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Web companies begin releasing surveillance information after U.S. deal | #surveillance #privacy

Web companies begin releasing surveillance information after U.S. deal | #surveillance #privacy | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook and Microsoft have struck agreements with the U.S.
luiy's insight:

WRESTLING OVER SECRET ORDERS

 

The initial reports about Prism included an internal NSA slide listing the dates that each of nine companies began allowing Prism data collection, starting with Microsoft in 2007 and Yahoo in 2008. The other companies include Apple, AOL and PalTalk as well as YouTube and Skype, which are owned by Google and Microsoft respectively.

 

Sources familiar with the conversations between the government and the Internet companies say there are frequent disagreements over how to handle specific requests.

 

Only one company, Yahoo, is known to have taken the highly unusual step of appealing an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The company argued in 2008 that the order violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

But U.S. District Judge Bruce Selya, who headed the FISA court's Court of Review, ruled the data collection program did not run afoul of the Bill of Rights.

 

Selya's ruling was published in redacted form, only the second time such a decision had ever been made public. A Justice Department spokesman said it was published at the court's behest, but the executive branch would have had to approve the waiving of secrecy rules.

Two days after that, according to the leaked NSA slides, Google joined the Prism data-collection effort.

 

"When Yahoo lost that case, it dissuaded everyone else from going to court," a person at another company told Reuters.

"A provider seeing that decision erases the doubt about whether a judge would approve this process," said a former lawyer for Yahoo.

 

Twitter, which has positioned itself as a hard-line defender of free speech and customer privacy, is still not participating in Prism. But people familiar with talks between the tech companies and the government said it will likely be forced to comply.

 

In Twitter's case, as in that of some other companies, the objections have ostensibly been about the technological difficulty in complying with orders and the format in which the information will be shared, people familiar with the situation say.

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"share" button : The Anatomy of Large Facebok Cascades | #SNA #dataviz

"share" button : The Anatomy of Large Facebok Cascades | #SNA #dataviz | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Facebook Data Science wrote a note titled The Anatomy of Large Facebook Cascades. Read the full text here.
luiy's insight:

Ever since Facebook introduced the Share button, users have found it easy to reshare photos and other content they see on Facebook with their friends. In fact, sometimes photos are so widely shared that they generate cascades of tens to hundreds of thousands of reshares. To better understand how these large resharing cascades are generated, we used anonymized data to look in depth at two very popular albeit very different photos from the last year.

 

On November 6, 2012, shortly after the U.S. presidential election was called in favor of Barack Obama, his official Facebook page posted a photo of him hugging the First Lady, Michelle Obama, with the caption "Four more years." This triggered a cascade of over 600,000 reshares, leading to this becoming the most liked photo on Facebook. Half of these reshares were by users directly following the Obama page, while the other half were users who saw it because of a reshare by another user or Facebook page. We refer to this photo as the Obama Victory Photo (OVP).

 

A photo doesn't have to be posted by a very popular page in order to trigger a large cascade. On January 17, 2013, a young Norwegian man by the name of Petter Kverneng posted a photo following the format of other "Million Likes" memes  (MLM). The essence of this meme is that someone claims that they will have some sought after request granted (usually receiving a pet puppy or kitten) if their photo is liked one million times. In Mr. Kverneng's photo he is shown holding up a sign saying that his friend would have sex with him if the photo gets 1 million likes. The intent was not serious, as Mr. Kverneng later told ABC News:  “it started as a joke, and it ended as a joke. Me and Catherine are just friends.”  Nevertheless, the photo received a million likes in less than a day, producing a cascade of reshares, a subset of which is visualized below.

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How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT | #risk #controverses #social change

How Technology Is Destroying Jobs | MIT | #risk #controverses #social change | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Automation is eliminating the need for people in many jobs. We’ve survived such changes before, but this time it might be different: are we facing a future of stagnant income and worsening inequality?

