Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends

Posts Tagged ‘internet’

Instrument Fiero

Posted by cadsmith on March 7, 2011


A/B testing supported by Optimizely and SumoOptimize. Firefox 4 Beta announced. RStudio is an IDE for R.

Intendix produces brain computer speller. Mogwee app is for mobile social group chat. Battery made from aerogel. Geotrio posts video tours. Senate maps wireless spectrum.

Security avatar questions travellers. Geminoid is a realistic android. Robotics react to human emotions and play basketball. There were twenty recent links.

Book Reviews:

Reality is Broken: why games make us better and how they can change the world, McGonigal, 2011. Video

The author looks at trends in collaboration and augmented reality. Games provide a satisfying and social way to accomplish tasks and improve skills using positive emotional activation. They show how to tackle unnecessary obstacles. One of the goals is to develop massively multiplayer foresight. This is expected to be a 68 billion dollar industry in 2012. Ten instances of global epic scale efforts are detailed for health, climate, peace, and economics. There are three parts for fourteen chapters. Book site.

The Net Delusion: The Dark Side of Internet Freedom, Morozov, 2011. Video

The internet, and social media such as Facebook and Twitter, are used to promote democracy and activism, but are also a means of surveillance, censorship and propaganda by authoritarian governments. Cases are shown in China, Iran, and Russia. There are eleven chapters.

Climatopolis, Kahn, 2010

Sixty percent of the population will be urban by 2030. Carbon dioxide will cause air temperatures to rise. The author is an economist and optimistically expects a successful capitalist response from many innovations. There are several lessons. Each city will respond differently. There will be migration, rebuilding and booms in the aftermaths. Government activism increases risk-taking, taxes go up and corruption degrades quality. Climate models vary on predictions of rates and amounts of sea level rise which will impact coastlines. The scenarios for NYC, LA and China are looked at in depth. There are nine chapters. Also see synopses here and here.

Thinking Machines and the Philosophy of computer Science: Concepts and Principles, Vallverdú, 2010

The papers show summaries of multiple opinions on research topics such as information, biological computing, quantum mechanics, robotics, and security.

There are five sections for twenty-two chapters by thirty-two contributors in addition to the editor. Also on Safari.

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Posted by cadsmith on January 23, 2011

Mobile is hot as Google’s priority this year, app market of 25B in several years, Bubbly has voice tweets, and PLX XWave is a brain monitor. Tablets replace Wintel. Travel includes an all-automated hotel. Vending machines recognize faces. Philosophy promotes testing. Accessibility can be validated using A-Prompt and Cynthia Says. TestFlight can be used for  IOS betas. Security has warnings about attack toolkits, non-Windows systems, printers, resumes, and smartphone seizure, though it may have over-hyped cyberwar. Remote guide dogs announced. Robotics features a comedian and window cleaner. DIY gets alerts from physical mailbox. Internet TV offered by Roku. 3D digitization is exploited for medical visualization. FEMA is looking to adapt to social media. Touch Press displays data dynamically in books. Qwiki searches for information experiences. Firefox 4 released in beta. There were 37 recent links.

Book Review:

Design Driven Testing: Test Smarter, Not Harder, Stephens and Rosenberg, 2010

DDT goals are to fulfill requirements, validate design and verify code. The tests are derived and refactored from the code. This is contrasted to test driven-design. The authors have implemented a process using UML dubbed ICONIX. A conceptual design is positioned midway between the use cases and detailed design. Ten-step lists are each outlined for TDD, DDT, unit, controller, scenarios, requirements, antipatterns, design, integration and algorithm testing. Sequence diagrams are shown throughout. Mock objects and services are used, and unit tests included in builds. There is some discussion of automation, but metrics are not detailed. The style of the book uses allegorical narratives based on satires of alice in wonderland and the temple of doom. This includes some poetry. There are twelve chapters and an appendix from original presentation on subject of use cases. Tips interspersed in the text, as well as inline notes or footnotes that link to other sources. Code samples demonstrate the techniques for a mobile Palm Pilot mapplet to do travel GIS hotel search for a web site.

