Data Wow: Data Science for Extra Terrestrials


In 1961, Dr Frank Drake presented a controversial equation…called….ummm…the Drake equation, but some critics, labelled the equation a guesstimate or even meaningless.  Yet for the SETI (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence) Institute, the equation pumps to a beat, and drives the mass collection of data, to yield information relating to any of the equation’s factors.  The controversial Drake equation, aims to predict the number of extra terrestrials in the galaxy, like this :


N = The number of civilizations in The Milky Way Galaxy whose electromagnetic emissions are detectable

R* = The rate of formation of stars suitable for the development of intelligent life

fp = The fraction of those stars with planetary systems

ne = The number of planets, per solar system, with an environment suitable for life

fl = The fraction of suitable planets on which life actually appears

fi = The fraction of life bearing planets on which intelligent life emerges

fc = The fraction of civilizations that develop a technology that releases detectable signs of their existence into space

L = The length of time such civilizations release detectable signals into space

If your eyes just glazed over, then try this entertaining animation, where Jill Tarter brings the Drake equation to the masses for the less mathematically focussed, describing the odds of calculating intelligent alien life.

Data Wow: Chances of Finding Love ?



What are the chances of life on earth ? Further, what are the chances of running into a random stranger on earth, and finding love… And further again, what are the chances of holding that love ??   In this compelling Ted talk, mathematician Hannah Fry gives her top 3 mathematically based tips for finding that special 1.

Windows Phone: Working with Lumia Panorama


…”with Columbus as a vision, an occasion for a historical panorama of a continent out of his control”, and the occasion, is working with the Lumia Panorama app on Windows Phone.  Here is a quick tutorial for how to generate a panorama.

Firstly, don’t be afraid, the entry point for a panorama is a breathtaking view, breathe it in… its lost and slighted origin.  Open the Lumia Panorama app, start at the left of your horizon and hit the Camera icon – you are going to shoot left to right. See the words “hold phone steady” and you will know you have almost got this sorted.  Note the line leading out to the right…follow it until the two circles meet.  Overlay the circle, hold phone steady again, and continue to the next.




When complete, you should see the words, “Creating panorama” and hopefully you don’t end up with something that looks like a scene from the sci-fi movie “Ellipse”.


Finally, before you go and get on with the panorama thing… in the words of Christopher Columbus himself “Riches don’t make a man rich, they only make him busier”… happy panorama-ing… remember, it’s about the small things.





Data Wow: Silver Linings Playbook Trailer – Scene Analysis


“How did Tommy die?”… was one of the most memorable quotes from the movie Silver Linings Playbook.   Here we look at a liquid cool example of data analysis.   The data visualisation shows which scenes were used to build the Silver Linings Playbook movie trailer. Here the analysis shows that whilst the trailer for Silver Linings used scenes that roughly follow the film’s natural order, there are a few quirky differences.   First example, at the very start of the trailer, a scene from the end of the film is used…



… and  there are a few scenes not actually in the movie release or the same scene but shot from a different angle. Enjoy the trailer here, I’m going for crabby snacks and homemades… Original NY times article Here, and the other trailers visualised include Beasts of Southern Wild, Argo, Amour, and Lincoln.

Windows Phone: Switch from Android Easy Guide


The best things about Android/Google phones is they name their operating system releases after comfort food, there are zillions of apps, and there are usually 40 different ways to do the same thing… which is probably the major downfall too, too much choice and confusion, as well as the random glitch and the “insufficient space on device” drawback on the cheaper phones.

Switch from Android to Windows phone seamlessly like this :

1. Sign into your Windows phone with your Microsoft account

2. If you already use the Google cloud service to store your contacts, go to Settings > System > Email & Accounts, then add your Google account.  Sign in with your Google account name and password, then connect and sync.

3. Once the sync is complete, your contacts, calendar and emails should be readily available on your Windows phone.  If you don’t have a Google account, go to your old Android phone, switch Bluetooth on, open the “Transfer my data” app on your Windows phone and turn on Bluetooth there as well.  Once the two phones are paired you can transfer your Google Contacts and text messages too.