(...) The machines created at Kiva and Rethink have been cleverly designed and built to work with people, taking over the tasks that the humans often don’t want to do or aren’t especially good at. They are specifically designed to enhance these workers’ productivity. And it’s hard to see how even these increasingly sophisticated robots will replace humans in most manufacturing and industrial jobs anytime soon. But clerical and some professional jobs could be more vulnerable. That’s because the marriage of artificial intelligence and big data is beginning to give machines a more humanlike ability to reason and to solve many new types of problems."


Via Andrea Naranjo
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How The #NSA Uses Social Network Analysis To Map Terrorist Networks | #SNA #privacy

How The #NSA Uses Social Network Analysis To Map Terrorist Networks | #SNA #privacy | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
If the system had been in place in 2001, there is a high probability that the 9-11 network would have been broken up, saving thousands of lives and trillions of dollars.

Via ukituki
luiy's insight:

Ever since The Guardian reported that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting the phone record metadata of millions of Americans, the cable talk circuit has been ablaze with pundits demanding answers to what should be obvious questions.

 

Who knew about the program to collect data? (Apparently, all three branches of government). Who else has been supplying data?  (Just about everybody,according to the Washington Post). What is metadata?  (It’s data about data).

 

The question that nobody seems to be asking is probably the most important one:  What is the NSA doing with the data and why do they need so much of it?  The answer is a relatively new field called social network analysis and, while it may make people uneasy, the benefits far outweigh the risks, so it is probably something we will just have to accept.

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Travailler à haute voix sur Twitter | #collaboration

Travailler à haute voix sur Twitter | #collaboration | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Bien que les organisations soient de plus en plus nombreuses à implanter des réseaux sociaux d’entreprise destinés en interne à être utilisés par leurs employés, les conversations portant sur le travail empruntent aussi d’autres réseaux : les...
luiy's insight:

Si bien cada vez son más numerosas las organizaciones que optan por implantar redes sociales empresariales destinadas al uso interno, por parte de sus empleados, las conversaciones sobre temas relacionados con el  trabajo pueden realizarse a través de otras redes: los medios sociales digitales «públicos». Por tanto, parece indispensable analizar las prácticas colaborativas en el ámbito del trabajo, en función de las nuevas escalas y de las nuevas modalidades que ofrecen aquellas plataformas que atraviesan las esferas de las actividades privadas y públicas de los empleados. Así, además de considerar la plataforma de microblogging Twitter, que es especialmente utilizada por algunos trabajadores con el propósito de difundir conocimientos tácitos o formales, se analizan también las hipótesis y los puntos de reflexión que están en la base de sus prácticas laborales. Si bien Twitter no ha sido concebida en sus orígenes como una plataforma de conversación ni de colaboración, esta herramienta de microblogging se inmiscuye de manera informal, en el día a día de los trabajadores, permitiéndoles comunicarse, en tiempo real, con un público que excede las fronteras de la organización en la que trabajan, a través de un canal público que no necesariamente ha sido autorizado, reconocido ni controlado por aquella. De esta forma, los comentarios y las interacciones que suscitan estas publicaciones pueden dar lugar al nacimiento de redes informales de colaboración. En el presente artículo se identifican y se caracterizan las distintas modalidades de prácticas informales, sobre el trabajo, y de colaboración digital a través de Twitter. Los ejemplos que aquí se presentan permiten ilustrar el lugar que, espontáneamente, han concedido a Twitter los empleados que voluntariamente han decidido integrarla en sus prácticas profesionales. En este sentido, se distinguen cuatro tipos de usos: los relativos al ámbito laboral, la apertura y transmisión de aspectos de su trabajo, la difusión de intenciones y las preguntas dirigidas a las masas. 

