Posts tagged ‘news’

Track neutrality

Last weekend’s deal between Netflix and Comcast has been discussed to death, so you might consider this an exhumation. Most of the early reaction was not at a particularly high level: “Deal bad. Comcast bad. Net neutrality good. Hulk smash!” My knee jerked this way, too, but it was put back in its joint by…


Nate Silver and the Two Cultures

You’ve probably read that Nate Silver has left the New York Times for ESPN. In this article by the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, says A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work. The first time I wrote about him I suggested that print readers should have the same access to his…


The best kind of garden

When our daughter was in kindergarten, her class put on a show at the end of the year. It was during the school day, so I couldn’t go, but my wife videotaped it. The highlight was the final song. As a slide show ran photos of the kids on the first day of school and…


Helmets and health care

Did you see this story in yesterday’s New York Times? It’s about bike-sharing programs in cities around the world—existing ones in Amsterdam, Dublin, Melbourne, Minneapolis, and Paris, and the upcoming one in New York—and the effect that helmet rules have on their success. The basic thrust of the article is that forcing riders to wear…


The risk of sitting

Last week, everyone was blogging and tweeting about this New York Times article about the health effects of sitting for long periods every day. And I think everyone got it wrong. Let’s start with a disclaimer. Although I have both formal training and professional experience dealing with probability and statistics (it was part of my…


Arrested for breaking the law of large numbers

So there’s this article in the New York Times today, by James B. Stewart, called “Apple Confronts the Law of Large Numbers,”1 and it’s been linked to a lot in the Apple-centric corner of the internet, including a Linked List mention at Daring Fireball. Let’s cut to the chase: The New York Times doesn’t know…


Southwest 812

The National Transportation Safety Board put out a press release today, summarizing its initial findings in the investigation of Southwest Flight 812. That was the flight that had make an emergency landing a few weeks ago because a five foot long hole ripped through its fuselage during a flight. It’s a very well written summary—better,…


Foamed cement and the BP oil spill

You may have read recent news reports about problems with the cement used by Halliburton to seal BP’s Macondo well that blew out and led to both the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig and the huge oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. If the discussion of casings, foamed cement, and stability has left…


That religion quiz/survey

You’ve probably read about that survey by Pew into the religious knowledge of Americans. Like all such surveys, it proves that we’re as dumb as fence posts. The original survey had 32 questions. Pew has put up an online quiz with 15 of those questions, so you can test yourself and see how you stack…


Good Times, bad Times

The New York Times has a big article about the Deepwater Horizon, the failure of regulatory agencies to recognize and act on the hazards associated with offshore drilling, and—most interesting to me—the safety device known as the “blind shear ram” that was the last line of defense against a spill. When a newspaper covers an…