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April 23, 2014

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art



I’ve recently been for more efficient ways for user inputs, especially around credit card input. In exploring using input mask solutions, a lot of people have weighed in on several important limitations/frustrations:

  • Accessibilty–One of the biggest concerns with input masks is that they’re pretty terrible for screen reader users. This video demonstrates that pretty clearly.
  • Distracting–Quite a few people have expressed frustration with input masks, as they move things around while they’re trying to input data. Because the input is simultaneously trying to be an input and a formatted display, it can lead to some weird shifting around that some people feel gets in the way of the task at hand.
  • Mystery behavior–I know I’m not a huge fan when I have to guess the behavior of a form field. Is this going to auto-advance? Will I have to hit tab? I don’t know! Messing with the default behavior of form inputs could lead to confusion.
  • Copying/Pasting, auto-fill, etc– Some input-masked solutions (granted it could just be an implementation issue) struggle with browser auto-fill solutions and copying/pasting.

Yesterday, the Filament Group released a nice little script called Politespace, which provides an alternative for input masking. Basically, Politespace adds spacing for input fields when the user exits the field, rather than trying to add that formatting while the user is trying to input data.

I really like this solution, however a lot of input masks’ benefits come from guiding the user while they are entering their information. So while I think Politespace is definitely great for reviewing data once it’s already entered, I wanted to explore ways to make the input process a little easier for users without having to rely on an input mask.


I stole Politespace’s code (thanks Zach!) and hacked it up to create a proof of concept.

What Labelmask does is inserts formatting hinting after the label, and updates as the user inputs their information. When the user leaves the field the formatting gets applied to the input value itself, Politespace-style.

Because the hinting isn’t being applied to the input itself, (I’m hoping) it’s more accessible to screen readers and doesn’t get in the way of the user’s input as much.


  • Proper development – I wouldn’t ever dare call myself a JavaScript developer. The demo I put together is merely a proof of concept, rather than a done-and-dusted solution. I’d love to see people develop it for real. The code is on Github if you want to take a look.
  • Roll in validation–It would be great if the script could let the user know when they’ve entered a valid credit card number, phone number, or whatever. This could be a simple color change, checkmark, or some other indicator that they’ve successfully entered their information.
  • More flexible destinations–Labels seem like a good place for the labelmask hinting, but it could easily go in a note after the input.
  • Optional label hiding–Especially on small screens, there might not be enough room to comfortably display the label and the labelmask hinting at the same time, so perhaps there could be an option to temporarily hide the label text while in focus.

You can view a demo here or check out the project on Github. All in all, I think it’s a pretty good balance between accessibility and unobtrusiveness. Curious to hear people’s thoughts!

by Brad Frost at April 23, 2014 07:53 PM

April 22, 2014

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art

Single-Field Credit Card Input Pattern

Single Credit Card Input Demo

Forms suck. And they especially suck on mobile devices.

Luke Wroblewski has been talking for a long while now about how input masks make form entry a lot less painful for people. He recently highlighted Square Wallet‘s clever single-field credit card capture pattern.

The post referenced a phenomenal port of Square’s native app behavior for the Web by Zachary Forrest (@zdfs).

Zachary’s excellent work was just what I needed to get started creating the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s donation form (as part of our open redesign of their site). I ended up tinkering with Zachary’s initial script a bit and made a few alterations:

  • Made the area a bit more fat-finger-friendly
  • Added support for semantic form markup like legend and label, so that if the environment doesn’t cut the mustard, you can still provide users with a totally accessible, more traditional form experience.
  • Replaced the bitmap credit card icons with these wonderful SVG credit card icons from The Honest Ape. I ran them through Grumpicon so they appear as inline data URIs with PNG fallbacks for unsupported browsers.
  • Added an additional instruction message below the field to provide additional messaging to the user. As much as I love this pattern as-is, I’m worried some folks might be confused/overwhelmed by all this shifting around. So I added a place to provide additional instructions to help users along as they fill out their credit card info.

You can see the pattern on Github, view a demo, or see it in action on our project’s prototype.