 

----------------------------------------------

 

Vers une conceptualisation des affordances collaboratives de Twitter

 

D’un point de vue théorique, les chercheurs s’inscrivant dans une perspective de la pratique (Corradi, Gherardi et Verzelloni, 2008) – et plus particulièrement ceux qui adoptent les approches de la sociomatérialité  – envisagent les pratiques de travail en tant que configurations sociomatérielles devant être étudiées comme telles (Orlikowski et Scott, 2008) et considèrent que les changements organisationnels et technologiques sont mutuellement constitutifs et inter-reliés (Leonardi, 2009). En ce sens, le concept d’affordance (Gibson, 1979) a été mobilisé par Leonardi pour décrire les contraintes et possibilités inhérentes aux propriétés matérielles des outils numériques dans les organisations (Leonardi, 2010). Treem et Leonardi (2012) proposent d’ailleurs de développer une perspective « relationnelle » des affordances pour décrire la relation entre organisation et médias sociaux.  Celle-ci permet de ne pas se borner à décrire seulement les fonctionnalités des outils et les usages qu’elles permettent pour se tourner vers les actes communicationnels rendus possibles par les médias sociaux. L’application du concept d’affordance avait d’ailleurs été habilement illustrée par Zammuto et al. (2007) qui ont traité de l’influence de la technologie sur les processus organisationnels de façon non-déterministe, en montrant comment certains agencements sociomatériels offrent de nouvelles possibilités « d’actions organisantes ».

 

"Les prochaines étapes de notre recherche seront consacrées à l’exploration et au raffinement de ces (...)

 

Dans le même ordre d’idée, nous croyons que les usages informels que nous avons décrits tirent profit des spécificités matérielles et communicationnelles de la plateforme de microblogage étudiée et favorisent la mise en lumière de ses affordances collaboratives. Nous souhaitons ici apporter notre modeste contribution au développement du concept d’affordance en soulignant plus particulièrement les potentialités collaboratives de Twitter.  Le tableau qui suit reprend les exemples relatés dans cet article pour permettre ultérieurement le développement d’une réflexion sur les liens entre ces différentes dimensions et propose quelques hypothèses relatives aux conséquences organisationnelles possibles.7

 

- See more at: http://ticetsociete.revues.org/1330#sthash.KAZ4Gnms.dpuf

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Google, Ray Kurzweil and the deep learning.. | #neuralnetwork #AI

Google, Ray Kurzweil and the deep learning.. | #neuralnetwork #AI | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
With massive amounts of computational power, machines can now recognize objects and translate speech in real time. Artificial intelligence is finally getting smart.
luiy's insight:

Kurzweil was attracted not just by Google’s computing resources but also by the startling progress the company has made in a branch of AI called deep learning. Deep-learning software attempts to mimic the activity in layers of neurons in the neocortex, the wrinkly 80 percent of the brain where thinking occurs. The software learns, in a very real sense, to recognize patterns in digital representations of sounds, images, and other data.

 

The basic idea—that software can simulate the neocortex’s large array of neurons in an artificial “neural network”—is decades old, and it has led to as many disappointments as breakthroughs. But because of improvements in mathematical formulas and increasingly powerful computers, computer scientists can now model many more layers of virtual neurons than ever before.

 

With this greater depth, they are producing remarkable advances in speech and image recognition. Last June, a Google deep-learning system that had been shown 10 million images from YouTube videos proved almost twice as good as any previous image recognition effort at identifying objects such as cats. Google also used the technology to cut the error rate on speech recognition in its latest Android mobile software. In October, Microsoft chief research officer Rick Rashid wowed attendees at a lecture in China with a demonstration of speech software that transcribed his spoken words into English text with an error rate of 7 percent, translated them into Chinese-language text, and then simulated his own voice uttering them in Mandarin. That same month, a team of three graduate students and two professors won a contest held by Merck to identify molecules that could lead to new drugs. The group used deep learning to zero in on the molecules most likely to bind to their targets.

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#health : Can six billion cells phones collecting data on how people move lead to better human health? | #dataphones #datascience

#health : Can six billion cells phones collecting data on how people move lead to better human health? | #dataphones #datascience | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Collecting and analyzing information from simple cell phones can provide surprising insights into how people move about and behave—and even help us understand the spread of diseases.

 

At a computer in her office at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, epidemiologist Caroline Buckee points to a dot on a map of Kenya’s western highlands, representing one of the nation’s thousands of cell-phone towers. In the fight against malaria, Buckee explains, the data transmitted from this tower near the town of Kericho has been epidemiological gold.

