Topic Archives: What We’re Reading

What We Are Reading

Enjoy these articles, posts, and ideas from around the web.

Articles & Posts
Eight (No Nine!) Problems With Big Data by Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis. This is a nice short piece about what “Big Data” can and cannot do. Definitely a great reference to have on hand when you’re exploring your own data, or the data of others.

Wearables Versus There-ables by Naveen Selvadurai. I always enjoy reading what Naveen is thinking about in the personal technology space. He always does a great job of explaining his rationale and this piece is no different. Are we heading towards commodity sensors and more powerful stationary sensing systems? It’s an interesting idea.

Abandon All Hope, Ye Who Enter Dates in Excel by Kara Woo. Time and time again time/date formats show themselves to be the bane of every developer working with timestamped data. If you’re working in Excel with date dependent data this is a must read.

To quote John Machin, “In reality, there are no such things [as dates in Excel spreadsheets]. What you have are floating point numbers and pious hope.”

Sensor-Embedded Teeth for Oral Activity Recognition by Cheng-Yuan, Yen-Chang Chen, Wei-Ju Chen, Polly Huang and Hao-hua Chu. It turns out that every mouth movement you make (chewing, speaking, coughing, etc.) causes you teeth to move in different patterns. These researchers developed a small accelerometer-based sensor in an artificial tooth and were able to accurately capture different oral behaviors. A peak into our future?

Big Data and Its Exclusions by Jonas Lerman. Another “Big Data” themed essay in this weeks’ list. However this essay takes on something we’ve been hearing about more and more lately. If data is part of our future for determining public policy are there people that are missing in our datasets?

[...] big data has the potential to solidify existing inequalities and stratifications and to create new ones. It could restructure societies so that the only people who matter—quite literally the only ones who count—are those who regularly contribute to the right data flows.

How I Hacked My Best Friend’s Genome – And Could Hack Yours Too by Sharen Moelem. First, I don’t think “hack” is the right term here. I would prefer the title, “How I acquired my friend’s genetic information and had it tested.” Regardless, this short piece makes the case for understanding the legal protections, and lack thereof, of personal genetic testing.

The Change My Son Brought, Seen Through Personal Data by Nathan Yau. We’re obviously big fans of Nathan and his work at Flowing Data. This great post illustrates a few of the insights Nathan gathered about how his life has changed since his son was born.

The Qualified Self: Going Beyond Quantification by Eric Boem and Jarrett Webb. No matter what adjective you prefer use to describe “the self” this article is a great example of what we see in show&tell talks at QS meetups around the world. The authors describe how they started to understand their sleep by combining many different data sets.


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What We Are Reading

Articles and Posts

Larry Page, TED, and Pooling our Medical Data by John Wilbanks. Health is a hard problem. A problem that people are using data, vast amounts of data, to help solve. This may work, but at the end of the day we have to remember that data is made of people, and those people deserve respect and privacy.

The Loneliness of the Sick Self-tracker by Jane Sarasohn-Kahn. Another great post about the current state of self-tracking and health data for the those trying to manage a chronic condition.

Patients + Providers + Technology = Engagement by Patti Brennan. In this post Patti describes her experience as director of the Project Health Design project funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and how self-tracking can power a new powerful form of observations of daily living.

Big Data Makes Invisible Air Pollution Visible by Intel Free Press. This short piece explains how community members in Portland, OR are collaborating with Intel Research to understand air pollution by deploying personal connected air sensing devices. Reminds me of the CitiSense project at the University of California, San Diego.

There’s No Such Thing as Gaining a Pound: Reconsidering the Bathroom Scale User Interface by Matthew Kay, Dan Morris, MC Shraefel, and Julie Kientz. Whether you’re using a scale, or hoping to design the next great one you owe it to yourself to read this excellent research paper. The research team examined how people actually us and think about their scales and provides a few design insights they believe could move the field forward.

The Year of the Quantified Self Revolution by Glenn Lubbert. A really wonderful piece a great member of our QS community. Glenn touches on conversations and experiences he’s had as he’s “gone down the rabbit hole” of self-tracking.

