Nat Torkington

Nat has chaired the O'Reilly Open Source Convention and other O'Reilly conferences for over a decade. He ran the first web server in New Zealand, co-wrote the best-selling Perl Cookbook, and was one of the founding Radar bloggers. He lives in New Zealand and consults in the Asia-Pacific region.

Perl Cookbook Perl Cookbook
by Tom Christiansen , Nat Torkington
Second Edition August 2003
Print: $49.95
Ebook: $39.99

Perl Cookbook Perl Cookbook
by Tom Christiansen , Nat Torkington
August 1998

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Nat blogs at:

Four short links: 19 December 2012

December 19 2012

10 Trends That Are Changing Cities Forever (Business Insider) — the only one of these “The n (Massive|Coming|IBM|Important|Critical|Deadly|Brob dignagian) Trends That Will Transform <noun> Forever And Herald The End of Days So Grab Your Ankles And Kiss Your Ass Goodbye Sinners … read more

Four short links: 18 December 2012

December 18 2012

Credibility Ranking of Tweets During High Impact Events (PDF) — interesting research. Situational awareness information is information that leads to gain in the knowledge or update about details of the event, like the location, people aff ected, causes, etc. We found … read more

Four short links: 17 December 2012

December 17 2012

TraceKit (GitHub) — stack traces for Javascript exceptions, in all major browsers. SCADA Manufacturer Starts Own Anti-Malware Project — perimeter protection only, so it doesn’t sound to my inexpert ears like the whole solution to SCADA vulnerability, but it at … read more

Four short links: 14 December 2012

December 14 2012

Which Science to Fund: Time to Review Peer Review? (Peter Gluckman) — The study concluded that most funding decisions are a result of random effects dominated by factors such as who was the lead reviewer. In general the referee and … read more

Four short links: 13 December 2012

December 13 2012

Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012 — most are political, unlike Overly Attached Girlfriend. Evaporative Cooling — thoughtful piece about the tendency of event quality to trend down unless checked by invisible walls. (via Hacker News) What Was It … read more

Four short links: 12 December 2012

December 12 2012

Kiwi Bond Films Are The Most Violent (Peter Griffin) — it wasn’t always furry-footed plucky adventurers in Middle Earth, my friends. Included to show that you can take an evidence-based approach to almost any argument. Are Githubbers Taking Open Source … read more

Four short links: 11 December 2012

December 11 2012

Burrito Bomber — drone that delivers burritos. (via BoingBoing) Copyright Hardliners Adopt the Language of Reform — Sadly, in the end, Barnier’s “copyright fit for the Internet age” looks depressingly like the current, dysfunctional version: one based on a non-existent … read more

Four short links: 10 December 2012

December 10 2012

RE2: A Principled Approach to Regular Expressions — a regular expression engine without backtracking, so without the potential for exponential pathological runtimes. Mobile is Entertainment (Luke Wroblewski) — 79% of mobile app time is spent on fun, even as desktop … read more

Four short links: 7 December 2012

December 07 2012

AR Drone That Infects Other Drones With Virus Wins DroneGames (IEEE) — how awesome is a contest where a group who taught a drone to behave itself on the end of a leash, constantly taking pictures and performing facial recognition, … read more

Four short links: 6 December 2012

December 06 2012

You’re Saving Time — can you explain what you do, as well as this? Love the clarity of thought, as well as elegance of expression. Related Content, by Wordnik — branching out by offering a widget for websites which recommends … read more

Four short links: 5 December 2012

December 05 2012

The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals (HBR) — Harman Industries founder Sidney Harman once told The New York Times, “I used to tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers. They look … read more

Four short links: 4 December 2012

December 04 2012

James Burke at dConstruct — transcription of his talk. EPIC. I love this man and could listen to him all day long. (via Keith Bolland) Mechanism Design on Trust Networks (CiteSeerX) — academic paper behind the Ripple Bitcoin-esque open source … read more

Four short links: 3 December 2012

December 03 2012

Manufacturing Returning to USA (The Atlantic) — because energy and wages. Oil makes shipping pricey, while “booming” US natural gas helps domestic manufacturing. Wages rising in China, dropping in America. The Android Engagement Mystery (Luke Wroblewski) — despite massively greater … read more

Four short links: 30 November 2012

November 30 2012

Kids Use Minecraft to Design School — “Students have been massively enthusiastic, with many turning up early to school to work on their Minecraft designs and they continue to do so at home too.” Also see the school’s blog. Napster, … read more

Four short links: 29 November 2012

November 28 2012

Is It The Internet of Things? — we’ve moved from “they ignore you” to “they laugh at you”. Next up, “they fight you”, then finally the earless RFID-enabled location-aware ambient-sensing Network of All wins. (via BERG London) The 2012 We … read more