 

When she and her colleagues studied the data, she found that people making calls or sending text messages originating at the Kericho tower were making 16 times more trips away from the area than the regional average. What’s more, they were three times more likely to visit a region northeast of Lake Victoria that records from the health ministry identified as a malaria hot spot. The tower’s signal radius thus covered a significant waypoint for transmission of malaria, which can jump from human to human via mosquitoes. Satellite images revealed the likely culprit: a busy tea plantation that was probably full of migrant workers. The implication was clear, Buckee says. “There will be a ton of infected [people] there.”


Via Ashish Umre
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Does the government even need PRISM snooping? It's got Facebook

Does the government even need PRISM snooping? It's got Facebook | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

What you like and who you're connected to can tell a lot more than many people realize.
 

luiy's insight:

"My point here is to help people realize that data they give out willingly about themselves can be used by anyone with a computer and some knowledge of statistical analysis to find out a lot more than you might realize. This doesn't mean it's time to drop off the grid and fit yourself for a tin-foil hat, but it probably does mean you may want to make sure you truly "like" someone, some company or some cause before clicking the button on Facebook."

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Over the edge: Twitter API 1.1 makes “Follows” edges hard to get | #sna #dataviz #nodexl

Over the edge: Twitter API 1.1 makes “Follows” edges hard to get | #sna #dataviz #nodexl | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
luiy's insight:

This has an impact on people who have been collecting and analyzing data from Twitter.  Twitter has given and taken away with the new 1.1 API.  Mostly taken away.  More Tweets are sometimes available from the new API, up to 18,000 rather than the old 1,500 tweet limit.  This is a big change, but normal users often do not get much benefit from the limit increase if the topic they are interested in has fewer tweets.  The length of time tweets are retained and served is not much longer than it was.

 

The big change is the effective loss of the “Follows” edge.  Some users of the 1.0 API used to be able to get a significant number of queries that asked about who each user followed.  These queries generated data that allowed a network to be created based on which users followed which other users.  The “Follows” network in Twitter has been very informative, pointing to the key people and groups in social media discussions.  But now the “Follows” edge will be effectively impossible to use.

 

Twitter API 1.1 changes the limit on the number of queries about who follow who in Twitter to 60 per hour.  In practice, a network may have several hundred or thousand people in it, making a query for each person’s network of followers impractical. With the follows edge effectively gone, the remaining edges, “reply” and “mention” become more important. These edges are far less common than the “Follows’ edge.  Many people follow lots of other people but mention the name or directly reply to very few. With the loss of the Followers edge, Twitter networks can become very sparse, with few connections remaining.  Dense structures give way to confetti.

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The Network Thinkers: Connecting the Calls | #NSA #privacy #dataviz

The Network Thinkers: Connecting the Calls | #NSA #privacy #dataviz | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
luiy's insight:

It appears that the US Government, via their National Security Agency (NSA), has collected a lot of data on who calls/emails whom both nationally and internationally (meta data of time, place, duration and source/destination of communication).  The NSA's Prism program is truly big data.  But is it enough data?  Is it the right data?  Is it the data the USA needs to stop both domestic and international terror attacks?

Assume they had the Prism data before September 11, 2001... would the NSA be able to map out the Al Qaeda(AQ) network below?  The two red nodes are AQ operatives who were known to be living in Los Angeles in 1999, the blue nodes came to the USA sometime in 2000 or 2001, the green nodes are foreign operatives supporting the 9-11 attacks.  A link shows who interacts with whom, via regular phone or email contact.  Here is a more detailed analysis of this terror network.

