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September 13 2011

Four short links: 13 September 2011

  1. Dan Saffer: How To Lie with Design Research (Google Video) -- Experience shows that, especially with qualitative research like the type designers often do, two researchers can look at the same set of data and draw dramatically different findings from them. As William Blake said, "Both read the Bible day and night, But thou read'st black where I read white." (via Keith Bolland)
  2. Teaching What You Don't Know (Sci Blogs) -- As that lecturer said, learning new things—while challenging—is also stimulating & fun. If that sense of excitement and enjoyment carries through to your actual classes, then you’ll speak with passion and enthusiasm—how better to in turn enthuse your students? Ties in with the Maori concept of Ako, that teacher and student learn from each other.
  3. Bored of 3D Printers (Tom Armitage) -- made me wonder how long it would be before we drop the "3D" prefix and expect a "printer" to emit objects. That said, I love Tom's neologism artefactory.
  4. Future of Javascript from Google's Internal Summit -- Javascript has fundamental flaws that cannot be fixed merely by evolving the language. Their two-pronged strategy is to work with ECMA (the standards body responsible for the language) and simultaneously develop Yet Another New Language. I still don't know which box to file this in: techowank fantasy ("I will build the ultimate language and all will fall in line before me!" -- btdt, have the broken coffee mug), arrogant corporate forkwits, genuine frustration with the path of progress, evil play for ownership. Read Alex Russell's commentary on this (Alex is the creator of Dojo, now an employee of Google) for some context. I have to say, We Will Build A Better Javascript doesn't fill me with confidence when it comes from folks producing Chrome-specific demos (causing involuntary shudders as we all flash back to "this site best experienced in Microsoft Internet Explorer" days). Trust makes Google possible: Microsoft wanted to roll an identity solution out to the public but was beaten to pieces for it; Google was begged to provide an API for gmail account authentication. The difference was trust: Google had it and Microsoft had lost it. When Google loses our trust, whether by hostile self-interested forking, by promoting antifeature proprietary or effectively-proprietary integrated technologies over the open web, or by traditional trust-losing techniques such as security failures or over-exploitative use of data, they're fucked. I use a lot of Google services and love them to pieces, but they must be ever-vigilant for hubris. Everyone at Google should look humbly at Yahoo!, which once served customers and worked well with others but whose death was ensured around 2000 when they rolled out popups and began eating the sheep instead of shearing them.

September 02 2011

Four short links: 2 September 2011

  1. Invisible Autoupdater: An App's Best Feature -- Gina Trapani quotes Ben Goodger on Chrome: The idea was to give people a blank window with an autoupdater. If they installed that, over time the blank window would grow into a browser.
  2. Crackpot Apocalypse -- analyzing various historical pronouncements of the value of pi, paper author concludes "When πt is 1, the circumference of a circle will coincide with its diameter," Dudley writes, "and thus all circles will collapse, as will all spheres (since they have circular cross-sections), in particular the earth and the sun. It will be, in fact, the end of the world, and … it will occur in 4646 A.D., on August 9, at 4 minutes and 27 seconds before 9 p.m." Clever commentary and a good example when you need to show people the folly of inappropriate curve-fitting and extrapolation.
  3. clang -- C language family front-ends to LLVM. Development sponsored by Apple, as used in Snow Leopard. (via Nelson Minar)
  4. OmniAuth -- authenticate against Twitter, GitHub, Facebook, Foursquare, and many many more. OmniAuth is built from the ground up on the philosophy that authentication is not the same as identity. (via Tony Stubblebine)

July 20 2011

Four short links: 20 July 2011

  1. Random Khan Exercises -- elegant hack to ensure repeatability for a user but difference across users. Note that they need these features of exercises so that they can perform meaningful statistical analyses on the results.
  2. Float, the Netflix of Reading (Wired) -- an interesting Instapaper variant with a stab at an advertising business model. I would like to stab at the advertising business model, too. What I do like is that it's trying to do something with the links that friends tweet, an unsolved problem for your humble correspondent. (via Steven Levy
  3. JSON Parser Online -- nifty web app for showing JSON parses. (via Hilary Mason)
  4. Facebook and the Epiphanator (NY Magazine) -- Paul Ford has a lovely frame through which to see the relationship between traditional and social media. So it would be easy to think that the Whole Earthers are winning and the Epiphinators are losing. But this isn't a war as much as a trade dispute. Most people never chose a side; they just chose to participate. No one joined Facebook in the hope of destroying the publishing industry.

