Earlier this year, researchers say, someone mysteriously hijacked internet traffic headed to government agencies, corporate offices and other recipients in the U.S. and elsewhere and redirected it to Belarus and Iceland, before sending it on its way to its legitimate destinations. They did so repeatedly over several months. But luckily someone did notice.
“We should pray that we learn his great gift of introspection, so that we never let the bitterness grow inside us, even when it seems nothing is changing.”—Madiba, I let you go, by South African journalist Marelise van der Merwe, regarding Nelson Mandela.
I’ve spent the past 6ish months building an Android app with Matt. The first version’s out in the wild, and it seemed about time to write up a few things we’ve learned … and, of course, weigh in on the never-ending Android-versus-iPhone debate.
“This year, it should be no surprise that people us mobile devices to buy things online. But when you compare this year’s early holiday shopping numbers with last year, the growth actually is pretty surprising.”—LukeW | Data Monday: Mobile Holiday Shopping 2013
“This is a revolutionary shift. Once upon a time, medicine was a discipline based on the nuanced diagnosis and treatment of sick patients. Now, Big Data, networked computers and a culture obsessed with knowing its numbers have moved medicine from the bedside to the desktop (or laptop). The art of medicine is becoming the science of an insurance actuary.”—Statins by Numbers - NYTimes.com (via fred-wilson)
“In recent years, Pentland has pioneered the use of specialized electronic “badges” that transmit data about employees’ interactions as they go about their days. The badges capture all sorts of information about formal and informal conversations: their length; the tone of voice and gestures of the people involved; how much those people talk, listen, and interrupt; the degree to which they demonstrate empathy and extroversion; and more. Each badge generates about 100 data points a minute.”—They’re Watching You at Work (via iamdanw)
Ever wonder how Black Friday got its name? Amy Merrick explores its origins, and debunks the myths behind shopping’s biggest day of the year: http://nyr.kr/1a8aS0h
“It turns out that a lot of what we’re told about Black Friday is invented by retailers and the marketing experts they hire. Retailers like Black Friday because the earlier customers start their holiday shopping, the more they are likely to spend over all.”
Networking “is not meeting people”, [Mary Kopczynski] said. "Networking is the process of turning a relationship with a stranger into a strategic partnership over time." I think women find this idea tough to come to terms with because we tend to view networking as somewhat icky, as using people - we don’t view it as ‘real’ relationship building in the way we like to think of relationships (solid, meaningful friendships). We need to re-frame it a bit, to see it as a situation where we can potentially help the other person as well (more on that below).
Great summary. I highly recommend The Broad Experience podcast and blog.
Four cable news networks devoted significantly different amounts of time to Obamacare and the typhoon in the Philippines, according to a new study from Pew Research Center. On Wednesday, Mark Jurkowitz, Paul Hitlin, Nancy Vogt and Monica Anderson reported that a pattern emerged after analyzing 80 hours of cable news from Nov. 11 through Nov. 15.
The two channels with strong ideological identities in prime-time—liberal MSBNC and conservative Fox News—spent far more time on the politically-charged health insurance story than the overseas disaster. And the two organizations that built a brand on global reporting—CNN and Al Jazeera America, an offshoot of the Qatar-based Al Jazeera media network—spent considerably more time on the tragedy in the Philippines.
MSNBC, they report, devoted four times more coverage to issues with the healthcare law. Fox covered healthcare 80 times more than the typhoon.
In his presentation at the Google Chrome Dev Summit in Mountain View CA, Ilya Grigorik walked through new improvements in Chrome to speed up Internet connections and latency. Here are my notes from his talk[.]
…As a long time user of RSS and Google Reader, I’ve long appreciated the benefits of the technology. Like many people, my use of Google Reader faded a bit as social media platforms took hold. But, I’d always go back to Google Reader when I wanted to cut through the noise of social networks and focus on things I’m really passionate about. Google Reader wasn’t my “second screen” application where I’d go to take a break from work. It filled a much more essential need for me by providing these three features:
1. Unread items are kept in a queue. I don’t miss things. No algorithm chooses what to show me or not show me.
2. It’s an archive of blogs that I value and posts that I’ve read.
3. I can follow whatever I want from anywhere on the web. It embodies the open web.
“I’ve worked on a several responsive projects in the past couple years, and it’s always been a headache—not from technological limitations, but because there weren’t suitable words to describe the behaviors I wanted. I had to jump into code, and waste time writing non-production markup and CSS to prototype a behavior so the developer could see it. That’s really wasteful, especially if all you needed was a word for the behavior. The community has been putting a lot of effort in developing tools that allow for quicker prototyping, but explaining yourself can happen multiple ways. Clear wording with consistent meaning reduces the number of prototypes you need to build, because a simple word will do. We need to work as a community to develop a language of transformation so we can talk to one another. And we probably need to steal these words from places like animation, theater, puppetry, dance, and choreography.”—What Screens Want by Frank Chimero (via timoni)
You might ask, “isn’t [pre-fetching performance gains] what the cache is for?” Yes! In many cases when you visit a website the browser avoids making costly HTTP requests and just reads the necessary resources from disk cache. But there are many situations when the cache offers no help:
first visit – The cache only comes into play on subsequent visits to a site. The first time you visit a site it hasn’t had time to cache any resources.
cleared – The cache gets cleared more than you think. In addition to occasional clearing by the user, the cache can also be cleared by anti-virus software and browser bugs. (19% of Chrome users have their cache cleared at least once a week due to a bug.)
purged – Since the cache is shared by every website the user visits, it’s possible for one website’s resources to get purged from the cache to make room for another’s.
Unlike “live tweeting,” the practice of covering breaking news events via short updates on Twitter — whether the Boston Marathon bombings or Arab Spring protests — the Kristallnacht and JFK accounts have no erroneous reports that later need to be corrected, or, for that matter, raw, emotional outbursts. The voice in these posts is like the voice of God, or at least the voice of history or of Cronkite.
“We are historians talking in present tense,” Mr. Hoffman said in a telephone interview. “We are not viewing it from a victims’ perspective, or the Nazi elites — we are trying to give a voice to every source.”
Yet, for all the dispassionate phrasing, and links to original sources, there is an emotional power to these posts — and that power comes from the Twitter format. If every historian is trying to immerse her readers in the world that is being conjured, then a service like Twitter that intrudes on daily life — that grabs people’s attention while they are consumed by the trivialities of life — would seem a perfect educational tool.