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The Net Takeaway: Page 27


Danny Flamberg's Blog
Danny has been marketing for a while, and his articles and work reflect great understanding of data driven marketing.

Eric Peterson the Demystifier
Eric gets metrics, analytics, interactive, and the real world. His advice is worth taking...

Geeking with Greg
Greg Linden created Amazon's recommendation system, so imagine what can write about...

Ned Batchelder's Blog
Ned just finds and writes interesting things. I don't know how he does it.

R at LoyaltyMatrix
Jim Porzak tells of his real-life use of R for marketing analysis.







Quote of the Day... · 08/27/2004 11:04 AM, Trivial

From Baseline magazine; don't know their original source:

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats."
-- Howard Aiken, mathematician and inventor


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Why no color syntax highlighting in SPSS Syntax? · 08/23/2004 04:48 PM, Analysis

This keeps coming up on the mailing lists. Everyone asks for a quality external editor to edit their scripts. Why? Because SPSS gives a glorified notepad using a proportional font as their primary development environment to their users.

Now, I use Jedit (and if only Jext were to merge their gui with Jedit’s power…) and I’ve been gradually making a syntax file which I will provide here somepoint soon… but after 12 (soon to be 13) versions, couldn’t SPSS just provide syntax highlighting in their “editor” component? If nothing else, bold the period or flag with an “arrow” when a period appears to be missing.

Yes, one can now change the fonts across SPSS… so why ship with an arial-type default? Switch to a clean courier so at least columns can line up properly.

And how about editor macros? For example, I re-use the GET DATA commands to access our main datawarehouse. I wind up having to copy a SQL statement, paste it, then waste 10 minutes putting quotes around each line and dealing with any quotes inline. A simple macro would let me fix this in seconds (and its easy in Jedit… but why do I have to use an external editor for this?).

The editors recommended on the mailing lists are all fine shareware choices… but I think the open source editors are much more powerful. That being said, none of this should be an issue when dealing with syntax. SPSS should be our IDE, not some external editor.

The “real” users of SPSS (and by that, I mean anyone who uses SPSS outside of a stats 101 class) all wind up in the syntax window. Its time to make that easier.

Comments? [1]

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Hemangioma · 08/19/2004 11:39 AM, Personal

Why so quiet recently? Well, having a new son can really take up some time… but especially when he’s ill.

Our son has a small hemangioma (pronounced “New Jersey guy talking about the son of Skeletor’s enemy, He-Man Jr.”) on his eye. While not life threatening, this “raised birthmark” is rapidly growing and does threaten, to some extent, his eyesight.

Luckily, we live in the Boston area and have some of the best hospitals in the world. We’ve been seeing great doctors, and like any life changing experience, we’ve learned some stuff:

So, more blogging soon, lots more to say, but the cute kid and his He-Man Junior eye will tend to come first for a time.

Comments? [1]

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SPSS leaves SPSSE behind... · 08/09/2004 03:28 PM, Analysis

SPSS is back to trading under their usual symbol, seen here

In addition, some good numbers, some not so good numbers, but not a bad quarter given the world as it is today…


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Interview with a Botpire? · 08/09/2004 03:24 PM, Analysis

With apologies to Anne Rice… Duncan Lamb’s blog mentions here that SPSS is experimenting with using IM Bots to handle MRInterview surveys… Nice touch. Check it out

BTW, the rest of his blog has some interesting things about analysis, MS SQL Server, Oracle, and the usual suspects. Enjoy…


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SPSS_Log Blog... · 08/07/2004 03:39 PM, Analysis

Well, look what I stumbled across: SPSS_Log

This smart fellow appears to be logging useful snippets of SPSS code in Wordpress. I would caution him to make sure and give attribution to original sources, but I think its a nice idea.

Yes, parts of it are in Italian. But its not so hard to figure out, or use Babelfish

(UPDATE, 12/16/2004. No more blog, but now a wiki, which is perhaps a better idea on his part.


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Quask releases free version... · 08/03/2004 04:45 PM, Analysis

PR News here.

Quask is a UK company with a clever approach to survey and form design. Instead of the boring 7 dots or dropdowns, they use Flash “immediate response” sliders… and not only that, the sliders connect to either Faces or “thumbs-up” animations…

Try it yourself; requires Flash, of course.

The free version is not as powerful as the full editions, and to be honest, this is not as sophisticated a tool as some of the other dedicated survey engines out there… but anything which leverages the power of the web and makes surveys more fun is a good thing in my book.


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Use WordPress Styles in TextPattern! · 08/03/2004 01:31 PM, MetaBlog

Michael Pate tells how to use WordPress Styles in TextPattern which is very helpful. There are some fantastic templates for WordPress out there, and now TP can start to take advantage of these designs.


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Capture Screenshots From Windows Media Player · 08/02/2004 07:36 PM, Tech

From the ultra-cool WinXPNews...

Turns out that it’s pretty hard to screencap an image in WMP. You have to turn off the video performance enhancements…

  1. Open Windows Media Player.
  2. Click the Tools menu and then click Options.
  3. Click the Performance tab. On the Performance tab, drag the slider bar to the None side in the Video acceleration frame.
  4. Click Apply and then click OK.
  5. Open the video file and play it. Pause where you want to take the screenshot. Now use the ALT+PrtScn keyboard combo. Open Microsoft Paint (or your favorite graphics program) and paste the screenshot in using the CTRL+V keyboard combination.

Remember to set the acceleration back to high when you’re finished, because your video performance won’t be as good if you leave it at None. (And thanks to WinXPNews for this great info!)

Finally, while the GIMP is great, I have been enjoying the ease of the FREE Photoplus 5.5 from Serif. The current version is 9, but most of us don’t need the advanced functionality, and this version 5.5 is pretty easy to use, has much of the basics, and did I mention that its free?

While it doesn’t have any huge spyware, it does have an updater which likes to phone home, and you do have to give some info to get the unlock code. If you are concerned, try a Mailinator address.


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Web Analytic Tools Review... · 08/02/2004 06:29 PM, Analysis

Network Computing finally released their findings… and its part of a very, very well done article. You don’t see much like this anymore, so defn give it a read here


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On a previous episode...

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