From the category archives:


"iPad". Just "iPad".

November 5, 2012

Having played with the new iPad mini, I am quite sure that it will become the dominant iPad product. It is the just the right size and weight; it's relatively cheap; the bezel is unobtrusive; the screen seems sharp even next to a true retina display. In a perfect world, I think that the mini […]

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Fun with servers

December 5, 2011

I apologize to all my readers for the outage we experienced this weekend. I had to do some server surgery including a very frightening "erase everything" operation that I hoped -- but couldn't be entirely sure -- would be reversed with a TGR backup. This was all compounded by a bit of travelling that left […]

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September 19, 2011

A nocturnal timelapse of the view from the ISS, featuring lighting and lightning:   This is probably the best button to press     ↑    

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In defense of big ideas

August 16, 2011

Here's a provocative opinion ("The Elusive Big Idea") in the NYT by Neal Gabler, who laments that "we are living in an increasingly post-idea world — a world in which big, thought-provoking ideas that can’t instantly be monetized are of so little intrinsic value that fewer people are generating them and fewer outlets are disseminating […]

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An apology

November 11, 2010

I wrote a post yesterday referencing Forbes' coverage of R, which I was psyched about. But as I was reading, one quote in the post stuck in my head. I couldn't get past how bad I thought it made statisticians look, and ultimately that became the focus of my post. I was pretty off base […]

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Post-election humor

November 4, 2010

Made me chuckle: (via SMBC)

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February 2, 2010

LOST is back tonight! And what better way to prepare than an interactive timeline from the excellent NYT graphics team? A good infographic should communicate otherwise-complex ideas in a simple and intuitive manner... oh, never mind, LOST is back and that's really what matters. Check out the timeline here!

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One way, the wrong way

December 23, 2009

Every single street in Boston is one-way, the wrong way. At least, that's what I've believed since I lived there - no matter where you want to go, the roads that appear to form the most direct route will inevitably carry traffic only in the opposite direction. And somehow that remains true when you try […]

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Molehills out of mountains

December 21, 2009

The WSJ has crunched the numbers and concluded that: In nearly 200 years of recorded stock-market history, no calendar decade has seen such a dismal performance as the 2000s. Investors would have been better off investing in pretty much anything else, from bonds to gold or even just stuffing money under a mattress. Since the […]

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Hypothetically speaking, of course

December 14, 2009

Aaron Swartz makes some good points about Google, but I just can't keep reading once he invokes a tactic I can't stand (and which sadly seems to be gaining currency): If Microsoft had Google’s market share in search, is there any doubt that they’d be systematically demoting or even banning their competitors in the search […]

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Land speed

September 2, 2009

I saw this ad for the new Cadillac lineup, in particular the CTS coupe, on Sunday night and was left with the feeling that I had seen something almost-but-not-quite-like it before. The sand, the straight-line speed, the radio-quality voices, the ambient nothingness... and finally, I remembered. Here's the Cadillac ad: And here's the classic BMW […]

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Kansas, obviously.

August 11, 2009

Jalopnik's QOTD: What's the worst state to drive across?

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Mapping Seinfeld

August 6, 2009

Posted as a public service following this announcement (click to zoom): via Daily Fill.

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The voyeur chef

July 31, 2009

The NYTimes Magazine has an article about cooking or, more accurately, how that act has is vanishing from American homes. It addresses the causes of that transformation, from pragmatic time constraints and demographic shifts to the technological (this excerpt stuck strongly in my mind): “Here’s an analogy,” Balzer said. “A hundred years ago, chicken for […]

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Automotive journalism at its worst

July 29, 2009

This article on the newly-announced Ferrari 458 is so incredibly bad - in content and in tone - that I am forced to conclude that Ferrari paid the author for the publicity. Moreover, what's it doing on a technology site? The complete sum of knowledge regarding this vehicle is four photographs and a vague press […]

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[woefully boring title]

July 22, 2009

Love this brief observation from Andrew Gelman: Original title of article: "Estimating turnout, vote intention, and issue attitudes in subsets of the population" New title: "Who votes? How did they vote? And what were they thinking?"

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Bo Obama's first 100 days

July 17, 2009

Who knew the little guy was so prolific? A very funny read in today's NYT: As we head into the second hundred days of my administration, I feel more pride and pleasure than ever at the prospect of serving the American people and finding ways to make this nation, and this planet, a better place […]

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Negative sum cider

July 16, 2009

Nemo and I have been engaged in a very enjoyable debate about zero sum games, and with all this talk of transactions I'm reminded of the following Chelm story (for those unfamiliar, this staple of Yiddish storytelling is a fictional town entirely populated by fools): Two men are transporting a horse cart of apple cider […]

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Suspend your disbelief

July 13, 2009

Best plot summary ever: Elsewhere, the giant shark leaps thousands of feet from the ocean and attacks a commercial airplane, forcing it to crash into the water. The movie's trailer is here.

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Butter & Marge

June 24, 2009

Add it to the list of things you didn't even realize you were missing - here's a stunning infographic about butter: (via information aesthetics)

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More nerd humor: xkcd & Erdos

June 23, 2009

I really love xkcd. There's something encouraging about a webcomic focused on math and computer science that is nonetheless so funny and accessible that tens of millions of people read it every month.  And every now and then it errs strongly on the obscure side, as exemplified by this recent comic that sent me off researching […]

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Top Gear season 13 is coming!!

June 19, 2009

This is the second trailer, and I like it a bit more than the first: Truth be told, the first trailer really is worth watching if only for the way mini-James yells "Clarkson, you great oaf!" near the end. ...All right, you've talked me into it:

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You fall within a bell curve

June 13, 2009

I recently discovered Tim Minchin, who reminds me a bit of a modern Tom Lehrer.

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Hamsters... in 3D

June 12, 2009

You may know that I like to watch movie trailers (massive understatement). Today, I'd like to discuss the trailer for Jerry Bruckheimer's new movie G-Force. As one might expect from a Bruckheimer flick, G-Force is about an elite squad of spies who are forcibly retired and subsequently called back to action. As one might not […]

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Observed at Harvard's graduation

June 4, 2009

Before commencement, alumni are gathered in the Yard. A dean is reading off what seems to be historical events from the anniversary years.  Among his observations: "In 1959, the Union decided to admit two new states: Hawaii and Alaska. Out of political fairness and bipartisanship, one was Democratic and one was Republican. I believe that […]

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Can I get salmon with that?

June 4, 2009

I arrived in Boston late last night and took myself out for dinner. My waitress introduced herself, told me it was her second night and then said, "The fish of the day is broccoli and rice."

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I make this look good

June 1, 2009

A construction crew cuts a secret wire, and men in black arrive within minutes: very cool.

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Dude, that's a toad

May 29, 2009

Tom Valenti, the world's greatest chef,  is featured in a June 8 Forbes article.  The author spent a day with Tom in upstate New York, hunting/gathering ingredients for a home-caught, home-cooked but nonetheless gourmet meal. Everything down to the spring water was collected in the wild (with the exception, I assume, of the French pinot blanc). […]

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How to animate 10,000 balloons

May 29, 2009

and an old man's suit.

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