July 20, 2014

Chop chop

Tell someone to hurry up than telling them to "chop-chop" -- especially if the phrase is accompanied by clapping or snapping fingers.

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July 16, 2014

sans-serif Neue Haas Grotesk

Progenitor of the beloved Helvetica font, and thus the culprit responsible for weird iterations of memes - Mike Parker - died last Sunday at the ripe old age of 85. He has been described as "the font god," which to be fair, is probably an accurate description for the guy who helped bring Helvetica to the world. However, he is also credited with the development of over 1,100 typefaces.

Parker was around through it all, having been born in London in 1929

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July 12, 2014

Subaru BRZ special edition, Aorta Azora Ozara ? aozora

2014 July Subaru promotions are more styling and options rebundling.

aozora_button_en.jpg

July 9, 2014

propitious

"It's adaptive, data-driven, and they are the most propitious capital allocators in political activism."

-- Anthony Scaramucci, a New York hedge fund investor and Republican fund-raiser, who attended the Kochs' annual donor conference near Palm Springs, California

July 7, 2014

Coming of age in Paris

The existing literature treats the 40s as transitional. Victor Hugo supposedly called 40 "the old age of youth." In Paris, it's when waiters start calling you "Madame" without an ironic wink. The conventional wisdom is that you're still reasonably young, but that everything is declining: health, fertility, the certainty that you will one day read "Hamlet" and know how to cook leeks. Among my peers there's a now-or-never mood: We still have time for a second act, but we'd better get moving on it.

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July 6, 2014

fixed-width monospace fonts

Why Do Programmers Use Courier Typeface?

Courier is just one of many monospace fonts. They are also called fixed-width fonts. Consolas is the default font in Visual Studio, and there are even better fonts for programmers.

We like fonts where:

0 cannot be confused with O
Punctuation characters like "," are bigger because they are far more important in programming than in daily use
Brackets are distinct
"1," "I," "l," and "|" cannot be confused (that is 1, i, L, and the pipe sign)
This leads to fewer bugs. Mistyping "," as "." will often break your code and at least lead to unexpected behavior. The same is true for ":" versus ";" and so on.


Slate explainer rides on Quora.


July 3, 2014

"fold out" version of its disclosure form, prepaid

How would I receive the proposed disclosure, if I obtained my prepaid card at a retail store, rather than at a bank branch?

Pew is proposing a "fold out" version of its disclosure form that would be available in stores on the same hooks that display the prepaid cards. Right now, disclosures are typically contained inside the package containing the card, so consumers can't see them ahead of time, and they are often difficult to read, Susan K. Weinstock, director of Pew's safe checking research project said.

July 1, 2014

More data for health insurance: shopping habits

The Pittsburgh health plan, for instance, has developed prediction models that analyze data like patient claims, prescriptions and census records to determine which members are likely to use the most emergency and urgent care, which can be expensive. Data sets of past health care consumption are fairly standard tools for predicting future use of health services.

But the insurer recently bolstered its forecasting models with details on members' household incomes, education levels, marital status, race or ethnicity, number of children at home, number of cars and so on. One of the sources for the consumer data U.P.M.C. used was Acxiom, a marketing analytics company that obtains consumers' information from both public records and private sources.

With the addition of these household details, the insurer turned up a few unexpected correlations: Mail-order shoppers and Internet users, for example, were likelier than some other members to use more emergency services.

Of course, buying furniture through, say, the Ikea catalog is unlikely to send you to the emergency-room. But it could be a proxy for other factors that do have a bearing on whether you seek urgent care, says Pamela Peele, the chief analytics officer for the U.P.M.C. insurance services division. A hypothetical patient might be a catalog shopper, for instance, because he or she is homebound or doesn't have access to transportation.

"It brings me another layer of vision, of view, that helps me figure out better prediction models and allocate our clinical resources," Dr. Peele said during a recent interview. She added: "If you are going to decrease the costs and improve the quality of care, you have to do something different."

The U.P.M.C. health plan has not yet acted on the correlations it found in the household data. But it already segments its members into different "market baskets," based on analysis of more traditional data sets. Then it assigns care coordinators to certain members flagged as high risk because they have chronic conditions that aren't being properly treated. The goal, Dr. Peel

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