Yup, the WTF Visualizations tumblr is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of visualizations that make you say WTF.
The Guardian has an interesting article out right now about universities collecting and using data on students to improve retention, etc.
By plotting library usage against academic achievement they discovered that students who did not use the library were more than seven times more likely to drop out of their degree than those who did.
Lots of interesting ethical issues here. Hopefully we will be able to discuss this sort of practice in my Predictive Analytics (Data Mining) class this Fall (ISC 420).
…or at least being clear about the start of your Y-axis. (From the Indianapolis Star, via FlowingData.)
I’ve been harvesting emails from a technical mailing list for a project I’m working on. The list started in 1995. I noticed that back in the 90s, before we really thought about Y2K issues, lots of people were still using email clients that used 2-digit years as the From: header. (For example “23 May 95″ instead of “23 May 1995″). After a while this behavior drops off, and everyone used 4-digit years.
At what point did the developers of email software “get the memo” to change to a 4-digit year?
This shows that 1995-1996 timeframe was the big change for switching to a 4-digit year in most cases. There were still a few stragglers after 1997, but fewer and fewer each year. (And 13 messages were still written incorrectly in 2000; 10 of which had “100″ as the year. The other three listed “00″.)
I had really not considered all that goes into ad serving since, oh probably 1999. I used to work on some ad serving technology back then, but I have not thought much recently about the way that tech had matured and become so much more… evil.
Fostering participation in FOSS | opensource.com is about female participation in open source, specifically Google Summer of Code. Google is congratulating itself on getting participation up to a whopping 8.3%. I guess we can’t complain. Yesterday I calculated the “women in Apache Software Foundation leadership roles” at about 2.3%.
Excellent collection of vector graphics for web site building. There are thousands of them.
Using the White House petition system, the People asked to “Require free access over the Internet to scientific journal articles arising from taxpayer-funded research”. A few days ago, the White House responded, and took it a bit farther with “Increasing Public Access to the Results of Scientific Research“. So, they’re proposing not just access to the journal articles but also the data. The recommendation follows the NIH model (requiring open access to data) but sadly, applies only to research of more than $100m.
To that end, I have issued a memorandum today (.pdf) to Federal agencies that directs those with more than $100 million in research and development expenditures to develop plans to make the results of federally-funded research publically available free of charge within 12 months after original publication.
I got a legitimate belly laugh from this site today. I hope it doesn’t go away (or get fixed) — here’s what happens when you use HTML +1 or proportional size tags for your fonts and forget to close them. Each font gets progressively larger, “until the greatest website in the world is achieved” as BoingBoing put it on their coverage of this awesome piece of work.