Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The "qualitative jump" of having aim

The news about the day is that ETA has killed a police officer in France. Many people emphasize in his fronts that it is the first time and, therefore, one speaks about "qualitative jump" like this article about the same title in Abc, his publishing house online, or different news of elpais.com, lavanguardia.es, and of course many others. But the same means tell since this one that it is already the fifth shooting between French police officers and members of ETA. Already in 1996, account Abc, a police officer turned out to be a serious injured man in a pursuit (it is not clear if for shots or for accident), and in 2001 a gendarme received seven shots.
There is no, then, qualitative jump any. Simply, more aim. If the hermeneutics of a clandestine band is already of for itself very complicated, it would be better that we were not tangling it any more reading the result of bullets shot in a shooting as if there were revealing grounds of coffee of nonexistent decisions. In case of need, ETA will get involved to shots with the French police, and therefore, logically, it is ready to kill French police officers. We knew it for many years, and they had demonstrated it. Nothing of that has changed today.
On the other hand, Iñaki writes to me with these four apprehensions of screen of the fronts two French newspapers and Spanish two, of today, some time ago.

The contrast is showy (the news is absent in two French, and it is much emphasized in two Spanish), and the truth is that I do not know very well who does the correct thing. To treat to the terrorism like common crime (if a delinquent kills police officer in a clash after a theft in any place of Spain, it would not be in the front) is a possible way of fighting against him, reducing precisely his aptitude to influence our lives. Do we pass here or the French remain short?

Saturday, March 20, 2010

To do graphs and maps with Google Public Data

Three years ago Google bought Trendalyzer, the technology that was behind the fabulous Gapminder page. Now Google throws a new page Google Public Data Explorer, where it applies the same hardware to new information, and invites to institutions with public information to make use of the tool to do his most accessible information and visualizables (what Gapminder already promised, but I believe that it had never just happened). Let's hope that this time they should be successful.
At the moment I put to them there a rapid test of what it is possible to do. Rascal.

The snow in Peking is a little a tiny tot

Excuse the refuse like My Fair Lady. The fact is that it is what there suggest the dozens of means on that they have published, spurred for Efe, that Peking remained paralyzed for "precipitations in the shape of snow of 4,8 millimeters, which in the north of the city became of up to 12,6 millimeters": Abc.es, Elpais.com, Lasprovincias.es (and the rest of the group Vocento), Wave Zero, The Avant-garde, Antena3, The Economist... and so many people others.
As Manuel says to me (thank you): Is nobody surprised of that a 0,5 cm snowfall to 1,3 cm paralyzes a city and it is considered to be historical? Perhaps yes, but the production line cannot stop in these minutiae.
On the other hand: where from has Efe extracted his fact? I have two theories.
The first one is that the said information is of meteorological stations, that they give the precipitation measurement in mm (liters of water per square meter), although this one has been in the shape of snow, and in effect, the information coincides approximately with those of Weatheronline for the sum of the 2nd and 3rd of January in Peking.
But as the meteorologists say to me, the precipitation in the shape of snow usually reaches a height 10 times major than the water (with changes), concerning 1 cm of snow per 1 mm of water. So that 12,6 mm of water might be equivalent to approximately 12 cm of snow, which begins being a considerable height, although very far of 30 cm about which they speak means of other countries (for example, the Sydney Morning Herald, quoting Frances Press), and that seems more logical for a "historical" snowfall (although it would not coincide with the Weatheronline information).
The second theory is even more simple: 30 centimeters are approximately 12 inches, as us remembers proper France Press. 12 inches, 12 millimeters...
You with which do they remain? Torrent The Wanda Sykes Show S01E16 Episode 16 now

Friday, March 19, 2010

Malaprensa 2009

After turning out to be forced to edit all the Malaprensa earnings in 2009, I have thought that there is sufficiently good material as to recover the award Malaprensa of the year, which we already gave for 2005, 2006, and 2007.
I have chosen the candidates with a combination of my personal taste and of you, across the (imperfect) indicators of the number of received visits and the number of comments. I have adhered to the examples of strict malaprensa, according to the original definition (news, with errors fácticos, not only of interpretation). This leads me to excluding articles about opinion, like those of the titanium of the silly thing Almudena Grandes (that it rectified, everything is necessary to say it) and César Vidal. I have excluded also corrected errors, like that of Pedro and Bibi in elpais.com, or that of the appointments of Marx de Cayo Lara. As far as I know, therefore, the candidates have not been rectified by the corresponding means (order me information if they find corrections or fes of errors that refer to them).
With these criteria, these are the candidates, for chronological order:
  1. Madrid, very sure city, with 11 murders to the day (almost all the means)
  2. The biggest increase of the participation in Gallicia that never existed (almost all the means)
  3. Two circular graphs on the unemployment that conceal his dimensions (elpais.com)
  4. The climate change, the biggest humanitarian challenge of our time (elmundo.es)
  5. Every day 500 pages of infantile pornography are created in the network (as in 2004!!!) (elmundo.es)
  6. The pupils of THAT romp like madmen (Abc.es, Elpais.com and others)
  7. 12.000 portable ones lost a week in airports of the United States (elpais.com)
  8. Federer wins for 6-3, x-x, x-x (The New Spain)
  9. The mileuristas will dedicate almost a salary to pay the increase of taxes (Abc)
  10. Every minute 95 children die for malaria (elpais.com)
  11. The prices of the hotels lower 94 % in New York (The World)
  12. 20.000 children prostituyen at present in Spain (elmundo.es)

