URLs of wisdom (12th April)

URLs of wisdom is a weekly round-up of interesting links about topics at the intersection of people, science and technology.

Network analysis 

 “It probably won’t surprise you to learn that there is a publicly available Transport For London dataset that contains records of bike journeys for London’s bicycle hire scheme. What may surprise you is that this record includes unique customer identifiers, as well as the location and date/time for the start and end of each journey….What are the consequences of this? It means that someone who has access to the data can extract and analyse the journeys made by individual cyclists within London during that time, and with a little effort, it’s possible to find the actual people who have made the journeys. “

Behaviour

“The brain, in other words, developed the capacity to create links between disparate items of knowledge — which is what the Internet, with its HTML links, currently does without reader intervention.

Wolf [Dr MaryAnne, author of Proust and the Squid: the story of science and the reading brain] argues that the abundance of prefabricated connections has transformed us from connection-makers to path-takers, and our brains are devising means of discovering which path will most quickly and efficiently provide us with the information we seek. Practices such as key-word searches, scanning for salient words, skimming for comprehension, scrolling, and link-clicking are not conducive to acquiring a deep understanding of the material being interacted with.”

“…two weeks of news articles were retrieved by querying the public Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) of The New York Times and The Guardian and the diffusion of each article on social media platforms Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Delicious, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon, was tracked. The results show significant differences in the topics emphasized by newspaper editors and social media users….Twitter is the only social network to have presented a statistically significant correlation with the distribution of news items per section by The Guardian and The New York Times. The results of this study provide a bridge between journalism and audience research and present evidence of the differences between readership in social and legacy media.”

Academia Online

Communities

Data vizualisation

  • Striking data viz showing just how deep in the ocean the missing MH370 plane might be.

Web/Social media developments

Resources

Just for fun

This blogger found Upworthy-style headlines very annoying. You’ll find his response utterly plausible.

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