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Four short links: 8 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2014

Next Five Years for Robots — plausible summary of the near future progression, taken from Helen Greiner’s DEMOlabs talk. Raspberry Pi Compute Module — a Raspberry Pi shrunk down to fit on a SODIMM with onboard memory, whose connectors you …

Four short links: 11 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 11, 2014

China’s $122BB Boom in Shadow Banking is Happening on Phones (Quartz) — Tencent’s recently launched online money market fund (MMF), Licai Tong, drew in 10 billion yuan ($1.7 billion) in just six days in the last week of January. The …

Four short links: 19 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 19, 2013

RSA Key Extraction via Low-Bandwidth Acoustic Cryptanalysis (PDF) — research uses audio from CPU to break GnuPG’s implementation of RSA. The attack can extract full 4096-bit RSA decryption keys from laptop computers (of various models), within an hour, using the …

Four short links: 13 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 13, 2013

Bunnie Huang Live (YouTube) — talk given at the Make:Live Stage at Maker Faire NYC, covering his experiences and advice for getting hardware made. (via Makezine) Bill Gates’s Best Books of 2013 — interesting list! The Robots are Here (Tyler …

Four short links: 23 October 2013

By Nat Torkington
October 23, 2013

Expecting Better — an economist runs the numbers on the actual consequences of various lifestyle choices during pregnancy. (via sciblogs) Business as Usual in the Innovation Industry — the only thing worse than business plan contests for startups is innovation …

Four short links: 21 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 21, 2013

Hyperinflation in Diablo 3 — interesting discussion about how video games regulate currency availability, and how Diablo 3 appears to have messed up. several weeks after the game’s debut a source claimed that there were at least 1,000 bots active …

Four short links: 6 May 2013

By Nat Torkington
May 6, 2013

Nautilus — elegantly-designed science web ‘zine. Includes Artificial Emotions on AI, neuro, and psych efforts to recognise and simulate emotions. A Short Essay on 3D Printing — This hands-off approach to culpability cannot last long. If you design something to …

Four short links: 18 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 18, 2013

crowy — open source social media aggregator. Raytheon makes Social Media Tracking Software (Guardian) — the technology was shared with US government and industry as part of a joint research and development effort, in 2010, to help build a national …

Four short links: 5 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 5, 2013

toolbar — tooltips in jQuery, cf hint.css which is tooltips in CSS. Security Engineering — 2ed now available online for free. (via /r/netsec) Economics of Netflix’s $100M New Show (The Atlantic) — Up until now, Netflix’s strategy has involved paying …

Four short links: 1 February 2013

By Nat Torkington
February 1, 2013

Icon Fonts are Awesome — yes, yes they are. (via Fog Creek) What the Rails Security Issue Means for Your Startup — excellent, clear, emphatic advice on how and why security matters and what it looks like when you take …

Four short links: 30 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 30, 2013

Chinese Attack UAV (Alibaba) — Small attack UAV is characterized with small size, light weight, convenient carrying, rapid outfield expansion procedure, easy operation and maintenance; the system only needs 2-3 operators to operate, can be carried by surveillance personnel to …

Four short links: 15 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 15, 2013

Electronic Gadgets in the NZ Consumer Price Index — your CPI is just as bizarre, trust me. (via Julie Starr) Captive Audience: Telecom Industry and Monopoly in the New Gilded Age (Amazon) — Foo camper and former Washington insider, now …

Four short links: 8 January 2013

By Nat Torkington
January 8, 2013

13 Design Trends for 2013 — many of these coalesced what I’ve seen in websites recently, but I was particularly intrigued by the observation that search’s growing importance to apps is being reflected in larger searchboxes. How Twitter Gets In …

Four short links: 17 December 2012

By Nat Torkington
December 17, 2012

TraceKit (GitHub) — stack traces for Javascript exceptions, in all major browsers. SCADA Manufacturer Starts Own Anti-Malware Project — perimeter protection only, so it doesn’t sound to my inexpert ears like the whole solution to SCADA vulnerability, but it at …

