- Killer App for Wearables (Fortune) — While many corporations are still waiting to see what the “killer app” for wearables is, Disney invented one. The company launched the RFID-enabled MagicBands just over a year ago. Since then, they’ve given out more than 9 million of them. Disney says 75% of MagicBand users engage with the “experience”—a website called MyMagic+—before their visit to the park. Online, they can connect their wristband to a credit card, book fast passes (which let you reserve up to three rides without having to wait in line), and even order food ahead of time. […] Already, Disney says, MagicBands have led to increased spending at the park.
- USA Govt Depts Progress on Open Data Policy (labs.data.gov) — nice dashboard, but who will be watching it and what squeeze will they apply?
- globalnamedata — We have collected birth record data from the United States and the United Kingdom across a number of years for all births in the two countries and are releasing the collected and cleaned up data here. We have also generated a simple gender classifier based on incidence of gender by name.
- geogig — an open source tool that draws inspiration from Git, but adapts its core concepts to handle distributed versioning of geospatial data.
Geodata DVCS, Monitoring Stack, Robotic Roaches, and Audio Destress
- geogit — opengeo project exploring the use of distributed management of spatial data. […] adapts [git’s] core concepts to handle versioning of geospatial data. Shapefiles, PostGIS or SpatiaLite data stored in a change-tracking repository, with all the fun gut features for branching history, merging, remote/local repos, etc. BSD-licensed. First sound attempt at open source data management.
- Introducing Loupe — Etsy’s monitoring stack. It consists of two parts: Skyline and Oculus. We first use Skyline to detect anomalous metrics. Then, we search for that metric in Oculus, to see if any other metrics look similar. At that point, we can make an informed diagnosis and hopefully fix the problem.
- Bluetooth-Controlled Robotic Cockroach (Kickstarter) — ’nuff said. (via BoingBoing)
- Nature Sounds of New Zealand — if all the surveillance roboroach anomaly detection drone printing stories get to you, put this on headphones and recharge. (caution: contains nature)
Poetry for Professionals, HTTPS Setup, Geodata Mining, and 3D Popup Print Shops
- The Benefits of Poetry for Professionals (HBR) — Harman Industries founder Sidney Harman once told The New York Times, “I used to tell my senior staff to get me poets as managers. Poets are our original systems thinkers. They look at our most complex environments and they reduce the complexity to something they begin to understand.”
- First Few Milliseconds of an HTTPS Connection — far more than you ever wanted to know about how HTTPS connections are initiated.
- Google Earth Engine — Develop, access and run algorithms on the full Earth Engine data archive, all using Google’s parallel processing platform. (via Nelson Minar)
- 3D Printing Popup Store Opens in NYC (Makezine Blog) — MAKE has partnered with 3DEA, a pop up 3D printing emporium in New York City’s fashion district. The store will sell printers and 3D printed objects as well as offer a lineup of classes, workshops, and presentations from the likes of jewelry maker Kevin Wei, 3D printing artist Josh Harker, and Shapeways’ Duann Scott. This. is. awesome!
Web Memory, Phones Read Cards, Military and Public Data, and NoSQL Merger
- Erase and Rewind — the BBC are planning to close (delete) 172 websites on some kind of cost-cutting measure. i’m very saddened to see the BBC join the ranks of online services that don’t give a damn for posterity. As Simon Willison points out, the British Library will have archived some of the sites (and Internet Archive others, possibly).
- Announcing Farebot for Android — dumps the information stored on transit cards using Android’s NFC (near field communication, aka RFID) support. When demonstrating FareBot, many people are surprised to learn that much of the data on their ORCA card is not encrypted or protected. This fact is published by ORCA, but is not commonly known and may be of concern to some people who would rather not broadcast where they’ve been to anyone who can brush against the outside of their wallet. Transit agencies across the board should do a better job explaining to riders how the cards work and what the privacy implications are.
- Using Public Data to Fight a War (ReadWriteWeb) — uncomfortable use of the data you put in public?
