- 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.
ENTRIES TAGGED "journalism"
European Economic Crisis, Scaling Guardian API, Cheerful Pessimism, and Science Mapping
Personalised Healthcare, Academic Link Shorteners, Journalism Futures, Security
- Genome Scan Gives Man Insight Into Future Health Risks — the first completely mapped genome of a healthy person aimed at predicting future health risks. The scan was conducted by a team of Stanford researchers and cost about $50,000. The researchers say they can now predict [his] risk for dozens of diseases and how he might respond to a number of widely used medicines. Personalized medicine takes a step closer, and all powered by massive computational power.
- Long Handle on Shorted Digital Object — digital object identifiers, and their relationship to shortener services like bit.ly (in which O’Reilly is an investor). The Handle System is relatively inexpensive, but the costs are now higher than the large scale URL shorteners. According to public tax returns, the DOI Foundation pays CNRI about $500,000 per year to run the DOI resolution system. That works out to about 0.7 cents per thousand resolutions. Compare this to Bit.ly, which has attracted $3.5 million of investment and has resolved about 20 billion shortened links- for a cost of about 0.2 cents per thousand. It remains to be seen whether bit.ly will find a sustainable business model; competing directly with DOI is not an impossibility.
- We Are In The Information Business — A well-architected news website leads to content that will keep on providing value, rather than leaving stories to wither away when their immediate news value has faded. Structured content is the stuff that makes a website malleable, rather than cementing you into certain ways of doing things. Structured content is like a big undo button that allows you to reverse decisions and change how your website looks and behaves. Since none of us can predict the future, the freedom to change course as often as we please and not having to worry about escalating legacy costs, well, that’s pretty close to heaven.
- Sacramento Credit Union FAQ — The answers to your Security Questions are case sensitive and cannot contain special characters like an apostrophe, or the words “insert,” “delete,” “drop,” “update,” “null,” or “select.” (via Simon Willison)
Find the Pretty, Win the Prize, Manage the Data, and Model the Temple
- 0to255 — simple cute colour-generator. (via Hacker News)
- ProPublica Wins Pulitzer Prize (NYTimes) — important landmark in the rise of online journalism. The award is a landmark for ProPublica, founded in 2007, and the other digital news outlets that have sprouted around the country. Over the last few years, the Pulitzer Prize board has relaxed the eligibility rules, allowing news sites to submit work published only online; this year there were many such submissions.
- Big Data Workshop — unconference at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View. (via jchris on Twitter
- 3D Machu Picchu, Created With LIDAR — viewable in Google Earth, took over 1,200 hours of work. (via skry on Twitter)
Open Source Government Tools, Insider Journalism, Open Clip Art, Mining Facebook Profiles
- OSOR.eu — The OSOR is a platform where public administrations can exchange information and experiences and collaborate in developing free and open source software. The platform has managed to bring together more than 2000 such open source software applications in just sixteen months after its launch. (via EUPractice and vikram_nz on Twitter)
- Inside Glitch — writeup of behind-the-scenes during the development of the game Glitch, the new project from Stewart Butterfield, Cal Henderson, Eric Costello, and Serguei Mourachov. The historical details themselves are banal, but what’s interesting is how the reporter got access: “I’ll let you determine when the piece runs (but not editorial control over what goes in it), and in return I get to meet regularly with you and you tell me all.” It’s analogous to the Newsweek tell-alls that come out after the election. (via Waxy)
- Open Clip Art — archive of public domain-contributed clip art. (via Mark Osbourne)
- How To Split Up The US — clique analysis from 210 million public Facebook profiles. Some of these clusters are intuitive, like the old south, but there’s some surprises too, like Missouri, Louisiana and Arkansas having closer ties to Texas than Georgia. To make sense of the patterns I’m seeing, I’ve marked and labeled the clusters, and added some notes about the properties they have in common.
Chris Lee thinks that people don't get enough news they need, as opposed to want.
One of the basic questions in journalism these days is the one of what news consumers actually want. Chris Lee believes that today’s citizenry is getting too much of what they want, and too little of what they need. With the Tools of Change for Publishing conference approaching, it seemed appropriate to talk to Lee, who has spent his professional life in the trenches of broadcast journalism, about where the industry is going and what the future of news looks like.
Surveys show us cocooning ourselves in worlds of
information that reinforce our existing prejudices. It's not enough to
read opposing viewpoints because our assumptions and interpretive
lenses differ. When we get tired of power plays, we'll start
The Washington DC Newseum is an experience worth the entrance fee, and a capacious view into the profession that it honors. The history exhibit boasts history-making front pages throughout the life of our country, and the First Amendment exhibit brought tears to my eyes. But a lot was missing from the Newseum too, and I didn't think the omissions were just something they'll get to later. It gives short shrift to journalism's economics, influence on society, and technology.
Among the most honest assessments of the failure of newspapers to adapt to the Web comes from John Temple, former editor, president and publisher of the now-defunct Rocky Mountain News. The whole thing is unflinching, powerful, and nearly every word worth reading if you're part of a media company hoping to survive the current digital environment, much less the…
Objectivity Be Gone, Public Screens, Lobbying Patterns, DIY Africa
- The End of Objectivity, Web2.0 Version — Our behaviour as journalists is now measurable. And measurability gives the lie to the pretence that journalists behave like scientists, impartially observing the petri dish of society. (via Pia Waugh)
- Screens in Context — ideas for the video screens spring up in place of billboards. Whilst the advertising industry has one of the longest histories of trying to understand interaction, it’s a very different set of tools that digitalness brings; ones that designers at the coal face of web and mobile encounter every day. Everything can be considered in context, be timely, reactive, and data-driven. I’m going to try to outline some dimensions to think about, with some incredibly quick, simple, off the cuff dumb ideas [...] The technology to achieve some of these may be over and above what is possible now, but the biggest step – installing powered, networked computers in the real world – is already being taken by advertising media companies.
- Interactive Network Map of Lobbying Patterns Around Key Senators in Health Care Reform — fascinating visualization of political activity, via timoreilly on Twitter)
- The Doers Club — How DIY design gave a teenager from Malawi electricity, and can help transform Africa.
Speculation about the demise of the news business and advice about what they should do about it is everywhere. It makes for great, self-congratulatory sport but it won’t help the news industry. Why? Because the news industry doesn’t suffer from a shortage of ideas or possible revenue models, it suffers from a different but more acute malady: being an institution…