Book Review: The Art of Statistics - Learning from Data by David Spiegelhalter

by @edent | ,

Book cover with many dots on it.

Do busier hospitals have higher survival rates? How many trees are there on the planet? Why do old men have big ears? David Spiegelhalter reveals the answers to these and many other questions - questions that can only be addressed using statistical science. Statistics has played a leading role in our scientific understanding of the…

VR for Statistics

by @edent | , , | 2 comments | Read ~134 times.

A basic bar chart - with four columns. The tallest is about the height of the screen.

I'm not a big fan of Virtual Reality. I find it claustrophobic and impractical for most uses. There are some areas which it does impress though. Scale. Half-a-dozen years ago - during one of VR's periodic hype-phases - an employer asked me and my team to "do something interesting" with all the expensive VR kit…

Book Review: How to Make the World Add Up - Tim Harford

by @edent | ,

A goldfish, with a shark find stuck to its back.

In How to Make the World Add Up, Tim Harford draws on his experience as both an economist and presenter of the BBC’s radio show ‘More or Less’ to take us deep into the world of disinformation and obfuscation, bad research and misplaced motivation to find those priceless jewels of data and analysis that make…

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you lose

by @edent | , , | Read ~555 times.

I've just read an interesting article by M.G. Siegler entitled - "What you’re working on sucks, just give up now, they said." It can be summed up thus: Commentators said our startup wouldn't work. Our startup did, in fact, suceed. ∴ All commentators are wrong about whether startups will work. This exhibits one of my…

Surrey Police and the Case of The Misleading Pie Charts

by @edent | , , , , , | Read ~937 times.

Surrey County Council have sent every household in the county a booklet explaining how our council tax is being spent. Within it is a highly political comment from Kevin Hurley, the newly elected Police and Crime Commissioner. He presents a pie chart showing how the police force spend its money. Take a look at it…

Sex Ratios in Delhi

by @edent | | 1 comment | Read ~1,452 times.

There are no words to adequately describe the horrific rape and murder of Jyoti Singh Pandey. I remember, several years ago reading a short piece of speculative fiction which postulated that China would go to war over access to women. Generations of female infanticide would leave the country with a severe gender imbalance. Hoards of…

Why You Should Make Your QR Codes Unique

by @edent | , , , , | Read ~506 times.

Wandering around the steets of London, I came across this excellent initiative from Camden Council on how to use QR codes on street furniture. If you see that a light - or anything else - is damaged, you can scan the QR code and report the issue. There's even a phone number and vanilla URL…

The Perils of URL Shortners

by @edent | , , , , , | 1 comment | Read ~232 times.

I'm not a big fan of URL shortners - bit.ly, t.co, goo.gl, ow.ly, etc - I understand the need for them, but they seem to offer a fairly poor service in terms of privacy and usefulness. Take this recent example from Vodafone. Aside from the obvious downsides (user doesn't know where the link will take…

NaBloPoMo - Stats

by @edent | , , , | 3 comments

As we enter another NaBloPoMo - where I try to write a blog post each day in Novemeber - I thought I'd take a look back at how this blog has developed. On Friday, October 30, 2009, I switched on WordPress statistics so I could get a better idea of what was popular on my…

Train Tickets With QR Codes

by @edent | , , , , , , , | 1 comment | Read ~1,201 times.

No, I'm not talking about Masabi's innovative technology, but of this rather odd bit of advertising found on the back of a train ticket. There's no specific call to action - but there's not much space to play with. Let's give it a scan... *sigh* A non-mobile site. With an Adobe Flash plugin in the…