Five short links


Picture by Matt Handler

Gallery of processor cache effects – Another demonstration of how strange and unintuitive modern processors can be. Until the start of the 19th century it was possible for a single person to have a useful understanding of the whole of current scientific knowledge, but science outgrew the capacity of a single human brain. Understanding how a complete computer stack works, from silicon gates to jQuery, is rapidly headed the same way.

Scientific method: Statistical errors – A great in-depth backing story to the Nature editorial on why scientists are hooked on bad statistics. What’s scary is that data folks are even worse. Any single number is a one-dimensional view of a complex reality, and if you work hard enough you can make any metric say what you want.

What wreck is this? – I recently discovered Daniel M Russell’s blog, and I’m hooked. He’s a search researcher at Google, and runs some great weekly challenges, throwing out a search problem and asking his readers to document how they solved it.

San Francisco’s class war, by the numbers – A good visual exploration of the Bay Area’s tech boom by Susie Cagle, with referenced data to back it up (click the speech bubbles). Told me a few things I didn’t know.

Graph structure in the web revisited – Demonstrates how important open resources like Common Crawl are. These researchers have created a map of the web’s structure, and all of their software and data is freely available to others. The web is a large part of our world, and we need a map of it that everyone can access. There’s more info over at Slashdot.

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