June 23 2011

Four short links: 23 June 2011

  1. The Wisdom of Communities -- Luke Wroblewski's notes from Derek Powazek's talk at Event Apart. Wisdom of Crowds theory shows that, in aggregate, crowds are smarter than any single individual in the crowd. See this online in most emailed features, bit torrent, etc. Wise crowds are built on a few key characteristics: diversity (of opinion), independence (of other ideas), decentralization, and aggregation.
  2. How to Fit an Elephant (John D. Cook) -- for the stats geeks out there. Someone took von Neumann's famous line "with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk", and found the four complex parameters that do, indeed, fit an elephant.
  3. How to Run a News Site and Newspaper Using Wordpress and Google Docs -- clever workflow that's digital first but integrated with print. (via Sacha Judd)
  4. All Watched Over: On Foo, Cybernetics, and Big Data -- I'm glad someone preserved Matt Jones's marvelous line, "the map-reduce is not the territory". (via Tom Armitage)

June 14 2011

Four short links: 14 June 2011

  1. ASCII Flow -- create ASCII diagrams. Awesome. (via Hacker News)
  2. Principles of Uncertainty -- probability and statistics textbook, for maths students to build up to understanding Bayesian reasoning.
  3. Playable Archaeology: An Interview with the Telehacks Anonymous Creator (Andy Baio) -- The inspiration was my son. I had shown him the old movies Hackers, Wargames, and Colossus: The Forbin Project and he really liked them. After seeing Hackers and Wargames, he really wanted to start hacking stuff on his own. I'd taught him some programming, but I didn't want him doing any actual hacking, so I decided to make a simulation so he could telnet to hosts, hack them, and get the feel of it, but safely. (Andy was the interviewer, not the creator)
  4. Responsive Data Tables -- CSS ways to reformat data tables if the screen width is inadequate for the default table layout. (via Keith Bolland)

May 19 2011

Four short links: 19 May 2011

  1. Right to Access the Internet -- a survey of different countries' rights to access to access the Internet.
  2. 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 any, PhDs in statistical sciences. These statisticians collaboratively began a campaign to collect together the basics underlying statistics and statistics education, with the hope of increasing access to statistical ideas, knowledge and training around the world.
  3. Vintage Steve Jobs (YouTube) -- he's launching the "Think Different" campaign, but it's a great reminder of what a powerful speaker he is and a look at how he thinks about marketing.
  4. Anatomy of a Fake Quotation (The Atlantic) -- deconstructing how the words of a 24 year old English teacher in Japan sped around the world, attributed to Martin Luther King.

March 21 2011

Four short links: 21 March 2011

  1. Javascript Trie Performance Analysis (John Resig) -- if you program in Javascript and you're not up to John's skill level (*cough*) then you should read this and follow along. It's a ride-along in the brain of a master.
  2. Think Stats -- an introduction to statistics for Python programmers. (via Edd Dumbill)
  3. Bolefloor -- they build curvy wooden floors. Instead of straightening naturally curvy wood (which is wasteful), they use CV and CAD/CAM to figure the smallest cuts to slot strips of wood together. It's gorgeous, green, and geeky. (via BoingBoing)
  4. Extracting Article Text from HTML Documents -- everyone's doing it, now you know how. It's the theory behind the lovingly hand-crafted magic of readability. (via Hacker News)

January 10 2011

Four short links: 10 January 2011

  1. Tools and Practices for Working Virtually -- a detailed explanation of how the RedMonk team works virtually.
  2. Twitter Accounts for All Stack Overflow Users by Reputation (Brian Bondy) -- superawesome list of clueful people.
  3. The Wonderful World of Early Computing -- from bones to the ENIAC, some surprising and interesting historical computation devices. (via John D. Cook)
  4. Overlapping Experiment Infrastructure (PDF) -- they can't run just one test at a time, so they have infrastructure to comprehensively test all features against all features and in real time pull out statistical conclusions from the resulting data. (via Greg Linden)

December 31 2010

Four short links: 31 December 2010

  1. The Joy of Stats -- Hans Rosling's BBC documentary on statistics, available to watch online.
  2. Best Tech Writing of 2010 -- I need a mass "add these to Instapaper" button. (via Hacker News)
  3. Google Shared Spaces: Why We Made It (Pamela Fox) -- came out of what people were trying to do with Google Wave.
  4. The Great Delicious Exodus -- traffic graph as experienced by pinboard.

