It looks like Compare-Stuff’s days are numbered. Bing’s Search API is moving to pay-only. If I can’t find a free (for low volume usage) search API, I will probably shut the site down…

Here’s an excerpt from the email I got today:

A few important things to note regarding the upcoming transition:

  • With the transition, Bing Search API developers will have access to fresher results, improved relevancy, and more opportunities to monetize their usage of the Search API. To offer these services at scale, we plan to move to a monthly subscription model. Developers can expect subscription pricing to start at approximately $40 (USD) per month for up to 20,000 queries each month.
  • The transition will begin in several weeks and will take a few months to complete. Developers will be encouraged to try the Bing Search API for free on the Windows Azure Marketplace during the transition period, before we begin charging for the service.
  • At this time, you can continue using Bing Search API 2.0 free of charge. After the transition period, Bing Search API 2.0 will no longer be available for free public use.

Please tweet me at @bobmaccallum if you have any ideas about alternative search APIs. Thanks!

Yahoo Search API is dead (ahem, for several months already) so I’ve switched to Bing. Not sure if it’s working all that well…

It’s a shame compare-stuff doesn’t let you compare three things, but never mind. Here we go with “Labour Party” vs. “Conservative Party” compared over recent years:

And here’s “Labour Party” vs “Liberal Democrats”:

Read the rest of this entry »

Let’s start by comparing some old-school drugs, cannabis and cocaine, and their relative occurrence on web pages containing the numbers 2004 to 2010. In other words, let’s see how their web-popularity has changed in recent years:

They are almost identical. Let’s try another two, MDMA and heroin:

Again they are very similar, but with a slight tailing off for MDMA (harder to make in the UK since 2008).

Now let’s try mephedrone and cocaine. The difference is massive.

Meanwhile, it is almost completely absent from the medical literature.

This plot has a really nice shape. But it does suggest that people let things go during the week.

I mean, really, people should be cleaning their teeth every day of the week, not just before a big Saturday night out.

The Pubmed version had broken due to a change in the Pubmed results format. It was easy to fix and now you can query for all kinds of trends in the biomedical research literature. See the previous blog post for more examples.

I also removed the “powered by Yahoo” icon because Yahoo are not serving it any more. It seems we’re using a deprecated API now, but I guess it will work for a while to come.

And while we are here, I’ll post a graph for old times’ sake:

Happy comparing!

With Ryanair in the news “blaming high passenger taxes and rising charges” for its cutbacks at London Stansted, you might be thinking “Hang on a minute, but Ryanair are the masters of hidden taxes and charges!”. Well let’s see who is most moaned about on the web in this respect:

Surprisingly, BMI Baby tops the charts for “hidden charges”, with Ryanair and EasyJet coming in a close second and third. The results for “stranded” aren’t as you might expect. It seems that Lufthansa had a well reported strike which left thousands stranded. I doubt the unions are very strong at Ryanair… I guess you want to try the phrase “I was stranded”, that should reflect customer opinion better.

Read the rest of this entry »

However, none of the following graphs will make any accusations of misconduct or mental instability whatsoever.

To mark the passing of the King of Pop, I have introduced a new category for the X-axis: “famous dead people”. By this I mean famous people who died a bit too soon.

Recently deceased Michael Jackson won’t be remembered for his musical talents, at least in comparison to Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley.

Read the rest of this entry »

Well I’ll add a token graph but most of you probably want to punch Bob Crow for ruining your day (if you live or work in London, UK).

The graph below sums him up perfectly. Bob Crow is a hostile, pessimistic ~@^&er. Click on the plot to get a (slightly more) legible version!

Well this swine flu really caught us by surprise didn’t it? After months of worry about avian flu a while back, now it’s really happening, but coming from the other side of the planet.

Here’s a plot of “swine flu” and “avian flu” vs. recent months:

Read the rest of this entry »