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Daniel Leuck's Blog (146)

September Newsletter: Sprout Acquired, Ignite & Startup Weekend

August was an exciting month for tech in Hawaii. Honolulu startup Sprout (formerly ChipIn) was acquired by InMobi, a mobile ad network that has served over 100 billion mobile ads to date. The combined companies will be able to serve HTML5 mobile ads constructed with Sprout to 165 countries. Read about …


Added by Daniel Leuck on September 2, 2011 at 2:30pm — No Comments

US Social Networks in Japan

After initial failures in the Japanese market, Facebook and LinkedIn may have caught their second wind

For years US based social networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn have had very poor penetration in Japan despite having more features and better UX design than local competitors. Homegrown networks such as Mixi and Gree dwarf the Japanese localized versions…


Added by Daniel Leuck on June 26, 2011 at 2:00pm — 8 Comments

Developing a Viable Software Development Workforce in Hawaii

Yesterday I was asked to chair a committee on workforce development for the software industry in Hawaii. Our committee was specifically tasked with coming up with suggestions on how to bring the number of senior software developers in the workforce closer to meeting the demands of software companies in our state. The suggestions are to be presented by the Workforce Development…


Added by Daniel Leuck on April 1, 2011 at 6:30pm — 41 Comments

Micro-Aquaponic Sculpture

When I was in high school I read about research at the University of Hawaii in small scale self contained ecosystems. The idea fascinated me so I started doing research on how I could build one. In Des Moines, Iowa, where I lived, there is a small rain forest contained in a geodesic dome called the Des Moines Botanical Center. A scientist at the center helped me with a design for a miniature version of the center with the addition…


Added by Daniel Leuck on February 21, 2011 at 8:30pm — 8 Comments

Publishers: Apple Wants 30%, Forever

With Apple's new iTunes subscription feature publishers can publish their digital content via the App Store and collect a recurring subscription fee. Users can easily organize, browse and manage their subscriptions in one place. That sounds great until you hear about the cut Apple is taking: 30% for the…


Added by Daniel Leuck on February 15, 2011 at 7:00pm — 9 Comments

HTML5 Widgets: FAIL

I realize its sacrilegious to say anything bad about HTML5, but I have to say I am really disappointed in its handling of widgets (i.e. combo boxes, lists, sliders, etc.) HTML5 introduces new form input types such as range, date pickers, color selector, etc. but they are completely opaque and have very narrow APIs. This is due to HTML5's approach of punting to the browser to render and manage the widget. Often the browser in turn punts to the OS. This was the approach Java AWT took when it…


Added by Daniel Leuck on February 11, 2011 at 2:30pm — 10 Comments

2011: Apple's Dominance, Facebook to Go Public, Groupon's Billions, Google: More than Ads?

Apple stock jumped again today. The company is now worth $336 billion. That is almost $100 billion more than Microsoft and well over twice the value of Oracle. They are now the largest technology company that has ever existed. Apple is also the largest content distributor and the largest mobile phone manufacturer in the United States. There are over 325,000 active apps in the App Store. They have been downloaded almost 10 billion times. Gartner expects the App Store will generate a stunning…


Added by Daniel Leuck on January 7, 2011 at 5:00pm — 10 Comments

Google: Please Save Web Developers

How a new suite of unencumbered technologies could elevate web development today and better prepare us for HTML5 tomorrow

The web development world is in an interesting place. HTML5 is the future, but its not quite ready. Javascript is the lingua franca of this brave new world despite the fact it lacks many basic…


Added by Daniel Leuck on December 11, 2010 at 1:30pm — 12 Comments

December 2010 Newsletter

I just returned from a business trip to Tokyo. Its always fun to see whats happening in Japan's tech mecca. Every year the vending machines and mobile phones seem to move closer to sentience. In case they are already self aware and are reading this newsletter, I want you to know I welcome our new vendoketai skynet overlords.

Tokyo is the most wired city in the world. If you've ever seen the Simpson's episode where Homer gets restaurant recommendations from his hotel toilet - well,… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on December 1, 2010 at 4:00pm — 7 Comments

The Foursquare Japan Lesson: Lightweight Localization

Even if you can't afford to localize right away, don't get in the way of your Japanese and Chinese users

I'm currently in Tokyo on business. As I travel around the city I've been spot checking Foursquare's coverage. To my surprise, coverage is excellent. Most popular eateries and nightspots have already been added. Many already have mayors. Foursquare specials…


