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MobileDay Mexico and Mixed Reality

I was invited for a talk at Mobile Day, Mexico last week on 31st October. Mobile Day is a day of conferences aimed at the development of business mobile applications. It consists of a series of lectures, workshops, and a showcase. Mobile Day 2017 was focused on Cross-platform mobile development, especially Progressive Web Applications, Cognitive services (chatbots, recognition of language and images), Virtual and augmented reality and User experience design for mobile applications. I was speaking about Web Mixed Reality at the session. Though initially my session was focused on WebVR and AR, "Virtual Reality for Humans: Build your world using WebVR and aframe" judging from the reaction of the audience and what interaction I had with them, I tweaked it to include the full spectrum of Mixed Reality.
The event was held at "Sal√≥n Los Candiles Polanco" which essentially was housed a Hospital as well. The venue was a spacious one and my only complain with the venue would b…
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Hackrice 2017 and HarveyTrack : How social media can help in disaster management

Each year Rice University holds an annual Hackathon for everyone to participate and code away their weekend. All the students who participate trade away their sleep for a weekend to build something cool in 36 hours and showcase it. That's how hackathons are and that's the thrill of it.
And I love that thrill. I love taking part in Hackathons. It's a way for me to work on my ideas, hobby projects which I always wanted but never could, because of the classic time crunch of being a graduate student at Rice. Classes, Research and Valhalla take away most of your time and you hardly get enough time to work on your side projects.

My affair with HackRice goes back to 2014 when I first participated in HackRice from Dallas and won the Mastery Of Computer Science award by the department of computer science. That kickstarted a snowball effect which is responsible for much of what I am today. But that story is for another day and demands another blog post all by itself.
This year HackRice…

Open Source Bridge 2017 :Democratize Virtual Reality

It's almost no secret that I love Open Source Bridge. There are plenty of super awesome developer conferences out there. A lot of which I never visited. But even among the ones I was fortunate enough to visit, Open Source Bridge is very special.
This all-volunteer run conference has a special place in my heart and this time it was my third time visiting it. The first two times were pretty interesting for me too. The very first time I visited Open Source Bridge was in 2015, to talk about my first contribution to Firefox OS Keyboard. It was my first talk at a conference in the United States, and at a developer conference. Needless to say, I was pretty tensed and excited as well. I still remember that talk, and also OSB made a video of the talk so that I would not forget -_-
In 2016, I was invited to present a talk regarding some IoT work which at that time was still important to Mozilla. OSB stopped recording videos from that year, but this resulted in an opensource.com article which …

LinuxCon China 2017: Trip Report

Linux Foundation held a combination of three events in China as part of their foray into Asia early this year. It was a big move for them since this was supposed to be the first time Linux Foundation would hold an event in Asia. I was invited to present a talk on Hardening IoT endpoints. The event was held in Beijing, and since I have never been to Beijing before I was pretty excited for the talk. However, it turned out the journey is pretty long and expensive. Much more than a student like me can hope to bear. Normally I represent Mozilla in such situations, but the topic of the talk was too much into security and not aligned much with the goals of Mozilla at that moment. Fortunately, Linux Foundation gave me a Scholarship to come and speak at LinuxCon China which enabled me to attend LinuxCon and the awesome team at Mozilla TechSpeakers including Michael Ellis and Havi helped me get ready for the talk.

The event was held at China National Convention Center. It's a beautiful and …

Linux Foundation Open Networking Summit

The Open Networking Summit took place on April 3-6 – where Enterprise, Cloud and Service Providers gathered in Santa Clara, California to share insights, highlight innovation and discuss the future of open source networking. I was invited to give a talk about Web Virtual Reality and aframe at it. So, Open Networking Summit (ONS) actually consists of two events – there might be more, but I was involved with two. ONS is the big event itself. There is also the Symposium on SDN Research (SOSR). This is an academic conference that accepts papers.  There were some pretty fantastic papers at the conference. My favorite one – there was a system called “NEAt: Network Error Auto-Correct”. The idea here is that the system keeps track of what’s going on with your network and notices problems and automatically corrects them. It was designed for an SDN setup where you have a controller that is responding to changes in the network and telling systems what to do.
The event was held at San Jose Conven…

Bringing the Focus back : Firefox Focus (Builds) for Android

Firefox Focus – A Free, Fast Private Browser for....android! On 17th November 2016 Mozilla announced Firefox Focus. A free fast and easy to use private browser for iOS. Firefox Focus was filled with goodies. From inbuilt tracker blocking, content blockers to making privacy the first class citizen. It was all of that. Wrapped in a nice package, but only for Apple Ecosystem. The argument for having focus was to make privacy dead simple and default experience for most people out there. An excellent read is this article "Privacy made simple with Firefox Focus".
And while this was all fine, a lot of us were severely disappointed that we don't have an android version. That all changes now.
Mozilla has released a port of the Firefox Focus source code and I decided to build a port from it. And this is how it looks in my One Plus One.
If you notice it looks almost similar to its iOS counterpart. Focus blocks tracking cookies by default in its system. But there are small design c…

The surreal SVVR (Silicon Valley virtual Reality Expo)

I was invited to speak at Silicon Valley Virtual Reality Expo (SVVR) this time. SVVR (Silicon Valley Virtual Reality) is a community-focused industry organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of a healthy, diverse Virtual Reality ecosystem. SVVR is unique in a sense that they are a pure industrial conference. Almost everybody who has been dabbling in virtual reality technology turns up here to showcase, learn and to collaborate. The SILICON VALLEY VR EXPO is our main event each year. Over the past 4 years, the annual SILICON VALLEY VR EXPO has grown become the premier international VR industry conference & expo serving ALL VERTICALS affected by VR and related technologies. We are a PURE industry conference, created by VR insiders passionate about advancing the technology and the industry. Our focus on VR professionals makes SVVR THE BEST NETWORKING EVENT IN VR.
This year the event took place at San Jose convention center from 29th to 31st March. What surprised me was how…