Twitter Digest: 2011-10-28

  • Snowy mountains, cloudless skies & crisp temps: Boulder CO was seriously showing off at 7am this morning. #
  • If just wish I could convince more people in airports to chew gum, especially with their mouth hanging open. Mooo. #
  • Just watched someone spend a 1 hr flight trying to connect to Southwest wifi using Win XP. Trying to decide which part of that is most mad. #
  • Final travel peeve of day: The fussbudgets Southwest boarders that think wedging in between A33 and A35 is a good use of time. #
  • Am told by someone who had a client at Groupon roadshow lunch in Boston yest that it was "insane", "standing room only". #
  • There are "Risk On" days and there are "RISK ON" days. This is the latter. #
  • Remember that colleague of mine I mentioned here a while ago who thinks market's path of most pain is 20-30% higher? He still thinks that. #
  • Tried to get jazzed about Microsoft's vision of the future. Didn't. #
  • That Microsoft video of the future strikes me as Bladerunner re-shot by a germophobe. #
  • NBA Chemistry: Positive and Negative Synergies in Basketball – #
  • What is the point of lie-flat biz class airline seats where you have to un-lie-flat to let the person beside you out? #
  • Whingers of the world, unite: Positive words carry less information than negative words #
  • Good Matt Taibbi post on Occupy Wall Street – #
  • The cult of Jurassic Park, and its event of the year – #
  • Whingers of the world, unite: Positive words carry less information than negative words – #
  • The Penalty Shot/Optional Minor Choice in Ice Hockey – #
  • Great new data showing collapse of geographic mobility in the U.S. – /cc @Richard_Florida #
  • The iPhone-ification of SLRs – #
  • Chefs@Google: Anthony Bourdain – #
  • Niall Ferguson's metamorphoses tell us more than does his writings – #

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TV Ads in the Age of Data, or 30 Rock and Beemers

Oh great:

According to Rentrak, TV media planning has entered “The Age of Databases.” By this, they are referring to their ability to leverage vast databases comprised of TV set-top box viewing data for millions of U.S. households. Through their partnership with Polk, Rentrak created an integrated database that combines detailed TV viewing data with vehicle purchase activity (based on aggregated registration statistics), which is representative of the total U.S. TV viewing population. The result is a powerful media planning tool for automotive advertisers.

For example, did you know that NBC’s “30 Rock” rates very highly with European car buyers? Or that Lincoln and Mercury buyers are more likely than other car buyers to watch the Gospel Music Channel? And did you know that the ABC affiliate in Albany, NY, WTEN’s Early Fringe (4-7 p.m., Mon-Fri) viewers are 50% more likely to buy a Chevy than WRGB’s the CBS affiliate)?

via TV Advertising Enters the Age of Databases – Blog Posts by Paula Skier | R. L. Polk & Co..

Assume a Pony

Chattering about the U.S. congressional supercommittee will continue to rise to the fore now that Europe is re-saved and/or between saves. Said supercommittee will almost certainly be a complete fiasco, especially given early indications from the committee, with Democrats demanding tax increases, Republicans demanding big cuts, and both parties alternating between ignoring each other and simply making things up.

Here is Republicans making things up today:

Republicans proposed a $2.2 trillion plan, according to a Senate aide familiar with the proposal. It includes $600 million in new revenue, mostly by assuming economic growth, the aide said.

Cool. But why stop there? Why not get rid of the entire budget imbalance via assuming economic growth? And let’s give everyone a pony too.

Vancouver Bidding-War House? It’s Being Flipped for 78% (Annualized) Gain

Remember that Vancouver house that went for $655,000 over asking in a 25-person bidding war last April? I posted about it here, and the original story is here. Well, the house is back on the market a mere six months later for an asking price of $3.5m, or an annualized 78%. (This house originally went for $531,000 in 1996.)

Here is the requisite graph:


A few provisos. The original story says the house was at 2466 West 14th Street in Vancouver, but the new listing says 2468 West 14th St. The pictures, however, are of the same building, so it seems like something is awry in either the original story or the listing. [-]

Pic1 Pic2

Chefs@Google: Anthony Bourdain

Chefs@Google: Anthony Bourdain – YouTube.

The Big Freeze

Americans are frozen in place, with mobility at its lowest levels since the 1940s. A new NYT piece looks into the issue, and is worth reading in its entirety, and it include this graphic.


