ENTRIES TAGGED "math"

Four short links: 27 March 2012

Four short links: 27 March 2012

Healthcare Ain't Silicon Valley, Math for Makers, Open Source Musician Tools, and Learn to Make Languages

  1. Five Tough Lessons I Had To Learn About Healthcare (Andy Oram) — I don’t normally link to things from Radar but this gels 110% with my limited experience with the healthcare industry.
  2. Makematics: Math for MakersI want the hardware hackers who are building the next generation of DIY 3D printers to be able to turn topological algorithms and concepts into open source tool path generation software that creates more efficient gcode and enables the fabrication of previously impossible physical forms. I don’t know the best way to go about this, but this site is intended to act as home for my experiments.
  3. CASH Music — they build open source tools for musicians and labels to make money. What WordPress did for bloggers, we’re doing for musicians. (via New York Times)
  4. PL101: Create Your Own Programming Language — you’ll build it in Javascript as you learn how programming languages and compilers work. It’ll run on AppEngine and be hosted on GitHub.
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Four short links: 22 March 2012

Four short links: 22 March 2012

Watercolor Maps, Inside Displays, Numbers API, and Chinese Mobile Activations Boom

  1. Stamen Watercolour Maps — I saw a preview of this a week or two ago and was in awe. It is truly the most beautiful thing I’ve seen a computer do. It’s not just a clever hack, it’s art. Genius. And they’re CC-licensed.
  2. Screens Up Close — gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad’s retina display is.
  3. Numbers API — CUTE! Visit it, even if you’re not a math head, it’s fun.
  4. China Now Leads the World in New iOS and Android Device Activations (Flurry) — interesting claim, but the graphs make me question their data. Why have device activations in the US plummeted in January and February even as Chinese activations grew? Is this an artifact of collection or is it real?
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Four short links: 21 February 2012

Four short links: 21 February 2012

jQuery Performance, George Dyson, VLC 2.0, and Power Laws

  1. Stop Paying Your jQuery Tax (Sam Saffron) — performance advice for front-end developers. The faster your site responds, the more customers will use it.
  2. George Dyson Interviewed (Wired) — a different perspective on computing, worth reading.
  3. VLC 2.0.0 — VLC lets you bypass manufacturers’ designed-in brokenness so your computer can play media. Glad to see it still being actively developed.
  4. Critical Truth About Power Laws (Science Magazine) — Although power laws have been reported in areas ranging from finance and molecular biology to geophysics and the Internet, the data are typically insufficient and the mechanistic insights are almost always too limited for the identification of power-law behavior to be scientifically useful (see the figure). Indeed, even most statistically “successful” calculations of power laws offer little more than anecdotal value. (no PDF available unless you pay, because that’s how great science works)
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Four short links: 14 October 2011

Four short links: 14 October 2011

Relativity in Short Words, Set Math, Design Inspiration, and Internet of Things

  1. Theory of Relativity in Words of Four Letters or Less — this does just what it says, and well too. I like it, as you may too. At the end, you may even know more than you do now.
  2. Effective Set Reconciliation Without Prior Context (PDF) — paper on using Bloom filters to do set union (deduplication) efficiently. Useful in distributed key-value stores and other big data tools.
  3. Mental Notes — each card has an insight from psychology research that’s useful with web design. Shuffle the deck, peel off a card, get ideas for improving your site. (via Tom Stafford)
  4. The Internet of Things To Come (Mike Kuniavsky) — Mike lays out the trends and technologies that will lead to an explosion in Internet of Things products. E.g., This abstraction of knowledge into silicon means that rather than starting from basic principles of electronics, designers can focus on what they’re trying to create, rather than which capacitor to use or how to tell the signal from the noise. He makes it clear that, right now, we have the rich petrie dish in which great networked objects can be cultured.
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The boffins and the luvvies

The boffins and the luvvies

The names may change, but the friction between science and art goes back centuries.

Whether we're discussing ancients vs. moderns, scientists vs. poets, or the latest variant, computer science vs. humanities, the debate between science and art is persistent and quite old.

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Four short links: 10 August 2011

Four short links: 10 August 2011

Gamification is Bullshit, Design for Impact, Public Domain, and Network Analysis

  1. Gamification is Bullshit (Ian Bogost) — [G]amification is marketing bullshit, invented by consultants as a means to capture the wild, coveted beast that is videogames and to domesticate it for use in the grey, hopeless wasteland of big business, where bullshit already reigns anyway. Bullshitters are many things, but they are not stupid. The rhetorical power of the word “gamification” is enormous, and it does precisely what the bullshitters want: it takes games—a mysterious, magical, powerful medium that has captured the attention of millions of people—and it makes them accessible in the context of contemporary business.
  2. Design for (Real) Social Impact (Vimeo) — single best talk I’ve seen on making philanthropy effective. (via Rowan Simpson)
  3. The Public Domain Review — an online weekly journal dedicated to treasures that have entered the public domain and articles on them. The home page currently features: Boris Karloff in “Last of the Mohicans”, the Boston Revolution in psychotherapy, “Was Charles Darwin an Atheist?”, the Orson Welles audio show, “100 Years of The Secret Garden”, a feature on a 1300 year old illustrated work on the Book of Revelations, and more.
  4. SNAP — the Stanford Network Analysis Platform, a library for network and graph analysis. (via Joshua Schachter)
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Four short links: 8 August 2011

