TO DUCK AND COVER FOR DISEASE, NOT WEATHER

A number of years back, when the Weather Channel captured the crises/entertainment value of dangerous storms, I joked to a friend that it wouldn’t be long until someone launched the Sick Channel, where the same kind of entertainment values would be applied to contagions and epidemics.  Well it didn’t take long at all because now you can tap into a disease tracking system called Sickweather that monitors social networks for mentions of 24 different symptoms of illnesses, including “whooping cough,” “hand foot and mouth,” and “eczema.” And a system like this is to be expected, considering many peoples’ job titles include interpreting Big Data. (more…)

BIG DATA: VERY INTELLIGENT. BUT VERY WISE?

You get a red notification on Facebook and you click on it. It’s your friend (or likely more of an acquaintance than anything) and he wants you to support his band by “liking” his Facebook page. So you click on the link and show him your support. Every click of that mouse has been captured and is now waiting to be analyzed by anybody with the gusto to do it.  This is happening all around you, hundreds and hundreds of times throughout your day. (more…)