Blog Archives

Light entertainment: crime is no joke

February 5, 2016
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Light entertainment: crime is no joke

(via twitter) When I saw this on my twitter feed, I thought this must be a joke. But click here and check out the entire collection of them.

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Showing three dimensions using a ternary plot

February 4, 2016
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Showing three dimensions using a ternary plot

Long-time reader Daniel L. isn't a fan of this chart, especially when it is made to spin, as you can see at this link: Like other 3D charts, this one is hard to read. The vertical lines are both good...

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Know your data 18: your location is our product

February 2, 2016
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In the last post in the Know Your Data series, I discussed how Uber can use its vast database of your personal trips against your personal interests. (This does not preclude the possibility that they use the data for your benefit.) It turns out that something more ominous is at foot… a number of news outlets have just published investigative reports about a company known as Vigilant Solutions (EFF, The…

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How to print cash, graphically

January 27, 2016
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How to print cash, graphically

Twitter user @glennrice called out a "journalist" for producing the following chart: You can't say the Columbia Heartbeat site doesn't deserve a beating over this graph. I don't recognize the software but my guess is one of these business intelligence...

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Where but when and why: deaths of journalism

January 26, 2016
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Where but when and why: deaths of journalism

On Twitter, someone pointed me to the following map of journalists who were killed between 1993 and 2015. I wasn't sure if the person who posted this liked or disliked this graphic. We see a clear metaphor of gunshots and...

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The failure to replicate scientific findings

January 19, 2016
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Andrew Gelman and I have published a piece in Slate, discussing the failure to replicate scientific findings, using the recent example of the so-called power pose. The idea of the "power pose" is that people develop psychological and hormonal changes by making this "power pose" before walking into business meetings, whereupon these changes make them more powerful. As you often read here and at Gelman's blog, the fact that someone…

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Treating absolute and relative data simultaneously

January 11, 2016
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Treating absolute and relative data simultaneously

A friend asked me to comment on the following chart: Specifically, he points out the challenge of trying to convey both absolute and relative metrics for a given data series. This chart presents projections of growth in the U.S. mobile...

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Know your data 17: when other people can track your Uber location

January 8, 2016
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The news is out that Uber got fined by the New York Attorney General's office for data breaches and privacy concerns. The headline writer for ZDNet nailed this one: "Uber fined peanuts in God View surveillance" (link). And the sub-lead has the kicker: "For a company with a valuation of over $50 billion, a $20,000 fine over user data protection is laughable." This settlement tells us one of the following…

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Happy new year. Did you have a white Christmas?

January 4, 2016
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Happy new year. Did you have a white Christmas?

Happy 2016. I spent time with the family in California, wiping out any chance of a white Christmas, although I hear that the probability would have been miniscule even had I stayed. I did come across a graphic that tried...

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Scorched by the heat in Arizona

December 18, 2015
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Scorched by the heat in Arizona

Reader Jeffrey S. saw this graphic inside a Dec 2 tweet from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Phoenix, Arizona. In a Trifecta checkup (link), I'd classify this as Type QV. The problems with the visual design are numerous and...

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