Friday, December 04, 2009

The Daily Dozen

  1. pogue What David Pogue bought this year.  (He’s the NYT tech guru.)  Be sure to read his post on Readibility.  It automatically reformats web pages for easy reading, simply by clicking on a bookmark.  I just dragged the link onto my bookmark bar and it is as amazing as Pogue says.  One of his purchases was the Canon PowerShot S90, saying it “takes better photos than any other pocket camera on the market.”
  2. IDC predicts Apple tablet and 300,000 apps in 2010.  “IDC is also assuming that the recent trend of cranky developers dropping iPhone development won't continue; they're stating that the number of apps in the App Store will climb to 300,000 by the end of 2010 and that the competing Android platform will see up to 75,000 apps by that time. Gens pointed out that there are about 10,000 apps listed on Microsoft's Windows 7 compatibility site, and notes that "The market follows the applications. That's a message for the software industry, particularly for the PC industry."”
  3. The paradox of choice is not robust.  “They couldn’t find any sign of the “choice is bad” effect... After designing 10 different experiments in which participants were asked to make a choice, and finding very little evidence that variety caused any problems”
  4. The educational value of Climategate?  “According to Stephen Dubner, “if you are fan of science, this [Climategate] is a pretty grim day.” I think it’s a great day. As great as the day the first math text was printed. It’s the first time a large number of people are getting a real lesson in science… The apparent consensus on any difficult issue is more fragile than it looks. You are learning how conclusions are actually arrived at. It isn’t pretty — which textbook writers and professors, seeking dignity above all else, fail to mention.”   More thoughts here.
  5. Bringing data to copyright: “Relying upon U.S. copyright registrations from 1870 through 2006 as a proxy for the number of works created, we consider how four variables—population, the economy, legal changes, and technology—influenced subsequent copyright registrations. Our findings cast serious doubt on the idea that with copyright law, one size fits all. While individual legal changes may be associated with changes in subsequent copyright registrations, the overall relationship between changes in copyright law and registrations is neither consistent nor completely predictable.”
  6. What does Wolfram Alpha do when they can’t sell their $50 app?  They discontinue their iPhone formatted webpage, of course.  Very poor.
  7. Speaking of Wolfram Alpha, something they have done right is adding an incredible step-by-step solver.  I’m actually upset about this too.  Why didn’t they have this when I was in junior high?
  8. Intel developing an app store for netbooks?
  9. ‘Being a lawyer makes me sick.’  Literally.  Over 50% of (lawyer) respondents to a recent (non-scientific) survey report high rates of stress related illness including depression and anxiety.  May cause triple miscarriage rate in women lawyers.
  10. Monster Milktruck.  Drive a monster milktruck anywhere in the world, using Google Earth overlays.  Awesome!
  11. It’s better to give than to receive.  Countries that give lots of foreign aid tend to be happy.  Recipient nations aren’t any happier for the aid.
  12. A video review of Canon's PowerShot S90.  (One of two tech items David Pogue purchased this year.)  Here’s the corresponding print review.


thinking said...

Regarding the so-called Climategate, Popular Mechanics has a nice summation of what we know about climate change...some excerpts:

All data show that atmospheric CO2 is going up. This increase is very strongly correlated with the historical increase in human CO2 emissions.

...For these reasons, and based on carbon isotope data, it is all but certain that the present, unprecedented rise in CO2 is due mainly to human output.

...Most scientists know and acknowledge these uncertainties, and reason as follows. We're in an unprecedented situation, with regard to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere and the rate at which it is rising. Because this is unprecedented, we are not sure what is going to happen. But global warming is very likely, and reasonably probable outcomes could be fatal. Ignoring it would be like Russian roulette. Want to play? I do not.

thinking said...

Those who deny climate change remind me of the tobacco companies a few decades ago, trying to use every little technicality to try to deny the dangers of tobacco use. They too used the defense that science was not 100% certain.