Network Theory to Identify Origins of Outbreaks (MIT Technology Review) — “By monitoring only 20% of the communities, we achieve an average error of less than 4 hops between the estimated source and the ﬁrst infected community”. The paper says it depends on good knowledge of the network, which makes me wonder how useful it will be for government tracing of Anons and the like.
How’s That Three Strikes Thing Working Out? (Paul Brislen) — The rights holders in New Zealand put together an ad campaign based on the destruction of value of New Zealand content, yet it hasn’t defended a single New Zealand artist.
USTR Telling You Where To Stick Your Data — A number of US companies had expressed concerns that various departments in the Australian Government, namely, the Department of Defence, The National Archives of Australia, the Department of Finance and Deregulation, the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO) and the State of Victoria’s Privacy Commissioner had been sending negative messages about cloud providers based outside the country, implying that “hosting data overseas, including in the United States, by definition entails greater risk and unduly exposes consumers to their data being scrutinised by foreign governments”. Negative message, but a true one. (via Slashdot)
On Flipping the Classroom (Wired) — Moving a lecture online changes where that information is consumed, not necessarily the degree of student engagement or its effectiveness. Curricula provider Mathalicious critiqued Khan Academy as “one of the most dangerous phenomena in education today.” Hear, hear. Praise Khan for the feedback it provides teachers on where their kids are at, but even in Stanford’s trials in schools they find kids use the videos as absolute last resort for learning something.
What Simon Wardley Is Up To (Google Plus) — I’m researching and writing a tactical playbook for competition in an open world based upon concepts of evolution, value chain and ecosystems using techniques such as choke points, barriers, tower and moat, ILC, inertia, economic phases (build, peace, war), new organisational methods etc etc. WANT. (Apologies, don’t know if O’Reilly is publishing this or not–I’m arm’s length from the publishing side of things)
Lessons Learned from a Blended Learning Pilot — the end-of-pilot report from using Khan Academy for 80-90% of class time. Most interesting is the growing feeling that K.A.’s value comes from analytics on exercises and not the videos: The students greatly preferred working through the problem sets to
watching the videos. Students turned to their peers, the hint, and
the classroom teacher much more often than they did the linked Khan
video. (via Dan Meyer)
Belgian Copyright Society Are Titanic Assholes (BoingBoing) — demanding that public libraries pay royalties when volunteers read to groups of ten or so small children. SABAM is demanding €250 per year from each cash-strapped library. Most authors are great people. Most collecting societies seem to become cultural ass cancer. See also Access Copyright in Canada.
Bayon (Google Code) — a simple and fast [GPL v2] hard-clustering tool. Bayon supports Repeated Bisection clustering and K-means clustering. (that’s what she said)
Facebook is Gaslighting the Web (Anil Dash) — interesting to see the way in which Facebook is attempting to embrace and extend the web, as opposed to AOL’s doomed attempt to set itself up in competition and opposition to the web. As Molly’s piece eloquently explains, what Facebook is calling “frictionless” sharing is actually placing an extremely high barrier to the sharing of links to sites on the web.
Asynchronous UIs — interfaces should be completely non-blocking. Interactions should be resolved instantly; there should be no loading messages or spinners. Requests to the server should be decoupled from the interface.
Public Mapping Project — lets citizens draw up their own redistricting, and in doing so get a sense for the power that redistricting boards wield over the political representation of the state. I’m big on interaction being how you get a deep understanding of alternative and consequences, rather than reading or seeing which at best is a surface process. (via BoingBoing)
Flip the Flipped School — makes the very good point that lectures aren’t the be-all-and-end-all of teaching, and questions Khan Academy’s usefulness for subjects where interpretation and nuance are all-important.
Random Khan Exercises — elegant hack to ensure repeatability for a user but difference across users. Note that they need these features of exercises so that they can perform meaningful statistical analyses on the results.
Float, the Netflix of Reading (Wired) — an interesting Instapaper variant with a stab at an advertising business model. I would like to stab at the advertising business model, too. What I do like is that it’s trying to do something with the links that friends tweet, an unsolved problem for your humble correspondent. (via Steven Levy
Facebook and the Epiphanator (NY Magazine) — Paul Ford has a lovely frame through which to see the relationship between traditional and social media. So it would be easy to think that the Whole Earthers are winning and the Epiphinators are losing. But this isn’t a war as much as a trade dispute. Most people never chose a side; they just chose to participate. No one joined Facebook in the hope of destroying the publishing industry.
The growing role of software architects: “Architecture has become much more interesting now because it’s become more encompassing," says Neal Ford, software architect and meme wrangler at ThoughtWorks.