Six Links Worthy Of Your Attention #118

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Is there one link, story, picture or thought that you saw online this week that you think somebody you know must see?

My friends: Alistair Croll (BitCurrent, Year One Labs, GigaOM, Human 2.0, the author of Complete Web Monitoring and Managing Bandwidth: Deploying QOS in Enterprise Networks), Hugh McGuire (The Book Oven, LibriVox, iambik, PressBooks, Media Hacks) and I decided that every week or so the three of us are going to share one link for one another (for a total of six links) that each individual feels the other person "must see".

Check out these six links that we’re recommending to one another:

  • The Accidental History of the @ Symbol – Smithsonian. "This Smithsonian piece looks at how the oft-neglected ‘@’ symbol rose to a place of prominence, in part precisely because of its obscurity." (Alistair for Hugh).
  • Police shame 80 ghouls who slowed down to take pictures of wreckage on motorway after smash left woman, 21, fighting for life – The Daily Mail. "In a thoroughly modern take on the traffic camera, police in the UK photographed passers-by who slowed to take pictures of a grisly accident. While they could have prosecuted them for using a mobile phone while driving, they chose to let public shame and outcry spread the message instead." (Alistair for Mitch).
  • Money and politics – The Economist. "It’s possible I’ve sent this link before, but it’s worth revisiting in this US election year: an article in The Economist looking at the return on investment of corporate lobbying in the USA. It’s staggering. Strategas, an investment research firm, created an index of the American companies that spent the most on lobbying relative to assets. Results? Those companies beat the S&P 500 by an average of 11% per year. Quips The Economist: ‘It seems remarkable that companies would do anything but lobby.’" (Hugh for Alistair).
  • How Google Builds Its Maps–and What It Means for the Future of Everything – The Atlantic. "What the title says." (Hugh for Mitch).
  • Can Kaggle Make Data Science A Spectator Sport? – GigaOm. "The term ‘big data’ has many people excited. In fact, it’s being tossed around in meetings and conferences almost as much as ‘the tipping point.’ It doesn’t take much to dig a little deeper before realizing that the vast majority of business professionals who think that they sound smart because they say the words, ‘big data’ truly don’t even know how to define it. In fact, I’m humble enough to admit that with the varying level of discrepancies in how big data is defined, that I’m not even sure what it means. That being said, I’ve been fascinated with the work that Kaggle has been doing. I haven’t had the chance to blog about it yet, but this article stood out as a great primer on how social media and big data can truly give a brand insights and understanding." (Mitch for Alistair).
  • Are Books Doomed? The Rise of E-Reading – Mashable. "Hey Hugh, what is a book? Just kidding 🙂 It’s been a long-standing debate (one that I flip-flop on from day to day). While this Mashable piece didn’t add much perspective, there is a treasure trove of fascinating data points in the infographic. Ultimately, when I see a data point like ‘72% of American adults read a printed book last year,’ I’m not sure that it’s reflective of a trend that is growing or diminishing. But, I am  willing to place my bets on ‘diminishing.’" (Mitch for Hugh).

Now it’s your turn: in the comment section below pick one thing that you saw this week that inspired you and share it.