TED talk: data visualisation

As FaceBook is absorbing now most of my thoughts and activities, there is still room to share more in depth. So I will restart using my blog for this, in addition to FaceBook.

Just came across this inspiring TED talk about data visualisation by David McCandless, back in 2010.

One nice example is from David’s website, on Snake oil?

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Twitter tools

Next step, Twitter Tools has been installed on this blog. Somehow one issue was remaining: to show recent tweets inside blog. This appeared to be solved when changing settings.

Strange though that at first, when I saved these settings, my browser (Firefox) hanged. Had to restart browser.

I also overlooked at first to fill in the plug-in for bit.ly, which can be set when changing settings Twitter Tools.

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Db testje

Nieuw bericht, om te testen…

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Hallo wereld!

Heden geprobeerd om te upgraden naar WordPress 3. Dashboard geeft aan dat ‘t nog niet is gelukt, en “voorkant” is ook al niet zichtbaar.

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Quotes & other sayings

Sometimes quotes really struck me as very much to the point and useful. I keep them with me over the years as food for reflection.

  • Jakob Nielsen: Life is too short to click on everything in “Sites By Design”, author Ann M. Mack, IQ Interactive Report, AdWeek Online, 4 September 2000, still partly online. Nielsen emphasizes in the article for a website to make clear within 10 seconds what the purpose and message is. Otherwise a visitor will click away. This is a somewhat similar advice as to prevent what Vincent Flanders calls Mystery Meat Navigation There the navigation is preventing a user to memorize what purpose a navigational item has.
  • Henry Ford: If I had have asked my users, they would have told me they wanted a faster horse, in other words, don’t always listen too closely to your customers as they do not always envision the future. Of course this does not imply not to try to understand your customer. It means you will have to understand what other questions to ask to get to the underlying needs waiting to be fullfilled.
    The source of this quote is unknown to me.
  • Kelly Johnson (1910-1990, a lead engineer, manager and board member at Lockheed): KISS – Keep it Simple and Stupid . Try to avoid complexity and keep it at simple as possible. This usually helps me in starting to cope with difficult processes or tasks. Many people have a tendency to make things worse through more complexity. It means more work to manage as well as money to spend. More about Johnson in Wikipedia.
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Up and running again

Finally I succeeded again, after almost two weeks, to have the websites back up and running, so apologies. For the fault was on my side. Though some holes are still around, concerning subdomains and php/MySQL. Apparantly also some holes in my understanding of web techniques.

As my former host, Lycos, announced to be quitting the webhosting business end of February 2009, a new one had to be picked. So, from now on, it is Strato who hosts these sites of mine.

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For your desktop

Some pictures work very well for me so I use them on my pc’s desktop. They can make me really feel good, as bright skies or sunlight often do. Here some pictures I want to share with you. I took them myself. Click on an image to open it as a 1280 x 1024 file.

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Crises? What crises!

In these times of huge economic turbulence, clearing up the sky, catching a glimpse of sunlight, is what one is hoping for. I personally try to follow what some guru’s have to say on this (and were saying well in advance!)

  • George Soros, when interviewed
  • Nouriel Roubini
  • Marc Faber, though most information, like The Gloom Boom and Doom Report is not for free, some interesting free examples and also useful links
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Google maps

Great to play around with those Google maps. I recently figured out how to include maps in my own pages, configuring them to my likes. Here is one of my favourites, the Eiffeltower in Paris

I am now playing around with the API in order to find the best way to present this map.

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Conservative Fukuyama and Liberal Soros

I just took some time to write a little comment on Soros’ book The bubble of American Supremacy – The costs of Bush’s war in Iraq, which I had in mind for some time. It was published as a comment to Michael Signer’s post on Democracy Arsenal. I think Soros’ extension of Popper is very useful in understanding present day issues like Intelligent Design and fundamentalism.

I conclude that Fukuyama’s sticking to natural rights still makes him a conservative, not a liberal.

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