I want to give a massive thank you to Zachary Forrest for putting together such a great script. I’m sure I’ll be tweaking the entire donate experience over the course of the project, so if you’d like to contribute to the project we’d really appreciate it!

by Brad Frost at April 22, 2014 03:25 PM

Wap Review

Updated: How to View the Full Version of Sites in Opera Mini and Other Mobile Browsers

Facebook Full Site in Opera Mini Yahoo Desktop Home Page in Opera Mini

Originally published in 2009, this post is updated regularly with the latest workarounds for viewing the desktop versions of mobile sites in mobile browsers.

Last update 12-Jan-2014: Added reader-contributed workarounds for Google Search and Google Image Search. Removed non-working Yahoo Mail links.

One of the biggest frustrations of using the web with mobile browsers is web sites that force them to use dumbed down mobile versions.  I have nothing against mobile sites, obviously. I build them and I write about them here at Wap Review.  Redirecting mobile browsers to the mobile versions of sites doesn't bother me. The problem  is with mobile sites that lack essential features or content found in the equivalent full web versions and don't offer users an easy way to view the full version. As I've been preaching for years, every mobile site needs to include a Full Version link.

Fortunately many mobile sites now include a link to the full version.  For sites that don't it's possible to force the full-web versions of some sites in mobile browsers by using a special URL.

Here's a list of websites where getting to the full version with mobile browsers is harder than it should be along with a workaround. Note that the the ful version may not work well or at all in your mobile browser.  But if there's a feature or content you like that's missing from the mobile site, it's worth trying the full version.

Facebook: Use facebook.com/home.php or www.facebook.com/home.php?m2w to load the full version in Opera Mini and most other mobile browsers.

Orkut: Has  a link to the full version at the bottom of most mobile pages.  Or you can go directly to it by using the URL: www.orkut.com/Home.

The Yahoo homepage: use yahoo.com/?m=1 or www.yahoo.com to open the desktop version.  This works in the Android browser but not in Opera Mini.

More full version direct links:

Google Calendarhttps://www.google.com/calendar/render?tab=mc
Google News: news.google.com/nwshp?hl=en&tab=wn
Google Search: https://www.google.com/webhp?nomo=1&hl=en
Google Image Search: https://www.google.bs/imghp?nomo=1&hl=en&tbm=isch
Gmail: mail.google.com/mail/h/
MySpace:  www.myspace.com/?ucm=true
Wall Street Journal: online.wsj.com/home-page

Wall street Journal Full Version in Opera Mini MySpace Full Version in Opera Mini

Hall of Shame: There are a few sites that stubbornly refuse to let Opera Mini users view their full web version.

  • ESPN: No full site link and the workaround that worked for years no longer does.
  • Picassaweb and Google+: These two sites are exceptions to  Google's generally good job of providing links to the "Classic"  non-mobile versions.
  • Yahoo Mail: since the latest Yahoo Mail redesign I haven't found any way to force the desktop version in mobile browsers.

If you find workarounds for other sites that are blocking mobile users from their full-web versions please leave a comment and I'll add your discoveries to this post.

For problem sites try changing your browser's user agent

Web sites are able to tell that you are using a mobile browser by reading the HTTP User-Agent header that browsers send.  Some mobile browsers let you change the User-Agent to spoof the site into thinking your are using a desktop browser. Here are the browsers that I know about that allow changing the User Agent and how to do it.

Android browser: On most Android phones you can enable a hidden UAString menu item by typing about:debug in the URL bar and pressing Enter.  Nothing will seem to change but if you go to Settings and scroll all the way to the bottom you'll see the UASting option. It lets you choose between an Android, Desktop, iPhone or iPad User-Agent

Opera Mobile on Symbian and Android: A User Agent option in the Advanced Settings menu lets you choose between mobile and desktop versions.

UC Browser:  Most versions have a User Agent option in the Settings or Settings > Network menu. In some versions it's labeled "Website Preference".Creative Commons License WAPReview.com Some rights reserved.

by Dennis Bournique at April 22, 2014 03:19 PM

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art

Pattern Lab discussion

Earlier today Dave Rupert, Addy Osmani, and several others had a great discussion about Pattern Lab, node, and what’s next. There are some interesting nuggets in there.

by Brad Frost at April 22, 2014 05:38 AM

April 20, 2014

London Calling

What’s in a (generic top level domain) name?

gtld-worldMany London Calling readers may recall that while at Kred, I was involved with their generic Top Level Domain (gTLD) strategy around the three domains .CEO,.Kred and .Best.

