Big Data

One of the great frustrations of networked culture is how hard it is to find exactly what you are looking for in the scads of useless information that fills the web.  I always have the lingering sense that there is a vacation, a flight, a pair of pants or an article out there that I […]

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Big Data Meets Small Data

by JenniferCobb on 07/10/2012

I recently attended a day full of Big Data conversations at UC Berkeley. We heard from investors and startups, academics and technology professionals.  These people are thinking hard about the promises of Big Data.  I left with one overriding thought.  Big Data must remain deeply connected to the relatively small but very powerful element of […]

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Monetizing Privacy

by JenniferCobb on 03/20/2012

One of the first empirical studies about what we are willing to pay for privacy was released last week.  The study was conducted in Germany by the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) and included 443 subjects in both the field and a laboratory setting.  The study focused only on monetary transactions — not […]


Ethan Zuckerman, writing today in his blog about privacy and the public sphere, states that in the digital world, “Ephemeral behavior becomes a permanent record.”  This simple statement gets to the heart of many of the issues we are facing as technology becomes a ubiquitous and permanent part of the fabric of our lives.   What […]


More Big Data: What Has Truth Got To Do With It?

by JenniferCobb on 05/04/2011

There is a debate in the Big Data world that hinges on the old conundrum – how can we know what we don’t know?  It sounds a bit trite at first blush, but in fact, it is a very hard problem.  When faced with massive data sets, which our guts tell us house veins of […]


Big Data 101: Should We Be Worried?

by JenniferCobb on 04/22/2011

Big Data makes some people breathless.  And it makes others shiver.  What both sides share is the understanding that Big Data is going to make a big difference, in all of our lives.  Whether that difference serves the social good or not remains to be seen. Big Data is the information produced by our on-line […]