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Biweekly links for 12/01/2008

by Michael Nielsen on December 1, 2008
  • SAHANA | Free and Open Source Disaster Management System
    • “Sahana is a Free and Open Source Disaster Management system. It is a web based collaboration tool that addresses the common coordination problems during a disaster from finding missing people, managing aid, managing volunteers, tracking camps effectively between Government groups, the civil society (NGOs) and the victims themselves.”
  • Why I Love Twitter
    • Nice explanation of some of Twitter’s benefits, from Tim O’Reilly. Makes me think I should do something actively with my Twitter account! Maybe once I’ve finished paring back my list of blog subscriptions.
  • Ocarina for iPhone
    • Use the iPhone as an ocarina.
  • MAKE: Open source hardware 2008 – The definitive guide to open source hardware projects in 2008
  • Dick Hardt: Identity 2.0
    • Interesting short talk about some of the problems with online identity. Identifies many shortcomings with existing attempts to develop identity systems, and talks about desiderata for a general identity system.
  • OpenStreetMap
    • Very cool open and editable map of the whole world.
  • Eucalyptus
    • “Elastic Utility Computing Architecture for Linking Your Programs To Useful Systems [groan – ed!] – is an open-source software infrastructure for implementing “cloud computing” on clusters.”
  • Where Robot Cars (Robocars) Will Really Take Us
    • “Or how computer geeks can enable the electric car, save the planet and millions of lives using near-term A.I. to make taxis and trucks deliver, park, recharge and drive themselves.”
  • Current Analysis and Future Research Agenda on “Gold Farming”: Real-World Production in Developing Countries for the Virtual Economies of Online Games (School of Environment and Development – The University of Manchester)
    • “From the start of the 21st century, a new form of employment has emerged in developing countries. It employs hundreds of thousands of people and earns hundreds of millions of dollars annually. Yet it has been almost invisible to both the academic and development communities. It is the phenomenon of “gold farming”: the production of virtual goods and services for players of online games. China is the employment epicentre but the sub-sector has spread to other Asian nations and will spread further as online games-playing grows. It is the first example of a likely future development trend in online employment. It is also one of a few emerging examples in developing countries of “liminal ICT work”; jobs associated with digital technologies that are around or just below the threshold of what is deemed socially-acceptable and/or formally-legal.”
  • Berlin 6 Open Access Conference » Session 5 – Open Data and Reproducible Research: Blurring the Boundaries between Research and Publication
    • Talks on reproducible research.
  • Richard Hake: Over Sixty Education Blogs
    • Interesting list of more than 60 resources for people interested in education and blogging. Many were new to me.
  • Paul Graham: The Other Half of “Artists Ship”
    • “Steve Jobs’s famous maxim “artists ship” works both ways. Artists aren’t merely capable of shipping. They insist on it. So if you don’t let people ship, you won’t have any artists.”
  • Google Research Publication: Sawzall
    • “Very large data sets often have a flat but regular structure and span multiple disks and machines. Examples include telephone call records, network logs, and web document repositories. These large data sets are not amenable to study using traditional database techniques… On the other hand, many of the analyses done on them can be expressed using simple, easily distributed computations: filtering, aggregation, extraction of statistics, and so on.

      We present a system for automating such analyses. A filtering phase, in which a query is expressed using a new programming language, emits data to an aggregation phase. Both phases are distributed over hundreds or even thousands of computers. The results are then collated and saved to a file. The design — including the separation into two phases, the form of the programming language, and the properties of the aggregators — exploits the parallelism inherent in having data and computation distributed across many machines. “

  • Introduction to Information Retrieval
    • “The book aims to provide a modern approach to information retrieval from a computer science perspective. It is based on a course we have been teaching in various forms at Stanford University and at the University of Stuttgart. “
  • Claude Lévi-Strauss: the first 100 years
    • Levi-Strauss turns 100 today, Nov 28, 2008.

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