Tech information resources for nonprofits.

Idealware in Portland Maine creates good reports and training on tech stuff for nonprofits. Brian Krebs writes KrebsOnSecurity.com. He’s the go-to guy for keeping track of the cyber-badguys who might mess you over. If you have a 501(c)(3) certificate, TechSoup.org will mediate really good donation prices for the software you need from outfits like Microsoft. … Read more

Cost-effective Digital Signs

A digital sign is a big TV set in a public place showing information or possibly advertisements. Ideally a digital sign can show upcoming events, announcements, pictures, advertisements, and other stuff that’s relevant to a community of people who might look at the sign. How can you make a digital sign with off-the-shelf 2014 technology? … Read more

Slowing down Wall Street

Wall Street, lately, has been using high-speed trading to allow insiders to front-run trades by ordinary investors. So, for example, when an outfit like TIAA-CREF (pension funds for teachers) tries to place an order to buy shares of a company they like, other investors’ computers can detect the trade before it happens, buy the shares, … Read more

Electronic type, past and future

Hail and farewell for now, Mike Parker 1929-2014! (obituary)  I met you in the 1980s. You visited Chicago Aerial Survey when you were working on better typography for maps. Thanks for your good work on behalf of readable electronic documents! Welcome to Savir Mirchanandi and his mentor Peter Pinko. Pittsburgh middle-schooler Mirchanandi figured out why … Read more

Publicly Available Datasets

Sometimes learning to use data systems like MySQL means you need to get your hands on various publicly available sets of data. Here are some sources. Pro Publica, the investigative news powerhouse, has a Data Store. It’s mostly health care related material. Not all their datasets are free, but some are. If you’re interested in … Read more

The Vincenty great-circle distance formula

This Vincenty formula is a more numerically stable version of the spherical cosine law formula (commonly and wrongly known as the Haversine formula) for computing great circle distances. The question of numerical stability comes up specifically when the distances between points are small. In those cases the cosine is very close to 1, so the … Read more