No PowerPoint needed...

HTML5/CSS3 Cheatsheet
simple cut-and-paste examples of HTML5/CSS3 features

Sencha Touch Mobile JavaScript Framework (Free)
Sencha Touch allows you to develop mobile web apps that look and feel native on iPhone, Android, and BlackBerry touch devices.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

HP TouchPad is hard sell even for $99

HP TouchPad Wi-Fi 16GB - Available Now! HP TouchPads

Price: $99.00*
Originally: $499.00*

For this price, this is a good device.

Add to cart, try checkout, after a few minutes if fails with unhanded (classic) .ASP error dump.
"stack overflow"

Try one more time, now it fails again
Microsoft VBScript compilation error '800a03e9'
Out of memory
/LM/W3SVC/600510919/Root/dstore/global.asa, line 0

At least, there is a "chat with sales expert".
A catch: only M-F, 8AM-8PM ET. No hope.

No problem, there is "call back" option by phone.
A catch: somebody will call you in 2 days!

Call by phone: "your expected wait time is more than 60 minutes..."

There is nothing "wrong" with classic ASP, except that this is technology
replaced 10 years ago with ASP.NET. 5 "generations" behind current.
And there is nothing wrong with limited working ours, for offline stores.

The user experience with Amazon, or Apple, or Dell is simply much better.
"One click", instant chat, call-back in seconds... It just works...
So, market forces are "taking care" of inefficiency...

HP, if you need help with making a modern and scalable web site, Microsoft Azure is waiting...
And instead of $2+B "write-off", you could hire many capable developers...

HP Tablet: How to Find a Deeply Discounted HP TouchPad

TouchPad @

HP's Lack of Invention is Why webOS Failed

HP has sold 350,000 TouchPads this weekend

Strangely enough, HP apparently did somehow sell the inventory
and now there is a site to sign for alerts when more TouchPads become available.
Even that site is overwhelmed ("Server too busy")

At the end, HP may achieve to make TouchPad #2 seller tablet (due to low cost).
And all those new owners will be a great market to be served by apps.
Amazon could create a marketplace for them, too :)
Android will be ported on this hardware, why not?
Microsoft could sell Windows 8 for that hardware...

Imagine if this "situation" was handled
* by somebody who really care about webOS.
HP could have offered devices to mobile App developers, for free or $99
for those who who already published iPhone, Android or WinPhone7 apps.
Publish an app, keep the device. No application, return the device, get money back.
There would be thousands of apps in short time, and some real sales...
* by somebody technical, who cares about money:
they could have set an online auction... like Google IPO...

It's Apps... Microsoft gives Windows Phones To WebOS Developers

Microsoft Dangles Windows Phones To WebOS Developers

To Any Published WebOS Devs: We'll give you what you need to be successful on #WindowsPhone, [including] free phones, dev tools, and training, etc,"
- tweet by Brandon Watson, director for Windows Phone 7

Thursday, August 18, 2011

HP wants to sell its PC business, kill webOS: So what happens now?

HP wants to sell its PC business, kill webOS: So what happens now?

Another sad story from HP...
Did any of HP executives hear about "Innovators Dilemma?"

Quitting TouchPad is not really a surprise since HP could not sell it.
And they could not sell it, since they expected too much (money).
It was just too expensive compared to iPad. So, nobody was buying.
Best Buy took delivery of 270,000 TouchPads and has only managed to sell less than 10 percent of its inventory. One source suggested that the 25,000-unit sales number may even be "charitable" because it doesn't take returns into account.

Simply put, HP is too big, and has too high expectations.
There is almost nothing that is a reasonable growth business in that case.
Even what would be a great business for "normal size" company, is too small profit for HP.

WebOS is a nice technology, if HP had reasonable expectations,
and if they have left technologists, not marketing people, lead that business.

Invent what?

HP snaps up business software maker Autonomy for $10 billion

They should first read this book, I think.

HP failed webOS; what’s next for the platform?

Is HP’s WebOS Surrender A Win For Microsoft?
But there’s another part to this story ... “No apps, no sales.”
If you want to be a leading platform today you MUST get third-party developers on your side.

The Mistake That Killed The TouchPad
It wasn’t until after HP launched its new tablet platform that the company made its software development kit (SDK) generally available to outside and third-party app developers. That ensured that, on launch day, the cupboard would be bare when it came to apps.

Is Google Turning Into a Mobile Phone Company? No, It Says -

Is Google Turning Into a Mobile Phone Company? No, It Says - is undeniable that Google’s new chief executive, Larry Page, has long had a hankering for the mobile phone business, and this acquisition may be the culmination of his ambitions. Mr. Page, after all, was the executive who personally pursued the acquisition of Android and has been its biggest proponent. And he pressed Google to compete in federal auctions for wireless spectrum in recent years at a time when others were more hesitant — and in some cases was willing to overpay for spectrum.

“He was the guy behind Android,” Mr. Levy said in an interview. “Larry is a big ambitious guy; he will roll big dice.”

If there’s any question about Google’s motivation to own a handset maker rather than just a portfolio of patents, consider this: InterDigital, a licensing company that owns some 8,000 wireless patents and has another 10,000 patent applications being processed, has been up for auction. Many industry insiders were sure that if Google were serious about acquiring a portfolio of patents, InterDigital would be its target. The company’s market value is only about $3 billion and it doesn’t come with all the baggage of Motorola’s handset business.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

$$$ for Motorola's Patents & (maybe) People

Are Motorola's Patents Enough to Protect Android? | PCWorld Business Center

...Motorola Mobility has said it owns about 24,500 patents...

