From the monthly archives:

January 2010

SIGTARP confirms: TARP an exercise in moral hazard

January 31, 2010

The Special Inspector General's report on TARP has been released from embargo. It concludes that TARP was unsuccessful, and even its (debatable) short-term corrections are overshadowed by the extent to which it has returned the economy to its previous bubble state -- "we are still driving on the same winding mountain road, but this time […]

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Places I've been: the Big Well (and meteorite!)

January 29, 2010

Deep in southwestern Kansas, surrounded by miles and miles of absolutely nothing, is a giant stone-lined hole in the ground. It's not just any old hole, though -- it's the largest hand-dug well in the world. And according to the WSJ, it's about to acquire a world-class museum: The citizens of Greensburg are planning a […]

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Google allows scripting across Apps

January 29, 2010

This is huge. Google has enabled a Java scripting application across it's online Apps suite. Previously available only to premier subscribers, the scripting capability is now open to anyone with a standard account as well. This competes directly with Microsoft's cross-Office VBA, allowing users to build their own applications while using the productivity suite as […]

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The mathematician's lens

January 25, 2010

A beautiful article in the NYTimes contrasts abstract mathematics with the chilling reality of the Mexican drug cartel wars: I was born in Mexico City, in a world that seems less and less familiar to me. I live now in the opposite corner of the continent. I am training to be a political scientist at […]

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Office 2010's 3D pie charts... now with extra 3D!

January 25, 2010

Microsoft has announced the system requirements for Office 2010. That's news in and of itself. Once upon a time, system requirements (at least, ones that anyone paid attention to) were strictly for high-end professional software, cutting-edge games and the like: software that actually needed powerful hardware. But the real news here is that Office 2010 […]

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Stages of a photographer (an infographic)

January 25, 2010

Very amusing... and true: I especially love "The HDR Hole." Presumably the y-axis is measured in percent of personal potential... there must be all sorts of Bayesian self-reflection stuff going on there. (Via DataViz)

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On revisions, episode VII

January 24, 2010

Via The Big Picture comes news of a rather substantial revision of numbers from last November: You may recall that consensus for November’s Durable Goods had been +0.5%.  The reported data was lighter than expected at +0.2%. Looking at the revisions the Census Bureau has now incorporated into the data, we see that November actually […]

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Suggestions

January 24, 2010

(Via Piled Higher and Deeper)

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What is the impact of HTML5 on Adobe?

January 22, 2010

With the recent announcements that YouTube and Vimeo are both releasing HTML5-based video players, one has to wonder about the impact of those moves on Adobe. Adobe's Flash had been (and is) THE standard for delivering multimedia content over the web, capturing something like 99% of internet users. HTML5 allows many Flash-like animations/videos/experiences without the […]

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Debating 3D TV

January 19, 2010

Here's an interesting case study in internet behavior dynamics: when Engadget publishes a story -- any story -- about 3D TVs, the comments are filled with fans and excited (potential) consumers. When the NYT publishes a story called "Do Consumers Really Want 3-D TV's?" the comments overflow with doubters and pessimists. Thanks to the magic […]

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Clay Shirky on the internet

January 19, 2010

Clay Shirky sees the internet poised between Invisible High School and Invisible College, the latter of which sounds a lot like an open source society: What did the Invisible College have that the alchemists didn't? They had a culture of sharing. The problem with the alchemists had wasn't that they failed to turn lead into […]

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Tablet OS = Dashboard?

January 17, 2010

There's a lot of speculation out there regarding the form of Apple's tablet OS: will it be the iPhone OS in an expanded resolution? Will it be a stripped down version of Snow Leopard? Will it be something new entirely? If you're using a Mac right now, hit F12. That's my bet at what the […]

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Data wars

January 11, 2010

The NYT writes about the military's data problem: Air Force drones collected nearly three times as much video over Afghanistan and Iraq last year as in 2007 — about 24 years’ worth if watched continuously. That volume is expected to multiply in the coming years as drones are added to the fleet and as some […]

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011110

January 11, 2010

Today's date represents a binary string. So did yesterday's. So will November 1's. This is not news. But today's is a palindrome. This is slightly more newsworthy. Geeks, rejoice.

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Never more true than today

January 10, 2010

In his Chart Wars talk, Alex Lundry mentions a quote which he attributes to H. G. Wells: Statistical thinking will one day be as necessary for efficient citizenship as the ability to read and write. However, that statement was actually made by Samuel Wilks, who was paraphrasing a line in Wells' book Mankind in the […]

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Chart Wars

January 8, 2010

Alex Lundry, Vice President and Director of Research of the consulting firm Target Point, has published a brief talk called Chart Wars which is simply brilliant, serving as an excellent but brief (5 minutes!) overview of how easy it is to manipulate infographics and what tricks to be wary of. His specific focus is a […]

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The Microslate

January 6, 2010

This could be extremely interesting. Especially if it looks like this. But it might not.

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Seeking Alpha's password security

January 5, 2010

As you may know, TGR is occasionally syndicated on Seeking Alpha. This weekend, Seeking Alpha underwent a redesign in order to incorporate a number of new features largely focused on enhancing discussion, like nested comments and notifications. Unfortunately, one issue that has persisted is that Seeking Alpha passwords are displayed in plaintext: This is quite disconcerting to […]

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The fine print

January 4, 2010

From the "that's a feature, not a bug" file: I always thought my iPhone's ability to continue email searches on the server (as opposed to emails stored on the phone) was broken, since it never returned any results even for emails I knew existed. Today, I learned that remote search is explicitly not supported, according […]

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The Burj Khalifa

January 4, 2010

It was announced at the official opening of the tallest building in the world that it will no longer be called the Burj Dubai, but rather the Burj Khalifa, a nod to the President of Abu Dhabi, Sheik Khalifa. One will of course recall that just a few weeks ago, Abu Dhabi rescued Dubai from […]

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Nexus One: "not very different than the Droid"

January 4, 2010

Engadget has gotten their hands on Google's Nexus One phone and while further details will be forthcoming at Google's press event on Tuesday, they have a pretty in depth preview. The most important takeaway is that despite the iPhone-launch-esque frothing of the technology media at large, this is not a revolutionary phone. A couple weeks […]

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Viva la banker

January 3, 2010

Coldplay's Viva la Vida could be Wall Street's anthem: I used to rule the world Seas would rise when I gave the word Now in the morning I sleep alone Sweep the streets I used to own I used to roll the dice Feel the fear in my enemy's eyes Listen as the crowd would […]

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Easily the biggest news story of 2010 (so far)

January 1, 2010

Not long ago, I wrote that Amazon's sign in link was keeping me up at night because the noun "recommendations," rather than the verb "sign in," formed the actual link. Today I noticed that Amazon has changed the link to reflect what I feel is a more standard approach: ...changing the world, one link at […]

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