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Net for Sale

Posted by cadsmith on January 9, 2011

US citizens to get Internet ID. LG ties smart grid to smartphones and tablets. Trimensional has 3D scanner for iphone. Factual has web and mobile APIs. Forrester says third of users will have tablets by 2015. Vuzix makes video eyeware. Videoscape promoted by Cisco service providers. Viewdle tags photos. Google Hotpot ranks realworld locations. Hipmunk does flight search. Clever Sense has location-aware concierge AI. Dedicated AIs are more successful. Hybrid Assistive Limb is a robotic exoskeleton. Industrial robot name Little Helper. OpenStack provides open-source for clouds. OpenStudy supports social study groups. DIASPORA open-source socnet in alpha. Minimal blogging editor outputs RSS. Feed.nu converts a blog to an android app. DKIM vouches for email. Social Security expects next computer to be years behind demand. Kneber botnet hits government. MAINGATE is new mobile defense network. Amazon Web Services used for wifi hacking research. Estonia starts cyber army. Wikistrat produces geopol journals. Eagleman looks at brains and behaviors. Convergence creates revolution in biomedicine. DNA test determines physical characteristics such as hair color. There is a digital Radiation Detector. Oil Prices begin to dig deeper. High tech Horse Show announced. Gilt Groupe carries luxury brands. Thirty-five recent links.

Book Reviews:

The Master Switch, Tim Wu, 2010

A separation principle of content from transport would maintain an open internet. The author discusses the history of telecommunications and describes an open-to-closed cycle. Convergence in this context means monopoly. This results from a paradox of how US consumers chose convenience over freedom. Other factors are network effects, power of integration, economies of scale, and will to power. There are five parts for twenty-one chapters.

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Pace Time

Posted by cadsmith on December 19, 2010

future of cities

Arbor graphs DDOS stats. The US is establishing an Internet Privacy Office. Supercomputer benchmark measures graph handling. CrisisCommons handles disaster data. List of computer mishaps. A simple site registration utility is provided by Facebook. S4 Momentum tracks social media. Social branding is marketed by Wildfire. Recommendations for Personal Media streaming. Spabba does bookmarking since delicious may be divested. SEO tips for ebooks. 750 Words has online writing editor. Video of Health 2.0 keynote by Tim O’Reilly. Contest offers health prize for in-patient predictions. Body Browser searches anatomy. Muro does browser-based art. Game development is free using UDK. Film-like mocap improves games. Cyborg beetles can fly. PR2 robots sold. Humanoid bot announced in France. Automated round vac prototyped. Startup tech trends listed in addition to Crowdfunding and Chile. Molten Salt stores energy. MapQuest has site in US. Thirty-one recent links added.

Books Reviews:

Intelligent User Interfaces: Adaptation and Personalization Systems and Technologies, Panagiotis and Germanakos, 2008

This book is about how to improve findability. Major sections include theory, content, process, applications and security. Personalization refers to an individual’s or group’s unique needs and preferences. Adaptive features fit to these, context, and structure. Some of the common topics are user profiles, recommendation, models, hypermedia and e-government. Seventeen studies by thirty-eight contributors discuss categories such as privacy-enhanced personalization, emotional intelligence, e-learning assistants, open learner modeling, digital memories, cognitive style, adaptive parallel media stream servers, web usage mining, visualization methods, ontology-based, semantically adaptive, intelligent information, middleware architecture, web-based instruction, access/navigation/search, and adaptive hypermedia.

