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Links for 2013-08-29

  • BBC News – How one man turns annoying cold calls into cash

    This is hilarious. Quid pro quo!

    Once he had set up the 0871 line, every time a bank, gas or electricity supplier asked him for his details online, he submitted it as his contact number. He added he was “very honest” and the companies did ask why he had a premium number. He told the programme he replied: “Because I’m getting annoyed with PPI phone calls when I’m trying to watch Coronation Street so I’d rather make 10p a minute.” He said almost all of the companies he dealt with were happy to use it and if they refused he asked them to email.

    (tags: spam cold-calls phone ads uk funny 0871 premium-rate ppi)

  • The Edge Minecraft cover

    This is brilliant. Half of the office now wants prints.

    Massive congratulations to Edge magazine. The stellar publication has been around for 20 years! To celebrate, their 258th issue comes in 20 different flavours, and one of those flavours includes the earthly overtones of both Minecraft and Dungeons & Dragons. Junkboy drew it, and I [Owen] worded it a few weeks ago.

    (tags: covers images edge minecraft gaming funny dungeons-and-dragons retro dnd)

  • Forecast Blog are doing such a great job of applying modern machine-learning to traditional weather data. “Quicksilver” is their neural-net-adjusted global temperature geodata, and here’s how it’s built

    (tags: quicksilver forecast neural-networks ai machine-learning algorithms weather geodata earth temperature)

  • _MillWheel: Fault-Tolerant Stream Processing at Internet Scale_ [paper, pdf]

    from VLDB 2013:

    MillWheel is a framework for building low-latency data-processing applications that is widely used at Google. Users specify a directed computation graph and application code for individual nodes, and the system manages persistent state and the continuous flow of records, all within the envelope of the framework’s fault-tolerance guarantees. This paper describes MillWheel’s programming model as well as its implementation. The case study of a continuous anomaly detector in use at Google serves to motivate how many of MillWheel’s features are used. MillWheel’s programming model provides a notion of logical time, making it simple to write time-based aggregations. MillWheel was designed from the outset with fault tolerance and scalability in mind. In practice, we find that MillWheel’s unique combination of scalability, fault tolerance, and a versatile programming model lends itself to a wide variety of problems at Google.

    (tags: millwheel google data-processing cep low-latency fault-tolerance scalability papers event-processing stream-processing)

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