ENTRIES TAGGED "numbers"
Why We Make, Kickstarter Stats, Dodgy Domains, and Pretty Pretty Pictures
- Reality Bytes — We 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Map Usage, Transit Data, Mozilla Web Maker, and Print-to-Web Design
- 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.
- 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.
- Mozilla Thimble — Write and edit HTML and CSS right in your browser. Instantly preview your work. Then host and share your finished pages with a single click.
- 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)
Street View, Cultural Defects, Console Habits, and Science Videos
- StreetView: A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing (Adrian Holovaty) — Now, I’m realizing the biggest Street View data coup of all: those vehicles are gathering the ultimate training set for driverless cars.
- Racist Culture is a Factory Defect (Anil Dash) — so true.
- From Game Console to TV (Luke Wroblewski) — Microsoft’s Xbox video game console is now used more for watching movies and TV shows and listening to music online than playing video games online.
- Internet Everywhere — video replay from the World Science Festival.
Ebooks Numbers, Data Monopolies, Single Sign On, and Large Network Use
- E-Reading/E-Books Data (Luke Wroblewski) — This past January, paperbacks outsold e-books by less than 6 million units; if e-book market growth continues, it will have far outpaced paperbacks to become the number-one category for U.S. publishers. Combine that with only 21% of American adults having read a ebook, the signs are there that readers of ebooks buy many more books.
- Web 2.0 Ends with Data Monopolies (Bryce Roberts) — in the context of Google Googles: So you’re able to track every website someone sees, every conversation they have, every Ukulele book they purchase and you’re not thinking about business models, eh? Bryce is looking at online businesses as increasingly about exclusive access to data. This is all to feed the advertising behemoth.
- Building and Implementing Single Sign On — nice run-through of the system changes and APIs they built for single-sign on.
- How Big are Porn Site (ExtremeTech) — porn sites cope with astronomical amounts of data. The only sites that really come close in term of raw bandwidth are YouTube or Hulu, but even then YouPorn is something like six times larger than Hulu.
Watercolor Maps, Inside Displays, Numbers API, and Chinese Mobile Activations Boom
- 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.
- Screens Up Close — gorgeous microscope pictures of screens, showing how great the iPad’s retina display is.
- Numbers API — CUTE! Visit it, even if you’re not a math head, it’s fun.
- 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?
Video Encoding, Content Identification, Mobile Numbers, and Unicode Fun
- Pirates Adopt H.264 — no more XViD encoded avi files, now it’s x264. I’m impressed by the rigid rules and structure of The Scene.
- YouTube’s ContentID Disputes Are Judged By The Accuser (Andy Baio) — the last couple years have seen a dramatic rise in Content ID abuse, using it for purposes that it was never intended. Scammers are using Content ID to steal ad revenue from YouTube video creators en masse, with some companies claiming content they don’t own, deliberately or not. The inability to understand context and parody regularly leads to “fair use” videos getting blocked, muted or monetized.
- The Month of 50% in Mobile (Luke Wroblewski) — 47.6% of mobile Internet users use native mobile apps and 47.5% use the Web browser on their devices. This is the first time (in ComScore data) native apps have had more use than the browser.
- Fake Unicode Consortium — excellent collection of better names for Unicode characters. My favourite: U+0CA0: MONOCLE OF DISAPPROVAL. (via Tom Christiansen)
Why Mobile Matters, Towards Better Textbooks, Kinect Hack, and Greece Cantrepreneurial Spirit
- Why Mobile Matters (Luke Wroblewski) — great demonstration of the changes in desktop and mobile, the new power of Android, and the waning influence of old manufacturers.
- It’s Called iBooks Author Not iMathTextbooks Author, And The Trouble That Results (Dan Meyer) — It’s curious that even though students own their iBooks forever (ie. they can’t resell them or give them away), they can’t write in them except in the most cursory ways. Even curiouser, these iBooks could all be wired to the Internet and wired to a classroom through iTunes U, but they’d still be invisible to each other. Your work on your iPad cannot benefit me on mine. At our school, we look for “software with holes in it”–software into which kids put their own answers, photos, stories.
