Archive for the 'Information Technology' Category

27
Apr
09

Google flu trends: Web searches as pandemic sensors

COMPUTER SCIENCE PROFESSOR TIM FININ, an expert on deep data-mining of the Web and social networks, blogs at UMBC ebiquity about the swine flu outbreak and how Web searches can predict pandemic patterns ahead of an outbreak:

Google has had a special “flu trends” site up for many months that provides “up-to-date estimates of flu activity in the United States based on aggregated search queries.”

They have found that how many people search for flu-related topics is a leading indicator for reports on how many people actually have flu symptoms. They believe that this metric “may indicate flu activity up to two weeks ahead of traditional flu surveillance systems”….

So, is Google magic? The explanation for why changes in in the level of flu searches precedes changes in the level of flu symptoms is more mundane.

“So why bother with estimates from aggregated search queries? It turns out that traditional flu surveillance systems take 1-2 weeks to collect and release surveillance data, but Google search queries can be automatically counted very quickly. By making our flu estimates available each day, Google Flu Trends may provide an early-warning system for outbreaks of influenza.

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14
Jan
09

Guitar Hero III > $1Billion

olano_small.JPGVIDEO GAME DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM DIRECTOR MARC OLANO

Guitar Hero III has reached $1 billion in sales. To put that amazing number in perspective: in a little over a year, one video game made about 10% of the total money made on games software sales, music or U.S. movie box office for the entire year 2007.
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17
Nov
08

New Media Revolution?

Sociology Professor Zeynep Tufekci
ZTNov18.bmpNew media is inextricably linked to how youth socialize, play, learn, communicate and, now, engage in politics.
However, what we have witnessed should not be interpreted as a mere result of clever and strategic deployment of a shiny new tool. President-Elect Barack Obama’s campaign certainly made great use of new media format. But it’s a mistake to assume that youth are ripe for plucking by whomever happens to friend them on Facebook.
New media allows youth to organize more efficiently but it cannot by itself generate interest or allegiance to a political party or philosophy; it can, however, make it easier to be part of a civic community.
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