The UNO asks for 390.000 millions

This was the holder of news yesterday in the edition in role of The World (of payment), referring to the request of the UNO to help the Haitians. I suppose that they were based on this office of Europe Press.
The number is in euros. In the text of the news, which Miguel sends to me (thank you), one adds that the original request is 560.000 million dollars.
Naturally, it is enough to know that the inhabitants of Haiti are 9 millions and the affected ones by the earthquake approximately 3 millions (as tell all the newspapers these days), to realize that something sounds rarely: there would be 43.000 euros (62.000 dollars) for Haitian or 130.000 euros (187.000 dollars) for affected. Approximately the current GDP of the country for 80 years.
Nobody did the accounts nor was missed. But a little of common sense and a search online had clarified that the real request, for urgent help, is 1.000 times a minor: 562 million dollars.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Basque and German

One is already so used to that the means limit themselves to copying and giving the errors (or pitfalls) that spend to them others, which one forgets of that they solitos also can fix them bullshit is invented.
Thanks to Dani I read this Deia holder:
The Basque workpeople gain almost the half that the Germans
Go, I who believed that we had converged a little more with Europe. Do not worry, that here the subtitle comes:
His annual gross salary is 25.488 euros opposite to the 40.914 of the Teutonic ones
Very well, I am already remaining slightly calmer on the salaries; although really perplexed on the holder, who in addition to the calculation harms, chooses arbitrarily the Germans as it indexes (they are not those who more win of Europe) and it mixes information of years and different sources for the comparison (reading the text it is seen that the fact of the CAV is of 2009, of the INE and that of Germany of 2008, of Eurostat).
In the text that thing about appears again "almost the half", but this time comparing the Spanish salary for 2008, 21.500 euros, with those of Great Britain (46.058), Holland (42.720) and Germany (40.914). He should have said "about the half", because in a case it does not come, in other is the half, and in other it overcomes it.
My hypothesis: the one that the holder wrote put the txapela (as the news is said in the local journalistic slang to "vasquizar"), changed three countries into one (for space, perhaps) and forgot to check the calculation. A beauty, go.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Quite free for Haiti?

(Eye: this is not malaprensa)
The seemingly widespread scandal amazes me a little because the banks receive commissions for doing transferences on having done donations for Haiti.
In general if I want to deposit a money in a foreign account (let's suppose that of a bank different from mine) I have several ways of doing it: the free some (I go to my bank, I 'stand in line in window or use the cash dispenser, extract money, go to the bank where the account is, 'stand in line again, and deposit the money) and others that it are not (from the cash dispenser of my bank, or by phone or for Internet, or 'standing in line in window, I arrange a transference, the bank does it and normally he receives a commission from me). The second ones are normally more comfortable and rapid than the first ones, and that's why the bank charges from me, which is explained because it does the easiest life to me and gives me a service that I appreciate. If the price seems expensive to me, I can always resort to the free options.
But it seems that if I want to transfer the money to an account of an ONG in the direction of Haiti the bank is also forced to give me the service that gives me (to me, not to the Haitians). I do not see why, frankly (safe, clear, that the bank has promised to do it, as he affirms in this news about The Country, although the management bank speech rather of a custom, not a commitment).
Following this logic, and still with more reason, I suppose that the air companies must not receive the tickets from the cooperating ones, firemen, or journalists who have traveled there. Or if they want a more nearby similar one, which must not charge are the travel agencies, for the commissions to express the tickets. Those of transport of goods should not receive the freightages either. The telephone companies must give to the ONGs the calls to Haiti (or related to Haiti, if it was possible to know which are). I imagine that all the newspapers must publish free whole the announcements these days asking for donations. And the news agencies that design these announcements will make them free. And those who make or sell sanitary material, I imagine that they will have to give it to the ONGs... and this way ad infinitum. I wonder if the journalists (especially the freelance) that are in Haiti should resign to his salary of these days, do not be going to be that anybody accuses them of taking advantage of the catastrophe. In fact, every employee of humanitarian ONG who receives a salary, for definition, lives of the foreign evil. Scoundrels!

Four basic rules for news on surveys

There orders me a reader (thank you, Inés) a linkage to the fantastic page PHD Comics, which satirizes normally the academic life, but which this time has written in only one strip, four basic lessons of statistics for journalists.
"Piled Higher and Deeper" by Jorge Chamwww.phdcomics.com
My rapid translation:
Dear mass media,
On having given news on surveys results, please, pay attention to the following ones sugerencias:1. If two surveys differ in less than the error margin, there is no news. (In the vignette): "The survey information for the candidate O is collapsing!!!")
2. The scientific facts do not decide for polls of public opinion (In the vignette): Network of medieval news. "Yes, Galilean, but: what does he say to us about the last surveys that they say that the ground is flat?"
3. A survey of his Internet spectators / readership is not a scientific survey (In the vignette): Announcer: And now, to refill emission time, a survey that shows that the people who thinks how I it agrees with me. (In the cartel) I am right? Of course 99 % Me divide of laugh 67 %
4. How if all the surveys include the option "does not it matter for me? (In the vignette): Here the results of the survey are votaciónCandidato A: 30%Candidato B: 26%Lo that is: 44 %
Signed: someone who gave a basic statistics course
That should sound quite so familiarly in a cómic who writes himself in the United States, it makes us see that, as a friend says, "everywhere boil beans".