Data Scientists by Amelia Greenhall. Is our perception and use of the term “data scientist” a crack in the system? Is that a good thing? Amelia describes her experiences and what she’s thinking about this new class of employee.

You, Your Quantified Self, and all the (non) Quantified Others by Marco Van Hout. In this blog post Marco examines possible (present and future) scenarios for the self-tracking. His focus on how self-tracking and a data collection affects our communal relationships and societal norms is especially interesting.

In Defense of Google Flu Trends by Alexis Madrigal. If you’re like me you were saddened by the recent takedowns of the Google Flu Trend detection system. Data is supposed to help, right? In this article Alexis pushes past the naysayers as digs a bit deeper to find out why Flu Trends was built and how it was meant to be used. Hint – you still need people to help make sense of “big data.”

Making JSON as Simple as a Spreadsheet. I’ll be completely honest here. My programming skills end where JSON begins. Thankfully the Sunlight Foundation has developed a released a fantastic tool for people like me.

This Computer Can Tell When People Are Faking Pain by Greg Miller. First, a disclaimer. I used to work right next to the research group that developed this technology. Their research was always fun to learn about over quick coffee breaks or walks up the stairs in our building. Read this article with a bit of wonder and look for inspiration. If a computer with a camera can learn about pain and emotions how would you use it to learn about yourself?


Edward Tufte Wants You to See Better. This is a must read (or listen to) interview of Edward Tufte by Science Friday host, Flora Licthman.

I’m, at my best, on a kind of innocent and contrary posture, I think, wide-eyed, but somewhat skeptical posture.

My Personal Dashboard by Ahmet Al Balkan. I’m a big fan of self-made data dashboards. Especially when designers put them up on Githhub!

Everythign I Own by Thomas Stoller. This is just one in a series of self-tracking art projects by artist and student, Thomas Stoller. For this project Thomas took a photo of everything he owned and then resized the images to represent how much he actually uses them.

Vizual Statistix by Seth Kadish. This tumblr is an excellent source of inspirational visualizations.

Connected to the Self-Life and Re-Life by Luna Coppola. I’ve always been interested in how people use self-portraits as a form of self-tracking. This powerful photo project chronicles Luna’s experience with chronic kidney disease.

From the Forum

Raw heart rate data during sleep
Perpetual Life Hacker – Is it possible to hack Rock Climbing?
Dealing With People Privacy
Any Recommendations for Free Time Trackers

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What We Are Reading

Click, read, enjoy!

Articles and Posts

Meet the Teams Who are Building the World’s First Medical Tricorder by George Dvorksky. We’ve been following the Qualcomm Tricorder XPRIZE since it was announced. Now that only 10 teams remain it’s nice to get a feel for what some of the groups are working on. (Disclosure: Scanadu, one of the teams competing for the prize is a sponsor of QS. We are grateful for their support.)

How One Retailer’s Employees are Using Wearables by Andy Meek. Self-tracking technology is pushing into every corner of society. It’s no surprise that we’re seeing it being deployed in the the workplace. This is definitely something to keep an eye on and I look forward to more conversations about what it means to be “efficient and productive” at work.

The Great Discontent – Nicholas Felton by Ryan and Tina Essmaker. A great in-depth interview with designer, and personal data visualization specialist, Nicholas Felton.

I’m trying to lift the veil on the size, power, humanity, humor, and narrative potential of our data by making tools that allow people to leverage it.

What Your Activity Tracker Sees and Doesn’t See by Albert Sun and Alistair Dunt. If you’re wearing an activity tracker (Fitbit, Jawbone Up, Withings Pulse, etc.) this is a must read (and watch). The interactive elements do a great job of showing you how accelerometers work to translate movement data into information.

Me, My Quantified Self, and I by Kevin Nguyen. For some reason the release of the Reporter app has created a steady stream of philosophical explorations of what it means to track and understand “the self.” Add this to you reading list if you want to ask yourself, “Would David Hume use a Fitbit?”

