Four short links: 9 September 2009
SMS Data Collection, Love of Math, Anti-File Sharing Rubbish, Open Manufacturing
- RapidSMS — a free and open-source framework for dynamic data collection, logistics coordination and communication, leveraging basic short message service (SMS) mobile phone technology. UNICEF’s mobile data collection framework, as used in Malawi and other proving grounds. (via gov2expo)
- Groceries — read this and you will realize that Dan Meyer is the math teacher you wish you’d had. He has the geek nature, and his excitement must be great for his students. The express lane isn’t faster. The manager backed me up on this one. You attract more people holding fewer total items, but as the data shows above, when you add one person to the line, you’re adding 48 extra seconds to the line length (that’s “tender time” added to “other time”) without even considering the items in her cart. Meanwhile, an extra item only costs you an extra 2.8 seconds. Therefore, you’d rather add 17 more items to the line than one extra person! I can’t believe I’m dropping exclamation points in an essay on grocery shopping but that’s how this stuff makes me feel.
- How the UK Government Spun 136 People into 7 Million — a radio show looked into the government’s claim of 7 million illegal filesharers and discovered it came down to 136 people in a survey admitting they’d used it. (via br3nda)
- Idle Speculation on the shan zhai and Open Fabrication (Tom Igoe) — shan zhai have established a culture of sharing information about the things they make through open BOMs (bills of materials) and other design materials, crediting each other with improvements. The community apparently self-polices this policy, and ostracizes those that violate it. Open hardware, business, recovery, and more in this fascinating speculation.