Broder Responds Point-by-Point to Musk (i.e., The NY Times vs. Tesla Motors)

Tesla Motors Model SDoes data speak for itself? Or, does it need context?

Update :: 15 February 2013, 2 PM EST. Rebecca Greenfield at The Atlantic Wire writes that her analysis of Elon Musk/Tesla Motor Company’s car log data data does not back up their claims of fakery on the part of John Broder at the NY Times. :: End update.

Yesterday, I wrote about Tesla Motors and Elon Musk “busting” the NY Times’ John Broder’s poor review of the Model S car.

Today, I offer some equal time for Broder’s rebuttal of Elon Musk’s charges — backed by car data logs — that Broder lied.

Here are point-by-point responses to specific assertions Mr. Musk has made:

• “As the State of Charge log shows, the Model S battery never ran out of energy at any time, including when Broder called the flatbed truck.”

The car’s display screen said the car was shutting down, and it did. The car did not have enough power to move, or even enough to release the electrically operated parking brake. The tow truck driver was on the phone with Tesla’s New York service manager, Adam Williams, for 15 or 20 minutes as he was trying to move the car onto a flatbed truck.
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The Value of Data Visualization

Have you ever wondered why data visualization matters? Do you prefer to look simply at numbers in a spreadsheet, or would you rather seen an image of that data?

Many people learn better visually. We all have to crawl through a great deal of data each and every day as well as process the meaning of all of this information. So, why bother with data visualization at all?

To understand that, it helps to understand the principles we strive for in data journalism. At The New York Times, we strongly believe that visualization is reporting, with many of the same elements that would make a traditional story effective: a narrative that pares away extraneous information to find a story in the data; context to help the reader understand the basics of the subject; interviewing the data to find its flaws and be sure of our conclusions. Prettiness is a bonus; if it obliterates the ability to read the story of the visualization, it’s not worth adding some wild new visualization style or strange interface. (From: http://www.niemanlab.org/2011/10/word-clouds-considered-harmful/.)

Column Five on Vimeo also provides a brief overview on The Value of Data Visualization below.

What do you think are the key concepts for a clear visualization of data? What do you consider a bad info graphic? Do you have a favorite infographic? (This could be a favorite because it is excellent, or a favorite because it is so awesomely bad.)

[Via Junar.]

User Experience Design

Have you ever visited a web site and wondered who created such a great experience? Have you ever wondered who makes the invisible visible?

No? Why do you think that is? If it works well, you don’t notice it, and if the site is a mess, it is all you do notice.

Therefore, what element can help make or break a web site?

To me, one of these elements is the site’s User Experience Design, or lack thereof.

The following humorous animations by Lyle hail the role of the user experience designer. I bow….

Do you have any favorite web sites? Why do you like them?

[Via frank j. garofalo.]

Save the Data

Welcome to my own version of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard-ism).

Yes, I know the US federal budget needs to be cut, but not my programs.

Seriously. :)

The Sunlight Foundation writes:

Some of the most important technology programs that keep Washington accountable are in danger of being eliminated. Data.gov, USASpending.gov, the IT Dashboard and other federal data transparency and government accountability programs are facing a massive budget cut, despite only being a tiny fraction of the national budget. Help save the data and make sure that Congress doesn’t leave the American people in the dark.

The video below provides a brief overview of some of the benefits the open data movement has provided.

If this issue is of concern to you, please sign a petition, write your Congressional Representative or Senator, write a letter to the editor, of just spread the word online via resources such as Twitter or Facebook.

[Via Citasa.org.]