I'm just tired of it being called big data. It should just be called data. And the other thing is I bet there are very few people in this room who actually have data that is big. You probably have large data or medium data or long data. But it's the big data that's actually a pain in the arse still and it's hard."
At rOpenSci we are creating packages that allow access to data repositories through the R statistical programming environment that is already a familiar part of the workflow of many scientists. We hope that our tools will not only facilitate drawing data into an environment where it can readily be manipulated, but also one in which those analyses and methods can be easily shared, replicated, and extended by other researchers. While all the pieces for connecting researchers with these data sources exist as disparate entities, our efforts will provide a unified framework that will be quickly connect researchers to open data.
The Unlike Us Reader offers a critical examination of social media, bringing together theoretical essays, personal discussions, and
artistic manifestos. How can we understand the social media we use everyday, or consciously choose not to use? We know very well that monopolies control social media, but what are the alternatives? While Facebook continues to increase its user population and combines loose privacy restrictions with control over data, many researchers, programmers, and activists turn towards designing a decentralized future. Through understanding the big networks from within, be it by philosophy or art, new perspectives emerge.
Unlike Us is a research network of artists, designers, scholars, activists, and programmers, with the aim to combine a critique of the dominant social media platforms with work on ‘alternatives in social media’, through workshops, conferences, online dialogues, and publications. Everyone is invited to be a part of the public discussion on how we want to shape the network architectures and the future of social networks we are using so intensely.
Contributors: Solon Barocas, Caroline Bassett, Tatiana Bazzichelli, David Beer, David M. Berry, Mercedes Bunz, Florencio Cabello, Paolo Cirio, Joan Donovan, Louis Doulas, Leighton Evans, Marta G. Franco, Robert W. Gehl, Seda Gürses, Alexandra Haché, Harry Halpin, Mariann Hardey, Pavlos Hatzopoulos, Yuk Hui, Ippolita, Nathan Jurgenson, Nelli Kambouri, Jenny Kennedy, Ganaele Langlois, Simona Lodi, Alessandro Ludovico, Tiziana Mancinelli, Andrew McNicol, Andrea Miconi, Arvind Narayanan, Wyatt Niehaus, Korinna Patelis, PJ Rey, Sebastian Sevignani, Bernard Stiegler, Marc Stumpel, Tiziana Terranova, Vincent Toubiana, Brad Troemel, Lonneke van der Velden, Martin Warnke and D.E. Wittkower.
This morning, The New Yorker launched Strongbox, an online place where people can send documents and messages to the magazine, and we, in turn, can offer them a reasonable amount of anonymity. It was put together by Aaron Swartz, who died in January, and Kevin Poulsen. Kevin explains some of the background in his own post, including Swartz’s role and his survivors’ feelings about the project. (They approve, something that was important for us here to know.) The underlying code, given the name DeadDrop, will be open-source, and we are very glad to be the first to bring it out into the world, fully implemented.
In May, Facebook users who are looking to waste a little time online will have a new option; a game called Tahrir Square Defense will allow them to relive the glory days of the 2011 Egyptian revolution.
Alkottab, the Egyptian games development company responsible for the game, describe it as a “tower defence game” that is built around the events of the so-called Battle of the Camel on 2 February 2011, when a peaceful sit-in in Tahrir was attacked by armed thugs riding horses and camels.
The developers say the game will allow players to "have a glimpse of the battle that happened that day and witness how the people stood to defend their freedom."
Alkottab is a games and animation studio founded by Eslam Almohandes, Omar El-Khafif and Mahmoud Adly Ezzat.
"We believe that games and cartoons are not only for entertainment, but also for delivering high values like changing people perception to problems and raising nation causes in the heart of the youth [sic]," reads the company's website.
The game provides cartoon visuals of the iconic square, and also includes real sound recordings from the square and politicians' speeches during the early days of the revolution.
It’s what most people say they want. So how do we know how happy people are? You can’t improve or understand what you can’t measure. In a blow to happiness, we’re very good at measuring economic indices and this means we tend to focus on them. With hedonometer.org we’ve created an instrument that measures the happiness of large populations in real time.
Our hedonometer is based on people’s online expressions, capitalizing on data-rich social media, and we’re measuring how people present themselves to the outside world. For our first version of hedonometer.org, we’re using Twitter as a source but in principle we can expand to any data source in any language (more below). We’ll also be adding an API soon.
So this is just a start — we invite you to explore the Twitter time series and let us know what you think.
Markus Persson and his game continue to confound the wisdom of video-game critics, consultants, and publishing mavens. Minecraft looks nothing like the multi-million-dollar blockbusters that usually line GameStop’s shelves.
