Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Giraffes in your data

An interesting piece about giraffes in data and how this can pollute the inferences you make from it. The authors also refer to Simpson's paradox in this article.

news and the sharing economy

I guess when a news organization has to publish a news item, they go for the wow factor. and this might skew the news negatively.

On the other hand, when people have to share news, they reportedly share "positive" news with a higher probability as compared to "negative" news. This article looks at that in more detail.

Some interesting quotes from the article follow next.

 "The reason: social media. Researchers are discovering that people want to create positive images of themselves online by sharing upbeat stories."

“You don’t want to be that guy at the party who’s crazy and angry and ranting in the corner — it’s the same for Twitter or Facebook,”

“It’s not that people don’t share negative stories,” says Jack Shepherd, editorial director at BuzzFeed. “It just means that there’s a higher potential for positive stories to do well.”

“Anecdotally, I can tell you people are just as likely to click on negative stories as they are to click on positive ones,” says Shepherd. “But they’re more likely to share positive stories. What you’re interested in is different from what you want your friends to see what you’re interested in.”

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Apache license

We have different types of licensing possible for software packages. Many companies going the route of Apache license - a license that allows you to use the contributions of the community without contributing anything back.

Contrast this with the GPL license where if you modified the code and included it in your product you might have to contribute the work back to the community. 

Wired has a good article about this.