Sometimes, a ‘wisdom of crowds algorithm’ needs the wisdom of a lone editor

TweetThe website of the Wall Street Journal,, has a feature most news sites have, a leader board that ranks the popularity of articles on the site. The ranks “Most Popular” by articles Read, Emailed, and Commented on. It also has a ranking of videos that are being watched. Sometimes, such algorithmic determinants of […]

Lies, damn lies and the other kind of statistics

TweetI just saw two items as I was glancing down the headlines in my news reader. “Google’s Android becomes the world’s leading smart phone platform,” says the headline on the press release from a company conducting research that claims Google’s open source mobile operating system was on 33.3% of the smart phones shipped in the […]

How a chart can suggest the opposite of what is says

TweetI’ve read conflicting claims about which day of the year is the busiest travel day. (The day before Thanksgiving and the day after Christmas are favorites of bored TV news crews.) No matter what precise day you choose, if you combine one of the “busiest travel days of the year” with an eastern seaboard blizzard, […]

Magical Mystery Math: The Beatles First Day on iTunes

TweetWhile it ended up being a lot less eventful than a typical Apple announcement, the much delayed (by 8 or so years) appearance of 13 Beatles studio albums and the “Beatles Box Set” on the iTunes store finally occurred today (Tuesday). While I didn’t join in the buying binge, I was curious what was selling. […]