- Do Artifacts Have Ethics? — 41 questions to ask yourself about the technology you create.
- MDBM — Yahoo’s fast key-value store, in use for over a decade. Super-fast, using mmap and passing around (gasp) raw pointers.
- The Revolution in Biology is Here, Now (Mike Loukides) — I’ve been asked plenty of times (and I’ve asked plenty of times), “what’s the killer product for synthetic biology?” BioFabricate convinced me that that’s the wrong question. We may never have some kind of biological iPod. That isn’t the right way to think. What I saw, instead, was real products that you might never notice. Bricks made from sand that are held together by microbes designed to excrete the binder. Bricks and packing material made from fungus (mycelium). Plastic excreted by bacteria that consume waste methane from sewage plants. You wouldn’t know, or care, whether your plastic Lego blocks are made from petroleum or from bacteria, but there’s a huge ecological difference.
- Bluesmart — Indiegogo campaign for a “connected carry-on,” aka a smart suitcase. From the mobile app you can track it, learn when it’s close (or too far away), (un)lock, weigh…and you can plug your devices in and recharge from the built-in battery. Sweet!
The DoJ sues Apple and five major publishers, Yahoo files patents to put ads in ebooks, and B&N one-ups Amazon.
Amazon does a happy dance as five of the Big Six publishers and Apple are sued by the DoJ. Elsewhere, Yahoo looks to increase revenues with ebook ads, and B&N lights up its Nook.
- Who Else Uses Masonry Style? (Quora) — list of sites using the multi-columns effect as provided by the jQuery plugin.
- Will Hatchette Be First Big 6 Publisher To Drop DRM? (Paid Content) — DRM “doesn’t stop anyone from pirating,” Hachette SVP digital Thomas said in a publishing panel at Copyright Clearance Center’s OnCopyright 2012. “It just makes it more difficult, and anyone who wants a free copy of any of our books can go online now and get one.” (via Tim O’Reilly)
Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz on how Cocktails and Livestand are designed to optimize both user and publisher experience.
In this TOC podcast, Yahoo architect fellow and VP Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz shares Yahoo's vision of the Cocktails platform and Livestand project. He also says Mojito, a component of Cocktails, soon will be open sourced.
A new look at Yahoo's traffic, the challenge of scaling Tumblr, and a host of visualization guidelines.
In this week's data news: Yahoo visualizes its front page traffic and demographics, why Tumblr is tougher to scale than Twitter, and a look at what you need to consider as you build visualizations.
Yahoo gets a data-savvy CEO, a big week for apps, and Robert Scoble goes shopping with eBay.
Yahoo's new CEO sees gold in the company's datasets, and the week between Christmas and New Year's Day is chock full of app downloads. (Commerce Weekly is produced as part of a partnership between O'Reilly and PayPal.)
Ubicomp Project, Data Volumes, Yahoo! Cocktails, and Fighting Cybercrime
- Twine (Kickstarter) — modular sensors with connectivity, programmable in If This Then That style. (via TechCrunch)
- Small Sample Sizes Lead to High Margins of Error — a reminder that all the stats in the world won’t help you when you don’t have enough data to meaningfully analyse.
- UK Govt To Help Businesses Fight Cybercrime (Guardian) — I view this as a good thing, even though the conspiracy nut in me says that it’s a step along the path that ends with the spy agency committing cybercrime to assist businesses.
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.
Governments continue to eye Google, Bing's share grows, Yahoo BOSS relaunches
In the latest Search Notes: Courts continue their interest in Google while Bing edges its way up in market share. Plus: Yahoo BOSS relaunches.
Google mines data for more predictions, Yahoo and Bing evolve the search experience, and how search could change advertising.
In the latest Search Notes: A look at how Google is using its data to make even more predictions; Yahoo and Bing continue to evolve their search experiences; and a look at how search could change advertising and help a few other industries along the way.