Crossing the great UX/Agile divide – Methodologies are driven by human needs, and I know from personal experience that agile development takes power from designers and gives it to engineers. That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but admitting there’s a power dynamic there makes it at least possible to talk about it candidly. “Although many software developers today enjoy the high salaries and excellent working conditions associated with white-collar work, it may not stay that way and UX design could be a contributing factor.”
Eigenmorality – A philosophical take on how PageRank-like algorithms could be used to tackle ethical dilemmas, featuring Eigenmoses and Eigenjesus.
The elephant was a Trojan horse – I almost always use Hadoop as a simple distributed job system, and rarely need MapReduce. I think this eulogy for the original approach captures a lot of why MapReduce was so important as an agent of change, even if it ended up not being used as much as you’d expect.
Neural networks, manifolds, and topology – There are a lot of important insights here. One is the Manifold Hypothesis, which essentially says there are simpler underlying structures buried beneath the noise and chaos of natural data. Without this, machine learning would be impossible, since you’d never be able to generalize from a set of examples to cope with novel inputs, there would be no pattern to find. Another is that visual representations of the problems we’re tackling can help make sense of what’s actually happening under the hood.
The polygon construction kit – Turns 3D models into instructions for building them in the real world. It’s early days still, but I want this!