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3 Suggested Readings on the Politics of #Surveillance - ENGAGED ANTHROPOLOGY, PEACEBUILDING, HUMAN RIGHTS | #privacy #dataawareness

Obama scandals seem not to end. The disclosure that the Obama administration has continued the tradition inaugurated by president George W. Bush to routinely collect metadata of phone calls has sparked a lively debate on social media and in political circles. The disclosure came first from The Guardian newspaper, which described the process by which the National Security Agency and the F.B.I. have obtained a secret warrant to compel Verizon to turn over phone data. The first report was followed by a The Guardian and The Washington Post article revealing that the Obama administration was mining also data from nine U.S. Internet companies such as Google, Facebook, Skype and Apple. The PrismProgram , as it is known, was until now, a top secret program.

Secrecy, and its relationship to power, and to presidential power in particular, is emerging as a theme of public debate because of the secrecy masking both the details of the use of U.S. predator drones in the Middle East and the covertsurveillance of phone calls and Internet data. For a president, who campaigned on a promise of transparency and accountability, secrecy is turning into a defining trait of his administration.

President Barack Obama provided a strong defense of the surveillance program.“You can’t have 100 percent security and then also have 100 percent privacy and zero inconvenience,” the president said.

In light of the ensuing debate, I suggest below three readings by anthropologists that can help to think anthropologically about the surveillance program, the relationship of power to secrecy, and more in general about the hegemony of today’s security paradigm. As Elias Cannetti wrote, “Secrecy lies at the very core of power.”


Via Andrea Naranjo
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The nature of collective intelligence | #CI @hrheingold @plevy

The nature of collective intelligence | #CI @hrheingold @plevy | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Digital data stem from our own personal and social cognitive processes and thus express them in one way or another. But we still don’t have any scientific tools to make sense of the data flows produced by online creative conversations at the scale of the digital medium as a whole.


Via Ucka Ludovic Ilolo, Howard Rheingold
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Liliane Clavel Pardo's curator insight, June 16, 2013 6:11 AM

J'adore les articles selectionnés par cet internaute...

EcoTone Advisors | Erika Harrison's curator insight, July 17, 2013 11:17 PM

Levy on how human communications and digital media create platforms for augmented collective intelligence.

Klaus Meschede's curator insight, July 21, 2013 3:24 PM

Vortrag 2010, immer noch interessant

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The new systems : From "cyber-criminalité" to surveillance ... | #controverses #privacy

The new systems : From "cyber-criminalité" to surveillance ... | #controverses #privacy | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
RSA annonce la nouvelle version de RSA Silver Tail 4.0, sa solution de détection des menaces Web.

Via Paulo Félix
luiy's insight:

Voici les nouveautés de RSA Silver Tail : 

· Streaming Analytics : la technologie de RSA Silver Tail a été conçue pour classifier les menaces en temps réel, clic après clic, selon une analyse plus intelligente des comportements et des risques de manière à détecter et contrer les menaces plus rapidement. L'outil Streaming Analytics emploie une technologie d'analyse propriétaire pour la détection en temps réel de la dernière génération d'attaques complexes de sites internet. 


· Gestion des incidents : fonction de détection des menaces qui permet de les détecter de manière plus simple et de comprendre les causes pour en remonter à la source. 


· Interface utilisateur intelligente : s'adapte aux équipes de sécurité et de lutte contre la fraude. Ses fonctions de visualisation du Big Data particulièrement interactives simplifient les opérations de détection et d'investigation en générant des listes de priorités, avec adresses IP suspectes, noms des utilisateurs, détails des pages et sessions Web, pour guider les enquêteurs et leur faire gagner du temps.

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#SNA : Interlocking Boards of Directors | #awareness #contagion

#SNA : Interlocking Boards of Directors | #awareness #contagion | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
luiy's insight:

The blue nodes in the network above are conduits that move information, ideas, and knowledge between the clusters -- they are the intersection where two networks overlap. Contagion between corporations is often based on flows via Boards of Directors. We apply social network analysis [SNA] to this social graph and we see who may be key in this diffusion process. We apply a new SNA metric, I call Awareness [measures potential awareness of a node to what is happening around it (directly and indirectly) based on it's pattern of connectivity]. Those nodes with higher awareness are shown in a larger size in the diagram below.

