April 2011 Archives

Summary of health care outcomes: does Massachusetts lead the nation?

A recent study notes many successes in Massachusetts, but highlights the threat of rising costs.

Comments: 4

Open question: Would you rent a laptop?

The Google Chrome netbook rumors have expanded to include subscription-based distribution.

Can't afford to buy a laptop? You might be Google's next target audience. New rumors suggest the Internet giant may be plotting to rent laptops, complete with hardware updates and repair as needed.

Comments: 20
Four short links: 29 April 2011

Four short links: 29 April 2011

Gamification's Failures, Crowdsourced Clinical Study, Traceability, and Faster Web

  1. Kathy Sierra Nails Gamification — I rarely link to things on O’Reilly sites, and have never before linked to something on Radar, but the comments here from Kathy Sierra are fantastic. She nails what makes me queasy about shallow gamification behaviours: replacing innate rewards with artificial ones papers over shitty products/experiences instead of fixing them, and don’t get people to a flow state. what is truly potentially motivating for its own sake (like getting people to try snowboarding the first few times… The beer may be what gets them there, but the feeling of flying through fresh powder is what sustains it, but only if we quit making it Just About The Beer and frickin teach them to fly). (via Jim Stogdill)
  2. Patient Driven Social Network Refutes Study, Publishes Its Own ResultsThe health-data-sharing website PatientsLikeMe published what it is calling a “patient-initiated observational study” refuting a 2008 report that found the drug lithium carbonate could slow the progression of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. The new findings were published earlier this week in the journal Nature Biotechnology. (via mthomps)
  3. Corporate Transparency — learn where, when and by whom your chocolate bar was made, from which chocolate stock, etc. This kind of traceability and provenance information is underrated in business. (via Jim Stogdill)
  4. SPDY — Google’s effort to replace HTTP with something faster. It has been the protocol between Chrome and Google’s servers, now they hope it will go wider. All connections are encrypted and compressed out of the box.
Comment: 1

Strata Week: Overcharging algorithms

Algorithms go awry on Amazon, the future of Hadoop at Yahoo, and the Supreme Court mulls data mining

In this Strata Week: Algorithm pricing on Amazon pushes the price of a biology book to astronomical levels, Yahoo weighs the future of Hadoop, and the Supreme Court hears arguments about a Vermont law restricting the data mining of prescription records.

Comment: 1

Interest in renewable energy could benefit data services

The need for temperature, wind, and solar analytics will likely increase.

The increase of large-scale infrastructure investments in the alternative energy sector will likely be accompanied by demand for data-driven services that can optimize efficiency of the related operational costs.

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ePayments Week: What does the attention around tracking mean?

What do mobile users want in return for their location data?

The iPhone location story helped some mobile users understand that their phones know where they are. What will it mean for the carriers and services that use that data? Plus: Google and Facebook get into the deals business and mobile banking evolves.

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What's new? Alerting readers to ebook revisions

Thoughts on how to distribute and spotlight key ebook changes.

Plenty of publishers offer free downloads each time an author makes a big change to an ebook file, but what’s missing is a reader-friendly system that lets everyone know what’s new.

Comments: 5
Four short links: 28 April 2011

Four short links: 28 April 2011

Mobile Gambling, Science Copyright, Failure of Advertising, and Data Businesses

  1. Mobile Gaming Device — Cantor Gaming (division of Wall St’s Cantor Fitzgerald) has released a Windows Mobile device to make live bets during a game. Real-time isn’t just for trading, it’s also for sports gambling too.
  2. Copyright Isn’t Just Hurting Creativity, It’s Killing Science (Video) — Larry Lessig tackles science. I’ve been grappling with technology transfer and the commercialization of academic research for a while, and most scientific discoveries aren’t immediately useful. Some, a rare few, are eventually useful, but even then only after a long time and lot of money spent making repeatable, efficient, and scalable processes from those discoveries. Most science is useless in this sense, never leading to product, so perhaps the general advance of knowledge would happen faster if we worried less about universities doing the commercialization and instead let them get back to focus on discovering more about the world around us. (via BoingBoing)
  3. This Tech Bubble is Different (BusinessWeek) — notable for this killer quote: “The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads,” he [Hammerbacher] says. “That sucks.”
  4. How US News Abandoned Print and Learned to Love Its Data — now has multiple revenue streams including advertising, lead generation, special-edition print, and licenses, all keyed around its data.
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The iPhone tracking story, one week later

Apple issues a statement on location and says iOS fixes are coming soon.

Apple announces fixes and sheds more light on location data. Plus, a look at some of the reporting and potential applications that have popped up.

Comments: 10

Linked data creates a new lens for examining the U.S. Civil War

Data projects are marking the Civil War's 150th anniversary.

The 150th anniversary (the "sesquicentennial") of the first hostilities of U.S. Civil War is occurring this month. Two organizers behind the Civil War Data 150 project discuss how linked data is marking the occasion and improving our knowledge.

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