So it’s about time I updated the stock theme that I had with one that’s a bit more me. Not that I’ve been all that great about updating but, I since August just finished I’m working on a Books of August 09 post filled with “fun” stuff. If anything’s broken let me know! Otherwise, it’s good to see the site with some actual color!
I’ve been long fascinated with data visualization and the growing field that it’s becoming. With the amazing amount of data that’s being collected and stored with the advances of technology, new ways to derive meaning out of data beyond simple bar graphs and pie charts are needed.
Here’s a collection of links that marries my love of sports and a number of great visualizations of different aspects of the sports.
Baseball – Salary vs. Performance – Showing how much a payroll vs. wins and losses shows up. The Mariners do not fare well here.
I don’t tend to do link log type of things, but I found this fascinating, in that it’s an amazing interview with one of the software engineers behind the Mars Phoenix Lander. It recently landed atop the North Pole of Mars on a search for water. The developer talks about the limitations of the hardware, the design process and the safe guards they have in place to make sure it keeps working. It’s a fascinating read. Check it out here.
Supposedly some great new features to help keep Cinder Inc. running strong. Already I like the new dashboard improvements in the content managing side of it. Hopefully it’ll make updating even easier so I can keep Blogging Quest actually updated.
If you find anything that’s broken just let me know.
Rolling Stone has a new interview up with William Gibson. It covers many of the topics that Gibson’s writings have influenced or the way he interprets where we are headed. Check it out here, and check out a quote from it below.
People worry about the loss of individual privacy, but that comes with a new kind of unavoidable transparency. Eventually we’re going to know everything that every twenty-first-century politician has ever done. It will be very hard for politicians and governments to keep secrets. The whole thing is porous. We just haven’t really figured out quite how porous it is.
It’s odd. I was thinking about Measure Map the other day. It’s the easy to use, blog specific, website stat tracker/blog analysis tool. I’ve been using it for Cinder Inc. for a year or so now, and have loved how it gave me great data on who came, and from where among other things.
Of course, Google bought Measure Map and any updates on it ceased. I was worried that with the Google buyout that it was just something they picked up, so it wouldn’t compete with their own Google Analytics. I have been playing with Google’s own tool for a few weeks now, and while it’s useful, it wasn’t very user friendly, and much of it’s features just didn’t seem all that useful with the amount of traffic that Cinder Inc. gets.
Today, Jeff Veen, the lead designer on the old Measure Map project, announced today a new version of Google Analytics, full of many of the features that made Measure Map easy to use, but also with a much more power and usability behind them. It’s a cross breed of the two previous programs, but so so much more it looks like.
They are rolling it out slowly to their users, with the top users getting it first. I look forward to the time I can play with it here in the future!
Found this great story of the quest of a Vanity Fair writer. It’s Nick Tosches’ quest to find out where in the world the great Windows desktop background “Autumn” really was. It’s a great read, and it’s suprising how much trouble he really had to go through to find out even the location and the photographer.
Check out his story here.
Found on kottke again.
I’ve had a passing interest in Google Books, Google’s project to scan and make books easy to search through. Amazon and Microsoft and others are working on something similar as well. The problem comes, as it always seems to, down to copyrights. Publishers both love and hate the idea of this project. It can draw users into finding books they want to buy that they wouldn’t have normally, but then they can’t stand to have someone making copies of all of their precious copyrighted work, even if it’s out of print!
Found by a link from kottke.org, where I seem to find a lot of interesting links these days, is this great piece in The New Yorker – Google’s Moon Shot – By Jeffrey Toobin. It’s great on it’s history of the project, as well as pointing out the ramifications of the lawsuits that Google is facing from authors and publishers.? From the article:
In other words, a settlement could insulate Google from competitors, which would be especially troubling, because the company has already proved that when it comes to searches it is not infallible. ?Google didn?t get video search right?YouTube did,? Tim Wu, a professor at Columbia Law School, said. (Google solved that problem by buying YouTube last year for $1.6 billion.) ?Google didn?t get blog search right?technorati.com did,? Wu went on. ?So maybe Google won?t get book search right. But if they settle the case with the publishers and create huge barriers to newcomers in the market there won?t be any competition. That?s the greatest danger here.?
Well worth the time to read.
I wrote a while ago about my plan to upgrade from WordPress 1.5 to 2.0, but never actually got around to doing so. Work and family took precedence over playing around with FTP, PHP and any other fun acronyms that make the web run. That being said, I had a few extra hours this weekend and ran the upgrade and so now what you see is WordPress 2.0.3 Wow.
Nothings different really. For the most part, it doesn’t to much to the interface that users see from what I’ve been able to tell. It’s got a more robust backend and admin panel to help me manage this site a bit better. I’m looking at also getting a new visual template and giving the site a new look past the WordPress default, which while nice, makes it look like a ton of other no thought sites out there. Any template reccomendations would be appreciated!
It should also help me create different user accounts so I can give my wife a login and she can post on her own, without any help from me, and it will be authored by her in the byline as well.
I think in the end this will be a good thing for Measure Map, and we’ll see what happens to the feature set as it grows and becomes a more fully featured program. Google seems to be pretty good at picking up properties that have good value if the havn’t already cooked them up in the Google Labs yet.