David Carr linked to this Google Hangout about The Wirecutter and Cooltools. It was an interesting conversation that explained the Wirecutter’s approach to things, and how they are the modern Consumer Reports:
DJ Patil is well known in the data science community and I think it is great that the Obama Administration scooped him up to help with their data efforts. He has outlined his role and the potential impact of data science today:
The Obama administration has embraced the use of data to improve the operation of the U.S. government and the interactions that people have with it. On May 9, 2013, President Obama signed Executive Order 13642, which made open and machine-readable data the new default for government information. Over the past few years, the Administration has launched a number of Open Data Initiatives aimed at scaling up open data efforts across the government, helping make troves of valuable data – data that taxpayers have already paid for – easily accessible to anyone. In fact, I used data made available by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to improve numerical methods of weather forecasting as part of my doctoral work. So I know firsthand just how valuable this data can be – it helped get me through school!
It is exciting to see the administration embrace the power of data. I hope that other governments follow their lead.
Yesterday I noticed a service battery warning when I clicked the drop down on my 2011 MacBook Pro. Apple puts this message there to indicate that your battery can now charge to less than 80% of its initial capacity. In my case I last replaced this battery on May 11, 2013. So it has been 649 days. Apple has rated its battery to last for about 1000 charge cycles but this one has only lasted for 434. The new battery made it barely two years after the previous battery lasted nearly the same amount of time. I am not convinced Apple’s battery life estimates are accurate.
However one thing Apple does not mention on their support pages is it may be best to keep your battery cycling each day. The ideal battery user is someone who charges their gadget overnight and then uses it during the day. Abusing your battery shortens its life. Apparently Apple batteries are very finicky about being cycled in this manner. I am still able to use my computer without issue and the battery will last for a couple hours, but I certainly do not get the battery life I used to.1
The computer was sold as having a 7 hour battery life. New batteries are rated at 5800mAh. So the 4300 mAh figure is about a 25% reduction in capacity, so even when it was new I was barely reaching 5 hours of battery life. ↩
Lots of great analysis at the CT Mirror. With a large portion of the budget going towards pensions and debt service we are paying a lot of today’s tax money towards the prosperity enjoyed by the last generation. The Governor is on the track when he talks about investing in things like infrastructure. However, I think we all wish the economy were doing a bit better so these tough choices would not have to be made.