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Tag Archives: big data

Thinking about big data

The recent kerfuffle about Google flu trends showed all kinds of critics of big data come out of the woodwork. This is normal for anything new. I am sure there was an outpouring to hostility to the motor car when the first accident occurred. What I found useful was the cooling of the hype associated […]

Agriculture big data: Where it exists in datafied form, concerns re what can be done with it

US agriculture was early to use ICTs to improve efficiency. I recall sharing stories of information-savvy farmers with my classes in Ohio in the early 1990s. Now data is available of soil and weather conditions at a micro-level and farmers are beginning to be concerned that this big data when combined with other data could […]

More on the failure of Google flu trends

The Financial Times carried a good discussion on the failure of the Google Flu Trends model to predict. High quality global journalism requires investment. Please share this article with others using the link below, do not cut & paste the article. See our Ts&Cs and Copyright Policy for more detail. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional […]

Big data in developing v developed countries

Yesterday I listened sporadically to a live streamed conference on Big Data. Sporadic was not intentional. I am in Dili, Timor Leste, where most connectivity is via satellite with latencies in the 700ms range. Anyway, the focus was not on big data per se. They talked about all sorts of things, mostly open data (in […]

Does Sri Lanka have slums?

As part of our big data work, I have been looking at the 2012 Sri Lanka census preliminary results based on five percent of the responses. The picture that emerges is a far cry from the slums described in this Economist summary of research on slums: Yet the MIT paper, which offers simple statistics about […]

Understanding and classifying cities, based on mobile TGD

Since 2006, when the majority of the world’s population became city-dwellers (can’t use the original term “citizens” because it has now lost its connection to cities), there has been a great deal of interest in understanding these engines of economic growth. Here are some findings from Spain, in the process of being replicated in Asia. […]

Hal Abelson on privacy in the digital realm

Prof Hal Abelson of MIT recently shared his thoughts on privacy in the digital realm, at a online alumni webcast. Amongst the noise that one hears on this topic these days, his thoughtful comments resonated. Partly for sharing and partly for my own memory, I felt it justified a blog post and I capture his […]

The next stage of big data: On the road to Minority Report

A new robot equipped with multiple sensors that can collect information from its surroundings that can be matched against “big data” streams has been announced. The facts are interesting. Even more intriguing is the allusion to Minority Report. K5 also raises questions about mass surveillance, which has already set off intense debate in the United […]

Little data, thanks to smartphones

Little data is as bad a term as big data. Really tells you very little. But sadly that is what the New York Times has chosen to use. And I have not had time to come up with something little more insightful. David Soloff is recruiting an army of “hyperdata” collectors. The company he co-founded, […]

Big data for big boys would be outcome of mechanical extension of inform and consent

I was reminded of that old chestnut about a flagman having to walk in front of early automobiles when I heard some participants talk at the workshop on big data, social good and privacy. Imagine imposing inform and consent rules on transaction-generated data (big data) belonging to large corporate entities such as mobile operators. They […]

Leveraging big data in enterprises for public good

Today, our CEO Helani Galpaya was on a panel “Harnessing the power of convergence and big data for enterprise success” at a Sri Lankan summit called “Enterprise 2.0: building future ready enterprises” (full video of the panel session is available HERE). I thought some of the ideas she proposed about were worthy of further discussion. […]

Crossing the [Internet] river by feeling the stones

LIRNEasia was recently asked to sign a declaration on Internet rights. We do not normally sign declarations unless we have done the research to back up our signature. Another reason for declining at this time was my wariness about right-based approaches. I prefer the Deng Xiao Ping approach of crossing the river by feeling the […]

“Big data” or Transaction Generated Data in education

When asked about emerging trends of relevance to those picking research topics at the recent CPRsouth conference, I pointed to the growing importance of the badly named “big data” or its more analytically satisfying subset of transaction generated data (TGD) or information (Thomas McManus coined TGI back in 1991; TGD is more accurate). It’s going […]

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