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Showing posts from August, 2009

How unemployed are we? Take a look.

Jess Bachman of Wallstats.com, creator of the well-known Death and Taxes poster, has turned his eye to the U.S. government's unemployment statistics. Back in January he published a flowchart clarifying how the government determines who is officially Unemployed and who is merely overlooked. (Here's how that determination is described verbally by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.)
What's more, the official numbers have gone up since January. As of the end of June, the official figure is 9.5 percent. Has the Obama administration come up with a new tally to include all the undercounted (I hope)? Or are things just going to hell in a handbasket (I fear)?

Click here to see the whole thing. Nice work, Jess.

Silobreaker clusters information

Created by a couple of UK computer science students, this newly upgraded aggregator/search engine delivers results that are both broad and deep. Tags are used extensively and to good effect, but the infoviz applications are where the action is.

The Network widget is probably my favorite. To use, hover over a small graphic image to highlight its connections with other items in the network. Hover over bits of text for pop-ups providing additional information. Double-click a node if you want to drill down.
If you're looking for news from a certain region, click the Hot Spots map widget and drill down from there. You can further refine the search by filtering the topic of the news stories.

Unfortunately, the Trends app is buggy, poorly explained and therefore far less useful. And Silobreaker's collection of pre-set topics (global issues, tech, science, business, energy and world) is certainly incomplete. Even so, the site's dashboard-style interface provides lots of entry points…