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Four short links: 12 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2014

US Digital Services Playbook — good sense from the US Govt’s latest “try not to cock up more Govt IT projects” brigade. Open Brain-Computer Interface — “open” as in “source”, not as in “cut”. Blockmarket — visibility into the in-game …

Four short links: 12 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2014

US Digital Services Playbook — good sense from the US Govt’s latest “try not to cock up more Govt IT projects” brigade. Open Brain-Computer Interface — “open” as in “source”, not as in “cut”. Blockmarket — visibility into the in-game …

Four short links: 12 August 2014

By Nat Torkington
August 12, 2014

US Digital Services Playbook — good sense from the US Govt’s latest “try not to cock up more Govt IT projects” brigade. Open Brain-Computer Interface — “open” as in “source”, not as in “cut”. Blockmarket — visibility into the in-game …

Four short links: 24 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 24, 2014

Maximum Happy Imagination (Matt Jones) — questioning the true vision of Marc Andreessen’s recent Twitter discourse on the great future that awaits us. His analogies run out in the 20th century when it comes to the political, social and economic …

Four short links: 24 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 24, 2014

Maximum Happy Imagination (Matt Jones) — questioning the true vision of Marc Andreessen’s recent Twitter discourse on the great future that awaits us. His analogies run out in the 20th century when it comes to the political, social and economic …

Four short links: 24 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 24, 2014

Maximum Happy Imagination (Matt Jones) — questioning the true vision of Marc Andreessen’s recent Twitter discourse on the great future that awaits us. His analogies run out in the 20th century when it comes to the political, social and economic …

Four short links: 13 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2014

Mapping the Decentralized Movement (Jon Udell) — the pendulum is about to swing back toward a more distributed Web. John Ioannidis: Reproducible Research, True or False? (YouTube) — his talk at Google. (via Paul Kedrosky) Tessel — a microcontroller that …

Streamlining feature engineering

By Ben Lorica
June 17, 2014

Why do data scientists spend so much time on data wrangling and data preparation? In many cases it’s because they want access to the best variables with which to build their models. These variables are known as features in machine-learning parlance. …

Streamlining feature engineering

By Ben Lorica
June 17, 2014

Why do data scientists spend so much time on data wrangling and data preparation? In many cases it’s because they want access to the best variables with which to build their models. These variables are known as features in machine-learning parlance. …

Four short links: 13 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 17, 2014

Mapping the Decentralized Movement (Jon Udell) — the pendulum is about to swing back toward a more distributed Web. John Ioannidis: Reproducible Research, True or False? (YouTube) — his talk at Google. (via Paul Kedrosky) Tessel — a microcontroller that …

Streamlining feature engineering

By Ben Lorica
June 17, 2014

Why do data scientists spend so much time on data wrangling and data preparation? In many cases it’s because they want access to the best variables with which to build their models. These variables are known as features in machine-learning parlance. …

Streamlining Feature Engineering

By Ben Lorica
June 14, 2014

Why do data scientists spend so much time on data wrangling and data preparation? In many cases it’s because they want access to the best variables with which to build their models. These variables are known as features in machine-learning parlance. …

Four short links: 13 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 13, 2014

Mapping the Decentralized Movement (Jon Udell) — the pendulum is about to swing back toward a more distributed Web. John Ioannidis: Reproducible Research, True or False? (YouTube) — his talk at Google. (via Paul Kedrosky) Tessel — a microcontroller that …

Four short links: 11 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 12, 2014

UK Copyright Law Permits Researchers to Data Mine — changes mean Copyright holders can require researchers to pay to access their content but cannot then restrict text or data mining for non-commercial purposes thereafter, under the new rules. However, researchers …

Four short links: 11 June 2014

By Nat Torkington
June 11, 2014

UK Copyright Law Permits Researchers to Data Mine — changes mean Copyright holders can require researchers to pay to access their content but cannot then restrict text or data mining for non-commercial purposes thereafter, under the new rules. However, researchers …

Four short links: 14 May 2014

By Nat Torkington
May 13, 2014

Data Jujitsu — new O’Reilly Radar report by the wonderful DJ Patil about the exploration and problem solving part of data science. Me gusta. Style Finder: Fine-Grained Clothing Style Recognition and Retrieval (PDF) — eBay labs machine learning, featuring the …

Four short links: 30 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 30, 2014

Critical Making — essays from 70 contributors looking at the politics, choices, and ethics of a lot of the makery going on. torrent-mount — mount a torrent as a filesystem in real time using Javascript. (via Joe McCann) Continuous Integration …

