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Hack’n’play: 9 February 2015

Here’s the third hack’n’play post for you to enjoy! Read the first hack’n’play post to learn what this is about.

The links in these posts do not in any way reflect the opinion or endorsement of Jolla, indicate any kind of future or directions of Jolla products, except to summarise more or less interesting happenings in the industry, tools or websites.

An Exercise to Get Your Team Thinking Differently About the Future

“Thinking about the future is hard, mainly because we are glued to the present. Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist and author of Thinking, Fast and Slow, observed that decision makers get stuck in a memory loop and can only predict the future as a reflection of the past. He labels this dynamic the “narrative fallacy” – you see the future as merely a slight variation on yesterday’s news. A way around this fallacy, we’ve found, is a speed-dating version of scenario planning, one that takes hours rather than months.”

TED: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes

“When is the last time you did absolutely nothing for 10 whole minutes? Not texting, talking or even thinking? Mindfulness expert Andy Puddicombe describes the transformative power of doing just that: Refreshing your mind for 10 minutes a day, simply by being mindful and experiencing the present moment. (No need for incense or sitting in uncomfortable positions.)”

“One normally wouldn’t expect farmer psychology and technology to have much in common, but drawing unexpected connections is the mark of truly innovative thinkers, and Geoffrey A. Moore’s Crossing the Chasm is a truly innovative book.”

A circus of the senses
“It makes letters colourised and numbers pulsate with cosmic time: a rare gift, or are we all on the synaesthetic spectrum?”

Querying DWARF For Fun And Profit

“Debugging information provides a view into the source code of an application. It’s by no means exhaustive, but many features present in the source code are present in the debugging information as well: translation units, functions, scopes, types, variables, etc. It is essential to a range of tools: GDB, SystemTap, OProfile, as well as various developer aids (such as pahole or libabigail).”

I paid $25 for an Invisible Boyfriend, and I think I might be in love.
“One of the core premises of Invisible Boyfriend, the wildly viral new service that invents a boyfriend to deceive your pestering family and friends, is that the user will not, under any circumstance, fall in love with her fictional beau.”

Apple bows to Chinese demand for iPhone security audit
“According to reports in the Beijing News, chief executive Tim Cook agreed that China’s State Internet Information Office could run security audits on the iPhone, iPad and Mac. Although all of Apple’s devices are manufactured in China, the hardware and software is designed in the US, leading to concern in the Chinese government that they could covertly spy on citizens.”

Cyanogen to attempt a Google free Android
“With an opening statement that hid nothing back, Kirt McMaster introduced himself as, “…the CEO of Cyanogen. We’re attempting to take Android away from Google.” As the interview continued, McMaster clarified by expressing that Android is currently limited in how apps can interact on a base system level, so his company would create their own version of Android to rectify this, with more possibilities for app developers and less Google influence. The bold statements didn’t stop there however, with another statement saying that Cyanogen will have their own version of the Google Play Store within 18 months. Until then, they will encourage alternative app stores on the Android platform”

Nobody Ever Gets Credit for Fixing Problems that Never Happened: Creating and Sustaining Process improvement

“Today’s managers face a paradox. On the one hand, the number of tools, techniques, and technologies available to improve operational performance is growing rapidly. On the other hand, despite the rapid proliferation of such innovations and the fact that they produce dramatic success in a few companies, most efforts to use them fail to produce significant results. To understand and resolve this paradox, in this paper we study the difficulties organizations face in implementing tools, processes, and techniques like TQM, lean production methods, computer-aided design and development tools, stage-gate product development processes, and improved customer service systems.”

The WhatSIM Will Give You WhatsApp Access Anywhere in the World for Free

“WhatsApp, one of the world’s largest messaging services, just became easier to access for those who do not want to pay a monthly service provider for data. Announced this morning, WhatSIM allows users to connect WhatsApp to any of 400 operators in 150 countries. WhatSIM only costs €10 upfront, with no monthly payments or expiration.”

Where do mobile numbers come from?

