Five short links

Photo by Defence Images

HDFS blogDhruba Borthakur works with Facebook’s Hadoop cluster, and while I wish he’d update his blog more often, every post is packed full of in-depth details about optimizing your Hadoop usage, all obviously learned the hard way!

Sexy Data Geeks – A brilliantly concise rundown of why the world of Big Data is so fascinating right now (via Dániel Molnár)

USDA food atlas – There’s some delectable data hidden in this visualization, but I have a hard time understanding what it’s trying to tell me. It’s still a great project though. (via Joe Mako)

Housing and Transport Affordability Index – I really like what CNT have done with their geo data, I find the interface a lot easier than the USDA food atlas, though the sheer amount of information presented can be a bit overwhelming.

How to make perfect McDonalds-style french fries – Back in Scotland I used to frequently eat at McDonalds because their 99 cent (59p) burgers were a great source of cheap protein, and I wasn’t a fan of the local alternatives (I remember walking into a bakery and asking what was in one of their meat pies, and getting the answer ‘Meat’ – when I asked what kind, the lady just looked puzzled and repeated ‘Meat!’). One of the joys of the US is that I have a lot more choice these days, but McDonalds still make the best french fries, so I was happy to see this comprehensive guide to making your own at home. Even if you’re not a fan of the fries, you’ll be amazed by the depth and rigor of his detective work

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