Curious Ellie’s Favorites

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I love data visualization as much as the next guy. I'm big on Big Data! And I quantify myself every chance I get. But I've had my fill of shiny data that doesn't help answer important questions. Things like: What explains these outcomes? What do... Continue »
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Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that if people just had access to all the relevant evidence, then the right decision - and better outcomes - would surely follow. Of course we know that's not the case. A number of things block a clear path... Continue »
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The game has changed. Information is the world’s new currency. Read just about any businesspublication and you will quickly conclude that how an organization manages its information assets is now just as fundamental a source of competitive differentiation as how it manages its physical assets, its human assets, and its financial assets. Everything and every process is being re-imagined. According to Gartner senior vice president Peter Sondergaard: “Every budget is an IT budget. Every company is an IT company. Every business leader is becoming a digital leader. Every person is becoming a technology company. We are entering the era of the Digital Industrial Economy." You probably were expecting a “but,” and, yes, there is a “but.” Amidst all of this opportunity, organizations are drowning in a sea of content and information. File servers are overflowing and multiplying, making it difficult for anyone to find anything. Information is leaking out of the organization at every turn. If information silos in our existing solutions weren’t bad enough, we now have our content popping up in new silos in SaaS applications that are beyond the reach of our conventional information governance frameworks. Content and information is coming at us at breakneck speed in... Continue »
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Blog: VentureBlog
I have heard of short term memory, but this borders on amnesia. Were the buyers in this latest secondary transaction (Twitter at $10B) asleep during the Facebook IPO? Did they miss the part where lots of well intentioned "investors" bought Facebook shares at $80B, $90B, $100B, only to see the... Continue »
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Batman Goes On A Rampage Claymation Cartoon - YouTube. This claymation / animated parody has Batman walking on the dark side and taking some of his frustration out on the city. We used a combination of claymation, animation and simple CGI in this cartoon so some of of our followers... Continue »
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Andrew Gelman on the election: >Richer people continue to vote Republican « Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science: This is all pretty obvious but it seemed worth posting because some people still don’t seem to get it. For example, Jay Cost, writing in the Weekly Standard: >>The Democratic party now dominates the Upper East Side of Manhattan, as well as the wealthiest neighborhoods in the most powerful cities. And yet Republicans are still effectively castigated as the party of the rich. They are not — at least not any more than the Democratic party is…. >[H]e’s missing the point. The paradigmatic Democratic rent-seekers are public employee[s]…. Maybe teachers and bus drivers don’t deserve $80K salaries, maybe their pensions are bankrupting America, whatever. But they’re not "rich"…. Put it all together, and upper-income Americans mostly vote Republican… And some more very nice graphs: Continue »
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Are you using badges yet? If not, you may be feeling the need to “refresh” users’ experience of your content by introducing a badge system. In all likelihood, one or more of your competitors has either introduced badges or is... Continue »
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Yokum Taku has designed a new security for tech startup financing, something with the positive features of a convertible note, but without the problems presented when a new and unprofitable venture issues debt. The thinking is: convertible notes do a... Continue »
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Currently, there are three competing approaches for saving serious amounts of data (i.e., persistently, and bigger than cookies) locally in your browser: Web Storage Indexed Database API Web SQL Database These names sure seem similar. But the implementations sure are different. Let's quickly summarize what they do, the PROs and CONs, and what I like best at the moment. Though I'm sure my opinions will age quickly as the technology matures. All these technologies use the same-origin protection for data access (i.e., javascript can only access data from the url's domain that it was served from), which is fine and... Continue »
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Back in summer 2008 when we were building Stack Overflow, I chose OpenID logins for reasons documented in Does The World Really Need Yet Another Username and Password: I realize that OpenID is far from an ideal solution. But right now, the one-login-per-website problem is so bad that I am... Continue »
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I think this is time of profound change, of punctuated equilibrium when the confluence of technologies, social expectations and economic pressures will necessitate substantive change in our university structures and how we deliver educational materials. We must move carefully and thoughtfully, embracing opportunity while diligently preserving that which we cherish and value. Continue »
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The Dictionary Society of North America was formed in 1975 to bring together people interested in dictionary making, study, collection, and use. Our more than 400 members who live in 40 countries around the world include people working on dictionaries, academics who engage in research and writing about dictionaries, dictionary... Continue »
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As most hedge fund investors will attest, finding managers with a true ‘edge’ is an incredibly challenging task. There are 13,000 hedge funds in existence, and every one of them claims to have an edge over the others. We can't claim to pinpoint the right combination of skills and experiences... Continue »
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Blog: Routed Port
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Would you like one of these very pretty logos on your webpage? Given my Irish passport I'm committed to having green as my favourite colour even if it doesn't work with my blue background, but alas, I'm not a graphic designer. The logo is assigned to invididual websites who are... Continue »
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Blog: Routed Port
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After to speaking to Marin Levy, Director IPv6 Strategy at Hurricane Electric whilst attending the Norwegian chapter of the IPv6Forum's annual conference, I agreed to go through the Hurricane Electric IPv6 certification and compare and contrast it to IPv6 Forum's own certification. What They Are Hurricane Electric The Hurricane Electric... Continue »
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Introduced in 2005 to facilitate cash settlement in the multi-trillion dollar credit default swap market, credit-event auctions have a novel and complex two-stage structure that makes them distinct from other auction forms. Examining the efficacy of the auction's price-discovery process, we find that the auction price has a significant bias relative to pre- and post-auction market prices for the same instruments, and that volatility of market prices often increases after the auction; nonetheless, we find that the auction generates information that is critical for post-auction market price formation. Auction outcomes are heavily influenced by strategic considerations and "winner's curse" concerns. Structural estimation of the auction carried out under some simplifying assumptions suggests that alternative auction formats could reduce the bias in the auction final price. Continue »
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Blog: Revolutions
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You probably already knew that you can draw mathematical equations in Google by typing the equation into the search box. For example, here's the Standard Normal density function: I can't find a way to embed the graph directly, but if you click on it you'll find it's interactive: you can inspect points, zoom in/out etc. You can create a similar chart in R quite easily with the command: plot(dnorm,xlim=c(-4,4)) (This works because there is a method for objects of type "function" -- like dnorm -- for the generic plot function.) It's not quite so eay to visualize of a function... Continue »
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Joe Weisenthal: >Ben Bernanke Murders The Gold Standard: Ben Bernanke just gave the first lecture of his 4-part series on the origins of the Fed. We'll have full transcripts and slides later, but one thing really stood out…. He spent a lot of time talking about the gold standard, and he just murdered it. >Among his points: >To have a gold standard, you have to go dig up gold in South Africa and put it in a basement in New York. It's nonsensical. >The gold standard ends up linking everyone's currencies, causing policy in one country to transmit to another country (sort of how U.S. policy now transmits to China, because they've fixed the yuan price to the dollar). So for example, if the U.K. fixes the number of pounds to an ounce of gold, and the U.S. fixes the number of dollars to an ounce of gold, then the pound and the U.S. dollar inadvertently become linked. >It creates deflation, as William Jennings Bryan noted. The meaning of the "cross of gold" speech: Because farmers had debts fixed in gold, loss of pricing power in commodities killed them. >The gold standard tends to cause interest rates to rise during... Continue »
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Microsoft Excel spreadsheets are the top BI tool of choice. That choking sound you hear is vendors and IT people reacting viscerally when they confront this fact. Their responses include: Business people are averse to change; they don’t want to... Continue »
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