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Dave Beckett

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Folks, we've just officially released GIMP 2.8 after 3.5 years of work. It was quite a challenge, and we are very grateful to you for your support and understanding.

The release touches virtually every part of GIMP, from internals to UI, from tools to resources such as brushes. There are also some important API changes for developers.

We expect Windows build to be up really soon, and we hope that Mac builds will follow too.

Have fun with this new version: test it, report bugs, write tutorials or maybe even books, while we are preparing the next great release :)

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You can analyze all public GitHub activity via Google BigQuery! I'm syncing the data every hour, so you can run any analysis you want.. and let me tell you, there is a lot of interesting trends to be discovered there!

As a preview, here's a quick spreadsheet I pulled with a few stats for month of April:

- 5.8M events in April
- Most popular languages? Javascript, Java and Ruby.
- Most popular new repo? Prince-of-Persia-Apple-II
- Most watched repo? meteor

Check out the instructions on to get started!

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Designing great data products

Very excited for the most recent in our series of short ebooks on data. This one from Kaggle's +Jeremy Howard.

In the past few years, we’ve seen many data products based on predictive modeling. These products range from weather forecasting to recommendation engines like Amazon's. Prediction technology can be interesting and mathematically elegant, but we need to take the next step: going from recommendations to products that can produce optimal strategies for meeting concrete business objectives.

We already know how to build these products: they've been in use for the past decade or so, but they're not as common as they should be. This report shows how to take the next step: to go from simple predictions and recommendations to a new generation of data products with the potential to revolutionize entire industries.

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The new iPad makes web sites suck

I dropped into the Apple Store yesterday to check out the new display on the iPad, and it became depressingly clear how bad the web looks on it.

The new hi-res Retina display means that every graphic on a web page, particularly those which contain text, looks blurry. This is because they're rendered for lower resolution screens.

Looks like there's a lot of work to do retooling web sites for high DPI screens.

There's more on creating high DPI web sites here from +Scott Hanselman

And, for context on how this has been considered over recent years, some thoughts from Dave Hyatt in 2006:

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"If Google itself can’t come up with a better experience for its own social network on the latest version of its own mobile operating system, why should any other company be going above and beyond?"

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Three reasons to use data marketplaces

1. They provide discoverability and comparison between data sets, along with indicators of quality and scope.

2. They handle cleaning and formatting of data, so it's ready for use. This is often 80% of the work in integrating a new data set.

3. They make data more economically accessible, providing broader access to data than would otherwise be possible with traditional publisher/subscriber relationships.

These reasons work whether you're a publisher or a consumer. For more on data marketplaces, including a comparison of Infochimps, Azure, Factual and DataMarket, check out the article below, which I published on +O'Reilly Radar earlier this week.

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Digg API updates for Feb 2012

I announced a few updates earlier today to the public webservice API that Digg runs and I mostly look after. Look, RDF :)

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