My daily readings 07/07/2011

    • Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, UK, last year, global-warming sceptics pored over the documents for signs that researchers had manipulated data. No such evidence emerged,
    • work, his difficulties will strike a chord with scientists in a wide range of disciplines who do a large amount of coding. Researchers are spending more and more time writing computer software to model biological structures, simulate
    • Today at a special event at its headquarters in Palo Alto, California, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has taken the stage to unveil some key new announcements (you can find our live notes and a live stream right here). One of the first things Zuckerberg announced: Facebook has observed the the rate that its users are sharing is increasing at an exponential rate.
    • So why is this important? If you look at the charts below, you can see we’re right at the elbow of the growth curve. In other words, sharing may be about to explode. The question now is what people will be sharing. You can see in the graph below that Facebook product launches have helped drive additional sharing, and the social network expects additional innovations from other companies involved in everything from music to communication to help drive this explosion of growth.
    • I’ve decided to make Dayta free, forever. There’s also now a web app available at the Dayta website.

       

    • It went awesomely, and led to tens of thousands of downloads (thousands of which still use the app actively). I didn’t make money, but I much prefer an order of magnitude of more downloads than if I were to make a few hundred bucks instead (if I wanted to do the latter more consistently, I would do contract work).

       

      I decided to make it free because — completely honestly — sales have died down and I feel like Dayta and be more successful being free. Later on, and if traction is good, I’d love to add a premium plan to a much more full-featured web-app, but for now, everything is totally free. The app, the website, and the syncing. I’ve got you covered (it costs me just $20/month, so go nuts).

    • The special issue of Hacker Monthly, “Startup Stories,” was a smash hit. You, our readers, loved it and now you want more.
    • So we figured, why not make a new magazine out of it? Think of it as a monthly dose of “Founders At Work” or “Do More Faster.” Wouldn’t that be something?

        

      We are hard at work making this happen, with a set deadline of August 8th, 2011. If you run a startup and have a story to tell, drop us a line. Otherwise, enter your email below so we can tell you when it has launched.

    • I made the iOS puzzle game Monorail.  I figured that I, the author of the game, with my degree in mathematics from MIT, and years of puzzle-solving experience, would be much better at solving my own puzzles than random users downloading my app would be.  Users surprised me with a new strategy superior to mine, and this experience has changed the way I write computer programs and think about the business of startups.

       

    • My strategy for solving these puzzles was to reason carefully about every rail before putting it down.  The game was specifically designed to be amenable to this strategy: each puzzle has only one possible solution-path given the starting conditions, which makes it possible to deduce each rail placement until you have solved a puzzle.

       

      For example, you can observe that in a solution path, each station connects to exactly two neighboring stations.  (One rail in, one rail out).  Thus, since a corner station has only two neighbors, you know that it must connect to those two.

    • My strategy for solving these puzzles was to reason carefully about every rail before putting it down.  The game was specifically designed to be amenable to this strategy: each puzzle has only one possible solution-path given the starting conditions, which makes it possible to deduce each rail placement until you have solved a puzzle.

       

      For example, you can observe that in a solution path, each station connects to exactly two neighboring stations.  (One rail in, one rail out).  Thus, since a corner station has only two neighbors, you know that it must connect to those two.

    • When I shipped the game, I used Flurry to track a bunch of statistics about puzzle-completion time because I was worried the puzzles would be too difficult for average users.  After looking at the stats, however, I thought there was a mistake because some users were solving puzzles faster than I was!  Were they cheating?  Was there a bug in the code?  No, they had discovered a superior strategy.

       

    • Perhaps the best thing about the 96GB instance is that it costs only $1.37 per hour. That’s less than the cost of the largest servers available from other cloud computing providers, and they aren’t nearly as big. The most-comparable option comes from Amazon Web Services, whose High-Memory Quadruple Extra Large Instance comes with 68.4 GB of memory and 26 EC2 Compute Units (8 virtual cores with 3.25 EC2 Compute Units each). But it costs at least $2 per hour.
    • As I also highlight in my GigaOM Pro post, though, cloud benchmarks are only a starting point because performance will always vary for different users and different applications. Even though Storm On Demand looks like the real deal in terms of cloud computing performance, anyone serious about achieving a certain result for their applications really should pay the nominal amount to test out a number of options.
  • tags: community

      • I spent yesterday on the front page of Hacker News for my git primer, which resulted in over 12K page views and some fascinating insight into what technologies are being used by HN’s readers. Here are some of the main data points:

        1. Chrome is stomping Firefox among HN-browsing developers (50% vs. 27%).
        2. Almost 10% of readers came from mobile devices (8.62%). That’s pretty stunning to me. We all know mobile dominance is coming, but this seems high for being this early.
        3. Apple is still crushing among developers (most hits were for the post about git), with almost double the hits of all the competitors in the next nine positions.
    • My takeaways are that mobile browsing is accelerating faster than I thought, and that Chrome and iOS are dominating among those most capable of using alternatives. ::

      • 1 Keep in mind that a git primer is going to call out an even more specialized subset of the HN population, so this isn’t representative of *all* HN readers.
        2 I’ve been predicting Chrome’s domination since its beta launch.
        3 My web server configuration giggled very slightly at the traffic .🙂

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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