Sunday, 13 January 2013

My Interesting Reads (weekly)

  • "Inside the NYT’s Idea Lab, a team of 10 works to save the banner ad. The lab itself is an offshoot of NYT’s Tk, which was set up to come up with new technologies for storytelling. Think of the three-year-old Idea Lab as something similar, only it works with agencies and brands to help advertisers tell stories in modern, interesting ways. "
  • "There are very, very few organizations today that have sufficient leadership. Until we face this issue, understanding exactly what the problem is, we're never going to solve it. Unless we recognize that we're not talking about management when we speak of leadership, all we will try to do when we do need more leadership is work harder to manage. At a certain point, we end up with over-managed and under-led organizations, which are increasingly vulnerable"
  • "We’ve built a real-time human computation engine to help us identify search queries as soon as they're trending, send these queries to real humans to be judged, and then incorporate the human annotations into our back-end models. First, we monitor for which search queries are currently popular. Behind the scenes: we run a Storm topology that tracks statistics on search queries. For example, the query [Big Bird] may suddenly see a spike in searches from the US. As soon as we discover a new popular search query, we send it to our human evaluators, who are asked a variety of questions about the query. Behind the scenes: when the Storm topology detects that a query has reached sufficient popularity, it connects to a Thrift API that dispatches the query to Amazon's Mechanical Turk service, and then polls Mechanical Turk for a response. Finally, after a response from an evaluator is received, we push the information to our backend systems, so that the next time a user searches for a query, our machine learning models will make use of the additional information."
  • "Free apps are dangerous, yet free is the dominant business model most mobile apps are taking these days. The roadmap is simple: grow as quickly as possible, then insert ads of some kind or get acquired. For consumers it offers a crummy set of choices: either losing the countless hours you put into the app or have your private data sold to marketers — since as well all know, when the product is free, you are the product. So how are we to trust investing time (our most valuable asset) in free apps that seem to inevitably "jump the shark," no matter how cool they start out? Are paid apps the answer, or will we need something more complex to keep developers in business?"
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.
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