- CouchOne and Membase Merge — consolidation in the commercial NoSQL arena. the merger not only results in the joining of two companies, but also combines CouchDB, memcached and Membase technologies. Together, the new company, Couchbase, will offer an end-to-end database solution that can be stored on a single server or spread across hundreds of servers.
Statistical Jeopardy Wins, Mobile Taxonomy, Geodata Mystery, and Machine Learning Blog
- What is IBM’s Watson? (NY Times) — IBM joining the big data machine learning race, and hatching a Blue Gene system that can answer Jeopardy questions. Does good, not great, and is getting better.
- Google Lays Out its Mobile Strategy (InformationWeek) — notable to me for Rechis said that Google breaks down mobile users into three behavior groups: A. “Repetitive now” B. “Bored now” C. “Urgent now”, a useful way to look at it. (via Tim)
- BP GIS and the Mysteriously Vanishing Letter — intrigue in the geodata world. This post makes it sound as though cleanup data is going into a box behind BP’s firewall, and the folks who said “um, the government should be the depot, because it needs to know it has a guaranteed-untampered and guaranteed-able-to-access copy of this data” were fired. For more info, including on the data that is available, see the geowanking thread.
- Streamhacker — a blog talking about text mining and other good things, with nltk code you can run. (via heraldxchaos on Delicious)
8-Bit HTML5 Games, Cloud Morality, Global Data, Geo-tagged Notes
- Google Government Requests Tool –moving services into the cloud loses you control and privacy (see my presentation on the subject), and one way is by making your mail/browser history/etc. easier for law enforcement to get their hands on. There’s new moral ground here for service providers in what services they build, how they design their systems, and how they let people make informed choices. Google is one of the few companies around that are taking actions based on an analysis of what’s right, and whether or not they fall short of your moral conclusions on the subject, you have to give them credit for responding to the moral challenge. Compare to Facebook whose moral response has been to reduce user control over the use of their data.
- World Bank Data — the World Bank has released a huge amount of data about countries and economies, under an Open Knowledge Definition-compliant license. (via Open Knowledge Foundation)
- Moes Notes — note-taking iPhone app that includes GPS reference, so you can associate a text/audio/photo/video note with time, date, or place. (via Rich Gibson)
Against Open Data, Singalong Selection, Library Release, and Twitter Analysis
- Aren’t You Being a Little Hasty in Making This Data Free? — very nice deconstruction of a letter sent by ESRI and competitors to the British Government, alarmed at the announcement that various small- and mid-sized datasets would no longer be charged for. In short, companies that make money reselling datasets hate the idea of free datasets. The arguments against charging are that the cost of gating access exceeds revenue and that open access maximises economic gain. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
- User Assisted Audio Selection — amazing movie that lets you sing or hum along with a piece of music to pull them out of the background music. The researcher, Paris Smaragdis has a done lot of other nifty audio work. (via waxpancake on Twitter)
- Cologne-based Libraries Release 5.4M Bibliographic Records to CC0 — I see resonance here with the Cologne Archives disaster last year, where the building collapsed and 18km of shelves covering over 2000 years of municipal history were lost. When you have digital heritage, embrace the ease of copying and spread those bits as far and wide as you can. Hoarding bits comes with a risk of a digital Cologne disaster, where one calamity deletes your collection. (via glynmoody on Twitter)
- ThinkTank — web app that lets you analyse your tweets, break down responses to queries, and archive your Twitter experience. Built by Expert Labs.
Raffi Krikorian works to make geotagging tweets fast and efficient
When you only have 140 characters to get your message across, you have to depend a lot on context. For Twitter, a big part of that context has become location. Knowing where someone is tweeting from can add a lot of value to the experience, and it’s Raffi Krikorian’s job to integrate location into Twitter. Raffi will be talking about this and other location-related topics at the upcoming Where 2.0 conference. We began by asking him how Twitter determines location, and whether it will always be an opt-in option.
Foursquare is the new Dodgeball. Which is to say that it is my (and many other people’s) method for tracking where we go (and in most cases our social activities). On a daily basis I use the iPhone app to announce some of my whereabouts to friends. I share specifics selectively, but in aggregate my information is shared publicly. (Disclosure: Foursquare is an OATV investment)