Added by Daniel Leuck on November 24, 2010 at 1:30pm — 8 Comments

Microsoft Screws Up Again, HTML5 Reality Check

silverlight with questionmark

Microsoft created quite a stir on Thursday when they said they are "repositioning" Silverlight and focusing on HTML5 for web apps. Like Adobe, which just demoed a Flash to HTML5 converter, they seem to be conceding that the web world is moving away from plugin-based rich media platforms and toward HTML5. Now they will be playing in a sandbox dominated by Google, a company that…


Added by Daniel Leuck on October 31, 2010 at 12:00am — 10 Comments

Third Major UH Data Breach in One Year

I debated posting this because we have so many great UH faculty members as members, and I don't want this to turn into a bash-fest on the people who were instrumental in helping us grow this community. That being said, it wouldn't be honest for us not to address the issue. Obviously three major security breaches in a year indicates a very serious problem. I'm sure most of you have read the articles, but for…


Added by Daniel Leuck on October 30, 2010 at 1:00pm — 27 Comments

One VM to Rule Them All

From the phone to the cloud, where will developers look for a unified, unencumbered platform?

What are the implications of Oracle's lawsuit on the future of robust multi-targeted virtual machines in the software universe? This is a question I've been asking myself over the past few weeks. The vast majority of software written today runs on one of a few runtime environments - the JVM (Java's runtime),…


Added by Daniel Leuck on September 25, 2010 at 12:00pm — 5 Comments

Next: Apple Sets Dress Code for iPhone Developers

John Wang just sent me the new App Store Review Guidelines published by Apple. I nearly choked on my coffee when I read through these gems:

Excerpt from the intro: We will reject Apps for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line. What line, you ask? Well, as a Supreme Court Justice once said, "I'll know it when I see it".

Translation: If you don't comply with our…

Added by Daniel Leuck on September 10, 2010 at 5:30pm — 10 Comments

The Great 2009-2010 Hawaii Brain Drain

brain drain

At recent developer events, including today's UX Design Meetup, the effect of the great 2009-2010 Hawaii brain drain was readily apparent. Seth Ladd, Anthony Eden, Sam Joseph, Truman Leung, Ken Mayer, David Neely, Sherwin Gao, Seri Lee, Gabe Morris, Alex Salkever, Laurence Lee, Ken Berkun...this is just a handful of quality people I know personally. The list of talented tech industry people who have left or will soon be leaving over this very short period of time is truly…


Added by Daniel Leuck on August 18, 2010 at 8:30pm — 127 Comments

2010 TechHui Conference: That's a Wrap!

Aloha e TechHuians! We had three keynotes, 10 panels, 180 Subway sandwiches, a special HTML 5 session, a few hand launched AUVs, an appearance by Gollum and no fatalities. Woohoo! Many thanks to our sponsors*, organizers Susan Horowitz (Pacific New Media College), Mika Leuck (Ikayzo) and… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on June 26, 2010 at 11:00pm — 15 Comments

Engineering and Risk Assessment Failures at BP, Transocean and Halliburton

Its been 12 days since the explosion, and leaks are still poisoning the gulf with 200,000* gallons of oil per day. BPʻs attempts to utilize a containment dome have failed due to the formation of ice-like crystals that blocked the flow into the pipeline and made the container buoyant. Now they are talking about shooting garbage into the blowout preventer. BPʻs CEO keeps whining about how hard it is to utilize containment… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on May 10, 2010 at 3:30pm — 25 Comments

April Newsletter

Aloha e TechHuians,

Its been a very interesting month for tech in Hawaii. Three Hawaii companies, Avatar Reality,

Asia Pacific Films and

Sprout were covered on

TechCrunch and Peer News unveiled its… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on May 8, 2010 at 3:30pm — No Comments

The Beauty of Hawaiʻi's Anchialine Pools

I thought I would take a break from my usual subjects, software development, Hawaiʻi's tech industry and policy issues, to write a few thoughts about my favorite little ecosystems - anchialine pools. Scientists have identified about 150 unique ecosystems in our state ranging from the awe inspiring alpine deserts of Mauna Loa to the world's wettest rainforests on Kauaʻi.…


Added by Daniel Leuck on May 2, 2010 at 5:30pm — 3 Comments

Tough Times for Tech in Hawaii

On the way back from Ryan's Geek Meet yesterday Mika and I noticed three more small businesses in our neighborhood, the east side of Kaka'ako, shuttered. We must have lost 1/3 of the small family owned restaurants and shops in this area over the past two years. I know some of the owners, and it breaks my heart to see businesses that families worked hard for years to build go under. Its starting to look like a ghost town littered with empty buildings covered in graffiti. The Economist predicts… Continue

Added by Daniel Leuck on April 26, 2010 at 7:30am — 11 Comments


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