## Four short links: 5 December 2013

### R GUI, Drone Regulations, Bitcoin Stats, and Android/iOS Money Shootout

1. DeducerAn R Graphical User Interface (GUI) for Everyone.
2. Integration of Civil Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) in the National Airspace System (NAS) Roadmap (PDF, FAA) — first pass at regulatory framework for drones. (via Anil Dash)
3. Bitcoin Stats — $21MM traded,$15MM of electricity spent mining. Goodness. (via Steve Klabnik)
4. iOS vs Android Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — roundup comparing Android to iOS in recent commerce writeups. More Android handsets, but less revenue per download/impression/etc.
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## Four short links: 4 December 2013

### Zombie Drones, Algebra Through Code, Data Toolkit, and Crowdsourcing Antibiotic Discovery

1. Skyjack — drone that takes over other drones. Welcome to the Malware of Things.
2. Bootstrap Worlda curricular module for students ages 12-16, which teaches algebraic and geometric concepts through computer programming. (via Esther Wojicki)
3. Harvestopen source BSD-licensed toolkit for building web applications for integrating, discovering, and reporting data. Designed for biomedical data first. (via Mozilla Science Lab)
4. Project ILIAD — crowdsourced antibiotic discovery.
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## Wearable computing and automation

### The Jawbone UP shows the promise available in all kinds of wearable sensors.

In a recent conversation, I described my phone as “everything that Compaq marketing promised the iPAQ was going to be.” It was the first device I really carried around and used as an extension of my normal computing activities. Of course, everything I did on the iPAQ can be done much more easily on a smartphone these days, so my iPAQ sits in a closet, hoping that one day I might notice and run Linux on it.

In the decade and a half since the iPAQ hit the market, battery capacity has improved and power consumption has gone down for many types of computing devices. In the Wi-Fi arena, we’ve turned phones into sensors to track motion throughout public spaces, and, in essence, “outsourced” the sensor to individual customers.

Phones, however, are relatively large devices, and the I/O capabilities of the phone aren’t needed in most sensor operations. A smartphone today can measure motion and acceleration, and even position through GPS. However, in many cases, display isn’t needed on the sensor itself, and the data to be collected might need another type of sensor. Many inexpensive sensors are available today to measure temperature, humidity, or even air quality. By moving the I/O from the sensor itself onto a centralized device, the battery power can be devoted almost entirely to collecting data. Read more…

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## Four short links: 3 December 2013

1. SAMOA — Yahoo!’s distributed streaming machine learning (ML) framework that contains a programming abstraction for distributed streaming ML algorithms. (via Introducing SAMOA)
2. madliban open-source library for scalable in-database analytics. It provides data-parallel implementations of mathematical, statistical and machine-learning methods for structured and unstructured data.
3. Data Portraits: Connecting People of Opposing Views — Yahoo! Labs research to break the filter bubble. Connect people who disagree on issue X (e.g., abortion) but who agree on issue Y (e.g., Latin American interventionism), and present the differences and similarities visually (they used wordclouds). Our results suggest that organic visualisation may revert the negative effects of providing potentially sensitive content. (via MIT Technology Review)
4. Disguise Detection — using Raspberry Pi, Arduino, and Python.
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## Mediated Visions

### Technology has changed, but humans haven't — what is it about mediating an experience through a frame that makes it seem better?

ImpactLab has posted a nice pair of photos contrasting 2005 and 2013 in St. Peter’s Square. 2005 looks pretty much as you’d expect: lots of people in a crowd. In 2013, though, everyone is holding up a tablet, either photographing or perhaps even watching the event through the tablet.

The ImpactLab post asks about the changes in our technology during these eight years. That’s interesting, but not what grabs me. What gets me is that this isn’t new. In the 18th century, one fad was to view nature through a portable picture frame. I wasn’t able to find this in a quick Google search, but screw the documentation. I’ve seen these things in a museum: they look like a miniature gilded picture frame, roughly the size of an iPad, with a stick coming from the corner so you can hold it before your eyes. So you’d sit in your carriage with the curtains open, look out the window through this frame, and see a moving picture. A slightly higher-tech variant of this is the Claude Glass (see, I can haz links), in which you viewed the natural scene through a slightly tinted mirror, to make it look even more like a painting. (This is arguably the origin of the term “picturesque.”) Read more…

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## Four short links: 2 December 2013

### Learning Machine Learning, Pokemon Coding, Drone Coverage, and Optimization Guide

1. CalTech Machine Learning Video Library — a pile of video introductions to different machine learning concepts.
2. Awesome Pokemon Hack — each inventory item has a number associated with it, they are kept at a particular memory location, and there’s a glitch in the game that executes code at that location so … you can program by assembling items and then triggering the glitch. SO COOL.
3. Drone Footage of Bangkok Protests — including water cannons.
4. The Mature Optimization Handbook — free, well thought out, and well written. My favourite line: In exchange for that saved space, you have created a hidden dependency on clairvoyance.
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