Life through a camera by Carmen Pérez-Lanzac [SPANISH]. A fantastic exploration of the history and possible future of camera-based lifelogging.

Let’s get physical: Discovering data in the world around us by Anushka Patil. A nice post here recapping some of the work presented at the recent National Institute for Computer-Assisted Reporting conference. I especially enjoyed .

A DIY Artificial Pancreas System? Are we crazy? by Scott Leibrand & Dana Lewis. Some of the more technically minded people in the diabetes community are not waiting for the promised Artificial Pancreas Systems of the future and have set out to test and learn from a DIY solution. Absolutely amazing stuff here.

Data Analysis: The Hard Parts by Mikio L Braun. If you think machine learning is easy or the cure for your data analysis woes, think again.

Show & Tells

Generation ‘Y’ Can’t We Sleep by Scott Fetters. If you look beyond the title you’ll find a really nice example of someone practicing to try and find a way to get better sleep.


An Introduction to D3 by Sam Selikoff. We’re huge fans of D3 here at QS Labs. This is a great place to start if you want to learn more about this powerful data visualization package.

From the Forum

Over Stimulation

Quantifying Relationships

Mapping your Location With Moves

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What We Are Reading

Another collection of thought-provoking items from around the web.

Articles & Posts

Plan to move from #quantified self to Qualified Self by Inga de Waard. Every now and then someone writes something that causes me to pump the brakes and really reflect on self-tracking and personal data collection. This is one of those time. Inga does a nice job here setting up her experience with self-tracking to understand her type 1 diabetes. She moves on to explore how “qualified data” might be a better source of information for personal growth, “I am more than my body, I am mind. So I want to understand more.”

The Bracelet of Neelie Kroes (in German) by Frank Schirrmacher. Can machines be trusted? Are we building and willingly wearing the handcuffs of the future by strapping tracking devices to our wrists? These questions are explored in this article. (If you’re like me you are probably wondering who Neelie Kroes is. Here’s some background info.)

Biggest Gene Sequence project to launch by Bradley J. Fikes and Gary Robbins. J. Craig Venter is at it again. Now that genome sequencing has passed the $1000 barrier he has set up a new company in order to recruit and sequence 40,000 people per year.

This Mediated Life by Christopher Butler. Another amazing piece of self-reflection spawned by the recently released Reporter App. Rather than reviewing the application, the author addresses what it means to self-track when we know we are our own observer. Do we bias our reflection and data submission when we know that each answer, each data point is being collected into a larger set? (This post reminded me of one of my favorite movie lines, “How am I not myself.” from I Heart Huckabees

The Open Collar Project. At a recent meeting I learned of this project to create an open-source dog tracking collar. Pet trackers are becoming more prevalent in the market, but the purpose of this project goes far beyond just understanding pet activity. I learned from the lead researcher, Kevin Lhoste, that they’re using this as a method to encourage and engage children in science and mathematics. Very neat stuff.

Twitch Crowdsourcing: Crowd Contributions in Short Bursts of Time [PDF] by Rajan Vaish, Keith Wyngarden, Jingshu Chen, Brandon Cheung, and Michael S. Bernstein. This research paper describes the results of a really interesting project to gather information from people using micro-transactions during the phone unlocking process. It appears that we can learn a lot from people in under 2 seconds.

The Open FDA. Not an article here, but I wanted to call attention to the new open initiative by the FDA. This new effort was spearheaded by Presidential Innovation Fellow, Sean Herron. If you’re interested in doing this type of work you can apply to be a fellow here.

Show&Tells (a selection of first person stories on self-tracking and personal data)

200 days of stats: My QS experience by Octavian Logigan. Octavian recounts the various data he’s collected including activity, sleep, email behavior, and work productivity. I really like how he clearly explains what tools he’s using.

A Year in Diabetes Data by Doug Kanter. We’ve featured Doug here on the blog before. From his amazing visualizations to his talks about his process, we’ve been consitently impressed and inspired by this work. In this post Doug recounts 2012 – “[...] the healthiest year of my life.” (Full disclosure: Doug sent me the poster version of his data and it is beautiful.)


