Ten Stories We Have Enjoyed This Week

21st February 2015

1) This is great  UK tourist attractions get a Mandarin makeover, to make locations more accessible to Chinese tourists. London’s iconic skyscraper “The Shard” could be called “A tower allowing us to pluck stars from the sky” and Savile Row, well known for its high-end tailors, could become “Tall, rich, handsome street”. Hadrian’s Wall to become “The Wall of Eternity”

2) In the digital audio age, very many of us have sacrificed some sound quality – whether we are listening to an mp3 file or streaming; which provides a compressed version of a file that was much more detailed, but way larger. But what exactly are we missing? To get a sense, here is a video project called  The Ghost in the MP3. It features a song made with only the sounds that were left out when compressing Suzanne Vega’s ‘Tom’s Diner’ to mp3.” .

…and still on the subject of ‘Sound’ –  All The Quietest Places – is a map of noise levels across the US on an average summer day. After feeding acoustic data into a computer algorithm, researchers modeled sound levels across the US including variables such as air and street traffic. Deep blue regions, such as Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado, have background noise levels lower than 20 decibels – a silence likely as deep as before European colonization. In most cities noise levels average 50 to 60 decibels.”

3) From Think With Google – The Customer Journey to Online Purchase -” These days, the customer journey has grown more complex. We analyzed millions of consumer interactions through Google Analytics and distilled how different marketing channels affect online purchase decisions. Use the benchmarks in this tool to help understand the roles these channels play, so you can better plan which channels you will use when, increasing marketing performance ”

4) The Ten Break Through Technologies of 2015, from MIT. Some of these are Nano-Architecture, Car-to-Car Communication, Liquid Biopsy, Megascale Desalination, Apple Pay, Brain Organoids, Supercharged Photosynthesis, Internet of DNA and Archive of Past Lists.

5) Raspberry Pi is UK’s best selling computer – ‘The stripped-back microcomputer designed for education has now sold five million units in the three years since its inception. In an era in which computers in the traditional sense of the word have seen declining sales in a market diluted by mobile devices, the success of the tiny Pi is remarkable’

6) The military search engine Memex is like Google on steroids “Unlike a Google search, Memex can search not only for text but also for images and latitude/longitude coordinates encoded in photos. It can decipher numbers that are part of an image, including handwritten numbers in a photo; technique traffickers often use to mask their contact information. It also recognizes photo backgrounds independently of their subjects, so it can identify pictures of different women that share the same backdrop, such as a hotel room—a telltale sign of sex trafficking, experts say.”

7) Apple is likely working on a Car, with a shift from the information highway to the terrestrial one. FastCo looks at why they are doing this. Get your orders in for 2020

8) Very clever piece of data visualisation from YouGov distils and depicts the key characteristics of consumers of a wide range of brands, products and even various ‘things’. This entry for users of the iPhone 5

9) Really interesting – National Geographic provides an accessible and engaging series of pie charts showing what we eat across the world As you would expect – massive differences in the amount of Sugar and Fat consumed between the East and the West.

10) And finally,  the biggest Severn Bore is set to surge past Bristol this weekend 

..and here is a video of a previous Bore and surfers riding it. Worth staying till near the end of the piece, which provides a head on view of the wave