Choose your colours and thresholds wisely

When creating a visualisation of data, the colour choices and classes that your assigned too can change the message you’re trying to present. In a world of fast moving readers and quick social media sharing, all that can be left from your data analysis will be a visualisation that might give the wrong message. Read [Continue reading]

Vega-Lite: producing complex visualisations with minimal amount of code

Here is an interesting visualisation library released just a few days ago from the University Washington Interactive Data Lab. Vega-Lite is a high-level visualization grammar. It provides a concise JSON syntax for supporting rapid generation of visualizations to support analysis. Vega-Lite can serve as a declarative format for describing and creating data visualizations. Vega-Lite specifications [Continue reading]

Adobe Post: Easily create social media/blog graphics on your iPhone

Adobe continues its release of free/freemium mobile apps. Adobe Post makes it easy for anyone to turn their photos and text into “beautifully designed graphics,” the company says, then share them on social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. The app is easy to use, allowing you to select a single image from your [Continue reading]

Your free 2015 fitness infographic

If you’re a Strava user, VeloViewer will create a visual overview of your running and/or cycling. VeloViewer seems like an interesting service: VeloViewer Tour Notes (Restricted to 25 activities for free users. Upgrade to PRO to see your entire Strava history.) Your Activities page provides a fully filterable and sortable list of everything you’ve uploaded to Strava. [Continue reading]

Don’t forget to be happy!

Happiness makes people more productive at work, according to the latest research from the University of Warwick. Economists carried out a number of experiments to test the idea that happy employees work harder. In the laboratory, they found happiness made people around 12% more productive. […] During the experiments a number of the participants were [Continue reading]

Year in review, 2015: Sony Pictures

It’s the time for yearly reviews and resolutions. In 2015 I was mostly shooting with my iPhone, with the Sony NEX-5R being used during vacations. Still, even most of them are still waiting to be processed. Anyway, here are are a small selection of photos from the last year. So, how was your 2015 in [Continue reading]

Journalists are slamming into scientific studies, exposing a key flaw in media

I was writing a few days ago about science reporting in media. Well here’s a bit more on this. Just as Robert Scoble was writing yesterday about the issue of “techno skeptics” and the role of media (bottom line: fear sells more paper/pageviews. Full read here) I bump into a highly sensationalised headline on Bloomberg [Continue reading]

Resistance is how we protect ourselves from taking risks

“This is going to kill your children” – Jamie Oliver is making a point about cooking junk food for your kids. The quote and screenshot above is from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution. What I find interesting in the show is not so much the garbage that we eat these days, as much as the amazing amount [Continue reading]

What You Believe Affects What You Achieve

Our genes influence our intelligence and talents, but these qualities are not fixed at birth. If you mistakenly believe that your capabilities derive from DNA and destiny, rather than practice and perseverance, then you operate with what Dweck calls a “fixed mindset” rather than a “growth mindset.” Our parents and teachers exert a big influence [Continue reading]

Tired? Think again

Science says your mind gives up before your body. Marcora believes that this limit is probably never truly reached—that fatigue is simply a balance between effort and motivation, and that the decision to stop is a conscious choice rather than a mechanical failure. This, he says, is why factors that alter a person’s perception or [Continue reading]

Thank you Internet: the best order of watching Star Wars

1 part crowd-sourced Q&A (the sci-fi StackExchange site) and 1 part Google’s Knowledge Graph (a database of answers and indexed data based on semantic search concepts) to get an instant result on my critical search: “correct order of watching Star Wars” In case you wonder, here’s what the Internet has decided for my life in [Continue reading]

The 100-word KeySmart review

On of my favorite purchases of the last couple of years has a CyberMonday offer, so I’ve finally decided to post about it. The premise is simple: KeySmart will hold your keys in a tight, small place. And yes, these are my keys in the photo :) I got it so that I no longer [Continue reading]

Learning from failure

Currently reading: When we do experience failure, we need to approach what has gone wrong in a realistic way too. If we don’t examine the reasons why we have failed or are failing then we may find ourselves condemned to make the same mistakes over and over again. Even worse is refusing to admit that [Continue reading]

What is it with Dutch sites and terrible cookie consent pop-ups?

This just happened in two Dutch sites in a row. Now, the need to conform with law is one thing. However, blocking access to content, and refreshing the entire page after the user consents (e.g. more time delay), is extremely user hostile. Let’s be clear. If even showing a glimpse of your content has as [Continue reading]

Where has my desktop Google+ gone?

