Perhaps There's Some Small Hope For Our Species Yet

by tristero

Pogue in the Times:
One of Google’s geniuses figured out that whenever people get sick, they use Google to search for more information. By collating these searches, Google has created an early-warning system for flu outbreaks in your area, with color-coded graphs. Google says that Flu Trends ( has recognized outbreaks two weeks sooner than the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has.
For some reason, I found the surprising elegance of this idea extremely satisfying, as in, "Of course! How incredibly stupid not to have thought of that!" to paraphrase Tom Huxley.

And if you click on the link, you're taken to an incredibly simple graph and equally clear map that illustrates the flu trends and does so in a color-blind friendly fashion.