Network Science Dashboards

By Ben Lorica
April 26, 2014

With Network Science well on its way to being an established academic discipline, we’re beginning to see tools that leverage it. Applications that draw heavily from this discipline make heavy use of visual representations and come with interfaces aimed at …

Four short links: 18 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 18, 2014

16 Interviewing Tips for User Studies — these apply to many situations beyond user interviews, too. The Backlash Against Big Data contd. (Mike Loukides) — Learn to be a data skeptic. That doesn’t mean becoming skeptical about the value of …

Four short links: 16 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 17, 2014

morris.js — pretty time-series line graphs. Open Source CT Scanner — all the awesome. Alan Kay’s Reading List — in case you’re wondering what to add to the pile beside your bed. (via Alex Dong) Foldscope — origami optical microscope, …

Four short links: 15 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 15, 2014

Funders Punish Open Access Dodgers (Nature) — US’s NIH and UK’s Wellcome Trust are withholding funding from academics who haven’t released their data despite it being a condition of past funding. It’s open access’s grab twist and pull move. Digitize …

Distributed science

By Mike Loukides
April 11, 2014

In my post on biohacking and bioterrorism, I briefly mentioned the possibility of vaccines and other treatments developed outside of institutional research. That may be far-fetched, and I certainly hope we’re never in a situation where DIY treatments are the only …

Health IT is a growth area for programmers

By Andy Oram
April 11, 2014

O’Reilly recently released a report I wrote called The Information Technology Fix for Health: Barriers and Pathways to the Use of Information Technology for Better Health Care. Along with our book Hacking Healthcare, I hope this report helps programmers who …

The backlash against big data, continued

By Mike Loukides
April 9, 2014

Yawn. Yet another article trashing “big data,” this time an op-ed in the Times. This one is better than most, and ends with the truism that data isn’t a silver bullet. It certainly isn’t. I’ll spare you all the links (most of …

Four short links: 9 April 2014

By Nat Torkington
April 9, 2014

Jasper Project — an open source platform for developing always-on, voice-controlled applications. Shouting is the new swiping—I eagerly await Gartner touting the Internet-of-things-that-misunderstand-you. DeepBeliefSDK — deep neural network library for iOS. (via Pete Warden) Microsoft Spectrum Observatory — crowdsourcing spectrum …

The backlash against big data, continued

By Mike Loukides
April 8, 2014

Yawn. Yet another article trashing “big data,” this time an op-ed in the Times. This one is better than most, and ends with the truism that data isn’t a silver bullet. It certainly isn’t. I’ll spare you all the links (most of …

Podcast: Personalizing hardware with data? Personalizing people with CRISPR?

By Jim Stogdill
April 7, 2014

This week in our Radar podcast, Jon and I both had colds. You’ll be pleased to know that I edited out all the sneezes, coughs, and general upper respiratory mayhem, but unfortunately there is no Audacity filter for a voice …

Understanding the Now: The Role of Data in Adaptive Organizations

By O'Reilly Strata
March 31, 2014

By Chris Diehl of The Data Guild Slow and Unaware It was 2005. The war in Iraq was raging. Many of us in the national security R&D community were developing responses to the deadliest threat facing U.S. soldiers: the improvised explosive device (IED). …

Four short links: 27 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 25, 2014

2D Image Post-Processing Techniques and Algorithms (DIY Drones) — understanding how automated image matching and processing tools work means you can also get a better understanding how to shoot your images and what to prevent to get good matches. Scientists …

Crowdsourcing Feature discovery

By Ben Lorica
March 15, 2014

Data scientists were among the earliest and most enthusiastic users of crowdsourcing services. Lukas Biewald noted in a recent talk that one of the reasons he started CrowdFlower was that as a data scientist he got frustrated with having to …

Four short links: 12 March 2014

By Nat Torkington
March 12, 2014

High Volume Web Sites — Tim Berners-Lee answers my question on provisioning a popular web server in 1993. The info.cern.ch server which has the Subject Catalogue gets probably a relatively high usage, about 10k requests a day, or (thinks…) one …

Interface Languages and Feature Discovery

By Ben Lorica
March 2, 2014

Here are a few more observations based on conversations I had during the just concluded Strata Santa Clara conference. Interface languages: Python, R, SQL (and Scala) This is a great time to be a data scientist or data engineer who …

Four short links: 28 February 2014

By Nat Torkington
February 28, 2014

Programming Minecraft Pi with Python — an early draft, but shows promise for kids. (via Raspberry Pi) Terasaur — BitTorrent for mad-large files, making it easy for datasets to be saved and exchanged. Bucky — Open-source tool to measure the …