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Obama has thrown the towel

Since my friends know, I am an eager news reader on the North American politics. That's why when today I have seen the front of The Country, I have remained of stone, after this holder saw to four columns:
Obama leaves his reforms program after losing Massachusetts
Conio: what has happened? when? where? How is it that I have not read anything on the American pages that I continue? So many hours do I go without reading the American press?
When I have returned to house and have got connected to Internet I have seen that really, You do not even Steal the New York, not the Washington Post, not even Huffington Post they seem to have found out about the novelty of The Country. In fact, the content of the news reveals that the president supports his commitments, but the correspondent has interpreted that although he should say a thing, thinks other one:
The president admitted into his yesterday speech that the sanitary reform had suffered a serious reverse in the last week for happiness of the insurance companies and of the vested interests. Although he said that it kept on being his target, the creation of a new system of health is already clearly out of the priorities of the Administration.
Impossible in this climate to try now, how it was foreseen, the discussion of others big projects of the White House, like the energy reform, the protection of the environment or the educational reform. Although the resignation is not accepted officially to the electoral promises, a spokesman of the White House admitted that in these moments it was necessary "to calm down and to take an air puff". [] added bold faces
Meanwhile, the local media still have not developed the capacity of the journalist Spanish and de facto, the New York Steal it titles "Obama, with challenging tone, promises to impel his plans" (Obama, With Defiant Tone, Vows to Push Agenda) and it begins this way his news:
President Obama, striking to not - retreat, not - surrender posture in the wake of his party's humiliating defeat in the Massachusetts Senate race this week, vowed Friday to press on with his expansive domestic agenda — including to health care overhaul and tough new restrictions on banks — even if it meant have had to “take my lumps” from political critics.
[More or less: The president Obama, adopting a position neither of retreat nor capitulation after the humiliating defeat of his party in the election to the senate in Massachusetts of this week, promised on Friday to go forward with his wide plans of national politics - including a reform of the system of health and new and hard restrictions to the banks - even if that was implying to take a few blows of his political critics]
What fans.

So-and-so and So-and-so

There orders me Eduardo (thousand thank you) this entertaining photo of the Abc of today. It is of the chronicle of the party between the Depor and the Athletic. As Eduardo says: this staff, which the devil loads!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Chávez and the earthquake

I read in Magonia that the news about the Abc that said that Chávez accuses the USA of provoking the earthquake of Haiti, it is a considerable distortion of the reality. Since it happened to Luis Alfonso, and I suppose that to another many people, I had seen of spent the news and believed that it could be true, meeting the personage.
But in fact, the proper news was already separating of the holder, since this one attributes personally Chávez something who according to the news had said "a press release of the executive" who had appeared in the web of a channel of state television. Nevertheless, since it is easy to verify, the text was published without signature in the section of Opinion about the web page of the television, although it is written by format rather of news. On no part it is said that it should be a press release of the government.
Naturally, a public television in the current Venezuela is not one a way not moderately independently. But nevertheless, to attribute straight to Chávez the content of everything what is said in her is obviously an exaggeration.
That I know the newspaper it has not rectified. Only I find a new version of the news, which has eliminated the attribution to Chávez of the holder, but it supports it in the subtitle.
Meanwhile, several means of the whole world have gathered the news of Abc, with different grade of delicacy and tone with regard to the attribution to Chávez or to public television. A big success of the Spanish journalism.

Subidón of the mortgage credit

He says today The Country that The banking re-opens the faucet of the credit to the housing buyers. The text, since you can see, does not contain really "hard" information. Only impressions, experts' opinions (often anonymous)...
But in the edition in role there appears a spectacular graph, which does to him after one says: "golly, yes that they are changing the things". It is this:

Before you thrill more of the account, throw a glance to the numbers of the vertical axis: the minimal value is 1.049.000 (million euros) and the maximum 1.063.000. Namely that the subidón of the graph, from the minimal value of February to the maximum of November is of... slightly more than 1,3 %.
An example of book as how does the use of the truncated axes serve to transmit a visual impression that has little to do with the numbers that exist behind. On the other hand, the select variable, which is the balance of the living mortgage assets (it should have been specified in the graph), perhaps is not most adapted to illustrate, precisely, the credit authorization rhythm, since the monthly change is small, as regards the existing piled up whole. That turns out to be better in a graph that represents exactly the monthly change of this balance of mortgage assets, like this one of the last report of the AHE (pdf):

