Technology

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal

Digging through the clutter of the online world: A Q&A with TED Books author Jim Hornthal
The latest TED Book deals with an issue we all can relate too: the difficulty of finding answers to complex questions on the Internet when a simple search can lead you down a rabbit hole of impersonal data. In A Haystack Full of Needles: Cutting Through the Clutter of the Online World to Find a Place, Partner or President, Jim Hornthal explores groundbreaking new approaches to discovering the useful insights buried deep within our complex and noisy datasphere. Hornthal, a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley, introduces us to innovators who are pushing the edges of data science and data visualization by applying the principles of pattern recognition to isolate relevant signals in the noise. Their efforts will have enormous implications for the way we practice medicine, discover music and movies, and even identify our romantic partners.

Curious to hear more about the ideas he explores in his e-book, the TED Blog asked Hornthal a few questions over email.

Simple tricks websites can use to fingerprint you

The "I Know..." series of blog posts shows relatively simple tricks [malicious] websites can use to coax a browser into revealing information that it probably should not. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing scam black lists, and even patching your browser was not going to help.

Fortunately, if you are using one of today’s latest and greatest browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), these tricks, these attack techniques, mostly don’t work anymore. The unfortunate part is that they were by no means the only way to accomplish these feats.

I Know…

Spotify for ebooks? Aren’t the publishers already making enough money?

I've heard people opine for a Spotify for ebooks. This isn’t as kooky as when they opine for Netflix or Blockbuster for physical books. The thing is… Spotify is pretty good for consumers, but sucks for creators. Well… it’s not all rosy as some people want to believe. (I really don’t get why so many librarians absolutely loathe the publishing industry, but give the music industry a pass.)

The Social Library: How Public Libraries Are Using Social Media

RWW has a nice look at How Public Libraries Are Using Social Media... "Like many of you, I'm connected to the Internet virtually every waking hour of my day - via computer, tablet and mobile phone. Yet I still regularly visit my local public library, in order to borrow books, CDs and DVDs. Which made me wonder: are these two worlds disconnected, or is the Social Web being integrated into our public libraries? In this fourth installment in ReadWriteWeb's Social Books series, I aim to find out!"

Go Daddy Follow Up

From Nerdwallet - some advice on how to protect your website from crashing.

On Monday, GoDaddy’s servers were taken offline by “internal corrupted router issues”, causing millions of websites to shut down. Site owners had to wait in silence for six painful hours before service was restored. Although this was GoDaddy’s greatest and most widely publicized service outage since its founding in 1997, cyber attacks are nothing new, and they are increasingly on the rise lately with the growing desire for hacker fame and reputation advancement in the hacker community.

It you're in the market for a library-oriented host, I'd recommend lishost.org. Blake & team are da bomb.

Technology DeathWatch: QR Codes

Over the next few years, marketers will begin to target QR codes more effectively, but without simpler client tools and much better awareness, it’s likely that texting, speech-based searches and alternative scanning technologies will win out. It won’t be long until QR Codes return to their industrial roots where their comparatively low cost make them more appealing than RFID chips.

Amazon Glacier Cheap Data Archiving and Backup

A newish service from Amazon that might be useful to more than a few folks around here: Amazon Glacier

Amazon Glacier is an extremely low-cost storage service that provides secure and durable storage for data archiving and backup. In order to keep costs low, Amazon Glacier is optimized for data that is infrequently accessed and for which retrieval times of several hours are suitable. With Amazon Glacier, customers can reliably store large or small amounts of data for as little as $0.01 per gigabyte per month, a significant savings compared to on-premises solutions. -- Read More

Stop Giving Your Work To Social Media Companies

Blog More, says Scott Hanselman.

Own your space on the Web, and pay for it. Extra effort, but otherwise you’re a sharecropper. - Tim Bray

"You are not blogging enough. You are pouring your words into increasingly closed and often walled gardens. You are giving control - and sometimes ownership - of your content to social media companies that will SURELY fail. These companies are profoundly overvalued, don't care about permalinks, don't make your content portable, and have terms of service that are so complex and obtuse that there are entire websites dedicate to explaining them."

How is crowdfunding changing culture?

Kickstarter's most successful projects suggest the creativity we value is interactive, rather than aesthetic, says Patrick Hussey

"For me though, crowdfunding represents something amazing – the gamification of progress. The internet is pointing us in the right direction and crowdfunding, with that digital hallmark of mashing capitalism, communism and cats into one, is certainly getting to places other funding forms are too slow to reach."

Authors destroy legal e-book lending

Roughly two weeks ago, the popular e-book lending site LendInk was taken offline thanks to a group of terrified authors who couldn’t be bothered to read the fine print. LendInk was a website dedicated to helping book lovers lend books to each other through features implemented by Amazon and Barnes & Noble. The site’s only purpose was to serve as a front end — it hosted no e-book files, linked no torrents, and never directed users to a file locker.

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