“Devices in use, end of 2014: ~1.5bn PCs 7-800m consumer PCs 1.2-1.3bn closed Android 4-500m open Android 650-675m iOS 80m Macs, ~75m Linux. I post numbers like these for time to time, because I find them interesting and other people sometimes find them useful. Every time I do people ask me for the source, and my answer is generally ‘my model’. This is an accurate reply, in that I’ve worked out almost all of the numbers myself from first principles in a large Excel file. But it’s also not very informative ..”

Cyanogen announces Nextbit which auto-syncs your apps across devices

“Today, Cyanogen announced a new feature to its operating system that it’s been working on for a while now from a company called Nextbit. Nextbit produced is a system-level modification that automatically syncs your applications and games so that you can continue what you were doing on any of your devices.”

Most smartphone users download zero apps per month

“Mobile apps have skyrocketed in popularity and utility since Apple introduced the iPhone App Store in the summer of 2008. Apps now represent 52% of time spent with digital media in the US, according to comScore, up from 40% in early 2013. Apple boasted 75 billion all-time App Store downloads at its developers conference in June, and followed up by declaring July the best month ever for App Store revenue, with a record number of people downloading apps. Yet most US smartphone owners download zero apps in a typical month, according to comScore’s new mobile app report.”

PaperLike: 13.3″ E Ink Monitor by Dasung Tech (Videos)

“One of the coolest new E Ink contraptions to be shown off at CES 2015 was a 13.3″ E Ink monitor that connects with computers and laptops via a USB cable to provide a secondary display. The device is called the PaperLike and it’s being made by one of E Ink’s partners in China by the name of Dasung Tech. The PaperLike uses a 13.3-inch E Ink Fina screen that has a resolution of 1600 x 1200 (150 ppi). Fina is E Ink’s glass-based display and is different from what’s on the 13.3″ Sony DPT-S1 PDF Reader, which has a flexible plastic-based screen.”

3D-printed braille phone manufacturers OwnFone raise £786,000 in investments

“Who would’ve thought that there is room for 3D printing technology in a phone market dominated by increasingly flat and complex smartphones? Well, there is, as the London-based company OwnFone has proven with a number of intricate yet affordable phones aimed at children, the elderly and the blind.” Google’s upcoming paid streaming service

“Zoe Keating made a blog post about what Google told her about the upcoming Youtube music streaming service. Her post is a little confusing, so I’ll try to summarize.”

The Cathedral of Computation

“Algorithms are everywhere, supposedly. We are living in an “algorithmic culture,” to use the author and communication scholar Ted Striphas’s name for it. Google’s search algorithms determine how we access information. Facebook’s News Feed algorithms determine how we socialize. Netflix’s and Amazon’s collaborative filtering algorithms choose products and media for us. You hear it everywhere. “Google announced a change to its algorithm,” a journalist reports. “We live in a world run by algorithms,” a TED talk exhorts. “Algorithms rule the world,” a news report threatens. Another upgrades rule to dominion: “The 10 Algorithms that Dominate Our World.””

Inside the Largest Virtual Psychology Lab in the World

“Riot Games wants you to behave yourself when you play League of Legends, so it’s turned the game into a virtual lab”


“That’s a sight no small business or app developer wants to wake up to, but that’s what happened with us. It all started with a copycat app using our name, logo, and even using our screenshots”

“Is binutils necessary?”

“Actually it’s because AT&T paid Sun Microsystems to switch from BSD to System V (over Larry McVoy’s strong and public objections) back in the 1980’s, as detailed in the book “Under the Radar” (a history of Red Hat).”


“Testing distributed systems under hard failures like network partitions and instance termination is critical, but it’s also important we test them under less catastrophic conditions because this is what they most often experience. Comcast is a tool designed to simulate common network problems like latency, bandwidth restrictions, and dropped/reordered/corrupted packets.”

The Next Front Of Wearables

“Following the D-Day analogy of Moore, none of the giants mentioned above have crossed the chasm with their wearables. D-Day starts with identifying the point of attack, and there are three beachheads approaching which may lead to a successful invasion, taking us all across the chasm.”

