- CT Scanning and 3D Printing for Paleo (Scientific American) — using CT scanners to identify bones still in rock, then using 3D printers to recreate them. (via BoingBoing)
- Growing the Use of Drones in Agriculture (Forbes) — According to Sue Rosenstock, 3D Robotics spokesperson, a third of their customers consist of hobbyists, another third of enterprise users, and a third use their drones as consumer tools. “Over time, we expect that to change as we make more enterprise-focused products, such as mapping applications,” she explains. (via Chris Anderson)
- Serving 1M Load-Balanced Requests/Second (Google Cloud Platform blog) — 7m from empty project to serving 1M requests/second. I remember when 1 request/second was considered insanely busy. (via Forbes)
- Boil Up — behind the scenes for the design and coding of a real-time simulation for a museum’s science exhibit. (via Courtney Johnston)
Range, power consumption, scalability, and bandwidth dominate technology decisions.
Three types of networking topologies are utilized in the Internet-of-Things: point-to-point, star, and mesh networking. To provide a way to explore the attributes and capabilities of each of these topologies, we defined a hypothetical (but realistic) application in the building monitoring and energy management space and methodically defined its networking requirements.
Let’s pull it all together to make a network selection for our building monitoring application. As described previously, the application will monitor, analyze, and optimize energy usage throughout the user’s properties. To accomplish this, monitoring and control points need to be deployed throughout each building, including occupancy and temperature sensors. Sensor data will be aggregated back to a central building automation panel located in each building. A continuous collection of data will provide a higher resolution of temperature and occupancy information, thus rendering better insight into HVAC performance and building utilization patterns. Comparison of energy utilization throughout the portfolio of properties allows lower performing buildings to be flagged.
3D Fossils, Changing Drone Uses, High Scalability, and Sim Redux
Web portals and mobile apps have the potential to facilitate regional collaboration between municipalities.
Editor’s note: this post originally appeared on Glenn’s CityState blog. This version has been lightly edited.
Others have written — and I’m sure will continue to write — with enthusiasm and hyperbole about the ways that new web portals and mobile apps are changing the landscape of public participation and responsive city planning. It seems that we are constantly being showered (or perhaps barraged?) with fun new social media tools to engage citizens and activate urban sharing networks — for everything from reporting graffiti to mapping public murals (yes, the irony is noteworthy), and from finding a parking space to avoiding being mugged, and so on. Whether or not these apps will ever wind up being the “game changers” we are often promised remains to be seen, but the level of excitement and activity they are generating is undeniable, especially after so many years of resignation and inattention to urban problems.
That said, despite the energy that has been thrown behind developing and promoting these new weapons in our urban information arsenal, one aspect of these tools has been noticeably overlooked: the potential they provide to facilitate regional collaboration between municipalities, an as-of-yet unfulfilled dream of urban planners in the past century. Read more…
Verified Web, Verified Base64, Theorem Prover, and Fast Events in C
Scientific Literacy, Load Balancing, Indoors Geolocation, and iPhone Security
- The Myth of Scientific Literacy — I’d love it if there was a simple course we could send our elected officials on which would guarantee future science policy would be reliably high quality. Being educated in science (or even “about science”) isn’t going to do it. It’s social connections that will. We need to keep our elected officials honest, constantly check they are applying the evidence we want them to, in the ways we want them to. And if the scientific community want to be listened to, they need to work to build connections. Get political and scientific communities overlapping, embed scientists in policy institutions (and vice versa), get MP’s constituents onside to help foster the sorts of public pressure you want to see: build trust so scientists become people MPs want to be briefed by. (via foe on Twitter)
- Three Papers on Load Balancing (Alex Popescu) — three papers on distributed hash tables.
- Meridian — iPhone app that does in-building location, sample app is the AMNH Explorer which shows you maps of where you are. Uses wifi-based positioning. (via raffi on Twitter)
- Fixing What Apple Won’t — the jailbreakers are releasing security patches for systems that Apple have abandoned. (via ardgedee on Twitter)
European Economic Crisis, Scaling Guardian API, Cheerful Pessimism, and Science Mapping
- Lending Merry-Go-Round — these guys have been Australia’s sharpest satire for years, filling the role of the Daily Show. Here they ask some strong questions about the state of Europe’s economies … (via jdub on Twitter)
- What’s Powering the Guardian’s Content API — Scala and Solr/Lucene on EC2 is the short answer. The long answer reveals the details of their setup, including some of their indexing tricks that means Solr can index all their content in just an hour. (via Simon Willison)
- What I Learned About Engineering from the Panama Canal (Pete Warden) — I consider myself a cheerful pessimist. I’ve been through enough that I know how steep the odds of success are, but I’ve made a choice that even a hopeless fight in a good cause is worthwhile. What a lovely attitude!
- Mapping the Evolution of Scientific Fields (PLoSone) — clever use of data. We build an idea network consisting of American Physical Society Physics and Astronomy Classification Scheme (PACS) numbers as nodes representing scientific concepts. Two PACS numbers are linked if there exist publications that reference them simultaneously. We locate scientific fields using a community finding algorithm, and describe the time evolution of these fields over the course of 1985-2006. The communities we identify map to known scientific fields, and their age depends on their size and activity. We expect our approach to quantifying the evolution of ideas to be relevant for making predictions about the future of science and thus help to guide its development.
Brazilian Open Source, PostgreSQL Replication, Bug Fixing Lessons, Copyright Fail
- Governmental Open Source Software Policies: Brazil Experience (World Bank) — the slides give the gist, and the range of places in which open source is being used in Brazil is quite staggering: digital TV middleware, sewage management systems, local government management systems. (via lhawthorn on Twitter)
- Bucardo — PostgreSQL master/slave replication system. (via Selena Deckelmann)
- Learning from 10 Years of Bugzilla Data — presentation looking for bug-fixing patterns in open source projects. (via Mark Surman)
- Copyright Fail (BoingBoing) — rare out-of-copyright Jack Benny masters discovered in the CBS vaults, but CBS won’t release them or say why. As Cory says, “this isn’t how copyright is supposed to work.”
Guest blogger Scott Ruthfield is a Program Committee member of the O’Reilly Velocity: Web Performance & Operations Conference. Web Operations is not for the casual observer: it’s for a particular kind of adrenaline junkie that’s motivated by graphs and servers spinning out of control. Jumping in, on-your-feet analysis, and experience-based-experimentation are all part of solving new problems caused by unexpected user and machine behavior,…