This article examines how the capacities of smartphones to reshape memory practices are enacted and negotiated in personal life. It is argued that digital devices and networked media facilitate a vast production and circulation of persistent digital traces that are potential memories. An approach that privileges sociotechnical practices is used to empirically examine the roles of digital devices, software, and social media in reconfiguring personal memory. In-depth interviews with 30 individuals aged between 20 and 30 are used to examine the details of reflexive and routine modes of forgetting and remembering related to the prevalence of devices and the digital traces produced in quotidian use. The increasingly visual life of data of many kinds promotes a ‘continuously networked present’ (Hoskins, 2012), but this is highly differentiated and actively negotiated in complex ways that both reproduce and reconfigure established memory practices.
The ‘smart city’ epithet is particularly attractive right now. After all, you have to be stupid to be against anything that’s smart. And the smart money is on smart cities: India has just announced it wants 100 of them. Big technology meets big property: what could go wrong?
This interactive data visual – now updated to cover all cities with 500,000-plus inhabitants – illustrates the scale and speed of urban transformation that research by IIED has sought to document and describe
New statistical and open data platforms are being set up to remedy long-standing challenges of development data access across Africa, promising to improve services and increase transparency.
Open data on developing countries can be used “to improve the efficiency and coverage of public services in a variety of development sectors such as education, health, transport, energy”, says Amparo Ballivian, a lead economist at the World Bank.
Open data can also help generate new businesses and therefore job opportunities, and improve transparency, adds Ballivian.
In February, the African Development Bank (AfDB) launched the Africa Information Highway (AIH), which comprises two types of portals for each participating country: a statistical data portal and an open data portal.
Since Code for America's inaugural year in 2011, 28 municipal governments have participated in the (CfA) Fellowship Program. Last year, officials from 80+ cities attended the annual CfA summit in San Francisco, when the Code for America civic innovation community gathers in person for three days of collaborating, connecting and learning.
One of the main things that these municipal governments have in common is their willingness to innovate. Many have Chief Innovation Officers, who are charged with translating ideas of government innovation including open data initiatives, which are developed to identify better ways to use technology and spark the kind of citizen engagement that leads to action.
For all of the cities that have embraced the Code for America ideal of open data and transparency there are numerous governments that haven’t. But why? ...
The following was written as a solicited follow-up to my participation in the second planning consultation session of the Cambridge University Centre for Digital Knowledge. The session, held on 7 May 2014 at the Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), focused on “digital epistemology,” one of the two intended thematic strands of the Centre for Digital Knowledge. A previous planning consultation at CRASSH that I did not attend focused on the other intended strand of “digital society.”
My theses below are meant more as provocation than as prescription; and they do not take account of plans that may have been put in place for the Center for Digital Knowledge since the planning consultations.
“Data is worthless, only decisions have value” – this was the overriding sentiment at this year's 2014 Sports Analytics Innovation Summit.As a self-confessed data junkie, Qlikview addict, armchair football analyst and long suffering Blackburn Rovers fan, it was probably only a matter time before these four cornerstones of my life (at least the ones I’m prepared to share here) all converged at once into a 'Big Bang'; the result being my first blog.
In this podcast, Professor Patrick Dunleavy talks about how big data will affect the future of the social sciences. Say goodbye to academic siloes as we enter into a new age of cross/multi/and inter-disciplinary research. In this changing landscape, the old boundaries between physical, social and data science disintegrate. Here Professor Dunleavy talks about the Social Science of Human-Dominated and Human-Influenced Systems given as part of the Annual Lecture series at the Academy of Social Sciences.
Scientists can now analyze the personal data on millions of people without their knowledge, and some want to bring ethical guidelines to such studies.
Scholars are exhilarated by the prospect of tapping into the vast troves of personal data collected by Facebook, Google, Amazon and a host of start-ups, which they say could transform social science research.
Once forced to conduct painstaking personal interviews with subjects, scientists can now sit at a screen and instantly play with the digital experiences of millions of Internet users. It’s the frontier of social science — experiments on people who may never even know they are subjects of study, let alone explicitly consent.
“This is a new era,” said Jeffrey T. Hancock, a Cornell University professor of communication and information science. “I liken it a little bit to when chemistry got the microscope.” ...
Though hard engineering continues, TfL remains a hotbed of innovation – as it should, considering its history.
When 19th-century engineers decided their new-fangled locomotives could be driven underground beneath London's crowded streets, they began a tradition for technological innovation that the capital's transport system has never lost.
Today the cutting edge has moved from steam to cyber, but the driving force is the same as it was for the Victorians – how can more people be moved more quickly and efficiently through the capital's jumbled, crowded streets?
At the heart of this is no nimble tech startup, but the capital's transport authority, Transport for London, which vaunts its record as an innovator in the field with some justice, according to the experts....
