Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Find: Google continues its investment in design

The Verge - All Posts
T-Mobile G1

Amidst the news that Google's acquisition of Motorola was finally complete was another, smaller purchase — Google just bought design firm Mike and Maaike, a husband-and-wife creative team behind the design of the original T-Mobile G1. Of course, this device was Google's Nexus phone before there even was a Nexus program — it was the first handset to run Android. The G1 isn't the only iconic product Mike and Maaike has developed; they're also responsible for an earlier, portrait QWERTY Android prototype that never saw the light of day, Xbox 360 as well as a wide variety of other striking products. It's not yet clear what kind of work Mike and Maaike will be doing with Google, but we wouldn't mind seeing them take their skills to some...

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Find: GitHub for Windows takes the pain out of using git

Also, for osx, and on microsoft's codeplex. 

Ars Technica

GitHub uses the git distributed version control system originally created by Linus Torvalds to help manage Linux's development as its backbone. It provides project hosting, bug tracking, and more, all wrapped up in a powerful Web interface. GitHub's most important feature is perhaps its trivial ability to fork projects. It takes just a few clicks to create your own version of a project to hack on and develop. Thanks to these features, GitHub has become the go-to place for collaborative open source software development. It's the home of projects such as Ruby on Rails and Node.js.

However, one developer community has found GitHub harder to use than others. Though the situation has improved, git and Windows are not the best of friends. After all, git was developed for Linux; Windows isn't anything like Linux. But that's where GitHub's new application, GitHub for Windows, comes in. GitHub for Windows provides a simple way to install and start using git on Windows, along with neat integration with GitHub's hosting and forking infrastructure.

The application, released on Monday, is an attractive, Metro-styled application. In addition to the GitHub for Windows application itself, it includes a self-contained version of git, the bash command-line shell, and the posh-git extension for PowerShell. You don't even have to manage any of these individual pieces yourself. The application uses a ClickOnce installer so it keeps all the bits and pieces up-to-date automatically.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Viz: Android fragmentation -- one developer encounters 3,997 devices

That's a lotta versions on android! 

Android fragmentation: one developer encounters 3,997 devices

A map of all the thousands of separate device models that downloaded OpenSignalMaps in a six month period.

Viz: political polarization visualized -- it's real, and it's the right that's moved

These folks are doing great work, and their simple plots are very powerful. 

Polarization is Real (and Asymmetric)

Revised 16 May 2012

Christopher Hare is a PhD student in Political Science at the University of Georgia.

Nolan McCarty is the Susan Dod Brown Professor of Politics and Public Affairs and Chair of the Department of Politics at Princeton University.

Keith T. Poole is Philip H. Alston Distinguished Chair, Professor of Political Science at the University of Georgia and Professor Emeritus at the University of California, San Diego.

Howard Rosenthal is Professor of Politics at New York University and the Roger Williams Straus Professor of Social Sciences, Emeritus, at Princeton University.

The recent outburst of scholarly and popular interest in political polarization has attracted attention to the methods we use to measure this phenomenon. One frequently voiced concern (see a recent column by Sean Trende) is that Congress may not have polarized as we have claimed in publications and blogs stretching as far back as 1984. The concern is that the meaning of ideological (NOMINATE) scores are tied to the legislative and historical context of the roll call votes that are used to estimate them. For example, the content of roll calls votes cast by members of 90th Senate that dealt with the Vietnam War, civil rights, and funding for LBJ’s “Great Society” programs are quite different than those votes cast in the current Senate. Thus, being the most conservative Senator (with a score of 1.0) in 1968 would mean something different than having an identical 1.0 score in 2012.


Indeed, temporal comparisons should not be made for ideal points generated from static scaling methods. Static methods (like W-NOMINATE) treat each legislative session separately and there is no valid way to compare the scores of legislators from different years. However, we developed a dynamic methodology, DW-NOMINATE (McCarty, Poole and Rosenthal 1997), to allow for over-time comparisons of legislator ideological positions. The key innovation is the use of “bridge” legislators — members of Congress (MCs) who have served in multiple sessions — to compare the positions of legislators who have never served together.

A sports analogy to the overlapping cohorts method is the “common opponents” statistic. If we want to compare two teams who have not played each other, we compare their performances against a common opponent(s). Likewise, MCs who have not served together can be compared with the use of a “bridge” legislator who has served with both. For example, if we know that Sen. George McGovern (D-SD) is more liberal than Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and that Sen. Leahy is more liberal than Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), then we can say that Sen. McGovern is more liberal than Sen. Baucus. Though intransitivities may arise cases involving 3 or more sports teams, Poole shows in his 2007 Pub...

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Find: It's "Pitch Day" for accelerator grads

n&o .biz

Think of it as final exams and graduation day rolled into one for the first crop of companies to complete the business accelration program at Triangle StartUp Factory.

The six companies in Triangle StartUp's inaugural 12-week class each will deliver 8-minute presentations to prospective investors and interested bystanders on Thursday, June 7, which has been dubbed "Pitch Day."

More than 300 attendees are expected for the free event, which also will include a panel session on investing, according to Chris Heivly, founder of Triangle Startup.

Earlier this year, Triangle StartUp raised $5.5 million in funding. It invests $50,000 into startups accepted into its program in exchange for a 7.5 percent ownership stake. After completing the program, the startup also will receive a loan convertible to equity ranging from $20,000 to $150,000.

You can register for Pitch Day here.