The graph is objectionable for other reasons, and it is too complicated, I suppose, for a newspaper (perhaps with lines instead of bars it would be publicable). But at least it allows to see how 2009 started very badly (the new loans were minor than the amortizations in January and February) and then it has gone slightly better (the assets balance has grown in every month less I wither, that has always been a mop). But also it allows to see that the recovery has been very weak: the balance scarcely grows in September, October and November, and all the numbers are worse than those who existed even at the beginning of 2008 (let's not say already the previous years). Frankly, safe from what it has spent from November, to speak that the banks "open the faucet" seems risky.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Subidón of the mortgage credit (2)

The yesterday graph of The Country not only had problems of scale. Also, as I indicated of spent, the variable to which it was referring was the entire living balance of the existing mortgage loans in Spain, which cannot be related straight to the loans for the housing buy granted every month, already quea) it includes so much loans for housing as other mortgage loans (promoters, you manage, agrarian, commercial). b) to the being the clear balance of the assets, is the result of the difference between assets of the new loans and assets reduced by amortization and cancellation. This way, an increase of 2.000 million assets can be the result both of the authorization of 4.000 millions and the amortization of 2.000, and of the authorization of 10.000 millions and the cancellation of 8.000.
Therefore, if what we want to know is how the crediting goes for housing, the information of the AHE is not too informative. I have remembered of that there is a much more direct source to inform us about that, to which also the newspapers refer often: the statistician of registered mortgages publishes the INE every month, disintegrating for types (urban, rural, housing, lots...), and reporting of the number of mortgages, the average amount, and the entire amount. Therefore, it is possible to see perfectly the evolution of the monthly authorization of mortgages for housing, without the hodgepodge of information of the AHE.
The only tone is that, on having talked each other of registered mortgages, it is possible that there is a certain delay with regard to the dates in those who sign the notarial writing, which it will be when the banks take into account them, and perhaps when the AHE counts them also. But nevertheless, it looks like to me a clearly top statistics if what we want to know it is how the credit authorization goes for the housing in Spain.
And this is what we find. First, the graph from 2003 to 2009 (November) (click to extend).

And then the graph for the last twelve months with information (dic08-nov09) (click to extend):

I would say that these graphs, which are more excellent enough for the topic of the news (that he was speaking about loans for the buy of the housing), count a history well different from that of the yesterday graph. Safe about that the statisticians of December and January say another thing, I believe that the faucet continues more or less as it was one year ago.

Noise and sign

When I put the day before yesterday my graph on the volume of credit granted for the mortgages on housing registered until November, I did not realize that the fact of this month had been published that one on the same morning, accompanied by the corresponding press release of the INE (it is for what he has to ask the friends to order you the last updated file).
So in the night I took a surprise on having seen that precisely the news was speaking about this statistics, and they were emphasizing that in November, for the first time from 2007, more mortgages had been constituted on housing that in the same month of the previous year (one more 1,8 % to be precise).
Since I was concentrated on the topic of the volume of the credit, it had not paid a lot of attention to the number of loans, but in effect, in November, for the first time from April, 2007, they were granted more than one year earlier.
The interesting question that appears here is that of the difficulty to detect changes of tendency and to distinguish them from mere saw teeth (those that I have called other times anecdatos). I explain myself: in most of the social phenomena that we observe across the time, and that count (per days, weeks, months, years...) there will be tendencies of fund (stability, growth, decrease) and teeth of saw (in an erratic way the fact of every concrete period of time does not continue exactly the tendency, but it is anything higher or anything more down than it would be necessary to wait). If the saw teeth are pronounced, and we concentrate very much on them, cover the danger of spending every month (or week, or period that is) from the panic to the optimism, and vice versa, in an erratic way, according to the deviation of the tendency that touches this time, without realizing that we are reacting to oscillations concerning the tendency, and do not see the tendency itself.
How to know if the last fact of a series is a tooth of saw or a change of tendency? Definitely speaking, we will not be able to know it until we see those who come later. But what yes we can find out easily is if the information at the level of temporary disintegration that we are using is given or not to the saw teeth. For example, the fact that has just be published is that in November a 1,8 more % of mortgages registered on housing than in November, 2008. Let's see the trajectory of this indicator in the last years (click to extend):

We can see that yes, there are saw teeth, and they are in some considerable cases (even forgetting the showiest, in March and April, which is seen affected by the dances of the holy week). We can illustrate it simply with the values of last seven months (rounded to the unit):-25,-10,-19,-6,-6,-18, +2.
With this oscillation grade concerning the tendency, it is a difficult knowledge if the November fact is a saw tooth more, or a real change was doing positive levels. But yes we can know that this statistics, when he joins per months, is given to produce saw teeth. A remedy for these situations is to "smooth" the curve, so that the peaks up and down they are compensated, and let's see the fund tendency. How to do that? Very simple, instead of looking at the fact per months, we can see it for major periods. That we analyze the temporary information per days, per weeks, per months or per years it is a relatively arbitrary convention. But one of the good reasons to modify the convention is precisely that if the grade of aggregation that I use produces a statistics with many saw teeth, perhaps it is that I am disintegrating too much, that I am putting the magnifying glass too much close to the information, and the oscillations concerning the tendency confuse me.
We can see, therefore, the evolution of this indicator for perodos, for example, of three months. Instead of using finished and successive trimesters, trimesters can be used deslizantes, that some are overlapping with others (just as we do, for example, with the inflation, when we give the value of last twelve months, and we check it every month). This way, every fact of the series would be ene+feb+mar, feb+mar+abr, mar+abr+may, abr+may+jun...
In the following graph we see the result for the last years (in blue) superposed to the monthly fact (in red) that we have seen earlier (click to extend):

