Mental models related work

A group at Princeton has a nice list of related work from people who are critical of the use of mental models as a research method.

Free books on R

Excellent list of free ebooks on the R language and statistical analysis.

My favorite Firefox add-ons

  • Perspectives – Designed by a CMU research team, Perspectives asks and answers important information about self-signed security certificates. Self-signed security certificates are really only an issue if they are part of a man in the middle attack or put up by a malicious user. Thousands of legitimate websites use self signed certificates. Perspectives asks if 1) the same certificate can be seen by notaries in different parts of the internet? Aka: Is this a man-in-the-middle attack? 2) How long have the notaries been seeing this certificate? Aka: Is this a malicious website that was just setup?
  • Ghostery – Tracks and notifies you about companies who are tracking you across the internet. It also gives you the choice to turn off their tracking cookies on a per company basis.
  • Web Developer – A must have for anyone doing web design.
  • Adblock Plus – Ok, I don’t always like seeing ads on the internet and this is a great way to block them. Also gives me the ability to turn ads on for websites I really want to support.


  • Firebug – An excellent plug-in for debugging web pages. Makes it easy to drill down on particular elements and make live changes to its style.

“I Can Stalk U” using online pictures

A new website entitled I Can Stalk U has arrived fresh on the heels of the website Please Rob Me. Both websites try and raise awareness about over sharing on the internet today. Please Rob Me focused on how people proactively share their location online. I Can Stalk U looks a a slightly more scaring form of over sharing, meta data in online photographs.

I Can Stalk U looks through Twitter for posts that include pictures. It then scans the meta data for the picture and tries to find the address where the picture was taken. If successful it posts the username and the location in the ICanStalkU feed.

Periodic Table of Visualizations has a nicely done Periodic Table of Visualizations.

Blogs about data

Quota has an interesting question What are the best blogs about data?  with allot of good answers.

Possible mutations of a Gmail email address

The Blog Senseful Solutions has a good article on How Gmail Filter Email-Matching Works.

To quote them:

The default account you use (e.g. will match all variations of your address. This includes dot notation, plus addressing, and using the domain.

Here’s a brief explanation of each:

  • Using dot notation: You can enter as many non-consecutive dots in your email as you want. For example, if your email is, mail sent to will still arrive at your account.
  • Using plus addressing: After your account name, you can enter the + sign and whatever text you want afterwards followed by the Gmail domain. For example, mail sent to will arrive at
  • Using domain: Any mail sent to your will arrive at your address. For example, mail sent to will arrive at

Any of the above can be combined (e.g. will still go to

Psychology and Security resources

Ross Anderson put together a web page which contains many resources in the intersection of psychology and security. The site includes papers, books, conferences and people.

US Government site on writing in plain language

The US government has a web site on using plain language both within the government as well as for your own organization or group.

Nice sorting algorithm animation

Shows several different sorting algorithms and how they sort several different types of data sets.


Ever wondered what sorting algorithms sound like?  These YouTube videos show you what different sorting algorithms sound like.

Or if you like your sorting algorithms shown to you via Hungarian folk dance.