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Four short links: 21 March 2012

Data Journalism, Fast Web Servers, Android App Inventor, and Daily Deal Dirt

  1. S0rce — gorgeous infographics. They purport to let you Think for Yourself which is bald-faced bullshit: the choice of which data to present, and the invisible collection and curation practices behind the data, is the choice of what story to tell and what it will say. That said, it’s wonderful to see the numbers (and they are attributed) behind the Republican Primary and Copyright and Piracy Legislation.
  2. Modern HTTP Servers are Fast — I remember when the best web engineering in the world would still fall over if a box got more than 10 hits/second. Yes, yes, I’m writing this on my grandpa box. Check out the hardware specs of the box these numbers are from.
  3. MIT App Inventor — web-based app designer. Does not appear to be open source. There is no long-term sustainability for this kind of development environment: when MIT decide “nah screw it, not going to run this any more” or “hmm, maybe we’ll charge for it”, you’re boned–you can download the “source” to your app in a zip file but AppInventor is the only dev environment which can consume it. I hope it’ll become the awesome and easy dev environment that Android needs, but I hope they prevent it from being a dead end.
  4. Daily Deals: Prediction, Social Diffusion, and Reputational Ramificationswe consider the effects of daily deals on the longer-term reputation of merchants, based on their Yelp reviews before and after they run a daily deal. Our analysis shows that while the number of reviews increases significantly due to daily deals, average rating scores from reviewers who mention daily deals are 10% lower than scores of their peers on average. (via Greg Linden)
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