Four short links: 20 November 2012

By Nat Torkington
November 20, 2012

When Transaction Costs Collapse — As OECD researchers reported recently, 99.5 per cent of reciprocal access agreements occur informally without written contracts. Paradoxically, as competition becomes more intense or ”perfect”, it becomes indistinguishable from perfect co-operation – a neat trick …

Commerce Weekly: Mobile wallets and NFC get a global partnership platform

By Jenn Webb
November 1, 2012

Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the commerce space this week. Vodafone partners up to launch a new mobile wallet platform Yet another mobile wallet is gearing up to hit the market in 2013. Vodafone announced …

Four short links: 17 October 2012

By Nat Torkington
October 17, 2012

Beyond Goods and Services: The Unmeasured Rise of the Data-Driven Economy — excellent points about data as neither good nor service, and how data use goes unmeasured by economists and thus doesn’t influence policy. According to statistics from the Bureau …

Four short links: 13 September 2012

By Nat Torkington
September 13, 2012

Patterns for Research in Machine Learning — every single piece of advice should be tattooed under the eyelids of every beginning programmer, regardless of the field. Milton Friedman’s Thermostat — Everybody knows that if you press down on the gas …

Four short links: 9 August 2012

By Nat Torkington
August 9, 2012

Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy (Amazon) — soon-to-be-released book by Bill Janeway, of Warburg-Pincus (and the O’Reilly board). People raved about his session at scifoo. I’m bummed I missed it, but I’ll console myself with his book. Cell Image …

Four short links: 13 April 2012

By Nat Torkington
April 13, 2012

Change the Game (Video) -- Amy Hoy's talk from Webstock '12, on being contrary and being successful. Was one of the standout talks for me. Rise4Fun -- software engineering tools from Microsoft Research. (via Hacker News) Why Obama's JOBS Act Couldn't Suck Worse (Rolling Stone) -- get ready for an avalanche of shareholder suits ten years from now, since...

Four short links: 12 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 12, 2012

Web-Scale User Modeling for Targeting (Yahoo! Research, PDF) -- research paper that shows how online advertisers build profiles of us and what matters (e.g., ads we buy from are more important than those we simply click on). Our recent surfing patterns are more relevant than historical ones, which is another indication that value of data analytics increases the closer...

Four short links: 23 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 23, 2012

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...

Four short links: 15 February 2012

By Nat Torkington
February 15, 2012

Namebench (Google Code) -- hunts down the fastest DNS servers for your computer to use. (via Nelson Minar) Primer on Macroeconomics (Jig) -- reading suggestions for introductions to macroeconomics suitable to understand the financial crisis and proposed solutions. (via Tim O'Reilly) Smarter Cameras Plumb Composition -- A new type of smarter camera can take a picture but also assess...

Four short links: 11 November 2011

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2011

Nudge Policies Are Another Name for Coercion (New Scientist) -- This points to the key problem with "nudge" style paternalism: presuming that technocrats understand what ordinary people want better than the people themselves. There is no reason to think technocrats know better, especially since Thaler and Sunstein offer no means for ordinary people to comment on, let alone correct,...

Four short links: 29 June 2011

By Nat Torkington
June 29, 2011

Billion Prices Project -- rather than wait for official inflation figures, the BPP from MIT scans online retailer prices from around the planet. (via The Economist) Readings in Education -- Dan Meyer has linked to some of the best papers he's been reading at grad school. If you have opinions about education, or are thinking of doing something to...

Four short links: 27 June 2011

By Nat Torkington
June 27, 2011

Poor Economics -- this is possibly the best thing I will read all year, an insightful (and research-backed) book digging into the economics of poverty. Read the lecture slides online, they'll give you a very clear taste of what the book's about. Love that the website is so very complementary to the book, and 100% aligned with the ambition...

