Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Better Living Through Data

timothy posted about a month and a half ago | from the we-call-them-insomnia-anomolies dept.

Stats 38

jradavenport (3020071) writes "Using two years of continuous monitoring of my MacBook Air battery usage (once every minute), I have been able to study my own computer use patterns in amazing detail. This dataset includes 293k measurements, or more than 204 days of use over two years. I use the laptop over 50 hours per week on average, and my most productive day is Tuesday. Changes in my work/life balance have begun to appear over the two-year span, and I am curious whether such data can help inform how much computer use is healthy/productive."

cancel ×

38 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Experimental controls (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558333)

It's nice that you have data. Not having data is worse.

But you have a one-subject unaligned, uncontrolled collection of data. The line between inference and magical thinking is narrower than you think, and just because the skinner box gave you food when you crooked your neck doesn't mean crooking your neck causes food to come out.

Re:Experimental controls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558487)

He basically plays more games and watches YT/pron more often on Tuesday. Why? Monday is catch up day, after that busy period he slacks off, completely contradicting his thesis.

Re:Experimental controls (1)

wooferhound (546132) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558709)

Battery life does not directly relate to usage since the battery is used even when the device on idle or isn't being used. Plus, I wonder how much the battery is used by the battery monitoring application.

Re:Experimental controls (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558653)

It depends on what you use the data for. The skinner box setup could provide a time series when a particular bird gets hungry (enough to crook its neck). Helpful if you only care about predicting when the bird might get hungry.

In the battery instance he sounds like he's asking if there's any use for this data in analyzing his personal work-life balance(?) which to me seems a bit of a stretch.

Re:Experimental controls (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558771)

Ikan, This is EXACTLY why big data like hadoop and hpcc is so popular. Sure, 20 years ago your MS Access RDBMS would never lead you to this answer. But we have got bigger and better systems now. We have MORE of everything. Believe me, if you haven't used a 120 petabyte quantum causality database recently you are missing out on all the good stuff.

Modern version of "navel gazing"? (1, Funny)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558339)

>> The first feature that popped out to me: you can see I spend most mornings at a cafe.

Get a job, get a girlfriend or get a family and this "problem" will be solved for you.

Re: Modern version of "navel gazing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558389)

Look who's talking

Re: Modern version of "navel gazing"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558675)

Maybe he works from home and chooses a cafe environment to help him work?

So ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558393)

So, who is supposed to give a shit about this drivel?

Timothy has been posting so much crap lately, I'm about to block his stories.

Re: So ... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558461)

Apparently you gave enough of a shit to post, you worthless cumstain

Re:So ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558719)

So, who is supposed to give a shit about this drivel?

Timothy has been posting so much crap lately, I'm about to block his stories.

Tim Lord, you're a moron [slashdot.org] . Stop posting stories, this isn't your personal blog. And no, writing them and then having Roblimo or another slashdot editor post the stories doesn't make it any better. Just stop, we don't want your thoughts.

you have data (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558437)

but the data serves you no purpose, besides that it probably shows your battery isn't as good as it used to be.

Re:you have data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47560257)

This is probably one of the best disguised uninsightful things I've ever seen posted here by someone other than Bennett.

I just actually doublechecked to make sure it wasn't him one more time before posting.

need more data i think (4, Funny)

shadowrat (1069614) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558469)

I am curious whether such data can help inform how much computer use is healthy/productive

You could keep stockpiling this data for your whole life, die, and draw the conclusion that all that computer usage must have killed you.

Re:need more data i think (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47561583)

Great plan! Reminds me of a question once asked of Michael Feldman (radio show: Whad'ya Know?),
that went something like, "when does middle age begin?" His answer: "take your age at death, and divide by two."
Why am I posting this inane observation on /.? Because I can.

Yes, most productive (1)

penguinoid (724646) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558475)

I use the laptop over 50 hours per week on average, and my most productive day is Tuesday.

Yes, I'm sure that what you measured was productivity.

Maybe an even better measure of productivity would be a measure of how much energy your GPU uses?

Lies, damn lies and statistics (1)

linuxgurugamer (917289) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558553)

An amazing fact: It is a proven fact, that everyone who ever died, used to breath the air. So, if you don't want to die, don't breath the air

Re:Lies, damn lies and statistics (2)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559133)

this changes everything about the abortion debate! :)

Re:Lies, damn lies and statistics (1)

Pope (17780) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559643)

B-b-b-b-but fetuses don't breathe air directly! Clearly god has spoken.

statistically your sample size is too small (1)

NemoinSpace (1118137) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558601)

But I decided to use your numbers as a baseline definition of unproductiveness anyway. Really, I had no idea you could abuse a computer this way.

Really? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558625)

"and my most productive day is Tuesday"

Are you seriously attempting to correlate battery use and productivity? Using MS office should have very little battery drain as compared to CPU/GPU intensive applications but it doesn't mean one is more productive than the other. I can open a browser and play a flash game and use more battery than I would if I were writing code. Simply using the laptop also doesn't mean productivity, as browsing the internet isn't productive but uses battery life.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558655)

I can open a browser and play a flash game and use more battery than I would if I were writing code. Simply using the laptop also doesn't mean productivity, as browsing the internet isn't productive but uses battery life.

