Five short links

Pentagami
Picture by Phillip Chapman-Bell

Truthy – A research project that tracks how memes spread on the internet. Could be a big help in understanding how we can combat bogus ideas on the web.

A rough but intriguing method for assessing a school principal – I love rules of thumb, especially subtle ones that are hard to game and tied to something you care about, they're so useful in any data work. PageRank is at its heart a statistical hack like most rules of thumb, and is the most lucrative algorithm in history. Bob Sutton unearths an offline example, and I can believe that how many pupil's names a principal knows has a strong relationship to their diligence and involvement in the job.

Liquimap Demo – Steve Souza has been doing some thought-provoking work on new ways of presenting data as raster images, essentially hacking our vision systems to help us spot patterns in chaotic information.

Data Without Borders – I'm a believer in the power of data analysis to provide new insights on old problems, especially in the non-profit world, and Jake Porway's new effort seems like a great way for us to use our powers for good.

HBase vs Cassandra – I'm deciding which of the two to use for a new project, and this article has been a big help. By looking around at other startups, Cassandra seems to have won, but since I'll be doing a lot of Hadoop processing, I'm trying to figure out whether Brisk on Cassandra would work, or if HBase still has advantages there.

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