Posts tagged “validation”

ChittahChattah Quickies

  • [from steve_portigal] Armies of Expensive Lawyers, Replaced by Cheaper Software [] – [Spin in this article is that using computers to manage super-human levels of complex data will have employment consequences.] When five television studios became entangled in a Justice Department antitrust lawsuit against CBS, the cost was immense. As part of the obscure task of “discovery” ­ providing documents relevant to a lawsuit ­ the studios examined six million documents at a cost of more than $2.2 million, much of it to pay for lawyers and paralegals who worked for months. But that was in 1978. Now, thanks to advances in artificial intelligence, “e-discovery” software can analyze documents in a fraction of the time and cost. In January, Blackstone Discovery of Palo Alto, CA., helped analyze 1.5 million documents for less than $100,000. Some programs can extract relevant concepts ­ like documents relevant to social protest in the Middle East ­ even in the absence of specific terms, and deduce patterns of behavior that would have eluded lawyers examining millions of documents.
  • [from steve_portigal] PG&E launches huge paper chase for pipeline data [SF Chronicle] – [You think you have a lot of data to process? Obviously their record-keeping incompetence is just now being surfaced and they have taken on a data task that is beyond human scale. We can create systems that we can't manage!] For the past couple of days, forklifts have been carting pallets loaded with 30 boxes each into 3 warehouses outside the 70-year-old Cow Palace arena in Daly City. Friday afternoon, there were still more than 100 pallets stacked outside the warehouses waiting to go in. "There are 100,000 boxes in there, and you can't believe the papers spread everywhere," one PG&E employee said …"There are records in there going back to the 1920s. "We're looking at all kinds of parameters, and our data validation efforts are going on throughout the service area,…We're doing a 24-7 records search involving at least 300 employees and contractors, and we're working to confirm the quality of our data through collecting and validating our gas transmission pipeline records."
  • [from steve_portigal] Hong Kong, 2011 [Flickr] – [My pictures from our recent trip to Hong Kong for the UXHK Conference]
  • [from steve_portigal] Understanding Culture, User Research and Design with Steve Portigal – [Reserve your tickets now for either Toronto event: a lecture on March 8 and a workshop on March 9. The lecture will focus on culture, insights, and design while the workshop will be a hands-on opportunity to practice synthesizing user research data into opportunities and concepts. Hope to see you there!]

Passing the buckskin

Lululemon got into trouble last month for selling clothing made from a seaweed-based fabric that supposedly had many unique properties. But independent tests revealed that the material was just cotton, and performed like cotton.

Mr. Wilson added that the company probably did not have enough money to test the material back when it started using it 18 months ago. When asked about Lululemon’s product tags and the claims about vitamins and minerals, he said, “That’s coming from the manufacturer. If you feel the fabric, it feels a lot different.”

And it gets even more laughable in the followup story

When told earlier this week about the Times’s test, Dennis Wilson, the founder, chairman and chief product designer, said: “If you actually put it on and wear it, it is different from cotton. That’s my only test of it.”

My camera is better (more popular) than yours; am I better than you?

I wrote about our connection to others who have the same product we do

When we go through decisions to acquire things that are visible, in many cases, that’s a personal decision. The belongingness we feel when we observe that in someone else is a great deal of fun, not a product of personal inadequacy. I wouldn’t nod at someone else carrying a can of Coke. I might nod at someone else wearing a Rolling Stones tongue shirt. Hey, I might nod at someone else drinking a can of Jolt (I drink neither, I’m just hypothesizing about the level of identity, meaning, uniqueness, tribal, outsider, etc. embedded in the various product choices). I do have a few shirts with tongues on ’em, however.

Today Karl Long points out a site that tracks the top cameras used on flickr (the info is stored inside the photo file and can be extracted if you know where to look, I guess), and my camera – the Nikon D50 – is the top one listed.

For no real good reason, this makes me feel good. I have recommended this camera to others; I feel a bit of personal investment in the brand of the camera+model, this is some silly validation of my decision and loyalty, I guess. Popular doesn’t always equal good, but at an emotional level I’m going to choose to ignore that.


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