Why you need (and don’t need) a NoSQL database.

Let’s begin with a quick background behind relational and NoSQL databases. Historically, relational databases have been the general purpose go-to database of choice. They are battle-tested, feature rich, and proven to work. However, as the time went by — the volume, velocity and variety of data has increased dramatically… And as a result, we have seen the […]

Continue reading →

An Even Smaller World

According to Wikipedia, the six degrees of separation is the idea that everyone is on average six steps away, by way of introduction, from any other person in the world, so that a chain of “a friend of a friend” statements can be made, on average, to connect any two people in six steps. Stanley Milgram’s famous “the […]

Continue reading →

Predicting the Present – Extended

Hal Varian’s Predicting the Present talks about how our Google search queries can be used to build a database of intentions. Search queries provide insights into people’s interests, intentions, and future actions. An interested example cited in the article is that the most Google searches for the world “hangover” occur on Sundays; and that the most searches […]

Continue reading →

Hidden Gold Mine in FB’s Data Science Team

Facebook’s Gross National Happiness index uses NLP and sentiment analyses to measure how happy people on Facebook are on a day-to-day basis by looking at the number of positive and negative words they’re using when updating their status. Using NLP subject extraction, Facebook’s data team can take this one step further by producing a Gross National Meme […]

Continue reading →

Video vs Face-to-Face in Classroom Lectures

What Video Can and Can’t Do for Collaboration: A Case Study, by Ellen Isaacs and John Tang., details a case study with a goal to better understand how to make effective use of video in remote collaborative systems to support users’ rich set of existing interaction skills, rather than requiring people to adapt to arbitrary constraints […]

Continue reading →

Silk Road: Trust in an Anonymous, International Online Marketplace

Rocco’s Study Trust Breaks Down in Electronic Contexts but Can Be Repaired by Some Initial Face-to-Face Contact, published in 1998 by Elena Rocco, explores whether trust can emerge in electronic contexts.  Rocco explores the issues by measuring trust emergence in face-to-face and electronic contexts through experimentation. Trust emergence is measured through the use of social […]

Continue reading →

Last.fm Personal Experiences and The Spotlight Effect

Reading “I’ll press Play, but I won’t listen”: Profile Work in a Music-focused Social Network Service, by Silfverberg et al., got me thinking about my own Last.fm profile. The paper investigates profile work on Last.fm, in which the researchers found that users encounter remarkable complexities in having a profile and that effort is required to maintain and manage a […]

Continue reading →

Can Twitter predict the elections?

Peaks and Persistence: Modeling the Shape of Microblog Conversations, by Shamma et al, presents different methods for finding temporal topics from Twitter streams. In particular, the paper presents two key metrics – peaky topics that show highly localized, momentary terms of interest, and persistent conversational topics that show less salient terms which sustain for a longer duration. The paper […]

Continue reading →

Beyond Being There: Project Glass

In Beyond Being There, Jim Hollan and Scott Stornetta write about the value of face-to-face communication and the difficulty in solving the telecommunication problem. The telecommunication problem is about creating a sense of being there, by establishing some form of audio and video connections between two distant locations. I was most intrigued by the following quote from […]

Continue reading →

The Impact of our Online Interactions on Offline Relationships (and vice-versa)

I was intrigued by the discussion surrounding our relationships on community networks online versus offline in Computer Networks as Social Networks and The Benefits of Facebook ‘‘Friends:’’ Social Capital and College Students’ Use of Online Social Network Sites. In particular, I’m interested in how do we interact with friends online versus offline, how do our online interactions affect […]

Continue reading →