The new statistics scarcely has saw teeth, what is a good indication of which it is a question of an aggregation level more adapted to distinguish the tendency of the oscillations with regard to the same one. I dress like that, the last fact (September - oct-nov) is not a too important change, but simply he confirms the process of soft braking in the fall that has been happening throughout 2009: from a maximum fall of-41 % (in the trimester finished in ene-09), the descents have been smoothed in a quite uniform way during the whole year, and in the last period the decrease is already "only" of-8 %. Logical thing, on the other hand: after falling down for one year, 30-40 % is difficult that the same turns to fall down.
I imagine that it is great to ask a newspaper that to decide what it imports is not the monthly fact, but the quarterly fact, which needs proper making, to separate from the press release of the INE, and it is explained to the readership. But: would not be this the type of things for that we would ask to a few means to which it likes thinking that they serve to us to distinguish the real information of the mere information, to separate the sign of the noise?.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

last opportunity to vote

If they still have not done it, I remind to them that until twelve o'clock of this night they can vote to choose the Malaprensa 2009.

Malaprensa Express February, 2010

Copipego here the MP Express of February, 2010. It is a little shoddy, but this way the earnings and his comments remain filed, together. The whole MP Express (without comments), is still available here.

Neither Incarnation nor Giacometti

To convince them in the importance of managing well with the numbers, he was saying on Tuesday to the pupils, in the first meeting of a course on press and statistics, that this one is excellent for each and everyone of the sections of the newspapers, including that of culture.
And we had only to wait until Thursday to see a round example of which also to write in this section is necessary to know something about numbers. All the means told us that a Giacometti sculpture, The man who walks, had beaten a record to the being the piece of art for which more it had been paid in an art auction: 104,327 million dollars, which were overcoming the previous record of the picture of Picasso, Boy with a pip, which was from 2004 in 104,168 million dollars.
The problem, of course, is that we are not comparing dollars with the same purchasing power. The dollars of 2010 cost less than those than 2004, as everybody knows, for this thing called inflation. That's why, almost every year (less the past, which has been very rare in everything), all the prices rise and we do not proclaim, whenever they do it, that beat historical records. We do not also allow ourselves to cheat because our salary rises every year, nominally, because we know that as the inflation goes, our power adquisito real can have risen, or not (and in any case, it will have done it less than the nominal increase). The increases that attract attention of us are those who separate clearly of the inflation: that of the fuels in the last years, that of the housing during the bubble, that of the bonometro in Madrid...
Imagine this situation: someone tells them that he bought a picture for 104,1 dollars in 2004 and now it has sold it for 104,3 dollars. What would they say to him?
a) What luck, you have received more for your picture that the price for which you bought it!
b) I'm sorry a few times it is gained and others it gets lost.
If they answer a) I do not recommend to them to devote themselves to the business. If they answer b), you will be with me in whom the Giacometti record is a bluff.
This way, then, let's take of The Country the list of 10 works for which more it has been paid (nominally) in auctions, and let's rearrange the values in accordance with the price in constant dollars of 2010 (I use as a deflator, for lack of a world IPC, that I believe that it does not exist, the IPC of the United States, which is after all who expresses the reference currency; since we are in February newly begun, and with inflation almost to zero, it seems acceptable to me, like approach, to compare the current price with those of other years expressed in dollars of 2009).


Date of sale

Nominal price

$ 2009

Ranking The Country

1. Van Gogh Retrato del Dr. Gachet





2. Renoir Au Moulin of the Gallette





3. Picasso Boy with pip





4. Giacometti L'homme qui goes





5. Picasso Dora Maar au chat





6. Klimt Retrato of Adele Bloch Bauer II





7. Rubens The massacre of the innocent persons





8. Bacon Triptych





9. Rothko Centro Target (Yellow, Rose and Lavender on Rosa Rosa)





10. Andy Warhol Green Car Crash





Supposing that this ranking is correct (that of course not, because there will be works sold earlier by nominally minor, but much major quantities if Giacometti was expressing himself in today dollars) would stay in an honorable put quarter, but very far of 135 million dollars to which there would be equivalent today the 83 that were paid, in 1990, for the Portrait of Dr. Gachet of Van Gogh.
Anyway, that as with the false Incarnation record, they are telling us a milonga.

Friday, March 12, 2010

And the winner is...

