"numbers" entries

Four short links: 3 December 2012

Four short links: 3 December 2012

Manufacturing Returns, Android Mystery, 3D Printing Novelties, and Dropping Drones

  1. Manufacturing Returning to USA (The Atlantic) — because energy and wages. Oil makes shipping pricey, while “booming” US natural gas helps domestic manufacturing. Wages rising in China, dropping in America.
  2. The Android Engagement Mystery (Luke Wroblewski) — despite massively greater sales, Android users do less with their devices. Why?
  3. What’s Coming in 3D Printers (Wired) — enormous printers, printers that use sand to help with metal molding, and more.
  4. Drone Crashes Mount at Civilian Airports Overseas (Washington Post) — The drone crashed at a civilian airport that serves a half-million passengers a year, most of them sun-seeking tourists. No one was hurt, but it was the second Reaper accident in five months — under eerily similar circumstances.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 28 November 2012

Four short links: 28 November 2012

Ethical Machines, Fault Tolerance, Offline HTML5, and Doomy Data

  1. Moral Machinesit will no longer be optional for machines to have ethical systems. Your car is speeding along a bridge at fifty miles per hour when errant school bus carrying forty innocent children crosses its path. Should your car swerve, possibly risking the life of its owner (you), in order to save the children, or keep going, putting all forty kids at risk? If the decision must be made in milliseconds, the computer will have to make the call. (via BoingBoing)
  2. Hystrixa latency and fault tolerance library designed to isolate points of access to remote systems, services and 3rd party libraries, stop cascading failure and enable resilience in complex distributed systems where failure is inevitable. More information. (via Tom Loosemore)
  3. Offline First: A Better HTML5 Experience — can’t emphasize how important it is to have offline functionality for the parts of the world that don’t have blanket 3G/LTE/etc coverage. (280 south from SF, for example).
  4. Disaster of Biblical Proportions (Business Insider) — impressive collection of graphs and data showing commodity prices indicate our species is living beyond its means.
Comments: 2
Four short links: 15 November 2012

Four short links: 15 November 2012

Video Effects, Old School, Data Set, and Games Numbers

  1. Atkinson Dithering in Real Time — a Processing app that renders what the video camera sees, as though it were an original Mac black and white image.
  2. Patching Binariesa patch for a crashing bug during import of account transactions or when changing a payee of a downloaded transaction in Microsoft Money Sunset Deluxe. Written with no source, simply by debugging the executable as it shipped for XP.
  3. Book Crossing DatasetContains 278,858 users (anonymized but with demographic information) providing 1,149,780 ratings (explicit / implicit) about 271,379 books.
  4. Network Games Market Update (Cartagena Capital) — The myth that players use mobile only ‘on the go’ has been shattered. Smartphones and tablets are now mainstream gaming platforms in their own right and a significant proportion of players play in stationary use case scenarios. Stats abound, including 38% of tablet gamers play more than five hours per week compared to 20% of mobile phone gamer.
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Four short links: 13 November 2012

Four short links: 13 November 2012

3D Printing Booth, Crowdsourcing Nanoscience, Mobile Numbers, and Web Techniques

  1. 3D Printing Photobooth Opening in Japan (io9) — A technician at the lab will scan your body (much like with early photography, you’ll need to be able to hold a certain pose for 15 minutes) and print out an impressively realistic 3D photo that captures not only your features, but also the basic textures of your clothing and hair. (via Julie Starr)
  2. Feynman Flowers — crowdsourcing analysis of STM imagery for nanoscale physics research. (via OKFN)
  3. Mobile Trends — Android on exponential growth vs iOS’s linear growth, and many more data-driven observations. Apple has a mobile product at every $50 price point between $0 and $850.
  4. The Definitive Guide to Forms-Based Website Authentication (Stack Overflow) — exactly what the title says.
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Four short links: 15 October 2012

Four short links: 15 October 2012

DIY Thermal Camera, Watching Trolls Wither, Discovering Dark Social, and Student Mobile Phone Use

  1. Cheap Thermocam — cheap thermal imaging camera, takes about a minute to capture an image. (via IEEE Spectrum)
  2. Observations on What’s Getting Downvoted (Ars Technica) — fascinating piece of social work, showing how the community polices (or reacts to) trolls. (via Hacker News)
  3. Dark Social (The Atlantic) — Just look at that graph. On the one hand, you have all the social networks that you know. They’re about 43.5 percent of our social traffic. On the other, you have this previously unmeasured darknet that’s delivering 56.5 percent of people to individual stories. This is not a niche phenomenon! It’s more than 2.5x Facebook’s impact on the site.
  4. A Tethered WorldAll students, across all 56 represented countries, are doing generally the same few things. Facebook and Twitter, above all else, are the predominant tools for all information use among the participants. The predominance of these few tools are creating a homogenizing influence around the world.
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Four short links: 5 October 2012

Four short links: 5 October 2012

Robocopyright, OECD Numbers, Half Of Which Are Probably Wrong, Science Incubator

  1. Improving Content ID (YouTube) — finally they’re adding some human intervention to lower the number of false positives.
  2. OECD’s Internet Economy Outlook (OECD) — lots of stats, from growth of streaming media to crime and EHRs. This caught my eye: In 2010, on average, 35% of all businesses with ten or more persons employed used the Internet for purchasing, and only 18% for selling goods and services.
  3. Half Of What You Know Is FalseThe field of scientometrics – the science of measuring and analyzing science – took off in 1947 when mathematician Derek J. de Solla Price was asked to store a complete set of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society temporarily in his house. He stacked them in order and he noticed that the height of the stacks fit an exponential curve. Price started to analyze all sorts of other kinds of scientific data and concluded in 1960 that scientific knowledge had been growing steadily at a rate of 4.7 percent annually since the 17th century. The upshot was that scientific data was doubling every 15 years.
  4. Catalyst Grants — Macmillan’s Digital Science incubator.
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Four short links: 3 October 2012

