Penguins Counted From Space (Reuters) — I love the unintended flow-on effects of technological progress. Nobody funded satellites because they’d help us get an accurate picture of wildlife in the Antarctic, but yet here we are. The street finds a use …
What Makes a Super-Spreader? — A super-spreader is a person who transmits an infection to a significantly greater number of other people than the average infected person. The occurrence of a super spreader early in an outbreak can be the difference between a local outbreak that fizzles out and a regional epidemic. Cory, Waxy, Gruber, Ms BrainPickings Popova: I’m looking at you. (via BoingBoing)
Biologic — view your social network as though looking at cells through a microscope. Gorgeous and different.
The Cost of Cracking — analysis of used phone listings to see what improves and decreases price yields some really interesting results. Phones described as “decent” are typically priced 23% below the median. Who would describe something they’re selling as “decent” and price it below market value unless something fishy was going on? […] On average, cracking your phone destroys 30-50% of its value instantly. Particularly interesting to me since Ms 10 just brought home her phone with *cough* a new starburst screensaver.
OpenStreetMap Welcomes Apple — this is the classy way to deal with the world’s richest company quietly and badly using your work without acknowledgement.
Ferrofluid Sculptures (New Scientist) — hypnotic video of an iron-based fluid that is moulded by magnetic fields, which I include for no good reason than it is pretty pretty science. (via Courtney Johnston)
Twisted Highscores List — clever leaderboard for tickets, reviews, commits, and fixes. A fun retro presentation of the information, rather than a determined effort to jolly up the grim task of software development by spraying on a thin coat of gamejuice. (via Jacob Kaplan-Moss)
Beauty of Maps (YouTube) — BBC’s “Beauty of Maps” tv show is available in full on YouTube. Aspects of visualization and design here, as well as practical cartography. (via Flowing Data)
On Compressing Social Networks (PDF) — paper looking at the theory and practice of compressing social network graphs. Our main innovation here is to come up with a quick and useful method for generating an ordering on the social network nodes so that nodes with lots of common neighbors are near each other in the ordering, a property which is useful for compression (via My Biased Coin, via Matt Biddulph on Delicious)
British Library Release 3M Open Bibliographic Records) (OKFN) — This dataset consists of the entire British National Bibliography, describing new books published in the UK since 1950; this represents about 20% of the total BL catalogue, and we are working to add further releases.
Gadgets for Babies (NY Times) — cry decoders, algorithmically enhanced rocking chairs, and (my favourite) “voice-activated crib light with womb sounds”. I can’t wait until babies can make womb sound playlists and share them on Twitter.
What Android Is (Tim Bray) — a good explanation of the different bits and their relationship.
Cell Phone Photo Helped in Oil Spill (LA Times) — a lone scientist working from a cell phone photo who saved the day by convincing the government that a cap it considered removing was actually working as designed. (via BoingBoing)
Exploring Computational Thinking (Google) — educational materials to help teachers get students thinking about recognizing patterns, decomposing problems, and so on.
Feedly — RSS feeds + twitter + other sites into a single magazine format.
Attention and Information — what appears to us as “too much information” could just be the freedom from necessity. The biggest change ebooks have made in my life is that now book reading is as stressful and frenetic as RSS reading, because there’s as much of an oversupply of books-I’d-like-to-read as there is of web-pages-I’d-like-to-read. My problem isn’t over-supply of material, it’s a shortage of urgency that would otherwise force me to make the hard decisions about “no, don’t add this to the pile, it’s not important enough to waste my time with”. Instead, I have 1990s books on management that looked like maybe I might learn something …. (via Clay Shirky on Twitter)