The Penalty Shot Problem

While it doesn’t apply to the NHL, still interesting:

The Penalty Shot/Optional Minor Choice in Ice Hockey

Under the rules of NCAA Hockey and USA hockey, when a penalty shot is awarded, the nonoffending team has the choice of taking the penalty shot or having a minor penalty assessed to the offending team. Since the chance of scoring on a penalty shot normally exceeds the chance of scoring during the minor penalty, most teams will accept the penalty shot. We show, however, that there are times when selecting the minor penalty in lieu of the penalty shot is optimal. We show that when the nonoffending team is ahead near the end of the game, the optimal choice is the minor penalty.

via “The Penalty Shot/Optional Minor Choice in Ice Hockey” by Steven E. Rigdon.

Positive words carry less information than negative words

Intriguing new paper showing the higher signal in negative words.

Positive words carry less information than negative words

We show that the frequency of word use is not only determined by the word length [1] and the average information content [2], but also by its emotional content.We have analysed three established lexica of affective word usage in English, German, and Spanish, to verify that these lexica have a neutral, unbiased, emotional content. Taking into account the frequency of word usage, we find that words with a positive emotional content are more frequently used. This lends support to Pollyanna hypothesis [3] that there should be a positive bias in human expression. We also find that negative words contain more information than positive words, as the informativeness of a word increases uniformly with its valence decrease. Our findings support earlier conjectures about (i) the relation between word frequency and information content, and (ii) the impact of positive emotions on communication and social links.

via [1110.4123] Positive words carry less information than negative words.

NBA Chemistry: Positive and Negative Synergies in Basketball

New paper:

NBA Chemistry: Positive and Negative Synergies in Basketball

We introduce a novel Skills Plus Minus “SPM” framework to measure on-court chemistry in basketball. First, we evaluate each player’s offense and defense in the SPM framework based on three basic categories of skills: scoring, rebounding, and ball-handling. We then simulate games using the skill ratings of the ten players on the court. The results of the simulations measure the effectiveness of individual players as well as the 5-player lineup, so we can then calculate the synergies of each NBA team by comparing their 5-player lineup’s effectiveness to the “sum-of-the-parts.” We find that these synergies can be large and meaningful. Because skills have different synergies with other skills, our framework predicts that a player’s value is dependent on the other nine players on the court. Therefore, the desirability of a free agent depends on the players currently on the roster. Indeed, our framework is able to generate mutually beneficial trades between teams. Other ratings systems cannot generate mutually beneficial trades since one player is always rated above another. We find more than two hundred mutually beneficial trades between NBA teams, situations where the skills of the traded players fit better on their trading partner’s team.

via NBA Chemistry: Positive and Negative Synergies in Basketball by Allan Maymin, Philip Maymin, Eugene Shen :: SSRN.

Twitter Digest: 2011-10-27

  • Rational Irrationality: Rick Perry’s Ugly Tax Hybrid: Not Flat, Not Fair, Not Credible – #
  • Carving pumpkins for kids' carnival, & packing for morning flight at same time. Concerned I'll end up carving clothes & packing pumpkin. #
  • Andy Hertzfeld on the Macintosh's early days and its long-term legacy. /via @timoreilly #
  • Peter Thiel launches Breakout Labs to fund early-stage research #
  • My SWA boarding karma these days is ~0.1 Kelvin. #
  • Grim Reaper: … you [Americans] talk & say 'Let me tell you something' & 'I just wanna say this.' Well, you're dead now, so shut up. #
  • I know men's jean sizes are lies, but is simply absurd that a size 31 pair of jeans has a waist two inches too big. #
  • My right knee feels like I went over the bars of my MTB yesterday and smashed into a rock. Curious, that. #
  • Today's travel peeve: Adults who regress to toddler state once on a conveyor or escalator. Move, damnit. #
  • Just realized moments ago that i may have left a car in an airport long-term parking lot in 2002. #
  • Happily, the long term lot is in another country. #
  • Why does Shutterfly still exist? What are you kind Shutterfly users doing there? #
  • YouTube’s top channels rival cable audiences — /via @briannorgard #
  • Photo series: Bangkok Underwater – #
  • By golly, what we’ve got here is a failure to decorrelate – #

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