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Meet the computer scientist trying to digitize, analyze and visualize our past

Gigaom

We have written many times over the years about the potential benefits of easy access to data and computing, but we’ve probably never done it this well.

The guest on this week’s Structure Show podcast was Kalev Leetaru (pictured above), the Georgetown researcher behind the Global Database of Events, Language and Tones (GDELT), which we have covered before, and who also helped the Internet Archive with the book-digitization project it unveiled this week. Leetaru, who has spent time programming supercomputers, talks all about the amazing shifts currently underway in information technology that let people gather, store and analyze data with no physical gear and just a few lines (or a single line) of SQL code.

Turkey-1998-12-21-1999-02-19 One of Leetaru’s recent projects analyzed the 120 days surrounding the ouster of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych in order to find the most-similar 120-day periods globally over the past 35 years.

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Raspberry Pi Camera Module Now On Sale, $25 To Add An Eye To Pi Hardware Hack Projects

TechCrunch

Calling all hardware hackers: the Raspberry Pi camera module has gone on sale online via Pi suppliers including RS Components and Premier Farnell/Element14, providing the eye required for all those computer vision projects you had in mind for the Pi microcomputer.

The camera module actually went on sale yesterday and is currently temporarily out of stock on RS’ website (but Element 14 appears to have stock). The plug-in module costs around £17, or about $25.

The camera module can be used with either the Model A or Model B Pi, and has a five megapixel sensor — the same size as you’d find in many a mid-range Android smartphone — and a fixed focus lens. The module supports 1080p/720p/640x480p video. Dimensions are 25 x 20 x 9mm. Weight is just 3g.

The latest version of the Raspbian firmware supports the module so Pi owners may need to upgrade to enable…

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Incubated: Y Combinator’s Approach To Finding And Helping Startups Become Big Winners

TechCrunch

[tc_5min code=”518389021″]

Y Combinator is the most famous of all startup accelerators out there, thanks to success of companies like Airbnb, Dropbox, and Stripe, all of which have gone through its program. YC co-founder Paul Graham once referred to the process of finding and nurturing those big hits as “Black Swan Farming.”

But how does YC do it? What sets it apart from some of the other accelerators out there, and why does it seem like its alumni companies are disproportionately successful? With the latest episode of Incubated, we set out to find out.

At first glance, Y Combinator doesn’t look that different from most accelerators in part because it defined the category. Founded in 2005, its success has inspired multiple other programs to copy its 12-week format of weekly meetings, partner office hours, and access to alumni and mentors from the tech world.

But one of…

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How Many People See Your Tweets? Twitter Opens Its Nifty Analytics Dashboard To Everyone

TechCrunch

Back in July, Twitter launched a really nifty analytics dashboard. A bit like Google Analytics for tweets, it allows you to gauge the performance of each and every tweet you sent. How many people saw it? How many of those actually clicked your links?

There was one catch, though: it was only open to advertisers and verified users.

No longer! Now you too can obsess way too hard over the performance of every tweet you send! Hurray!

News of the change comes from Twitter front end engineer Ian Chan:

and this page lurking in Twitter’s support base confirms it: the dashboard should now be open to every account that has been open for at least 14 days, isn’t restricted/protected/suspended, and (curiously) that…

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