The LBC topic this week is online shopping, and this isn't about online shopping, but metamathematical analysis and predications to the London riots and looting which took place in 2011.

Hannah Fry from UCL has a nice video for the analysis. It seems that, yes the riots could be predicted, how the riot would spread, but not the spark to set things off.
It turns out that the distribution of rioters travelling to the riots match the distribution of shoppers travelling (or rather retail spending flows).

And as for the five finger discount, or "shopping with violence", matches shopping analysis and also the predator-prey model.

Looking at mobile phone analysis (memo, turn your phone in the airplane mode, or off before rioting), the spread of the "idea to riot" follows the contagion model, and the spark zones matches the recent budget cuts.

Which means I need to look at the new austerity measures a lot more closely…

18 Dec 2012

About Instagram

Author: will | Filed under: creativity, data, data retention, identity theft, kerfulle, photo

If you are going to sell my pictures without me getting a cut and not call it piracy… Bye.

I've known for a while that the international telecoms companies have wanted to put the Internet genie back in to its bottle so they could charge for access in the same way they make deals between themselves for international calls  (they are loosing calls to Skype and more) but I didn't know that the proposal had actually gone to the UN.

If they succeed the internet could get very expensive, and start-ups may be forced away from the market entirely.

So this shot is being fired at anyone who can access the internet then.

This wasn’t meant to be a Loose Bloggers Consortium post on the theme of “Fire”, but given my infrequent postings, I think that I should make it count.
To find out that the others in the consortium think, check out, …
Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Maria SilverFox OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, The Old Fossil, Grannymar.

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The fight for control of the internet has become critical | John Kampfner
If plans to put cyberspace under a secretive UN agency go through, states' censoring of the web will be globally enshrined In horror movies, the scariest moments usually come from the monster you can't see. So the same goes for real life, or at least online life. Over the past few years, largely out of sight, governments have been clawing back freedoms on the internet, turning an invention that was designed to emancipate the individual into a too…

29 May 2012

Simon Malshman at GTUG

Author: will | Filed under: conference, data, photo

Simon Malshman on the challenges of developing his final year project; a visualisation tool for historical data sets.

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Start data hacking in earnest.

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Anyone can do it. Data journalism is the new punk
Can anyone be a data journalist? Simon Rogers on what we can learn from a 1977 diagram

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Post imported by Google+Blog. Created By Daniel Treadwell.

30 Jul 2010

Every Doctor Who Villian 1964-2010 Wordled

Author: will | Filed under: data, reuse, television

Exactly what it says on the tin. Here is a pretty wordle (OK, black and white, it should be in the new colours, but I’ll go with the 1963 style) of all the villains appearances in the TV series Doctor Who all prettied up.
The Guardian created the Google spreadsheet (crowd sourced by a lot of fans naturally) of all the villains in Doctor Who and why they did what they did. Take over the universe is a fairly popular reason. Something to remember for your end of year review.

I took a much simpler subset of their spreadsheet, simply the name of the villain and the number of episodes they have been in. Wordle has an advanced setting where instead of counting the words themselves, you can format the list of words in pairs in a Alpha:10 Beta:20 type format instead of having to type Alpha out ten times. Works fairly well for visualising your analytics as to how people find a site. Its not pure data visualisation. I still want to drop the spreadsheet in to Pivot and do some of the “why” analytics.

This time is simply a homage as to how often the Daleks have been on Doctor Who.
Wordle: Doctor Who villain since 1963 Click through for much bigger

And no, I’m not a rabid fan boy. I’d need to work on it more. Any other data sets I can play with?

5 Apr 2010

iPad musings

Author: will | Filed under: data, format, humour

Is the “iPad for Dummies” book going to be released in iBook format or just for the Kindle and Sony Reader?

Part of this post is for a Tuesday Push that is, namely Decisions for Heroes, and partly for a push that should be, Kildare Street.

Decisions for Heroes is a project that Robin Blandford has been working on for a while. And talking about it. In fact I assumed that the product has been launched a few months back. I was wrong; today is launch day.

And he’s built something amazing – technology that will help rescue teams save more lives. Its essentially a project management tool combined with an incident reporting mechanism that’s able to monitor team histories and readiness and raise alarms for expiration or under manning conditions.

What makes it different is that it is designed for a particular niche; rescue teams. Are the exercises and training reflecting the actual calls? Or the actually locations? Are there enough cliff climbers on-call this weekend? Are there certifications that are about to run out? This kind of thing actually saves lives. Its been studied, over 1,800 rescuers from Ireland, UK, USA, Greece, and Australia helped to trial and shape the development of the software. But one stands out. Robin is a volunteer member of the Irish Coast Guard (a cliff rescue climber to be precise) so he has seen first hand what is needed, and what is the most useful way to get that information across.

I’m sure that the basis of D4H can be used in more business-like settings, or indeed in logistic based industries.

And from saving lives, we move to a performance management technology that may cost the careers of a few politicians.

Created by John Handelaar Kildare Street is, almost simply a database. A database of what is being said in both Houses of the Oireachtas, by whom, when, how often and the complete text of what they say so it can be parsed for content. Based off the UK project,, you can keep an eye on your favourite politician, or all the politicians in a constituency, or even when a particular word or phrase is spoken in the Dáil or Seanad Éireann debates or in written answers or questions to the Dáil.

There are a few bugs still in the system (it is a beta and since Irish addresses are vague it can misidentify a constituency, particularly when one side of a road is in one constituency, and the other side is in another constituency. It happens), and there is up to a 24 hour delay between the speech in the chambers and the text of the speech hitting the system (not a fault with the system but with the source;

Its useful to find out which TD or Senator has stayed quite all along (the records go back to 2004), and finding out how they actually voted on subjects of concern to you. Then you can challenge them when they call around asking for your vote.

Do challenge them. Right now, I’m wondering if there is a version for the MEPs.

Two people who should be praised for being heroes and making a difference.

Will Knott

8 Apr 2009

A budget in the clouds

Author: will | Filed under: 2009, data, format, investment, Ireland, Irish, mixing, technology

Well the budget is over, and the government released the text of the Financial Statement (the budget preamble if you will) made my Brian Lenihan yesterday.

So I ran it through Wordle to see what patterns emerged.

wordle Statement of the Minister for Finance Mr Brian Lenihan, T.D. 7 April 2009

We have a big “government”, a large “tax” and a much smaller “payment”, “pay” and “spending”. Oddly, “Public” is almost as big as Government.

Now then, its unlikely that a Minister would put the text of their speech in to something like Wordle, but if they did, the resulting speech might be, well, interesting.

They have the statements from other years too. I think I might have to play with comparison tools (once I’m on a more powerful machine).

take care,
Will Knott

Given yesterday’s post, a history lesson is in order..

History of the Internet” is an animated documentary explaining the inventions from time-sharing to filesharing, from Arpanet to Internet.
The history is told using the PICOL icons on PICOL is an project for providing free and open icons for electronic devices. The aim is to find a common pictorial language for electronic communication.

History of the Internet from PICOL on Vimeo.

Some feed readers may need to click through to see the video.

take care,
Will Knott

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