Find out where you fit on the global income spectrum

Anna Rosling Rönnlund, co-founder of the Gapminder Foundation, asked Swedish students where they thought they fell on the global income spectrum. They guessed somewhere in the middle; they were wrong. After having 264 homes photographed in 50 countries and collecting 30,000 photos, she made this tool to help everyone understand the world – and how they fit in – a little better.

Want to see how people at your income level live in other countries? Of course you do.

It's the perfect antidote to Instagram-induced envy. Actually, I'd like to see someone curate a Selby or Apartmento-style lookbook from these images. Anyone? Read the rest

Data shows bulldogs are by far the most overrated breed

David McCandless meticulously charted dog breeds by six scores: intelligence, costs, longevity, grooming, ailments, and appetite. The big loser: bulldogs. Read the rest

Google Maps knows all

Google is way ahead of the competition when it comes to the detail and complexity of its maps, writes Justin O’Beirne, and its thanks to a relentless program of turning satellite and street view imagery into accurate 3D models of buildings. It knows where your rooftop AC units are, and it's showing them to the world. And it's now calculating the most interesting groups of buildings and depicting them as algorithmically-generated "areas of interest."
And as we saw in “A Year of Google & Apple Maps”, Google has been using computer vision and machine learning to extract business names and locations from its Street View imagery. In other words, Google’s buildings are byproducts of its Satellite/Aerial imagery. And some of Google’s places are byproducts of its Street View imagery......so this makes AOIs a byproduct of byproducts. This is bonkers, isn’t it? Google is creating data out of data.

It appears the competition (Apple, Microsoft) are so far behind they don't even have the data they need to create the data that Google has. Read the rest

Correlation between Trump tweets and Fox and Friends being on

If you hadn't noticed, Trump tweets constantly during Fox and Friends, a fact more apparent as his presidency continues, but subsiding during times of intense travel (such as his recent tour of Asia).

It's as if he lounges in the mornings watching Fox and dinking around on his phone. [via] Read the rest

The most self-obsessed rappers, according to their own lyrics

John Lemon AKA Ben conducted a statistical analysis of self-mentions by popular rappers to determine who among them was most interested in themselves. Mr. West doesn't even make the top 5; the winner was Ms. Minaj.

1st: Nicki Minaj (11.5% of all words)

Three albums. 17,665 words. 2026 explicit references to herself A self-reference every 8.78 words 42.87 self-references per song An average of 371.55 words per song On "Right By My Side" she referenced herself every 3.5 words, or 28% of the song Her most word-laden song is "All Things Go", at 718 words, with 67 self-references

Read the rest

Quantifying American urban food-waste

American households throw away a lot of food: sometimes it's spoiled, sometimes it's past its "sell-by" date (but still good), sometimes it's blemished, and sometimes it's just an unappetizing leftover. Read the rest

Latest Federal Reserve figures show widening wealth inequality, and it's much worse if you're not white

The Federal Reserve's just-published 2016 Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that income inequality is rising in the USA, with the top decile now controlling 77.1% of the nation's wealth; wealth that is increasingly retained through intergenerational bonds, meaning that wealth is apportioned by accident of birth rather than merit; and (unsurprisingly, given the foregoing), the browner you are, the less you have. Read the rest

Are pop lyrics getting more repetitive? (hint: yes)

Colin Morris at The Pudding analyzed the repetitiveness of a dataset of 15,000 songs that charted on the Billboard Hot 100 between 1958 and 2017. It's true: pop music lyrics are increasingly repetitive. Read the rest

Real data used to create fictional flight over Mars

Jan Fröjdman used HiRISE satellite data from Mars to create this beautiful and detailed flyby of the planet. Liz Stinson writes that stitching it together took months.

For Fröjdman, creating the flyover effect was like assembling a puzzle. He began by colorizing the photographs (HiRISE captures images in grayscale). He then identified distinctive features in each of the anaglyphs—craters, canyons, mountains–and matched them between image pairs. To create the panning 3-D effect, he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video. “It was a very slow process,” he says.

When I was a kid, my mind was blown by Isaac Asimov's VHS wonder, Voyage to the Outer Planets and Beyond, which (at least in some versions, if not the one you can find on YouTube), included the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab's 1980s Mars flyover animation: my first encounter with the glitchy, transfixing, uncanny quality of real data from another world. How far we have come, yet not gone.

