Since it folds in three dimensions, we could store all of the world’s current data—everyone’s photos, every Facebook status update, all of Wikipedia, everything—using less than an ounce of DNA. And, with its propensity to replicate given the right conditions, millions of copies of DNA can be made in the lab in just a few hours. Such favorable traits make DNA an ideal candidate for storing lots of informations, for a long time, in a small space.But how stable is DNA? The Reed-Solomon method, long used to error-check data transmission and duplication, is now being explored as an adjunct to the long-term archiving of information encoded in DNA. A post by Alex Riley at the PBS Science blog NOVA/NEXT.
The IBM Watson Personality Insights service uses linguistic analytics to extract a spectrum of cognitive and social characteristics from the text data that a person generates through blogs, tweets, forum posts, and more. Just enter a chunk of text with at least 100 recognized words and Watson will break down your (or Hitler's or Donald Trump's) personality compared to other participants. [more inside]
Shared Prosperity, Common Wealth, National Equity and a Citizen's Dividend: Nirit Peled takes a look at social experiments in basic incomes for VPRO Tegenlicht, a Dutch public television documentary series. Starting with a German crowdfunded UBI chosen by raffle -- kind of like the opposite of Le Guin's Omelas (or Shirley Jackson's Lottery in reverse) -- the focus moves on to Albert Wenger who wants to disconnect work from income not only as automation progresses but to accelerate the process. Then it's on to Guy Standing who has conducted basic income experiments in India and Namibia (pdf) and is trying to get one off the ground in Groningen (Utrecht apparently is also a go). Finally, a stop in Alaska to ask some of its residents about their views on the state-owned Permanent Fund. This last part brings to mind the question: just what is wealth anyway? [more inside]
Why do busses always seem to bunch together? It's because they actually do. Finally, there's a web game to help you understand why. More intellectually stimulating than Desert Bus, but not much more gameplay. CityLab has more.
100,000 Stars is an interactive visualization of the stellar neighborhood created for the Google Chrome web browser. It shows the real location of over 100,000 nearby stars. Zooming in reveals 87 major named stars and our solar system. The galaxy view is an artist's rendition." --Chrome Experiments via Quartz
- Quote from Arthur C. Clarke's 1968 novel of the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, and from the film 2010: Odyssey Two
- 1977 Celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee
- 1982 gala for 100th anniversary of the Actors' Fund of America
China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
word.camera generates paragraphs from a photograph. Example: photo of Hillary Clinton. A more detailed explanation at MetaFilter Projects; from Mefi's own TheMadStork.
Dear Data. A post card project of analog data visualizations.
Patients should be allowed to access data generated by implanted devices. After losing his health insurance, Hugo Campos has written an article detailing his frustrations with self-care: "I can’t access the data generated by my implanted defibrillator. That’s absurd."
The death of writing – if James Joyce were alive today he’d be working for Google: [Guardian Books]
There’s hardly an instant of our lives that isn’t electronically documented. These days, it is software that maps our new experiences, our values and beliefs. How should a writer respond? Tom McCarthy on fiction in the age of data saturation.
HistoricPlacesLA is the first online information and management system specifically created to inventory, map, and help protect the City of Los Angeles' significant historic resources. It showcases the city's diversity of historic resources, including architecturally significant buildings and places of social importance as well as historic districts, bridges, parks, and streetscapes. You can search for specifics or try some popular seaches, and the map view let's you combine different overlays and base maps.
Amsterdam wants to be smarter than you. And it’s well on its way. The Netherlands capital is on a mission to turn itself into the smartest city in the world. Through a collaboration with government officials, private companies including telecom giant KPN, and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the city is quickly becoming a futuristic tech hub.
The NYT Social Media team pulls the curtain back on how Twitter works for them with detailed examples of how changing text and descriptions and focus in their short messages resonated with readers, and which fell flat. Really interesting bit of transparency on their process, and results.
How to tell correlation from causation - "The basic intuition behind the method demonstrated by Prof. Joris Mooij of the University of Amsterdam and his co-authors is surprisingly simple: if one event influences another, then the random noise in the causing event will be reflected in the affected event."
The good people at Information Is Beautiful took the data from the "75+ classic cocktail recipes from the International Bartender’s Association’s list of drinks every bartender should know" and turned into into a beautiful reference chart. As an added bonus, they converted the ingredients to proportions for easy scaling. Cheers!
The OED in two minutes is a visualisation of the change and growth of the English language since 1150, showing the frequency and origin of new words year by year. Notes and explanations about the project. [more inside]
Flowing Data's kind-of annual entry into the "best of" season: Their picks for best data visualisations of 2014. [more inside]
Best Ever Albums aggregates 17,000 "greatest album" charts to establish a statistical consensus on popular music rankings. [more inside]
"Facebook actually makes masks out of everyone’s faces." Artist Sterling Crispin creates DATA-MASKS as a way to physically present the abstract data structures that Facebook and biometric surveillance systems use to pull a face from a crowd.