I already have andrewgrill.ceo thanks to the generosity of the dotCEO team.

I can’t do much with this domain as I have no idea how to access the settings and add my email etc – so it will stay as an “about.me” page until I figure out how to do this.

Being the early adopter, I thought I would purchase a brand new gTLD to go through the process of grabbing one of these domains.


Introducing Alt.pics

I decided to take a new .PICS domain name to promote my picture site.

A few years ago I decided to abandon the public photo sharing services in favour of my own. The full reasons for this move I have outlined here.

I wanted to grab social.pics to complement my social business blog at social.bz, but was beaten by someone in the US.

How a $1 pen allows you to game the gTLD system


Kevin Murphy over at DomainIncite has shed some more light on how a US intellectual property lawyer has trademarked “social”, using a tenuous link to a pen company in Switzerland to be able to grab gTLDs such as .social.

The $1 pen above allows a Beverley Hills law firm to claim that they own the trademark “social” and hence may have the opportunity to stop anyone requesting a .social domain from registering it, under the trademark clearinghouse mechanism from ICANN.

This is a pretty cunning tactic, and in my case stopped me from being able to register and use social.pics.

Presumably they are going to sell this on as there is nothing at this domain yet.

My 2nd preference was going to be tweet.pics, but when I went to register this at my registrar gandi.net I was hit with a strong warning that this was a trademark held by Twitter and that I would have to acknowledge that I had the right to use this domain.

Not wanting to be sued by Twitter (I’ve seen what happens at close hand while at Kred), I settled on alt.pics.

Why “alt”?

  1. New generic TLDs can be a minimum of 3 characters, so this is the shortest .pics name I can get
  • ALT – short for Alternative – my pictures site is for an alternative view on things – not just pretty tourist shots, but also funny signs, and things I see that are of interest as I travel around the world speaking about Social Business for IBM.

  • The ALT key is on pretty much every keyboard and I thought that ALT would be a good way to brand my picture site.

  • The other reason I grabbed alt.pics is that I wanted to experiment with these new gTLDs to see what the adoption was like.

    In the mainstream media here in the UK, dotLondon has been given a huge promotion.

    Recently the London Evening Standard proudly announced their use of standard.london – thus helping promote the new domain to Londoners.


    London’s Mayor, Boris Johnson also promoted the dotLondon domain in a full page ad. It should be noted that the Mayor indirectly owns the .London domain through London & Partners.


    Back in November 2013, the Standard breathlessly reported that “thousands of firms” were in a “stampede” to buy a .London domain.


    What I have seen however is just a new crop of “domainers” grab all the best domains, leaving the general public and companies with an interest in these new domains to fight over what’s left.

    Will you be getting a new top level domain?  Have a look at the options using the search tool at gandi.net and please go and have a look at my new picture domain at alt.pics.

    If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

    To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

    You may also like ...

by Andrew Grill at April 20, 2014 07:33 AM

April 17, 2014

Cloud Four Blog

An Event Apart 2014

Speaking at An Event Apart is intimidating. Last year, I was privileged to speak twice, and I was terrified each time.

While I thought I gave a good talk both times, I realized after my first talk that I had misjudged the audience. I feared I had whiffed on my only chance to speak and wouldn’t be invited back.

So you can imagine my surprise and delight when Eric and Jeffrey asked me back this year. I swore that this year I would nail it.

What I learned last year was that people come to AEA expecting not only to be wowed by fantastic speakers, but also to take home a tangible things that they can implement.

So I put together a presentation called Mobile First Responsive Design. We know that over 90% of responsive designs are built poorly. This talk teaches you how to build in a responsible manner.

I presented the talk for the first time at AEA Atlanta. It is always difficult to judge your own talks, but based on the feedback from attendees, I think it worked. At minimum, I know people went home with a long list of things that they could do immediately.

I’m giving this presentation two more times. Once next month at AEA San Diego and in October at AEA Orlando.

I’m really proud of the way the talk has come together. I’d love it if you could join me at one of the two AEAs that I’m going to be speaking at.