December 09 2010

Strata Week: Running the numbers

Here's what caught my attention in the data world this week.

It all comes down to funding

Fifty million. That's the number of dollars investors have committed to IA Ventures, a New York City-based fund dedicated to big data tools and technology start-ups. It's quite an impressive number for a first-time fund in any economic conditions, let alone the current climate.

So how did they do it? Check out founder Roger Ehrenberg's recent blog post, in which he provides a behind-the-scenes look at his experience, including things he wishes he'd done differently. It's a nice picture of what it's like to change careers, start a fund, and learn from experience.

MathJax: Delicious and nutritious

Strata 2011Ever had a thought that couldn't be expressed in words? Wanted to put that thought on the web? MathJax, an open source JavaScript display engine for mathematical equations, makes that easier (and much more beautiful) across most browsers.

A project of the American Mathematical Society, Design Science, Inc., and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, MathJax provides top-notch mathematical typesetting without the need for special downloads or plugins. Authors can submit math content in a variety of formats (such as MathML or LaTeX), and feel confident of its proper display even in browsers that don't have native MathML support.

TeX samples, MathML samples, and scaling samples can be found on the MathJax demo page. Here's a neat screencast of how users can copy and paste equations into various applications (such as Mathematica) using MathJax:

The MathJax source code is here, and further documentation can be found here.


Not to put too fine a point on it, but Kevin Drum's "Statistical Zombies" post should be required reading for anyone who ever has, or will, pick up a newspaper. In it, he deftly highlights "the top ten mistakes that infest day-to-day reporting of numerical and statistical information."

Error rates, inflation adjustment, and the distinction between correlation and causation are just some of the important data literacy principles Drum points out. Think you're pretty statistics savvy? Take a read and see if you don't learn (or recall) something.

For more fun, check out Lori Alden's example set of 12 misleading charts and statistics. Can you identify the blunders?

The fine line between tragedy and numbers

Unless you've been living in a cave for the last few weeks (and, given the madness of the holiday season, I wouldn't blame you), you've probably been following the WikiLeaks excitement in the news. The abundance of commentary on that issue need not be rehashed here, but Paul Bradshaw's take bears mentioning.

In his Online Journalism Blog, Bradshaw explores the difficulty of bringing big datasets to a human scale in journalistic terms, and explains, "when you move beyond scales we can deal with on a human level, you struggle to engage people in the issue you are covering."

His proposed solution is a kind of non-visual visualization, otherwise know as the anecdote. Human narratives can help us connect to data, to see it in a sympathetic way. Bradshaw stresses that personal stories must be carefully selected so they remain representative of the larger trend. He cautions that the intricacies of a larger dataset may not be revealed in the tales of individuals.

Industrial scale journalism using "big data" in a networked age raises new problems and new opportunities: we need to humanise and personalise big datasets in a way that does not detract from the complexity or scale of the issues being addressed; and we need to think about what happens after someone reads a story online and whether online publishers have a role in that.

Sometimes, it's about more than just the numbers.

The Strata Conference is coming

Fifty-three: that's how many days are left before the inaugural Strata Conference! Register now and join us in February.

Save 30% on Strata registration with the code STR11RAD.

October 21 2010

Strata Week: Statistically speaking

Here's a look at the latest data news and developments that caught my eye.

Never race a penguin

The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has reportedly "doubled" their networking speed with a new Linux-based system, clocking trading times at 126 microseconds as compared to previous times of several hundred microseconds.

ComputerworldUK reports that "BATS Europe and Chi-X, two dedicated electronic rivals to the LSE, are reported to have an average latency of 250 and 175 microseconds respectively."

The Millenium Exchange trading platform is scheduled to roll out on the LSE's main exchange on November 1, replacing a Microsoft .Net system.

Lies, damn lies, and vertical axes

William M. Briggs took issue in his blog with a recent post of Paul Krugman's for playing unfair tricks with the slopes of graphs by messing with the scale on the vertical axis.

Briggs asserts that starting the scale at zero is a wily way to flatten out a slope, and he's right that it has that affect. But worse, I think, is the perception distortion that results from displaying two graphs with different scales side-by-side. Whatever scale is used, consistency is key.

Ironically, Krugman's post was meant to call out graphical misrepresentation regarding levels of government spending. It all goes to show how much we need increased data and statistical literacy across the board.