Common sense dictates that video games should be balanced. Of course they should be! Why wouldn't they? Well, it turns out there are actually some pretty cool things that can happen when a game isn't balanced. - The Unbalanced Design of Super Smash Brothers
The Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2014 celebrate excellence and beauty in data visualizations, infographics and information art.
Pianogram - histogram + piano notes = pianogram; select from existing pieces or import your MIDI file. A part of Joey's Visual Playground.
Hollaback and Why Everyone Needs Better Research Methods (And Why All Data Needs Theory), by Zeynep Tufekci:
I’ve taught "introduction to research methods" to undergraduate students for many years, and they would sometimes ask me why they should care about all this "method stuff", besides having a required class for a sociology major out of the way. I would always tell them, without understanding research methods, you cannot understand how to judge what you see.[more inside]
The Hollaback video shows us exactly why.
What is a work of art in the age of $120,000 art degrees? A new report (PDF) by activist collective BFAMFAPhD laments the shrinking job prospects and growing debt burden for art school graduates. [more inside]
What Will It Take to Run a 2-Hour Marathon? (Warning: data viz, annoying design)
JPMorgan Chase Says More Than 76 Million Accounts Compromised in Cyberattack [New York Times]
"The breach is among the largest corporate hacks, and the latest revelations vastly dwarf earlier estimates that hackers had gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts."
Search for word usage in movies and television over time.
Movies and television shows often reflect cultural trends of the time they are made in. Even movies that take place during the past or future can say something about the present through metadata or production style. Using the Bookworm platform, Benjamin Schmidt, an assistant professor of history at Northeastern University, provides a tool that lets you see trends in movie and television dialogue.
Folger Shakespeare Library Releases 80,000 Images for Creative Common Use. The Folger Shakespeare Library announced yesterday, that they have released the contents of their Digital Image Collection under a Creative Commons Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) license. Full database can be accessed here.
data.gov.in : the Indian counterpart of the US data.gov, features 10280 resources in 3215 catalogs for public perusal. There's a visualization gallery charting developments like village electrification or domestic air traffic or sales of automobiles. And also a community section featuring apps offering mobile access to some of the data.
You are a particle physics researcher. Particle Clicker is a resource accumulation game in the same mould as Cookie Clicker - but this time with particle physics research, academics, and funding. Click repeatedly on the Collider to generate data. Turn data into research to gain funding and increase your reputation. Spend your funding on Human Resources and Upgrades - don't forget to buy beer to keep your research students happy, and coffee to keep them awake! [more inside]
A link to Good Magazine's infographics. Some of my favorites: How powerful is your passport, Being bike friendly in America, What foods are most susceptible to food fraud. [more inside]
Only 15 million, riiiight. A data experiment out of Florida State University maps the location of 1 million of the 15 million publicly available online images tagged with the word "cat." Using a supercomputer and the map coordinates imbedded in their metadata, I Know Where Your Cat Lives shows where each image was taken, to within an estimated 7.8 meters accuracy. [more inside]
“For the past 105 days, I've been tracking everything about myself.” Anand Sharma shows the progress of his life through a beautifully designed site. [more inside]
Datashine: Census is a site from UCLs Big Open Data: Mining and Synthesis project which provides an easy interface to map UK population data. [more inside]
How to write 225 words per minute. With a pen. Dennis Hollier, in the Atlantic, writes about Gregg shorthand, a piece of analog data-compression technology now largely forgotten and probably forever unequalled.
“But what shall we dream of when everything becomes visible?” Virilio replies: “We’ll dream of being blind."
Clarity Campaign Labs invites you to use TargetSmart U.S. voter data to discover, via seven yes/no/don't care questions, What town matches my politics? Business Insider uses it to determine the most liberal and conservative towns in each state.
An interactive visualization of Boston's subway system in February. With it, you can see where trains on the red, blue, and orange lines were at any moment on February 3 were in space and along their paths between stations, among many other things. [more inside]
Randy Olson is conducting an analysis of chess since 1850. What's the advantage of playing white? Are games getting longer? What openings have fallen in and out of vogue? Are chess players becoming less focused on capturing pieces?
The SmartMime whale tracker lets you know where Hawaii's diverse population of whales are right now (not actually in real time, but based on migration data).
A checklist for those making graphs from Stephanie Evergreen and Ann Emery. This is a useful tool for teaching scientists and others some of the rules of data presentation in graph form.
Not everyone agrees on the best methods for raising kids. That becomes apparent when you examine the results from the 2010-2014 World Values Survey — 82,000 adults across 54 countries were surveyed to gain a better understanding of what they consider most important when raising a child, whether or not they were parents themselves. PBS NewsHour has an interactive quiz you can take to show which country has values closest to yours as well as a widget to compare the values of any two countries. You can see all the data in this google docs spreadsheet.
Meat Atlas: facts and figures about the animals we eat
Equaldex: the collaborative LGBT knowledgebase! A crowd-sourced, verified, beautifully presented representation of equal rights (and how they are specifically denied) for LGBT folks. [via reddit]
Sony just announced that cassette technology might be the future! With a device that can hold 185 terabytes on one tape. (that's three bluray discs worth of data per square inch.)