Data

In this age of data mining, collecting and breaches, it’s easy to get paranoid. Yes, the amount of data that’s being culled and collating is unprecedented. Technology has enabled that. But paranoia aside, there are people doing good work with all this data that’s out there. Take Nate Silver and his team at Five Thirty Eight for example. Silver and his associates strive to put data in context and then glean meaning from the noise. This is what they did with regards to President Obama’s proposed executive action on the immigration issue: http://fivethirtyeight.com/datalab/every-immigration-related-executive-action-of-the-last-58-years/.

Bravo, Tim Cook

Tim Cook, the CEO of the world’s most valuable company, Apple, wrote a succinct, poignant essay in Bloomberg Businessweek:

While I have never denied my sexuality, I haven’t publicly acknowledged it either, until now. So let me be clear: I’m proud to be gay, and I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me…

…When I arrive in my office each morning, I’m greeted by framed photos of Dr. King and Robert F. Kennedy. I don’t pretend that writing this puts me in their league. All it does is allow me to look at those pictures and know that I’m doing my part, however small, to help others. We pave the sunlit path toward justice together, brick by brick. This is my brick.

It’s probably too much to think that Tim Cook’s essay will put the LGBT issue to rest once and for all, but it should help. Josh Tyrangiel, the editor of Bloomberg Businessweek, when asked how this news will affect Apple’s business, said that the desire for Apple products will trump any prejudices. iPhone for the win!

Marvel’s Expanding Universe

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Marvel Studios dropped some big news today. At the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood, the company unveiled “Phase Three”–a slate of movies it plans to release for the next five years. Here’s the list:

Avengers: Age of Ultron, May 1, 2015
Ant-Man, July 17, 2015
Captain America: Civil War, May 6, 2016
Doctor Strange, Nov. 4, 2016
Guardians of the Galaxy 2, May 5, 2017
Thor: Ragnarok, July 28, 2017
Black Panther, Nov. 3, 2017
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 1, May 4, 2018
Captain Marvel, July 6, 2018
Inhumans, Nov. 2, 2018
Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, May 3, 2019

Infinity War!

Your move, DC.

Update: Oh, and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been moved up the schedule. It was originally scheduled for July 28, 2017.

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Apple Pay Battle

I would agree with John Gruber here. Some retailers have no vision. It’s taken this long for anyone to viably implement mobile payment and now these retailers will disable their own NFC point of sale system just to attempt to thwart Apple Pay. Their own solution: a convoluted mess using QR codes.

Banksy Has Fooled the Internet (Again)

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Looks like the National Report fell for it…

Great line at the end from The Independent:

The story claimed that Banksy’s London art studio had been raided, where “thousands of dollars of counterfeit money along with future projects of vandalism” were found, along with ID thought to belong to the famed anonymous street artist, which allegedly identified him as Liverpool-born Paul Homer. However, a quick Google search shows that the quotes were originally published in 2013 on hoax website on PRLog.

In this golden age of technology, it’s a wonder that googling isn’t a part of [pseudo]journalism.

(Photo credit: AP Photo)

Drinking Soda is as Bad as Smoking

“The extremely high dose of sugar that we can put into our body within seconds by drinking sugared beverages is uniquely toxic to metabolism.”

According to a new study, drinking 20 oz. of soda daily can age you as much as 4 years. That’s on par with smoking. It’s the sugar in soda that is the true culprit.

Gonzalo

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This is the view of Hurricane Gonzalo over Bermuda from the International Space Station on Oct. 17, 2014. Nature is awesome and frightening.

Photo credit: NASA.