Four short links: 28 November 2012

November 28 2012

Moral Machines — it will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems. Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school bus carrying forty innocent children crosses its path. Should your … read more

Four short link: 27 November 2012

November 27 2012

Statistical Misdirection Master Class — examples from Fox News. The further through the list you go, the more horrifying^Wedifying they are. Some are clearly classics from the literature, but some are (as far as I can tell) newly developed graphical … read more

Four short links: 26 November 2012

November 26 2012

High Levels of Burnout in US Drone Pilots (NPR) — 17 percent of active duty drone pilots surveyed are thought to be “clinically distressed.” The Air Force says this means the pilots’ stress level has crossed a threshold where it’s … read more

Four short links: 23 November 2012

November 23 2012

Trap Island — island on most maps doesn’t exist. Why I Work on Non-Partisan Tech (MySociety) — excellent essay. Obama won using big technology, but imagine if that effort, money, and technique were used to make things that were useful … read more

Four short links: 22 November 2012

November 22 2012

Mark Your Territory — Urine integration for Foursquare. (via Beta Knowledge) TL;DR — news summaries. Finally. Zombie Ideas and Online Instruction — The repeated return of mistaken ideas captures well my experiences with technologies in schools and what I have … read more

Four short links: 21 November 2012

November 21 2012

gboom — commandline tool for making gists. Pixel Based Websites — great collection of Javascript tools for working with sprites and backgrounds. Indie Game The Movie: Case Study — lessons learned, lots of detail, about the self-publishing crowdfunding success story … read more

Four short links: 20 November 2012

November 20 2012

When Transaction Costs Collapse — As OECD researchers reported recently, 99.5 per cent of reciprocal access agreements occur informally without written contracts. Paradoxically, as competition becomes more intense or ”perfect”, it becomes indistinguishable from perfect co-operation – a neat trick … read more

Four short links: 19 November 2012

November 19 2012

Wing Man — Mac app for source control management with git, implements workflow rather than simply being a wrapper for git commandlines. CodeKit — Mac app for web developers, automates (invisibly, thanks to watching filesystem changes) much of the web … read more

Four short links: 16 November 2012

November 16 2012

Under the Hood of Team Obama’s Tech Operation (Mother Jones) — The new platform allowed OFA to collect feedback from the ground on an enormous scale, and respond accordingly. In short, it made the flow of information bidirectional. “What it … read more

Four short links: 15 November 2012

November 15 2012

Atkinson Dithering in Real Time — a Processing app that renders what the video camera sees, as though it were an original Mac black and white image. Patching Binaries — a patch for a crashing bug during import of account … read more

Four short links: 14 November 2012

November 14 2012

Windows 95 Tips — hilarious tumblr showing the dark side of life through Windows 95 UI tips. (via Juha Saarinen) Everything We Know About Obama’s Big Data Operation (Pro Publica) — “White suburban women? They’re not all the same. The … read more

Four short links: 13 November 2012

November 13 2012

3D Printing Photobooth Opening in Japan (io9) — A technician at the lab will scan your body (much like with early photography, you’ll need to be able to hold a certain pose for 15 minutes) and print out an impressively … read more

Four short links: 12 November 2012

November 12 2012

Teaching Programming to a Highly Motivated Beginner (CACM) — I don’t think there is any better way to internalize knowledge than first spending hours upon hours growing emotionally distraught over such struggles and only then being helped by a mentor. … read more

Four short links: 9 November 2012

November 08 2012

Helping Drones Play Nice With Other Aviation — The U.S. airspace is quickly being filled with simultaneously flying drones. To such an extent, unmanned aircraft could soon become a nightmare for the ATC controllers. The ADS-B will improve Predator B’s … read more

Four short links: 8 November 2012

November 08 2012

Closely — new startup by Perry Evans (founder of MapQuest), giving businesses a simple app to track competitors’ online deals and social media activity. Seems a genius move to me: so many businesses flounder online, “I don’t know what to … read more

Four short links: 7 November 2012

November 07 2012

A Slower Speed of Light — game where you control the speed of light and discover the wonders of relativity. (via Andy Baio) Facebook Demetricator — removes all statistics and numbers from Facebook’s chrome (“37 people like this” becomes “people … read more

Four short links: 6 November 2012

November 06 2012

Tilt-to-Fly Controller and Copter (Kickstarter) — This looks totally awesome and hackable. The controller has a USB port, the protocol is documented, and you can even connect your own electronics payload, like an Arduino, camera, or homebrewed project to the … read more

Four short links: 5 November 2012

November 05 2012

The Psychology of Everything (YouTube) — illustrating some of the most fundamental elements of human nature through case studies about compassion, racism, and sex. (via Mind Hacks) Reports of Exempt Organizations (Public Resource) — This service provides bulk access to … read more

