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Math

Florence Nightingale, Statistical Graphics Pioneer 204

Science News has a fascinating look at an under-appreciated corner of the career of Florence Nightingale — as an innovator in the use of statistical graphics to argue for social change. Nightingale returned from the Crimean War a heroine in the eyes of the British citizenry, for the soldiers' lives she had saved. But she came to appreciate that the way to save far more lives was to reform attitudes in the military about sanitation. Under the tutelage of William Farr, who had just invented the field of medical statistics, she compiled overwhelming evidence (in the form of an 830-page report) of the need for change. "As impressive as her statistics were, Nightingale worried that Queen Victoria's eyes would glaze over as she scanned the tables. So Nightingale devised clever ways of presenting the information in charts. Statistics had been presented using graphics only a few times previously, and perhaps never to persuade people of the need for social change."

Wii Graphics 'Better Than At E3' 400

Gamespot and GameDaily have additional details on Nintendo's upcoming console. Gamespot reports on comments by Nintendo President Iwata that they were specifically not going for high-end graphics with the Wii. He goes on to say that some of their staff initially disagreed with the adoption of the Wiimote, but public and internal reaction has allayed the fears of detractors. GameDaily reports on comments from ATI, who says there is still a lot left to see from Wii's graphical output. What was shown at E3 was 'just the tip of the iceberg.' From the article: "Industry sources have said that the Wii GPU would be moderately more powerful than the GameCube's GPU, but how much more we don't know. Conservative estimates from developers have placed the Wii console as a whole at 2 - 2.5 times more powerful than the GameCube."

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