“how to lie with data visualization”

I was going to write a post with this exact title, and apparently based on the same data visualization that I saw yesterday.  Ravi Parikh beat me to it, and listed three excellent ways to lie with data visualization.  They are:

  • use a truncated y-axis
  • use cumulative graphs
  • ignore conventions for graphs

It’s an excellent post filled with examples.  You should read it.

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“a statistical analysis of Bob Ross”

Dear FiveThirtyEight: I love you.  You are the only ones doing awesome analyses such as looking at the 381 paintings done by PBS painter Bob Ross and analyzing his work.  You gain such insights as:

About 18 percent of his paintings feature a cabin. Given that Ross painted a cabin, there’s a 35 percent chance that it’s on a lake, and a 40 percent chance there’s snow on the ground.

This might be the most readable article about conditional probability.  My math degree feels much less lonely tonight.

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“Memories of Steve”

Don Melton, one of the original developers of Safari, has shared some of his memories of Steve Jobs.  It starts with this observation:

Anyone at Apple or Pixar — both large organizations — will tell you that Steve knowing your name was an honor. But also occasionally a terrifying responsibility. That was the bargain.

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“what your conference proposal is missing”

Great advice from Sarah Mei about how to approach writing conference proposals, including this:

If you relentlessly focus on answering “Why?”, your proposal will get more interest, more attendees, and better reviews.

I especially like that she takes a real example and breaks down ways to improve it.  If you’re thinking about what you’ll submit to MacIT 2015, reading this will help you get into a frame of mind to create a great proposal.

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VMworld call for papers is now open

The VMworld 2014 call for papers is now open!  The deadline is May 2.  More details are here.

Mac admins, I’d love to see some presentations about effectively virtualizing Mac environments.  There’s lots of Mac users at VMworld.  It’s time to show great examples of Mac virtualization beyond the desktop.

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MacIT 2014 presentations

I’ve been way too busy to write up a post about how awesome MacIT 2014 was this year.  For now, I’ll post public links to presentations that I’ve found:

For those of you who attended MacIT 2014, all of the presentations should be available on the website.

There were plenty of tweets during the week, including lots of pictures (many of which are pictures of slides).  The hashtags #macit2014 and #macitconf were the ones that I found the most useful.

Edited 2014-04-06, 21:12: added “Essential Security & Risk Fundamentals”.
Edited 2014-04-07, 10:10: added “Building Better Users”.
Edited 2014-04-10, 14:09: added link to github repo for Facebook’s IT tools.

  1. This is an Evernote shared notebook. As of 2014-04-07, Clif’s presentation is about halfway down in the notebook, past all of the stuff about iBooks.
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on the eve of MacIT

On the eve of MacIT, I give you this wisdom from @sadserver

If you watch a movie of your life backwards, it’s about a sysadmin who regains youth/happiness as they forget more and more about computers

If you’ll excuse me, I’ll just go have a little existential crisis now.  If you’re at MWSF or MacIT, we can cry into our beers together.

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Maria Klawe on impostor syndrome

Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, talks about impostor syndrome in Impostoritis: A Lifelong, but Treatable, Condition.  I like this paragraph the best:

Now I wake up most days with a voice on the left side of my head telling me what an incredible failure I am. But the voice on the right side tells me that I can change the world—and I try to pay more attention to it. My life goal in changing the world is to make the culture of science and engineering supportive of everyone with interest, ability, and willingness to work hard, independent of race, gender, sexual orientation, other interests, or anything else. For that to happen, we need more women, people of color, poets, artists, ballroom dancers, and football players to enter, succeed, and persist in all areas of science and engineering.

I like that she discusses not just entering the field, but succeeding and persisting in it.  We’re still losing so many people after 10 years in the field.  It’s got to stop.

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OneNote:Mac is now available for free

Congratulations to my former colleagues in Microsoft’s Apple Productivity Experiences unit for the release of OneNote:Mac!  I’ve just downloaded it and begun playing around with it.  It looks like an excellent addition to the OneNote family.

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“10,000 miles in a velcro-covered truck”

It’s always great to see former colleagues doing awesome things.  Take Daniel Makoski, who I worked with at Microsoft a few years ago.  He’s now with Motorola Mobility, and he led the Project Ara team.  Here’s his TEDxSanDiego talk about it:

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