bookmarking as a future reference
Nice bit of marketing from the day job:
The group of gamers responsible for half of all in-game revenue in mobile titles is frightening because it is so narrow, according to a survey by Swrve, an established analytics and app marketing firm. About 0.15 percent of mobile gamers contribute 50 percent of all of the in-app purchases generated in free-to-play games. This means it may even more important than game companies realized in the past to find and retain the users that fall into the category of big spenders, or “whales.” The vast majority of users never spend any money, despite the clever tactics that game publishers have developed to incentivize people to spend money in their favorite games.
‘EAT CELEBRITY MEAT! BiteLabs grows meat from celebrity tissue samples and uses it to make artisanal salami.’ Genius. (via John Looney)
‘A system that proactively detects and avoids bad neighbouring VMs without significantly penalizing node instantiation [in EC2]. With Bobtail, common [datacenter] communication patterns benefit from reductions of up to 40% in 99.9th percentile response times.’ Excellent stuff — another conclusion they come to is that it’s not the network’s fault, it’s the Xen hosts themselves. The EC2 networking team will be happy about that ;)
Charlie Stross on GCHQ’s 1984-esque webcam spying
These problems can be circumvented, but they must be dealt with, publically and soberly, if the NHS really does want to win public confidence. The NHS should approach selling the scheme to the public as if was opt-in, not opt-out, then work to convince us to join it. Tell us how sharing our data can help, but tell us what risk too. Let us decide if that balance is worth it. If it’s found wanting, the NHS must go back to the drawing board and retool the scheme until it is. It’s just too important to get wrong.
“Computer says no”, taken to the next level.
Even if an algorithmic prisoner knows he is in a prison, he may not know who his jailer is. Is he unable to get a loan because of a corrupted file at Experian or Equifax? Or could it be TransUnion? His bank could even have its own algorithms to determine a consumer’s creditworthiness. Just think of the needle-in-a-haystack effort consumers must undertake if they are forced to investigate dozens of consumer-reporting companies, looking for the one that threw them behind algorithmic bars. Now imagine a future that contains hundreds of such companies. A prisoner might not have any idea as to what type of behavior got him sentenced to a jail term. Is he on an enhanced screening list at an airport because of a trip he made to an unstable country, a post on his Facebook page, or a phone call to a friend who has a suspected terrorist friend?