Friday, March 6, 2020

Big data

Mapping America

What is this website potentially useful for? What kinds of problems could the provided information be used to solve? 

The information could be used by the government to figure out how it should prioratize resources in different areas of the country. For example, areas with lower levels of education may benefit from more funding to education.

Is the provided visualization useful? Does it provide insight into the data? How does it help you look at a lot of information at once? How could it improve?

The provided visualization is useful to quickly glance at America and see easily the differences between states without having to read raw large data sets. In this way, it provides insight into the data. The visualization could be improved by providing more options for colors than just brown.

Where is the data coming from? Check for “About”, “Download”, or “API”. You may also need to do a web search. ● Is the data from one source or many? ● Is it static or live? ● Is the source reputable? Why or why not? ● Add a link to the raw data if you can find one.

The data is from many sources. The data is live and updated. The source is reputable because it's from a research council. Could not find raw data.

Do you consider this “big” data? Explain your reasoning. 

I consider this big data since it corroborates a lot of data from all across the country and puts it into a more useful form.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Amazon, Ring Camera

I do not know the specifics of this specific case, so I do not think I can properly comment on legal liability. If Amazon's facts are true and if the people impacted did have bad passwords, then I would put the blame on the customers. People are expected to use good passwords; customers cannot blame a company for their own mistake, especially if they are warned. However, companies should make sure that their systems are secure with the most modern and effective methods.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Self-Driving Mercedes

My thoughts: My initial reaction to their decision is disagreement. Ultimately, I think that this is a complicated problem which does not have any simple solutions. In my mind, the priority of car companies should not be on solving this problem, it should be on making the car as reliable as possible so that these situations almost never occur. When they do occur, I think the best standard is that the car should try to do what is most likely to kill 0 people. Thus, if the car fails, it's a failure of the car that resulted in deaths, not a "conscious" decision to kill some people to save other people.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Data ethics

Issue : Consent

News article about consent : https://www.nextgov.com/ideas/2019/12/tricky-ethics-googles-project-nightingale-effort-learn-millions-health-records/161637/

I believe that consent is the most important consideration in data collection. Generally, I believe that the rights of the individual triumph the rights of the collective; thus, I do not very much believe in the principle that people can collect data on you without your consent on the justification that it helps the common good. People have a right to privacy and it's not much of companies to ask first before collecting and storing data.

The news article discusses Google's project Nightingale. It discusses concerns over a lack of notice given to doctors and consent taken from patients when Google collects medical data. Patients have expressed criticism over the inability to opt-out. The article provides justifications for their collection of data by appealing to the common good. I disagree with this justification and do not think that it is enough to justify taking data without permission.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Submarine Cables

  • Is it true that sharks biting the cables is a problem?
    • No, this is not a problem.
  • Cables can break just by wearing out - but what are some other things that cause them to break?
    • Damage can be done by human activity, such as fishing and and anchoring.
  • Who uses submarine cables?
    • Everyone does when they use the internet to communicate with 
  • How thick is a cable?
    • They are the size of a garden hose
  • How does fiber-optic technology work with the cables?
    • Light waves encode bits and transmit data at the speed of light by continuously bouncing off the glass-like boundaries.
  • What did you find most interesting about the cables?
    • I found the fact that they transfer nearly 200 tbps of data across continents to be astonishing. It's hard to imagine how much data this is. This data literally runs everything on the internet.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

IP Blog Post

  1. What is a protocol?
    1. A system of rules and standards used to achieve a universal goal.
  2. What is an Internet Protocol (IP) address?
    1. An address made up of bits associated with each device connected to a network (the internet in this case). It is used to determine where to send and receive data.
  3. How is it organized hierarchically?
    1. Different parts of the address are associated with different levels of specification. Ex: first 8 bits specify country, next 8 specify region, next 8 specify subnetwork, etc.
  4. How many bits are in an IPv4 address?
    1. 32 bits
  5. How many IPv4 addresses does that mean there are?  
    1. 2^32 addresses.
  6. What is the difference between IPv6 and IPv4.  
    1. IPv6 uses 128 bits as opposed to 32 bits, as used in IPv4.
  7. Why do we need IPv6.
    1. We need IPv6 because 2^32 addresses is not enough to assign a unique address to all devices connected to the internet.
  8. What is an IP packet?
    1. When data is transferred over the internet, it is not sent in one big chunk but instead in smaller segments of data. These are called IP packets.
  9. What is the difference between an IP address and an IP Packet?
    1. An IP address tells where an IP packet should go while the IP Packet itself represents the segment of data to be transferred.
  10. What is the purpose of the Domain Name System (DNS)?
    1. The purpose of DNS is to associate URL's with specific IP addresses of servers which host the website requested by a client. They need this address so packets know where to go.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Koan Blog Post


  1. Koan 4 - Processing is Power
    1. From computers’ inception to about 2001, their computing power has exponentially increased. After 2001, their computing power got better less by better processors but instead by multiprocessors. This development is what has allowed computers to achieve more impressive feats, such as higher resolution video, faster calculations, and more multitasking. This truth resonates with me because the advance of technology is something which happens all the time permanently all around us, is happening ever faster. Though history often focuses on politics and economics, the advance of technology is arguably the most important; it will completely transform our lives over our lifetimes.
  2. Koan 3 - There Is Want in the Midst of Plenty
    1. The increasing dependence on technology and its increasing power has pushed more and more data off of more traditional sources to computer bits. Now-A-Days, almost any data about anything is stored online. Search engines organize this data and allow users to access it. As a result of this transformation, Google has gained a monopoly on people’s ability to gain info; if it’s not on Google, it might as well not exist. This truth resonates with me because, personally, I am very anti-Google. There is evidence that they manipulate search results in a biased manner. As a result, people don’t get much exposure to other points of view. Furthermore, because of people’s dependence on Google, many don’t realize the benefits of traditional sources of information, like books and magazines.