Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage


Jun 11

How Big Data and Online Games Help Catch Scammers

Posted: under Design, infographic.
Tags: , , , , ,

I did a case study on this use of analytics technology more than a year ago. The gist of it is this: online MMPORGs like World of Warcraft, EVE, Everquest, etc., are wonderful tools whereby to study human interactions.

Here’s the gist: when you map the connections between people – or stores, or institutions, or giant multinationals – there are certain geometric patterns that emerge. Analyzing the shape of those patterns reveals what kind of community is in existence, how healthy and vibrant that community is, and whether or not any of the people in that community are acting in a criminal or shady manner.

This technology is being used by Ninja Metrics (h/t to Dmitri Williams, a colleague at USC-Annenberg who runs this amazing company), to help online game environments to detect and remove the kinds of “gold-farming scammers” that ruin the gaming experience for the other players. It’s also the kind of thing that is being used to catch real-world drug cartels, money-launderers and fences for stolen goods.

Now if they can only do something about that punk griefer who keeps zapping me in “Destiny,” they’ll really be onto something…

infographic showing online analytics and scams

(Click to view full size)

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Nov 27

Embedding Infographic Example for Kiev Students

Posted: under journalism.
Tags: , , , ,

This is just a test of an embed code…

 

How NOT to look Ugly on a Webcam

by Lemon.ly.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 

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Nov 12

Newspapers’ Dying Swan Song: SF Chronicle Tries Glossy Paper, Splashy Color

Posted: under Digital Migration, infographic, Newspaper Deathwatch, Newspapers.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Print die-hards claimed that all that was needed to reverse the audience migration to the internet was to make newspapers more “lively” in appearance. Early verdict: looks pretty, but the advertising still isn’t there, and that sound you heard was Mort Zuckerman puking and weeping over in the corner.

I’ve been in the Bay Area for a convention of “[fill in blank] for Dummies” authors and various business meetings, and I’ve taken the opportunity to scope out what the San Francisco Chronicle has been doing with its much-ballyhooed investment in glossy magazine-style paper for the front pages of its sections, and the use of high-quality color images.

SF Chronicle - Front Page Wraparound Ad

This is a strategy that is also being pursued in New York by NY Daily News publisher Mort Zuckerman, who has invested more than he would like to admit to (millions? hundreds of millions?) into high-tech printing presses, capable of churning out massive print runs with razor-sharp color. The 15-tower, triple-width ultra-compact Commander CT press looks a lot like the last-generation Nikon F6 film camera. It was the apex of film technology, what many analysts recognized at the time as “the perfect camera” — but that alas, was rolled out just as every working professional made the move to use digital.

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Jul 09

Many Eyes Word Tree: What Went Wrong in Iraq

Posted: under Design, Digital Migration, infographic, journalism, new media, Newspapers.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

A brief respite from the yammering about curmudgeons, interns, naivete vs. nihilism and all the rest of the debate over whether or not newspapers will be considered a curiosity in less than 2 years’ time…

I got to this thru a post on the Poynter site, and man, is this ever addicting.

I’m a big fan of any tool that helps the user filter, organize and digest data according to his/her needs, and this one definitely shows promise. It’s an IBM tool called “many eyes” and what it does is form graphic representations of complex data in ways that allow you to click through and follow from a central starting point thread, where it leads… The visualization of the salmonella outbreak does what a great infographic should do – it presents complex data in an easily grasped visual way, and shows the relationships between various data streams.

I typed in my own search string to the tool – check out the results:

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