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April 20, 2011Posted by on
A shorter version of this post appeared on BusinessInsider on May 13, 2011.
Seth Priebatsch’s “Game Layer” TEDxBoston speech is a wonderful introduction to what seems to be a relatively new idea: applying game mechanics to all sorts of situations to make people do what you want them to do. Seth believes that a properly-constructed “game layer” (a term coined by Seth) can solve really difficult problems—like how to improve failing schools—and even says that game mechanics can solve global warming.
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March 12, 2011Posted by on
A version of this post appeared on ReadWriteWeb on March 28, 2011.
More and more companies are moving from traditional servers to virtual servers in the cloud, and many new service-based deployments are starting in the cloud. However, despite the overwhelming popularity of the cloud here, deployments in the cloud look a lot like deployments on traditional servers. Companies are not changing their systems architecture to take advantage of some of the unique aspects of being in the cloud.
January 3, 2011Posted by on
“The most accurate way to value a property is to find out how much someone will pay for it. Unfortunately, sales data is only updated when a home sells. However, building permit data allows us to take property sale values and bring them up to date, thus giving us a newer, better way to value properties.”—Holly Tachovsky, president of BuildFax, a national aggregator of building permit data.
Most automated valuation models (AVMs) estimate property values by looking at the internal characteristics of properties as part of a “hedonic model,” and by looking at historic sales around the properties as part of a “repeat sales index.” In theory, the combination of the hedonic and repeat sales evaluations captures the full range of factors necessary to value a property automatically. In practice, the quality of the data that drives the hedonic model leads to imperfect results. This article describes a better type of AVM using building permit data.