Surviving Cyberwar, Stiennon 2010
This book details methods of cyber intelligence. Cyberwar is dated from 2008 since, though there were network attacks a decade before, they were not coordinated military offensives. The author proposes four essential pillars which drive the war: technology, logistics, command and intelligence. Cases of social media being used for this as geopolitical tools are shown. Trojans are effective. Denial of service, the classic internet asault, is currently defended in ad hoc fashion. The simple assumption by network and endpoint security are that eachother are hostile, similarly by data for the user. It looks at the level of preparedness of major states and explains the US CNCI. Counterespionage has entered a new age. Future government depends upon how network security and privacy develop. There are fifteen chapters. It was published before the wikileaks controversy.

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Being Wells

Posted by cadsmith on November 28, 2010


The internet-of-things will use a mobile embedded SIM chip. Notebook apps include Simplenote, Org-Mode and alternatives. Aviary added an HTML5 Photo Editor. Formstack eases editing. Mastermind allows hands-free game play. Search considers serendipity. Feds aim for cloud option. Trusted Secure Computing is presented in Europe. API usage is clarified. Kaggle aggregates datamining competitors. Data Compression is based on a card trick.

The health industry expects more networks, bots, ad artifacts. Biotech reviews ramifications of ID implants. A mobile camera drone has bird’s eye view. Bots rescue the battle-ridden. Communities reevaluate economics. Futurist Bill Gates discusses progress. Nanoparticles have environmental impact. Journalism uses more social media.  Philosophy uses field experiments. AI attends to when computers will take over and Numenta hierarchical temporal memory. Human Enhancement: Bioliberation shown on video.

There were about twenty-eight recent links.

Book Reviews:

Data Analysis with Open Source Tools, Philipp K. Janert, 2010
This book discusses how to make models and mine data. The author provides caveats that that appearances often override data, decision makers use data for support rather than reasoning, ethics outweigh data, and many things cannot be measured yet. Realtime means right this minute rather than up to date. Data is cleaned prior to analysis. There are a couple of dozen software tools discussed. It uses math examples rather than code, for data analysis and calculus, and has a statistics refresher. There are interesting styles of plots. Some case studies are detailed. Each chapter has workshop exercises, an intermezzo for related topics, and further reading. There are four parts, eighteen chapters and three appendices. The reader interested in data filtering might need additional sources beyond the time series presented here.

The Moral Landscape: How Science Can Determine Human Values, Sam Harris, 2010
This book proposes that science can address moral absolutes. If right and good relate to human and animal wll-being, then there are answers. The title is an analogy to a texture that has peaks for well-being and depths for suffering. Mental experience and values can be measured. Facts of the world can be assembled into knowledge. There can then be rational argument that results in the highest amount of well-being. This is an interesting discussion also presented in video lectures. There are five chapters which also include belief, religion and the future of happiness. There is heavy emphasis on topics related to brain science and structures and neuroimaging. The author likens the method to medicine or economics yet, while these are considered sciences, they are subject to significant errors, so there is also a need to understand how to improve the practice of the principles. The reader may also wonder if the brain will be the best processor for these types of decisions. The Monty Hall problem is discussed as a demonstration of the wisdom of switching, but this seems to be neutralized if contestants are split half on one side and half on the other so both would be better off switching.

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To Be Is To Question

Posted by cadsmith on November 7, 2010

IBM personalizes internet. Australia has a digital city. Adobe adds cloud filesharing. Verify gets user feedback on screens. Impure visualizes data. A biological brain navigates a vehicle. In electric cars, a Chevy gets an IP address, and an Urbee is made on printer. Also in 3D, Janus does interactive scanning and holograms do displays. Invisible material disappears. Chip PC is in the plug. Blekko searches selected sites. Gdb does profiling. Sensors warn of landslides. Technoscience combines science and engineering.

Book reviews:

What Technology Wants, Kevin Kelly, 2010
The author seeks the essence of technology as a force the equal of nature. Technology has features such as evolution, complexity, specificity, diversity, and energy dependencies. He introduces the term technium as a form of civilization, an emergent system of accelerated life. Many advancements happen simultaneously in multiple places, e.g. the Axial Age. This is the result of new technologies increasing the odds of successors. There are four parts for fourteen chapters. It is written in an optimistic, mind-expanding style. He covers the ideas of many other authors such as Joel Garreau and W. Brian Arthur. There are twenty-books in the reading list including authors such as Ray Kurzweil and Steward Brand. Though not cited here, there have been efforts to formalize technology’s philosophical roots, theory, and predictions, reviewed earlier on this blog and google books.

