Archive for the ‘Numbers’ category

Oprah Uses Skype

April 9, 2008

I now try to check into the start of the Oprah show daily, since it provided fodder for two prior posts (here and here).

Today she’s doing some sort of televised class results from this online course she’s providing for her latest self-improvement fad (and it is a fad — if it wasn’t, why didn’t all of her past shows provide lasting improvement?). (Besides that, the few snippets of Tolle’s spiel I’ve heard makes me suspect he is parroting what Jiddu Krishnamurti did far more convincingly — and far more intelligently!)

What prompted this post was a behind-the-scenes shot of the preparations for today’s show. They showed something called the Skype Control Room.

Here’s a snapshot from the video promo on her website of today’s show, displaying the Wall of Skype (as I call it):

OprahSkypeWall

I’m probably the only frikkin person in the world not using Skype. (A distinction I wear with pride.)

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What Big Lie? It Was Bad Math!

January 29, 2008

The Movie Industry’s 300% Error

A week ago today, the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) issued what had to be a hugely embarrassing news release acknowledging that an aggressively promoted and widely cited research report commissioned by the MPAA in 2005 significantly overstated the Internet-based peer-to-peer piracy of college students: “The 2005 study had incorrectly concluded that 44 percent of the motion picture industry’s domestic losses were attributable to piracy by college students. The 2007 study will report that number to be approximately 15 percent.” The MPAA release attributes the bad data to an “isolated error,” adding that it takes the error seriously and plans to hire an independent reviewer “to validate” the numbers in a forthcoming edition of an updated report.

Emphasis added by me.

So what is this?

Math error? Wait. By professionals?

Then again, these people are supposed to be professionals too.

And I admit I am absolutely incompetent at math. (The accountant who reviewed my expense report years ago — that I did with a calculator — is probably still telling that story!)

And they made an error too.

However, when it comes to the MPAA, I believe it was Big Lie time. And someone caught them.

Math Was Created To Humble Us

January 23, 2008

numberwall.jpg

It took a few days for my humiliation to dissipate after my math fiasco here.

Today I came across a Professional Website that also screwed up math.

And it was simpler math too.

I feel better now.