But even if you can’t make it to San Diego or Orlando, An Event Apart puts on one of the best conferences in our industry. You should attend. And if you do, use ‘AEAGRIG’ on checkout to receive $100 off the price.

That discount code applies for all of the 2014 events—even the ones I’m not speaking at.

I hope to see you in San Diego or Orlando!

by Jason Grigsby at April 17, 2014 10:07 PM

April 16, 2014

MobileMonday London

Mobile Miscellany, 16th April 2014, Contribute to Developer Economics report, get down to a new type of hackathon, final chance to win a Nokia Lumia

In this miscellany: contribute to the Developer Economics report, get down to a new type of hackathon, final chance to win a Nokia Lumia.

Contribute to the 7th edition of the Developer Economics report 

We're always very keen to support this initiative, because it's a major contribution to understanding the ever-developing state of the mobile marketplace. Have a look, for example, at the 6th edition from earlier this year.

Gathering the information for this requires our input ... so, follow the link and tell our friends over at Vision Mobile stuff like ...
  • What's your take on the latest trends in app development
  • Which platform(s) should you choose to make money in today's competitive market
  • Which is the right revenue model for your apps 
  • What tools you are using
Have your say, make your contribution! That link again: http://bit.ly/1kq8WvF

Win a free place to DevLab LIVE, 9-11th May

A 3-day event bringing innovators from the startup, digital and developer communities together with big brands to build amazing solutions to real business challenges.

At Level 39 down at Canary Wharf - the event will kick off with a day of inspiring talks and workshops, followed by a two day hackathon and a big party on Friday night!

First two to get in touch with us at contact@mobilemonday.org.uk get the free places! More here.

Blackberry 10 - The Future for Developers, from 5pm on 10th June in London 

FREE to attend, you will hear all about BlackBerry 10 - update on the latest release of the OS, focus on some of the compelling features that developers can leverage when creating their apps, tools and SDKs, open and cross-platform mobile development & how to deploy within the Enterprise. Register here.

And it's last chance saloon to win a Nokia Lumia c/o Microsoft

The Microsoft UK Developer team are looking to get closer to you, so if you fill out their survey, you will have the chance to win the Nokia phone and all entrants get a free eBook sharing what Microsoft Research knows about human communications. It’s all here.

We will be in touch soon with details on our next event ... have a great bank holiday weekend.

by Jo Rabin (noreply@blogger.com) at April 16, 2014 01:48 PM

April 15, 2014

mobiForge blog

Touch-friendly Drag and Drop

In this article we explore some touch-friendly drag and drop implementations. In particular we'll be looking at DOM and canvas-based drag and drop approaches. We'll also build on some of the things we learned in previous HTML5 articles on mobiForge.

read more

by ruadhan at April 15, 2014 08:24 PM

Open Gardens

Seeking feedback – Learning to code workshops using a new technique

Hello all!

We are launching a series of workshops based on a new technique we have been developing and I seek your feedback

Here is the outline:
As a professional who is a non-programmer: Do you think that gaining an appreciation of software development would help your career goals?

Today, senior management and professionals are increasingly required to have a basic appreciation of software design and how software works ‘under the hood’.

Such skills could often make the difference to your role within and beyond your company.

Gaining an appreciation of Software design often translates to gaining some working experience of programming or coding.

However this requirement has three hurdles:
1) You already have too much on your plate and are very busy

2) You don’t actually want to build an app, website or master writing code and

3) Your motivation to attend a course is low because of the above

Nevertheless you do want to get a detailed appreciation of Programming and the development process whilst not compromising your existing deadlines

So, here is what we are testing

If you can read and you can think – you can code

Feyncode – created by Feynlabs – is an approach for rapidly gaining a detailed appreciation of Programming and Computer Science.

We believe: “If you can read and you can think – you can code” and whilst everyone will learn to code, not everyone will use Coding in their day to day work.

Feyncode appeals to wide variety of professionals within a range of disciplines including directors, senior and divisional management, VP’s, heads of departments, leaders and team leaders in marketing, sales, legal, finance, support, HR, logistics and general management.
Feynlabs is a UK company which focuses on the accelerated learning of Programming and Computer Science. Based on a set of new learning techniques we have been testing; feyncode is a new approach to gain a detailed appreciation of many aspects of computer science and programming.

