When Cars Bite Back

New technologies in 2011 model-year cars leads to first uptick in unreliability in a half-decade:

Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Pauses, as PowerPoint

A Brief History of the Corporation: 1600 to 2100

Epic read:

On 8 June, a Scottish banker named Alexander Fordyce shorted the collapsing Company’s shares in the London markets. But a momentary bounce-back in the stock ruined his plans, and he skipped town leaving £550,000 in debt. Much of this was owed to the Ayr Bank, which imploded. In less than three weeks, another 30 banks collapsed across Europe, bringing trade to a standstill. On July 15, the directors of the Company applied to the Bank of England for a £400,000 loan. Two weeks later, they wanted another £300,000. By August, the directors wanted a £1 million bailout.  The news began leaking out and seemingly contrite executives, running from angry shareholders, faced furious Parliament members. By January, the terms of a comprehensive bailout were worked out, and the British government inserted its czars into the Company’s management to ensure compliance with its terms.

If this sounds eerily familiar, it shouldn’t. The year was 1772, exactly 239 years ago today, the apogee of power for the corporation as a business construct. The company was the British East India company (EIC). The bubble that burst was the East India Bubble. Between the founding of the EIC in 1600 and the post-subprime world of 2011, the idea of the corporation was born, matured, over-extended, reined-in, refined, patched, updated, over-extended again, propped-up and finally widely declared to be obsolete. Between 2011 and 2100, it will decline — hopefully gracefully — into a well-behaved retiree on the economic scene.

via A Brief History of the Corporation: 1600 to 2100.

Human as Real-Time Sports Sensors

See? You aren’t wasting your time on Twitter: You’re reporting.

Human as Real-Time Sensors of Social and Physical Events: A Case Study of Twitter and Sports Games

Siqi Zhao, Lin Zhong, Jehan Wickramasuriya, Venu Vasudevan

(Submitted on 21 Jun 2011)

In this work, we study how Twitter can be used as a sensor to detect frequent and diverse social and physical events in real-time. We devise efficient data collection and event recognition solutions that work despite various limits on free access to Twitter data. We describe a web service implementation of our solution and report our experience with the 2010-2011 US National Football League (NFL) games. The service was able to recognize NFL game events within 40 seconds and with accuracy up to 90%. This capability will be very useful for not only real-time electronic program guide for live broadcast programs but also refined auction of advertisement slots. More importantly, it demonstrates for the first time the feasibility of using Twitter for real-time social and physical event detection for ubiquitous computing.

via [1106.4300] Human as Real-Time Sensors of Social and Physical Events: A Case Study of Twitter and Sports Games.

Twitter Digest: 2011-06-23

Hockey Games and Emergency Visits

Big hockey games and Canadian emergency department visits, from a new research paper: [-]


Wireless Broadband Around the World

Wireless broadband subscriber rates around the world, from OECD’s latest:


Twitter Digest: 2011-06-22

Twitter Digest: 2011-06-21

Peak Uranium

Peak uranium doth approach.