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IPython: A unified environment for interactive data analysis

By Ben Lorica
January 19, 2014

As I noted in a recent post on reproducing data projects, notebooks have become popular tools for maintaining, sharing, and replicating long data science workflows. Much of that is due to the popularity of IPython1. In development since 2001, IPython …

Julia’s Role in Data Science

By John Myles White
October 23, 2013

Introduction Since its first public release in February 2012, the Julia programming language has received a lot of hype. This has led to some confusion about the language’s current status. In this post, I’d like to make clear where Julia stands and where …

Ada Lovelace, an Indirect and Reciprocal Influence

By Amy Jollymore
October 15, 2013

When I heard that Ada Lovelace Day was coming, I questioned myself, “What do I actually know about Ada Lovelace?” The sum total of my knowledge: Ada was the first woman programmer and the Department of Defense honored her contributions to …

JavaScript Flexibility: Fun, But Use with Care

By Elisabeth Robson
May 21, 2013

When you begin programming in JavaScript, you’ll need to use variables. A variable is just a bit of storage to hold a value. Just about every line of code you write will use a variable of one kind or another, …

JavaScript Makes Browsers Behave

By Elisabeth Robson
May 14, 2013

If you know HTML and CSS, you’re ready to begin learning JavaScript. But you might be surprised, because JavaScript looks quite different from both HTML and CSS. That’s because JavaScript is a language for computation. Unlike HTML, which is for …

Cutting Your Programming Teeth on JavaScript

By Elisabeth Robson
May 7, 2013

JavaScript is a bit different from other programming languages. How? Well, JavaScript runs in an environment, and that’s usually the browser. So when you learn JavaScript, you’ll learn both the language basics, as well as how to use JavaScript in …

Direct sales of ebooks in multiple languages

By Joe Wikert
April 24, 2013

O’Reilly has long been a leader in fostering community and building a direct sales channel. This week we took the next step in enhancing the customer’s direct buying experience by offering German editions for many of our ebook titles. Take …

What is probabilistic programming?

By Beau Cronin
April 18, 2013

Probabilistic programming languages are in the spotlight. This is due to the announcement of a new DARPA program to support their fundamental research. But what is probabilistic programming? What can we expect from this research? Will this effort pay off? How long …

How the world communicates in 2013

By O'Reilly Strata
February 24, 2013

By Robert Munro Plain text is the world’s largest source of digital information. As the amount of unstructured text grows, so does the percentage of text that is not in English. The majority of the world’s data is now unstructured text …

New school C

By Nathan Jepson
December 21, 2012

Choosing a programming language for that project you’re working on is a fairly straightforward decision: it needs to be fast, easy to use, and it must come with enough bells and whistles to keep you from re-inventing the wheel every …

Commerce Weekly: Gift cards get Square

By Jenn Webb
December 13, 2012

Here are a few stories that caught my attention in the commerce space this week. Give a gift through Square Mobile payment company Square got into the gift card business this week, launching a gift card service tied to its …

Checking in on Python

By Rachel Roumeliotis
October 4, 2012

Guido van Rossum is the creator of Python. I recently had the opportunity to talk with him about the state of the language. You probably don’t realize it, but Python’s capabilities are pushed every time you use YouTube and Dropbox. …

Why we need Go

By Rachel Roumeliotis
September 13, 2012

The Go programming language was created by Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer. Pike (@rob_pike) recently told me that Go was born while they were waiting a long while for some code to compile — too long. C++ and …

Mastering iOS Development

By Rachel Roumeliotis
August 22, 2012

Matt Neuburg is an O’Reilly author and long-time writer for tidBITS. We sat down recently to talk about iOS development and how best to build solid apps … the secret is take the time to learn the basics. Key points …

Getting started with data-related explorations of everyday things

By Andy Oram
June 7, 2012

Sau Sheong Chang describes the intriguing projects in his upcoming book, "Exploring Everyday Things with R and Ruby" and how other people can develop their own experiments.

Getting started with data-related explorations of everyday things

Getting started with data-related explorations of everyday things
By Andy Oram
June 7, 2012

Sau Sheong Chang describes the intriguing projects in his upcoming book, "Exploring Everyday Things with R and Ruby" and how other people can develop their own experiments.

Clojure's advantage: Immediate feedback with REPL

Clojure's advantage: Immediate feedback with REPL
By Timothy M. O'Brien
May 23, 2012

REPL is built into Clojure, and you can connect to any running Clojure process and modify and execute code. In this interview, "Clojure Programming" co-author Chas Emerick discusses the possibilities this introduces for Clojure developers.

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in "Mad Men"

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in
By Audrey Watters
March 23, 2012

"Mad Men" is praised for its precise attention to historical visuals, but how does its dialogue stack up against text from the 1960s? Ben Schmidt's new visualization explores that question.

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in "Mad Men"

By Audrey Watters
March 23, 2012

"Mad Men" is praised for its precise attention to historical visuals, but how does its dialogue stack up against text from the 1960s? Ben Schmidt's new visualization explores that question.

