He is the author of a number of books, and from time to time he also stands in front of cameras. You can often find him at conferences talking about interesting things, or deploying sensors to measure them. He recently rolled out a mesh network of five hundred sensors motes covering the entire of Moscone West during Google I/O. He's still recovering.
A few years ago he caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location all the time. This caused several class action lawsuits and a U.S. Senate hearing. Several years on, he still isn't sure what to think about that.
Alasdair is a former academic. As part of his work he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes which, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2.
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April 24 2014This post was original published on the MAKE BlogThe ISEE-3 spacecraftThe hackers behind the Lunar Orbiter Image Recovery Project have moved on to a different challenge. Not content with images, this time they want to recover a whole spacecraft.The ISEE-3 probe was launched in 1978. After completing it’s original mission—it was the first spacecraft… read more
January 02 2014While the site crumbled quickly under the weight of so many people trying to get to the leaked data—and has now been suspended—there isn’t really such a thing as putting the genie back in the bottle on the Internet. Just before … read more
February 21 2013The 3Doodler is a 3D printer, but it’s a pen. This takes 3D printing and turns it on its head … In fact the 3Doodler rejects quite a lot of what most people would consider necessary for it to be … read more
January 08 2013I’ve put forward my opinion that desktop computing is dead on more than one occasion, and been soundly put in my place as a result almost every time. “Of course desktop computing isn’t dead — look at the analogy you’re drawing … read more
September 06 2012Over the weekend the hacker group Antisec released one million UDID records that they claim to have obtained from an FBI laptop using a Java vulnerability. In reply the FBI stated: The FBI is aware of published reports alleging that … read more
August 15 2012There is a huge debate right now about making academic literature freely accessible and moving toward open access. But what would be possible if people stopped talking about it and just dug in and got on with it? NASA’s Astrophysics … read more
August 03 2012We may be living in the future, but it hasn’t entirely worked out how we were promised. I remember the predictions clearly: the 21st century was supposed to be full of self-driving cars, personal communicators, replicators and private space ships. … read more
March 19 2012Big data isn't limited to multi-terabyte datasets or data markets. It also includes the hidden data you carry with you all the time and the growing data on your movements, contacts and social interactions. read more
September 28 2011While you'll likely interact with your smartphone tomorrow in much the same way you interacted with it today, it's quite possible that your smartphone will interact with the world in a very different way. The next mobile war has already begun. read more
June 16 2011From custom chips, to the data centers backing its new iCloud effort, Apple is committed to controlling the end-user experience. The web has no place in their vision. read more
May 19 2011Those evangelizing the revolutionary qualities of "the next big thing" (whatever it may be) would do well to revisit past "big things." Truth is, computing goes in cycles. read more
May 13 2011Every so often a piece of technology can become a lever that lets people move the world, just a little bit. The Arduino is one of those levers. read more
April 20 2011Pete Warden and Alasdair Allan have discovered that iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS 4 are regularly recording the location of devices into a hidden file. read more
March 21 2011From talking to people on the ground in Japan, and by looking at the actual measurements across the country, a very different picture emerges than that reported by the Western media. read more
March 03 2011We face a choice between a future of accelerating technological progress and an age of declining possibilities and narrowing horizons. That choice depends on the problems we choose to solve. read more
March 01 2011The web of things and less intrusive "wearables" could reignite the personal area network, at least in a slightly different form from years past. read more
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Webcast: An Introduction to building mapping apps for the iPhone and iPad
Webcast: An introduction to building mapping applications for the iPhone and iPad
"Overall, this is a fast read and an excellent resource. I can't call it a definitive guide, but it is a great primer on the most useful geolocation features in iOS, with a set of real-world examples."
"A 'must' for any aspiring developer. "
"His pacing is superb, the content detailed, and his examples spot on."
"I cannot stress how brilliant the book Learning iPhone Programming Development by Alasdair Allan is."
"I love the way the series is set up. Unlike other video tutorials I've tried, Introduction to iOS Programming is broken into smaller sections. You can start and stop the videos whenever you want, which is great when you have to reference certain aspects of the program or need to backup and watch something again."
"So, if you are interested in a crash course into iPhone programming before you dig into it with a more detailed book, this is the one to get. But, it will leave you with the thirst to learn more. Me? I am heading to the OReilly catalog to look for an Objective-C book..."
"The great strength of Allan's book is that it gives you a clear view of the big picture about iPhone development, and fills in most of the essential details. I can hardly imagine a better book to begin the great adventure of developing extraordinary apps."
"I recommend the book to anyone considering diving into iPhone programming...Learning iPhone Programming is reasonably priced and should remain a solid introductory text for new iPhone developers for some time to come."
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