Some changes are coming to Dropbox.
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Hello Tumblr! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- The Ellen Degeneres Show and Nike are among the most successful brands on Instagram.
- North and South Korean websites suffered outages due to a cyber attack allegedly made by the hacker group Anonymous.
- A European official has ruled that Google should be treated like a host, not a publisher. Therefore, it is not obliged to remove content produced by others.
- Barnes & Noble is trying to save money by ceasing in-house production of its Nook readers.
- Samsung’s cheap plastic casings may be on the way out. They just linked up with a firm that specializes in carbon fiber.
- Reddit is now hosting a linguistic project that maps the various Arabic languages found throughout the Middle East and Africa.
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Happy Monday! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- Now you can use Google Street View to see the view from the top of the world’s highest building, the Burj Khalifa tower in Dubai.
- Former South African president Nelson Mandela is still in critical condition with a lung infection, says President Zuma.
- From our NSA secret surveillance tracker: Whistleblower Edward Snowden was expected to take a plane to Havana today, but at the time of takeoff, he was nowhere to be found.
- Australian lawmakers hold off on plans to track and store phone call and email data after NSA surveillance scandal raises privacy concerns worldwide.
- Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has its top managers squirming with his plan to restructure the company.
- Facebook is working on its own news reader. Watch out for our Google Reader replacement roundup later today.
- The FTC is investigating Google’s purchase of the Israeli social navigation firm Waze after consumer groups and tech experts raise concerns.
Daily Fast Feed Roundup
Happy Hump Day! Here’s a quick rundown of what you need to know today:
- Cool experiments on the International Space Station are teaching us more about fire.
- High levels of toxic and radio substances were found in the groundwater near the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan.
- There are now 1 million active advertisers on Facebook, reports the social media giant.
- From our NSA secret surveillance tracker: Google is challenging the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court (FISA), saying it has the right to talk about any government requests for data.
- Google Play is now offering streaming content apps from the History Channel, Lifetime, and A&E.
- Tesla, which is demo-ing its swap-able electric car battery this week, is recalling some of its Model S electric cars due to a seat safety defect.
- TripAdvisor just bought GateGuru, an app that offers travelers airport info in real-time.
- On the run from the law? Well then you need a pair of these goggles specially designed to block facial recognition patterns.
- The Brazilian government is sending military aid to five major cities in response to massive protests.
Priceonomics analyzes the how much you’re really saving (if any) by staying in an Airbnb apartment, instead of a hotel.
It’s old news by now that the NSA is building a semi-secret data center in Utah which will store data of an unknown sort on a near infinite scale.
What’s interesting is that the massive data center will not employ analysts, instead it will be staffed by about 100 technicians to keep the power and water flowing and the computers and other equipment humming.
Here’s more from Fast Company’s secret surveillance tracker.
[Image: From Cryptome.org]
“I’ve data mined myself. I’ve violated my own privacy. Now I am selling it all.”
Data mining is big business—but what if Internet users could monetize their personal data on their own? New York University grad student Frederico Zannier stalked his own online activity for two months, and is now selling the data.
Jawbone, maker of the UP activity monitoring wristband, announced today that it will acquire BodyMedia to bolster its efforts in the wearable technology space.
The UP device currently tracks more than a billion steps and 610,000 hours of sleep every day, but the acquisition of BodyMedia, a company which has been doing similar work in the space since 1999, will open the company up to a swath of new data. Just how much data? Its monitors have collected more than 500 trillion body sensor data points.
Infographic: Foursquare’s New Tool Maps Your Check-Ins
As we amass more and more data about ourselves, the big challenge will be creating tools that help us put it to use in productive, positive ways. A quantified self is not necessarily an improved one. In the meantime, though, some personalized eye-candy can’t hurt.
Foursquare launched its own visualization tool last week, letting users view their last 12 months of activity in a few different ways. In each, check-ins are represented by colorful little badges. You can sort them by date or by category, which line the badges up into orderly little rows. The latter will probably just confirm what you already know: you go out for coffee way too often.
A circular “connections” view is a little more insightful, showing all the different places you went throughout the year after checking in at a certain location. Here, you might get confirmation of things you already knew deep down but never really liked to acknowledge. You’ll be able to see, say, where you tend to check-in after sessions at the gym. Take-out food joints? Oh well, you’ve earned it, or something.
As the company wrote in a blog post accompanying the release, the tool is “just our small way of saying, ‘Thanks! We think you’re awesome.’” Also a small way of saying think how much cooler these would look if you used Foursquare more often.
[Hat tip: Gizmodo]
“Insights from big data should be helping brands create more, better big content.”
Kathy Giusti founded the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation after being diagnosed with the disease in 1996. As head of worldwide operations at a major pharma company at the time, she was horrified by the lack of drugs in the pipeline for her deadly “orphan” cancer. John Quackenbush is the director of the Center for Cancer Computational Biology at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and CEO of the startup GenoSpace, which provides tools for genomics research. Senior editor Linda Tischler sat down to hear about their new collaboration to upend cancer research.
[Photo by Erin Patrice O’Brien]
Google’s Plan To Fight Human Trafficking With Big Data
A collection of tech and data companies are working together to track, map, and fight the criminal underworld that ships people around the world.
Google announced this week that it’s giving a $3 million Global Impact Award (part of a series of grants given to nonprofits changing the world with technology) to help three anti-trafficking organizations—Polaris Project, Liberty Asia, and La Strada International—create a Global Human Trafficking Hotline Network. While these organizations operate effective trafficking hotlines across the world, they don’t share their information. That’s the kind of big-data problem that Google can help with.
Nine months ago, Google Ideas convened a summit on exposing, mapping, and disrupting illicit networks—the kind that organize human trafficking. This is a big problem that’s often hidden from public discourse; last year, over 20 million people were trafficked across the globe, generating over $32 billion in profits.
How The UN’s New Data Lab In Indonesia Uses Twitter To Preempt Disaster
Predictive disaster relief is the goal, says Robert Kirkpatrick, Director of the UN’s Global Pulse initiative, and Twitter data may be the key. The program uses social network analysis to study living conditions throughout the world and preempt crises. “We found that a combination of food words and mood state was able to predict the consumer price index several weeks ahead,” says Kirkpatrick.
[Image: Pen via Shutterstock]
“Just as smartphones revolutionized how we avoid talking to each other and food trucks changed our tolerance for eating while standing on the street, the emergence of data science as a vehicle for expression is going to radically change how we create. It gives us a new way to tell the story of the world around us. Even if it’s just to find out how racist our current location is.”