Elsewhere (Blog Edition) – 26. 4. 2014

An online Risorgimento ()

“IF WE want things to stay as they are, things will have to change.” The words, uttered by a Sicilian aristocrat on the eve of Italian unification in Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s classic “The Leopard”, neatly sum up the sentiment at NETmundial.

A few months ago fragmentation seemed a real threat. Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president (pictured), talked of bypassing internet services based in America. Angela Merkel, Germany’s chancellor, came out in favour of a separate European internet. Both were peeved at America’s National Security Agency, which had spied on their e-mail, among other things. Ms Rousseff convened NETmundial last September in response to these revelations.
Economist Babbage: An online Risorgimento

Flat Files And Server Denials: Covering Elections At Three News Orgs ()

Covering elections is a staple in American journalism. I’ve covered elections as a reporter and I’ve helped display election data in drastically different ways at three news organizations.

So first, a little primer on elections data. Generally speaking, on election night, the data for vote totals is tabulated by county boards of election and then sent to a state-level board. Next, the data is harvested by vendors such as Ipsos and the Associated Press. Until recently, the only nationwide election data vendor for news organizations was the AP. While other data vendors exist, they usually focus on more niche markets, such as campaigns and political parties.

The AP has a physical person in every U.S. county to report back to them what the current vote totals are for different races. It’s incredibly costly, but means you can dive deep into trends in data. The AP has a system that lets you FTP in and download the data in XML or CSV format, which your publication can then display.

Fast forward to a month ago. The Chicago Tribune no longer subscribes to the Associated Press, but Reuters has entered the election data game. Instead of having to FTP and download XML files, we hit an API and receive JSON. It’s pretty nifty and much more conducive to building web-facing applications.

We wrote a Python wrapper to hit the Reuters API and reformat the data for our purposes, and then we again built flat pages based on that data, using Django Medusa. And for local elections and referenda that Reuters wasn’t covering, we again had Tribune staffers entering data into Google spreadsheets.
Andy Boyle, News Apps Blog: Flat Files And Server Denials: Covering Elections At Three News Orgs

The Week in Daily Updates (Week 1) ()

Twitter Launches Ad Network

(Posted on Monday, April 21)

While Facebook’s ad network is, I’m guessing, broader than just app installs, the reality is that app installs dominate Facebook’s mobile revenue as well. And, the primary types of apps that advertise for installs are free-to-play games, looking for the specific customer type who will potentially spend hundreds of dollars on in-app purchases.

This, then, raises a frightening specter for both Twitter and Facebook: they are indirectly exposed to any changes Apple or Google may make in their policy with regards to in-app purchases

Qualcomm Disappoints

(Posted on Friday, April 25)

Qualcomm also reported results yesterday, but came in low

Qualcomm’s story is the same as Samsung’s: the high end, price-insensitive part of the market is owned by Apple, leaving everyone else to compete on price. And, in that competition, one of the best ways to save money is to use MediaTek SoC’s instead of the much higher-priced (albeit better performing) Qualcomm SoC’s.

Stratechery: The Week in Daily Updates (Week 1)