1. 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.

  2. We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.”

    The project won’t be restricted to specific diseases, and it will collect hundreds of different samples using a wide variety of new diagnostic tools. Then Google will use its massive computing power to find patterns, or “biomarkers,” buried in the information. The hope is that these biomarkers can be used by medical researchers to detect any disease a lot earlier.

  3. The larger debate is about what companies can do to their users without asking them first or telling them about it after. I asked Facebook yesterday what the review process was for conducting the study in January 2012, and its response reads a bit tone deaf. The focus is on whether the data use was appropriate rather than on the ethics of emotionally manipulating users to have a crappy day for science.
  4. 23:05 22nd Jan 2014

    Notes: 10

    Reblogged from journo-geekery

    Tags: data


    Via colleague James:

    From John W. Foreman:

    You see, the problem wasn’t “defeating an electronic keypad” at all. The problem was getting inside the room. Dan Aykroyd understood this.

    Thumbs up for the “Sneakers” metaphor.  Love that movie.

  5. What if the company kept the chocolates hidden in opaque containers but prominently displayed dried figs, pistachios and other healthful snacks in glass jars? The results: In the New York office alone, employees consumed 3.1 million fewer calories from M&Ms over seven weeks. That’s a decrease of nine vending machine-size packages of M&Ms for each of the office’s 2,000 employees
  6. the possibility of being present in the moment, it’s not having to think about, “How should I document this or remember this for later?” You sort of had the same thing as when you first got a mobile phone and started trusting it with the phone numbers of your friends — it’s not that you don’t have the phone numbers accessible anymore, it’s that you don’t have to remember them. It’s the same thing when you start using Memoto — you no longer have to think about taking photos of stuff you want to remember.
  7. Last year, 30 million wearable, wireless monitoring devices—including those used for medical and clinical use—were sold in the U.S., according to ABI Research analyst Jonathan Collins. That figure is up 37% from 2011 and Mr. Collins says he expects sales to rise to 160 million devices a year by 2017.
  8. "People often refer to us as a toothbrush company, but we’re not. We’re actually not interested in toothbrushes at all. We’re interested in health data," said Alex Frommeyer, co-founder of Beam Technologies, based in Louisville, Ky. "In many ways, [data-tracking] is the entire point" of the Beam Brush.

    Beam is conducting a pilot with an insurance firm and negotiating a deal to distribute the Beam Brushes to policyholders, who would agree to exchange usage data for incentives such as lower rates.

  9. Policy holders who download the Aviva RateMyDrive app will have their first 200 miles driving monitored, with the phone recording data on acceleration, braking and cornering. This is turned into a score which is used to determine their insurance premium. Aviva said those deemed to be safe drivers could save up to 20% off their premium…
  10. We are more susceptible than we may think to the “dictatorship of data”—that is, to letting the data govern us in ways that may do as much harm as good. The threat is that we will let ourselves be mindlessly bound by the output of our analyses even when we have reasonable grounds for suspecting that something is amiss. Education seems on the skids? Push standardized tests to measure performance and penalize teachers or schools. Want to prevent terrorism? Create layers of watch lists and no-fly lists in order to police the skies. Want to lose weight? Buy an app to count every calorie but eschew actual exercise
  11. The Flex’s alarm feature can vibrate on your wrist to wake you, but doesn’t offer a power nap feature (“wake me 25 minutes after I drift off”) like the Up’s. The Up band can also wake you at your lightest phase of sleep within 30 minutes of your set alarm time, in an effort to reduce grogginess. The Fitbit doesn’t do that, either. Nor can it replicate the Up’s trick of vibrating, after every long stretch of inactivity, to remind you that you’re turning into a gigantic slug.
    — Wearable Devices Nudge You to Health - NYTimes.com hmmm maybe if ever the fitbit dies I should look at getting an up…
  12. Of the 2,000 people who registered for the course, Cairo and Alves say around 800 remained active through the six-week period. Cairo estimates around 10 to 15 percent of the students completed all the work, with 7 percent receiving a certificate
  13. The digital team, under Rospars leadership, took their data-driven strategy to a new level. Any time you received an email from the Obama campaign, it had been tested on 18 smaller groups and the response rates had been gauged. The campaign thought all the letters had a good chance of succeeding, but the worst-performing letters did only 15 to 20 percent of what the best-performing emails could deliver. So, if a good performer could do $2.5 million, a poor performer might only net $500,000. The genius of the campaign was that it learned to stop sending poor performers….

    the Analytics team built a tool they called The Optimizer, which allowed the campaign to buy eyeballs on television more cheaply. They took set-top box (that is to say, your cable or satellite box or DVR) data from Davidsen’s old startup, Navik Networks, and correlated it with the campaign’s own data. This occurred through a third party called Epsilon: the campaign sent its voter file and the television provider sent their billing file and boom, a list came back of people who had done certain things like, for example, watched the first presidential debate. Having that data allowed the campaign to buy ads that they knew would get in front of the most of their people at the least cost.

  14. I’m late blogging this but I did manage to get my pledge in for one of the first batch of devices… I’m very curious about this but it could be brilliant, especially for travelling

  15. Beam Toothbrush claims to be the “first app-connected toothbrush” that allows users to track their dental hygiene habits