Recent links (of about twenty-four):


YouTube – Tom Chatfield: 7 ways video games engage the brain
YouTube – Authors@Google: Alice Walker

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Pathos Least

Posted by cadsmith on October 31, 2010


The internet adds Everest and loses Tehran as US boosts broadband. WiFi direct protocol groups devices. Cell doubles as remote. Semantic web publishes R2RML and MathML 3. China boasts supercomputer lead. Computers used for emotion meter. Intel has press site. HealthTap individualizes care. Knight funds media contest. Security weaves code and judges cyberwar while Iranian hackers trade botnets. No math word problems, but some tips on stories versus statistics. Google does spreadsheet visualization and random street view. AutoBot links car to web. Traffic lights save gas. Digital museums open to public and print 3D. Nook adds color reader. NASA introduces A-Train and tests flight deck. Robots plug into brain and use beanbag hands.

Book reviews:

User Stories Applied, Mike Cohn, 2004

This approach is from Agile User-Centered Design. Stories can also be added to Scrum. Extreme programming, XP, centers on testing, automated and acceptance. The testing is for usability, performance and stress rather than code coverage. There are various techniques used for developing the stories. They are modular for estimation and testability. A case is shown for a workshop having user role cards and story cards. A story card is a reminder of features to discuss. Each bug report is considered its own story. The planning game customer prioritizes their user story cards for the next iteration after developers have indicated the effort estimations for each. Tests are prepared prior to the code. Stories are grouped. A paper prototype is created and refined before programming begins. The UI is postponed for as long as possible. User goals can be listed from which stories will be derived. Burndown charts are used to track iteration hours. Another measure of momentum is the number of story points over time where each is an estimate for an ideal workday. The term smells is used for problems between participants, e.g. customer won’t do the stories, for which solutions are proposed. There are four parts beside an appendix on extreme programming. Each has a chapter summary, responsibilities of the developer and customer, and questions.

Previous links (of about thirty-four):


The Poetry of Science: Richard Dawkins and Neil deGrasse Tyson – K21st Essential 21st Century Knowledge
YouTube – R.A. Mashelkar: Breakthrough designs for ultra-low-cost products
The Future of Money on Vimeo
Digg – Deadly Memory Card Testing: Overkill Edition [Video]

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Area Than Light

Posted by cadsmith on August 23, 2010


The real world gets a game layer, iris scanning, risks, relief, aquabatics and solar sails.  See new AI, telepresence and climate control videos. Smartphones support sign language, and publishing does augmented reality. Economists seek new values amid a network of cities. Machine learning gets a prediction API. Semantic web and simulation get faster. Cyberpunk titles get reviewed.

Original scifi Streetseekers and mystery Casadrome added to previous Last of the Humans. Also from Amazon.

Recent links (about 23):


YouTube – Eliezer Yudkowsky – The Challenge of Friendly AI (1/3)

YouTube – Peter Molyneux demos Milo, the virtual boy

augmented-reality Can Augmented Reality Help Save the Print Publishing Industry?

books Global Catastrophic Risks, edited by Nick Bostrom and Milan M. Cirkovic, 2008

crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing Disaster Relief

economics America’s Lost Decade(s) – Umair Haque – Harvard Business Review

games YouTube – Seth Priebatsch: Building the game layer on top of the world

internet Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: The Fear-Based Psychology of the “Internet Kill Switch”

machinelearning Google Prediction API – Google Code

mobile Better Than FaceTime? Researchers Test New Mobile Technology for Deaf

nanotech YouTube – The Weather Machine: Nano-Enabled Climate Control for the Earth – 1

