Monday, July 27, 2009

Google is funny.

I A few hours ago, Claimed a site in google's web masters tools. One of the ways to do this is to add a file by a given name to the site. Well I added the file and finished the process. A bit later I took a look at the IIS logs and found this (slightly edited):

12:36:46 - ... 80 GET /GOOGLE[...].html - 200 0 Google-Sitemaps/1.0
12:36:46 - ... 80 GET /noexist_[...].html - 404 2 Google-Sitemaps/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /google[...].html - 200 0 Google-Site-Verification/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /noexist_[...].html - 404 2 Google-Site-Verification/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /google[...].html - 200 0 Google-Sitemaps/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /google[...].html - 200 0 Google-Site-Verification/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /noexist_[...].html - 404 2 Google-Sitemaps/1.0
12:36:48 - ... 80 GET /noexist_[...].html - 404 2 Google-Site-Verification/1.0

Why the heck does Google need to load the same file 4 times? And why do they ask for another (nonexistent) file 4 times in a row. OK, yeah they have bandwidth to burn but it still seems a bit sloppy.

Bayesian statistics in the general media.

This page needs more visibility. The take away is that, way to often, peoples first guess is wrong when it comes to statistical problems.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Creative Phrasing

Found in a Police Daily Activity Log July 8, 2009, 20:48

A moose is in the field, between Rolling Hills area and Moser, was in a yard. Escorted from the city.[Emphasis added]

I like the way that's phrased...

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Consequences of Deciding and Timeing

This article on the consequences of not deciding brought to mind a story about one of the US presidents (sorry I don't remember where I heard it or the president's name): When asked to make a decision, he would ask how long he could wait to make it. Then he would ask the person to come back in that amount of time and then he would make the decision. Almost always he would have better information to decide with and sometimes all but one of the options where clearly wrong that that point. The trick here is that he needed to get a correct answer to his question; how long could he wait without causing other problems or adversely effecting his options. The upshot is, make decisions as soon as you must, but no sooner.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Group size and unity.

This essay brings up some interesting points about group size and group dynamics. This kinda sorta ties into an idea I'd love to see tried: build a loose group of small highly specialized businesses set up to cheaply collaborate on projects. Each small business would be about 3-8 people and 3 or 4 of them (say a programming shop, a graphical design shop and an electrical engineering shop) would work closely together on a project with a few more acting as support (say a fab shop, a legal office and a secretarial service).

The essay at the top lends a bit of empirical support to this idea based on group sizes effecting how well a group will work together. As for this actually working, these people seem to think something in the same ballpark is a good idea.