Conversely, a graphics designer creating and rendering complex 3D models all day would use far more battery life than someone using Excel to create a catalog of their Magic cards.

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47561619)

"and my most productive day is Tuesday"

That statement rings true to me. I work at a national laboratory,
and usually arrive around 8am. Over many years I've noticed a
definite trend wrt available parking spaces (hence, "who's working,"
equals (highly questionable inferrence!) "who's being productive?")
Mondays there are lots of available spaces. Tuesday mornings,
almost none. More on Wed and Thurs, lots and lots on Fridays.

Good grief ... (4, Insightful)

CaptainDork (3678879) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558665)

Got any thorough analysis, with Power Point slides, on the frequency at which you clip your toe nails?

Waste byproduct in SI units would be helpful, as well.

50 hours a week? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47558703)

thats a little too much porn, even for healthy young males in their 'prime'.

Oh Crap (2)

Cummy (2900029) | about a month and a half ago | (#47558833)

There you go suggesting yet another 'useful' way for companies to monitor me and try to monetize my data. So target advertising won't be enough, soon it will be targeted and timely delivered as well in the process slowing down my (what's supposed to be) high speed connection. At the same time I get bombarded with irrelevant junk that is transforming what is supposed to be my productive time in to a never ending fight to maintain that conference call and somehow kill that the pop-up of some skillful, artistic and beautiful but in appropriately timed video of the girl doing naked yoga poses.

How do I convince my CEO that my cousin used the computer without my knowledge just once before all the pop-ups started to happen? Maybe I can send her a log of the my battery usage.

Quite obviously. . . (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559183)

this person had nothing better to do with their life, no outside activities to occupy their time, no significant (or insignificant) other to fool around with, or anything else that "normal" people would do.

Clearly they are so bored and don't have enough work to do that they had to find something to occupy their life.

Congratulations! You are the shining example of someone living in their parents basement.

typical clueless mac user (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47559201)

typical clueless mac user claims to get "work" done on macbook.

[take control and headbut your way through life] (1)

tippe (1136385) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559469)

Totally OT, I'm afraid, but the "bigdata" tag reminded me of this music video for Big Data Shoes [youtube.com] that I discovered just yesterday. It's funny. Watch it.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47559677)

Wow, what a totally worthless article!

Hmmm, how much computer use is healthy (1)

holophrastic (221104) | about a month and a half ago | (#47559773)

just a guess: none. Unless, of course, we're comparing it to other activities like running, cycling, playing with children, sex, and driving the right kind of car. Then it's less than none.

Compared to alcoholic drinking, computer use is very healthy.

How to improve productivity on a Mac (1)

angel'o'sphere (80593) | about a month and a half ago | (#47560199)

Learn to use the search function cmd-space. You can launch everything from there and can do simple stuff directly in the search field like 145 * 75 * 0.19 to calculate VAT for a bill.
Learn about the shortcuts.
Consider digging into AppleScript and/or automator.
E.g I have a nice script that allows me to create an appointment/event in a google calendar (which I access via webcal with the iCal application) by clicking on a date in a web site.
Learn to use the Terminal.app .... the unix shell.

Data (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47560761)

We're taking this guy's word that he was "working" on his tablet 50 hour weeks. Right ...
With only battery stats, he could've been doing anything, watching youtube, downloading porn, or playing plants vs zombies.
Better stats would have included what apps he was running, how much he interacted with them, the number of taps and slides etc.
Also, how about recording some other things, like sleeping and eating habits, fitness regime if any, and time spent socializing (at 50 hours/week, I don't assume he has any other than FB).

Drivel at its worst (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47560845)

We feel for you, who has nothing better in life than to try draw some conclusions from battery consumption.
That this kind of drivel makes it to /. is perhaps indicative of how low one can stoop to make a story.

For the terminal: (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about a month and a half ago | (#47561265)

history | awk '{a[$2]++}END{for(i in a){print a[i] " " i}}' | sort -rn | head -n 20

Better than using battery life. Course it only works for commands you run in the terminal.

and such data can help identify you (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47563307)

Usage patterns of your computer can give about 80% accuracy at authenticating you as the user (that is, if we think it's you, by looking at your usage pattern, we confirm that with 80 % accuracy).

Most productive days on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47573565)

are also tuesdays.

That's the secret, behind-closed-doors day when editors and staff read submissions instead of sending them straight to the front page, thus weeding out inept, bland geek fantasies the partial aim of which are to get some half-ass' blog more readers.

QC, ./ - for the love of all things holy, do it before another 12yo steals the job.

Re:Most productive days on slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month and a half ago | (#47573577)

QC, ./ - for the love of all things holy, do it before another 12yo steals the job.

./ = dotslash, is this a mistake or a metaphor?

Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>