- Digital Subscription Prices — the NY Times in context. Aie.
- Trinity — Microsoft Research graph database. (via Hacker News)
- Data Science Toolkit — prepackaged EC2 image of most useful data tools. (via Pete Warden)
- Snappy — Google’s open sourced compression library, as used in BigTable and MapReduce. Emphasis is on speed, with resulting lack of quality in filesize (20-100% bigger than zlib).
Scribd launches its Float app, citizen journalism rebooted, and textbooks come to the Kindle.
In the latest Publishing News: Scribd's Float app aims to be Netflix for reading, the TapIn Bay Area app empowers citizen journalists, and Amazon dips into the e-textbook rental market.
Newspapers bundle tablets and content, Google gets an ereader.
In the latest Publishing News: Sister newspapers in Philadelphia announced a tablet program, Iriver launched an ereading device with the Google eBookstore on board, and Peter Meyers says digital can fix footnotes.
Goodbye clunky CMS. Hello low-cost agility.
The Bangor Daily News addressed its digital workflow issues with a creative new system built on Google Docs and WordPress. William Davis, the newspaper's online editor and the system's architect, explains how it works and why they did it.
Digital Subscriptions, Graph Database, Data Science, and High Speed Compression
Heritage Games, Unpredictable Publishing, Timezones, and Map Tiles
- DigitalKoot — Playing games in Digitalkoot fixes mistakes in our index of old Finnish newspapers. This greatly increases the accuracy of text-based searches of the newspaper archives. (via Springwise and Imran Ali on Twitter)
- Some Things That Need To Be Said (Amanda Hocking) — A.H. is selling a lot of copies of her ebooks, and she cautions against thinking hers is an easily reproduced model. First, I am continuously overwhelmed by the amount of work I have to do that isn’t writing a book. Middlemen give you time in exchange for money. Second, By all accounts, he has done the same things I did, even writing in the same genre and pricing the books low. And he’s even a better writer than I am. So why am I selling more books than he is? I don’t know. I’m reminded of Duncan Watts’s work MusicLab which showed that “hits” aren’t predictable. It’s entirely possible to duplicate Amanda’s efforts and not replicate her success.
- A Literary Appreciation of the Olson Timezone Database — timezones are fickle political creations, and this is a wonderful tribute to the one database which ruled them all for 25 years.
- TileMill — a tool for cartographers to quickly and easily design maps for the web using custom data. Open source, built on Mapnik.
iPad Designers, Scientific Cooking, Twitter Psych, Courseware Reach
- 10 Essential iPad Apps for Publication Designers — a couple of interesting new suggestions here, including the New Zealand Herald (hated at home for including a bloated intro movie, but with interesting article presentation), and Paris Match (adding interactive features to almost every story). (via Simon St Laurent)
- Cooking in Silico: Heat Transfer in the Modern Kitchen (YouTube) — In this talk at the University of Washington, Nathan Myhrvold and Chris Young of Intellectual Ventures show how computationally intense heat-transfer calculations can reveal the subtle factors that influence the success or failure of a cook’s efforts in the kitchen. Explore the virtues of computational cooking, and watch novel techniques and creations made possible when science informs the culinary arts. Mhyrvold has a new cookbook (six volumes!) coming out. (via TechFlash)
- Ten Psychological Insights re: Twitter — summary of ten psychological studies about Twitter users. Many but not all of the most-followed Twitter users are, unsurprisingly, celebrities. This top-heavy usage reflects the fact that being interesting is a talent that not everyone can acquire (without relying on the halo effect of being famous that is). Occasionally, though, some manage the trick of being famous and quite interesting, e.g. Stephen Fry. (via vaughanbell on Twitter)
- MIT OpenCourseWare: Unlocking Knowledge, Empowering Minds — Ten years later, MIT Open-CourseWare (OCW) […] contains the core academic content used in 2000 classes, presenting substantially all the undergraduate and graduate curriculum from MIT’s 33 academic departments. A selection of courses, including introductory physics, math, and engineering, contain full video lectures. Partner organizations have created more than 800 translations of OCW courses in five languages. The OCW team has distributed over 200 copies of the entire Web site on hard drives primarily to sub-Saharan Africa, where Internet access is limited. OCW has grown into a global educational resource. (via Sara Winge)
Robot Needs, Twitter Paper, Relationship Detection, and Doublesided Tablets
- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Robot Needs — born to be a t-shirt. (via waxy)
- paper.li — read Twitter as a daily newspaper. An odd mashup of the hot new tech and the failing old. Will newspapers live on with modern meanings, like “records” and “cab”?
- Eureqa — software tool for detecting equations and hidden mathematical relationships in your data. Appears to be a free-as-in-beer service with open source client libraries. (via Pete Warden)
- Samsung Patents Tablet with Front and Rear Touch Input — The idea is to let users control the device without touching the screen, and perhaps allow them to perform multi-touch inputs from the screen side and the rear side at the same time. (via azaaza on Twitter who says he worked on it at Samsung four years ago)
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)
Brand in China, Radio Apps, Valued Free Text, and Brain TV
- E-Commerce Booming in China (Economist) — bad time for Google to be leaving, just as online sales take off. Chinese consumers in stores check quality by hand but buying online requires trust, aka brands. This is a turn towards Western-style commerce built on trademarks and brand promise of quality, and away from the prevalent wild East style of commerce built on cut corners, deception, and mistrust.
- Comprehensive GNU Radio Archive Network — collection of GNU Radio applications. (via Hacker News)
- The Glass Box and the Commonplace Book (Steven Johnson) — essay on connected useful text vs frozen glass-walled text. As with paywalls, I am not dogmatic about these things. I don’t think it’s incumbent upon the New York Times or The Wall Street Journal to allow all their content to flow freely through the infosphere with no restrictions. I do not pull out my crucifix when people use the phrase “Digital Rights Management.” If publishers want to put reasonable limits on what their audience can do with their words, I’m totally fine with that. As I said, I think the Kindle has a workable compromise, though I would like to see it improved in a few key areas. But I also don’t want to mince words. When your digital news feed doesn’t contain links, when it cannot be linked to, when it can’t be indexed, when you can’t copy a paragraph and paste it into another application: when this happens your news feed is not flawed or backwards looking or frustrating. It is broken.
- Charlie Rose Brain Series — streaming video of the TV shows about the brain. (via Mind Hacks)
DIY Newspapers, Saviour Algorithms, Baseline Removal, and Web Scripting
- Newspaper Club Launches (BBC) — the uses it has been put to make for good reading: Among the Newspaper Club’s first clients were the BBC, Wired UK and Last.fm. Penguin used it to debut a preview of the fifth chapter of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, written by Eoin Colfer.
- Machine Learning Algorithm with a Capital A — It’s claimed to be close to the way the brain learns/recognizes patterns and to be a general model of intelligence and it will work for EVERYTHING. This reminded me of a few other things I’ve come across in the past years that claim to be the new Machine Learning algorithm with Capital A, i.e. the algorithm to end all other ML work, which will work on all problems, and so on. Here is a small collection of the three most interesting ones I remembered.
- fityk — GPL program for nonlinear fitting of analytical functions (especially peak-shaped) to data (usually experimental data). There are also people using it to remove the baseline from data, or to display data only. (via straup on delicious)
- Chickenfoot — Firefox plugin to let you script and manipulate web pages. Useful for automation, like Greasemonkey, but acts on the rendered page and not the HTML source.