2017 in review
A look back at last year’s books, podcasts, video games, and more
- Suburban freedom
Access denied: using the Glasgow Subway by wheelchair
The subway can be the quickest way to get around a city. Unless you’re in a wheelchair
What of Trump’s ‘world’s greatest person’ claim?
The 45th president of the United States has a fraught relationship with the English language
Data for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro
Making stats on the athletes and events available in a structured format
From village to city: the evolution of Reykjavík
Using open data to track 140 years of growth in Iceland’s capital city
How Antonin Scalia compared with other Supreme Court justices
Charting the swing vote in the US Supreme Court, and finding a flaw in the New York Times while we’re at it
- Data analysis
Analysis of health and economic consequences of storm events in the United States
A report produced as an assignment for the Reproducible Research course run by Johns Hopkins University on Coursera
The story of 2015’s Kexreið
Sixty riders jostle for position in a 30km criterium around Reykjavík’s city centre
Who came second in the British general election?
Britain’s voters are more diverse than the election results suggest
Glasgow’s upcoming bike-sharing scheme
A bike-sharing scheme similar to that found in London, Paris, and other European cities is coming to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow
‘Pandas 2, Tories 1’
Do pandas really outnumber Conservative party MPs in Scotland?
How I made the map of the buildings of Reykjavík
Every dataset is messy, and each is messy in its own way
The influence of the United States on Latin American political systems
How the American Revolution, the Monroe Doctrine, and the Roosevelt Corollary shaped democracy in Latin America
What is famine?
How food shortages have come to be seen as a tragedy of the individual
Three things to watch for in the men’s Olympic road race
Will Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish win Olympic gold for Britain?
A new obsession with cycling and the Giro d’Italia
Deep in the centre of Italy, one of cycling’s great races is in full swing
- Data formats
In praise of CSV
A paean for the undemanding and widely-supported data format
Is this what passes for an argument in technology punditry?
Tech journalism is a bland, vacuous echo chamber populated by lightweights intent on celebrating one another
The human race
The happiness of the long-distance runner
This week in clubs
This week’s news of note
Jón Gnarr to the fashion world: we are all prisoners
Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr speaks about the profound effects of fashion
How many pineapples will I find in Costa Rica?
DataMarket International launches with 100 timeseries and 600 million facts
Davíð Oddson and the Constitutional Assembly candidates
The former prime minister’s influence on elections to Iceland’s Constitutional Assembly is unmistakable
Blurring an image using the HTML 5 canvas
How to blur an image in the browser as fast as possible
After a farcical display in parliament, what will the legacy of the digital economy bill be?
As the digital economy bill becomes the Digital Economy Act 2010, I think about the legacy of that political process
- Flit, yeah?
Falling off the map
Alison and I are emigrating to Iceland’s capital, Reykjavík
The future of control
A revolution in publishing means companies will have to learn to relinquish control
There are some things the internet can’t do
A eulogy to the printed word
Oh the youth of today
Nick Davies on Rupert Murdoch and the digital economy bill
A battle is emerging: the people of the planet against its media proprietors. Who’s going to win?
House of Lords debates the digital economy bill
Britain’s upper chamber of parliament debates the controversial bill during its second reading
Malcolm Tucker’s resignation
Have The Thick of It’s writers killed off the programme’s greatest character in his prime?
Newspapers decide they’re not the news
An important national story about workplace bullying fails to make it into Britain’s newspapers
Stop Peter Mandelson’s digital economy bill becoming law
Find time to write to your MP and protest the digital economy bill
Leith Walk botanical cottage, demolished and risen again
The campaign to bring a small eighteenth-century building in Edinburgh back to its former glory
- Higher education
The world’s top 100 universities, visualised
See how the world’s best institutions compare
If we’re not careful we’ll lose the web
The ephemeral nature of the contempory Web means our time will be seen as a second dark age
The unintended consequences of Isaac Newton’s pursuit of counterfeiters
How the Wikipedia article on an obscure architectural style came to be
How much do we pay our MPs?
Britain’s MPs were first paid a salary in 1911. How has it changed since?
The world in recession
Visualising which countries are in recession, and which aren’t
- Daily life
Common-or-garden photos from my short commute home
Musings on Apple and the App Store
Developers are frustrated with the opaque rules surrounding Apple’s App Store. What should the technology giant do?
Twitter and the text message
How to send and receive Twitter messages using only SMS
Github participation sparklines for Django
Introducing a library that lets you display snazzy charts on your Django-based web site.
The world has another blog
Just in case anyone was waiting for me to throw my weight behind a presidential candidate
Ernest Hemingway and an Icelandic short story
Famously, Ernest Hemingway wrote a complete story in six words. Here, I present that same story in just four. In Icelandic
The film festival and me
The camera shutter snapped open. The flash fired. Darkness. And that was that: we had taken the photograph that would become the front cover of the programme for the Edinburgh International Film Festival
At a party, you can live or die on your introduction. It needs to be good — it needs to be great. Last Saturday I got the greatest introduction of my life. Almost
Slog, drudge, and excitement
I’d been so concentrating on training for a marathon I nearly missed a week’s achievements. Once I realised, it felt fantastic
Pheidippides and the marathon
A short story from Ancient Greece gives me the excuse to introduce my latest harebrained idea. I think I like to make life harder for myself
And so the world has another blog
Another day, another blog. Can I persuade you this is one blog worth reading? And do I have a reason to write publicly?