visual data

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Immersive Insights: IBM’s AR Data Visualization Tool at SXSW – Medium

The IBM is making space at SXSW from March 10–14 showcased dozens of projects in AI, robotics, VR, AR, and other emerging technology fields. My team and I had the fortunate opportunity to demo our AR project, Immersive Insights.

Immersive Insights aims to be a tool that provides data scientists with insights to large-scale data through a spatial visualization experience. While the demo is still in an early stage, we have real-time data streaming to the headset and displayed in 3D, fully manipulable and scalable. It is also our way to begin exploring, creating and refining the next generation of enterprise applications for data analysis.

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This is what inspiration looks like.

Some people see music in color. Grammy-winning producer Alex Da Kid is one of them. So when Alex needed inspiration for a new song, the Cognitive Color Design Tool turned powerful imagery into colors that would show Alex the emotion behind five years of cultural data. That’s why Alex Da Kid’s music has so many feels.

Listen to ‘Not Easy’ by Alex Da Kid on Spotify or iTunes

Donald Trump has been president for two weeks, and he is already facing dozens of lawsuits over White House policies and his personal business dealings. That’s far more than his predecessors faced in their first days on the job. The lawsuits started on Inauguration Day, and they haven’t let up.

Most of the 50-plus lawsuits filed so far relate to the travel ban on refugees and nationals from seven mostly-Muslim countries that Trump ordered on Jan. 27. They were filed in 17 different states by doctors, professors, students, people fleeing violence and Iraqis who have worked for the U.S. military. Some were detained in American airports for hours over the weekend; others were barred overseas from boarding planes bound for the U.S. Two Syrian brothers with visas to enter the country say they were turned around at Philadelphia International Airport and sent back to Damascus.

After 2 Weeks In Office, Trump Faces More Than 50 Lawsuits

Chart: Parker Yesko, Katie Park and Candice Kortkamp/NPR

Last year, global warming reached record high temperatures — and if that news feels like déjà vu, you’re not going crazy.

The planet has now had three consecutive years of record-breaking heat.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released its annual State of the Climate report, which says it’s the hottest it has been since scientists started tracking global temperatures in 1880.

A separate analysis, by NASA scientists, came to the same conclusion.

2016 Was The Hottest Year Yet, Scientists Declare

Graphic: Alyson Hurt/NPR

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An experimental music video clip generated by a neural network

Creative coder @mario-klingemann puts together method to produce sound-reactive visuals from neural network trained datasets:

The visuals in this clip a generated from the sound itself using a plug and play generative network. The synchronization seems to be a bit off at the end - WIP. 

Link

The abortion rate in the United States fell to its lowest level since the historic Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalized abortion nationwide, a new report finds.

The report by the Guttmacher Institute, a research group that supports legalized abortion, puts the rate at 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women of childbearing age (ages 15-44) in 2014. That’s the lowest recorded rate since the Roe decision in 1973. The abortion rate has been declining for decades – down from a peak of 29.3 in 1980 and 1981.

The report also finds that in 2013, the total number of abortions nationwide fell below 1 million for the first time since the mid-1970s. In 2014 – the most recent year with data available – the number fell a bit more, to 926,200. The overall number had peaked at more than 1.6 million abortions in 1990, according to Guttmacher.

Perhaps not surprisingly, given the longstanding controversy around abortion policy, the meaning of the report is somewhat in dispute.

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards said efforts to help women get better access to contraception are paying off. She points in particular to recent improvements in the rate of unintended pregnancies, and a historically low teen pregnancy rate.

U.S. Abortion Rate Falls To Lowest Level Since Roe v. Wade

Graphic: Katie Park/NPR

An overwhelming majority of people disapproves of Republican lawmakers’ plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new Congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

A poll released Friday by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that 75 percent of Americans say they either want lawmakers to leave Obamacare alone, or repeal it only when they can replace it with a new health care law. Twenty percent of those polled say that want to see the law killed immediately.