- DepthCam — It’s a live-streaming 3D point-cloud, carried over a binary WebSocket. It responds to movement in the scene by panning the (virtual) camera, and you can also pan and zoom around with the mouse. Very impressive hack with a Kinect! (via Pete Warden)
- Starting an Online Store is Not Easy in Greece — At the health department, they were told that all the shareholders of the company would have to provide chest X-rays, and, in the most surreal demand of all, stool samples. Note to Greece: this is not how you check whether a business plan is full of shit. (via Hacker News)
More iPhones Than Babies, Pirate Bay Book, New Corporation Types, and Big Zynga Data
- Every Day, More iPhones Sold Than Babies Born — Malthusian explosion of iPhones predicted once there’s an iPhone-to-3D-printer dongle. (via Luke Wroblewski)
- No Safe Harbour — a collection of political essays, texts, and discussions that help explain and educate about Pirate Party positions. Available for purchase or free download, natch. (via BoingBoing)
- Patagonia Roadtests New Sustainability Legal Status — California has new corporation types: Flexible Purpose Corporations and Benefit Corporations, which are aimed at permitting directors to consider more than purely “maximizing shareholder value” (e.g., environmental impact, social consequences, etc.).
- Zynga Adds 15Tb/Day of Data (Dell) — Zynga’s goal is to drive player actions that improve financial conversion (i.e. player paying real money for elements of the game) and player retention. To accomplish this Zynga uses the results of continuous data analyses of player actions to test, iterate, and fine tune features in their games. Don’t bother clicking through–the rest of the post is basically PR for Dell’s analytics partnerships. That data point is awe-inspiring, though.
CAPTCHA Commerce, Tech Policy, Mobile Data, London Event
- Virtual Sweatshops Defeat CAPTCHAs — I knew there was an industry around solving CAPTCHAs (to spam comments on blogs, sign up for millions of gmail accounts, etc.) but this is the first time I’ve seen how much you can be paid for it: employees can expect to earn between $0.35 to $1 for every thousand CAPTCHAs they solve [...] Most of our staff is from China, India, Pakistan and Vietnam. (via BoingBoing)
- Lockdown — transcription of Cory Doctorow’s excellent talk, “The Coming War on General-Purpose Computation”. The entertainment industry is just the first belligerents to take up arms, and we tend to think of them as particularly successful. [...] But the reality is that copyright legislation gets as far as it does precisely because it’s not taken seriously by politicians. [...] Regardless of whether you think these are real problems or hysterical fears, they are, nevertheless, the political currency of lobbies and interest groups far more influential than Hollywood and big content. Every one of them will arrive at the same place: “Can’t you just make us a general-purpose computer that runs all the programs, except the ones that scare and anger us? Can’t you just make us an Internet that transmits any message over any protocol between any two points, unless it upsets us?”
- Mobile Data Consumption Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — the most eye-catching statistic is 1% of bandwidth consumers account for half of all wireless traffic worldwide in the World. The top 10% of users are consuming 90% of wireless bandwidth. In my land of pay-through-the-nose-for-a-modicum-of-mobile-bandwidth, this was also of note: Voice recognition software Siri has prompted owners of the iPhone 4S to use almost twice as much data as iPhone 4 users.
- Monkigras — event in London that looks interesting. The Redmonk chaps are fellow travellers on the O’Reilly storytelling path: they see many of the same interesting trends as we do, and their speakers cover everything from platform services to open source, startups, and alpha geeks (Biddulph, I’m looking at you). And, also, beer.
Sumerian Data, Mobile Shopping, Design for Participation, and Chrome Native Porting
- What the Sumerians Can Teach Us About Data (Pete Warden) — money quote: Gathering data is not a neutral act, it will alter the power balance, usually in favor of the people collecting the information. I also loved the Sumerian boundary marker covered in the supernatural equivalent of “copying is a federal crime!” pre-roll DVD warnings.
- 2011 Holiday Shopping Mobile Numbers (Luke Wroblewski) — iPad and iPhone shoppers account for 90% of all mobile purchases; spend 19% more per order than Android users. All these statistics are jaw-dropping.
- Fifteen Things I’ve Learned About Designing for Participation This Year (Nina Simon) — most insightful to me “Make and share” is more powerful for many people than “make and take.” Most people–including kids–want to display their creations, not keep them. . Most thought-provoking: People of all ages can use sledgehammers with minimal oversight. We had over 400 successful bangers with no injuries. The risk of liability was worth it.
- Porting MAME to Chrome — This document describes how we ported MAME using tools on the Linux platform. The resulting code runs in the Google Chrome browser on all currently supported Native Client platforms (Windows, Mac, and Linux). Jaw-dropping part: The port of MAME was relatively challenging; combined with figuring out how to port SDL-based games and load resources in Native Client, the overall effort took us about 4 days to complete. (via Slashdot)