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Along with fueling privacy concerns, of course, the mainframes helped prompt the growth and innovation that we have come to associate with the computer age. Today, many experts predict that the next wave will be driven by technologies that fly under the banner of Big Data — data including Web pages, browsing habits, sensor signals, smartphone location trails and genomic information, combined with clever software to make sense of it all.
Proponents of this new technology say it is allowing us to see and measure things as never before — much as the microscope allowed scientists to examine the mysteries of life at the cellular level. Big Data, they say, will open the door to making smarter decisions in every field from business and biology to public health and energy conservation.
Why It Matters
The Obama 2012 campaign used data analytics and the experimental method to assemble a winning coalition vote by vote. In doing so, it overturned the long dominance of TV advertising in U.S. politics and created something new in the world: a national campaign run like a local ward election, where the interests of individual voters were known and addressed.
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Source: Technology Review
University – A thing of the past? Source: Observer
Two years ago, I sat in the back seat of a Toyota Prius in a rooftop car park in California and gripped the door handle as the car roared away from the kerb, headed straight towards the roof’s edge and then at the last second sped around a corner without slowing down. There was no one in the driver’s seat.
It was the prototype of Google’s self-driving car and it felt a bit like being Buck Rogers and catapulted into another century. Later, I listened to Sebastian Thrun, a German-born professor of artificial intelligence at Stanford University, explain how he’d built it, how it had already clocked up 200,000 miles driving around California, and how one day he believed it would mean that there would be no traffic accidents.
A few months later, the New York Times revealed that Thrun was the head of Google’s top-secret experimental laboratory Google X, and was developing, among other things, Google Glasses – augmented reality spectacles. And then, a few months after that, I came across Thrun again.
The self-driving car, the glasses, Google X, his prestigious university position – they’d all gone. He’d resigned his tenure from Stanford, and was working just a day a week at Google. He had a new project. Though he didn’t call it a project. “It’s my mission now,” he said. “This is the future. I’m absolutely convinced of it.” Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
Source: The New York Times
I recently asked to see the information held about me by the Acxiom Corporation, a database marketing company that collects and sells details about consumers’ financial status, shopping and recreational activities to banks, retailers, automakers and other businesses. In investor presentations and interviews, Acxiom executives have said that the company — the subject of a Sunday Business article last month — has information on about 500 million active consumers worldwide, with about 1,500 data points per person. Acxiom also promotes a program for consumers who wish to see the information the company has on them.
From the Blog: Funkensprungnuts
Some years ago an engineer at Google told me why Google wasn’t collecting information linked to people’s names. “We don’t want the name. The name is noise.” There was enough information in Google’s large database of search queries, location, and online behavior, he said, that you could tell a lot about somebody through indirect means.
The point was that actually finding out people’s names isn’t necessary for sending them targeted ads. It can probably lead to trouble, as Google’s own adventures in Wi-Fi snooping show. Even without knowing your name, increasingly, everything about you is out there. Whether and how you guard your privacy in an online world we are building up every day has become increasingly urgent.
“Privacy is a source of tremendous tension and anxiety in Big Data,”
Freitag, 10. September 2010, 16:30:11 | Andrew McAfee:
If Tim O’Reilly didn’t exist, the technology industry would have to invent him. He knows everybody, can explain anything to anyone, helps us understand where things are headed, and convenes diverse groups of people to think about talk about the big topics.
He does all this while maintaining a sense of enthusiasm that I usually see only among people waiting in line for the next release of Halo. Tim likes technology for its own sake, but he’s more fundamentally enamored of what it can do — how it can open up new territory, improve people’s lives, and address vexing problems. After more than 30 years of running O’Reilly Media he exudes the vibe of “this is so cool” that all of us geeks remember from the first time we sat down in front of a computer (and for whatever it’s worth, I think he’s exactly right; this remains so cool.).
Tim brought a bunch of us together at the Gov 2.0 Summit earlier this week to discuss how the geek toolkit is being used to improve the work of government. A lot of the talks are available online at O’Reilly’s YouTube channel (my talk with Tim is here), and I encourage you to check them out. The best of them, like Carl Malamud’s and Ellen Miller‘s, are inspirational (and yes, that word is terribly overused).
The central impression the Summit left on me was of a dedicated and tenacious group of people waging war on bureaucracy, which Javier Pascual Salcedo defined as “the art of making the possible impossible.” The government doesn’t have a monopoly on bureaucracy, of course, but it does have pretty good market share”. A capitalist theorist would say this is largely because competition culls bureaucracy and other inefficiencies, and governments face few or no competitors for their services. Den Rest des Beitrags lesen »
John Seely Brown, former chief scientist at Xerox, has morphed in recent years into the “Chief of Confusion,” seeking “the right questions” in a range of fields, including education. He is joined by Dava Newman and John Belcher for a discussion on education in the 21st century.
About the Lecture
Even when children are high achievers and facile with new technology, many seem gradually to lose their sense of wonder and curiosity, notes John Seely Brown. Traditional educational methods may be smothering their innate drive to explore the world. Brown and like-minded colleagues are developing the underpinnings for a new 21st century pedagogy that broadens rather than narrows horizons.
John Seely Brown, former chief scientist at Xerox, has morphed in recent years into the “Chief of Confusion,” seeking “the right questions” in a range of fields, including education. He finds unusual sources for his questions: basketball and opera coaches, surfing and video game champions. He’s gathered insights from unorthodox venues, and from more traditional classrooms, to paint quite a different picture of what learning might look like.