- The Intuition Behind the Fisher-Yates Shuffle — this is a simple algorithm to randomize a list of things, but most people are initially puzzled that it is more efficient than a naive shuffling algorithm. This is a nice explanation of the logic behind it.
- Wikipedia and Inherent Open Source Bias — a specific case of what I think of as the Firefly Principle: what happens on the Internet isn’t representative of real life.
- Malaysian Public Sector Open Source Program — the Malaysian government is a heavy and successful user of open source.
- Guardian’s Platform Now Open for Business (GigaOm) — elegant summary breakdown of services from the Guardian: metadata for free, content if you pay, custom APIs and applications if you pay more. I’m interested to see how well this works, given that the newspaper business is struggling to find a business model that values content.
ENTRIES TAGGED "API"
A look at how services and widgets are democratizing data and visualization.
With "data as a service" APIs like InfoChimps, and embeddable data components like Google Public Data Explorer and WolframAlpha Widgets, we're seeing the democratization of data and data visualization: new ways to access data, new ways to play with data, and new ways to communicate the results to others.
Understanding a Shuffle, Bias, Open Source a Success in Malaysia, and Guardian APIs
European Economic Crisis, Scaling Guardian API, Cheerful Pessimism, and Science Mapping
- Lending Merry-Go-Round — these guys have been Australia’s sharpest satire for years, filling the role of the Daily Show. Here they ask some strong questions about the state of Europe’s economies … (via jdub on Twitter)
- What’s Powering the Guardian’s Content API — Scala and Solr/Lucene on EC2 is the short answer. The long answer reveals the details of their setup, including some of their indexing tricks that means Solr can index all their content in just an hour. (via Simon Willison)
- What I Learned About Engineering from the Panama Canal (Pete Warden) — I consider myself a cheerful pessimist. I’ve been through enough that I know how steep the odds of success are, but I’ve made a choice that even a hopeless fight in a good cause is worthwhile. What a lovely attitude!
- Mapping the Evolution of Scientific Fields (PLoSone) — clever use of data. We build an idea network consisting of American Physical Society Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) numbers as nodes representing scientific concepts. Two PACS numbers are linked if there exist publications that reference them simultaneously. We locate scientific fields using a community finding algorithm, and describe the time evolution of these fields over the course of 1985-2006. The communities we identify map to known scientific fields, and their age depends on their size and activity. We expect our approach to quantifying the evolution of ideas to be relevant for making predictions about the future of science and thus help to guide its development.
Google Docs APIs, Wikileaks Founder Profile, DNA Hacking, and Abusing the Numbers
- Appscale — open source implementation of Google App engine’s APIs built on top of Amazon’s APIs, from UCSB. You can deploy on Amazon or on any Amazon API-compliant cloud such as Eucalyptus.
- Information Pioneers — the Chartered Institute for IT has a pile of video clips about famous IT pioneers (Lovelace, Turing, Lamarr, Berners-Lee, etc.).
- This Week in Law — podcast from Denise Howell, covering IT law and policy. E.g., this week’s episode covers “Google Books, Elena Kagen, owning virtual land, double-dipping game developers, Facebook tips, forced follow bug and fragile egos, embedding tweets, Star Trek Universe liability, and more.”
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Web IDEs, Timely Election Displays, Face Recognition, # Books/Kindle
- Sketch for Processing — an IDE for Processing based on Mozilla’s Bespin.
- British Election Results to be Broadcast on Big Ben — the monument is the message. Lovely integration of real-time data and architecture, an early step for urban infrastructure as display.
- Face.com API — an alpha API for face recognition.
- Average Number of Books/Kindle — short spreadsheet figuring out, from cited numbers. (Spoiler: the answer is 27)
Science Data Hacking, Obstructive Interfaces, 3G to Wifi, and Australian Gov 2.0
- Science Hack Day — Saturday, June 19th and Sunday, June 20th, 2010, in the Guardian offices in London. A meeting place for the designer/coder class and scientists, with datasets as the common language. (via timoreilly on Twitter)
- Facebook’s Evil Interface (EFF) — Facebook’s new M.O. is to say “to better help you, we took away your privacy. If you are stupid and wish to attempt to retain your privacy, don’t not avoid to fail to click here. Now click here. Now click here … ha, moved it! Moved it again! Gotcha!”. Attempting to use Facebook to talk to friends without having your friendships and interests pimped to the data mining Johns is as hard as canceling an AOL subscription.
- Make Your Own 3G Router — an easter-egg inside the new Chumby model (which O’Reilly AlphaTech Ventures invested in).
- Australian Government’s Response to the Web 2.0 Taskforce — it’s all positive: all but one recommendation accepted. Another very positive step from the Aussies.
We've just been told that the public API for Wolfram Alpha will be made available later today. The API documentation will be available at http://products.wolframalpha.com/api . As of noon, PDT, that page only redirects to the Alpha home page, but they've promised it will be available sometime this afternoon….
In addition to Bookworm, O'Reilly Labs now includes an RDF-based API into all of O'Reilly's books: Most publishers are familiar with the ONIX standard for exchanging metadata about books among trading partners. Anyone who's actually spent time working with ONIX knows that its syntax is abstruse at best. While ONIX does use XML, there are more modern, more general, and…
The New York Times on Tuesday opened up its "Best Sellers API," offering programmatic access to best-seller data (going back to 1930!) from the Times: The Times Best Sellers API gives you quick access to current and past best-seller lists in 11 different categories, such as Hardcover Nonfiction and Paperback Mass-Market Fiction. The initial launch offers every weekly list…
At PersonaNonData, Michael Cairns discusses the Google Book Search registry, and muses whether it might support certain types of transactions through an API: How the registry may be formed is anyone's guess, but for sake of argument I envision a pyramidal structure. The identifier segment forms the pointy top layer, bibliographic data the second layer, content the third and the…