Read the rest

Adult site data reveals 2016's top trends: Melania and Matures are way up

Adult tube site xHamster released its first comprehensive survey of porn viewership in 2016. According to them the most visited category moved from MILFs to Matures (women in their 40s and 50s). They also found that searches for "Melania" beat out "Donald Trump" and "Hillary Clinton" combined. Read the rest

Data viz of the countries with the most cannabis use

The Telegraph created an interactive data visualization of cannabis use in countries around the world. Here are the winners:

• Iceland - 16.2% (prevalence of use as percentage of population)

• US - 16.2%

• Nigeria - 14.3%

• Canada - 12.7%

• Chile - 11.83%

• France - 11.1%

• New Zealand - 11%

• Bermuda - 10.9%

• Australia - 10.2%

• Zambia - 9.5%

Mapped: The countries that smoke the most cannabis (The Telegraph) Read the rest

Amusing website explains everything it knows about you, right down to the click

Clickclickclick.click has one trick, and it's great: it just sits there narrating what you're doing on the page, from hovering over clickable areas to moving the pointer the way a machine would. It can tell when you're lurking in whitespace to avoid interaction triggers! It's a wonderfully creepy evocation of what ad tech knows (often-inaccurate browser environment information) and the assumptions about you it then makes and sells to agencies.

"Looking at the timezone there, he's at work!" Read the rest

Data and Picard: Star Trek megamix medley

Not only is the song catchy, but this delightful homage by Pogo has fantastic production values, to boot! Warning: you may be singing this the rest of the day. Read the rest

Where the #trumpwon trend came from (not Russia)

After the #trumpwon hashtag topped the Twitter trending charts -- something Trump gleefully noted, saying it proved he'd won the initial debate with Hillary Clinton -- @DustinGiebel's claim that the trend had originated in St Peterburg, Russia (along with an accompanying map, supposedly from Trendsmap) went viral, with more than 15,000 retweets. Read the rest

California will collect public records for all police use of force, using open source software

There are a handful of states that keep records of police force, but they are incomplete records, and they're maintained on paper; contrast that with URSUS, California's new tool that collects every single use of force, storing it in open, transparent free software maintained by Bayes Impact, a nonprofit. Read the rest

The Optimal Route for Visiting Every U.S. National Park

Optimal US National Parks Road Trip

Randy Olson, a researcher at University of Pennsylvania Institute for Biomedical Informatics, has taken his genetic algorithm previously used to find Waldo, and has applied it U.S. National Parks. In August, the National Parks Service is celebrating their 100th year, and Olson has calculated the optimal route to hit every single park in one monster road trip.

The trip would take 14,498 miles, which is only 9.29 days of pure driving time with no stops and no sleep. A bit longer if you want to see any of the sights.

A great thing about Olson's posts is he open sourced his original code, so you can dig in and make your own route. Plan your own trip and support his patreon if you want to see more work like this. Read the rest

Google "deletes" artist's blog, erasing 12 years of work

Artist Dennis Cooper reports that Google shut down his website, without explanation, erasing 12 years of work.

Along with his blog, Google disabled Cooper’s email address, through which most of his correspondence was conducted, he told me via Facebook message. He got no communication from Google about why it decided to kill his email address and blog. Cooper used the blog to post his fiction, research, and visual art, and as Artforum explains, it was also “a platform through which he engaged almost daily with a community of followers and fellow artists.” His latest GIF novel (as the term suggests, a novel constructed with animated GIFs) was also mostly saved to the blog.

“It seems that the only option I have left is to sue Google,” Cooper told Artforum. “This will not be easy for me for the obvious reasons, but I’m not going to just give up ten years of my and others’ work without doing everything possible.”

You're savvy, you know the drill. You don't have to blame the victim, a nontechnical person who had no idea how or why a data host could screw him. Just keep nagging everyone you know to keep multiple backups of everything and to be wary of becoming dependent on specific online services for reaching friends, colleagues, customers, and audiences.

Even people smart to these issues still get suckered, too. For example, consider your "cloud storage". Just as susceptible to Dennis Cooper's experience, which in the coming years many of us will also enjoy. Read the rest

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