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FlowingData | Data Visualization and Statistics

FlowingData logo FlowingData explores how designers, statisticians, and computer scientists are using data to understand ourselves better - mainly through data visualization. Money spent, reps at the gym, time you waste, and personal information you enter online are all forms of data. How can we understand these data flows? Data visualization lets non-experts make sense of it all.

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Voice Messages

There's something missing from today's telecom world which i call voice messages. I'm not talking about voice mail or common phone calls. Voice messages are audio text messages. They're similar to push-to-talk messages in duration and ease.

Sometimes i don't want to talk to someone, sometimes i know they are busy or sleeping, but still i want to leave them a message. I just want to click a button, record a message, then send it to someone.

There may be a way to directly call their voice mail, but each service provider probably has their own way of doing it. Text messages are too clumsy to type in, even with T9. Besides, T9 doesn't help for proper nouns (the first time). Also text messages don't have the conversation view that instant messages do, but that's a user interface issue.

Voice mail is too word and there's too much press 1 for this, press 2 for that. I really don't feel like checking my new messages, checking my saved messages, marking a saved message as new, deleting archived messages. What i want is an archive of them send to me over email. Or a web interface to delete old ones.

Your thoughts?


I just got mail from an airline explaining their frequent flyer program. It explains that i may go online for more information. This still seems to be the exception. I think a reversal will occur soon. That is, most information will be online and exceptions will be made for offline transactions.

Similarly, i've read the federal government is reducing funding for teaching English as a second language and instead providing forms in additional languages. I'm not sure how i feel about this yet.