Four short links: 23 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 23, 2012

Cache Them If You Can (Steve Souders) -- the percentage of resources that are cacheable has increased 4% during the past year. Over that same time the number of requests per page has increased 12% and total transfer size has increased 24%. Natural -- MIT-licensed general natural language facility for nodejs. Tokenizing, stemming, classification, phonetics, tf-idf, WordNet, string similarity,...

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012

Top Stories: March 12-16, 2012
By Mac Slocum
March 16, 2012

This week on O'Reilly: Computational linguist Robert Munro explained why location language is far more complex than many realize, we looked at how Kickstarter's crowdfunding is helping game developers, and Joe Wikert explored the major trends shaping ebook prices.

Four short links: 13 March 2012

By Nat Torkington
March 13, 2012

Microsoft Universal Voice Translator -- the promise is that it converts your voice into another language, but the effect is more that it converts your voice into that of Darth You in another language. Still, that's like complaining that the first Wright Brothers flight didn't serve peanuts. (via Hacker News) Geography of the Basketball Court -- fascinating analytics of...

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in "Downton Abbey"

By Audrey Watters
February 24, 2012

Ben Schmidt ran the script of the "Downton Abbey" season two finale through Google Ngrams to see how the show's language matches up with history.

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in "Downton Abbey"

Visualization of the Week: Anachronistic language in
By Audrey Watters
February 24, 2012

Ben Schmidt ran the script of the "Downton Abbey" season two finale through Google Ngrams to see how the show's language matches up with history.

The paperless book

The paperless book
By Todd Sattersten
November 30, 2011

The publishing world needs some new language that describes what happens and, more importantly, what is possible when the words are separated from the paper.

The paperless book

By Todd Sattersten
November 30, 2011

The publishing world needs some new language that describes what happens and, more importantly, what is possible when the words are separated from the paper.

On Dennis Ritchie: A conversation with Brian Kernighan

By Andy Oram
October 30, 2011

I talked on Friday with Brian Kernighan about Dennis Ritchie, who sadly passed away two weeks ago at the age of 70. To a large extent, Ritchie completed what he started.

Four short links: 24 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 24, 2011

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...

Four short links: 15 August 2011

By Nat Torkington
August 15, 2011

Illusion Contest -- every year they run an open contest for optical illusions. Every year new perceptual illusions are discovered, exploiting hitherto unresearched areas of our brain's functioning. Citizen Science Alliance -- the team behind GalaxyZoo, who help other researchers in need of crowdsourcing support. Ancient Lives -- crowdsourced translation and reconstruction of ancient papyri from Oxyrhyncus, already found...

Four short links: 5 July 2011

By Nat Torkington
July 5, 2011

Conference Organisers Handbook -- accurate guide to running a two-day 300-person conference. Compare Yet Another Perl Conference guidelines. Twitter Shifting More Code to JVM -- interesting how, at scale, there are some tools and techniques of the scorned Enterprise that the web cool kids must turn to. Some. Business Process Workflow XML Schemas will never find love. Louis von...

Four short links: 27 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 27, 2011

flockdb (Github) -- Twitter's open source scalable fault-tolerant distributed key-value database. (via Twitter's open source projects page) How to Kill Innovation in Five Easy Steps (Tech Republic) -- point four is interesting, Rely too heavily on data and dashboards. It's good to be reminded of the contra side to the big-data-can-be-mined-for-all-truths attitudes flying around. Architecture of Open Source Applications...

Four short links: 19 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 19, 2011

Right to Access the Internet -- a survey of different countries' rights to access to access the Internet. Peace Through Statistics -- three ex-Yugoslavian statisticians nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. In war-torn and impoverished countries, statistics provides a welcome arena in which science runs independent of ethnicity and religion. With so few resources, many countries are graduating few, if...

Four short links: 12 May 2011

By Nat Torkington
May 12, 2011

Telsta Scores Patent Win over Amazon (ZDNet) -- The delegate of the Commissioner of Patents, Ed Knock, found this week that Amazon's 1-click buy facility "lacks novelty [and] an inventive step", making Amazon's claim unpatentable. The Final Answer for What To Do To Prevent Piracy (Jeff Vogel) -- His advice is to do the minimum to encourage people to...

Smarter search looks for influence rather than links

By Jenn Webb
March 2, 2011

A search algorithm being developed by Princeton University researchers parses language to determine relevance. Academic application is one possibility, but this type of algorithm could also extend to news recommendations.

Smarter search looks for influence rather than links

By Jenn Webb
March 2, 2011

A search algorithm being developed by Princeton University researchers parses language to determine relevance. Academic application is one possibility, but this type of algorithm could also extend to news recommendations.

Big Data: An opportunity in search of a metaphor

Big Data: An opportunity in search of a metaphor
By Tyler Bell
February 10, 2011

Big data is a massive opportunity, but the language used to describe it ("goldrush," "data deluge, "firehose," etc.) reveals we're still searching for its identity.

