"meme wars" entries

Four short links: 7 August 2009

Four short links: 7 August 2009

Recovery.gov, Meme tracking, RFID Scans, Open Source Search Engines

  1. Defragging the Stimuluseach [recovery] site has its own silo of data, and no site is complete. What we need is a unified point of access to all sources of information: firsthand reports from Recovery.gov and state portals, commentary from StimulusWatch and MetaCarta, and more. Suggests that Recovery.gov should be the hub for this presently-decentralised pile of recovery data.
  2. Memetracker — site accompanying the research written up by the New York Times as Researchers at Cornell, using powerful computers and clever algorithms, studied the news cycle by looking for repeated phrases and tracking their appearances on 1.6 million mainstream media sites and blogs […] For the most part, the traditional news outlets lead and the blogs follow, typically by 2.5 hours […] a relative handful of blog sites are the quickest to pick up on things that later gain wide attention on the Web. Confirming that blogs and traditional media have a symbiotic relationship, not a parasitic one. (via Stats article in NY Times)
  3. Feds at DefCon Alarmed After RFIDs Scanned (Wired) — RFID badges make for convenient security, and for convenient attack. Black hats can read your security cards from 2 or 3 feet away, and few in government are aware of the attack vector. To help prevent surreptitious readers from siphoning RFID data, a company named DIFRWear was doing brisk business at DefCon selling leather Faraday-shielded wallets and passport holders lined with material that prevents readers from sniffing RFID chips in proximity cards.
  4. A Comparison of Open Source Search Engines and Indexing Twitter — Detailed write-up of the open source search options and how they stack up on a pile of Tweets. While researching for the Software section, I was quite surprised by the number of open source vertical search solutions I found: Lucene (Nutch, Solr, Hounder), Sphinx, zettair, Terrier, Galago, Minnion, MG4J, Wumpus, RDBMS (mysql, sqlite), Indri, Xapian, grep … And I was even more surprised by the lack of comparisons between these solutions. Many of these platforms advertise their performance benchmarks, but they are in isolation, use different data sets, and seem to be more focused on speed as opposed to say relevance. (via joshua on Delicious)
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In Dale's recent post, "Another War We're Not Winning: Us vs Spam", he asked if the war against spam is winnable, or if email will go the way of Usenet, drowned in abuse of the system. I liked a lot of the answers Dale collected, but I don't think it is possible to lose this war. Prophecies of Internet doom…

Comments: 5

The New Hallucinogens

This millenial "New Age" aspect of what we're now calling Web 2.0 was a big feature of Kevin Kelly's August 2005 Wired article, We Are the Web, which provoked Nicholas Carr's stinging rebuttal, The Amorality of Web 2.0. Roger Magoulas, the director of O'Reilly Research, has another take on the same subject. He wrote in email: "I've been taking care…

Comments: 4

New Yahoo!/O'Reilly Buzz Market Release

The Yahoo!/O'Reilly Buzz Game has had a refresh. We watch what the technology prediction market tells us, and we have added some new markets to answer some new questions: What are the most popular API types? Will Leopard build interest over Vista? We've also refreshed some other markets to find out the latest answer: What's the most popular Rails-esqe Web…

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API Keys for Direct Competitors

In a FlickrCentral discussion thread about Picasa Web Album, Google's new photo hosting service, Stewart Butterfield from Flickr says something very interesting about whether Flickr would, or should, give a direct competitor a Flickr API key for the purpose of moving a Flickr user's data to that competitor's service: [T]his is something that we've never had any set policy on…

Comments: 9

Web 2.0 Service Mark Controversy (Tim responding this time)

A lot of people have been waiting for a statement from me (Tim O'Reilly) about the Web 2.0 service mark. I'm back, and here it is. This is a long post, because the issues are complex, and I hope people will read to the end. I'll do my best to set the record straight, and to answer some of the…

Comments: 315

Tag Tickles: Answers

Here are my guesses about what topics tickle us on the Radar. Tim: collective intelligence, business, and lefty politics. Rael: Rails, Ajax, and ETech. Marc: Food, Startups, and Things Other People Are Doing Wrong. Nat: Machine Learning, the Porn Industry, and History. Our ideal stories are below the fold….

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Tag Tickles

One thing I’ve learned being a parent is that everyone has subjects or behaviours that get a response. Kids are great at finding parents’ buttons and pushing them (can’t stand repetitive noises? let’s repeat “Dora D-D-D-D-Dora” for an hour until your nerves are smouldering ruins). Markets are just as good at revealing hot button topics—economists know that even if nothing…

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Eyeballs: March 20, 2006

More food for thought as I close a bundle of Firefox tabs: Buried in the Wired profile of Sky Dayton is this great line from SK Telecom's global strategy chief: "The ultrahip crowd and the ultrageek crowd. That's the target SK Telecom was dreaming of. I call it technosexual." I'm ultrageek, but I don't think I'm ultrahip. I guess I…

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Bionic Software

Boxxet founder You Mon Tsang recently introduced a new meme into my vocabulary: "bionic software." As You Mon defines it, "Bionics is the study of living systems with the intention of applying their principles to the design of engineering systems." But when we spoke a month or so ago, he used a folksier definition, referencing the seventies TV show The…

Comments: 26