Tag Archives: SARS

The Changes A-coming

By | March 23, 2020

Covid-19 has reminded us, if we needed reminding, that people behave in unpredictable ways. We are not, it turns out, rational beings. Our leaders lead from the front, the back, not at all, or just feather their own nest first. People defy curfews; they cough on others, smear their saliva on lift buttons, and fight over toilet rolls.… Read More »

A Bad Day for Social Media

By | April 27, 2009

You may be forgiven for thinking I’m a fan of social media, and, in particular, Twitter. Headlines like “Twitter: the future of news” and “Twitter, the best thing since the invention of the thong” may have given the misleading impression I thought Twitter was a good thing. In which case I apologize. The truth is I think Twitter… Read More »

On News Visualization, Part II

By | May 12, 2005

This week’s Loose Wire column in WSJ is about visualizing news. Researching the column I had a chance to interview Craig Mod, the guy behind the excellent Buzztracker. Here’s an edited transcript of our chat: Craig Mod: We have over 550,000 articles in the DB now, spanning back to Jan 1st 2004. “Buzztracker” went from 750 hits on… Read More »

The Phone Belch

By | April 28, 2005

Why is it that cellphones ring louder the longer they go unanswered? The ring starts quietly, then builds up to an ear-splitting crescendo. I know what the apparent logic to this is — if the phone is right in front of the person, they don’t need it loud to be able to hear it, so the loudness is… Read More »