Four short links: 14 January 2011

By Nat Torkington
January 14, 2011

What Went Wrong at Borders (The Atlantic) -- a short summary of the decline and fall of Borders. Borders has a special place in our hearts at O'Reilly: it was a buyer for Borders who pointed out that Programming Perl was one of their top-selling books in any category, which got Tim focused on the Open Source story. Virtues...

Four short links: 13 December 2010

By Nat Torkington
December 13, 2010

European mobile operators say big sites need to pay for users' data demands (Guardian) -- it's like the postal service demanding that envelope makers pay them because they're not making enough money just selling stamps. What idiocy. Grace Programming Language -- language designers working on a new teaching language. Gawker Media's Entire Database Hacked -- 1.5M usernames and passwords,...

The Watering Hole - Getting the Full Monty

The Watering Hole - Getting the Full Monty
By James Turner
August 19, 2010

It was a sad day, BTW, when the last of the hovercrafts stopped making the channel crossing. I was fortunate enough to ride one from Dover to Calais before they were all replaced with SeaCats.

Four short links: 2 August 2010

By Nat Torkington
August 2, 2010

Hidden Features of Google (StackExchange) -- rather than Google's list of search features, here are the features that real (sophisticated) users find useful. My new favourite: the ~ operator for approximate searching. (via Hacker News) Natural Language Parsing for the Web -- JSON API to the Stanford Natural Language Parser. I wonder why the API to the library isn't...

Four short links: 22 June 2010

By Nat Torkington
June 22, 2010

High-Speed Book Scanner -- you flip the pages, and it uses high-speed photography to capture images of each page. "But they're all curved!" Indeed, so they project a grid onto the page so as to be able to correct for the curvature. The creator wanted to scan Manga, but the first publisher he tried turned him down. I've written...

Four short links: 20 May 2010

By Nat Torkington
May 20, 2010

People are Walking Architecture -- presentation by Matt Jones of BERG, taking a new lens to this AR/ubicomp/whatever-it-is-today world. "[Mobile phones are] a whole toy box full of playful, inventive strategies for exploring cities ...." Lexicalist -- insight into geographic and age distribution of language use, based on Twitter data. (via Language Log) Advanced Visualization Techniques -- nice overview...

Four short links: 1 March 2010

By Nat Torkington
March 1, 2010

Meet The Sims and Shoot Them -- America's Army has proven so popular globally that, with so many users signing on from Internet cafes in China, the Chinese government tried to ban it. Full of interesting factoids like this about US military-created first person shooter America's Army and other military uses of games. (via Jim Stogdill) Most Overused Cloud...

Four short links: 11 January 2010

By Nat Torkington
January 11, 2010

mytop -- a MySQL top implementation to show you why your server is so damn slow right now. What Could Kill Elegant High-Value Participatory Project? -- The problem was not that the system was buggy or hard to use, but that it disrupted staff expectations and behavior. It introduced new challenges for staff [...]. Rather than adapt to these...

Four short links: 24 December 2009

By Nat Torkington
December 24, 2009

Jonathan Zittrain on "Minds for Sale" -- video of a presentation he gave at the Computer History Museum about crowdsourcing. In the words of one attendee, Zittrain focuses on the potential alienation and opportunities for abuse that can arise with the growth of distributed online production. He also contemplates the thin line that separates exploitation from volunteering in the...

Four short links: 11 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 11, 2009

ParticipateDB -- database of online tools for public participation. Closed alpha now, with 32 tools and 15 projects in the database. (via Sara Winge) DataTO -- like data.gov, but it's where users request data sets. (In this case, from the Toronto municipal government) Go -- new language from Bell Labs and Unix central figures Rob Pike and Ken Thompson,...

Four short links: 5 November 2009

By Nat Torkington
November 5, 2009

Heat Maps in R -- We used financial data here because it's easier to access than the airline data, but it's actually a pretty interesting way of looking at a financial time series. Weekend and holiday effects are a bit more obvious, and it's a bit like being able to see the daily, weekly, monthly and yearly closes all...

Four short links: 27 October 2009

By Nat Torkington
October 27, 2009

Field -- a development environment for "experimental code" and digital art. We think that, for many uses, Field is a better Processing than Processing. Includes Python and Java bridges, goal is to connect to as many different programming systems as possible. OS X only at the moment. Contraptor -- a DIY open source construction set for experimental personal fabrication,...

Four short links: 26 October 2009

By Nat Torkington
October 26, 2009

Toiling in the Data Mines -- Tom Armitage describes the process that Berg calls "material exploration". Programmers very rarely talk about what their work feels like to do, and that's a shame. Material explorations are something I've really only done since I've joined BERG, and both times have felt very similar - in that they were very, very different...

Worldwide Lexicon: matching up technologies and culture to end the language barrier

By Andy Oram
September 22, 2009

Essays by Brian McConnell of World Wide Lexicon and Ethan Zuckerman of Global Voices describe the technical and cultural sides of developing communities of volunteer translators.


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