Welcome to your weekly helping of curated digital goodness courtesy of Only Dead Fish.  Like brain food, only fishy.
If you check out one thing from this week... Clay Shirky had a typically erudite piece examining the gulf between planning and reality that led to the abject failure of Healthcare.gov, which is well worth the read. The key lesson is (again) about the perils of cultures that build up risk through rigid waterfall approaches, a failure to adopt test and learn approaches with technology, and that make it difficult to pass bade news back up the line:

"An effective test is an exercise in humility; it’s only useful in a culture where desirability is not confused with likelihood. For a test to change things, everyone has to understand that their opinion, and their boss’s opinion, matters less than what actually works and what doesn’t".

David McCandless had a quite remarkable visualisation comparing the (reported) 500 million lines of code that went into the Healthcare.gov website to such things as the Large Hadron Collider, old and current operating systems, and the total DNA basepairs in a Mouse genome.

An interesting counterpoint to this came in the form of the transparency exhibited by the Govt Digital Service in publishing their guiding principles for a technology transformation programme they have been commissioned to run to showcase a different way of delivering technology to the civil service.
Links of the week...
  • "In two short years Android has blown up the mobile market, going from 142m users (57% market share) to 709m users. This incredible growth is surely one of the most rapid marches to market dominance in history." Good chart from GlobalWebIndex
  • A good post here on why mobile messaging apps are a (potentially significant) part of the future of ad tech
  • I loved the idea of the spin-off short film from Gravity that shows the other side of the fractured conversation Sandra Bullock has with a distant voice from Earth. It's now been submitted for Oscar consideration which makes me wonder if we'll see more of this type of approach
  • A typically articulate piece from @rustyrockets on the state of tabloid journalism in the UK
  • "For the past two years, a mysterious online organisation has been setting the world's finest code-breakers a series of seemingly unsolveable problems. But to what end?". A rather fascinating mystery
  • Some lovely visualisations in the Information Is Beautiful award winners for 2013
  • A nice short film comprised of Instagram pictures that kind of makes the point about the similarity of the photos we all take
So Bitcoin burst through the $1,000 mark this week, leaving the only question to be when the crash will happen. Some have suggested that it has more recently been supported by wealthy Chinese who are attempting to circumvent China’s strict capital controls, which could mean the rate of growth may continue. The Economist made a good point in this piece however, arguing that even if Bitcoin does crash, it has paved the way for others like it. 

Big Data: From one over-hyped phenomenon to another. Quartz did an analysis of transcripts from investor conference calls and presentations from more than 5,000 companies and found that 'Big Data' had been mentioned during 841 separate presentations this year, up 43% from the 589 times it featured  last year, and a much bigger increase than any of the other corporate buzzwords. As Quartz have pointed out before, what a lot of companies call 'big data' really isn’t that big. This is probably the best definition of big data I've seen recently.

Quote of the week...

"We’ve lost the ambition of the early web and early internet to create an inclusive, level playing field. It’s clear what the technical challenges are - HTTP needs micro-payments at the protocol level to support businesses outside advertising, we need portable high level standards for photos, streams and identity - but we’re kinda not thinking like that anymore." Matt Webb, Founder and CEO of BERG

And finally... Crikey. It's the 200 top-scoring reddit posts of all time
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