Here there is finally the result of the election of the Malaprensa 2009. After gathering 150 votes, the winner, with 32 votes (21 %) it is this fantastic news about front of Abc:

Naturally, it is not an innocent error. But it is malaprensa because the center of the error is a gigantic mathematical silly thing: to confuse (or to claim) the average with a value that is applied to all the individuals of the group in which it is calculated. It is also a winning joust for going in front, to any page.
Since they will imagine already, the modest award Malaprensa has economic endowment, neither statuette, nor delivery ceremony. But it serves to us, first of all, to amuse ourselves; and secondly, to remind to the prizewinners the obligations of his profession.
The second position, with 24 votes (16 %), is for the news according to which 20.000 children prostituyen at present in Spain (elmundo.es), when rather we have information of which they can be less than 1.000 (minors). And the third one, with small difference, with 22 votes (15 %) (during a time it was winning) is for this entertaining blunder of The New Spain on having reported by the final of Open Usa (that as they know won Of The Colt):

The rest of the expressed votes performed this form:
  1. Two circular graphs on the unemployment that conceal his dimensions (elpais.com), 14 votes, 9 %
  2. Madrid, very sure city, with 11 murders to the day (almost all the means), 13 votes, 9 %
  3. The prices of the hotels lower 94 % in New York (The World), 11 votes, 7 %
  4. The biggest increase of the participation in Gallicia that never existed (almost all the means), 10 votes, 7 %
  5. The climate change, the biggest humanitarian challenge of our time (elmundo.es)
  6. Every minute 95 children die for malaria (elpais.com), 5 votes, 3 %
  7. Every day 500 pages of infantile pornography are created in the network (as in 2004!!!) (elmundo.es), 4 votes, 3 %
  8. The pupils of THAT romp like madmen (Abc.es, Elpais.com and others), 3 votes, 2 %
  9. 12.000 portable ones lost a week in airports of the United States (elpais.com), 3 votes, 2 %
Gracias a todos los que votaron (y en particular a 3, Ale, Basseta, Bermartor, Bojanbojan, Borghia, brujo don carlos, Carlos, Carlos, CarlosMinneapolis, Cristóbal, Dani, Dani, Daniel Manzano, Daryl, David, ddaa, edipo_rey, elmundoalreves, ellgon, email Galicia, Emilio, gilman, Haakjvork, Ian Curtis, Javier, Jesús, Jesús, José Luis Calvo, Josu, Julio, lucagali, Luis, marcos, Max, Nacho Castejón, Numedides, pelikan, Protactínio, Redferne, Ricardo, rober, Roberto, Rubén A., Sancho, Santi, Shankio, Sísifo, t, Terry Pratchett, Topi, Vanderhof, Vicente S., y West).

A lot of smoke

One goes already being an old dog, so when I have seen today in the TD1 that The nicotinism kills 1.500 persons less a year from the approval of the law Antitobacco I have said: I do not believe it.
This is the version of The Sixth one:
The mortality for nicotinism has diminished in 1.500 persons a year in Spain from smoking 2005, most debits. Almost the half there are a direct consequence of the approval of the law antitobacco.
And this is what they say that they have told them in the press conference:
"We are sure that the law has helped to reduce the mortality, although the tobacco consumption was already going down before this regulation was approved, for what we think that approximately 900 deaths would have been avoided the same way and approximately 600 there are a direct result of the legislation of 2005", has said in press conference one of the coordinators of the group of work on nicotinism of the SEE, Manel Nebot.
Another coordinator, Esteve Fernández, has added that this information is "conservative" because "they are based only on the deaths by infarction of myocardium and cancer of lung, when there are many other illnesses associated with the tobacco".
My friend Wonka, who has paid attention to the topic for years, has saved to me the task of doing investigations: read his entry newly published in the one that counts like the study presented today he does not say anything about that (there are four paginitas dedicated to the impact on the health).
What he says, in short, is that "alomojó", if the law will accelerate the tendency before to the descent in the consumption of tobacco (thing that the proper study says that it has not happened); and if a few hypothetical reductions were happening in the exhibition in the work, they would save themselves, in 2010, 1.500 deaths, of which more than 1.300 would be for the reduction in the consumption (that would be an effect only indirectly of the law), and less than 200 turned out from the minor exhibition to the environmental smoke of the tobacco in the places of work, which is what supposedly more was chasing the law.
Namely that if the law had had a few effects that we are already knowing that it has not had, would have saved 1.500 deaths. A main piece of the scientific argumentation, which these people have owed of presenting in a sufficiently confused way so that now all the means tell it to us like a fact. And that immediately will turn into a statistical mutant who will be used in the next discussion rounds on the matter, skylight.
Anyway, one more piece of the long chain of false reports that many people believe that it is legal to spread for a good cause.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The week of the radio

For these coincidences of the life, today I have gone out again in the radio, but in this case in a community broadcasting station, Remove Rhythm, of Getafe, where I have chatted for almost one hour with Fernando Losada, in his program Detective.
Here they have his critique on the program, and here the linkage to unload the MP3, if it longs for them.