But Drew Altman, CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, says the poll shows lawmakers don’t have a strong mandate to repeal Obamacare.

“Most of the American people said they’re either against repealing it or they’re against repealing it unless Republicans put a replacement plan on the table,” Altman says. “They want to see what comes next before they seen the ACA repealed.”

Poll: Most Americans Say Don’t Repeal Obamacare Without A Replacement

Graphic: NPR, Kaiser Family Foundation 

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Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States.

That’s remarkable for all sorts of reasons: He has no governmental experience, for example. And many times during his campaign, he said things that inflamed large swaths of Americans, whether it was talking about grabbing women’s genitals or calling Mexican immigrants “rapists” and playing up crimes committed by immigrants, including drug crimes and murders.

But right now, it’s also remarkable because almost no one saw it coming. All major forecasters predicted a Hillary Clinton win, whether moderately or by a landslide.

So what happened?

We don’t know just yet why pollsters and forecasters got it wrong, but here’s what made this electorate so different from the one that elected Barack Obama by 4 points in 2012. To be clear, it’s impossible to break any election results out into fully discrete demographic groups or trends — race, gender and class are interconnected, impossible-to-disentangle phenomena. But, for now, here’s what the exit polls, as reported by CNN, do tell us about a few of those trends that handed this election to Trump.

How Trump Won, According To The Exit Polls

Graphics: NPR and Danielle Kurtzleben/NPR

Although Donald Trump sits in the Oval Office now, he continues to own stakes in hundreds of businesses, both in this country and abroad.

Ethics experts say this vast international web of personal financial ties could influence Trump’s thinking on public-policy decisions. Trump has dismissed such concerns; he notes presidents are exempt from the conflict-of-interest rules that apply to Cabinet members and other government employees.

Past presidents have complied voluntarily with the ethics rules.

What Trump and his team have done is commit to certain steps that do touch on some of the ethics and conflicts-of-interest concerns. The Trump Ethics Monitor focuses on those promises and tracks their status.

Trump Ethics Monitor: Has The President Kept His Promises?

GIF: NPR

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Even before any election happens, it’s pretty easy to predict where the demographic fault lines will be: whites tend to vote more Republican than non-whites. Women tend to vote more Democratic than men. This year, it became clear that there was a growing gap between white voters with college degrees, who tend to vote more Democratic, and those without degrees, who vote more Republican.

Here’s another divide that started to get more attention this election: the rural-urban gap. Rural voters vote more Republican, while urban voters vote more Democratic, and that divide grew this year from where it was in 2012 and 2008. It’s a nuanced divide, too; strikingly, as counties get progressively more rural, they more or less steadily grow more Republican. And it’s possible that living in a rural area caused people to vote more Republican this election.

Exit polls show that the rural-urban divide grew from 2008 to 2012, and again this election. What’s particularly interesting is that the rural vote seems to have moved more than the urban or suburban votes.

Rural Voters Played A Big Part In Helping Trump Defeat Clinton

Charts: Danielle Kurtzleben, Alyson Hurt and Tyler Fisher/NPR

More than 30 years ago, Congress overwhelmingly passed a landmark health bill aimed at motivating pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs for people whose rare diseases had been ignored.

By the drugmakers’ calculations, the markets for such diseases weren’t big enough to bother with.

But lucrative financial incentives created by the Orphan Drug Act signed into law by President Reagan in 1983 succeeded far beyond anyone’s expectations. More than 200 companies have brought almost 450 so-called orphan drugs to market since the law took effect.

Yet a Kaiser Health News investigation shows that the system intended to help desperate patients is being manipulated by drugmakers to maximize profits and to protect niche markets for medicines already being taken by millions. The companies aren’t breaking the law but they are using the Orphan Drug Act to their advantage in ways that its architects say they didn’t foresee or intend. Today, many orphan medicines, originally developed to treat diseases affecting fewer than 200,000 people, come with astronomical price tags.

Drugs For Rare Diseases Have Become Uncommonly Rich Monopolies

Graphic: NPR and Kaiser Health News