Feyncode comprises of an introductory face-to-face session followed by an online course and a book which is tailored to the learners’ objectives.

This investment could help you leapfrog your career and gain key skills which have a lasting impact

Can you improve IQ test scores?









If you understand how an IQ test works you will understand our approach.
On your first attempt at an IQ test, you may not do well but IQ tests are really all about understanding a pattern to solve questions.

Once you have done several and learnt a set of techniques – you can perform well in the test.

We believe learning to code is the same.

feyncode is a technique to teach programming by understanding common patterns in coding.

feyncode emphasizes reading code and solving problems using code.

By repeatedly reading code, reasoning and guessing responses, seeing implementations, the learner starts to see a pattern in code and in problem solving using Programming.

We focus on three common languages Python, JavaScript and C and by extension also cover these platforms Django, node.js, Phone Gap, Raspberry Pi, Arduino, Objective C, Processing

At the end of the course you will not be a programmer but you will understand how to read and appreciate the black art of software development. You will be able to interpret code and determine the implications at a systems level

This will help you make better strategic and management decisions

Coaching and Programming

The foundations of our method also depend on applying ideas developed for Coaching to the realm of Programming.











Various techniques are being tried out in the market including; Online forums, MOOCs, video training and intensive residential courses but these are adaptations of historical techniques and focus on becoming a programmer.

Our approach is inspired from a discipline normally associated with High performance sports /endurance skills coaching.

In this context, when we say ‘coaching’ it does not refer to the typical NLP coach rather, we mean the Olympic level performance coaches / techniques.

Over the last year and a half, we have been improving these methods with students and teachers in UK, USA and Holland.

We have worked with more than 400 teachers, schools and a wide range of students.

And we hope these insights can make a difference to your career

In London, Miami and a few other cities – we are testing these ideas in limited trials

So, here is a summary:

Format: Introductory Face to face session and three months online

Designed for non-programmer professionals who want to get an appreciation of software development and leverage their career goals

Based on accelerated learning

Limited trials – so if interested, please signup below

A small fee (probably around $199 for the entire course – online and offline)

Certificate of completion


Please contact us at info@feynlabs.com if you want to participate

Images – shuterstock

by ajit at April 15, 2014 02:32 PM

April 14, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

Some Thoughts on Paid Peering, Who Pays Whom and Why

In a previous post I've given an introduction to the different kind of interconnections between different networks that form the Internet: Transit, Peering and Paid Peering. In this post I'd like to put down my notes on Paid Peering and who pays whom for what:

Paid Peering is used, for example, between access networks and content delivery networks or the content companies themselves, with the content side paying the access networks for the privilege to connect directly. From what I can tell, content providers used to pay content distribution networks such as Akamai to store their content closer to the subscribers and to deliver it from there. In turn Akamai paid for peering to the access networks. At some point some content providers started to build their own distribution networks and hence wanted to directly peer with access networks. In some cases they got this peering for free, especially from smaller access network providers because they could not risk not offering the content to their subscribers. Also, free peering to the content provider was/is probably be cheaper for them then to get this data over a Transit link for which they have to pay.

The balance of power is different though when a larger access network operator comes into play as they argue that the content provider should pay for the peering as that was also the way it was done before when a content distribution network was between them and the content. The prime reason given for this is that they have to invest in their own network to transport the rising amount of video content and hence should be reimbursed by the content companies. The interesting part is the discrepancy to the small access network operators which seem to do just fine without this cross financing. In other words, paid peering between access network operator and content company is an interesting way to create monopolies that can be exploited when it comes to content heavy applications.

Due to this it is easy to confuse paid peering and network neutrality as is frequently done in the press. Net neutrality requires all packets to be forwarded with equal priority while paid peering regulates who pays whom for a connection. In other words, an access network operator can be as network neutral as it wants and still get money from the content provider via paid peering.

For those who want to follow this train of thought I can recommend Dean Bubley's recent blog post on why 'AT&T's shrill anti-neutrality stance is dangerous'.

by mobilesociety at April 14, 2014 04:34 PM

Were My Raspberry Servers Heartbleed Vulnerable?