DIYbio and the hacking metaphor

By Michael Scroggins
February 23, 2014

The following is from the second issue of BioCoder, the quarterly newsletter for synthetic biologists, DIY biologists, neurobiologists, and more. Download your free copy today. Within DIYbio, one cannot escape the hacking metaphor. The metaphor is ubiquitous and, to a …

DIYbio and the hacking metaphor

By Michael Scroggins
February 23, 2014

The following is from the second issue of BioCoder, the quarterly newsletter for synthetic biologists, DIY biologists, neurobiologists, and more. Download your free copy today. Within DIYbio, one cannot escape the hacking metaphor. The metaphor is ubiquitous and, to a …

Bridging the gap between research and implementation

By Ben Lorica
February 15, 2014

One of the most popular offerings at Strata Santa Clara was Hardcore Data Science day. Over the next few weeks we hope to profile some of the speakers who presented, and make the video of the talks available as a …

Four short links: 30 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 30, 2014

$200k of Spaceships Destroyed (The Verge) — More than 2,200 of the game’s players, members of EVE’s largest alliances, came together to shoot each other out of the sky. The resultant damage was valued at more than $200,000 of real-world …

Four short links: 29 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 29, 2014

Bounce Explorer — throwable sensor (video, CO2, etc) for first responders. Sintering Patent Expires Today — key patent expires, though there are others in the field. Sintering is where the printer fuses powder with a laser, which produces smooth surfaces …

Decision making under uncertainty

By Michael Ferrari
January 21, 2014

The 2014 Edge Annual Question (EAQ) is out. This year, the question posed to the contributors is: What scientific idea is ready for retirement? As usual with the EAQ, it provokes thought and promotes discussion. I have only read through a fraction of the responses …

Four short links: 21 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 21, 2014

On Being a Senior Engineer (Etsy) — Mature engineers know that no matter how complete, elegant, or superior their designs are, it won’t matter if no one wants to work alongside them because they are assholes. Control Theory (Coursera) — …

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 …

Four short links: 17 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 17, 2014

Making Remote Work — The real­ity of a remote work­place is that the con­nec­tions are largely arti­fi­cial con­structs. Peo­ple can be very, very iso­lated. A person’s default behav­ior when they go into a funk is to avoid seek­ing out inter­ac­tions, …

Big Data systems are making a difference in the fight against cancer

By Ben Lorica
January 10, 2014

As open source, big data tools enter the early stages of maturation, data engineers and data scientists will have many opportunities to use them to “work on stuff that matters”. Along those lines, computational biology and medicine are areas where …

Four short links: 8 January 2014

By Nat Torkington
January 8, 2014

Launching the Wolfram Connected Devices Project — Wolfram Alpha is cognition-as-a-service, which they hope to embed in devices. This data-powered Brain-in-the-Cloud play will pit them against Google, but G wants to own the devices and the apps and the eyeballs …

Learning Apache Mesos

By Paco Nathan
January 6, 2014

In the summer of 2012, Accel Partners hosted an invitation-only Big Data conference at Stanford. Ping Li stood near the exit with a checkbook, ready to invest $1MM in pitches for real-time analytics on clusters. However, real-time means many different …

Upcoming Tutorial on Effective Data Science with Scalding

By O'Reilly Strata
January 6, 2014

By Vitaly Gordon Data products are the driving force behind new multi-billion dollar companies and a lot of the things we do today on a day-to-day basis have machine learning algorithms behind them. But unfortunately, even though data science is …

A compelling family of DSLs for Data Science

By Ben Lorica
January 6, 2014

An important reason why pydata tools and Spark appeal to data scientists is that they both cover many data science tasks and workloads (Spark users can move seamlessly between batch and streaming). Being able to use the same programming style …

Four short links: 25 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 25, 2013

Inside Netflix’s HR (HBR) — Which idea in the culture deck was the hardest sell with employees? “Adequate performance gets a generous severance package.” It’s a pretty blunt statement of our hunger for excellence. They talk about how those conversations …

Four short links: 23 December 2013

By Nat Torkington
December 23, 2013

DelFly Explorer — 20 grams, 9 minutes of autonomous flight, via barometer and new stereo vision system. (via Wayne Radinsky) Banning Autonomous Killing Machines (Tech Republic) — While no autonomous weapons have been built yet, it’s not a theoretical concern, …

Financial analytics as a service

By Ben Lorica
December 22, 2013

In relatively short order Amazon’s internal computing services has become the world’s most successful cloud computing platform. Conceived in 2003 and launched in 2006, AWS grew quickly and is now the largest web hosting company in the world. With the …


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