- Social Media in China (Fast Company) — fascinating interview with Tricia Wang. We often don’t think we have a lot to learn from tech companies outside of the U.S., but Twitter should look to Weibo for inspiration for what can be done. It’s like a mashup of Tumblr, Zynga, Facebook, and Twitter. It’s very picture-based, whereas Twitter is still very text-based. In Weibo, the pictures are right under each post, so you don’t have to make an extra click to view them. And people are using this in subversive ways. Whether you’re using algorithms to search text or actual people–and China has the largest cyber police force in the world—it’s much easier to censor text than images. So people are very subversive in hiding messages in pictures. These pictures are sometimes very different than what people are texting, or will often say a lot more than the actual text itself. (via Tricia Wang)
- A Treatise on Font Rasterisation With an Emphasis on Free Software (Freddie Witherden) — far more than you ever thought you wanted to know about how fonts are rendered. (via Thomas Fuchs)
- Softwear Automation — robots to make clothes, something which is surprisingly rare. (via Andrew McAfee)
- A Guide to Analyzing Python Performance — finding speed and memory problems in your Python code. With pretty pictures! (via Ian Kallen)
ENTRIES TAGGED "Python"
Jan Erik Solem describes elements and useful tools for computer vision
In this interview, Jan Erik Solem, author of the upcoming book "Programming Computer Vision with Python," describes the uses for some common operations, and choices programmers have.
Goodbye to big iron at NASA, Microsoft opens up Visual Studio, and open source meets a rabid fan-base.
This week, NASA marked the end of an era, as the last of its big iron is retired. Microsoft continues to signal that its forays into open source are legitimate. And a new open source gaming project has a little extra horse-power, thanks to the fans behind it.
Text Analysis Bundle, Scala Probabilistic Modeling, Game Analytics, and Encouraging Writing
- Pattern — a BSD-licensed bundle of Python tools for data retrieval, text analysis, and data visualization. If you were going to get started with accessible data (Twitter, Google), the fundamentals of analysis (entity extraction, clustering), and some basic visualizations of graph relationships, you could do a lot worse than to start here.
- Factorie (Google Code) — Apache-licensed Scala library for a probabilistic modeling technique successfully applied to [...] named entity recognition, entity resolution, relation extraction, parsing, schema matching, ontology alignment, latent-variable generative models, including latent Dirichlet allocation. The state-of-the-art big data analysis tools are increasingly open source, presumably because the value lies in their application not in their existence. This is good news for everyone with a new application.
- Playtomic — analytics as a service for gaming companies to learn what players actually do in their games. There aren’t many fields untouched by analytics.
- Write or Die — iPad app for writers where, if you don’t keep writing, it begins to delete what you wrote earlier. Good for production to deadlines; reflective editing and deep thought not included.
- Fuzzy String Matching in Python (Streamhacker) — useful if you’re to have a hope against the swelling dark forces powered by illiteracy and touchscreen keyboards.
- The Business of Illegal Data (Strata Conference) — fascinating presentation on criminal use of big data. “The more data you produce, the happier criminals are to receive and use it. Big data is big business for organized crime, which represents 15% of GDP.”
- Isarithmic Maps — an alternative to chloropleths for geodata visualization.
The Changing Internet, Python Data Analysis, Society of Mind, and Gaming Proteins
- 1996 vs 2011 Infographic from Online University (Evolving Newsroom) — “AOL and Yahoo! may be the butt of jokes for young people, but both are stronger than ever in the Internet’s Top 10″. Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
- Pandas — open source Python package for data analysis, fast and powerful. (via Joshua Schachter)
- The Society of Mind — MIT open courseware for the classic Marvin Minsky theory that explains the mind as a collection of simpler processes. The subject treats such aspects of thinking as vision, language, learning, reasoning, memory, consciousness, ideals, emotions, and personality. Ideas incorporate psychology, artificial intelligence, and computer science to resolve theoretical issues such as whole vs. parts, structural vs. functional descriptions, declarative vs. procedural representations, symbolic vs. connectionist models, and logical vs. common-sense theories of learning. (via Maria Popover)
- Gamers Solve Problem in AIDS Research That Puzzled Scientists for Years (Ed Yong) — researchers put a key protein from an HIV-related virus onto the Foldit game. If we knew where the halves joined together, we could create drugs that prevented them from uniting. But until now, scientists have only been able to discern the structure of the two halves together. They have spent more than ten years trying to solve structure of a single isolated half, without any success. The Foldit players had no such problems. They came up with several answers, one of which was almost close to perfect. In a few days, Khatib had refined their solution to deduce the protein’s final structure, and he has already spotted features that could make attractive targets for new drugs. Foldit is a game where players compete to find the best shape for a protein, but it’s capable of being played by anyone–barely an eighth of players work in science.
STM in Python, Static Web is Back, Cyberwar, and Virtual Language Education
- STM in PyPy — a proposal to add software transactional memory to the all-Python Python interpreter as a way of simplifying concurrent programming. I first learned about STM from Haskell’s Simon Peyton-Jones at OSCON. (via Nelson Minar)
- Werner Vogels’ Static Web Site on S3 — nice writeup of the toolchain to publish a web site to static files served from S3.
- China Inadvertently Reveals State-Sponsored Hacking — if UK, US, France, Israel, or Chinese citizens believe their government doesn’t have malware and penetration teams working on extracting information from foreign governments, they’re dreaming.
- MyChinese360 — virtual foreign language instruction in Mandarin, including “virtual visits” to Chinese landmarks. The ability to get native speakers virtually into the classroom makes the Internet a huge asset for rural schools. (via Lucy Gray)
Tabular Data API, Open Stanford Courses, Wearable TV, and Wearable Sensors
- Tablib — MIT-licensed open source library for manipulating tabular data. Reputed to have a great API. (via Tim McNamara)
- Stanford Education Everywhere — courses in CS, machine learning, math, and engineering that are open for all to take. Over 58,000 have already signed up for the introduction to machine learning taught by Peter Norvig, Google’s Director of Research.
- Wearable LED Television — 160×120 RGBs powered by a 12v battery, built for Burning Man (natch). (via Bridget McKendry)
- Temporary Tattoo Biosensors (Science News) — early work putting flexible sensors into temporary tattoos. (via BoingBoing)
Learning Adventure, Python Data Analysis, Lanyrd Technology, and New Sensor
- Hippocampus Text Adventure — written as an exercise in learning Python, you explore the hippocampus. It’s simple, but I like the idea of educational text adventures. (Well, educational in that you learn about more than the axe-throwing behaviour of the cave-dwelling dwarf)
- Pandas — BSD-licensed Python data analysis library.
- Building Lanyrd — Simon Willison’s talk (with slides) about the technology under Lanyrd and the challenges in building with and deploying it.
- Electronic Skin Monitors Heart, Brain, and Muscles (Discover Magazine blogs) — this is freaking awesome proof-of-concept. Interview with the creator of a skin-mounted sensor, attached like a sticker, is flexible, inductively powered, and much more. This represents a major step forward in possibilities for personal data-gathering. (via Courtney Johnston)