Oct 09

Daily Links for October 22nd through October 23rd

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • Gmail Users are Young, Female; AOL Users are Older – Social media data company Rapleaf has just completed a comprehensive study involving the demographics and behavior of webmail users. In the first part of their study, they looked specifically at age and gender data and revealed some interesting findings. For example, did you know that Gmail has more female users than male? And that Hotmail is the other way around? Meanwhile, AOL users are older…but maybe not as old as you think.
  • Get Ready For The Firehose. Search Is About To Get Realtime, Real Fast. – After months of negotiations and holding both off at bay, Twitter now has agreements with both Bing and Google to give them access to its full feed of public Tweets. Both search engines have been yearning to drink directly from Twitter’s the realtime firehose of micro-messages and all that they carry. A rudimentary version of Bing’s Twitter search is already live, and it will soon add public Facebook updates to its search results as well.
  • Web 2.0 Summit: Marissa Mayer Shows Off Social Search, Results From Your Social Networks – There’s a new Google product called “Social Search” that is launching soon in Google Labs. This is a new feature that allows you to see results for queries from people in your social network. This works by using your Google Profile. If you fill it out with the other social networks you’re a member of, such as FriendFeed, Google will scan who you are connected to and give your results from those people.
  • Interactive: Climate map shows world after 4C rise | Environment | guardian.co.uk – A map launched at the Science Museum in London has been developed using the latest peer-reviewed science from the Met Office Hadley Centre and other leading impact scientists. It shows that the land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases
  • The Power of Owned and Earned Media – Digital Influence Mapping Project – The power of social media going forward is in integrated programs, not stand-alone, "earned" media programs. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that complimentary media – social (the new "earned" media), owned media (a brand's web presence) & paid media will produce a compound effect if they work together.

Sep 09

Daily Links for September 11th

All excerpts are quoted from the respective link(s).

  • RED ORANGE YELLOW BLUE AND GREEN – Will we ever return to blue or green?
  • Virtual Water – a double-sided poster visualizing the water footprint of products and nations – Based on the data gathered by Hoeckstra et al. in their study »Water Footprint of Nations« German designer Timm Kekeritz created this double-sided poster. One side visualizes the water footprint of selected nations, emphasizing the im- and export of virtual water. The other side shows the virtual water content of selected foods and commodities.
  • Data Visualization and Infographics Resources | Developer’s Toolbox | Smashing Magazine – Data visualizations and infographics can make complex data sets easier to understand and comprehend. By creating a graphical representation of data and statistics, complicated concepts and information can make more sense in less time.

    Many visualizations focus on representing a specific set of data or statistical information. Others focus on less-concrete topics, providing a visual representation of abstract concepts. Generally speaking, the first type appear more like graphs or charts and the latter are often more creative and imaginative.

    But visualizations and infographics can be used poorly, too. Putting in too much information (or not enough), using improper formats for the information provided, and other failures are common. Below are more than 25 useful resources for infographics and data visualization. Most are galleries of effective graphics though some also provide how-to information for information designers.