ocean Innespace

optical Technology Review: Blogs: Mims’s Bits: Using Einstein’s Relativity to Speed up Supercomputer Simulations 10,000%

satellite NASA – Sailing Among the Stars


Infoquake, David Lewis Edelman, 2006

Halting State, by Charles Stross, 2007

The Mirrored Heavens, David J. Williams, 2008

search The Future of Internet Search – Project Syndicate

security Iris Scanners Create the Most Secure City in the World. Welcome, Big Brother | Fast Company

semantic-web Dr Dobbs – Semantic Web Bottleneck

social-networks Flowr. Real-time Collaboration, knowledge exchange and smart information flow.

telepresence YouTube – John Delaney: Wiring an interactive ocean

urban Beyond City Limits – By Parag Khanna | Foreign Policy

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Correction Rules

Posted by cadsmith on July 30, 2010


Recent links (about twenty): test: Parasoft, user-interface: BlindType, internet: top 20 countries, publishing: Smashwords, web: Healthcare, Google gov apps, WolframAlpha widgets, Glass annotator, Flisti polls, games: Zynga, cognitive: fMRI conversations, science: space time exchange, art: rephotography.

Book Reviews:

Last of the Humans, Amazon, Scribd

This novella looks at some of the topics from this blog in a fictional fashion. The premise is that superintelligent machines have begun to reorganize society and a few holdouts attempt to cope in unexpected manners. There is a quest from the protagonist’s point of view which has ever-increasing stakes. A couple of characters were added for a prequel to previous short stories. These are exaggerated archetypes representative of potential groups.

As a prototypical test of ebook publishing, this took less than a month. The early posts of the newly created content to a social network were lost when it upgraded versions, so the project was moved to an online notebook which eventually had eighty-three entries. This also turned out to be a presentable form for an omniscient futurist feed which the book becomes an instance of. Thirty-seven notes were edited out and could be reused in another story. During this time, a series of ten books on writing were also reviewed. Additional notebooks are listed in Works in Progress.

Videos of interest:
Microsoft Research Street Slide View

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Posted by cadsmith on July 23, 2010


Narrative allows readers to intuitively visualize how well designs may meet expected circumstances. Writers who are exercising their imaginations to develop scenarios for technical documents, nonfiction, or fiction can use the classic Google notebook or any of the online documentation services where notes form an index which can be sorted and grouped into sections or further books, and can export or download to appropriate formats. Reviews can be done collaboratively or in separate comments or messages.

Recent links (about nineteen): 3D: ZCorp printer, mobile: batphone, wireless: body area network, research: automated, graphics: Incendia fractals, cloud: OpenStack, space: DIY satellite, economics: Facebook credits.

Book Reviews:

The Art of Creative Nonfiction, Lee Gutkind, 1997

Narrative stories make nonfiction much more interesting. Fictional writing techniques can be used without sacrificing fact, e.g. using scenes as building blocks to frame the actual settings, characters, plot and drama. Examples are shown from popular books. The writer immerses him or herself in the subject and may iterate between research and writing several times. The former can involve listening to personal accounts so that the subject’s thoughts can be recreated from their own recollections. The point of view is selected as third person unless the writer is relevant to the story. Ideally, a story has local sources and general audience appeal. If the initial draft seems too fanciful, then it can be edited to ensure accuracy, e.g. to be more like a documentary. The author’s first book was in 1974. He founded the creativenonfiction.org journal. In video presentations, he recommends the style for subjects like technology and the professions.

The Fire in Fiction, Donald Maass, 2009

The title technique draws from the reader’s own experience. This assumes that they are writing a novel. The exercises convey them outside of their existing mindset and result in output that may be used in an actual manuscript. It is also enjoyable to read the author’s analysis of the new titles and excerpts since the previous 2004 workbook. There are nine chapters each having practical tools. These include extraordinary characters and heroes, turning points or setbacks and the tornado effect, setting’s relationship to character/sentiment/milieu/time, character and narrative voices, causes/motivations/believability/monsters, hyperbole/irony/parody/humor, tension in dialogue/action/exposition/sex/violence/nothing and common/uncommon/moral experience. This was available in ebook format.

Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook, Donald Maass, 2004

This book is often cited by successful writers. It has three parts on character, plot and general techniques, thirty-four chapters and two appendices. Each chapter has an explanation, brief summary box, and exercises which have a more verbose summary box. There are also five-hundred and ninety-one followup tasks. There are explicit qualities which improve a novel. Put tension on every page. Delay backstory and remove unnecessary commutes, refreshments, or hygiene. Layer multiple plot lines for the same character and add texture by nodes of conjunction. Give subplots to different characters. Combine multiple roles into a single character. Show heroic qualities early. Create some memorable moments of forgiveness, sacrifice, test or change of character, or death. Polish turning points. The protagonist has personal stakes, ultimate commitment, and larger-than-life dialog, action and thoughts. Inner conflict shows desire for two mutually exclusive things. Inner changes for a character show progress and pace of a plot. Symbols are abstract and stand for something inward like a mood or idea. The psychology of place measures change in a character’s perception of a setting over time. Moments in time give the protagonist a keen awareness of the world. Good first lines have a sense of intrigue. Last lines bring wit, poetry or peace.

Writing Fiction for Dummies, Ingermanson and Economy, 2009

Ingermanson, originally a physicist, describes a snowflake method for which he offers an app. It starts a big picture and, using three acts, continually adds detailed scenes rather than synopses, and adjusts original structure as necessary. There are usually about a hundred scenes. The other author, Economy, has eleven titles in the series. There are five parts for nineteen chapters The format is dynamic using brief paragraphs, lists, boxes, cartoons, and icons for tips and points to remember. The instructions summarize examples of each technique from twenty bestsellers and deconstructs a relevant major novel in more detail. This book substantially defines terms and techniques used in writing and publishing. The secret ingredient is like a film clip, alternating points of view between private and public. There are at least three disasters to commit the main character, change direction and force the climax. The authors show how to edit the flow of these, fixing cause-effect, time-scale, unintentional head-hopping, out-of-body experiences, and mixed clips. Fiction has five pillars: world, characters, plot, theme and style. Plot has six layers: single-sentence summary, three-act structure, scene, paragraph, synopsis and scene list. Research of the story world prevents writer’s block. Beside the story’s natural world and cultural groups, the author determines what makes change possible and when. Theme, or deep meaning, is usually rediscovered and refined after the novel is written and reviewed. it will be true, important and short. The historical novel is not a niche, it is a prefix for some other category. New writers most often choose favorite subjects since a novel usually includes about a tenth of what the writer knows. The book explains publishing and the importance of the acquisitions editor.

20 Master Plots & How to Build Them, Ronald B. Tobias, 2003

Story is a chronicle of events. Plot is why; it leads to expectations. The process may ultimately exceed these guidelines, but the writer will have a way to navigate in the interim. There are twenty-six chapters. Each begins with a quote by a famous writer. Examples are given from literature. The ones defining a plot type end with a checklist. Plots have two groups of types, action or character, body or mind. Comedy is the latter. Plot types may be combined. The twenty master plots are quest, adventure, pursuit, rescue, escape, revenge, the riddle, rivalry, underdog, temptation, metamorphosis, transformation, maturation, love, forbidden love, sacrifice, discovery, wretched excess, ascension and descension. Plot is a force of cohesion, and a container. The lowest common denominators are tension, opposition, increasing stakes, change is the point, significant events, casual appearance, reason for rules, central actor climax, Unified action involves the beginning, middle and end. The beginning establishes cause, intent and motivation. The middle has effect, rising action, reversals and recognition. The end has climax, falling action and denouement.

Videos of interest:

Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves | Video on TED.com

Authors@Google: David Kirkpatrick on Facebook

Documents of interest:

Scifi draft by yours truly.

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