Friday Four

Friday, April 05, 2013

1. I haven't tried it yet, but I'll definitely keep the new PDF data extraction tool named "Tabula" in mind the next time I want to fool around with data stored in a table from a PDF file. Come to think of it, I might try it on tables from PDFs generated from web pages by my web browser's "save to PDF" feature.

2. Having a neat idea is one thing; executing it is another. At some point during my Boston days, I recall thinking that it would be interesting to see a time-scaled map of Boston's subway system. So did the folks at Stonebrown Design, who then also did the hard part and created one.

3. A medical textbook features a graph showing a very strong correlation between stork sightings and population for Oldenburg, Germany. I guess I was wrong (scroll down) about where my baby daughter came from, after all.

4. "By definition, [a] CAPTCHA should be easy to read by humans but hard to read by machines," says a tech blogger of a nearly ubiquitous Internet security measure. (This blog employs them to make sure that only humans can post comments to posts.) He then provides an amusing example that he calls the "worst CAPTCHA ever".

-- CAV


Anonymous said...

Gus, your GVH blog is a "must read" for its often wide-ranging content.

One reason islamo-terrorist plots failed in NYC's subway system has been the chronic inaccuracy of time-scaled system maps and inability to attain explosion simultaneity.

The system's unpredictable chaos has been in passengers' favor.

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, Anon.

It's an interesting point, that, thanks to our lack of a rational foreign policy regarding terrorism, we have to depend on things being unpredictable.