Closing the communications gap

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Science & Technology

Professor Dame Anne Glover has spent her entire career generating scientific knowledge; knowledge that has, usually, been bought and paid for by the tax payer. As such, she said, “I believe that the tax payer deserves the benefit of the knowledge I generate.” But that payback isn’t always guaranteed.

Making maps

Written by Timandra Harkness on . Posted in Science & Technology

In an extract from her book, Big Data: Does Size Matter?, Timandra Harkness meets data-based map makers CartoDB to discuss citizen cartographers and the pros and cons of location intelligence.

Extracting sunbeams from cucumbers: How to design a better table

Written by Howard Wainer on . Posted in Science & Technology

In 2009 I did a survey of the use of data displays in a number of leading journals and found that, in all of the sciences that I surveyed, the dominant form of data display was the table.1 This is despite the century-old warning of the brothers Farquhar that: “Getting information from a table is like extracting sunbeams from a cucumber.”2

Why forensic bite mark analysis lacks teeth

Written by Jim Norton and George Divine on . Posted in Science & Technology

Steven Mark Chaney was convicted in 1987 of the murder of a drug dealer who had been stabbed to death. The evidence against Chaney at his original trial included the testimony of a dental expert who stated that it was virtually certain that Chaney had bit the victim on the arm at some point during the killing – that the bite marks found on the victim’s body were a match to Chaney’s. But where did such certainty arise from – and is it justified?

Getting more for less: Reflecting on the numbers in the IT revolution

Written by Steven Furnell on . Posted in Science & Technology

A 2.7GHz processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 500GB solid state drive that is almost out of space. Quite frankly, the laptop that I am currently working on is getting a bit old. However, thinking back to 1985, and my newly acquired Amstrad CPC6128, I was pretty thrilled with the 4MHz processor, 128K of memory, and a 180K floppy drive. Times, quite clearly, have changed.

Ask a statistician: Will humans one day live forever?

Written by Brian Tarran on . Posted in Science & Technology

Henry Cole, a 17-year-old student, asks: "Almost every day on the news there is a report about a new breakthrough in medicine, which claims to raise our current life expectancy. As the biggest old-age killers, like cancer, are beaten, the rate at which life expectancy rises is increasing. Presumably, at some point in the future, life expectancy will rise quicker than people can die. Babies born during this time could theoretically live forever. So given today’s life expectancy data, when might we expect this to occur?"

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