This visualization comes to us from Tim Kim, a design student based in Los Angeles.

The map shows different collections and documentations made during my cross country trip. Posts made during the trip on various social media sites are orientated and placed by the geological locations. The states are elongated by purely how I felt about the duration of going across the specific state. For example, driving through texas sucked (no offense). Different facts are layered and collaged across the map to create and express a collective, over-all image of the trip. Some quantifiable information, some quantitative information to create a psych-geolocal map.

Thumbs Up Viz A really nice website that highlights and explains the good pieces of data visualization popping up all over the web these days.

From the Forum

Tracking emotional experience
Test our a new app for sleep improvement
Measuring emotions through vital signs

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What We Are Reading

An extra long list for you to this time. Enjoy!

Articles & Posts

Beyond the Data Portal by Jed Sundwall. The open data refrain has been taken up by non-profits, local, and national governments around the world. Have we questioned what it really means to be good data stewards? A very nice post here that opens up a discussion about the role of data librarians to augment simple access with human-powered information wayfinding.

Could Behavioral Medicine Lead the Web Data Revolution? by John W. Ayers, Benjamin M. Althouse, and Mark Dredz. If you can look past the slightly antiquated use of the term “web data” here you’ll see a good critique of the current methods in behavioral health science and the role of personal data in medical and behavioral research.

Little data: Tracking your life through numbers by Dominic Smith. A nice short piece here on the art behind self-tracking,

Critics might ask why we should care about the aggregated, daily routine of a man most of us will never never meet. But fans would argue that these reports aren’t merely novelties for the coffee table—they represent data as art, a single year of human life parsed into graphs and charts.

Fitness Trackers Could Boost Kids’ Health, But Face Challenges, Experts Say by Tia Ghose. Activity trackers are all the rage these days, but can they be used to track and understand children’s physical activity?

Questioning the Quantified Self as it Marches Towards Mainstream by Matt Stempeck. A very thorough recap of a talk by Natasha Dow Shull given at the MIT Media Lab. It covers the history of self-tracking and the current trend towards algorithmic selfhood. Great read.

When quantified-self apps leave you with more questions than answers by Brendan O’Connor. The author takes at self-tracking and personal data through the lens of the newly released Reporter app. Reading this piece left me wondering, are questions the prominent artifact of a self-tracking practice?

Dan Hon’s Newsletter By Dan Hon. I know you get enough email already, but this is an exceptional project by Dan to express his ideas in the form of a daily newsletter. Covering the vast arena of techno-culture, it’s a great addition to my inbox. See his thoughts on Quantified Self in issue #15.

Why It’s OK to Let Apps Make You a Better Person by Evan Selinger. The ideas and considerations in this piece are as relevant today as they were when this article was published nearly two years ago.

Quantify Everything: A Dream of a Feminist Data Future by Amelia Abreu. A very interesting perspective on self-tracking and the Quantified Self movement by our friends at Model View Culture.

The Ethicist’s and the Lawyer’s New Clothes by I. Glenn Cohen [video]. An interesting lecture on the ethical issues surrounding the use and misuse of “smart clothing.”

Data Sharing Essay Competition by DNA Digest. A writing competition to explore themes around the positives and negatives of data sharing in the health research community.

Show&Tells (a selection of first person stories on self-tracking and personal data)

Quantify Yourself by Amo Utrankar. What happens when a medical student starts self-tracking so he can understand his future patients?

Between Week 1 and Week 4, my “compliance” fell from 96% to 63%. It takes a committed, conscious effort to record every meal, every vital sign, every exercise, every minute of the day. I hold a new-found respect for the diabetic patient who has to monitor his blood sugar, manage his appointments, and mind his meals; it’s a process that’s both distracting and exhausting.

I tracked every penny I spent for one year. Here’s what I learnt. by Todd Green. Ten lessons learned from a year-long meticulous tracking project.