Four short links: 8 August 2011

Graph ORM, Graphic Computation, Web Intents, and Async RPC

  1. Bulbflow — a Python framework for graph databases: it’s like an ORM for graphs. (via Joshua Schachter)
  2. Nomograms — the lost art of graphical computing. (via John D Cook)
  3. Web Intents — adding Android-style Intents to the web. Services register their intention to be able to handle an action on the user’s behalf. Applications request to start an Action of a certain verb (share, edit, view, pick etc) and the system will find the appropriate Services for the user to use based on the user’s preference.
  4. Finagle (GitHub) — Twitter’s asynchronous network stack for the JVM that you can use to build asynchronous Remote Procedure Call (RPC) clients and servers in Java, Scala, or any JVM-hosted language. Finagle provides a rich set of tools that are protocol independent.
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Four short links: 4 August 2011

Four short links: 4 August 2011

Personal Video, Open Source Sensors, Bad Science No Biscuit, and Playing the Odds

  1. Skate Through NYC With A GoPro — this is the first I’ve seen of the GoPro cameras, which are two dimensions of clever. First, it’s video instrumentation for activities where we haven’t had this before. Second, it’s clever specialization of the Flip-style solid-state recording videocameras. (via Infovore)
  2. Pulse Sensor — open source heart rate sensor project on Kickstarter. DIY hardware has made the quantified self phenomenon possible; look for many more gadgets that build your personal data cloud. (via Brady Forrest)
  3. Science’s Bad Ideas (Peter Griffin) — a recap of a lecture by Lord Robert Winston where he the dark side of science and catalogues numerous instances where scientific progress has been accompanied by unforeseen consequences, ethical atrocities and detrimental impacts on society. [...] The overall message is that science can’t remain aloof from society, that scientists must engage and better understand the needs and concerns of society as they introduce new technologies that could bring about profound changes.
  4. A Game With a Windfall For a Knowing Few — gambling is a tax on bad math, but poorly designed games sometimes rewards those who are good at math. Because of a quirk in the rules, when the jackpot reaches roughly $2 million and no one wins, payoffs for smaller prizes swell dramatically, which statisticians say practically assures a profit to anyone who buys at least $100,000 worth of tickets. During these brief periods – “rolldown weeks’’ in gambling parlance – a tiny group of savvy bettors, among them highly trained computer scientists from MIT and Northeastern University, virtually take over the game. Just three groups, including the Selbees, claimed 1,105 of the 1,605 winning Cash WinFall tickets statewide after the rolldown week in May, according to lottery records. (via Hacker News)
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Four short links: 5 July 2011

Four short links: 5 July 2011

Organising Conferences, Moving to the JVM, Language Crowdsourcing, and Bayesian Computing

  1. Conference Organisers Handbook — accurate guide to running a two-day 300-person conference. See also Yet Another Perl Conference guidelines.
  2. Twitter Shifting More Code to JVM — interesting how, at scale, there are some tools and techniques of the scorned Enterprise that the web cool kids must turn to. Some. Business Process Workflow XML Schemas will never find love.
  3. Louis von Ahn on Duolingo — from the team that gave us “OCR books as you verify you are a human” CAPTCHAs comes “learn a new language as you translate the web”. I would love to try this, it sounds great (and is an example of what crowdsourcing can be).
  4. Fully Bayesian Computing (PDF) — A fully Bayesian computing environment calls for the possibility of defining vector and array objects that may contain both random and deterministic quantities, and syntax rules that allow treating these objects much like any variables or numeric arrays. Working within the statistical package R, we introduce a new object-oriented framework based on a new random variable data type that is implicitly represented by simulations. Perl made text processing easy because strings were first-class objects with a rich set of functions to operate on them; Node.js has a sweet HTTP library; it’s interesting to see how much more intuitive an algorithm becomes when random variables are a data type. (via BigData)
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Four short links: 1 July 2011

Four short links: 1 July 2011

Vector Graphics, Processing Maps, Augemented Senses, and Graph Analysis

  1. paper.jsThe Swiss Army Knife of Vector Graphics Scripting. MIT-licensed Javascript library that gives great demo.
  2. TileMill for Processing — gorgeous custom maps in Processing. (via FlowingData)
  3. Research Assistant Wanted — working with one of the authors of Mind Hacks on augmenting our existing senses with a form of “remote touch” generated by using artificial distance sensors, such as ultrasound, to stimulate tactile stimulators (vibrating pads) placed against the surface of the head.. (via Vaughn Bell)
  4. GoldenORBa cloud-based open source project for massive-scale graph analysis, built upon best-of-breed software from the Apache Hadoop project modeled after Google’s Pregel architecture. (via BigData)
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