Benford's law is an amazing thing. If you know the probability distribution that classes of "natural" numbers should have, you can detect where people might be faking data: phony tax returns, bogus scientific studies, etc.

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Did you wake up this morning hoping that you would be able to listen to telephone beeps inspired by Estonian web site metrics? I knew you did! First things first: I came up with the slightly crazy idea of using the bleepy sounds that telephones make, called “dual-tone multifrequency” (DTMF) tones, as a tool in

Tom Taverner introduced me to Benford’s Law as we were eating lunch together at a statistical computing conference: If you look at the first digits of data in many naturally-occuring datasets, a startling 30 percent of them are ones. “Pah!” I said. “That belies intuition! Why would one digit occur any more than another? I’d