I lost 1,000 hours of sleep in 1 year: My story as entrepreneur & new Dad by Nick De Mey. A father recounts his process of learning about his sleep, or lack thereof. (Editor’s note: Nick is a founding member of AddApp, a Friend of QS).


Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.49.59 PMMy Facebook Messaging History by Person and Time. A great visualization and conversation with open source code so you can make your own.





Screen Shot 2014-03-01 at 1.50.20 PM

My Recent Exercise Log – Plotted. Another reddit user shares his exercise data from MyFitnessPal.





AekSBmnWhat can you learn from almost 3 years of Skype chat logs?. A simple, but nice word cloud visualization of chat logs.

In total there were 280114 words sent. Words that refer to oneself (such as: i, me, ich, my, mich, min, meiner, meine, meins, jag, mig, mir) were used 14995 times whereas words that refer to other people (like above list for others) were only used 6669 times! People in my Skype conversations like to talk about themselves… (which is mostly me. THERE, I did it again )


posegrid_ny_Selfiecity. An interesting exploration of new media visualization techniques and social media information processing by an outstanding group of researchers. Take a tour of the website then read Lev Monivich’s post about this new area of research and data visualization.




From the Forum

OPI Truesense for Sleep Tracking

Samsung Gear Fit

Tracking Pain/Discomfort – Thoughts?

Statistical Findings

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What We Are Reading

We’ve collected another fun batch of reading for you. Enjoy!

High tech in vehicles puts drivers’ privacy up for grabs by Karl Henkel.The cars we’re driving are collecting, storing, and in some cases, transmitting all sorts of data. What are the implications of cars as computers?

Are Companies tracking us, or merely “observing” us? by James Robinson. Another privacy piece here. When large corporations collect consumer data are they able to understand us individually, or are they just making observations about general patterns? Don’t forget, we’ve been down this road before.

Here’s what happens when a data scientist goes to Disney World by Derrick Harris. Apparently the theme to start the list this week is consumer tracking. This article takes a look at the newly implemented “Magic Band” system at the Disney World Resort. Disney is clearly leading the field here, but experience augmentation based on personal data is coming very soon to a store near you.

NBA players start wearing wearable health trackers by John Comstock. Not a surprising move here by the the NBA to equip players with wireless healthy and activity tracking systems. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen self-tracking technology being adopted by professional athletes. I for one am looking forward to watching basketball games with integrated player data visualizations.

Self-surveillance: Should you worry or simply embrace your personal data? By Laurie Frick. A great piece here by our friend, Laurie Frick. Laurie is an artist based in Austin (and part of the Austin QS meetup group) that uses self-tracking data as the inspiration for her various artistic explorations. In this piece she explains her work and he feelings about self-tracking.

Home Automation is an EasyHard Problem by Scott Jenson. I’m a big fan of the Internet of Things and look forward to a more connected future. However, maybe our ideas about what is possible are misguided. In this short piece Scott explains that it’s possible we’re not properly classifying the actual problem at hand,  “[...] humans are messy, illogical beasts and simplistic if/then rules are going to create a backlash against this technology.

Summer Internship in Advanced Analytics. Our friends at Pew are looking for interns to work on advanced analytics and data science. We’d love to see a member of our QS Community help them out.

Visualizations of the Week

brianhouseEternal Portraits by Brian House. Facebook uses facial recognition algorithms to know what their users look like. At one point they exposed that data to users as part of the data export feature. Says Brian, “The information is unusable in its raw form without knowing the specifics of Facebook’s algorithm. But as an irrevocable corporate byproduct, the future implications of such data remain unclear.



xkcd-d3XKCD-style Plots in D3 by Dan Foreman-Mackey. Not a complete visualization per se, but this example demonstrates how to manipulate D3 to show plots in the style of the great Randall Monroe of XKCD.




fb_loveThe Formation of Love by Carlos Diuk. The Facebook data team crunched the numbers and started to learn what happens as users fall in and out of love.