Four short links: 26 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 26, 2011

Draft Horses Bring Fibre to Remote Locations -- I love the conjunction of old and new, as draft horses prove the best way to lay fibre in remote Vermont. (via David Isenberg) Chinese Political Prisoners Gold-Farming (Guardian) -- "Prison bosses made more money forcing inmates to play games than they do forcing people to do manual labour," Liu told...

Four short links: 14 October 2010

By Nat Torkington
October 14, 2010

Google Creates New Inflation Measure (The Guardian) -- The Google Price Index will be based on the cost of goods sold online and could use real-time search data to forecast official figures. Clever use of unique data, but can the GPI findings be reproduced by another agency? I do like the idea of moving national statistical measures into real-time....

Four short links: 26 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 26, 2010

Germany's Industrial Expansion Fueled by Absence of Copyright Law? (Der Spiegel) -- fascinating article about the extraordinary publishing output in 1800s Germany vs other nations, all with no effective and enforceable copyright laws. Sigismund Hermbstädt, for example, a chemistry and pharmacy professor in Berlin, who has long since disappeared into the oblivion of history, earned more royalties for his...

Four short links: 10 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 10, 2010

Smoking and Ill Health: Does Lay Epidemiology Explain the Failure of Smoking Cessation Programs Among Deprived Populations? -- Here we pose the question of whether the poorer life chances of those who continue to smoke in effect constitute a rational disincentive to their avoidance or cessation of smoking. (via bengoldacre on Twitter) Scaling the New Bar for Latency in...

Four short links: 30 July 2010

By Nat Torkington
July 30, 2010

The No-Twinkie Database -- These are all the Twinkie Denial Conditions described in my “Bad Game Designer, No Twinkie!” Designer’s Notebook columns. Each one is an egregious design error, although many of them have appeared in otherwise great games. A collection of "don't do this" for app designers. (via waxy) Cloud Privacy Heat Map (Forrester) -- a map showing...

Four short links: 21 July 2010

By Nat Torkington
July 21, 2010

The Men Who Stare at Screens (NY Times) -- What was unexpected was that many of the men who sat long hours and developed heart problems also exercised. Quite a few of them said they did so regularly and led active lifestyles. The men worked out, then sat in cars and in front of televisions for hours, and their...

iPhone economics and lower barriers to entry

By Andrew Odewahn
June 24, 2010

The App Store has exposed incumbents in the mobile industry to the same sort of asymmetric competition that has reshaped the media industry over the past decade. Developers are responding in droves to the economic incentives that lower barriers to entry create, as well as the fact that the App Store has generated $1 billion in royalty payments in just a few years.

European Union starts project about economic effects of open government data

By Andy Oram
June 11, 2010

Open source advocate Marco Fioretti has just announced the start of a study on open data for the European Union, with a focus on economic benefits for local businesses. Related surveys are also mentioned.

Four short links: 25 May 2010

By Nat Torkington
May 25, 2010

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...

Four short links: 28 April 2010

By Nat Torkington
April 28, 2010

Fair Use in the US Economy (PDF) -- prepared by IT lobby in the US, it's the counterpart to Big ©'s fictitious billions of dollars of losses due to file sharing. Take each with a grain of salt, but this is interesting because it talks about the industries and businesses that the fair use laws make possible. Disassembled Household...

Four short links: 1 April 2010

By Nat Torkington
April 1, 2010

Extending Copyright Duration in Australia (PDF) -- economics of copyright extension. This proposal in the "let's dream" section at the end caught my eye: The potential trade-off between production and distribution of intellectual property can be addressed in a number of ways. Australia could offer a system of graduated copyright protection with differing durations and differing fees. If an...

Four short links: 24 March 2010

By Nat Torkington
March 24, 2010

The Great Hargeisa Goat Bubble -- hilarious economics parable. The ZenPad -- look for more Android-powered tablets. (via azaaza on Twitter) Diigo -- browser plugin to archive, highlight, and annotate web pages, then share and collaborate on those augmentations. (via an annotation of Zittrain's Future of the Internet and How to Stop It) So Long, And No Thanks for...