AWS launches WorkMail for the enterprise

“Amazon Web Services today launched a new product to its expansive service catalog in the cloud: WorkMail is a hosted email platform for enterprises. The service will cost $4 per user per month for a 50GB email inbox. It’s integrated with many of AWS’s other cloud services too, including its Zocalo file synchronization and sharing platform.”

Uber’s Business Model Could Change Your Work

“But of all the ways that Uber could change the world, the most far-reaching may be found closest at hand: your office. Uber, and more broadly the app-driven labor market it represents, is at the center of what could be a sea change in work, and in how people think about their jobs. You may not be contemplating becoming an Uber driver any time soon, but the Uberization of work may soon be coming to your chosen profession.”


“Built on top of Watson, IBM’s cognitive computer, ROSS is a digital legal expert that helps you power through your legal research. You ask ROSS your questions in natural language such as: “ROSS, in Ontario, can courts pierce the corporate veil where a corporation has misappropriated funds?”

Your Phone Interface is a Legacy Train Wreck

“If you were to design a smartphone interface from scratch, without any legacy issues, would it look like a bunch of app icons sitting on a home screen? No. Because that would be stupid. Would you want your users to be hunting around for the right app every time they want to do simple things? That ruins flow. And it unnecessarily taxes your brain by making you shift your mental model each time you switch apps. You’re always thinking Is this the one with the swiping left or the one that scrolls down?”

“Only for fans”, or why Xiaomi is not what you think it is

“Comparing Xiaomi with other traditional smartphone makers is like comparing Apple with Orange (a mobile network operator). The two happen to be in the same industry, but they are really in different businesses. Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Lenovo sell phones to make profits. Xiaomi sells phones to seed competitive e-commerce business that goes far beyond mobile.”

Vuzix next generation smart glass design

“Vuzix is showing their next generation 1.4mm display engine that can fit into products that look like normal sunglasses, will support augmented reality, virtual reality and 3D. Intel just invested $25 million to buy 30% of Vuzix to help Vuzix get that next generation smart glass design to the consumer market sooner.”

The home and the mobile supply chain

“For the last 30 years PCs and the PC supply chain dominated the technology industry, and PCs and their components were used for all sorts of things that weren’t actually personal computers – everything from ATMs to industrial control equipment. Today that’s clearly ending – it’s now the smartphone supply chain that dominates. This chart makes that point pretty well, I think.”

CoreCLR is now Open Source

“We’re excited to announce that CoreCLR is now open source on GitHub. CoreCLR is the .NET execution engine in .NET Core, performing functions such as garbage collection and compilation to machine code. .NET Core is a modular implementation of .NET that can be used as the base stack for a wide variety of scenarios, today scaling from console utilities to web apps in the cloud. To learn how .NET Core differs from the .NET Framework, take a look at the Introducing .NET Core blog post.”

Carsten Munk

Carsten Munk

Chief Research Engineer at Jolla. Works with all sorts of strange things to bring you future SailfishOS devices and innovation for them. Passionate about open source and transparency in development.


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    Cyanogen without Google is an interesting proposition. Lots of people use Android just for Google services, but is there a fast growing market for real privacy? When Jolla builds me a phone with a screen the same size as a Samsung Note 2 or newer, I’m sold.

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    My apologies for reiterating this request, but could you please consider releasing this blog pictures in UHD/WHD quality resolutions, to be used as wallpapers & various backgrounds?


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    Not related to this post but to Jolla in general. I really like to support Jolla but there isn’t a Jolla product in Brazil. I suggest Jolla a funding campaign to build an under 100 euro phone. This phone may sell in Brazil for 200 euro (including taxes) and I suppose it may be competitive in our market (and possibly also in other countries). Thanks

    • Pauliina Alanen | Jolla

      Thanks for your feedback and suggestion! We’ll take all ideas into consideration for our future projects.

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    Everytime I see this picture I want to eat the Pizza.

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