The new rules reflect Facebook’s shifting attitude toward third parties using its data, considered one of the world’s richest sources of information on human relationships. In 2007, with great fanfare, Facebook founder and Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg invited outsiders to access to Facebook’s “social graph,” the friend lists, interests and “likes” that knit Facebook users together.
Facebook said it reversed course after users raised concerns about their data being shared with outsiders without their knowledge.
The new rules don’t “make it harder for developers to build social experiences,” said a Facebook spokeswoman. The rules “simply require them to do so in a more privacy-protective way.”
Other social networks, including like LinkedIn Corp. and Twitter Inc., also have restricted access to their data in recent years. But Facebook’s changes have generated more controversy.
Over the past few years, big companies, including Unilever and Coca-Cola, have used emotions analytics to better understand customers' likes and dislikes and to tailor marketing and advertising campaigns. About a dozen companies are making and supporting such software, according to researcher Crone Consulting.
The market leaders include Emotient, a startup in San Diego, and Affectiva in Waltham, Mass. Unilever relies on Affectiva's emotions analysis to assess customer reactions to its ads. Emotient's software will be used in Stoneware's classroom product. And Emotient tested its software with the NBA's Golden State Warriors to study how spectators respond to activities such as a dance cam.
One of the first Big Data projects I wrote about was about the study at the Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology (SMART). It triangulated two months of weather data with 830 million GPS records of 80 million trips of over 16,000 Singapore taxicabs. Armed with the data which showed most taxis stopped moving when it rains, they went and talked to some drivers as to why.
So, on my trip to Singapore last week, I fully expected taxis to widely use navigation systems. Actually like London cabbies, Singapore drivers know their streets pretty well and don’t use those on a regular basis. But they have plenty of other tech - front and back cameras with memory slots to record accidents, toll transponders, displays for dispatch addresses, credit card processors, fare meters and printers. And fittingly, plenty of mobile apps like GrabTaxi which promise to find you a cab when it rains
The taxis themselves are somewhat humble – most were Hyundai Sonatas, newer ones Hyundai i40s. But they were clean, and the drivers polite and safe. And the fares reasonable.
Like the rest of the city-state, the taxi network works just fine.
Last season, some 68 billion bytes of data were collected — more than in the previous two decades combined — and this year that number will double. Such a dramatic increase in data could usher in a revolution for the sport. Coaches will be able to use the technology to track players' effectiveness, monitor workloads, and refine a team's in-game strategies. Broadcasters will use it to unveil fancy new graphics and ever more arcane stats to better explain the game. And fantasy owners will no doubt obsessively dissect the data, looking to glean information on player tendencies before their head coaches can.
Shah even predicts that these numbers could be used by research institutions to study safety measures, by agents to craft performance bonuses, and by clubs to institute player evaluations — or root out slackers.
Fullpower built the lab about a decade ago to capture data from sleep patterns. Of course, test subjects don’t typically snooze deeply with wires glued to their skulls, chests, legs, and arms. But almost everyone manages to at least nod off for a while, and the data that subjects generate are valuable and often surprising. “What we found early on is that sometimes you sleep less and feel more refreshed,” Kahn says. “It’s because you woke up in the light part of the sleep cycle.” The insight led him to develop a sleep-cycle alarm that could determine the best time to alert a person within a certain window. “Sometimes it’s better to get up at 10 of seven than at seven,” he says.
Orbital Insight Inc. founder Crawford says he wants to create the “macroscope” that will alter the world as microscopes did centuries ago.
The Palo Alto, California, company uses advanced image processing and algorithms to track national and global trends. One product estimates sales at 60 U.S. retail and restaurant chains. Others generate a global poverty map and predict illegal deforestation by watching for road construction and other signs of logging.
Customers include hedge funds, banks, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and Fortune 500 companies — “anyone who needs to understand the world at scale to make decisions,” said Crawford, who led the team that created the daily activity planners for NASA’s Mars rovers.
These images are a composite of oil storage facilities around the globe. Crude is stored in massive tanks whose capacity can be estimated from the shadows they cast. How much is stored can be gauged from the shadows on the interior lids, which move up and down based on the amount of oil in the tank.
“From tracking tweets and social media engagement during matches; to reporting on the weather and fans in attendance at the All England Club; to the on-court numbers like serve-speed and distance covered, IBM technologies covers all aspects of the game to help to bring the digits of tennis to life at Wimbledon 2015.
For the third Grand Slam of the 2015 season, SI.com has once again partnered with IBM to bring readers data-driven infographics and visualizations that help fully tell each storyline at Wimbledon.”
Want to work at a hedge fund or in private equity? Your employer might want to know how you measure up in terms of Cattell’s 16 personality factors, the Hogan Personality Inventory’s seven scales or the Caliper Profile’s more than 22 traits–tests that can take anywhere from 20 minutes to several hours, according to some frustrated job seekers. Interested in becoming a nurse? You might face questions from the Prophecy Behavioral Personality Assessment or Pegged Software, a startup founded by a former White House economist that administers tests to 3 million job applicants in health care annually. One of the most popular tests, Gallup’s StrengthsFinder, is now used by 457 of the Fortune 500 companies as a way to communicate with workers, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Some employers are now monitoring workers’ temperaments in real time–including the world’s largest hedge fund, where employees can track their individual stats on a personalized digital “baseball card.” Experts in the fast-growing “people analytics” industry believe it won’t be long before algorithms regularly sift through Facebook and Twitter postings to glean and analyze additional data.
“To make the numbers, Knight figured that managers would need to deliver 15% annual returns on all new business and capital outlays.
Today the network planning group of 70 analysts oversees this process from cubicles on the 11th floor of Union Pacific’s office tower in Omaha. The “smart guys” are anything but wonks. Many are managers from the field who spend a year or two in the department and blend excellent math skills with rail yard know-how. A case in point is Danny Torres, who spent most of his career working in repair facilities and depots, and now runs a network of 10 terminals in Iowa. “We work with a financial model that says, How much profit will adding this siding or extra track add? Will it slow or increase efficiency in other parts of the network? When it’s all taken together, will the total return reach 15%?”
Knight also built a second financial function that might be called “green, yellow, red.” In each of the big operating businesses—coal, industrial products, chemicals, and so on—Knight installed financial managers to evaluate new business. They enter the proposed pricing on all new contracts, as well as the extra costs in fuel, manpower, and everything else the business will require, into an online operating system that projects the rate of return. If the number is well over 15%, the system flashes green. If it’s on the margin, the signal is yellow. “If it’s red,” says Knight, “and it’s the best pricing we can offer, we let it go.””