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Showing posts from July, 2010

An argument against A B split testing

from programming and human factors
by Jeff AtwoodOn a recent airplane flight, I happened to catch the movie Groundhog Day. Again. If you aren't familiar with this classic film, the premise is simple: Bill Murray, somehow, gets stuck reliving the same day over and over. Phil doesn't just go on one date with Rita, he goes on thousands of dates. During each date, he makes note of what she likes and responds to, and drops everything she doesn't. At the end he arrives at -- quite literally -- the perfect date. Everything that happens is the most ideal, most desirable version of all possible outcomes on that date on that particular day. Such are the luxuries afforded to a man repeating the same day forever. This is the purest form of A/B testing imaginable. Given two choices, pick the one that "wins", and keep repeating this ad infinitum until you arrive at the ultimate, most scientifically desirable choice. Your marketing weasels would probably co…

I read an article on Yahoo News about the bedbug epidemic in the U.S. - a comment mentioned diatomaceous earth

as a safe, non-toxic means of killing bedbugs. So I looked up this material and found it is made up of the skeletons of diatoms and is also known as kieselgur (a name I remember that from school) and that it is so good at absorbing water that it dries up the waxy skins of bedbugs and kills them.
The list of other things that diatomite can do amazing: Read on... from Diatomaceous earth consists of fossilized remains of diatoms, a type of hard-shelled algae. It is used as a filtration aid, as a mild abrasive, as a mechanical insecticide, as an absorbent for liquids, as cat litter, as an activator in blood clotting studies, and as a component of dynamite. As it is also heat-resistant, it can be used as a thermal insulator.Diatomite is also used as an insecticide, due to its physico-sorptive properties. The fine powder absorbs lipids from the waxy outer layer of insects' exoskeletons, causing them to dehydrate[7]. Arthropods die as a result of the water pressure defic…

A small shortfall in the amount accounted for: U.S. > Iraq

from By TAREK EL-TABLAWY and SINAN SALAHEDDIN, Associated Press Writers Tarek El-tablawy And Sinan Salaheddin, Associated Press Writers BAGHDAD – The U.S. Defense Department is unable to properly account for over 95 percent of $9.1 billion in Iraqi oil money tapped by the U.S. for rebuilding the war ravaged nation, according to an audit released Tuesday.

There are a jaw-dropping 27,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf of Mexico:

Would you have guessed there was anything like this number of wells - abandoned or otherwise - in the Gulf? from WASHINGTON – The federal government's oil spill chief said Tuesday that seepage two miles from BP's oil cap is coming from another well, tamping down fears that leaks mean the ruptured well is unstable.There are two wells within two miles of BP's blowout, one that has been abandoned and another that is not in production. Around 27,000 abandoned wells in the Gulf aren't checked for leaks, an Associated Press investigation showed this month.

Plastic debris, mostly from US shores, floats in a great circle of currents north of Hawaii that is larger than t

from Tamminen: 10 Environmental Disasters Worse Than BP Oil Spill8. The Great Pacific Garbage PatchPlastic debris, mostly from US shores, floats in a great circle of currents north of Hawaii that is larger than the state of Texas. Ten years ago, samples showed that bits of plastic outnumbered plankton by six to one. Today it is over ten to one. Fish, birds, and marine mammals mistake plastic for food and die in the thousands every month. Disposable lighters and plastic bottle caps are among the most ubiquitous culprits.

Hundreds of thousands of seabirds are killed every year in European waters when they get hooked on baited lines

or caught in gillnets, The nets may be a mile and a half long and the lines may be up to 75 miles in length. So endangered species of seabirds such as albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, fulmars, gannets, gulls, cormorants, shags, auks, divers, and grebes are being killed far out at sea - left hanging in the water to drown... Make Your Voice Heard - see the article for how to do it. from Two Million Seabirds Killed In European WatersBackground
In 1991 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Oganization adopted a plan of action for the worldwide reduction of incidental catches of seabirds in driftnets, longlines and gillnets used by fishing vessels.Terminology
A longline is a baited fishing line anything up to 75 miles (120km) in length that is let out into the water behind a fishing vessel.A gillnet is a net hung vertically in the water behind a fishing vessel and kept vertical by floats at the top and weights at the bottom.A driftnet is a string of gillnets tied end t…

The power of repetition in photography is shown incidentally in an article in the Guardian Extra today, with

three photographs that have a strong repeat pattern, from the three striped aprons in the first shot; the graphic repeat of the outstretched arms in the second shot, and the pandas ad infinitum in the third.
It is a technique that Margaret Bourk-White used many times, as in this Life magazine cover of the Hoover Dam.

Someone who has never seen a dam might still not know what one looks like from seeing this photo, but they will know that dams are big and powerful. Amplify’d from See more at See this Amp at via Posted via email from hotpixel

I Recommend Chris Rock's Documentary 'Good Hair'

ODP enables any web page to become a social object

from The Open Graph Protocol The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to enable any web page to have the same functionality as a Facebook Page.

Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo versus the ICC

Join and take part in the discussion about what is happening in the Prosecutor's office and in the ICC from ICC suspends DR Congo ex-militia chief’s trial Posted by AFP on 09 Jul 2010 | Leave a commentTHE HAGUE (AFP) – The International Criminal Court has suspended Congolese militia chief Thomas Lubanga’s trial and rapped prosecutors for abusing court processes and ignoring judges’ orders.“The prosecutor has elected to act unilaterally in the present circumstances and he declines to be ‘checked’ by the (trial) chamber,” said Thursday’s judgment suspending Lubanga’s trail which started in January 2009.Luis Moreno-OcampoProsecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s office responded: “We will appeal in the coming days.”

Where to buy Polaroid film in London

Shops also in New York, Vienna, Berlin, Barcelona from See more at


FriendFeed Feedburner Counts Not Being Counted: Issue

from The FeedBurner Status Blog The official source for technical updates about FeedBurner within Google.FriendFeed Subscriber counts not reported since July 10Issue:FriendFeed subscriber counts have not been reported since 10-Jul. We are in contact with FriendFeed to help resolve this issue. While publishers will a notice corresponding drop in their subscriber counts this is a reporting problem only and in no way affects feed delivery. Read more at

Testing Autopost To Posterous

See this Amp at via Posted via email from hotpixel

I see it works, because I autoposted from Posterous to PixelsAteMyHomework, so unless this post came here from Amplify of its own accord via an underground tunnel known only to the computers-will-work-any-way-they-want method, then this came down the intended route.

When I Didn’t Take A Camera — Photograph Works

via ...So I decided to take the photograph. The light was low and the shot was never going to be a good one. Still, I propped my camera tight against my body and took the shot. Another time we might have stopped to look at the stalls and maybe exchanged a smile with the people standing there. This time we walked on the metro – it was getting late and we had a long journey to make to the other side of Delhi at Majnu KaTila, but that’s another story. Now though, looking at this ‘not very good’ shot, I am transported back to the warm evening, the sounds, the sense of being there. That is why I take a camera. Posted via email from hotpixel

Smoking Areas - {From ReflectionOf.Me}

Puffin Numbers Up

Farne Islands
According to the National Trust, Puffin numbers on the Farne islands increased five per cent last year and increased five percent this year.This follows a precipitous decline in 2008 when the number of breeding pairs dropped from 55,000 to 36,500.That crash in numbers was attributed to a decline in the sand eels upon which puffins feed.The decline in sand eels was blamed on the changing climate because sand eels have a narrow range of sea temperatures within which they can thrive.The Farne Islands are off the Northumberland coast of England and the largest concentration of puffins in England breed there.So why the increase in population?Isle Of May
The large concentration of puffins in the United Kingdom is in Scotland on the Isle of May....Tagged as: Farne Island, Northumberland, puffins via Posted via email from hotpixel

hotpixel - new header

Write to your MP to seek reassurance he or she will vote against the repeal of the Hunting Act 2004

On Thursday May 20, 2010 The official site of the Prime Minister’s Office set out the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition Government’s programme for government.The site in turn refers to the Cabinet Office website where the full statement can be found.There are 31 sections over 36 pages, covering topics from banking to schools, from defence to taxation.Section 11 covers environment, food, and rural affairs, perhaps because they did not each merit a section of their own or perhaps because they are so inter-related that they were best dealt with under one heading.In fact, the topics are in conflict. What is good for the rural economy is not always good for wildlife.As with the other sections of the document, section 11 begins with a general statement of belief followed by the individual statements of the Governments intentions.The general statement reads:The Government believes that we need to protect the environment for future generations, make our economy more environmentally sust…

Quillcards Blog Chosen As A Lonely Planet Featured Site — The Quillcards Blog

Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4 {For Posterity}

July 2, 2010Letter from Apple Regarding iPhone 4Dear iPhone 4 Users,
The iPhone 4 has been the most successful product launch in Apple’s history. It has been judged by reviewers around the world to be the best smartphone ever, and users have told us that they love it. So we were surprised when we read reports of reception problems, and we immediately began investigating them. Here is what we have learned.
To start with, gripping almost any mobile phone in certain ways will reduce its reception by 1 or more bars. This is true of iPhone 4, iPhone 3GS, as well as many Droid, Nokia and RIM phones. But some users have reported that iPhone 4 can drop 4 or 5 bars when tightly held in a way which covers the black strip in the lower left corner of the metal band. This is a far bigger drop than normal, and as a result some have accused the iPhone 4 of having a faulty antenna design.
At the same time, we continue to read articles and receive hundreds of emails from users saying that iPhone…

European Court reject UK appeal re s.44 stop and search

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected the United Kingdom’s application to appeal its decision in a recent finding that stop and search powers enacted as part of anti-terrorism legislation breached human rights law. In January 2010 the European Court held that section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (the broad police power to stop and search without suspicion) violates the right to respect for private life guaranteed by Article 8 of the Convention on Human Rights (Gillan and Quinton v. UK4158/05 [2010] ECHR 28 (12 January 2010)). The claimants received £500 each by way of compensation. -search powers ruled illegal by European court via Posted via email from hotpixel

One Flew Over The Twitter Nest {I love Twitter, really}

Oil Spill Whale

Bold type appearing in web pages today

Is this coincidence? Is there something awry with my machine? I can see this 'problem' of the type being in BOLD in the article and it is showing up in Safari 5 and in Firefox.
Just these two sites, all other sites are OK. and download the full gallery on posterous Posted via email from hotpixel