From the monthly archives:

January 2012

Does a department store credit card really hurt your credit score?

January 27, 2012

I came across an article on whether or not closing credit card accounts lowers your credit score, which included this bizarre observation: The addition of new credit card debt also increases your credit utilization, or debt-to-credit limit ratio, on revolving accounts such as credit cards. For FICO scores, this ratio is part of a factor […]

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High tech's hottest calling

January 26, 2012

The NYT's Bits blog has a new post on "high tech’s hottest calling:" statistical analysis. The article isn't just about the jobs market, focusing as well on students' increased demand for statistics classes at top universities. The opening anecdote will be familiar to anyone in the field: “Most of my life I went to parties […]

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If it's unclear, non-specific and vague... it's probably true

January 25, 2012

Mashable has a new standard for fact-checking rumors: ...While you should look at all of this information with a skeptical eye, a raised eyebrow and folded arms, the rumor sounds slightly more credible than the junk typically spewed out from Taiwan industry pub DigiTimes. For starters, reviewing various prototypes before deciding on the final production model […]

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"Big Data" is meaningless

January 20, 2012

Roger Ehrenberg gets it: Every so often a term becomes so beloved by media that it moves from “instructive” to “hackneyed” to “worthless,” and Big Data is one of those terms.... Every business generates data, but it is a far smaller number that view data as a strategic asset that is actively managed for the benefit […]

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The Internet is on strike

January 18, 2012

I'm very impressed by the broad reach of today's internet blackout. For those living under a rock, the logo above belongs to Google; the search giant probably reasoned that a full-scale shut down a la Wikipedia or Reddit (which got the blackout ball rolling in the first place) would be too disruptive. Just think how all the […]

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Stanley Kubrick: data scientist?

January 18, 2012

Here's a fascinating essay by Mike Kaplan, who oversaw marketing for the movies 2001 and A Clockwork Orange, which explains how Stanley Kubrick became one of the first commercial data scientists. In 1971, as Kaplan and Kubrick were trying to determine which theaters should show the new movie, they realized that Variety published box office totals for individual cinemas in […]

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Have your math and eat it, too

January 11, 2012

Here are two of my favorite things, unexpectedly combined: This is from the slideshow accompanying a brief NYT article on an unusual book called Pasta by Design. The book is about, yes, modeling pasta in Mathematica. (via FlowingData)

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...and not a drop of value

January 5, 2012

Bryce Roberts gets it: Here’s the thing. Data, big, medium or small, has no value in and of itself. The value of data is unlocked through context and presentation.

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