Kevin D Jones

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How to see everything Google knows about you

The tech giant collects tons of data about you, including your search history, location, and voice searches that help improve Google's services and provide relevant ads.<p>But you might be surprised to know that Google can easily take a look at all of the data it has on you.<p>In October, The Guardian …

Predictive Analytics - A Case For Private Equity?

Framed Data raises $2M, 6Sense raises $12M, Reflektion raises $8M… The list goes on and on. What these companies have in common, aside from multi-million dollar investments, is that they are all in the market of predictive analytics. Predictive analytics is the art of making big data work by using …

Big Data

Wall Street analysts are pretty terrible at forecasting corporate profits

Investors often turn to Wall Street analysts for guidance regarding corporate earnings growth. Earnings and expectations for earnings growth are at the core of equity valuations and therefore critical in the investment decision-making process.<p>Unfortunately, analysts are not very accurate when it …

Use and Communication of Probabilistic Forecasts

Here’s the abstract from this important recent paper by the great Adrian Raftery:<p>Probabilistic forecasts are becoming more and more available. How should they be used and communicated? What are the obstacles to their use in practice? I review experience with five problems where probabilistic forecasting played an important role. This leads me to identify five types of potential users: Low Stakes Users, who don’t need probabilistic forecasts; General Assessors, who need an overall idea of the …

If Analytics Can Help Choose A Whisky You'll Love, What Can It Do For Your Business?

I’m a big fan of good whisky. Just to set the scene: in Edinburgh, our home-from-home was the Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS). When I’m in London or Tokyo, I always manage to visit the SMWS venues there. Since moving to Singapore, I live above a whisky shop. With Burns Night just round the …

Can Intelligence Analysts Predict The Future?

Answer unclear, ask again later<p>Intelligence agencies, the spies and spooks and analysts grouped under three letter acronyms, exist in part to answer a difficult question that dates back to antiquity: Is it possible to predict the future, and, if so, how do we do it? A study published this month in …

Is Big Data Finally Getting Traction?

Two consulting firms have almost simultaneously released two new surveys on the state of big data. Both show big data finally getting traction in the real world, but one is a shade more optimistic than the other. We’ll start today with a look at the more optimistic of the two: Enterprise Management …

Big Data, Machine Learning, and the Social Sciences

Big Data, Machine Learning, and the Social Sciences:<br>Fairness, Accountability, and Transparency<p>This essay is a (near) transcript of a talk I recently …

What U.S. Intelligence Predicted the World Would Look Like in 2015

Shortly before 9/11, officials foresaw a fundamental shift in the nature of power.<p>Nine months before the September 11 attacks—and just days after the Supreme Court halted the Florida recount, handing the presidency to George W. Bush—U.S. intelligence officials published an 85-page prediction for …

Jim O'Neill Warns Against Forecasting Oil Prices, And Then Forecasts Oil Prices Two Sentences Later

However, he actually wrote his Ph.D. thesis on OPEC and oil prices.<p>In Project Syndicate Wednesday, he writes that he thinks he knows where oil is going, despite thinking that trying to forecast the price of oil is a fool's errand.<p>I used to joke that the most important thing I learned from my …

Seeing Through the Illusion: Understanding Apple’s Mastery of the Media

<b>“Beautifully, unapologetically plastic.”</b><p><b>“Feature for feature, it’s identical to iPad Air in every way.”</b><p><b>“Just avoid holding it in that way.”</b><p>Apple’s public relations (PR) department is probably the best in the world — certainly more impressive at shaping and controlling the discussion of its products …

Russia Warned U.S. About Tsarnaev, But Spelling Issue Let Him Escape

The Russian government warned U.S. authorities that Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev was a violent radical Islamist more than a year and a half before the April 2013 bombing, but authorities missed multiple chances to detain Tsarnaev when he was traveling to and from Dagestan for terror …

The Iranian Nuclear Deal Is A Good One

This Thanksgiving had an extra reason to be thankful – the new deal between Iran and six superpowers. Last week, the United States, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China (the P5+1 group) reached an interim deal with Iran to stop their nuclear weapons program. Four key provisions were …

Businesses Woo Customers With Free Phone-Charging Stations

It's around dinner time at Honeygrow, a casual restaurant in central Philadelphia.<p>Erin Campbell was on her way here to meet a friend when she realized, with panic, that her cellphone battery was dying.<p>"I noticed I only had 14 percent [battery] left, and I actually texted her on my way in to see if …