Visualizing Health. A great new project from our friends at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and their collaborators at the University of Michigan. Browse the galleries to find scientifically vetted visualization techniques related a variety of health information situations.

From the Forum

Reporter App Question
Drowzy: app made by Board certified Psychiatrist and Sleep Medicine Expert
Fitness tracker and Jawbone Up data analysisa
Sentiment analysis on my own writing
Best iOS app to track water/coffee/alcohol intake?

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy the information, ideas, and other bits of interestingness we’ve found compelling this week.

Articles and Posts

Medicine gets up close and personal by W. Wyatt Gibbs. At Quantified Self Labs we are big fans of Leroy Hood and his work at the Seattle based Institute for Systems Biology. In an effort to better understand longitudinal health he is spearheading a new pilot research project to track 100 people (genome, sleep, activity, etc.) and eventually hopes to enroll 100,000 people and follow them for 25 years. You can learn more about Dr. Hood’s ideas and this research in this short video.

The Couple That Pays Each Other to Put Kids to Bed by Ben Popken. It is not often that we get to peek into the lives of our Quantified Self community members. In this profile we learn how Bethany Soule and Daniel Reeves use game theory and behavioral economics to divvy up daily tasks in their household. You may also know Daniel and Bethany as the great team behind one of our Friends of QS, Beeminder.

How Science Turned a Struggling Pro Skier Into an Olympic Medal Contender by Jeffrey Marlow. With the 2014 Winter Olympics in full swing we’ve started seeing a number of articles detailing the role technology and self-tracking has played during the lead up to competition. This piece is a great look into the different methods the US Ski Team is using to gain and edge on their competition.

The pedagogy of disgust: the ethical, moral and political implications of using disgust in public health [PDF] by Deborah Lupton. For decades many public health campaigns have used emotional imagery in an attempt to reduce negative health behaviors. This research article, by one of our favorite sociologists, explores the history of using disgust in public health campaigns and the implications this practice has on different communities.

How Can We Help People Get More Sleep? by Lori Melchar. Lori is a program director at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and recently took part in a panel discussion on sleep. Due to the foundation’s involvement in numerous health research projects Lori was able to provide some insight into the current challenges and possible solutions for combating sleep loss.

Data Visualizations

weightofrain_15The Weight of the Rain by Jonathan Corum. Jonathan is a senior graphics editor at the New York Times and he gave a talk at the recent Visualized Conference in New York. It’s by far one of my favorite pieces on designing and creating data visualizations that I’ve read this year.




baseball-cherrypickerBaseline Cherrypicker by Ben Schmidt. If you’re interested in data visualization and have a soft spot for baseball statistics you can’t do better than this great tool. (The Yankees are clearly the most dominate team in history.)




Flowing-Data-Los-Angeles1Where People Run by Nathan Yau. I’m a big fan of Nathan’s work over at Flowing Data. In this post he uses publicly available data from Runkeeper to plot routes for 22 major cities around the world. Apparently people love running near bodies of water.




Data DasbhoardRanking Data Dashboards on Pinterest by Mike McDearmon. Mike is a member of the QS New York meetup group and he’s been actively keeping examples of data dashboards on Pinterest. In this short post he examines the number of re-pins to see what dashboards are most popular.




From the Forum

How Useful is a Sleep Monitor Really?

MA Thesis on Affective Self-Tracking.

Raw Heart Rate Data During Sleep.

Have something interesting to share? Connect with us on Twitter!

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy these ideas, insights, and other bits of interestingness from around the web.

Disinformation Visualization: How to lie with datavis by Mushon Zer-Aviv. Data may be objective, but once you start using it to tell a story things can get a bit muddled. This niece piece uses great examples to show how data and data visualization can be used to manipulate and skew information.

Every Minute of 2013 Our friends over at ARO took a look at all the data from Saga users. What resulted was two interesting visualizations that shows we are all really just creatures of habit.

How fitness trackers could be used inpatient and outpatient to monitor medication effects by Timothy Aungst. In this short piece, Dr. Aungst makes the argument that fitness trackers, although measuring steps, could give insights into how patients are feeling. I especially enjoyed the use of real data as an example.

