Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Presenting Data and Information course by Edward Tufte

Monday I went to a seminar on how to effectively present data by one of the masters of visual information, Edward Tufte, with more info here.

It was in the Doubletree Hotel, and I parked in the parking garage and decided to walk down the stairs instead of taking the elevator. This corridor is straight out of the movies.

I figured if something was going to go down, this was the place. Luckily (for them), nothing happened.

The seminar was in a conference room, and they had some surprisingly good coffee.

Here is another "review" of his seminars by someone else that went - some great details that I left out.

ET, as he is known online and to the community, is a great presenter, and I liked his style. Most of it was him talking with a little bit of some multimedia stuff. He's a Mac guy, but he doesn't come off as pretentious.

Patrons of the seminar received four of his books, which I heartily recommend. They are fantastic references as well as just plain great reading.

I also picked up a copy of his mother's book, Artful Sentences.

So why did I take this course? I have to present a lot of data, the lion's share of it is performance data, and my customers are engineering, marketing and sales. Whatever I can use to make what I show more effective (and have them come back to me less) is a win!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Evolution of Netflix DVD shipping wrappers.

I found a short article about how Netflix has changed the design of their DVD mailers over the years - check it out.

Here is a direct link to the gallery of mailers from the beginning. I think the earliest mailer I can remember is the 2001 era mailer, #9 on the list.

We're on our second run of Netflix memberships, and we have definitely been affected by their (in)famous DVD throttling plan. There seems to be a DVD distribution hub located in Austin, so delivery has gotten faster lately.

The mailers are famously red and can be picked out at a distance, as seen here. I've wondered about Netflix thieves watching the post offices for those telltale envelopes, but it turns out a lot of such scams exist. There is even what must be an upper echelon of discriminating DVD thieves, as seen here.

Monday, December 03, 2007

More 3d benchmark

I'm trying to revamp my 3d city for the benchmark. I came up with some back of the envelope (literally) sketches, and I'm getting closer to something I like, but I'm not there yet.

I'm torn between a center landmark with streets radiating out from it and the basic city block layout. I also plan to have some elevated roadways as well as some flying vehicles.