When the lightbulb moment went out

When the lightbulb moment shattered

Innovate or die. The mantra of the tech industry. But as data shapes the industrial landscape, the source of innovation is shifting. Improvement are now driven less by a human “aha-moment” than by data. But if innovation is founded on data rather than human ideas, the firms that benefit are the ones that have access to the most data. Which means innovation will no longer be a countervailing force to market concentration and scale. Instead, it will be a force that furthers them.

Will air quality be the next health-tracking craze?

Will air quality be the next health-tracking craze?

We are living in an era of obsessive tracking: our physical and even our mental wellbeing can be tracked to the last step. We monitor what we eat and drink to track the correlations in our lifestyle. But there’s a gap in our holistic self quantification – our exposure to pollution. Like our diet and physical activity, the polution levels we’re exposed to are unique to us all. Unlike the weather, air quality isn’t consistent across a city; it fluctuates block by block. And now – thanks to a new sensor – you can monitor your own personal air pollution data.

Data of our drowning coasts

Data of our drowning coasts

Our coasts are a delicate environment. Even a rise in sea levels by one centimetre directly impacts coastal populations. Sea levels have been rising around the world for more than 100 years, and now a data investigation uses information gathered by more than 700,000 data points to document these changes. This report by Correctiv plots 500 of the most documented monitoring points, showing the rising sea levels around the world over the last 30 years.

Augmenting data stroytelling with a new reality  

Augmenting data stroytelling with a new reality  

The media has long understood the value of visualising data to tell a story. And the New York Times is perhaps one of the most innovative digital storytellers. In the run up the Winter Olympics, the Times is taking its exploration of data visualisation to the next level. Using augmented reality, it’s taking a new approach to digital story-telling to show four of the top Winter Olympians as you’ve never seen before.

Pizza underlines the challenges posed by automation and inequality

When pizza shows the problems of automation and inequality

Two Silicon Valley pizza places show the challenges posed by automation and inequality. The two nearby restaurants – one, a family run chain founded in 1959, the other a new company run by proprietary technology and anthropomorphized pizza making robots  – perfectly illustrate the complex issues facing 21st-century businesses. However, for many small businesses, like pizza restaurants, the biggest problem is to find staff. And in a location like Silicon Valley, with sky high rents and limited affordable accommodation, staff willing to work in low paid, manual jobs are few and far between. Perhaps it’s time to figure out how machines and humans can work together.

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Posted in Big data, Media roundup On February 8, 2018 By

Author Bio

Gordon Laing

Gordon Laing

After years spent plying a trade in journalism, I changed. But journalists never really change, do they? It’s always been about finding and sharing the best insight. And always will be.

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