Four short links: 3 October 2012

Military Open Source, State of Internet, Visualizing Budgets, and Hacking Your iDevice

  1. Mil-OSS 4 — 4th military open source software working group conference, in Rosslyn VA. Oct 15-17. Tutorials and sessions will cover: Linux, Geospatial, LiDAR, Drupal, cloud, OSS policy and law, Android and many other topics. The last day will have a 1/2 day unconference for up-and-coming issues.
  2. State of Internet Slides (Business Insider) — Apple could buy Disney using cash at hand. Boggle. This presentation has plenty of numbers for those who like them.
  3. See Penny Work — an open source (GPLv2) toolkit for budget visualizations, from Code For America. (via Tim O’Reilly)
  4. libimobiledevice — LGPLed open source library which talks the protocols to support iPhone®, iPod Touch®, iPad® and Apple TV® devices. Unlike other projects, it does not depend on using any existing proprietary libraries and does not require jailbreaking. It allows other software to easily access the device’s filesystem, retrieve information about the device and it’s internals, backup/restore the device, manage SpringBoard® icons, manage installed applications, retrieve addressbook/calendars/notes and bookmarks and (using libgpod) synchronize music and video to the device. Runs on Linux, OS X, and Windows.
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Four short links: 13 August 2012

Four short links: 13 August 2012

Mobile Money, Quantified Server, Mobile Chatbot, and YouTube's Content Detection

  1. Mobile Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — eBay’s mobile shoppers and mobile payers are 3 to 4 times more valuable than Web only [...] Yelp runs ads on the mobile web, and those ads see a higher clickthrough rate than their desktop counterparts.
  2. Data-Driven Restaurants (Washingtonian) — Did Elizabeth bring your Pinot Gris within three minutes of the time you ordered it? Were your appetizers delivered within seven minutes, entrées within ten, desserts within seven? Were these plates described at the table before they were set in front of you? Were napkins refolded when you went to the restroom? Was non-bottled water referred to as “ice water” (correct) or “water” (incorrect)? (via Daniel Bachhuber)
  3. Rei Toei (Jesse Vincent) — Writing a plugin to give Rei a new superpower is a few lines of JavaScript. Very early stage project, but one to watch. Siri + ircbots + NLP = awesome. (Open source on GitHub)
  4. Content Detection Fail (Ars Technica) — five other media organizations (mostly television stations, including some from overseas) had claimed the content of his video through YouTube’s Content ID system. That video? A Google+ hangout where he played NASA videos of the Mars landing. Shonky rights verification is a problem, as Google pays ad royalties to those who claim the rights–creating incentives to lie. And as Google doesn’t pay any royalties while material is disputed and the dispute is unresolved, it’s not really in Google’s interest to make this work either. (via Andy Baio)
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Four short links: 22 June 2012

Four short links: 22 June 2012

Why We Make, Kickstarter Stats, Dodgy Domains, and Pretty Pretty Pictures

  1. Reality BytesWe make things because that’s how we understand. We make things because that’s how we pass them on, and because everything we have was passed on to us as a made object. We make things in digital humanities because that’s how we interpret and conserve our inheritance. Because that’s how we can make it all anew. Librarians, preservation, digital humanities, and the relationship between digital and physical. Existential threats don’t scare us. We’re librarians.
  2. Kickstarter Stats — as Andy Baio said, it’s the one Kickstarter feature that competitors won’t be rushing to emulate. Clever way to emphasize their early lead.
  3. ICANN is Wrong (Dave Winer) — Dave is right to ask why nobody’s questioning the lack of public registration in the new domains. You can understand why, say, the Australia-New Zealand bank wouldn’t let Joe Random register in .anz, but Amazon are proposing to keep domains like .shop, .music, .app for their own products. See all the bidders for the new gTLDs on the ICANN web site.
  4. The Art of GPS (Daily Mail) — beautiful visualizations of uncommon things, such as the flights that dead bodies make when they’re being repatriated to their home states. Personally, I think they tend too much to the “pretty” and insufficient to the “informative” or “revealing”, but then I’m notorious for being too revealing and insufficiently informative.
Comment: 1
Four short links: 19 June 2012

Four short links: 19 June 2012

Map Usage, Transit Data, Mozilla Web Maker, and Print-to-Web Design

  1. Mobile Maps (Luke Wroblewski) — In the US, Google gets about 31 million users a month on its Maps app on iOS. On average those users spend more than 75 minutes apiece in the app each month.
  2. The Importance of Public Traffic Data (Anil Dash) — Bill Gates and Paul Allen’s first collaboration was a startup called Traf-O-Data, which recorded and analyzed traffic at intersections in their hometown using custom-built devices along with some smart software. Jack Dorsey’s first successful application was a platform for dispatch routing, designed to optimize the flow of cars by optimizing the flow of information. It’s easy to see these debates as being about esoteric “open data” battles with governments and big corporations. But it matters because the work we do to build our cities directly drives the work we do to build our communities online.
  3. Mozilla ThimbleWrite and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser. Instantly preview your work. Then host and share your finished pages with a single click.
  4. Design of the Guardian iPad App (Mark Porter) — thoughtful analysis of the options and ideas behind the new Guardian iPad app. Unlike the iPhone and Android apps, which are built on feeds from the website, this one actually recycles the already-formatted newspaper pages. A script analyses the InDesign files from the printed paper and uses various parameters (page number, physical area and position that a story occupies, headline size, image size etc) to assign a value to the story. The content is then automatically rebuilt according to those values in a new InDesign template for the app. (via Josh Porter)
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