Last week, I patched my Raspberry Pi based web servers in a hurry to make sure they are not vulnerable to a Heartbleed attack anymore. I decided to do this quickly as a check of the Openssl library on my servers showed that a vulnerable version was installed. What I couldn't check at the time was if my web servers actually used the library for SSL encryption. I only later discovered that there were tools available to do just that but by then my servers were already patched. So after returning home from a business trip I decided that I wanted to know.

I frequently create full backups of my servers which is pretty simple with Raspberry Pis as SD cards are used as storage medium. These can be cloned to a backup file and restored to a SD card later on with a simple 'dd' command. As expected the installation was vulnerable to Heartbleed. The whole exercise took less than 30 minutes of which 20 minutes were spent by waiting for the dd command to finish the restore to the SD card. Pretty cool timing for making a full server restore.

by mobilesociety at April 14, 2014 04:34 PM

Brad Frost Web » Brad Frost Web | Web Design, Speaking, Consulting, Music, and Art


Stop calling yourselves “creatives”.

I recently read about a mother who is able to stretch a $14,000 annual income to feed and clothe her family. That, ladies and gentlemen, is creative. Your fucking banner ad campaign is not.

Every person on earth has a tremendous capacity for creativity. The world needs more people to feel empowered to have original thoughts and put them out into the world. Using “creative” as a noun to describe a class of people perpetuates the false notion that some people have it and others don’t. It’s condescending and discouraging.

Now, I understand some people make their living by flexing their creative muscles, and I think that’s amazing. But please don’t call yourselves “creatives”.

What should you call yourself instead? I don’t know, but I’m sure you’ll figure something out. After all, you’re creative.

by Brad Frost at April 14, 2014 01:17 PM


EU Horizon-2020 research and innovation program and Japan-EU Science and Technology cooperation

Horizon2020 is the world’s largest research program, undertaken by the European Union, and it is open to cooperation with researchers from all countries including Japan. Actually, the EU strongly encourages participation from Japan: Maria Cristina Russo, Director for International Cooperation in the Directorate-General for Research and Innovation of the European Commission, pointed out that currently […]

by fasol@eurotechnology.com (Gerhard Fasol) at April 14, 2014 05:37 AM

London Calling

IBM’s new TV commercials made with IBMers

made-with-ibm-squareFollowing on from my previous post about the new “Made with IBM” TV spots shown during the US Masters, you can now view all of the spots on YouTube.

A number of publications have profiled the new spots such as the New York Times, Forbes, and AdAge.

The 1:19 spot below sets up the series well.

What is truly interesting about the 60 or so TV spots generated, is the use of IBM’s own employees for many of the commercials.

the-social-employee-coverAs Cheryl and Mark Burgess pointed out in their excellent book “The Social Employee“, IBM absolutely lives its brand through its people, affectionately called “IBMers”.

At a keynote speech IBM’s CEO Ginni Rometty delivered at the Council on Foreign Relations in March 2013, Host Jim Owens asked Ginni “Does IBM, do you believe have a culture that truly differentiates itself from other companies either in a technology space of more broadly?”

The question and Ginni’s answer can be seen at the 47:24 mark on the video below, which talks about how IBMers are different and how IBMers aspire to live the IBM values.

As a celebration of the 17 IBMers that appeared in TV spots during the new “Made with IBM” campaign, presented below are their spots, along with the names of the IBMers featured. If I have missed any off, I was going from the playlist of TV spots on YouTube and will add to the list as I find more.

No. 2 Recipes made with IBM Watson featuring IBMer Mahmoud Naghshineh

No. 8 Collaboration made with social
 featuring IBMer Andrew Grill

No. 10 Presence made with mobile
 featuring IBMer Mylissa Tsai

No. 11 New markets made with cloud
featuring IBMer Cleveland Bonner

No. 12 Delivery made with cloud
featuring IBMer Tom Ward

No. 15 Apps made with data
 featuring IBMer Chris Galante

No. 19 Electronic Medical Records in the Cloud
featuring IBMer Adam Kocoloski

No. 22 Reach made with mobile
featuring IBMer Chris Galante

No. 23 Green eMotion: Road trips made with cloud
 featuring IBMer Gerhard Baum

No. 26 Innovation made with cloud
featuring IBMer Jason McGee

No. 28 Influence made with social
featuring IBMer Renee Ducre

I’ve met Renee on a number of occasions and it is great that she has voiced this particular TV spot as she is passionate about social business.

