Inside Jon Stewart’s brain, ranking mad scientists, fun with fire and more

March 27, 2015

It was a great week for geekery on the Web. Here’s the best of what Data Dive found.

Mapping world oil transport

March 27, 2015

Given the controversy over the Keystone pipeline and fears about the dangers of oil trains, it’s clear that moving oil around the world comes with its own set of risks.

Stock options pad CEOs’ pockets

March 26, 2015

It’s hard to think of a better topic to troll populist rage than executive compensation. A Google News search for “CEO pay” yields about 20,000,000 results, including a new analysis by Reuters that’s sure to add to the ire.

Tracking rape, on and off campus

March 25, 2015

Campus rape is a serious problem. But while public attention is focused on students carrying mattresses and the discredited Rolling Stone report about rape at the University of Virginia, the fact is that sexual assault is more common off campus than on.

Online ‘bots’ net billions in ad dollars

March 24, 2015

Traffic, traffic everywhere, and not a click to monetize.

Web advertising pros have long lamented the disparity between digital ad rates and those for traditional media, but the news could be worse than they thought. A study by digital security firm White Ops and the Association of National Advertisers monitored 181 online advertising campaigns by 36 brands measuring 5.5 billion impressions in 3 million domains over 60 days. The results weren’t good. The report predicted that online advertisers are losing as much as $6.3 billion a year due to bot fraud. But what is bot fraud and how does it work?

The who, where and why of the Yemen conflict

March 23, 2015

Fighting in Yemen flared up over the weekend as Iranian-backed Houthis gained control of the city of Taiz in their battle against the country’s Sunni government and al Qaeda. As this Reuters graphic shows, the group, which effectively deposed President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi last year,  controls Sanaa and is battling for the parts of western Yemen that it doesn’t already control.

Postcards about phone calls, bunnies and wine, zombie satellites and more

March 20, 2015

Both the vernal equinox and March Madness tip off this weekend, and to celebrate Data Dive presents a list of light links for your springtime reading pleasure.

An anniversary assessment for Ebola

March 20, 2015

Ebola marks a dubious birthday this weekend. Guinea first confirmed the current outbreak of the virus on March 22, 2014, and by the time the world took notice, the situation looked dire: Last September, the CDC saw a possible worst case scenario of as many as 1.4 million cases. But the world health community proved up to the challenge, and while the virus has sickened nearly 25,000 and killed more than 10,000, it has fallen short of the worst-case predictions.

Processing Iran’s centrifuge numbers

March 19, 2015

The fervor inspired by Iran’s nuclear program has been particularly intense the past few months. Iranian claims that their program’s lone, peaceful goal is electrical power production have been met with a particularly jaundiced eye by a bomb-wary world community. As Western talks with Tehran continue, where do Iran’s nuclear facilities stand?

Alibaba’s rocky first six months

March 18, 2015

Open Sesame! Alibaba’s six-month lock-up period ended today, opening the door for the company to release an additional 337 million shares for sale. But news could be better for the Chinese e-commerce giantAs this Reuters graphic shows, Alibaba surged after its record-breaking $25 billion IPO last September. But since a Nov. 13 peak of $120, the stock has bled value, and is trading today just above $85 per share—down more than 29 percent since its November high.