Monthly Archives: January 2014

Big Data Explained

Description: Big Data is the next big thing in computing. This video explains Big Data characteristics, technologies and opportunities.

Source: http://www.explainingcomputers.com

Due to the issues raised by its volume, velocity and variety, Big Data requires new technology solutions. Currently leading the field is an open-source project from Apache called Hadoop. This is developing a software library for reliable, scalable, distributed computing systems capable of handling the Big Data deluge, and provides the first viable platform for Big Data analytics. Hadoop is already used by most Big Data pioneers. For example, LinkedIn currently uses Hadoop to generate over 100 billion personalized recommendations every week.

What Hadoop does is to distribute the storage and processing of large data sets across groups or “clusters” of server computers using a simple programming model. The number of servers in a cluster can also be scaled easily as requirements dictate, from maybe 50 machines to perhaps 2000 or more. Whereas traditional large-scale computing solutions rely on expensive server hardware with a high fault tolerance, Hadoop detects and compensates for hardware failures or other system problems at the application level. This allows a high level of service continuity to be delivered from clusters of individual server computers, each of which may be prone to failure. Processing vast quantities of data across large, lower-cost distributed computing infrastructures therefore becomes a viable proposition.     READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  What is Big Data and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for Big Data and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

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Amazon Web Services Websites

Description:  Learn about how Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers a cloud computing solution for businesses, non-profits, and governmental organizations with a flexible, highly scalable, and low-cost way to deliver their websites and web applications.

Source: AWS Cloud

Date: Sept 4, 2013

 

This short video helps explain the benefits of running your website on Amazon Web Services. You’ll learn about the low-cost, pay only for what you use pricing model and the elastic scalability that helps you match your resources to the demands of your users. You’ll also find out about the flexibility you have to run any software you want and how this can help you get your website to market faster.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1.  What is AWS (Amazon Web Services and why is it important?

2.  What potential applications do you see for AWS and in what industries will this add the greatest value?

 

Listen to Pandora, and It Listens Back

Description:  After years of customizing playlists to individual listeners by analyzing components of the songs they like, then playing them tracks with similar traits, the company has started data-mining users’ musical tastes for clues about the kinds of ads most likely to engage them.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Jan 4, 2014

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A few services, like Pandora, Amazon and Netflix, were early in developing algorithms to recommend products based on an individual customer’s preferences or those of people with similar profiles. Now, some companies are trying to differentiate themselves by using their proprietary data sets to make deeper inferences about individuals and try to influence their behavior.

This online ad customization technique is known as behavioral targeting, but Pandora adds a music layer. Pandora has collected song preference and other details about more than 200 million registered users, and those people have expressed their song likes and dislikes by pressing the site’s thumbs-up and thumbs-down buttons more than 35 billion times. Because Pandora needs to understand the type of device a listener is using in order to deliver songs in a playable format, its system also knows whether people are tuning in from their cars, from iPhones or Android phones or from desktops.

So it seems only logical for the company to start seeking correlations between users’ listening habits and the kinds of ads they might be most receptive to.  READ REST OF STORY 

Questions for discussion:

1. Do you feel companies that are trying to differentiate themselves by using their proprietary data sets to make deeper inferences about individuals and try to influence their behavior is ethical? Why or Why not?

2.  If you were a company that had access to this type of data, how would you price this type of asset in the marketplace?  Who are your potential customers ?

Algorithms        iPhones or Android