John Jacobsen works for the IceCube telescope project, the world’s largest neutrino detector, located at the South Pole. The project’s mission is to search for the radioactive sub-atomic particles that have been generated by violent astrophysical events: “exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars,” according to the project website.
Jacobsen is one of the people in charge of handling the massive amounts of data collected by IceCube. In the video, shot this week at the O’Reilly OSCON 2010 conference in Portland, Oregon, John explains how they collect a terabyte of raw data per hour, then send everything to IceCube’s remote research and backup facilities using a finicky satellite hook-up.
Antarctica is one of the least accommodating places on Earth to perform scientific research with computers. It’s the driest spot on the planet — atmospheric humidity hovers around zero — and bursts of static electricity threaten the integrity of IceCube’s data stores. The lack of humidity causes the server clusters’ cooling systems to break down. And if something fails, a spare might take six months to arrive.
The interviewees are Mike Hostelter and Jonathan Stark, co-founders of appendTo, a consulting company that trains and supports jQuery programmers. The video was shot this week at O’Reilly OSCON 2010, taking place in Portland, Oregon through Friday.
Now you can attend OSCon for free. Well, sort of. Book publisher and conference organizer O’Reilly has shared over 100 presentations from the July conference. Some speakers did not share their presentations (at an open source conference? really?), but it appears most did.
Hack this app (PDF) is technical, but a mandatory reading for PHP developers.
How to be Normal is a tough thing for a geek to achieve. Luckily, Mike Hillyer was talking about databases.
You down with ODP?
Most of the presentations are downloadable in some sort of slide format (as opposed to a web page). As I glanced through, I was surprised to see more Powerpoint (PPT) than the open document presentation (ODP) format. Strange, for an OS conference.
My tally shows that 19 supplied the Microsoft format, while 12 were ODP. I’m sure it’s a coincidence that Microsoft sponsored the presentation files page. Of course, PPT and ODP were both blown out of the water by another open format, PDF. About 70% of the downloadable presentations used Adobe’s format.
It’s Wikipedia and Wikia co-founder Jimmy Wales talking about the future of the search engine. Wales’ newest project is Search Wikia, a project that aims to use open-source software and development methods to build a search product that improves upon the current offerings from players big and small.
I was just turned on to Ohloh.net, an awesome directory of active open-source software projects. It’s a community site more than it is a searchable directory, though it functions just as well if you’re looking for details about a particular free software project.
Every application in the directory has a landing page that offers a short description, a list of licenses used and a summary of the program’s vital info — what language it’s written in, advantages and possible licensing conflicts are listed. Check out Firefox‘s page. Also, here’s Adium.