  • Climate Wizard [Simulator] – ClimateWizard enables technical and non-technical audiences alike to access leading climate change information and visualize the impacts anywhere on Earth. The first generation of this web-based program allows the user to choose a state or country and both assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are predicted to occur in a given area. ClimateWizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format.
  • 18 Truths About the New New York – If something is both unthinkable and a cold fact, where to put it? The argument over what edifice will replace the towers has already been joined, but no one is sure what should supplant the city's collective sense of invincibility. It would be silly to live in fear, but it would be even sillier to go on the same way. As one friend said, "It's like having new priorities written in the sky." The effect on New York's skyline is writ, but it's worth wondering what kind of rubble the planes created when they pierced New Yorkers' collective consciousness. It's not over and never will be.
  • MOTOBLUR – Motorola USA [Interface Simulator] – Now everything is where you want it – in one place, on tap. Your friends, pics, emails, messages, and Facebook™, MySpace and Twitter happenings. Motorola CLIQ is the first phone to come with MOTOBLUR, the only service that can sync them all, with continuous updates and back ups. There are no logins or apps to open, and your data's always safe. Talk about socialized.
  • USDA will debut new version of online learning platform – Nextgov – The Agriculture Department's program, AgLearn, is scheduled for an upgrade to a new version of its supporting software, allowing it to provide its employees with blogs and wikis related to their training, Stanley Gray, USDA's director of e-training told a group of Chinese trainers at a session organized by the World Bank in Washington on Thursday.
  • Elasticity » Blog Archive » What if Twitter had existed on 9/11? – Eight years later and a lifetime in terms of media coverage. At the time of the event in 2001, cable TV, not Twitter, was the news source of immediacy. Just to give perspective, only 5.4 million homes had DSL connections and only 19.6% of users accessed the Internet at work; the vast majority of Internet users accessed it at home, on dial-up. Even email had not yet hit its tipping point: only 45% of Americans used it for communications in 2001
  • Happy First Post-9/11 9/11! – 9/11 – Gawker – On 9/12, people in New York (and DC) did not feel as "great" as Glenn Beck. They just felt like shit. They felt scared and confused and depressed. Many of them were drunk. And only an idiot or an actual terrorist would want to always feel like it was 9/12/01. And eight years later, normal people, with brains and souls, have decided that some emotional distance from that disaster is healthier and wiser than trying to recapture the dread.

Apr 09

Daily Links for April 26th through April 27th

  • NPR: Power Hungry: Visualizing The U.S. Electric Grid – The U.S. electric grid is a complex network of independently owned and operated power plants and transmission lines. Aging infrastructure, combined with a rise in domestic electricity consumption, has forced experts to critically examine the status and health of the nation's electrical systems.
  • Christy Hardin Smith » Death By “Shocked, Yet?” – GOP politicking threatens to turn this swine flu pandemic into the next Katrina…
  • philly » Blog Archive » PhillyCarShare’s Downward Spiral – While it may seem that the "free" members don't cost PCS money, they do. It's 50k, or whatever their number is now, people covered under their fleet insurance. That's a shitload of insurance. Each one has $1M liability coverage. Yes, they're not paying the same amount as a single person would pay for private insurance, but that's a whole lot of cheddar to carry on their books each quarter. Gas prices have gone up and come back down. However, the mileage rate, which was once I believe 9¢/mi is now 22¢/mi, has not come down nor, from what I can see in my email inbox, have they explained why it will or won't come down after the price of gasoline has normalized (I'll digress for a second and state that the unnaturally low price of government subsidized gasoline in America is a luxury we won't have soon. We should be paying something closer to $8/gal to truly pay for gas and simultaneously change driving habits).
  • Op-Contributor – End the University as We Know It – Op-Ed – NYTimes.com – If American higher education is to thrive in the 21st century, colleges and universities, like Wall Street and Detroit, must be rigorously regulated and completely restructured. The long process to make higher learning more agile, adaptive and imaginative can begin with six major steps[.]
  • March 24, 1976: Ford Orders Swine-Flu Shots for All – Ford was acting on the advice of medical experts, who believed they were dealing with a virus potentially as deadly as the one that caused the 1918 Spanish influenza pandemic.

    The virus surfaced in February at Fort Dix, New Jersey, where 19-year-old Pvt. David Lewis told his drill instructor that he felt tired and weak, although not sick enough to skip a training hike. Lewis was dead with 24 hours.

    The autopsy revealed that Lewis had been killed by "swine flu," an influenza virus originating in pigs. By then several other soldiers had been hospitalized with symptoms. Government doctors became alarmed when they discovered that at least 500 soldiers on the base were infected without becoming ill.

  • Who Will Call For Release Of CIA Report On Torture’s Effectiveness? | The Plum Line – As you can see, the report contains an entire section on the “effectiveness” of the torture techniques. In the report itself, this whole section has been blacked out. As for what it says, all we have is the word of Bush lawyer Steven Bradbury, who wrote in one of the recently released torture memos that this report says that “it is difficult to determine conclusively whether interrogations provided information critical to interdicting specific imminent attacks.”
  • Beware Insider Selling | The Big Picture – One could argue that sellers are merely taking advantage of the big rally in the markets — the S&P 500 has jumped 28% in 33 trading days, the sharpest rally since the 1930s. But what does that say regarding the bull-tards cry that the longest recession since World War II will soon end? This may be a classic case of “watch what they do, not what they say . . . ”
  • A Cyber-Attack On An American City – Just after midnight on Thursday, April 9, unidentified attackers climbed down four manholes serving the Northern California city of Morgan Hill and cut eight fiber cables in what appears to have been an organized attack on the electronic infrastructure of an American city. Its implications, though startling, have gone almost un-reported.