Speaking of statistics

If you don't believe me, ask European Central Bank (ECB) president Jean-Claude Trichet. The fifth ECB conference on statistics, originally scheduled for April but delayed by a certain Icelandic ash cloud, was rescheduled for this week. To take advantage of yesterday's date (written in the European style, the date was twenty-ten-twenty-ten), it was declared the first World Statistics Day by the UN General Assembly. Trichet opened the conference by calling for better, more reliable statistics from all member countries.

Evidence-based decision-making in modern economies is unthinkable without statistics ... The financial crisis has revealed information gaps that we have to close while also preparing ourselves for future challenges. This is best achieved through creating a wide range of economic and financial statistics that are mutually consistent, thereby eliminating contradictory signals due to measurement issues. The main aggregates must be both reliable and timely, and, in a globalised world, they should be comparable across countries and economies.

Not only did Trichet highlight the need for widespread use of accepted statistical methodologies, but he also urged the G20 to think of themselves as examples for the globalized world. Read the transcript of his speech here.

Rest in peace, Prof. Mandelbrot

I don't wish to end on a sad note, but let's say goodbye with much fondness and gratitude for Benoît Mandelbrot, who passed away last Thursday at the age of 85.

Mandelbrot spent most of his career at IBM, eventually becoming an IBM Fellow before moving on to teach at Yale. Mary Miller, Yale College dean, remembered Mandelbrot by saying:

He revolutionized geometry and made it possible to think about measurements and visualization of forms through an entirely new kind of geometry.

Mandelbrot is perhaps best remembered for the work he did with fractals (a term he coined). While not the first to discover them, his emphasis and research brought them into the limelight as a useful tool for understanding the world around us, including things like the movement of planets and the English shoreline.

The image below is a representation of the famous Mandelbrot Set, a mathematical set of points in the complex plane that does not simplify at any level of magnification.

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September 21 2010

Four short links: 21 September 2010

  1. Mustache -- templates without the if/then/loop control structures that mangle your separation of logic. (via the technology behind #newtwitter)
  2. The Visionary's Lament (Eric Ries) -- love the possibly apocryphal Amazon story about the invention of one-click.
  3. TimeFlow -- helps you analyze temporal data. Timeline, Calendar, Bar Chart, Table, and List views. From the legendary team of Viegas and Wattenberg
  4. Basic Statistical Literacy -- the UK government has some good introductions to statistics. (via Flowing Data)

August 25 2010

Four short links: 25 August 2010

  1. Why Narrative and Structure are Important (Ed Yong) -- Ed looks at how Atul Gawande's piece on death and dying, which is 12,000 words long, is an easy and fascinating read despite the length.
  2. Understanding Science (Berkeley) -- simple teaching materials to help students understand the process of science. (via BoingBoing comments)
  3. Sax: Symbolic Aggregate approXimation -- SAX is the first symbolic representation for time series that allows for dimensionality reduction and indexing with a lower-bounding distance measure. In classic data mining tasks such as clustering, classification, index, etc., SAX is as good as well-known representations such as Discrete Wavelet Transform (DWT) and Discrete Fourier Transform (DFT), while requiring less storage space. In addition, the representation allows researchers to avail of the wealth of data structures and algorithms in bioinformatics or text mining, and also provides solutions to many challenges associated with current data mining tasks. One example is motif discovery, a problem which we recently defined for time series data. There is great potential for extending and applying the discrete representation on a wide class of data mining tasks. Source code has "non-commercial" license. (via rdamodharan on Delicious)
  4. Open Source OSCON (RedMonk) -- The business of selling open source software, remember, is dwarfed by the business of using open source software to produce and sell other services. And yet historically, most of the focus on open source software has accrued to those who sold it. Today, attention and traction is shifting to those who are not in the business of selling software, but rather share their assets via a variety of open source mechanisms. (via Simon Phipps)

June 17 2010

Four short links: 17 June 2010

  1. What is IBM's Watson? (NY Times) -- IBM joining the big data machine learning race, and hatching a Blue Gene system that can answer Jeopardy questions. Does good, not great, and is getting better.
  2. Google Lays Out its Mobile Strategy (InformationWeek) -- notable to me for Rechis said that Google breaks down mobile users into three behavior groups: A. "Repetitive now" B. "Bored now" C. "Urgent now", a useful way to look at it. (via Tim)
  3. BP GIS and the Mysteriously Vanishing Letter -- intrigue in the geodata world. This post makes it sound as though cleanup data is going into a box behind BP's firewall, and the folks who said "um, the government should be the depot, because it needs to know it has a guaranteed-untampered and guaranteed-able-to-access copy of this data" were fired. For more info, including on the data that is available, see the geowanking thread.
  4. Streamhacker -- a blog talking about text mining and other good things, with nltk code you can run. (via heraldxchaos on Delicious)