Innovation Lessons in "Start-Up Nation"

By Andy Oram
February 15, 2010

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle investigates the social, historical, and psychological traits that produce extraordinarily creative people--and significantly, creative people who can translate their cranial light-bulbs into technologies with the potential to change the world.

The fate of WIPO, ACTA, and other intellectual property pushes in the international economy

By Andy Oram
January 6, 2010

Intellectual property wars are fiercer than ever. But we may be in for a pendulum shift.

Four short links: 12 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 12, 2009

Fat Free CRM -- open source (Affero GPL) Ruby on Rails CRM system. Bixo -- open source data mining toolkit that runs as a series of pipes on top of Hadoop. Built on Cascading workflow system for Hadoop that hides MapReduce. (via kdnuggets) Andy Kessler's Keynote at Defrag Stank (Pete Warden) -- I'm sorry to hear it, because I...

Vendor Relationship Management workshop

By Andy Oram
October 14, 2009

CRM can offer many valuable benefits, but ultimately the control lies with the vendor. A Vendor Relationship Management workshop at Harvard looked at what it would take to leave control with the customers.

Environment Variables: On Surplus, Scarcity, Fear & Greed

By Mark Sigal
August 18, 2009

I am big believer that markets gravitate between FEAR and GREED, and that industries are driven by core assumptions about the SCARCITY or SURPLUS of enabling resources. Think about the stock market in terms of the former (it's heavily outlook driven), and the evolution of computing, as afforded by the latter (i.e., the commoditization of processing, storage and bandwidth).

A new definition of oligopoly?

By Rick Jelliffe
August 12, 2009

I wonder whether the recent events would make new definitions for monopoly and oligopoly more relevant?

Freemium Services and the Economics of Social Networking

By George Reese
July 5, 2009

Social networking sites face a unique economic challenge when it comes to monetizing the value they create. Any attempt to capture a piece of the value they create inevitably damages that value.

Four short links: 2 June 2009

By Nat Torkington
June 2, 2009

TypeKit -- Jeff Veen's new startup, making typography on the web fail to suck. Every major browser is about to support the ability to link to a font. That means you can write a bit of CSS, include a URL to a font file, and have your page display with the typography you expect. While it’s technically quite easy...

Four short links: 25 May 2009

By Nat Torkington
May 25, 2009

China is Logging On -- blogging 5x more popular in China than in USA, email 1/3 again as popular in USA as China. These figures are per-capita of Internet users, and make eye-opening reading. (via Glynn Moody) The Economics of Google (Wired) -- the money graf is Google even uses auctions for internal operations, like allocating servers among its...

Four short links: 8 Apr 2009

By Nat Torkington
April 8, 2009

Bias, RFCs, virus batteries, and a glimpse at life beyond record labels (the last item features profanity, beware): Bias We Can Believe In (Mind Hacks) -- Vaughn asks the tricky question about the current enthusiasm for Behavioural Economics in government: where are the sceptical voices? As he points out, It's perhaps no accident that almost all the articles cite a...

Bonus lessons from AIG: crisis management just sets up the next crisis

Bonus lessons from AIG: crisis management just sets up the next crisis
By Andy Oram
March 24, 2009

The flap over 165 million dollars in bonuses at a company taking federal bail-out money provides an opportunity to rethink how we handle crises. Start by trusting your staff to set long-term priorities accurately. Ask staff to analyze problems for root causes. Also, ask the people most affected by the problem what they need to fix it.

The Weakness of Commodity Server to Cloud Server Cost Comparisons

By George Reese
March 19, 2009

Though the conventional wisdom on the Internet is that the economic benefits of cloud computing fail for applications with steady usage needs, the reality is that the commodity-server to cloud-server comparisons on which this wisdom is based are flawed. The reality is that the cloud often provides compelling economic benefits even when you have an application with consistent resource demands.


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