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The #Avatar Will See You Now | MIT Technology Review | #health

The #Avatar Will See You Now | MIT Technology Review | #health | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Medical centers are testing new, friendly ways to reduce the need for office visits by extending their reach into patients’ homes.

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Most patients who enter the gym of the San Mateo Medical Center in California are there to work with physical therapists. But a few who had knee replacements are being coached by a digital avatar instead.

The avatar, Molly, interviews them in Spanish or English about the levels of pain they feel as a video guides them through exercises, while the 3-D cameras of a Kinect device measure their movements. Because it’s a pilot project, Paul Carlisle, the director of rehabilitation services, looks on. But the ultimate goal is for the routine to be done from a patient’s home.


“It would change our whole model,” says Carlisle, who is running the trial as the public hospital looks for creative ways to extend the reach of its overtaxed budget and staff. “We don’t want to replace therapists. But in some ways, it does replace the need to have them there all the time.”

Receiving remote medical care is becoming more common as technologies improve and health records get digitized. Sense.ly, the California startup running the trial, is one of more than 500 companies using health-care tools from Nuance, a company that develops speech-recognition and virtual-assistant software. “Our goal is basically to capture the patient’s state of mind and body,” says Ivana Schnur, cofounder of Sense.ly and a clinical psychologist who has spent years developing virtual-reality tools in medicine and mental health.


Via Wildcat2030
luiy's insight:

The Sense.ly software, currently in beta, is also being tested at an addiction and detox clinic in California, doing patient intake and assessment in a crowded waiting room. Schnur hopes the system will eventually be used for even more complex tasks. The company, a product of the French telecommunication company Orange’s Silicon Valley incubator program, is working to include additional features, such as the ability to interpret and respond to a patient’s facial expressions.

 

Of course, doctors see some risks in such approaches, especially if the software makes an error or misinterprets an interaction. Kanter points out that although electronic systems often reduce errors, any errors that occur can propagate more quickly than those made only on paper.

Carlisle, who will enroll 50 to 60 patients by the time the study is done, is looking forward to getting more data. Over time, he hopes, not only will he improve the care of individual patients in their home environments, but what he learns from the data will improve therapy for everyone.

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Kate Drake's curator insight, June 11, 2013 12:27 PM

There's something about an avatar doctor that seems like a bad idea. I think the technology could be used for something very useful and productive in the medical field, but limiting to an even further extent the face time between patient and doctor is not sound medical treatment. 

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Social Network Analysis of The Iliad and The Odyssey | #SNA #DH

Social Network Analysis of The Iliad and The Odyssey | #SNA #DH | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Social Network Analysis of The Iliad and The Odyssey Indicates that They Were Likely Based on Real Events “ Today, P J Miranda at the Federal Technological University of Paraná in Brazil .


Via ukituki
luiy's insight:

Today, P J Miranda at the Federal Technological University of Paraná in Brazil and a couple of pals study the social network between characters in Homer’s ancient Greek poem, the Odyssey.

 

Their conclusion is that this social network bears remarkable similarities to Facebook, Twitter and the like and that this may offer an important clue about the origin of this ancient story.

 
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ukituki's curator insight, June 14, 2013 4:50 PM

Odyssey’s social network is small world, highly clustered, slightly hierarchical and resilient to random attacks,” they say. What’s interesting about this conclusion is that these same characteristics all crop up in social networks in the real world.

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Managing Complexity: Strategies for Group Awareness and ...

This presentation is part of the WikiSym + OpenSym 2013 program. Michael Gilbert, Jonathan Morgan, David McDonald, Mark Zachry. In online groups, increasing explicit coordination can increase group cohesion and ...

