-Cross Currents 7.3 Database Trends 7.4 No Secrets: Computers and Privacy

Why Big Data Is a Big Deal

More and more, we’re living in a data-driven world. In this excellent little piece that aired recently on NPR’s Fresh Air, Geoff Nunberg gives one of the clearest explanations we’ve seen of what Big Data is and why it’s important to all of us.

-Context 11.1 Where Computers Work 15.5 Question-Answering Machines 7.3 Database Trends

Watson Isn’t Just Playing Games Anymore

IBM’s Watson, the famous artificial-intelligence system that became a quiz show champ, is now poised to transform the fields of medicine, finance, education, and more. In some ways Watson is an industrial-strength version of Siri, the personal assistant built into iPhones. Is Watson leading us into a whole new era of cognitive computing? This fascinating Fast Company article puts Watson in the context of today’s data-driven world and speculates on a future that’s much bigger than talking smart phones.

-Updates 7.3 Database Trends 9.3 Internet Issues: Ethical and Political Dilemmas

A Big Picture of Big Data

The Internet teems with data waiting to be analyzed by companies, government, and savvy individuals. Big data has become an industry buzzword as more businesses and governments find ways to tap into the mountains of data our digital devices produce every day. Photographer Rick Smolan’s latest project is to make big data—and its impact on us—visible. This Huffington Post article describes this crowdsourced work of art and includes a direct link to The Human Face of Big Data.

-Updates 13.3 E-Business 2.0: Reinventing Web Commerce 7.3 Database Trends

The Big Impact of Big Data

One of the biggest buzz words in the computer industry today is actually two words: Big Data. Massive increases in computing power have made mountains of data accessible to businesses and governments. How does big data affect you? A page on the IBM site gives a quick overview of the business world of big data, while a pair of NPR stories aired in late 2011 focus on the impact of big data on our lives.

-Cross Currents 10.3 Security, Privacy, Freedom, and Ethics 10.5 Human Questions for a Computer Age 13.3 E-Business 2.0: Reinventing Web Commerce 13.4 E-Commerce Ethics 7.3 Database Trends 7.4 No Secrets: Computers and Privacy

Show Us the Data. (It’s Ours, After All.)

Who owns your data? If somebody else collects information about you, should you have the legal right to see and use that information? New York Times Columnist Richard Thaler argues that consumers and businesses alike would benefit from laws ensuring that you have access to your information.
Read on New York Times site