“In it he asserts that the web is dying and in its ashes will see the rise of the “App Internet.” The App Internet is different than the HTML Internet (aka The Web, WWW and in the mobile arena “The Mobile Internet” or short-hand HTML5) because the “presentation layer” and “client side” functionality are defined by applications that run on your mobile device and connect into the open Internet back-end to exchange information with other web services.”—The End of the Web? Don’t Bet on It. Here’s Why
“It’s a busy night at the D.C. restaurant Birch & Barley, as well as its casual upstairs sister joint, ChurchKey. Greg Engert is guiding me through his beverage list with all the knowledge, talent, and grace one would expect from an award-winning sommelier. With a couple crisp queries, he learned enough to make some intriguing recommendations. He didn’t flaunt his knowledge about food and drink, but when I had questions, he gave precise answers about the flavor, aroma, producer, pairing potential, and even the history of the available beverages. Fortunately, there was no attempt at upselling, the odious sin far too many sommeliers commit, a big reason why many diners are suspicious of the entire profession.”—Beer Sommeliers: Why beer deserves the same kind of expertise as wine. - Slate Magazine
“It looks like a human was involved in choosing what went where,” Marissa told them. “It looks too editorialized. Google products are machine-driven. They’re created by machines. And that is what makes us powerful. That’s what makes our products great.”—Marissa Mayer addressing Google designers, as quoted in “In The Plex” by Steven Levy (via buzz)
Why is machine learning used heavily for Google’s ad ranking and less for their search ranking?
A lot of people I’ve talked to at Google have told me that the ad ranking system is largely machine learning based, while search ranking is rooted in functions that are written by humans using their intuition (with some components using machine learning).
“The quote in the subject line is from Hans Blumenberg’s magisterial and absurdly difficult book “The Legitimacy of the Modern Age”. I take it out and try to work with it when I’m stumped on something else and need my problems to look easier. It’s sort of a book about the relationship between rupture and progress, proposing that passive obstacles to theoretical curiosity had been restraining that foundation to modernity since the age of Socrates. Translated, the line above means, “It is curiosity, which draws the attention of the curious.” The enthusiasm for curiosity in the modern age is, if I understand it correctly, a self-assertion and not a break with the past.”—Okayplayer.com Boards - Viewing topic #1838291 - Twins 2012: “Es ist Neugierde, was auf die Neugierde aufmerksam macht”
“The canines circling the load car that evening in August 2006 were the least of his problems. Eight agents from a Drug Enforcement Administration task force had converged on the border. Not even U.S. customs inspectors knew they were there. The agents had been following Cuevas and tapping his phones for months. Because he was a key link between U.S. and Mexican drug distributors, his phone chatter was an intelligence gusher. Each call exposed another contact, whose phone was then tapped as well. The new contacts called other associates, leading to more taps. Soon the agents had sketched a vast, connect-the-dots map of the distribution network. Its branches spanned the U.S. and were believed to lead back to Mexico’s drug-trafficking heartland, to Victor Emilio Cazares, said to be a top lieutenant of Joaquin “Chapo” Guzman, the most wanted trafficker in the world. From his mansion outside Culiacan, Cazares allegedly oversaw the network of smugglers, distributors, truckers, pilots and stash house operators.”—Unraveling Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel - latimes.com
Here are Give Me Something To Read’s highlights of the year. This list is comprised of my favourites and reader favourites, selected from articles posted here in 2011 (limited to those originally published in 2011). Open this post in your browser to make use of the Read Later button accompanying each link.
Perhaps the cultural situation of the West is sufficiently insecure, like that of Athens after the war with Sparta, for us to need the same defenses against the skeptical quote marks that were provided by Socrates and Plato.
They taught us that we can respond to an eternal independent beacon, the heavenly structures of reason itself. The idea that down in our foundations there lie grubby creatures like desires, or passions, or needs, or culture, is like some nightmarish madwoman in the attic, and induces the same kind of reaction that met Darwin when he too drew attention to our proximity to animals rather than to angels.
Surely we, the creatures of reason, are not in bondage to the horrible contingencies that go with being an animal? From their professorial eyries the mandarins fight back, reassuring each other that the Holy Grail is there to be seen, spilling into tomes and journals and conferences, e-mails, blogs and tweets, the torrents of what Wittgenstein nicely called the “slightly hysterical style of university talk.”
“The most brilliant passage I read this year was about beards. Specifically, about the beards that American men wore before the Civil War—John Brown beards, Old Testament beards, perhaps the greatest flourishing of facial hair in world history. In 1861: The Civil War Awakening, Adam Goodheart explains how these beards embodied—embarbered?—the political divisions that would ignite the Civil War, how in both South and North, facial hair signaled the ruthless nationalism and uncompromising idealism that led to war. 1861 is a perfect book of popular history: It sketches vivid characters and recounts astonishing adventures—you won’t believe the story of the Union general who accidentally ended slavery—and it flashes with unexpected and brilliant insights about everything from Abraham Lincoln to beards (to Abraham Lincoln’s beard).”—Best books of 2011: Bossypants, The Pale King, A Dance With Dragons, and our other favorites, reviewed. - Slate Magazine
“As ever, Dr Gelernter’s excitement about the potential of new technology is tempered by frustration that too little attention is paid to aesthetic and social factors. “A lot of convenience and power could be gained, and a lot of unhappiness, irritation and missed opportunities avoided, if the industry thought about design, instead of always making it the last thing on the list,” he says. “We need more people who are at home in the worlds of art and the humanities and who are less diffident in the presence of technology. There are not enough articulate Luddite, anti-technology voices.”—Brain scan: Seer of the mirror world | The Economist