gas prices
Four interesting or useful remainders for the week:

NY Times Ombudsman Calls for Curtailing “Unnamed Sources”: There are situations, says Daniel Okrent, when it’s essential to cite such sources to get important news out without blowing the source’s cover, but when they’re cited to explain Barbra Streisand’s insistence on scattered rose petals on her hotel bathroom floor, it’s being abused. Okrent says three key ways to stop the abuse are (a) don’t allow sources to remain unnamed if the story isn’t important, (b) advise the source that if it turns out his story is false, his identity will be revealed, and (c) explain to readers the motivation of the source for remaining anonymous, so the reader can judge their credibility accordingly. It’s a bold plan to reduce media spin.

Japanese Inventor Plans “Invisible Walls”: I reported last year on an invention that would allow those living in cramped space or with poor views or no windows, to use computer technology to create a false window. Susumu Tachi’s invention works by “projecting an image onto itself of what is behind it”, and has already been applied to clothing to make the wearer appear invisible. I think this is fertile ground for open space collaboration — the opportunities of this technology for making people’s life better are enormous. Absolutely critical is ensuring that the innovations that come from it are affordable.

Nationalmaster Automatically Graphs Over 4000 Geographic Statistics: This unique resource produces a world map or other chart that illustrates data from crime rates to grain exports. The map above is an example, showing gas prices: Bright green $1.50-$2.00/litre, dark green $1.00-$1.50/litre, dark blue $0.70-$1.00/litre, bright blue $0.03-$0.70/litre. Multiply by about 4 to convert to price per gallon. Turkmenistan is $0.03/litre, Uruguay is $1.95/litre. Average is $0.88/litre.

Tiny URL: This free resource can reduce long URLs to manageable size. Especially useful for newspaper article URLs that seem to go on for pages, and especially if you’re sending them in a text e-mail, so line breaks don’t split them in two. Best way to use it is to put the TinyURL maker on your browser toolbar, so you can just click on it when you’re on a page with a long URL, instead of copying the long URL. Instructions on how to do this are on the main TinyURL page.

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1 Response to SATURDAY ODDS & ENDS

  1. John says:

    Loved your “Nationalmaster Automatically Graphs Over 4000 Geographic Statistics” post and have posted on my blog and given a trackback to you.Thanks

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