May 24 2010

Four short links: 24 May 2010

  1. Google Documents API -- permissions, revisions, search, export, upload, and file. Somehow I had missed that this existed.
  2. Profile of Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange (Sydney Morning Herald) -- he draws no salary, is constantly on the move, lived for a while in a compound in Nairobi with other NGOs, and cowrote the rubberhose filesystem which offers deniable encryption.
  3. OpenPCR -- producing an open design for a PCR machine. PCR is how you take a single piece of DNA and make lots of copies of it. It's the first step in a lot of interesting bits of molecular biology. They're using Ponoko to print the cases. (via davetenhave on Twitter)
  4. Metric Mania (NY Times) -- The problem isn’t with statistical tests themselves but with what we do before and after we run them. First, we count if we can, but counting depends a great deal on previous assumptions about categorization. Consider, for example, the number of homeless people in Philadelphia, or the number of battered women in Atlanta, or the number of suicides in Denver. Is someone homeless if he’s unemployed and living with his brother’s family temporarily? Do we require that a women self-identify as battered to count her as such? If a person starts drinking day in and day out after a cancer diagnosis and dies from acute cirrhosis, did he kill himself? The answers to such questions significantly affect the count. We can never be reminded enough that the context for data must be made as open as the data. To do otherwise is to play Russian Roulette with the truth.

April 06 2010

Trop de sel !

En 2008, Pierre Meneton, chercheur à l’Inserm, estimait que la consommation de sel en France – qui atteint 10 à 12 grammes par personne et par jour – était trois ou quatre fois supérieure aux besoins, et responsable chaque année d’au moins 75 000 accidents cardio-vasculaires. Selon lui, l’excès est principalement lié au sel contenu dans les produits préparés industriellement. Le « New England Journal of Medicine » vient de publier les travaux d’épidémiologistes appartenant à trois grandes universités américains (San Francisco, Stanford et ­Columbia), qui aboutissent à la même conclusion. Les chercheurs ont repris un modèle de calculs statistiques et mathématiques validés permettant des prévisions fiables dans le domaine ­cardio-vasculaire. Chez les Américains, consommant la même quantité de sel que les Français, une réduction de 3 grammes par jour permettrait de ­diminuer le nombre de nouveaux cas par an d’atteintes coronariennes de 60 000, d’AVC de 120 000, d’infarctus du myocarde de 99 000 à 54 000. Avec 1 gramme de sel en moins par jour, le bénéfice est divisé par trois.

Reposted fromScheiro Scheiro

March 16 2010

Four short links: 16 March 2010

  1. Government is an Elephant (Public Strategist) -- if Government is to be a platform, it will end up competing with the members of its ecosystems (the same way Apple's Dashboard competed with Konfabulator, and Google's MyMaps competed with Platial). If you think people squawk when a company competes, just wait until the competition is taxpayer-funded ....
  2. Recordings from NoSQL Live Boston -- also available in podcasts.
  3. Modeling Scale Usage Heterogeneity the Bayesian Way -- people use 1-5 scales in different ways (some cluster around the middle, some choose extremes, etc.). This shows how to identify the types of users, compensate for their interpretation of the scale, and how it leads to more accurate results.
  4. Building a Better Teacher -- fascinating discussion about classroom management that applies to parenting, training, leading a meeting, and many other activities that take place outside of the school classroom. (via Mind Hacks)

March 05 2010

Four short links: 5 March 2010

  1. Rapportive -- a simple social CRM built into Gmail. They replace the ads in Gmail with photos, bio, and info from social media sites. (via ReadWrite Web)
  2. Best Practices in Web Development with Django and Python -- great set of recommendations. (via Jon Udell's article on checklists)
  3. Think Like a Statistician Without The Math (Flowing Data) -- Finally, and this is the most important thing I've learned, always ask why. When you see a blip in a graph, you should wonder why it's there. If you find some correlation, you should think about whether or not it makes any sense. If it does make sense, then cool, but if not, dig deeper. Numbers are great, but you have to remember that when humans are involved, errors are always a possibility. This is basically how to be a scientist: know the big picture, study the details to find deviations, and always ask "why".
  4. WoW Armory Data Mining -- a blog devoted to data mining on the info from the Wow Amory, which has a lot of data taken from the servers. It's baseball statistics for World of Warcraft. Fascinating! (via Chris Lewis)

