Articles on Big data

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There’s more you could donate besides blood, organs and tissue. Cropped from pulmonary_pathology/flickr

Why you should donate your data (as well as your organs) when you die

Most people know they can donate their organs after they pass away. But what about their medical data? For National Donor Day, we suggest countries create national databases of data donors.
Government ministers have defended Centrelink’s debt recovery processes as ‘working’ following an ongoing controversy. AAP/Julian Smith

Note to Centrelink: Australian workers’ lives have changed

Centrelink's debt recovery problems reflect an over-simplistic application of policy to the complexity of workers’ lives in a flexible labour market.
At one time, Bibles and Sears catalogs were printed here. Now, this building is known as the Lakeside Technology Center, one of the largest data centers in the world. Teemu008/flicker

The factories of the past are turning into the data centers of the future

Data centers are taking over the factories where workers once processed checks, baked bread and printed Bibles. What will the rise of the information-based economy mean for American cities?
Part of CSIRO’s ASKAP antennas at the Murchison Radio-astronomy Observatory (MRO) in Western Australia. Australian SKA Office/WA Department of Commerce

A machine astronomer could help us find the unknowns in the universe

It's almost impossible for any human to spot something unknown or unusual in the massive amount of data collected by our telescopes. So we're teaching an intelligent machine to search the data for us.
Shifts in our communication infrastructures have reshaped the very possibilities of social order driven by markets and commercial exploitation. Marc Smith/flickr

The price of connection: ‘surveillance capitalism’

Capitalism has become focused on expanding the proportion of social life that is open to data collection and processing – as if the social itself has become the new target of capitalism’s expansion.
A big data analysis indicates the focus on service line replacement may only go so far at fixing Flint’s water issues. George Thomas/flickr

How big data and algorithms are slashing the cost of fixing Flint’s water crisis

By tapping into diverse data sources in Flint, researchers can predict vulnerable homes and even have found that home water service lines may not be the biggest contributor to lead poisoning.
An increasingly diverse array of geospatial, network and time-series data is being used to generate new perspectives and insights. Here we see air traffic in England and Wales visualised over satellite images. https://www.flickr.com/photos/natspressoffice/

Quantamentals, signal surfing and fast walkers: mapping the rise of weird data

People in all manner of professions from economists and real estate agents to stockbrokers and doctors are beginning to recognise the huge potential and power of unconventional data.

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