Apple finally released a new version of Keynote last week – and it is terrible.

In an effort to make the ios version of Keynote on ipads/iphones work the same as the OSX version, they removed a lot of features and dumbed down others. I call this “iosification”.

What’s worse, they did not bother to make the software backwards compatible. None of my existing presentations play properly in the new version. Font alignments have changed, slide transitions have disappeared, builds no longer build properly, image and movie adjustments have disappeared, smartbuilds have all been removed, build indicators have been removed, alpha layers no longer function the same, and formatting options previously easily accessed from one context sensitive smart toolbar are now buried in multiple menu pages. I could go on, but that was enough for me to close the program and re-open the old version so I could actually get some work done.

If people only used Keynote for 5th grade book reports, this would not be a big deal. I can see that having portability between the desktop and mobile devices would be nice. However, a lot of professionals use Keynote to produce high quality presentations – pulling together outputs from Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects, and data visualization platforms.

I have long suspected that the reason iWork ’09 was not being updated was because they were waiting until the processing capabilities of the mobile platforms were fast enough to run a new unified version. I would have preferred it if they had waited a little longer, instead of lowering the capabilities of the software to the lowest common denominator.

Oh well. There is some hope that Apple will listen to the power user community and restore crippled functionality, like they did after they broke Final Cut Pro back in 2011. In the meantime, I think most experienced users will use the old version, or take a closer look at Powerpoint.

By all accounts, iWork’s word processing software “Pages” has been similarly gelded. (The spreadsheet software “Numbers” has always sucked, so I don’t know if anyone even noticed any changes there.)

If you want to follow the reaction online, check out Apple’s keynote discussion groups:

Update 11/6/13: 
Apple has responded to user discontent with plans to re-introduce some of the missing features in the coming months:

PopChartLab created this compendium of audio recording and playing devices over time. It’s pretty comprehensive. However, I think PopChartLab is on the verge of becoming the Buzzfeed of infocharts: pointless compiled lists of cartoonized objects. Cocktail Chart of Film and Literature?!? Fictional Beers?!? Nebula of NES Games?!  Shark jumped.

Going back to the original topic: am I the only who occasionally calls his iPod a “walkman”?


Nicely done. I suspect some people might think that London is given credit for more than it deserves.


Jobs that pay from $14-21 have been hit the hardest during the recession.


And low wage jobs make up a lot of the employment recovery. When capital is so subsidized by the government (low interest rates + QE), labor will be less in demand.


While we’re talking about logos… do you agree with these color categories? Some of these brands are quite old. What came first, the color or the emotion?


Some fascinating stuff in here.  (And yes, I know these aren’t charts, but I like to also post on interesting graphic design issues.) (via)

Do you see “MOM”?

The arrow in FedEx?

The bear in Toblerone?

I have no idea why I never noticed the 31 before. it’s pretty obvious.

Want more? Google “hidden logos”.

I receive dozens of these on a daily basis – almost all absent interesting content or useful information. xkcd sums it up:

Tall Infographics

Climate change will not impact everywhere at the same time. The below map estimates when the average temperature of the coolest year will exceed the historic average hottest year. What does this mean? Besides that we’re all screwed, you may wish to reconsider your tropical retirement plans. (related article)


And the original study also has some nice visualizations:image

I try to stay out of most political debates, but I want to toss a chart out to add a little perspective on the “Obama has added $6 Trillion of debt” talking point.

Check out the below chart (created in about 20 seconds using the awesome free St. Louis Fed online data tools).


The gap between the red and blue lines in each year is our deficit – that’s how much we need to borrow to keep the government running. The sum of all those deficits equals our debt. Make sense?

The rate of expenditure (red line) has been increasing pretty steadily no matter who has been president.

What has really been changing, obviously, is revenue (the blue line): first from the Bush tax cuts (2001-03), and then the recession (2008-2010; because less GDP = less tax revenue).

If you look at the end of the red line you’ll see that spending has been leveling out the past two years – for the first time in a long time. Also, revenue is increasing. We are starting down the path to fiscal recovery. We probably should be patting ourselves on the back a little, but of course no one wants to give either party any credit for this.

Personally I think we can cut expenditures AND increase revenues to close that gap (and turn it into a surplus), but nobody wants to have an adult conversation about that – thus the childlike brinkmanship and finger pointing.

Raw is a pretty cool (and free!) online tool for creating vector outputs of uncommon visualizations. You copy and paste your data, select a few options, and it cranks out the visualization. What’s so nice is that it doesn’t stop there – you can then save it in svg output, and then take that into Illustrator or other vector editing software for finishing touches. It’s nice to see free tools that understand that some users need professional quality outputs. Of course, you can also just download a PNG version and throw it up on the web if you want. 

The speed at which it generates the charts is also pretty impressive considering the complexities.

Treemaps with adjustable colors, size, etc:


Alluvial charts:




Circular dendrograms:


Scatter, bubble, and packed circle charts:

image image

and Binned hexagons:



In: Humor

23 Sep 2013

The accuracy of this is discussed over at Economist Do It With Models.


How does your brain process visual information and relationships? Read this article to begin to understand it.

image image

Here’s a related article on the topic by Stephen Few that you might find interesting.

And a walk-through example of why this is important by Cole Nussbaumer.

What is Chart Porn?

An addictive collection of beautiful charts, graphs, maps, and interactive data visualization toys -- on topics from around the world.

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