Keeping Bike Shares Running Smoothly Requires Seriously Complex Math

Here's kind of a dirty secret about bike share: Bikes don't end up distributed evenly across the system, so most cities use trucks and trailers to shuffle the bikes around to the kiosks where they're needed most at different times of day. Turns out it requires a complicated algorithm to determine exactly when and… » 8/27/14 7:15pm 8/27/14 7:15pm

Google Street View Accidentally Made an Algorithm That Cracks CAPTCHAs

House numbers on Google Street View can turn up as blobby, blurry things, so its engineers built a pretty crazy neural network to decipher them. Except this algorithm also turns out to be very very good at deciphering other blobby, blurry texts—like CAPTCHAs, which it cracks with 99 percent accuracy. Take that, human. » 4/16/14 6:40pm 4/16/14 6:40pm

An Algorithmic Newspaper Published For Just One Coffeeshop in London

Perhaps the future of newspapers is all about local distribution—very local distribution, as in a whole newspaper printed for just one coffeeshop in London. The Newspaper Club has teamed up with the Guardian to launch what they call an "algorithmic newspaper," published only for one location, its content… » 12/05/13 12:20pm 12/05/13 12:20pm

The Algorithm That Tells Netflix Which Movies You Really Want to Watch

Ah, Netflix—a haven for antisocial escapists and the blight of anything even mildly productive. No matter who you are, there's a good chance that at some point in your life, Netflix has suggested a movie that brought you hours of entertainment and seemed to come straight from the very darkest shadows of obscurity. So… » 8/07/13 11:46am 8/07/13 11:46am

Powerful New MIT Computer System Can Make the Internet 3x Faster

The Transmission Control Protocol is like a crossing guard for the internet, regulating traffic to keep things flowing. Sure, engineers are constantly working to improve it, but it's manmade, so there's always room for human error. But researchers at MIT have created a computer system that could fix all that—and make… » 7/22/13 6:26pm 7/22/13 6:26pm