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Tag Archives: kottke

Having watched it on Vimeo, I seriously wish I had watched the ANNOTATED VERSION, HERE.

Journalism in the Age of Data on Vimeo. It’s 50 minutes, but it’s a really good watch and I wanted to finish the whole thing before I posted it.

Potentially Useful Notes:

-The woman who oversees and works on all the New York Times infographics, Amanda Cox, shows up a lot and is one of my favorite characters—mainly because their infographics are actually cool. I’ve never seen anything like them.

-Around 14 minutes the documentary takes a turn from praises and successes to failures.

-By 20-21 minutes the focus switches to the highs and lows of acclaim at the Malofiej design conference/awards

-26 explains, using an infographic, why the awards are meaningless. 

-27 minutes in gets into individuals and data, featuring Felton’s work.

-31 we see kanye/taylor and the lack of exploration into realtime data vis.

-Shortly after that it gets back into efficacy and accessibility, which has been the major theme of the documentary.

-By 40 we’re well into the boundaries of infographics, like the limits of ways to do infographics for the web (javascript, but mostly Flash).

-I stopped taking notes towards the end, it takes like 15 minutes to close things up. 

via kottke

Link: Shazam

Allows you to identify a song by using a simple cell phone app.

How does it work? Check out an article on Kottke.

Link: Sam Arbesman and Greg Laughlin predict that the discovery of the first Earth-like exoplanet will likely occur in early May 2011.

Of course, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but here’s an overview of what we did. Using the properties of previously discovered exoplanets, we developed a simple metric of habitability for each planet that uses its mass and temperature to rate it on a scale of 0 to 1, where 1 is Earth-like, and 0 is so very not Earth-like. Plotting these values over time and taking the upper envelope yields a nice march towards habitability.

via kottke

But these idiocies, Fairlie shows, are not arguments against all meat eating, but arguments against the current farming model. He demonstrates that we’ve been using the wrong comparison to judge the efficiency of meat production. Instead of citing a simple conversion rate of feed into meat, we should be comparing the amount of land required to grow meat with the land needed to grow plant products of the same nutritional value to humans. The results are radically different.

If pigs are fed on residues and waste, and cattle on straw, stovers and grass from fallows and rangelands — food for which humans don’t compete — meat becomes a very efficient means of food production. Even though it is tilted by the profligate use of grain in rich countries, the global average conversion ratio of useful plant food to useful meat is not the 5:1 or 10:1 cited by almost everyone, but less than 2:1. If we stopped feeding edible grain to animals, we could still produce around half the current global meat supply with no loss to human nutrition: in fact it’s a significant net gain.

Simon Fairlie via Kottke (and The Guardian)

The distance to the moon is 385,000,000,000 mm. The size of an unkerned piece of normal cut Helvetica at 100pt is 136.23 mm. Therefore it would take 2,826,206,643.42 helveticas to get to the moon.

(via kottke)

US dollar redesign

When we researched how notes are used we realized people tend to handle and deal with money vertically rather than horizontally. You tend to hold a wallet or purse vertically when searching for notes. The majority of people hand over notes vertically when making purchases. All machines accept notes vertically. Therefore a vertical note makes more sense.

The note imagery relates to the value of each note:

$1 – The first African American president
$5 – The five biggest native American tribes
$10 – The bill of rights, the first 10 amendments to the US Constitution
$20 – 20th Century America
$50 – The 50 States of America
$100 – The first 100 days of President Franklin Roosevelt.

(via Kottke)

A reporter for the Toronto Star handed out prepaid credit cards to panhandlers and waited to see what happened.

“Can I trust you with this?” I said, handing him a $50 card and telling him to buy what he needs, but that I need it back when he was done. He nodded and scrambled to his feet. He said he would be back in a half-hour.

He came back right on time, slurping from a large McDonald’s soft drink cup — root beer — and with sweat on his brow. He wanted to have pork and rice from a Vietnamese noodle joint on Spadina but they wouldn’t take the card. So, he scrambled to McDonald’s. Lunch was a double quarter-pounder with cheese.

The reporter’s offer was frequently declined, which seems surprising at first. But panhandlers are savvy businesspeople. They didn’t want a short-term and potentially risky venture interfering with their main panhandling income stream. Eyes on the prize.

(kottke)

Web packets in flight.

Reminds me of this video I saw when I was a kid called “the life of a packet”, at least I think that’s what it was called, I can’t seem to find it now.

(via kottke)

I love Trader Joe’s. We’ve had one in Indianapolis for awhile and I know people drive from all around the city to shop there. I haven’t visited since I moved back up from Bloomington, but I’m pretty excited.

The privately held company’s sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods’ (WFMIFortune 500) and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list. Unlike those massive shopping emporiums, Trader Joe’s has a deliberately scaled-down strategy: It is opening just five more locations this year. The company selects relatively small stores with a carefully curated selection of items. (Typical grocery stores can carry 50,000 stock-keeping units, or SKUs; Trader Joe’s sells about 4,000 SKUs, and about 80% of the stock bears the Trader Joe’s brand.) The result: Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double Whole Foods’. The company has no debt and funds all growth from its own coffers.

The full article through CNN/Money

(via kottke)

Link: Francois Truffaut’s last interview

(via kottke)

François Truffaut was a french film theorist, critic, and filmmaker. He’s probably one of the most well know of the former categories. If you’re not familiar with his work, but interested in film, one place to start is with Truffaut’s early writings which were later typified as “Auteur Theory”.