No. 30 Security made with data
featuring IBMer Caleb Barlow

No. 31 A world made with data
featuring IBMer Megan Daniels

No. 38 Engagement made with mobile
 featuring IBMer Hayley Caslin

No. 40 Advantage made with data
featuring IBMer John Cohn

No. 51 Gamers made with Cloud
featuring IBMer Lance Crosby

No. 62 Disruptive innovation made with IBM Watson
featuring IBMer Mike Barborak

No. 65 Influence made with social
featuring IBMer Katie Keating

Katie is another IBMer passionate about social business.

If you enjoyed this blog post you may like other related posts listed below under You may also like ...

To receive future posts you can subscribe via email or RSS, download the android app, or follow me on twitter @andrewgrill.

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by Andrew Grill at April 14, 2014 05:06 AM

April 13, 2014

Open Gardens

Book review – The Curiosity Cycle by Jonathan Mugan











It’s a pleasure to review The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

This is an important book because the ideas presented here span multiple domains and the author brings a unique perspective from his own experience.

Curiosity Cycle is about preparing your child for the ongoing technological explosion.

The book’s goal is to make children lifelong learners through fostering a sense of internally driven curiosity (hence the Curiosity Cycle)

The author proposes that the Curiosity Cycle is a learning process that consists of building and testing individual models – which will be an ongoing process for every child

The Curiosity Cycle builds on the idea of ‘incomplete models’ i.e. the idea that an incorrect or incomplete models is better than no model at all – as long as the process of creating,  assimilating and validating models i.e. the curiosity cycle is inculcated in a child. The curiosity cycle thus helps prepare children to live in a world of the future in which computers will have a profound effect on every aspect of society

The book is based on the author’s personal experience on how to build smart robots by enabling them to learn about the world in the same way human children do

The book develops the concepts for the Curiosity Cycle and then applies these ideas to a range of disciplines like history, science and mathematics. The objective is: curiosity leads a child to ask the right questions and to make inferences beyond knowledge already given. This helps the child to handle unexpected situations – and in the future with a world dominated by rapid technological change – there will be many such situations

Finally, the author believes that the future population will be divided between consumers and creators (of ideas/content/technology etc). Thus, the Curiosity Cycle is a powerful tool for a child growing up now.

These are powerful concepts and they also resonate with my own work at Feynlabs

I have also used the idea of incomplete models with Rumsfeld’s analogy (known –unknowns) and also the idea of gedankenexperiments (thought experiments ex Schrodinger’s cat) – for example – “What would a computer see? And Why?” i.e. how would the world look like to a computer

As a parent, I have also been deeply interested in my own son’s learning. Back in Jan 2009 – I blogged this – Arrowes and why the educational system may need to be revamped .. and this Of typewriters and murder
geekdad has a great review also HERE and like that review – I also agree that the Curiosity Cycle is a must read book!

The book link again is: The Curiosity Cycle: Preparing Your Child for the Ongoing Technological Explosion by Jonathan Mugan

by ajit at April 13, 2014 10:07 PM

April 12, 2014

Open Gardens

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode)

We are soon releasing our technology in creative commons (feynmaps and feyncode).  Sign up for latest updates. HERE


by ajit at April 12, 2014 05:54 PM

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

What If the NSA Did NOT Know Of Heartbleed?

The last couple of days of security news has been interesting to say the least. Heartblead has become a headline even in non-tech circles. Now that it has been established how dangerous the bug is, how simple it is to weaponize it and how easy it is to find in the code that is publicly available, a facet of the discussion focuses on whether the NSA (and other spy agencies) have known about it and for how long. Unsurprisingly the NSA denies prior knowledge and as unsurprisingly there are only few who believe them.

What I find interesting in the discussion is, that nobody has asked so far what it would mean if the NSA really didn't know about Heatbleed!?

