Five short links

Starsketch
Picture by Matt Handler

Girls and coding: Female peer pressure scares them off – I wish there was more data to back this argument up, but the idea seems worth investigating. "..there are no great British young geek superstars for them to relate to, male or female" is sad but true too.

Using binary search for debugging – Binary search is useful in all sorts of circumstances beyond traditional programming, and it's great to see this list of some of the unexpected places it comes in handy. Figuring out item counts by binary-searching on URL parameters is particularly cunning.

Superfastmatch – A spectacularly-useful open source tool for quickly detecting identical sections in sets of millions of documents. Originally aimed at detecting lazy journalism using cut-and-paste from press releases or Wikipedia, it's also applicable to plagiarism more widely, or even detecting all the echoes of biblical phrases in Shakespeare's work.

Geocoder.ca sued – A Canadian group spent years building up a crowd-sourced database of postal codes, an essential foundation for almost anyone doing open geographic work, and they're then sued by the Canadian Postal Service for violating their copyright! A very depressing case, but I'm hoping the support and publicity they're receiving convinces the government to back off.

Insight Data Fellows Program – Are you a PhD or post-doc who wants to apply the analytic skills you learned to the technology industry? This six week intensive course looks like a fantastic chance to be mentored by Silicon Valley data folks, and to meet lots of potential employers too!

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