Big data is currently the big thing in the digital age and it has caused a significant issue regarding privacy. With the big data revolution, it is possible to collect massive information using the internet technology. Along the privacy issues are the benefits derived from this innovative solution for internet marketing. Online marketers and small to large businesses are able to find a cost effective way of data gathering, storage and analytics that can help grow their business efficiency better through big data. Online users know that each time they click on something on a website, their activities can be tracked down. How can you assure them that they don’t have to worry about their privacy when visiting your website? ....
Delhi’s urban planning story is also the story of urban planning in India - makeshift, patchwork, and fire-fighting. Indian cities today resemble an urban mess, a consequence of the manner in which they were imagined and planned decades ago.
Obtaining an accurate picture of the current state of the economy is particularly important to central banks and finance ministries, and of epidemics to health ministries. There is increasing interest in the use of search engine data to provide such 'nowcasts' of social and economic indicators. However, people may search for a phrase because they independently want the information, or they may search simply because many others are searching for it. We consider the effect of the motivation for searching on the accuracy of forecasts made using search engine data of contemporaneous social and economic indicators. We illustrate the implications for forecasting accuracy using four episodes in which Google Flu Trends data gave accurate predictions of actual flu cases, and four in which the search data over-predicted considerably. Using a standard statistical methodology, the Bass diffusion model, we show that the independent search for information motive was much stronger in the cases of accurate prediction than in the inaccurate ones. Social influence, the fact that people may search for a phrase simply because many others are, was much stronger in the inaccurate compared to the accurate cases. Search engine data may therefore be an unreliable predictor of contemporaneous indicators when social influence on the decision to search is strong.
ARLINGTON: “Big data” is big business nowadays. Defense contractor Lockheed Martin, for example, boasts their analytical tools have successfully predicted everything from Arab Spring uprisings to the onset of sepsis in hospital patients. But big data can also go wrong in big ways. If you set a powerful program loose on a large enough data set, it can come up with spectacularly specious correlations that have nothing to do with cause and effect. More people tend to drown in swimming pools, for example, in years when Nicholas Cage appears in multiple movies. That example is easily caught by common sense, but far more dangerous are the correlations that look plausible to policymakers while still being wrong. ...
With everyone talking of the 100 smart cities announced in this year’s budget, Anuj Puri takes a closer look.
Across the world, the stride of migration from rural to urban areas is increasing. By 2050, about 70 per cent of the population will be living in cities, and India is no exception. It will need about 500 new cities to accommodate the influx.
Interestingly, urbanisation in India has for the longest time been viewed as a by-product of failed regional planning. Though it is inevitable, and will only change when the benefits of urbanisation overtake the costs involved, it is an opportunity for achieving faster growth.
With increasing urbanisation and the load on rural land, the government has now realised the need for cities that can cope with the challenges of urban living and also be magnets for investment. The announcement of ‘100 smart cities’ falls in line with this vision. ...
In many developing cities, transport infrastructure – whether it be roads, metro systems or BRT - is not growing fast enough, and cannot keep up with the ever-increasing demand for urban mobility. Indeed, constructing urban transport infrastructure is both expensive and challenging. First, many cities do not yet have the capacity to mobilize the large amount of funds needed to finance infrastructure projects. Second, planning and implementing urban transport infrastructure projects is tough, especially in dense urban areas where land acquisition and resettlement issues can be extremely complex. As a result, delays in project implementation are the norm in many places. Therefore, solving urgent urban transport problems in these cities requires us to think outside the box. Fortunately, the rapid development of ICT-enabled approaches provides a great opportunity to optimize and enhance the efficiency of existing and new urban transport systems, at a cost much lower than building new infrastructure from the ground up. ....
The World Economic Forum has been studying competitiveness for over 30 years by focusing on the assessment of the productive potential of countries in The Global Competitiveness Report series. To complement this strand of work, the Forum created the Global Agenda Council on Competitiveness as part of the Network of Global Agenda Councils. In 2012, Council Members identified the leadership role that cities are taking in stimulating the competitiveness of countries and regions as a key issue for further study. ...
Traditionally, urbanisation has occurred around developments in primary transport infrastructure - including ports, rail and major roads – which are generally designed and positioned in support of major industry developments and the primary movement of goods and services. However, Matchett notes that city planners in Africa must not neglect the supporting infrastructure networks in their long-term visions and planning, too. ...
The U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and several partners today are kicking off the year-long Global City Teams Challenge to help communities around the world work together to address issues ranging from air quality to traffic management to emergency services coordination. NIST is inviting communities and innovators to create teams that will foster the spread of “smart cities” that take advantage of networked technologies to better manage resources and improve quality of life. ...