I would assume that with a budget of billions of dollars annually they must have hoards of programs who's only job it is to find weaknesses in open source code that is publicly available by nature. In other words they must have stumbled over it unless they are totally incompetent. This is nothing that hid deep deep inside the code, this bug is so obvious to someone specifically looking for weaknesses in code that this must have been an instant find.

So the NSA is damned one way or the other. If they did find the bug, did not report and then lied about it, they put everyone at risk even their own industry because it is absolutely obvious that this but is easy to find for other spy agencies as well. And if they didn't find it on the other hand, as they claim, one has to wonder what they spend all those billions of dollars on annually...

by mobilesociety at April 12, 2014 07:06 AM

April 09, 2014

Martin's Mobile Technology Page

My Raspberry Pi Servers and Heartbleed

Unless you've been living behind the moon in the past 24 hours you've probably heard about 'Heartbleed', the latest and greatest secure http vulnerability that Bruce Schneier gives it an 11 on a scale from 1 to 10. Indeed, it's as bad as it can get.

As I have a number of (Debian based) Raspberry Pi servers on which I host my Owncloud, Selfoss and a couple of other things I was of also affected and scrambled to get my shields back up. Fortunately the guys at Raspberry reacted quickly and offered the SSL fix in the Raspian repository quickly. Once that was done I got a new SSL certificate for my domain name, distributed it to my servers and then updated all my passwords used on those systems. Two hours later... and I'm done.

And here's two quotes from Bruce's blog that make quite clear of how bad the situation really is:

"At this point, the odds are close to one that every target has had its private keys extracted by multiple intelligence agencies."


"The real question is whether or not someone deliberately inserted this bug into OpenSSL"

I'm looking forward to the investigation who's responsible for the bug. As 'libssl' is open source it should be possible to find out who modified that piece of code in 2011.

by mobilesociety at April 09, 2014 11:06 PM

London Calling

Collaboration made with social – new IBM TV campaign – #MadewithIBM

made-with-ibm-squareI can finally announce the “secret project” I have been involved with over the past couple of months.

This week during the Masters Golf in the US, IBM (my employer) is launching a new TV campaign called “Made with IBM”.

You can read more about the campaign in an article from the New York Times.

“To introduce a new campaign, “Made with IBM,” the company dispatched three filmmakers to 17 countries to document its technology in action. About half of the spots, which are 30 or 60 seconds long, feature businesses, public agencies and other IBM customers.”

My contribution can be seen below, and I even get a name-check.

I love the ending and my daughter Madeleine wants to know what happened to the big chair at the end.

Some may have noticed I was hinting about my involvement with the campaign on twitter over the last few weeks – while in Austin at SXSW when I recorded 2 hours of video interviews, then a couple of weeks ago when I was recording the voiceover that appears on the video in London.

With all that content, who knows where I might turn up next ;-).

Having only just celebrated my first 6 months with IBM this week, I was very humbled that they asked me to take part in this new and very public TV campaign.

The strap line for my vignette is “Collaboration made with social. Made with IBM”.


The campaign highlights other IBMers, Customers and IBM technologies in the multiple TV spots and is the next phase of @SmarterPlanet campaign that IBM has been running for some years now.

More videos can be seen on the dedicated site ibm.com/madewithibm and also on the IBM YouTube channel.

IBM’s CMO Jon Iwata also has a great blog post about the reasoning behind the campaign, as well as a making-of video – embedded below.

Apparently I was one of just 20 IBMers who appear in the spots – must be my Aussie accent they liked.

The NYT article also talks about the process that Ogilvy and IBM used to shoot and edit the ads.

Jeremy Kuhn, a global group account director at Ogilvy, said that the campaign about IBM technology relied, appropriately enough, on IBM technology, namely Aspera, software for large file transfers that allowed hours of video to be transferred quickly.

“Traditionally when the footage is shot, you wait for the team to come back to load it all in to begin editing, but we had something like 13 different shoots between the three main crews and if we waited until everyone got back to New York, we never would have made the Masters in time,” Mr. Kuhn said. “We were reliant on Aspera, an IBM technology, to do that, so this very production was kind of a case study.”

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by Andrew Grill at April 09, 2014 09:30 PM