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Daily Archives: June 12, 2018

How are We Changing the Internet? How is the Internet Changing Us?

Data Science Central – William Vorhies June 12, 2018: “Summary: Data Science is the secret sauce that turns the dumb internet into the smart internet driving changes in society as fast as we drive changes in the internet. The best place to find data on this is Mary Meeker’s Internet Trend Report 2018. Here we use that data to look back at the last year and forward a bit in time to see what impact data science is having. What does the internet run on? It’s been compared to a highway that carries billions of cars. It’s been compared to a vast plumbing system that carries water. It’s been compared to the neurons in a brain that carry electronic impulses. Whether its cars or water or impulses, we all understand those to be a metaphor for data. But does data just go wherever it wants? No. Is it guided by the people who sent it? Not actually. The internet, the one that behaves like streets and highways has crude rules like stop signs, merges, right of way, and maps that tell where and how data can go, or could go. But what makes the internet smart, and really, really valuable is data science. It’s data science that creates the smart rules about

  • where to send specific advertising messages
  • turning unstructured images, text, and voice signals into smart recognition signals
  • speeding up processing by acting on signals at the edge of the system before they even reach their destination
  • creating a trust system allowing multiple signals to cooperate
  • communicating with us in our native languages
  • automating decisions and replacing wrote and repetitive human tasks
  • and much, much more.

Without the smart rules created by data science the internet is nothing more than a fancy telephone or telegraph. At best, an information retrieval system but only if you know the specific piece of data you want and exactly where it’s stored..”

Paper – Can Fact-checking Prevent Politicians from Lying?

Can Fact-checking Prevent Politicians from Lying? Chloe Lim, May 17, 2018. “Abstract – Journalists now regularly trumpet fact-checking as an important tool to hold politicians accountable for their public statements, but fact checking’s effect has only been assessed anecdotally and in experiments on politicians holding lower-level offices. Using a rigorous research design to estimate the… Continue Reading

Facebook delivers 500 pages of answers to Congress about Cambridge Analytica

Washington Post: “…Facebook pledged to continue refining its privacy practices and investigating its entanglement with Cambridge Analytica in nearly 500 pages of new information supplied to Congress and published Monday (See also TechCrunch as a non pay-walled source) – though the social giant sidestepped some of lawmakers’ most critical queries. Much as it did during… Continue Reading

FBI Director Nominations, 1973-2017

Via EveryCRSReport – FBI Director Nominations, 1973-2017, May 29, 2018: “The Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is appointed by the President by and with the advice and consent of the Senate. The statutory basis for the present nomination and confirmation process was developed in 1968 and 1976, and has been used since… Continue Reading

CRS – Resources for Key Economic Indicators

Via EveryCRSReport – Resources for Key Economic Indicators – May 30, 2018: An understanding of economic indicators and their significance is seen as essential to the formulation of economic policies. These indicators, or statistics, provide snapshots of an economy’s health as well as starting points for economic analysis. This report contains a list of selected… Continue Reading

Giant African baobab trees die suddenly after thousands of years

The Guardian: Demise of nine out of 13 of the ancient landmarks linked to climate change by researchers – “Some of Africa’s oldest and biggest baobab trees have abruptly died, wholly or in part, in the past decade, according to researchers. The trees, aged between 1,100 and 2,500 years and in some cases as wide… Continue Reading

These dogs sniff out cybercrime

This story appears in the summer 2018 edition of CNET Magazine: “Harley darts into a decrepit room in Connecticut. She’s searching for evidence. There are plenty of potential distractions in the room: Wires hang from the ceiling. Warped wood paneling buckles away from the walls. Faded yellow cabinets look like someone kicked a hole in… Continue Reading

Visualizing Dante’s Hell: See Maps & Drawings of Dante’s Inferno from the Renaissance Through Today

Open Culture: “Reading Dante’s Inferno, and Divine Comedy generally, can seem a daunting task, what with the book’s wealth of allusion to 14th century Florentine politics and medieval Catholic theology. Much depends upon a good translation. Maybe it’s fitting that the proverb about translators as traitors comes from Italian. The first Dante that came my way—the… Continue Reading

AT&T can buy Time Warner everyone else can buy everything else

Recode: “Verizon? Go right ahead. Charter? You too. Amazon and other tech companies with billions to burn? Go for it. That’s the message from a federal judge, who has ruled today that AT&T can buy Time Warner — and, crucially, didn’t apply any restrictions to his decision. That clears the way for other “vertical” mergers,… Continue Reading