Prior to the Nortel deal (6000+ patents), Microsoft had something like 17,000 patents, while Google had something like 700

Google also purchased more than 1,000 patents from IBM in July

So, for $12.5 B Google will get even more patents than Microsoft,
and it will almost double number of people...
Motorola: 19 000 employees
Google: 28,768 employees

That is $650 000 per person, or $510 000 per patent.

Motorola Patents Compared

While it is clear that Google does need "arms for the patent war",
it is a good question if a fraction of the same money was invested in people,
engineers around the world, how much better outcome would be?

Here is an fascinating, related story about Patents on "This American Life"
THE most popular (listened) podcast.

When Patents Attack!

It is about "Intellectual Ventures", that owns 35,000(!) patents,
much more than Microsoft, Google...
and making all money on licensing and patent litigation...
There is even a trancript of the podcast, for those who like more to read than to listen :)

Now, guess who is on track to become another patent super-power...

Number USA patents per year is on decline, and China is dramatically increasing number of patents...

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns

Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns (9780071592062): Clayton Christensen, Curtis W. Johnson, Michael B. Horn: Books

"Dr. Christensen argues that the traditional government-run education system will in the near future be 'disrupted' by the innovation of computer-based learning. At first, online learning will compete against nonconsumption by offering classes in subjects where there isn't enough demand in any given school to justify offering a traditional course (such as a very advanced math one or an unusual foreign language). But eventually, He believes that the technology will improve such that computer-based learning will render the traditional model of education obsolete.

In 'Disrupting Class', he postulates that demand for computer-based high school classes will follow an S-curve that will start to 'flip' (significantly accelerate) in the year 2012. In the years between 2012 and 2018, Dr. Christensen projects that the share of online courses will grow from 5% to 50% of all high school courses. That timetable seems a bit ambitious to me personally, but I believe he's got the basic right idea about the growth in the demand for online classes.

6th Paradigm: "everything as a service" (cloud computing)

Another "gem" podcast from IT Conversations
... won the "Most Insightful Speaker" Award on eComm ...

here is the transcript:
Europe 2009 Transcript: Platforms, Markets & Bytes - the Economic Landscape of the 6th Paradigm (Sean Park) - Emerging Communications Blog

...long economic cycles... are driven by technological revolutions...

Since the first one of the modern era, which was the Industrial Revolution, she posits that there have been five. Each of these revolutions is accompanied by a set of best practices. The economy, the society, and the institutions need to adapt to this revolution they change. You get interesting affects in terms of how the economy diverges from the financial markets and a lot of this, again skating over it, has to do with the fact that technology tends to move exponentially or adoption of new technology moves exponentially whereas our social and cultural institutions move linearly. There is a divergence and it takes us time to get our heads around the way the world will work in this new paradigm. She calls it a "techno-economic paradigm".

Here are the five that she's identified:
* Industrial Revolution,
* Steam and Railways,
* Steel/Electricity,
* Mass Production, and the last one is
* the Age of Information and Telecommunications.
My thesis is that we're coming to the end of that fifth paradigm and we're about to enter the sixth paradigm
What will drive the sixth paradigm?
* cloud computing - cloud computing may be a catch phrase, but ubiquitous computing storage might be the technology that drives the sixth paradigm, where you have "everything as a service".
Another factor driving the sixth paradigm is what I call "exchange ubiquity". I didn't really have a good catch phrase for this. Exchanges (marketplaces) are now everywhere...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

30 years of PC - enough?

Is it time to log off from the PC? - Telegraph

“While PCs will continue to be much-used devices, they’re no longer at the leading edge of computing...
IBM launched the 5150 on 12 August 1981, and it quickly established the look and feel of PCs in general. Dr Dean owns a third of the patents for it, and claimed he did not expect to outlive the idea. Now, however, he says that even his own main device is a tablet computer."

Jeff Bezos patents retro jets, and airbags, for telephones

Jeff Bezos (Amazon founder and CEO) patents retro jets, and airbags, for telephones • The Register

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Native HTML" - Google Chrome Beta Now Supports C/C++

Google Chrome Beta Now Supports C/C++ - ReadWriteCloud

Finally, here is explanation for Microsoft top-secret "Native HTML" in Windows 8 :)
HTML + C++ :)
All this because iPhone and MacBook batteries last longer, since apps are written in Objective-C.
Similar features are available in Windows + IE since 1999 :)

blog: Building better web apps with a new Chrome Beta

45 min video & PDF: Beyond JavaScript: programming the web with native code @ Google IO 2010

Native Client allows C and C++ code to be seamlessly executed inside the browser with security restrictions similar to JavaScript. Native Client apps use Pepper, a set of interfaces that provide C and C++ bindings to the capabilities of HTML5. As a result, developers can now leverage their native code libraries and expertise to deliver portable, high performance web apps.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

One Million Robots to Take Over Jobs of Foxconn Workers (assembling iPhones)

One Million Robots to Take Over Jobs of Foxconn Workers

Foxconn is assembling devices for Apple, among others...

"Foxconn aims to use one million robots in three years time as part of an effort to tackle rising labor costs.
Foxconn currently uses 10,000 robots. the electronics giant aims to up this number to 300,000 next year and one million in three years time.

Foxconn currently employs over 900,000 people in its factories.
Gou (founder, CEO) says the robots will be performing simple tasks such as spraying, welding and assembling."

How did Successful Companies Come up with their Names?

How did Successful Companies Come up with their Names? | Tech Bull

Google+: The Complete Guide

Google+: The Complete Guide

Saturday, August 06, 2011