Four short links: 2 November 2012

November 02 2012

Latest Tablets (Luke Wroblewski) — table showing the astonishing variety of tablets released in the last two months. Google Code-In Contest for High Schoolers — an international contest introducing 13-17 year old pre-university students to the world of open source … read more

Four short links: 1 November 2012

October 31 2012

Selfstarter (Github) — open source roll-your-own crowdfunding platform. (Kickstarter has its own audience, of course, which why they could release their source-code and still be top of the heap) 100 Year Business Plan (Unlimited) — New Zealand Maori tribe has … read more

Four short links: 31 October 2012

October 31 2012

Turing Complete User — General Purpose Users can write an article in their e-mail client, layout their business card in Excel and shave in front of a web cam. They can also find a way to publish photos online without … read more

Four short links: 30 October 2012

October 30 2012

Fastly’s S3 Latency Monitor — The graph represents real-time response latency for Amazon S3 as seen by Fastly’s Ashburn, VA edge server. I’ve been watching #sandy’s effect on the Internet in real-time, while listening to its effect on people in … read more

Four short links: 29 October 2012

October 29 2012

Inside BJ Fogg’s Behavior Design Bootcamp — see also Day 2 and Day 3. Recollect — archive your social media existence. Very easy to use and I wish I’d been using it longer. (via Tom Cotes) Duplicating House Keys on … read more

Four short links: 26 October 2012

October 25 2012

BootMetro (github) — website templates with a Metro (Windows 8) look. (via Hacker News) Kenya’s Treasury to tax M-Pesa — 10% tax on mobile money-transfer systems. M-Pesa is the largest mobile money transfer service provider in Kenya, with more than … read more

Four short links: 25 October 2012

October 25 2012

Big Data: the Big Picture (Vimeo) — Jim Stogdill’s excellent talk: although Big Data is presented as part of the Gartner Hype Cycle, it’s an epoch of the Information Age which will have significant effects on the structure of corporations … read more

Four short links: 24 October 2012

October 24 2012

Restoration of Defocused and Blurry Images — impressive demos, and open source (GPLv3) code. All those blurred faces and documents no longer seem so safe. Peter Molyneux Profile in Wired — worth reading for: (a) Molyneux’s contribution to the genre; … read more

Four short links: 23 October 2012

October 23 2012

Getting Started with Software-Defined Radio (ThePowerBase) — Now, anyone with about $20 USD to spare can tune into everything from police and fire transmissions to the International Space Station. We were talking about this on the Radar mailing list, and … read more

Four short links: 22 October 2012

October 22 2012

jq — command-line tool for JSON data. GAFFTA — Gray Area Foundation For The Arts. Non-profit running workshops and building projects around technology-driven arts. (via Roger Dennis) Power Pwn — looks like a power strip, is actually chock-full of pen-testing … read more

Four short links: 19 October 2012

October 19 2012

Home-made 3D-Printed Drones — if only they used computer-vision to sequence DNA, they’d be the perfect storm of O’Reilly memes :-) Hacking Pacemakers For Death — IOActive researcher Barnaby Jack has reverse-engineered a pacemaker transmitter to make it possible to … read more

Four short links: 18 October 2012

October 18 2012

Let’s Pool Our Medical Data (TED) — John Wilbanks (of Science Commons fame) gives a strong talk for creating an open, massive, mine-able database of data about health and genomics from many sources. Money quote: Facebook would never make a … read more

Four short links: 17 October 2012

October 17 2012

Beyond Goods and Services: The Unmeasured Rise of the Data-Driven Economy — excellent points about data as neither good nor service, and how data use goes unmeasured by economists and thus doesn’t influence policy. According to statistics from the Bureau … read more

Four short links: 16 October 2012

October 16 2012 — news app for iPhone, which lets you track updates and further news on a given story. (via Andy Baio) DataWrangler (Stanford) — an interactive tool for data cleaning and transformation. Spend less time formatting and more time analyzing … read more

Four short links: 15 October 2012

October 14 2012

Cheap Thermocam — cheap thermal imaging camera, takes about a minute to capture an image. (via IEEE Spectrum) Observations on What’s Getting Downvoted (Ars Technica) — fascinating piece of social work, showing how the community polices (or reacts to) trolls. … read more

Four short links: 12 October 2012

October 12 2012

Code Talks and Designers Don’t Speak the Language (Crystal Beasley) — Many of the bugs, however, require a deep understanding of why the product exists in the marketplace and a thorough understanding of the research that underpins the project. These … read more

Four short links: 11 October 2012

October 11 2012

ABalytics — dead simple A/B testing with Google Analytics. (via Dan Mazzini) Fastest Rubik Cube Solver is Made of Lego — it takes less than six seconds to solve the cube. Watch the video, it’s … wow. Also cool is … read more

Recent Posts | All O'Reilly Posts

Nat Torkington