- Unhappy Truckers and Other Algorithmic Problems — Even the insides of vans are subjected to a kind of routing algorithm; the next time you get a package, look for a three-letter letter code, like “RDL.” That means “rear door left,” and it is so the driver has to take as few steps as possible to locate the package. (via Sam Minnee)
- Fuel3D: A Sub-$1000 3D Scanner (Kickstarter) — a point-and-shoot 3D imaging system that captures extremely high resolution mesh and color information of objects. Fuel3D is the world’s first 3D scanner to combine pre-calibrated stereo cameras with photometric imaging to capture and process files in seconds.
- Corporate Open Source Anti-Patterns (YouTube) — Brian Cantrill’s talk, slides here. (via Daniel Bachhuber)
- Hacking for Humanity) (The Economist) — Getting PhDs and data specialists to donate their skills to charities is the idea behind the event’s organizer, DataKind UK, an offshoot of the American nonprofit group.
Algorithmic Optimisation, 3D Scanners, Corporate Open Source, and Data Dives
Drone Conflict, 3D Scanning Booths, Bitcoin Consensus, and Moar Coders
- Beware the Drones (Washington Times) — the temptation to send difficult to detect, unmanned aircraft into foreign airspace with perceived impunity means policymakers will naturally incline towards aggressive use of drones and hyperactive interventionism, leading us to a future that is ultimately plagued by more, not less warfare and conflict. This. Also, what I haven’t seen commented on with the Israeli air force shooting down a (presumably Hezbollah) drone: low cost of drones vs high cost of maintaining an air force to intercept, means this is asymmetric unmanned warfare.
- Scanbooth (github) — a collection of software for running a 3D scanning booth. Greg Borenstein said to me, “we need tools to scan and modify before 3D printing can take off.” (via Jeremy Herrman)
- Bitcoin’s Value is Decentralization (Paul Bohm) — Bitcoin isn’t just a currency but an elegant universal solution to the Byzantine Generals’ Problem, one of the core problems of reaching consensus in Distributed Systems. Until recently it was thought to not be practically solvable at all, much less on a global scale. Irrespective of its currency aspects, many experts believe Bitcoin is brilliant in that it technically made possible what was previously thought impossible. (via Mike Loukides)
- Blue Collar Coder (Anil Dash) — I am proud of, and impressed by, Craigslist’s ability to serve hundreds of millions of users with a few dozen employees. But I want the next Craigslist to optimize for providing dozens of jobs in each of the towns it serves, and I want educators in those cities to prepare young people to step into those jobs. Time for a Massively Multiplayer Online Economy, as opposed to today’s fun economic games of Shave The Have-Nots and Race To The Oligarchy.
Renegotiation of the Google Books agreement is a possibility, and involved parties seem amenable.
The rejection of the Google Books agreement was more of a setback than an outright rejection.
Google is adding back issues of magazines to its Book Search index. From the Official Google Blog: Try queries like [obama keynote convention], [hollywood brat pack] or [world's most challenging crossword] and you'll find magazine articles alongside books results. Magazine articles are tagged with the keyword "Magazine" on the search snippet. Over time, as we scan more articles, you'll see…
In an editorial in The Recorder, Fred von Lohmann of the Electronic Frontier Foundation says Google's settlement with publishers and authors signals an implicit abandonment of Google's legal team working on behalf of innovation across Silicon Valley: .. By settling rather than taking the case all the way … Google has solved its own copyright problem — but not…
Slides from the "What Publishers Need to Know about Digitization" webcast.
Harvard University Library (HUL) has been a partner in Google's library scanning project since 2004, but the boundaries of that partnership will not expand to the in-copyright works covered under Google's new Book Search settlement. From the Harvard Crimson: In a letter released to library staff, University Library Director Robert C. Darnton '60 said that uncertainties in the settlement…
No matter how strong the encryption, digital rights management can't block "analog hole" piracy.
Google is extending its scanning efforts to newspaper archives. From the New York Times: Under the expanded program, Google will shoulder the cost of digitizing newspaper archives, much as the company does with its book-scanning project. Google angered some book publishers because it had failed to seek permission to scan books that were protected by copyrights. It will obtain…
With Microsoft abandoning Live Search Books, eWEEK turns the spotlight on Google Book Search: … the smart strategy would be for Google to advance its effort from the "not-too-distant future" to the present. Google can pretty much corner the market at this point. Google was asked by eWEEK when it could expect to see some Book Search results, but…