December 2011

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One way we can measure a company’s “evilness” is by how important litigation is to corporate strategy.  We’ll open this series by comparing today’s three tech giants: Microsoft, Google, and Apple.  Which company gets sued the most?  And more importantly, which company sues others the most?

To find out, I wrote a perl script called the litig-o-meter that searches google scholar for lawsuits involving specific companies.  It graphs how many cases the companies have been involved in every year; whether those cases were at the circuit, appellate, or supreme court level; and whether the company was the plaintiff or the defendant.  Essentially, it does a search for “allintitle: [company name]” of federal court cases and interprets the results.  It’s not yet ready for public release, but the results so far are fascinating.

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Want to make sure you win the coin toss just a little more often than you should?  I certainly do, so I made some unfair coins.  We’ll use the beta distribution to see just how unfair they are.  While this is just a toy example problem for using the beta distribution, machine learning algorithms rely on this distribution for learning just about everything. Math is an amazing thing that way.

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