Five belated links

Fivepastcool
Photo by Dave Knapnik

If you've been wondering about my radio silence, the last few weeks have been jam-packed with change. I've joined up with a couple of experienced co-founders I've known for a while, and we're creating a consumer-focused business based on a lot of the ideas I've been working on for the last few years. I can't tell you how productive it is to be working in a team again, I'm even going into an office every day! We're in the middle of raising a seed round, so if you're an investor who wants to know more, drop me an email: pete@petewarden.com.

Anyway, the new venture gives me so much material but so little time, but I'll still be blogging when I can catch my breath. It's the only way I know to really understand my own thinking.

Gitalytics – A statistical analysis service for Github by Sameer Al-Sakran. It shows how powerful remixing publicly-available data about people can be, and I'm not just saying that because he gave me a high score! I already use github activity as a signal in hiring, but this gives me a much better summary than I can get by browsing the main website.

Is data open if it can't be crawled? – As we see more websites adopt the #! (hashbang) javascript-driven approach to rendering pages, does it close off automated access? In this case it appears that Oregon has an alternative structure available, but as content gets embedded as part of a script-driven process, it will be harder and harder for developers to access it. This is one reason I'm betting that client-side capturing will be the long-term answer to open data.

To lose weight, forget the details – Dieters only given access to their approximate weight were more successful than those who could see an exact version. As much as I love metrics, this matches what I know about my own emotional response to numbers.

Eatfoo – I met the chef behind the Lazy Bear 'underground restaurant' at a recent party, and I can't wait to attend the next one. I've fallen in with a foodie crowd here in San Francisco, they're even starting to shame me out of my occasional weakness for Taco Bell.

"Researchers make their reputations on discovery, not de-discovery" – Laura J Snyder applies her historical perspective to the current practice of science and finds it wanting. I do wonder what the long-term consequences of the flood of bogus studies will be? It's no wonder that there's a lot of skepticism about real phenomena like global warming, when many of the well-publicized studies about other topics aren't exposed to active debunking efforts.

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