Asus Transformer Book T100 review

Pros<p>Decent screen, good battery life, low price<p>Cons<p>Chunky, touchpad could be more sensitive<p>Price<p>£340<p>7 / 10<p>Taiwanese manufacturer Asus has been …

Top Bitcoin exchange explains virtual currency in simple web tutorial

Leading Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox has released a new website that provides a simple explanation of what Bitcoin actually is. The site, Bitcoins.com, is essentially a tutorial on the virtual currency, a single unit of which last week reached the price of $1,000 for the first time ever last week. Mt. …

Top 25 Informative Maps That Teach Us Something Uniquely Different About the World

<b>Population of Southeast Asia Compared to the Rest of the World</b><p>Maps can be great guides for more than just finding routes for traveling. They often provide insight on the rest of the world. Taking a look at certain maps can be incredibly informative, especially when comparing the standing of …

How an Unfalsifiable Counterterrorism Strategy Makes Us Less Safe

The secrecy of the national security bureaucracy makes it impossible to hold them accountable when their policies aren't working.<p>"Every genuine <i>test</i> of a theory is an attempt to falsify it, or to refute it."–Karl Popper<p>Congress is almost certain to rein in the NSA at exactly the moment when its mass …

Gospel of selfishness pervades American Christianity

The philosophers of greed now use Christianity as their cover story<p>Anyone who has worked in the restaurant business will be happy to tell you that waiters always fight each other to avoid working Sunday lunch shift. Not because they want to sleep in, but because it’s a widespread belief that the …

Anonymous Hacker Jeremy Hammond Sentenced To Max Penalty Of 10 Years In Prison

One of the most active hackers in the collective known as Anonymous and the source of WikiLeaks’ largest ever leak of secret documents was sentenced Friday to 10 years in prison–the most severe penalty so far of any of the activist hackers who rampaged across the Internet in the chaotic summer of …

Data, cloud, & mobile startups, pay attention: Wing raises new $12.9M fund

Good news for mobile, cloud, and big data startups: A newly established venture-capital group focused on those sectors just got some more money to invest.<p>Wing Venture Partners has brought in $12.9 million, according to a fresh filing submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s on …

Family-Focused Mobile Social Network 23snaps Hits Half A Million Users

While the proliferation of baby photos may be unwelcome across wider social networks like Facebook, there’s a growing interest in closed, more personal social networks built for private sharing on mobile. London-based 23snaps is one of them. This company’s cross-platform mobile application is …

What's Mine Is Yours (For A Price) In The Sharing Economy

<i>This week on-air and online, the tech team is</i> exploring the sharing economy<i>. You'll find the stories on this blog and</i> aggregated at this link, <i>and we would love to hear your questions about the topic. Just</i> email, <i>leave a comment or</i> tweet.<p>Not long ago if you wanted to rent a room for the weekend your …

Why Sequoia Bet $19 Million On Berlin's Wunderlist

Sequoia Capital has invested $19 million in 6Wunderkinder, a Berlin-based creator of the popular productivity app, Wunderlist.<p>Sequoia chairman and billionaire investor, Sir Michael Moritz already backs Dropbox and Evernote, and thinks Wunderlist, a mobile tool for collaboration and task-management, …

There’s one key difference between kids who excel at math and those who don’t

“I’m just not a math person.”<p>We hear it all the time. And we’ve had enough. Because we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably <i>are</i> a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. …

Mathematics

Careful what you tweet: Police, schools tap social media to track behavior

Marketed to police department, BlueJay Twitter-monitoring tool "has no IT requirements," explains the sales literature. "All you need is Internet and a browser." Also, $150 a month.<p>A teenager who claimed "sarcasm" after talking on Facebook about shooting up a kindergarten spent months in jail this …

Denmark’s bike share will be equipped with tablets

Meet the GPS-enabled, train-integrated bikes of the future<p>Starting at the end of October, the cities of Copenhagan and Frederiksberg are getting GoBike. It's like Citi Bikes, if Citi Bikes had Android tablets attached to them.<p>Why tablets? For commuters, they'll make it possible to reserve bikes and …

Golden Arches: Human Feet More Flexible Than We Thought

The notion that sport shoes and inserts should keep the human arch stiffly supported is a decades-old assumption that could use some rethinking, according to a British gait analyst who has closely studied more than 25,000 footsteps of healthy people.<p>Robin Huw Crompton, a physical anthropologist at …