February 24 2010


Dass mit Bevölkerungsprognosen Politik gemacht wird, haben wir bei der Privatisierung in der Rentenversicherung und ähnlichen Ansätzen für die Pflege schon schmerzlich erfahren. Neben der Globalisierung ist die Demografie meist ein Hauptargument, wenn der Sozialstaat beschnitten wird.


„Bevölkerungszahl vermutlich um 1,3 Millionen zu hoch“, lautet es in einer Pressemitteilung am 22.7.2008. Aber schon 2004 wird in der Fachzeitschrift des Amtes darauf hingewiesen: „Gemessen an den Ergebnissen der Haushaltsbefragung weisen die unbereinigten Melderegister … eine Karteileichenrate von knapp 4,1% auf.“ (Wirtschaft und Statistik 8/2004 [PDF - 242 KB])

Da die veröffentlichten Bevölkerungsdaten aus den Fortschreibungen mit Hilfe der Melderegister kommen, lässt die Fehlerquote von 4,1% auf einen noch höheren, als den zugegebenen Irrtum bei den Bevölkerungsdaten schließen. Vielleicht waren die 1,3 Millionen weniger eher eine Untertreibung und der Präsident des Hessischen Statistischen Landesamts lag mit seiner Schätzung näher an der Wirklichkeit: „Die Größenordnung könne bis zu 5 Prozent betragen, das wären gut vier Millionen Menschen.“ (Zitiert nach Welt Online, 10.7.2008)


Nicht nur die reine Anzahl ist falsch, sondern in der Folge auch die berechneten Lebenserwartungen! Vor der knappen Erklärung zwei bezeichnende Zitate des Rostocker Max-Planck-Instituts für demografische Forschung:

Unter der Überschrift „Weniger Hochbetagte als gedacht“ heißt es:
„Die Fortschreibung in der amtlichen Statistik überschätzt die Bevölkerung, insbesondere im Alter 90 Jahre und älter. In den alten Bundesländern liegen die offiziellen Zahlen zum Ende 2004 bei Männern um rund 40 Prozent zu hoch.“ !!! (Demografische Forschung Nr. 1/2008)

— vollständig nachzulesen auf, 20100224 - Die seltsamen „Bevölkerungs-Prognosen“ des Statistischen Bundesamtes.
Reposted bykrekk krekk

February 19 2010

Four short links: 19 February 2010

  1. How to Seasonally Adjust Data -- Most statisticians, economists and government agencies that report data use a method called the X12 procedure to adjust data for seasonal patterns. The X12 procedure and its predecessor X11, which is still widely used, were developed by the U.S. Census Bureau. When applied to a data series, the X12 process first estimates effects that occur in the same month every year with similar magnitude and direction. These estimates are the “seasonal” components of the data series. (via bengebre on Delicious)
  2. Vodafone Chief: Mobile Groups Should Be Able to Bypass Google (Guardian) -- Vodafone and other telcos want to charge both ends, to charge not just the person with a monthly mobile data subscription but also the companies with whom that person communicates. It's double-dipping and offensively short-sighted. Vodafone apparently wants to stripmine all the value their product creates. This is not shearing the sheep, this is a recipe for lamb in mint sauce.
  3. Open Data is Not A Panacea, But It Is A Start -- The reality is that releasing the data is a small step in a long walk that will take many years to see any significant value. Sure there will be quick wins along the way - picking on MP’s expenses is easy. But to build something sustainable, some series of things that serve millions of people directly, will not happen overnight. And the reality, as Tom Loosemore pointed out at the London Data Store launch, it won’t be a sole developer who ultimately brings it to fruition. (via sebchan on Twitter)
  4. Our GeoDjango EC2 Image for News Apps -- Chicago Tribune releasing an Amazon EC2 image of the base toolchain they use. Very good to see participation and contribution from organisations historically seen as pure consumers of technology. All business are becoming technology-driven businesses, realising the old mindset of "leave the tech to those who do it best" isn't compatible with being a leader in your industry.

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