- California and Bust (Vanity Fair) — Michael Lewis digs into city and state finances, and the news ain’t good.
- Tonido Plug 2 — with only watts a day, you could have your own low-cost compute farm that runs off a car battery and a cheap solar panel.
- William Gibson Interview (The Paris Review) — It’s harder to imagine the past that went away than it is to imagine the future. What we were prior to our latest batch of technology is, in a way, unknowable. It would be harder to accurately imagine what New York City was like the day before the advent of broadcast television than to imagine what it will be like after life-size broadcast holography comes online. But actually the New York without the television is more mysterious, because we’ve already been there and nobody paid any attention. That world is gone.
- Zen and the Art of Making (Phil Torrone) — thoughts on the difference between beginners and experts, and why the beginner’s mindset is intoxicating and addictive.
Facebook says we're closer than we thought, Gnip targets finance, and eBay grabs Hunch.
Facebook research questions the "six degrees of separation" rule, Gnip gets into the real-time financial data business, and eBay looks to put Hunch's recommendation engine to use.
City Finances, Low-Power Computers, Future History, and Learner's Mindset
Interactive Web Goodness, Location Based Security, Referer vs https, and Financial Charting
- Location-Based Security — The researchers have created a customized version of Android controlled by a “policy engine” on a server. The Android devices use Bluetooth and near-field communications infrastructure to determine the location of the user, and what level of access they have to what kind of information, as well as the level of functionality of their device. Security, however, is defined not by what you can do but by what the bad guys can’t do, and this seems very dependent upon external triggers (wifi and bluetooth) which are readily faked.
- Google Puts a Price on Privacy — I’d never realized before that https and referer information are only loosely compatible: Google has to go to efforts to restore referer information because browsers don’t pass the referer tag on when going from https (e.g., google.com) to http (e.g., your web site).
Open data products with purpose, why finance should care about big data, and the untapped value of site search.
This week on O'Reilly: Tom Steinberg from mySociety offered practical advice for building useful and long lasting open data products, we examined the intersection of big data and finance, and we learned why neglected site search engines deserve way more attention.
Roger Magoulas on data's potential to improve finance systems and create new businesses.
O'Reilly director of market research Roger Magoulas discusses the intersection of big data and finance, and the opportunities this pairing creates for financial experts.
Distributed Drug Money, Science Game, Beautiful Machine Learning, and Stream Event Processing
- Silk Road (Gawker) — Tor-delivered “web” site that is like an eBay for drugs, currency is Bitcoins. Jeff Garzik, a member of the Bitcoin core development team, says in an email that bitcoin is not as anonymous as the denizens of Silk Road would like to believe. He explains that because all Bitcoin transactions are recorded in a public log, though the identities of all the parties are anonymous, law enforcement could use sophisticated network analysis techniques to parse the transaction flow and track down individual Bitcoin users. “Attempting major illicit transactions with bitcoin, given existing statistical analysis techniques deployed in the field by law enforcement, is pretty damned dumb,” he says. The site is viewable here, and here’s a discussion of delivering hidden web sites with Tor. (via Nelson Minar)
- Dr Waller — a big game using DC Comics characters where players end up crowdsourcing science on GalaxyZoo. A nice variant on the captcha/ESP-style game that Luis von Ahn is known for. (via BoingBoing)
- Machine Learning Demos — hypnotically beautiful. Code for download.
- Esper — stream event processing engine, GPLv2-licensed Java. (via Stream Event Processing with Esper and Edd Dumbill)
Data could disrupt the stock world, how stolen data is sold, and geography data's predictive power
Will big data kill the stock exchange? That question was recently explored by Andy Kessler. Plus: How recent security breaches could shape the black market and a look at how "island biogeography" predicted Osama Bin Laden's location.
Sentiment analysis gives algorithmic trading an edge
Sorting through thousands of news stories and categorizing information based on mood and tone creates useful data points for financial systems.
Remember when we used to place data centers in whatever cheap abandoned warehouse was nearby? That's a quaint notion in an era where trading advantage and arbitrage depend more and more on the speed of light and link distance.
Financial stability can benefit from approaches grounded in the natural sciences.
Large-scale events that have disrupted supply chains underscore the importance of viewing the world through a spatial lens.