Best of 2019: How AI Killed Google’s Social Network

[February 4, 2019] Facebook turns 15 today, after announcing last week a record profit and 30% revenue growth. Also today, “you will no longer be able to create new Google+ profiles, pages, communities or events,” in anticipation of the complete shutdown in April of Google’s social network, its bet-the-company challenge to Facebook.

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Rakuten Marketing Data Reveals Cyber Weekend Continues To Outstrip Expectations

Exclusive data from Rakuten Marketing has revealed the increasing impact of ‘Cyber Week’ on consumers and retailers across Australia and the Asia region.
Detailed data drawn from across the Rakuten Marketing network showed a marked shift in consumer participation across Cyber Week in 2019 compared with previous years, both in growth and behavioural patterns.

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Video Tool Loom Raises $30 Million; Instagram Co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger Among Investors

This week, Work Communications and Video platform Loom, announced that it has raised $30 Million funding. Andrew Reed of Sequoia led the funding, Co-partnered by Kleiner Perkins and Dylan Field of Figma. The fascinating new funding round also saw the entry of Instagram’s co-founders, Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and Front’s CEO and Co-founder, Mathilde Collin as investors.

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Why you can’t calculate aging trajectories with a standard regression

I found myself in a little Twitter discussion last week about using regression to analyze player aging. I argued that regression won’t give you accurate results, and that the less elegant “delta method” is the better way to go.Although I did a small example to try to make my point, Tango suggested I do a bigger simulation and a blog post. That’s this.

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Scraping Russian Twitter Trolls With Python, Neo4j, and GraphQL

Last week as a result of the House Intelligence Select Committee investigation, Twitter released the screen names of 2752 Twitter accounts tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that were involved in spreading fake news, presumably with the goal of influencing the 2016 election.

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Hotels: Occupancy Rate Increased Slightly Year-over-year

From HotelNewsNow.com: STR: US hotel results for week ending 9 NovemberThe U.S. hotel industry reported positive year-over-year results in the three key performance metrics during the week of 3-9 November 2019, according to data from STR.In comparison with the week of 4-10 November 2018, the industry recorded the following:• Occupancy: +0.1% to 69.0%• Average daily rate (ADR): +1.9% to US$132.

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Scraping Russian Twitter Trolls With Python, Neo4j, and GraphQL · William Lyon

Last week as a result of the House Intelligence Select Committee investigation, Twitter released the screen names of 2752 Twitter accounts tied to Russia’s Internet Research Agency that were involved in spreading fake news, presumably with the goal of influencing the 2016 election.

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Startup Chile Week 1 · William Lyon

It’s been one week since I arrived in Santiago, Chile to participate in Startup Chile as cofounder of Datamaglia. Startup Chile was created four years ago as an economic stimulus experiment to boost entrepreneurism in Chile. The program provides a ~$33,000 grant and a one year temporary resident visa to startups to come work in Chile for six months.

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Boulder StartupWeek 2014 · William Lyon

I had the opportunity to spend the last week in Boulder, CO for Boulder StartupWeek. StartupWeek is a week long event highlighting the startup and tech scene of a communty. It started in Boulder, but is now spreading. I wanted to share my experience and any takeways.
My notes were somewhat incomplete; apologies for all errors and omissions.

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Causal Inference 2: Illustrating Interventions via a Toy Example

Last week I had the honor to lecture at the Machine Learning Summer School in Stellenbosch, South Africa. I chose to talk about Causal Inference, despite being a newcomer to this whole area. In fact, I chose it exactly because I’m a newcomer: causal inference has been a blindspot for me for a long time.

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Amazon Redshift Performance – Bigger Clusters, or Bigger Nodes?

Last week, I looked into options for increasing the performance of an Amazon Redshift cluster that was currently using 10 large dense compute nodes (dc1.large). While investigating, I noticed that a cluster of 32 dc1.large nodes (the maximum for that node type) had the same number of CPUs, the same amount of storage, and a comparable amount of RAM to a cluster of 2 dc1.

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Advice to aspiring data scientists: start a blog

Last week I shared a thought on Twitter:
When you’ve written the same code 3 times, write a functionWhen you’ve given the same in-person advice 3 times, write a blog post— David Robinson (@drob) November 9, 2017
Ironically, this tweet hints at a piece of advice I’ve given at least 3 dozen times, but haven’t yet written a post about.

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Heuristics in Analytics

Last week, a book — a real, hard-cover paper-paged book — arrived in the mail with the title:  Heuristics in Analytics:  A Practical Perspective of What Influences Our Analytic World.  The book wasn’t a total surprise, because I had read some of the drafts a few months ago.  One of the authors, Fiona McNeill is an old friend and the other Carlos is a newer friend.

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