“The most recent example of how stark the differences can be between a filtered feed and an unfiltered one was the unrest in Ferguson, Mo. and how that showed up so dramatically on Twitter but was barely present for most users of Facebook. As sociologist Zeynep Tufekci noted, that kind of filtering has social consequences — and journalism professor Emily Bell pointed out that doing this makes Facebook and Twitter into information gatekeepers in much the same way newspapers used to be.”
“Just the way the smart home has single-purpose devices as opposed to overall intelligent systems, the development of intelligent roads, athletes and any other system made up of multiple components will feature single-purpose sensors for years before we ever get to unified systems– if we ever get to unified systems. This is unfortunate for consumers who will have to wrangle many apps and also because having multiple platforms can slow the pace of innovation, but thankfully sensors are getting cheaper and we can at least fulfill some of the promise of the internet of things while we wait for an eventual standard or service to unify things to arrive.”
“There’s data tied up in paper records that goes all the way back to the lat 1800s,” says Theodore Allen, a graduate student at the University of Miami and IEDRO volunteer. “So rather than working on observations from 1960 to present, we can work on things from 1880 to present.” With that kind of information, climate scientists can make their models far more reliable. The problem is that nobody wants to spend the time and money it takes to scan and input 100 million pieces of pieces of old, musky, often disorganized paper. “You’ll show up to a place and you need dust masks on for days at a time,” says Allen. “You’re crouched over running through dusty, dirty weather records in a damp room. It’s not very glamorous.”
“The future — of news, of storytelling, of knowing — has to, in some way, address this. The methods by which we filter and evaluate and accumulate information need to be transparent and readily interrogated. Not because openness is a panacea — it isn’t — but because knowing something is an iterative process which depends upon collaboration, and collaboration can’t happen in a dark room.”
“It’s dangerous to assume that numbers tell the whole story. It’s better to think of data not as a smoking gun, but as a trail of breadcrumbs. Metrics can point you toward problem areas or alert you to a potential issue that you might not have otherwise noticed.”
“General Electric plans to announce Monday that it has created a “data lake” method of analyzing sensor information from industrial machinery in places like railroads, airlines, hospitals and utilities. G.E. has been putting sensors on everything it can for a couple of years, and now it is out to read all that information quickly. The company, working with an outfit called Pivotal, said that in the last three months it has looked at information from 3.4 million miles of flights by 24 airlines using G.E. jet engines. G.E. said it figured out things like possible defects 2,000 times as fast as it could before. The company has to, since it’s getting so much more data. “In 10 years, 17 billion pieces of equipment will have sensors,” said William Ruh, vice president of G.E. software. “We’re only one-tenth of the way there.””
“Later this month, Toronto-based Arctic Fibre will announce major investment from several New York private equity funds. Soon after, the company will begin elaborate marine surveys, now feasible because of the iceless weeks in late summer. They’re the final step before laying fiber optic cable along the Arctic Ocean floor. And if climate and commerce permit, by the end of 2016, Arctic Fibre will have built a single, nearly 10,000 mile-long undersea network connection between Somerset, in England’s southwest, and Ibaraki Prefecture, on the east coast of Honshu. At a cost of $620 million, they will have threaded internet through the Arctic Circle.
It’s the latest, and maybe the most ambitious project in the global push to establish fiber optic redundancy, the need for which became glaring six years ago when several cuts of undersea cable in the Mediterranean Sea slowed or even stopped internet traffic across much of Asia.”