יום שישי, 27 באוגוסט 2010

huge traffic jam in china

A huge traffic jam in china was reported. Really huge. 9 days huge.

יום שלישי, 10 באוגוסט 2010

how recessions, technology and social changes, make professions obsolete

Business insider has a very interesting piece, telling of 23 occupations that will probably never recover from the last great recession.

You don't have to agree with them, or with the complexity of the evaluations. You have got to admit that is an interesting point. There are different factors at work, naturally.

When we are talking of occupations being hit, we are talking of those positions that will be lost in one country and filled in another, cheaper state. But we are also talking about those positions that will be lost due to technological changes that combined with financial pressures, forced innovation into the throats of the relevant industries.

Recessions force changes, and some of them are profound enough to make things look very different afterwards. Is it possible that in a way, recessions are essential for renewed development as forest fires are ? 

יום שבת, 7 באוגוסט 2010

How many books are there in this world ?

How many books are there in this world ? the good people of google books might have the answer.

But it was not an easy voyage. Because the answer relies on the way in which you define a book, and of the difficulties in differentiating between them. A part of the answer found by google was to -
"collect metadata from many providers (more than 150 and counting) that include libraries, WorldCat, national union catalogs and commercial providers. At the moment we have close to a billion unique raw records. We then further analyze these records to reduce the level of duplication within each provider, bringing us down to close to 600 million records.
Does this mean that there are 600 million unique books in the world? Hardly. There is still a lot of duplication within a single provider (e.g. libraries holding multiple distinct copies of a book) and among providers -- for example, we have 96 records from 46 providers for “Programming Perl, 3rd Edition”. Twice every week we group all those records into “tome” clusters, taking into account nearly all attributes of each record."
To make a long story short, for the time being it seems that there are 129,864,880 unique books out there.

Not bad, considering that the great library of Alexandria was said to have, at most, about 500.000 scrolls. Wouldn't you say?


יום שלישי, 3 באוגוסט 2010

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