On Monday, the Economist reprinted a chart from a BCG report, which purported to show the contribution of "the internet" to the total GDP of various different countries. All of this was rather puzzling to me, so I spoke to BCG’s Paul Zwillenberg, one of the authors of the report. And the main thing I wanted to know, of course, was how on earth you could turn “the internet” into an annual dollar amount divisible by national GDP.
In a Rigged Game, Twitter’s IPA Lets Developers Rewrite the Rules
Last month, in response to Yahoo’s wrongheaded patent infringement lawsuit against Facebook, I wrote about my experience filing patents at Yahoo. Patents I helped to file, ostensibly only for defensive purposes, were turned into blunt weapons to thwart innovation and extort money. Yesterday, Twitter announced their Innovator’s Patent Agreement, an open source contract intended to guarantee patents will only be used defensively, even when sold. The IPA seems to directly address the issues raised in my article. Still, the IPA isn’t perfect, and it needs work to protect the intentions of designers and engineers.
Memeorandum Colors 2012: Visualizing Bias on Political Blogs
As you’d expect, the universe of political blogs is largely split in two, with conservative and liberal blogs rarely covering the same stories or linking to the same sites. But it can be very challenging to tell their political leanings at a glance, especially with names like 'Balloon Juice,' 'Weasel Zippers,' or 'The Volokh Conspiracy.' So, four years ago, I launched a project with Delicious/Tasty Labs founder Joshua Schachter to visualize the linking biases of various political blogs on Memeorandum by looking at their past behavior. Using singular value decomposition, the linear algebra at the heart of your Netflix recommendations, we reduced the entire matrix of blogger-to-article relationships to a single dimension. Using those precalculated values, we load the data from Google Spreadsheets and color the links on Memeorandum, based on where they fall on the spectrum. The brighter the color, the more frequently they only cover stories by their counterparts.
Netflix Never Used Its $1 Million Algorithm Due To Engineering Costs
Netflix awarded a $1 million prize to a developer team in 2009 for an algorithm that increased the accuracy of the company’s recommendation engine by 10 percent. But it doesn’t use the million-dollar code, and has no plans to implement it in the future, Netflix announced on its blog Friday. The post goes on to explain why: [...]
Google’s Sergey Brin: China, SOPA, Facebook Threaten the ‘Open Web’
Google's search engine was created when most of the web's information was open and available to anyone willing to capture it. In today's more restrictive environment, Sergey Brin and Google CEO Larry Page may not have even tried.