Links For December 13, 2013

How to Burst the "Filter Bubble" that Protects Us from Opposing Views | MIT Technology Review

Their idea that although people may have opposing views on sensitive topics, they may also share interests in other areas. And they’ve built a recommendation engine that points these kinds of people towards each other based on their own preferences.... The team then computed the difference in the views of these users on this and other topics using the regularity with which they used certain other keywords. This allowed them to create a kind of wordcloud for each user that acted like a kind of data portrait. They then recommended tweets to each person based on similarities between their word clouds and especially when they differed in their views on the topic of abortion.

Throw Some Gouda at that Whine: Valleywag Post + Bay Area Charity Pairings - blog blog blog

What better match for that warm hate-glow than the happy satisfaction of helping a worthy nonprofit? Here’s the 12 most recent posts on Valleywag as of 12/12/13, each paired with a relevant local organization that’s working to do good in the Bay Area and beyond. It’s a Choose Your Own Rage Gift Adventure!


BayesDB, a Bayesian database table, lets users query the probable implications of their tabular data as easily as an SQL database lets them query the data itself. Using the built-in Bayesian Query Language (BQL), users with no statistics training can solve basic data science problems, such as detecting predictive relationships between variables, inferring missing values, simulating probable observations, and identifying statistically similar database entries.

Chinook - World Man-Machine Checkers Champion

Checkers has a search space of 5x1020, a daunting number. Almost continuously since 1989 (with a gap in the 1997 to 2001 period), dozens of computers have been working around the clock to solve the game. On April 29, 2007, we were pleased to announce that checkers is now solved.