Alexander Savin blog

Eng/Ru
09 Aug 2014

Worthy stuff to watch and read - issue 5

Read

  • Story of a man who wanted to make a web based game called Game Neverending, but ended up (accidentally) creating Flickr and Slack. The latter is a sort of corporate chat client, which we at Red Badger loved from the first day. If you ever used IRC, Slack is the modern evolution of IRC client. IRC commands actually still work in Slack.

In April 2004 Stewart was scheduled to give a talk at an O’Reilly conference called Etech in San Diego on some pretty technical things found in Game Neverending—APIs, REST, RSS. It so happened that these were all features of Flickr. He decided to use it as a venue to announce and launch his new thing instead. Surprise! Flickr wasn’t even finished. The team pulled an all-nighter to get the presentation ready. At around five in the morning, Cal added the last touch: a way to upload images via email, so you could share pix from a mobile phone. The demo blew everyone’s mind. By the time they walked out of the room at ETech, Flickr was famous.

  • In addition to the recent news from Russia banning import of food from other countries, there is another (absurd) law recently passed, which requires people to provide true identification when connecting to the public wifi spots. The whole thing being largely discussed, disproved and confirmed few times over the course of the week. It seems like in the end people will indeed have to provide passport details to use public wifi spots. This opens lots of interesting scenarios, one of which is banning certain citizens from accessing the internet altogether.
  • Flappy Bird is coming back, now with multiplayer mode and slightly updated graphics. The catch - it is exclusive to the Amazon Fire TV. Interesting move by Amazon to get some popularity for their platform.
  • VIM clutch - an open hardware project by Aleksandr Levchuk to enable users of Vim editor easy access to the text editing mode. Confess, you always wanted a clutch in addition to a normal keyboard.

More...

  • Why does Windows think that my wireless keyboard is a toster?
  • British police (or The Police Intellectual Property Crime Unit to be more specific) closed a web service called Immunicity, as well as arrested its owner. The service allowed people to go around ISP restrictions and access sites like The Piratebay.

As is often the case, the police were assisted by Hollywood-backed anti-piracy group FACT.

Maintaining proxy servers usually never been against the law. Basically, any VPN service allows you to achieve the same, and more. Also, getting around local ISP restrictions is so simple, that it doesn't ever require any extra services - it is enough simply to know how the internet actually works.

Listen

  • Inaugural episode of our podcast with a working title being Badger Don't Care - now unleashed to the world. Me, @roisiproven and @robbiemccorkell are talking with a three different set of accents about tech, trends, Doctor Who, spagetti theory, black holes, and life in London. Feedback and ideas are very much welcome - it is our first podcasting experience after all.

Watch

Personal notes

  • @JulienFourgeaud died this week during his base jumping. He was one of the most extraordinary persons I ever met. Many years ago we were jumping together in the Tampere parachuting club in Finland. Later we worked on the Nokia 5800 phone - he was trying to make it a nicer product. At some point he moved to London to work on open sourcing Symbian platform, and later returned to Helsinki and worked as a Product Wizard (official title) at Rovio. Couple of years later he moved on and together with @joonakallio founded a company called Scarlett Motors. Their idea was to make fully electrical premium sport cars. There were only two of them, but they had a plan (and a wooden prototype in their office in the downtown of Helsinki where they performed usability testing). Last time I was meeting Julien couple of months ago when he was in London on a business trip. It's all a bit sad. This year took quite a few skydivers I knew.