Some first-day gripes on the new #GooglePlus #UI. In short, it seems like the mobile UI has eaten up the desktop one. Here goes (also sending these over the @Google+ feedback form): Everything needs a click. No more hovering. While that make sense in mobile, I don’t see why the desktop experience must suffer. Hover [Continue reading]

Google’s Boolean Logic Doodle: what does it mean?

If you were stuck on Google’s homepage today trying to understand what the doodle is about, here’s the meaning of each combination. In each case, the “x” and “y” circles of the lowercase “g” letter are hidden or shown according to the highlighted operation as if you were do a search on two terms (“x” [Continue reading]

Links in e-mails: Always hover before you click

In the screenshot, a fresh #phishing (received three times already today) attempt masquerading as a message from #Paypal . The subject was “We’ve limited access to your PayPaI account” Luckily, OSX Mail (most mail software do this, Outlook as well) shows you the address of any link when you hover over it. More on phishing [Continue reading]

New Garmin Connect app brings updated interface and more stats

Garmin (probably the best choice for sports gadgets) has completed a full redesign of its Garmin Connect mobile app. The updated app, which is now available to download for Android and iOS, has a completely different look from its predecessor, which largely mimicked the desktop version of Garmin Connect, with individual home screens for different [Continue reading]

Medium is a mess

Apparently, +Medium’s smart algorithms on what I should be reading next suggest that I should read my own posts. Seriously? In the screenshot, you can also witness the fresh Responses idiocy, which are supposed to be full-blown, long-text articles, but everybody (myself included) is using as an old-school comments form, disregarding the initial, actually-well-thought, feature [Continue reading]

One day, all Facebook posts will have views counters

(Update 22/Oct: Facebook now says this was a bug, no intention of actually showing views to regular people.) (Update 15/Oct: Aaaaaaand, it’s gone. No more views counts :) Let’s see how many years this takes to be fully implemented. If at all.) I’m not sure if I’m in a test group or something to that [Continue reading]

Flybys: Strava replays an entire race

Available for some time in test mode, Flybys is a (now more prominently displayed) feature from Strava that allows you to replay multiple runs of users of the platform. It is available for all activities, even your training runs, but is more fun for full races were there are much more users matching your data. [Continue reading]

Smiling is it’s own reward

“In part positivity reflects the brain’s reward circuitry in action. When we’re happy, the nucleus accumbens, a region within the ventral striatum in the middle of the brain, activates. This circuitry seems vital for motivation and having a sense that what you’re doing is rewarding. Rich in dopamine, these circuits are a driver of positive [Continue reading]

RescueTime now integrates with IFTTT, Zapier, Slack

In the age of APIs and integrations, as Twitter goes backwards and shuts down one API after the other in a awkward attempt to monetise, other companies improve by connecting with third-party services which can improve both sides. One of my favourite productivity tools has added new integrations that can help you get more done [Continue reading]

Weekend productivity experiment: (Almost) no e-mail

This will probably be easy as I don’t get a lot of e-mail over the weekend anyway. – Rule 1: Don’t open Mail on the desktop – Rule 2: Only check the “VIP” view on mobile Mail – Rule 3: Work on stuff that matter (Update: it worked! While that particular weekend wasn’t overly productive, [Continue reading]

14-Year old builds his own digital clock, brings it to school, teacher has him arrested

Apparently there are teachers and police officers with such a complete lack of science literacy that consider any digital clock to be almost a time bomb, especially if a boy with a muslim name is involved. As a new high schooler, Ahmed Mohamed thought he’d show off his Maker prowess by bringing in a simple [Continue reading]

Fight procrastination with timed bursts and Time Out (Mac)

I’m currently reading the excellent “Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management“ by Mark Foster and one of the first things that caught my are timed bursts. As Mark explains: One of the most effective procrastination busters is to work in timed bursts. These bursts can be any length, but usually will be [Continue reading]

Between (cropped) Giants

Relax, you’re insignificant, none of this really matters

Described in Judd Apatow’s recent book, Sick in the Head, Jerry Seinfield’s solution for relaxing during a stressful period: look at photos of space taken by the Hubble Space Telescope to remind him how insignificant everything can be perceived. That would calm me when I would start to think that this was important… I’ve often said this [Continue reading]

The employee of the future (=today)

The changes in the chart are already here. Denying them or denouncing them as part of an evil capitalistic scheme to further oppress the working masses isn’t going to change things. The only way to respond is to adapt, evolve, grow, take advantage. Images source: The Evolution Of The Employee (Forbes)

TripMode: Control what’s eating your mobile bandwidth

If you’re often connecting your Mac laptop on the road through a mobile connection (phone, USB dongle, etc), TripMode will show you which app is using how much bandwidth and will allow you to disable internet access for it. This can both save you money as well increase the connecting speed of the apps you’re [Continue reading]