- Personal Best (New Yorker) — excellent Atul Gawande column on coaching which has me wondering how to open up different aspects of my life to improvement. Interesting to me because, behind every continuous- or self-improvement technique are the questions: “do you want to get better?” and “if so, how far will you go in pursuit of that goal?”.
- CyberTracker — tool for non-profits tracking things in the real world. Used around the world for ecology, disaster recovery, even crime-fighting. Brings geospatial data capture and analytics to environmental orgs who otherwise could never afford it.
- Eye-Tracking in Painting Restoration — The consequence of the different gaze pattern is that when asked to describe the content of the painting, viewers of the unreconstructed version did not realise it was a painting of an erupting volcano. The painting had lost its meaning and viewers could not view it as originally intended by Martin. (via Ed Yong)
- The Era of Objects (PDF) — a collection of essays around the future of networked objects, from a Blowup event on that topic. Writings from Bruce Sterling, Julian Bleecker, and others.
Coaching, Geospatial Tracking, Eye-Tracking, and Networked Objects
Satellite-based Forecasting, Design Book, Submarine Cable Map, Brain Science
- New Big Brother: Market-Moving Satellite Images — using satellite images of Wal-Mart and Target parking lots to predict quarterly returns. (via Hacker News)
- Form and Code — beautiful book on the intersection of code, design, architecture, form, and function. One of the authors is Casey Reas who was also one of the people behind Processing. (via RandomEtc on Twitter)
- Cable Map — major underwater communications cables around the world. (via berkun on Twitter)
- Ray Kurzweil Does Not Understand The Brain (Pharyngula) — To simplify it so a computer science guy can get it, Kurzweil has everything completely wrong. The genome is not the program; it’s the data. The program is the ontogeny of the organism, which is an emergent property of interactions between the regulatory components of the genome and the environment, which uses that data to build species-specific properties of the organism. He doesn’t even comprehend the nature of the problem, and here he is pontificating on magic solutions completely free of facts and reason.
Machine Learning Toolkit, Map Politics, Borg Newspaper, and Ambient Displays
- Shogun: A Large Scale Machine Learning Toolbox — open source (GPL v3), C++ with interfaces to MatLab, R, Octave, and Python. Emphasis for this toolkit is on SVM and “large scale kernel methods”.
- The Agnostic Cartographer (Washington Monthly) — land and sea are easy to measure compared to the trouble you get into when you put names on them. The end of the colonial period, hastened by World War II, ushered in a broad crisis in geographical data collection. “The modern era collapsed under its own weight,” says Michael Frank Goodchild, a British American geographer at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “By the 1970s it was apparent that it was no longer going to be sustainable to have a world in which national governments sustained geographic information.”
- Niu Personalized Newspaper to Launch — sign up, select news sources, and every day you get a personalized 24-page print newspaper on your doorstep. They’re not attached to print, but print is the delivery mechanism their customers preferred.
- Ambient Devices — amazing lineup of products that ambiently reflect data (mostly weather). I love the umbrella whose handle glows if you should take it today. (via data4all on Twitter)
Whitehouse Source, Hot Android on iPhone Action, Geomapping, Open Data Fights Fraud
- Whitehouse Released Open Source Code — four modules for Drupal with features the White House needed, including integration with the Akamai CDN.
- Android on iPhone — it’s like constructing an apartment building out of lasagne: an astonishing feat of engineering, even if it’s not ultimately useful for anything. (via waxy)
- A Practical Guide to Geostatistical Mapping — covers R, SAGA, Google Earth, and other tools. (via Flowing Data)
- Open Data Saves Canada $3.2B — interesting case of charities fraud, where official institutions were slow to respond but opening the data that revealed the fraud prompted action. Notable to me because the investigators as outsiders didn’t have power but the data gave power to the rest of the industry, who had a stake in making sure the fraud was fixed.
Data Adjustments, Grasping Telcos, Open Data Panacea Denied, Newspaper Software
- How to Seasonally Adjust Data — Most statisticians, economists and government agencies that report data use a method called the X12 procedure to adjust data for seasonal patterns. The X12 procedure and its predecessor X11, which is still widely used, were developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. When applied to a data series, the X12 process first estimates effects that occur in the same month every year with similar magnitude and direction. These estimates are the “seasonal” components of the data series. (via bengebre on Delicious)
- Vodafone Chief: Mobile Groups Should Be Able to Bypass Google (Guardian) — Vodafone and other telcos want to charge both ends, to charge not just the person with a monthly mobile data subscription but also the companies with whom that person communicates. It’s double-dipping and offensively short-sighted. Vodafone apparently wants to stripmine all the value their product creates. This is not shearing the sheep, this is a recipe for lamb in mint sauce.
- Open Data is Not A Panacea, But It Is A Start — The reality is that releasing the data is a small step in a long walk that will take many years to see any significant value. Sure there will be quick wins along the way – picking on MP’s expenses is easy. But to build something sustainable, some series of things that serve millions of people directly, will not happen overnight. And the reality, as Tom Loosemore pointed out at the London Data Store launch, it won’t be a sole developer who ultimately brings it to fruition. (via sebchan on Twitter)
- Our GeoDjango EC2 Image for News Apps — Chicago Tribune releasing an Amazon EC2 image of the base toolchain they use. Very good to see participation and contribution from organisations historically seen as pure consumers of technology. All business are becoming technology-driven businesses, realising the old mindset of “leave the tech to those who do it best” isn’t compatible with being a leader in your industry.
Dr Walter Scott founded Digital Globe – a company you are likely not familiar with though you probably interact with their satellite imagery on a regular basis via Google Maps, Bing and others. It is only recently that mapping technology and production has been driven by mainly commercial interests especially in the area of satellite imagery. With this commercialization corporations…