Archive for category Miscellany
I updated the RSS aggregator feeds in the lower right and moved from Yahoo! Pipes over to Feed Rinse. Here are the current contents:
- (this site)
- …and points beyond
- BI Review
- Living QlikView
- Michael Ellerbeck
- Official QlikView blog
- One Qlik at a Time
- Qlik Tips
- QlikView Addict
- QlikView Maven
- QlikView Notes
- QlikView Podcast
- Quick Inteligence
- Quick Qlear Qool
- QV Design
- The Qlik Board
- The Qlik Fix
- TIQView Blog
- Flowing Data
- Information Is Beautiful
- Juice Analytics
- Junk Charts
- Presentation Zen
- The Extreme Presentation Method
- The Why Axis
- Visual Business Intelligence
You may recognize Rosling from his 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes video, which has gotten a lot of press - on the Internet, at least.
This dovetails nicely with the classic How to Lie with Statistics, which I just read over Christmas. It re-sharpened my eye towards deceptive visual representations, and not a day after finishing it did I see some intellectually dishonest charts on The Heritage Foundation’s Top Ten Charts of 2010. Their #1 is pretty egregious - see if you can guess why:
Minister of Information (follow link to embed of audio)
Edward Tufte is perhaps the country’s foremost evangelist for the clean, clear and rich presentation of complex information. The Obama administration’s stimulus package is flooding the economy with 787 billion dollars for employment and public works projects. Put the two together, as Obama did earlier this month when he nominated Tufte for the stimulus advisory board with the hopes that the public will have a fighting chance of understanding where the stimulus money went and what it’s doing.
Apologies for the dearth of posts lately, but I have been extremely busy with work and traveling every week for the last few months. Apropos of that, here is a link to The Economist’s business travel blog, Gulliver.
Coincidentally, there was a post yesterday that touched on one of the tenets of facilitating comparisons in data, ensuring that you are comparing apples to apples:
Economist Dean Baker, of the left-leaning Center for Economic and Policy Research, had a good catch last week. USA Today reported on Tuesday that airlines were seeing “signs of improvement” in their April passenger numbers. But Baker knew there was more to the story:
Come on folks, when you do year over year comparisons of air travel you have to remember things like holidays. Easter was in March last year, and April this year. This should mean that, other things equal, a year over year comparison of air travel for March will look bad and a year over year comparison for April will look good. So, why is USA Today surprised by the uptick in April travel?
That’s reporting as expected from USA Today, home of the most gag reflex-inducing data visualization in any publication I see, thanks to free copies at virtually every hotel chain in America. Yikes:
Also of potential interest to other business travelers are Dan Pink’s travel tips, from DanPink.com:
- Never get sick again
- Bring down da’ noise
- Four road food rules of thumb
- The rule of HAHU
- More hygiene!
- Stay connected
- Zip through security
Though I’m a frequent traveler, he still provided some interesting and amusing insights, like why I try desperately not to be the bottleneck in the security line at the airport (and he is right about that).
On a related note, as I mentioned on this site’s Reading page, Pink’s book, A Whole New Mind, provides some food for thought about the changing nature of the working world and skills you can acquire that will help you roll with the punches. Oprah evidently thought highly enough of the book enough to give everybody a copy at my brother’s graduation last Spring.
And as long as I’m doing a travel post, here are a few more resources I use:
- Farecast: airline pricing agent that predicts whether fares will rise or fall, i.e. whether to buy now or wait to purchase tickets
- U.S. domestic airline fee chart (last updated 5/9)
- SeatExpert: find the best seats on your plane, searching by airline, flight number, and departure date (Lifehacker article)
- WhereTheLocalsEat: helps find good restaurants in unfamiliar places, if you like to skip chains, like I do (Lifehacker article)
- MeetWays: find a point of interest, e.g. coffee shop, halfway between two addresses (Lifehacker article)
If you’re trying to read an eBook, tutorial, or any other PDF from start to finish, it can be kind of annoying to locate the PDF and remember where you left off whenever you can sneak in a few pages of reading. Because my browser, Firefox, is open all the time, anyway, I figured out an easier way to read from there.
To begin, I use Foxit, not Adobe, to view PDFs. I’m not sure what Adobe includes that Foxit doesn’t, but it takes up over ten times as much space on my hard drive (117 MB for Adobe 8 versus 10.4 MB for Foxit 3.0), and the amount of memory Foxit uses seems to be an improvement (39.4 MB in Adobe versus 14.5 MB in Foxit for the PDF I tested). Also, I don’t believe Adobe has the ability to add bookmarks to PDFs.
Open the PDF in Firefox, then bookmark it in your browser, like you would a website. Use F11 to toggle full screen mode in Firefox.
To save your place, add a bookmark using the button on the Bookmarks tab of Foxit. I create one called “Current” and reset it every time I have to stop reading. Just be sure to save the PDF before you close it.
The next time you can spare a few minutes to read, just click the bookmark link in your browser, then click the Current bookmark you saved in the PDF itself. That’s it.