Monday, October 13, 2014

Big Data in Creative Fields

Interesting article in Forbes discussing how big data and analytics are being used in creative fields where human intuition has traditionally been used to make decisions. 

Thanks Hazel Yang for the link!

Jobs of the Future

Interesting article on the uncertain and fascinating future of jobs and the workforce. This article suggests that technology will free up human beings from mundane and routine tasks, so they can spend their time on more creative and artistic pursuits. Sounds like a wonderful future but raises important questions about who will lose their jobs first, and how will wealth be shared between the skilled" and unskilled citizens of the future.

Thanks Pierre Dennery for the link!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Tech companies VS Government on Privacy

Thanks everyone for a great debate in class today. To build on the points discussed in class today, here are two articles that talk about the growing tension between technology companies and governments about access to consumer data. The first article talks about Twitter suing the government, while the second discusses a new approach taken by Google and Apple to protect user privacy.

Thanks Phil Gara for the articles!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Some more on Privacy

In advance of our upcoming lecture on Privacy, here is a great article in AdAge stating the importance of "Privacy-by-Design", but discussing how its neither easy nor cheap.

Thanks Hari Won for the article!

Monday, October 6, 2014

eBay and PayPal split up

We all heard the news that eBay spun out PayPal as a separate business. A lot of analysts have discussed both positive and negative aspects of this deal. The timing is certainly interesting, with Apple Pay getting a lot of positive interest from consumers and media these days.

Twitter + MIT = Understand social Impact of Tweets!

Here is the latest - Twitter just gave $10M to the Media Lab to analyze every tweet and study it's social impact through visualizations. Very cool!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Is privacy the new norm?

In anticipation of our big privacy debate in class, here is an interesting article from the NYT about a rekindled interest and expectation of privacy online in millenials.

Thanks Hazel Yang for the link!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Death of Retail as we know it

In advance of tomorrow's class on omni channel retail, here is another article declaring the end of retail as we know it.

End of Malls

Shopping in malls and brick and mortar has been on the decline for many years now, as more and more customers are switching to e-commerce. This New Yorker article explains this phenomena in the US, and how it is driving brick and mortar retailers to focus on Asia and other emerging economies. To me, the big question is: how long will malls last in emerging economies until e-commerce/ m-commerce take over there too?

Thanks Hari Won for the article!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Price Discrimination in TV channels in Canada

Interesting article on TV channel bundling and price discrimination in Canada.

Thanks Charlotte Persson-Gulda for the link!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Privacy Problem

Pando published an interesting article on privacy. 

Of the 1,200 apps surveyed, 85% failed to disclose how they used information, while 59% of the apps ‘left users struggling to find basic privacy information’, the organisation said.
Simon Rice, the group manager for technology at Britain’s Information Commissioner’s Office, which is a member of the GPEN, said: ‘Today’s results show that many app developers are still failing to provide this information in a way that is clear and understandable to the average consumer.’
Thanks Jarek Langer for the article!

Uber and Big Data

Continuing our discussion on Uber (which never seems to end).. Uber published a blog post recently highlighting a very interesting use of big data. They are using the "destination" entered by some Uber users to predict where exactly their different customers go, and which businesses (restaurants, hotels, etc) they patronize.

In another fascinating blog post, they announced the launch of UberPool, which is expected to further drive down the economics of intra city transportation.

Thanks Takashi Kano for the link!

Fairness in Humans (and monkeys)!

Tuesday’s discussion in class on differential pricing and the backlash it can cause because of the innate human desire/ expectation of fairness was very interesting. This video shows an experiment with Capuchin Monkeys that shows how deeply wired our expectation of fair treatment is! 

Thanks Xander Boutelle for the link!

Exploiting Signaling

Building along the lines of our discussion in class on 'Signaling'. An article in the New Republic about how a startup CEO convinced a lot of people to give him a lot of money by "signaling" that he was similar to other successful startup CEOs. Fascinating read! 

Thanks Rachel Schecter for the article!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Apply Pay

Techcrunch reports from Apple's iPhone event on 9/9/2014.

"Confirming rumors and leaks, Apple announced this morning that the new iPhone 6 devices will support mobile payments. The feature, which also uses Apple’s Touch ID, will take advantage of NFC technology. That means users will be able to pay for goods and others services in the real world using the payment information already associated with their iTunes accounts.". Read the full article here.

There are also rumors about 'i-watch' incorporating mobile pay,nets using NFC technology. More on that here.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Subsidizing data plans may threaten Net Neutrality

Pando recently published a very interesting article on how T-Mobile's "Music Freedom" plan may actually be threat to Net neutrality. This article is especially important when we think about connectivity in developing countries, where large telecommunication companies are offering "Free facebook data plans" and other similar offerings.

Streamlining Tweets!

Twitter is a great source of information and news for most of us, however, sometimes there can be an information overload, especially when you regularly see all sorts of personal and non-informational tweets from people who you are following for a particular area of interest.

A recent Techcrunch article featured a project called 'Persona' which has built a machine learning driven categorization tool, that scans the words in your tweets and assigns them to three categories: personal, professional and social. The founders are hoping to monetize this value added categorization service, built on top of free tweets.

Thanks Zach Freeman for sharing!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

UberX vs Car Ownership

The debate around Uber continues. A recent blog post on Medium shows a financial comparison of car ownership with UberX. As expected, the answer depends on the number of miles driven, but the author estimates that Americans driving less than 9,481 miles a year would be much better off ditching their cars and using UberX exclusively.

Innovations in college campuses

The New York Times recently published a great article on the technological innovations for college students. It features many interesting EdTech companies, including Chegg, and Boundless that are making the college textbook market more efficient.