02 February 2010

USA report - More than 1 of 10 is starving

Feeding America reports that the number of people that receivs food support during 2009 is now more than 37million of their population of the 310 million. The increase is nearly 50% in just 5 years time. (source: DN)

Few of those can afford a private medical health plan and less likely to make pension savings. Food and house (Morgages) are the two primary priorities (Maslow). There is a tipping point but I hope the 50% increase is not a early warning sign.

If a major natural disaster - like an earth quake in the Bay area - would strike, the Stockmarket would collaps. The hungry, and social security needy would increase dramatically. In contrast to many other countries, the social security sector rests heavily on Private organisations. Social security can be said to be, not a legal obligation/institution but a free choice*.

Americas debt in now mainly owned by China. They are worried about the state of USA, and are bound to ask USA to take necessary measures to stabalize their country. They are not yet ready to take up the butan as the World leader. They need all power/focus on their domestic events.

Paradigm shifts have happen previously in the history of man kind - often followed by great movement, instability and realignments. I can look at it from trade and ideas as rejuvenating. I can look at from values/ideology and legality, with fear. Especially since IT is a powerful tool in the hands of law enforcers. History has shown us that it takes very few people to control many.

* The free choice selection process is intresting. We get more choices and are required to take spend more time to select. Now if the selection process could be automated, it would free our time. For instance, when I select energy supplier it is now based on a number of simple criterias, and done automatically and instantanious (elskling.se). Same thing when it comes to selecting internet service supplier etc.

The 4 Big Myths of Profile Pictures

"Hello, old friends. I am back from dark months of data mining, here now to present my ores. To write this piece, we cataloged over 7,000 photographs on OkCupid.com, analyzing three primary things:
  • Facial Attitude. Is the person smiling? Staring straight ahead? Doing that flirty lip-pursing thing?
  • Photo Context. Is there alcohol? Is there a pet? Is the photo outdoors? Is it in a bedroom?
  • Skin. How much skin is the person showing? How much face? How much breasts? How much ripped abs?

In looking closely at the astonishingly wide variety of ways our users have chosen to represent themselves, we discovered much of the collective wisdom about profile pictures was wrong. For interested readers, I explain our measurement process, and how we collected our data, at the end of the post. All my bar charts are zeroed on the average picture. Now to the data."

Read more: The 4 Myths

Copy from blog.okcupid.com

Personal 3D Food Printer - MIT-media lab

Cornucopia is a concept design for a personal food factory that brings the versatility of the digital world to the realm of cooking. In essence, it is a three dimensional printer for food, which works by storing, precisely mixing, depositing and cooking layers of ingredients.

Cornucopia's cooking process starts with an array of food canisters, which refrigerate and store a user's favorite ingredients. These are piped into a mixer and extruder head that can accurately deposit elaborate combinations of food. While the deposition takes place, the food is heated or cooled by Cornucopia's chamber or the heating and cooling tubes located on the printing head. This fabrication process not only allows for the creation of flavors and textures that would be completely unimaginable through other cooking techniques, but it also allows the user to have ultimate control over the origin, quality, nutritional value and taste of every meal.

This project is currently starting, at MIT-media lab.

Other interesting projects: electronic popables

Target Point - Chart wars & What is rich income?

A great, short talk by TargetPoint's VP and Director of Research, Alex Lundry, at DC Ignite. He addresses the issues of subjective messaging through visualization, the emergence of open data, some ideal data visualization tools, a set of quick lessons in graphic literacy, and a short list of recommended visualization books, all within the time span of 5 minutes.

Watch the movie below.

Copy from: Information aesteatics

"What is rich income"

- Another interesting article fromTarget point -

The most frequent response, the mode, was $100,000. The median response was $250,000 – that is, half of the country gave an answer above $250K and half were below. The mean is too heavily influenced by extreme values and is a correspondingly inefficient measure of the midpoint. We can also estimate a nationwide consensus at the 75th percentile, where ¾ of the country defines rich below the $500,000 mark.

Still despite the fact that all demographic effects are subsumed by income, we can’t help but point to a number of interesting and fun significant differences in the crosstabs. For instance:
  • GENDER: men’s median response is $250k, while women’s is 200k.
  • IDEOLOGY: conservatives have a higher “rich” threshold, $250k, than liberals, $200k, and moderates line up with conservatives with a median response of $250k.
  • 2008 VOTE: mirroring ideology, “rich” to a McCain voter means an annual income of $250k (median), while an Obama voter sets the bar at $200k.
Finally, it’s important to put these numbers into their proper perspective: median annual household income in the United States is about $44,389 (from 2005 Census Bureau data); if we were to arbitrarily define the rich as the top 20% of household incomes the lower limit would be $88,030 a far cry from our survey’s median of $250,000. Even the top 5% of household incomes begin at $157,176, nearly $100,000 short of our survey’s median response.

Copy from: Target Point