1.500 million euros in false medicines

I saw yesterday evening in Telecinco that the Spanish we wear out a year 1.500 million euros in false medicines or of imitation (bought by Internet or by other procedures without guarantees). You can see it today more or less everywhere. It counts at random: to approximately 50 average euros for adult. Many seem to me.
Today I look a little. Here there is the press release of the pharmacist Pfizer, who pays and spreads the study (one is grateful that they do not hide behind any foundation): "The market of 'medicines' forged in Spain reaches 1.500 million euros". And here the extensive version of the study: pdf. Pfizer, I remember them, it makes the Viagra, that one from which we receive announcements by e-mail several times a day. And he does not hide that it is a matter in which it has an interest.
That's why it is necessary to take the report with tweezers and to look at it with many cuidadín, as they have not done, I am afraid, most of the means. As it looks like Pfizer a survey has done online in several countries of Europe, of which in Spain 1.000 interviews have been done. There is title role neither in the press release nor in the widest dossier, which makes to suspect already, although according to the news about The Country, about which perhaps he has asked about his account, the study has been realized "following the criteria of population of the database of Eurostat and a panel of selection of recruiting of interrogated persons with the criteria of regulation of the quality certificate on line ESOMAR". For lack of more detail, this would mean, I understand, that it is not an autochosen sample, and that enough information is known associate demographic of the interrogated persons as to know that the composition of the sample does not differ substantially from that of the population (except, I suppose, in the key topic of the access to Internet and familiarity with his use). Well, let's assume for the time being that the sample is "good" and we see what they have found out.
In the press release it is said that the study "sample that almost a third (29,8 %) of 1.000 Spanish interrogated persons admits to have bought prescription medicines across inadequate or illicit practices, what means that approximately 11 million persons in our country have practised this risk consumption". This fact stands out also on the page 7 of the dossier, although there it is said that the study suggests this fact.
Be fixed in the phrase: "he admits to have bought prescription medicines across inadequate or illicit practices". Let's see the question where the citizens "recognized" this: "Has he ever acquired without recipe prescription medicines?". 29,8 % said that yes. But that thing about "inadequate and illicit practices" is an addenda of the report that links surreptitiously that one 29,8 % with the buy for rare, like Internet channels, with danger of falsifications (and of losses for the pharmacists), which is the general topic of the report.
In fact, the proper report says, but not in the out-standing section, but between lines, on the page 8:
Between the persons in Spain who admitted to buy medicines of prescription inadequate across practices or illicit, almost one of every five (18 %) did it across Internet.
18 % of 29,8 % is 5,4 % of the interrogated persons (all of them for Internet, remember), or, if it is preferred, approximately 2 million persons. Nothing is said on where his medicines have bought without recipe the rest (82 % of those who did it) but I imagine that immense most of them would be... in the drugstores, where often, as we all know, the fat sight is done, and there sell medicines that theoretically need recipe without her. Therefore, with zero loss for the pharmacists, and increasing in zero euro the account of the market of falsified medicines (although there can be damages of another type, skylight).
What it takes me, again to the holder of 1.500 million euros. It is emphasized also on the page 7 of the report, as one of the results "suggested" by the same one, but he does not say how they have found out it (perhaps calculating a percentage of an European global estimation, that we do not know where from it goes out) either anywhere.
The accounts do not salt me for any side. Supposing that to 2 millions that they bought for Internet we were adding them, what I, another million that they have bought for other insecure routes (if this fact was in the survey, they would have told it to us, but well), 3 million buyers go out for us for routes started to the fraud. If absolutely everything bought was fraudulent (it 62 % of the times is, according to the proper report, a p. 12), the expense average for every buyer for rare routes, it would be still 500 euros. and they do it to save!!!
It is going to be that not.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Where I said I say...

The Country, principal news about front, on September 5, 2007:
Andalusia guarantees for law an apartment to the one who gains less than 3.000 euros a month
One notice the use of the present of indicative. The opening paragraph of the news was already going on to the future time:
All the Andalusians with income lower than 3.000 euros will have right for law to a worthy housing, in rent or in property, and will pay for it a maximum of 33 % of his income. The socialistic Government of the Meeting of Andalusia presented yesterday the draft of law that regulates this right, "exigible to all the public administrations", as he tells the legal text.
The text was clarifying that it would not have time to approve the law in that term, which was ending in March, 2008. So it would be necessary to wait for the following one (the current one).
Well, yesterday (2 years and five months after that holder in indicative present) the Andalusian Parliament approved a law on housing, that the descendant from that proposition would seem to be. It does not come today in front of The Country, but yes in the section Spain, with this holder:
Andalusia approves the law that guarantees the right to housing
Finally has been guaranteed the right to housing of all the Andalusians who gain less than 3.000 euros, for a maximum of 33 % of his revenue? Go, it seems that not:
The law does not introduce the right to demand in the courts the property of a house, but yes he allows to the citizens to claim before the courts of contentious - Administrative the nonperformance of the obligations on the part of the Public administrations of which there are plans of protected housing. The Administrations have of two years of margin before demands could appear for this cause.
In two years, almost five after the famous holder in indicative present, the Andalusians will be able to demand to the town halls and other administrations than they have not approved a plan of protected housing. If the today news about The Country is correct, there is no any more protected right. C'est tout. That someone explains to me:
a) how does the holder justify this content of the law used today;
b) when will the rectification of the front be published of September 5, 2007, which was including news that has turned out to be false;
b) when c ***** s are the newspapers going to stop doing pre-riodismo, and they will stop presenting like truly and in force the measurements in the absolutely embryonic state, which are simply studied, considered, announced or pondered for the politicians, or which are pure electoral caramels, bluffs, without anything behind.
Make here his comments to the MP Express of March, 2010