Teens share a wide range of information about themselves on social media sites;1indeed the sites themselves are designed to encourage the sharing of information and the expansion of networks. However, few teens embrace a fully public approach to social media. Instead, they take an array of steps to restrict and prune their profiles, and their patterns of reputation management on social media vary greatly according to their gender and network size. These are among the key findings from a new report based on a survey of 802 teens that examines teens’ privacy management on social media sites:
We are surrounded by tiny, intelligent devices that capture data about how we live and what we do. Soon we'll be able to choreograph them to respond to our needs, solve our problems, and even save our lives.
Launched new advertising products such as Lookalike Audiences, Managed Custom Audiences, and Partner Categories, which help marketers improve their targeting capabilities on Facebook.Partnered with Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, and BlueKai to enable marketers to incorporate off Facebook purchasing data in order to deliver more relevant ads to users.Enhanced ability to measure advertiser ROI on digital media across the internet through our acquisition of the Atlas Advertising Suite.
The first two points underplay what Facebook is up to. Most people have no idea what Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom and Bluekai actually do. Insiders, however, know that Facebook alliances with these companies give it one of the most powerful consumer databases on the planet.
Epsilon has data on 300 million company loyalty card members worldwide, and a databank on 250 million consumers in the U.S.Acxiom has "a comprehensive national database covering more than 126 million households and 190 million individuals."Datalogix says, "Our database contains more than $1 trillion in offline purchase-based data and we’re able to covert this data, and any CRM data, into an online universe."Bluekai is a data management platform — marketers bring their own data to those companies, and Bluekai will crunch it and turn it into a strategy for making marketing more effective.
You may have heard that the highest-paid employee in each state is usually the football coach at the largest state school. This is actually a gross mischaracterization: Sometimes it is the basketball coach.
Santiago Chile announced they're going to become a "smart city" in 2013. Santiago is just one example of a growing number of areas around the globe preparing and modernizing for the future, in fact demographers have long predicted the mass urbanization of metropolitan areas across the world. According to the United Nations, by the year 2050, 80% of the world will be living in urban areas. The equivalent of seven Manhattan size cities will be built each year until 2050. For these cities to thrive they must use smart technology to its fullest. Let’s take a look at what’s available now and what’s coming down the pipe.
There’s a sea of interesting public data out there just waiting to be tapped into, but there’s a problem — most people have no earthly idea how to access it. And even if they’re able to make some headway, there’s still an untold number of connections between that data and even more data tucked away in another silo.
That’s where New York startup Enigma comes into play — founded by Hicham Oudghiri and Marc Dacosta and helmed by CEO Jeremy Bronfmann, Enigma taps into over 100,000 public data sources from state and federal records to SEC filings to lists of frozen assets in the United Kingdom all the way to Crunchbase. The end result is an incredibly simple, incredibly smart way to sift through and find connections in publicly available data
The Art of Walking: a field guide is the first extensive survey of walking in contemporary art. Combining short texts on the subject with a variety of artists work, The Art of Walking provides a new way of looking at this everyday subject.
The introduction relates peripatetic art now to a wide range of historic precedents, and is followed by a series of visually led ‘Walks’ dealing with seven overlapping themes: footprints and lines; writers and philosophers; marches and processions; aliens, dandies and drifters; slapstick; studios, museums and biennales; and dog walkers.
The guide includes newly commissioned art and writing, and many artists have been actively involved in the design of their respective pages. Contributors include Marina Abramović and Ulay, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Francis Alÿs, And While London Burns, Keith Arnatt, Franko B, David Bate, Dara Birnbaum, Rut Blees Luxemburg, Janet Cardiff, Marcus Coates, Jeremy Deller, Tim Edgar, Christian Edwardes, Jan Estep, Simon Faithfull, Alec Finlay, Hamish Fulton, Regina José Galindo, Al Gebra, Mona Hatoum, Akira Kanayama, Oleg Kulik, Peter Liversidge, Long March Project, Richard Long, Melanie Manchot, Conor McGarrigle, Bruce Nauman, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Ingrid Pollard, Simon Pope, Chloé Regan, Sophy Rickett, Fiona Robinson, Matthias Sperling and Siobhan Davies Studios, Susan Stockwell, Krzysztof Wodiczko and Catherine Yass.
David Evans is a writer and picture editor, based in Bournemouth, England. Recent works include Appropriation (The Whitechapel Gallery and The MIT Press, 2009), László Moholy-Nagy: 60 Fotos(Errata Editions, 2011) and Critical Dictionary (Black Dog Publishing, 2011).
MIT researchers have built a wearable sensor system that automatically creates a digital map of the environment through which the wearer is moving. The prototype system, described in a paper slated for the Intelligent Robots and Systems conference in Portugal next month, is envisioned as a tool to help emergency responders coordinate disaster response..