Data and its Discontents – notes and reflections from a panel at Microsoft Research Social Computing Symposium by Ethan Zuckerman. There are too many good ideas and interesting thoughts here to spoil it for you. A worthwhile read.

Self Tracking and the Quantified Man by Phoebe Moore. A bit of an older piece, but a nice look at self-tracking and it’s impact on self-management and the workplace from a sociological perspective.

Connecting the Data Dots: Reporter for iPhone by Mills Baker. I enjoyed this piece because it was less an a technical app review and more of a thought piece on self-tracking tools framed by Feltons Reporter app – “It does not seem to be a “play” at something and doesn’t monetize you; it is a tool for self-knowledge.”

Something to Stand On. The economist takes a look at how the shift from service to platform is shaping the digital industry.

From the Forum

Statistical Findings. A great and ongoing discussion on applying statistics to personal data.

Common Blood Test – Sources, Prices, Advice. Where do you go if you want to get a blood test but don’t want to see a doctor?

Health Index Apps – Experiences and Impressions. What are the reliable health indexing services?

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy this collection of stories, websites, and links we’ve been reading.

Data Occupations. This essay, by our friend and colleague, Whitney Erin Boesel, thoughtfully explores the Quantified Self movement.

Food and Mood: Just In Time Support for Emotional Eating. Seeking to build a system to track emotional distress, the University of Rochester and Microsoft Research experimented with embedded wearable tracking systems.

Writing & Tracking. Dutch novelist Arnon Grunberg is writing a new book all while tracking his EEG (brain activity), GSR (skin conductivity) and ECG (heart rate).

The Quantified Breakup. A fascinating look at how one individual is using data and reflection to tackle divorce. So far posts include visualizations and analysis of sleep, music, movement, shopping, and emotional data.

How Would You Like Your Data Today? Internet Geologist Susannah Fox recounts her year of great releasing insightful reports at the Pew Research Center.

Tiny Salespeople [pdf]. In his latest essay, legal scholar Ryan Calo describes how tracking technologies increase the human “attack surface” and can be used to harm us.

The Open mHealth Architecture [pdf]. This presentation by the Open mHealth team describes their ideas for creating an open architecture to “break down barriers in mobile health.”

Download Your Gmail & Google Calendar Data. Google recently announced the ability to download data from both your Gmail and Calendar accounts.

From our Forums.

Keeping Track of Time. A great new thread about an ope-source time tracking solution.

Zeo Mega-Thread. If you own a Zeo sleep tracker then this is the thread for you.

SenseView. An great explanation of a interesting new Android-based sensor and visualization application.

Join our forum to take part!

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What We Are Reading

Enjoy these links, articles, and ideas from around the web.

Real Analysis of Raw Data – A very fun, informative journal by Zach Jones about deriving comprehensible measurements from raw accelerometer data.

The Weight of Things Lost: Self-knowledge and Personal Informatics. In this thoughtful paper by Kaiton WIlliams, published in CHI’13, a technologist and designer discusses what he learned from a year-long self tracking experiment.

I wanted to understand how it felt to be healthy and fit, but I came to wonder about the changes in self that accompanied my technologically guided, deliberate experience: does the quest for more information about ourselves and our world help us fi nd either?

Evidence-based practice for individuals or groups: let’s make a difference by M. de Groot, J. M. van der Wouden, E. A. van Hell, M. B. Nieweg, in Perspectives on Medical Education. This short communication contains a very useful and clear description of why the definition of “evidence” must vary with context.

You Are Your Data by Sara M. Watson.  When you use personal data collection system, do you have a right to use it? What does that mean and  why should have this right?

Reconciling Quantified Self, Lifelogging, Big Data and… by Niclas Johansson. This is a very well described theory of how the different fields of QS, Lifelogging Big Data, and Social Media

We are also enjoying this growing list of crowd-funded QS tools by Eric Blue. It’s up to 30 and counting.

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