Category Archives: Search

Data Monopolists Like Google Are Threatening the Economy

Description: The White House recently released a report about the danger of big data in our lives. Its main focus was the same old topic of how it can hurt customer privacy.

Source: HBR.com

Date: March 2, 2015

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Federal government regulators must ask themselves: Should data that only one company owns, to the extent that it prevents others from entering the market, be considered a form of monopoly?

The search market is a perfect example of data as an unfair barrier-to-entry. Google revolutionized the search market in 1996 when it introduced a search-engine algorithm based on the concept of website importance — the famous PageRank algorithm. But search algorithms have significantly evolved since then, and today, most of the modern search engines are based on machine learning algorithms combining thousands of factors — only one of which is the PageRank of a website. Today, the most prominent factors are historical search query logs and their corresponding search result clicks. Studies show that the historical search improves search results up to 31%. In effect, today’s search engines cannot reach high-quality results without this historical user behavior.  Read the rest of the Story

Questions for discussion:

1.  Do monopolies  in the information markets hurt competition? yes or no   — explain.

2.  Do you see a lot of new entries into this marketspace in the future?  is that important?  explain

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?

Disruptions: Data Without Context Tells a Misleading Story

Description: Several years ago, Google, aware of how many of us were sneezing and coughing, created a fancy equation on its Web site to figure out just how many people had influenza. The math works like this: people’s location + flu-related search queries on Google + some really smart algorithms = the number of people with the flu in the United States.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 24, 2013

25bits-disrupt-tmagArticle

In today’s digitally connected world, data is everywhere: in our phones, search queries, friendships, dating profiles, cars, food, reading habits. Almost everything we touch is part of a larger data set. But the people and companies that interpret the data may fail to apply background and outside conditions to the numbers they capture.  “Data inherently has all of the foibles of being human,” said Mark Hansen, director of the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University. “Data is not a magic force in society; it’s an extension of us.”  Read Rest of Story 

 

 Questions for discussion:

1. How can Data without context be misleading?

2.  Will Big Data eliminate error, uncertainty, and risk?

Disruptions: Data Without Context Tells a Misleading Story

Description: Several years ago, Google, aware of how many of us were sneezing and coughing, created a fancy equation on its Web site to figure out just how many people had influenza. The math works like this: people’s location + flu-related search queries on Google + some really smart algorithms = the number of people with the flu in the United States.

Source: NYTimes.com

Date: Feb 24, 2013

25bits-disrupt-tmagArticle

In today’s digitally connected world, data is everywhere: in our phones, search queries, friendships, dating profiles, cars, food, reading habits. Almost everything we touch is part of a larger data set. But the people and companies that interpret the data may fail to apply background and outside conditions to the numbers they capture.  “Data inherently has all of the foibles of being human,” said Mark Hansen, director of the David and Helen Gurley Brown Institute for Media Innovation at Columbia University. “Data is not a magic force in society; it’s an extension of us.”  Read Rest of Story 

 

 Questions for discussion:

1. How can Data without context be misleading?

2.  Will Big Data eliminate error, uncertainty, and risk?

Facebook May Soon Be Tracking You At All Times

Description: Facebook already knows who all of your friends are, when you broke up with your last girlfriend/boyfriend and what you did or wish you didn’t do on spring break last year. But if that wasn’t enough, Facebook may soon be tracking you at all times.

Source: Forbes.com

Date: Feb 5, 2013Facebook Tracking

Facebook users have already been voluntarily “Checking-In” to the social networking site to update statuses with a current location. This new app will take this idea into a more extreme direction and remove the voluntary part of the equation. It will be interesting to see what users are OK with Facebook knowing where they are some of the time, but not all of the time. Then there’s similar apps by Apple and Google that track and record user’s locations in order to share with friends.

In an effort to increase its mobile product, while also increasing revenue across all platforms, a Facebook tracking app makes a lot of sense — though it may be better for the social networking site’s advertisers rather than its users. Read Rest of Story 

  Questions for discussion:

1. Facebook is “developing a smartphone application that will track the location of users … even when the program isn’t open on a handset.”   Is this a good thing?  Why or Why Not

2.  How do you feel this will accepted in the marketplace?

Fortunes of Facebook May Hinge on Searches

Description: “If Facebook would decide to become serious about search, it would be in a position to give Google a run for its money,” said Karsten Weide, an analyst with IDC, a financial research company.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Date: Jan 14, 2013

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Nearly a year after it announced its bid to go public, Facebook is confronting the ultimate burden of the information age: how to help its users find what they are looking for amid the billions of pictures, “likes” and status updates they post every day.

The next frontier that Facebook needs to conquer, analysts say, is search. That would help it significantly expand revenues and, in turn, its market value. “Search, I would say, is a very high priority for Facebook,” Colin Sebastian, an analyst for Robert W. Baird & Company said. “Facebook has this incredible treasure trove of unstructured data on the site.”

Read Rest of Story 

 Questions for discussion:

1. The article talks about noisy data, what is it and what is the opportunity for Facebook?

2.  Do you feel Facebook will be successful in search advertising model, that will create a stream of revenue comparable to Google? Why or why not?