November 11, 2012

How were Easter Island statues transported ? Walking ?!

Amazing video clip from National Geographic on how Easter Island statues are supposed to have been transported. Not only does this demonstration challenges previous theories but Lipo’s and Hunt’s book, The Statues that Walked, claims contrary to Diamond’s book, Collapse, that Rapa Nui’s civilization did not collapse before the arrival in the 17th century of Europeans. Having been a fan of Diamond’s books, I just wondered whether there was any debate and analysis of the arguments put forth in this new study. Read more

July 15, 2012

High Frequency Trading

“Cash investigation” is a French documentary film aired on June 8th 2012 about High Frequency Trading (HFT) (documentary in French (YouTube)) It is interesting to see how hard it is for journalists to try and get people to talk to them on the topic. Looks like there is an omertà around HFT, the concept creates a lots of stress… The documentary seems to conclude that HFT is basically machines trading without control and should therefore be banned while there are no ways to prevent the machines from wreaking havoc markets. Read more

May 19, 2012

Rrapi i taksimit

The water-divide tree Shebenik – Jabllanice National Park (source Fotopedia)

May 4, 2012

Jimmy Wales : Hollywood, you’re doomed

In WIRED, April 23rd 2012 by Ryan Singel “Hollywood will be destroyed and no one will notice,” Wales said. But it won’t be Wikipedia (or Encarta) that kills the moviemaking industry: ”Collaborative storytelling and filmmaking will do to Hollywood what Wikipedia did to Encyclopedia Britannica,” he said. Not sure. Liked a comment saying “collaborative filmmaking will end the big Hollywood studios is like saying Protestantism will end Catholicism”. There’s one thing which is not scalable, it’s getting people do real and fine coordinated work. Read more

April 21, 2012

Instagram acquisition

Wall Street Journal, April 18th On the morning of Sunday, April 8, Facebook Inc.’s youthful chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, alerted his board of directors that he intended to buy Instagram, the hot photo-sharing service. By the time Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg brought his board in on the plan to buy hot photo-sharing service Instagram for $1 billion, the deal was all but done. It was the first the board heard of what, later that day, would become Facebook’s largest acquisition ever, according to several people familiar with the matter. Read more

April 15, 2012

Estimating Pinterest revenue.

The ascent of Pinterest has stirred a lot of attention. Recently, Alexis Madrigal from the Atlantic made a back of the envelope estimation of Pinterest revenue [1]. This, in turn, was commented by Rags Srinivasan on Gigaom who proposed a more complex evaluation [2]. In both revenue estimations, revenue is decomposed as a function of the following key variables : – N, the number of “active” users – T, the number of transactions per “active” user per year. Read more

April 5, 2012

Details

“It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” Arthur Conan Doyle – A Case of Identity