Via Marinella De Simone
luiy's insight:

In online groups, increasing explicit coordination can increase group cohesion and member productivity. On Wikipedia, groups called WikiProjects employ a variety of explicit coordination mechanisms to motivate and structure member contribution, with the goal of creating and improving articles related to particular topics. However, while explicit coordination works well for coordinating article-level actions, coordinating group tasks and tracking progress towards group goals that involve tracking hundreds or thousands of articles over time requires different coordination strategies. To lower the coordination cost of monitoring and task-routing, WikiProjects centralize coordination activity on WikiProject pages – “micro-sites” which provide a centralized repository of project tools, tasks and targets, and discussion for explicit group coordination. These tools can facilitate shared awareness of member and non-member editing activity on articles that the project cares about. However, whether these tools are as effective at motivating members as explicit coordination, and whether they elicit the same kind of contributions, has not been studied. In this study, we examine one such tool, Hot Articles, and compare its effect on the editing behavior of WikiProject members with a common explicit coordination mechanism: making edit requests on the project talk page.

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#NSA Leaks Present a Business and Ethics Crisis for Silicon Valley | Wired | #privacy #dataawareness

#NSA Leaks Present a Business and Ethics Crisis for Silicon Valley | Wired | #privacy #dataawareness | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
The NSA's Bluffdale, Utah, data center under construction in Nov. 2011. (Photo: NSA) Late last week, as revelations about the National Security Agency'
luiy's insight:

Late last week, as revelations about the National Security Agency’s telephone and internet data gathering programs splashed across the news, attorney Michael Overly heard from one of his clients, a consumer product company that had been looking at moving email systems to a cloud service provider. They’d decided to put their cloud project on hold.

 

“They are simply concerned about their data being accessed by a third party without their knowledge or consent,” says Overly, a partner in the information technology practice at the Los Angeles firm Foley & Lardner. “They have all kinds of things that they’re working on, and they don’t want that information used unless they understand who’s using it.”

 

Overly couldn’t name the company, but their issue was with a top-secret NSA project called Prism. Over the weekend, the Guardian produced a NSA document claiming that $20 million Prism program gave the government direct access to systems at nine technology companies — including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Those companies maintain that the government has no direct access to their systems.

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Brain Implants Could Help Alzheimer’s and Others with Severe Memory Damage | #neuroscience #health

Brain Implants Could Help Alzheimer’s and Others with Severe Memory Damage | #neuroscience #health | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
A maverick neuroscientist believes he has deciphered the code by which the brain forms long-term memories.
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Theodore Berger, a biomedical engineer and neuroscientist at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, envisions a day in the not too distant future when a patient with severe memory loss can get help from an electronic implant. In people whose brains have suffered damage from Alzheimer’s, stroke, or injury, disrupted neuronal networks often prevent long-term memories from forming. For more than two decades, Berger has designed silicon chips to mimic the signal processing that those neurons do when they’re functioning properly—the work that allows us to recall experiences and knowledge for more than a minute. Ultimately, Berger wants to restore the ability to create long-term memories by implanting chips like these in the brain.

 

The idea is so audacious and so far outside the mainstream of neuroscience that many of his colleagues, says Berger, think of him as being just this side of crazy. “They told me I was nuts a long time ago,” he says with a laugh, sitting in a conference room that abuts one of his labs. But given the success of recent experiments carried out by his group and several close collaborators, Berger is shedding the loony label and increasingly taking on the role of a visionary pioneer.

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Bayesian Methods for Hackers | #datascience #bigdata

Bayesian Methods for Hackers | #datascience #bigdata | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Bayesian Methods for Hackers is designed as a introduction to Bayesian inference from a computational/understanding-first, and mathematics-second, point of view. Of course as an introductory book, we can only leave it at that: an introductory book. For the mathematically trained, they may cure the curiosity this text generates with other texts designed with mathematical analysis in mind. For the enthusiast with less mathematical-background, or one who is not interested in the mathematics but simply the practice of Bayesian methods, this text should be sufficient and entertaining.

luiy's insight:

bayesian methods for hackers and data scientist.