The World to the square

I have been in the presentation of The World in Orbyt. Several other guests have counted it already, how Rodrigo Ponce of León in 1001 Means and Pablo Herrero in Communication is called the game, which the basic keys give so that you understand about what we are speaking.
Since they had organized a presentation meeting especially directed to bloggers, he was thinking that we were going to find a product more faced to the web 2.0. They know already, social networks, participation, horizontalidad...
But it is not that. They have presented to us a new way of distributing a product of traditional communication, with a clear separation between producers of content and consumers of the same one. And with minim (therefore they told us) interaction with the rest of the network ("on Monday there will not be linkage, but one Monday they will be"). The contents have the typical icons to share across Wiggle me, Twitter, Facebook... but on having been contained of payment, I suppose that the linkage will be only useful for other subscribers. And neither for my surprise, nor at least section of Your World it seems that he is going to encourage very much the creation of users' community.
So The World in Orbyt is The World to the square. Namely the whole content of The World in role (all the editions, supplements and magazines), with the whole historical file, with a new platform to read it, seemingly more comfortable and versatile (but it will be necessary to see it working) and complemented with audio-visual additions, which for the time being seem to center especially on comments and opinion (several examples were editors of the newspaper in brief videos commenting on the news about the day). Much adapted for a newspaper as The World, which bets for the journalism of opinion and of big signatures. I do not know if like managerial operation it will work, but in any case I do not see conceptual innovation on what it is to do journalism in Internet times.
It will be necessary to see how it evolves. They have given us a user's account of one month (thank you), so I will prove it and will be telling them.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A championship graph

Expansion.com a comparative graphic stranger published Tuesday (thousand thanks to Luis for the linkage) between the economic value of the different selections of soccer that will go to the world cup (in fact, only the Spaniard compares, two to two, with each of the others). Apparently, a counsel has thought how much would find it hard to record 25 players that more minutes have played with every selection in the classification phase and it has done with it an estimation of value of every selection. It looks like a thing reasonably serious, and gives like turned out that the Spanish selection would be the most expensive.
But the graph has neither feet nor head. And above they it will have dedicated to doing a heap of effort. Let's see. Most of the space occupies a drawing of a football ground, with players dressed in the uniform of two compared selections (one is fixed, Spain, and other one is changing after the mouse slides on the name of other selections). Information: zero (or almost). The comparison is done in two parts. On the one hand, two green bars, to the sides, are related to the position of the selection in the classification FIFA: Spain, nº 1, has the full green bar even above, other selections, more empty bars as his position. The comparison between the values (that it is supposed that it is the novel thing) is done by two red circles, which
  • they do not fit in the field of the drawing (that of Spain "leaves" for the right),
  • they appear in the fund, way covered by the field, and for the names of the countries,
  • they try to represent, apparently, the estimated value of the selections, but they do not keep the proportion between the values for his areas, but (seemingly) for his radioes (stupid error that we have already criticized here often).
This one the comparison entity is, for example, Spain and France:

And this is the comparison between Spain and Chile:

If the red circle was representing the value of the selection it should be almost exactly 7 times smaller than that of Spain. Instead of that, if it is proportional to the radio (I suppose it, but I have not verified it), the small circle will be some 49 times smaller than the big circle (that anyhow does not turn out to be entire!!!).
Really a spectacular example from how concealing information across the graphs. With how simple a bar chart had been, with little flags or colors of uniform, arranging the countries for ranking FIFA, and with the proportional bars to the dear value. There would be seen perfectly, of only one glance, both the differences of value between all the taking part teams (and not only compared to Spain), and the relation (or absence of her) between the value of the selections and the ranking FIFA. A case for the anthologies of how much damage can do the computer graphics in bad hands.

Elmundo.es, caught erasing his errors

I see (route @aberron) that in Testblog tell that false news of The Onion, the magazine of humor, according to which in an Obama speech, this one was kept silent and his voice kept on sounding (as if it was doing playback) has been published in elmundo.es.
Nevertheless, the linkage does not work already. It seems that simple and smoothly, they have erased the news about his web. He not forgives not even rectification. Erasure. Fortunately, they are a little awkward, and they have left a few tracks of his miscue (still visible today at 12:22):
A. In the front searcher, if you introduce Obama they find, first of all, this result:
1. Obama: caught doing play back? Coincidence: 76.41 % - Dates: 3/5/2010
During a speech in the university of Michigan the president stops speaking, but his voice keeps on listening.
http://www.elmundo.es/america/2010/03/05/estados_unidos/1267... - [to open in new window]
See other related news
The linkage, nevertheless, leads to the elmundo.es front
B. In Google I could have found a version for the edition of The World / Accessibly that they still have not erased. It is this:

Friends of Elmundo.es: Badly for believing fellow man trola, badly for not contrasting, badly for erasing the published instead of rectifying... and I do not know if badly (or) for not being able to erase it completely.