• January 19, 2021

    For Bloomberg, Jeremy C.F. Lin and Rachael Dottle show what Joe Biden’s inauguration will look like, given all of the recent events and 2020. No public access and 25,000 National Guard personnel.

  • For NYT’s The Upshot, Kevin Quealy has been cataloging all of the insults Trump tweeted over the past five years. The project is complete:

    As a political figure, Donald J. Trump used Twitter to praise, to cajole, to entertain, to lobby, to establish his version of events — and, perhaps most notably, to amplify his scorn. This list documents the verbal attacks Mr. Trump posted on Twitter, from when he declared his candidacy in June 2015 to Jan. 8, when Twitter permanently barred him.

    48,000 words.

  • January 18, 2021

    As you probably know, there was a big Parler data scrape before the app and site went down. ProPublica spliced Parler video posts, sorting them by time and location. The result is basically a TikTok-style video feed of what happened.

  • January 15, 2021

    Tom Scott explains how Cloudflare uses a wall of lava lamps to generate random numbers. A video camera is pointed at the wall, and the movement in the lamps plus noise from the video provides randomness, which is used to secure websites.

    Even though computers can do many things on their own, they still need help from the physical world for true unpredictability. The robot overlords aren’t here yet. [via kottke]

  • Members Only
    January 14, 2021
  • In an effort to preserve part of her family’s culture, Jane Zhang designed recipe cards illustrating foods from her mother and grandmother. They provide ingredients and steps, but they also provide illustrations and diagrams that represent cuisine style, cooking method, texture, and taste.

    My grandma spoke little English and I speak little Cantonese, so we often communicated through the language of food. So this project really speaks to me. I wish I had this for my own family.

  • January 13, 2021
  • Just before the social network Parler went down, a researcher who goes by the Twitter username @donk_enby scraped 56.7 terabytes of data from the site via a less-than-secure API. Motherboard reports on what some researchers are doing with the data:

    One technologist took the scraped Parler data, took every file that had GPS coordinates included within it, formatted that information into JSON, and plotted those onto a map. The technologist then shared screenshots of their map with Motherboard, showing Parler posts originating from various countries, and then the United States, and finally in or around the Capitol itself. In other words, they were able to show that Parler users were posting material from the Capitol on the day of the rioting, and can now go back into the rest of the Parler data to retrieve specific material from that time.

    I’ve only seen some quick maps so far, but I imagine there’s much more to come in terms of closer analysis and visualization.

  • January 12, 2021

    The New York Times outlined the minutes from the speech leading to the mob at the Capitol. By now you’ve probably seen the videos and pictures and have an idea of what happened. But the timeline of events both inside and outside of the building really underscores how much worse it could’ve been.

  • For The Atlantic, Dani Alexis Ryskamp compares the financials of The Simpsons against present day medians, arguing that the fictional family’s lifestyle is no longer attainable:

    The purchasing power of Homer’s paycheck, moreover, has shrunk dramatically. The median house costs 2.4 times what it did in the mid-’90s. Health-care expenses for one person are three times what they were 25 years ago. The median tuition for a four-year college is 1.8 times what it was then. In today’s world, Marge would have to get a job too. But even then, they would struggle. Inflation and stagnant wages have led to a rise in two-income households, but to an erosion of economic stability for the people who occupy them.

    Someone should take this a step further and look at distributions and time series to show the shift, with The Simpsons as baseline.