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Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility : Scientific Reports | #NSA #privacy

Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility : Scientific Reports | #NSA #privacy | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
We study fifteen months of human mobility data for one and a half million individuals and find that human mobility traces are highly unique.
luiy's insight:

Derived from the Latin Privatus, meaning “withdraw from public life,” the notion of privacy has been foundational to the development of our diverse societies, forming the basis for individuals' rights such as free speech and religious freedom1. Despite its importance, privacy has mainly relied on informal protection mechanisms. For instance, tracking individuals' movements has been historically difficult, making them de-facto private. For centuries, information technologies have challenged these informal protection mechanisms. In 1086, William I of England commissioned the creation of the Doomsday book, a written record of major property holdings in England containing individual information collected for tax and draft purposes2. In the late 19th century, de-facto privacy was similarly threatened by photographs and yellow journalism. This resulted in one of the first publications advocating privacy in the U.S. in which Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis argued that privacy law must evolve in response to technological changes3.

 

Modern information technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones, however, magnify the uniqueness of individuals, further enhancing the traditional challenges to privacy. Mobility data is among the most sensitive data currently being collected. Mobility data contains the approximate whereabouts of individuals and can be used to reconstruct individuals' movements across space and time. Individual mobility traces T [Fig. 1A–B] have been used in the past for research purposes4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 and to provide personalized services to users19. A list of potentially sensitive professional and personal information that could be inferred about an individual knowing only his mobility trace was published recently by the Electronic Frontier Foundation20. These include the movements of a competitor sales force, attendance of a particular church or an individual's presence in a motel or at an abortion clinic.

 

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Our dataset contains 15 months of mobility data for 1.5 M people, a significant and representative part of the population of a small European country, and roughly the same number of users as the location-based service Foursquare®31. Just as with smartphone applications or electronic payments, the mobile phone operator records the interactions of the user with his phone. This creates a comparable longitudinally sparse and discrete database [Fig. 3]. On average, 114 interactions per user per month for the nearly 6500 antennas are recorded. Antennas in our database are distributed throughout the country and serve, on average, ~ 2000 inhabitants each, covering areas ranging from 0.15 km2 in cities to 15 km2 in rural areas. The number of antennas is strongly correlated with population density (R2 = .6426) [Fig. 3C]. The same is expected from businesses, places in location-based social networks, or WiFi hotspots.

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Free Archived Online Network Science Course from Dr. Barabasi of Northeastern University | #SNA #dataviz

Free Archived Online Network Science Course from Dr. Barabasi of Northeastern University | #SNA #dataviz | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
See on Scoop.it – Complex Networks Everywhere
Network Science Course Website
See on barabasilab.neu.edu
Extracted from syllabus:
PHYS 5116: Network Science
Lecturer:
Prof.

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The Price of the Panopticon | #dragnet #surveillance

The Price of the Panopticon | #dragnet #surveillance | e-Xploration | Scoop.it
Pervasive N.S.A. surveillance may pose unforeseen dangers.
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The N.S.A. dragnet of “connection data” — who communicates with whom, where, how often and for how long — aims at finding patterns between calls or messages, and between parties with given characteristics, which correlate with increased odds of terrorist activity. These patterns can in turn cue authorities to focus attention on possible terrorists.

 

The success rate in these operations is a matter of intense speculation, given the authorities’ closemouthed stance on the matter. But no serious analyst can doubt that such steps may be helping to pinpoint terrorist acts in advance, as supporters, like Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, have insisted.

 

The question, though, is what comes next? Government planners have apparently invested billions of dollars to develop these new surveillance capabilities. Given the open-ended nature of this country’s relentless campaign against terrorism and other declared evils, it would be naïve to imagine that the state’s grip on “big data,” achieved at such cost, would be allowed to atrophy in the foreseeable future. It is far more likely that new uses — and, inevitably, abuses — will be found for these surveillance techniques.

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Mapping #occupygezi #direngeziparki Tweets

Mapping #occupygezi #direngeziparki Tweets | e-Xploration | Scoop.it

Data from Social Media and Political Participation Lab (New York University) http://smapp.nyu.edu


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ukituki's curator insight, June 10, 2013 6:50 PM
This video displays all geolocated tweets related to the #occupygezi #direngezipark protests in Istanbul, from May 31 to June 3, 2013. It shows the high volume of activity on Twitter over this period, and how the protest started in Gezi Park but then spread to the entire city in the matter of hours.