Recommending Discretion to Recommender Systems

You have seen recommender systems in action.  Visiting this blog will result in ads that are targeted to your preferences.  If you shop on-line, every item you view and/or purchase will trigger suggestions for other items that you may want to purchase. These are powerful systems utilizing very complex and vast swaths of data to… Continue reading Recommending Discretion to Recommender Systems

Little Brother Strikes Back

One of the great things about being the official source of information is that, well, you are official. Every nation has departments dedicated to collecting data, analyzing data (some would argue manipulate) and publishing results. These results, be it the unemployment rate or rate of inflation, becomes the official world view. A company in San… Continue reading Little Brother Strikes Back

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, er, Failure

In this age of Big Data, the emerging field of Data Science is promising breakthrough changes for companies by looking at, well, everything, in new and different ways. It is true that some significant changes and new ideas are coming out of the Data Science realm. What disturbs me is if one was to search… Continue reading Standing on the Shoulders of Giants, er, Failure

Taxes, TVs and the Law of the Land

Watching TV through an antennae has always been “free”.  In return for watching advertisements you could watch the programs. A company called Aereo has extended that concept.  It established hundreds of  TV antennas that pick up free broadcast TV and post live feeds to the Internet. The idea is that consumers with antennas do not normally… Continue reading Taxes, TVs and the Law of the Land

The Paradox of Improvement

In this age of transition, who is best to take the lead; an optimist or a pessimist?  As G.K. Chesterton said: … optimists are more practical reformers than pessimists. Superficially, one would imagine that the railer would be the reformer; that the man who thought that everything was wrong would be the man to put… Continue reading The Paradox of Improvement

Finding Something by Looking at Nothing

NASA has recently announced they have found evidence of dark matter by, um, not finding it.  After studying over year’s worth of data, positrons — the antimatter partner particles of electrons — that suggest they were created when particles of dark matter collided and annihilated each other. In this time of vast data accumulation, much… Continue reading Finding Something by Looking at Nothing