    That attack demonstrated a severe fault in American infrastructure: its centralization. The city of Morgan Hill and parts of three counties lost 911 service, cellular mobile telephone communications, land-line telephone, DSL internet and private networks, central station fire and burglar alarms, ATMs, credit card terminals, and monitoring of critical utilities. In addition, resources that should not have failed, like the local hospital's internal computer network, proved to be dependent on external resources, leaving the hospital with a "paper system" for the day.

  • Optimism and the world economy | A glimmer of hope? | The Economist – Thanks to massive–and unsustainable–fiscal and monetary transfusions, output will eventually stabilise. But in many ways, darker days lie ahead. Despite the scale of the slump, no conventional recovery is in sight. Growth, when it comes, will be too feeble to stop unemployment rising and idle capacity swelling. And for years most of the world's economies will depend on their governments.
  • FiveThirtyEight: Politics Done Right: The Envrionmental Inverted Pyramid – Nevertheless, the fact that fewer than a third of Americans are worried about the effects that climate change will have on them personally strikes me as significant. Although more aggressive policy responses on climate change generally poll fairly well, they are also often the first things to be sacrificed in Americans' minds when something else intervenes, such as a recession or higher energy prices. Advocates of cap-and-trade may need to find ways to personalize the terms of the debate.

Jan 09

Daily Links for January 30th

  • Dismal Science: What Is A Depression And Are We In One?
  • "State of the States" Series – Gallup.com's "State of the States" series reveals state-by-state differences in political party affiliation, religiosity, consumer confidence, and job-market conditions, based on Gallup Poll Daily tracking data collected throughout 2008.
  • RNC chairman vote enters fourth round – USATODAY.com – What an apt metaphor for the GOP! I say elect Rush!
  • Seed: 2009 Will Be a Year of Panic – As 2009 opens, our financial institutions are deep in massive, irrational panic. That's bad, but it gets worse: Many other respected institutions have rational underpinnings at least as frail as derivatives or bundled real-estate loans. Like finance, these institutions are social constructions. They are games of confidence, underpinned by people's solemn willingness to believe, to conform, to contribute. So why not panic over them, too?

    Let's consider seven other massive reservoirs of potential popular dread. Any one of these could erupt, shattering the fragile social compact we maintain with one another in order to believe things contrary to fact.

  • The Economy According To Mint – Is it Great Depression bad? That’s a qualitative question I can’t answer. But what the data, the hard facts, mean for you – if you run a consumer business – is that your customers are spending $400 less each month than they were a year ago, have burned through half of their savings, and on average have taken on an additional $5k in debt. Good decisions are based on good data. And data – in itself – may be one of the most valuable by-products of any startup.
  • How to Friend Mom, Dad, and the Boss on Facebook…Safely – ReadWriteWeb – I prefer to not let worlds collide.
  • Mapping and Animating Growth of Target Across United States | FlowingData – Well, fortune was smiling on me last week, and I got a hold of data for Target opening dates and locations (thnx, Cole). So here it is – a map that shows the growth of Target from 1962 through 2008.
  • Play-Doh!!! | MetaFilter – A collection of links to various Old Skool Play-Doh commercials on YouTube.
  • Black Swan author’s rules for living – Boing Boing – Avi sez, "Nassim Nicholas Taleb, gadfly author of The Black Swan, gives his 10 rules for surviving an unpredictable world with dignity."
  • The FT’s Online Business Model – Finance Blog – Felix Salmon – Market Movers – Portfolio.com – We've known for a while that the market for web display ads is slowing down or even getting smaller, even as the amount of inventory continues to rise dramatically. That makes a standard advertising-driven web strategy a recipe for shrinking revenues and disappearing profits. Grimshaw has a two-pronged approach to this problem, and half of it is very clever.