4. For photos and videos, install the OneDrive app on your Android phone, sign into that app using the same Microsoft account you signed into your Windows phone with, then Transfer your files to OneDrive.  If that’s all too hard, connect your Android phone to your computer, then connect your Windows phone and copy the files from your Android media folders to your Windows phone.

5. Now just get your apps from the Microsoft store.   If the same app doesn’t exist, try something alternative.

Windows Phone: Switch from Iphone Easy Guide


I have gone through “A LOT” of phones in the last 2 years.  Apple, Android, Windows, Symbian, to, fro, forward, back, up, down, and by far the best overall experience has been Windows Phone.  You will love the seamless contact integration, attentive photo features, those cool Lumia case colours and on the mid to high level Windows phones, exceptional low light camera performance. You also never have to say a word starting with “i” again though you can still sync your Windows phone to your Macbook’s iTunes. Though the biggest downside to switching is no iMessage on Windows phone, you can find countless chat and communications apps out there that use the internet connection.

Here is a quick easy guide for Iphone users moving to Windows phone:

1. First and foremost, switch off imessage on your iPhone

2. Next, after creating your Microsoft account on your Windows phone, sign into your Apple iCloud account. Go to Settings > Email & Accounts > iCloud.  Once the sync is complete, you will have your Apple contacts, mail and calendar, which are often configured by default in your Apple iCloud.

3. If you don’t have iCloud, go to your iPhone, switch Bluetooth on, open the “Transfer my data” app on your Windows phone and turn on Bluetooth there as well.  Once the two phones are paired you can transfer your iPhone Contacts.  For photos and videos, install the OneDrive app on your iPhone, sign into that app using the same Microsoft account you signed into your Windows phone with.   If that’s all too hard, sync your iPhone to your computer, then connect your Windows phone and copy the files from your iTunes media folder to your Windows phone.

4. Now just get your apps from the Microsoft store.   If the same app doesn’t exist, try something alternative.

Windows Phone: Take Selfies with the Free Lumia Selfie App









Here we learn how to take rad selfies on Windows phone using the superb free Nokia Microsoft Lumia Selfie app, in three easy steps. If you havn’t downloaded the Lumia Selfie app yet, grab it, along with all the other cool free Lumia apps.


Step 1:  Once installed access the Lumia Selfie app in two ways.  Just launch the app and hit the Auto Selfie button, then follow the instructions and audible beeps to take the shot. Alternatively, locate your Photos, select a Photo, then launch the app from there “Open in Lumia Selfie”.





Step 2: Apply perspective choosing from Portrait, Landscape and Square options, or use the flip function.  When you’re done hit the tick.   And Step 3:  Select from a variety of cool Poster and Visual Effects, optionally apply the Vanity brush with auto detect face features to enhance teeth and smiles, or reduce ridiculous chins…





Finally, share with your besties…. Now tell your friends, and tap into more creative selfies using Lumia Selfie on Windows Phone.

Windows Phone: Rotating Images with Nokia Lumia Creative Studio


Here we learn how to rotate images in Windows phone using the superb free Nokia Microsoft Lumia Creative Studio.

crop_start_1I have gone through “A LOT” of phones the last 2 years.  Apple, Android, Windows, Symbian, and by far the best alround experience has been Windows Phone.  Seamless contact integration, photos and those cool Lumia colours.

First, if you havn’t downloaded the superb Lumia Creative Studio then do it now.  The app has a nice mix of filters and enhancements and edits without losing your original photos. What’s more it is free and addictive.  Now, open your photo in  Lumia Creative Studio, and select the Crop tool on the left.


To rotate the image, click the Rotate icon on the right. To Save, Select the Ellipses on the far right, then select “save as a copy”, preserving your original copy.



Now go tell your mates then tap into more photo enhancements using Lumia Creative Studio on Windows Phone.