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Posts tagged ‘Big Data’

United States Postal Service & Smart Cites


It has be said that the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) could be as the eyes, ears and sensor network for the smart city.

According to a panel at the Smart Cities Summit in Boston, the future of the USPS may revolve around big data, Internet of things and smart cities.

Here is the  How:

  • Trucks and assets drive through cities everyday.
  • These assets could monitor conditions and the environment for things like potholes, potential for blight and infrastructure conditions.
  • Data could be delivered back to cities to enhance services.
  • This data enablement could be a new revenue stream assuming that the Postal Service would be allowed to expand into new services. Regulations prevent the Postal Service from entering non-postal businesses.
  • Jessica Raines, public policy analyst at the USPS’ inspector general office, who recently published research on the partnering possibilities for the USPS and smart cities says “There is a lot of potential in smart cities for the USPS,” said Raines. “Think of how many assets, infrastructure and people we have.”
  • nyc-smart-equitable-city-final

The Future Of Tech


New ways of sending data are top of the agenda, and new technology is being developed to speed up the process. Advancements will include the transferring of data between a device and a light source, as well as via audio frequencies that cannot be heard by the human ear, but can be read by a smartphone speaker.Devices will soon be able to deliver data at a quicker rate, while more everyday items will be connected to the Internet. Investors are jumping all over the opportunities abound when it comes to the Internet of Things and Big Data.


President Obama Unveils New College Scorecard With Lots Of Data


President Barack Obama unveiled a new college scorecard on Saturday that contains an overwhelming amount of data on everything from average annual cost to graduation rate—– to how much graduates earn a decade after leaving their respective institutions. The revamped scoreboard released a trove of new federal data about the nation’s colleges and universities

For the first time, the data reveals the share of a college’s former students who make some progress in paying down their federal loans within the first three years after leaving college. Moreover, they provide the first comprehensive look at how much students who receive federal loans and Pell Grants end up earning after they leave a specific college, both in the short term and long term.

The administration’s new data thats broken down by individual college and going back several years, won praise from experts on higher education data, even as they — and many college and university leaders, from a much more negative perspective — were quick to point out the significant limitations of the information.

What is significant – the government’s new earnings data reflect only the achievements of students who received federal financial aid, which several experts said would significantly skew the data and either understate — or, in some cases, possibly overstate — the actual median earnings of a college’s former students

Updated College Scorecard——the College Scorecard, features new measures of student outcomes at specific institutions, including graduation rates, median salary information and loan repayment rates. 

Democrats and Republicans alikeand the administration abandoned its ratings plan earlier this summer. Officials pledged to instead provide a host of new consumer information about colleges. The information released Saturday reveals student earnings data broken down by specific college and university. the department is publishing two new post college salary metrics based on data from students who received Federal loans or grants to attend college.

For example:

1.The first data reveals the share of a college’s former students who, six years after they entered college, earn more than about $25,000 per year. That threshold is designed to show how many students are making more than what the average high school graduate earns.

2.A second earnings metric is more long term. It shows the median salary of former students 10 years after they began college. For both metrics, the earnings data capture former students who received federal student aid at a college, regardless of whether they graduated.

The American Council on Education,expressed concern about the data. The revamped Scorecard may or may not provide meaningful information to the students and families.and the scorecard only provides a single number for an entire institution regardless of whether a student studied chemical engineering or philosophy, and only includes the earnings of federal student loan borrower.

A coalition of public colleges and university leaders have urged the administration to rely on the Student Achievement Measure.

Many data experts conceive that the administration’s focus on publishing some student outcome data, however imperfect, was an important step forward.

The new consumer tool will also feature “warning flags, revealing colleges that the Education Department has singled out for the extra scrutiny known as heightened cash monitoring, level two, because of serious financial or regulatory compliance issues. The revamped website will allow users to sort colleges based on their own preferences. In addition,they will publish the data through an application programming interface, or API, a web protocol that allows other organizations to easily incorporate the data into their own sites or applications.

Data Collection Technology For Office Behavior

Last winter employees at the consulting firm Deloitte in St. John’s, Newfoundland., used data collection badges, which are being touted as the next frontier in office innovation.

With a tiny microphone embedded in the ID badge tied to lanyard around your neck a mic is gauging the tone of your voice and how frequently you are contributing in meetings. Hidden accelerometers measure your body language and track how often you push away from your desk. At the end of each day, this badge will have collected roughly four gigabytes worth of data about your office behaviour. The badges were used to measure how well employees were performing in an open-concept space. Participation in the pilot project was optional and those who opted in were given contracts that made them owners of their own data. Information from the badges, which were created by the Boston-based company Humanyze, and gathered anonymously.  Workers were given personalized dashboards that benchmarked their performance against that of the group.

For the Deloitte team in St. John’s, Humanyze found that workers liked their new light-filled cubicles so much they were less likely to get up and take breaks.In a similar case study for the Bank of America, the team tracked employees at a call centre for three months.

The giant Japanese conglomerate Hitachi has also developed what it calls Human Big Data, a wearable device that is outfitted with sensors and collects data 50 times per second.Hitachi says the data gathered from the device is used to gauge the happiness of the group

Seattle-based Volometrix is hoping to help large companies bump up their efficiency rates by offering a service that scrapes the address and subject fields of email and calendar appointments from employees, and then aggregates the data to chart how workers are spending their time and with whom.

Microsoft’s Surface Hub


Microsoft Surface Hub is a gargantuan touchscreen computer that Microsoft is about to start selling to companies as a high-tech replacement for conference room whiteboards.

The largest Surface Hub, measuring 84 inches diagonally, looks like and lkie an iPad. The 4K resolution of the screen produces dazzling images. the going price is $20,000.00. The product is so unique – representing one of the largest touch screens of its kind. The weight is 220 puounds and expensive to ship.  The Surface Hub originated at a startup called Perceptive Pixel, which Microsoft acquired in 2012. The startup had an assembly plant in Wilsonville for its giant touch-screen device, which then sold for about $US80,000 and was used by broadcasters like CNN to display election results and other data. Microsoft said the factory, covering about 4 acres with 18 docking bays for delivery trucks, now has a combined engineering and manufacturing staff of a couple hundred people, about seven times that of the original Perceptive Pixel team. Although many components in the product will come from overseas, the Surface Hub will be stamped with the phrase “Manufactured in Portland, OR, USA.”

With the Surface Hub, walk up and join a Skype for Business meeting with a single tap, and share the content easily, so that you spend your time connecting to people rather than technology. And since you can easily send meeting notes and content, you can communicate outcomes and action points.

Interesting Data & Visualization

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The Internet Of Things & Security


The Internet Of Things is getting bigger & bigger. Security must be address.  When power is first introduced to the device, the authenticity and integrity of the software on the device is verified using cryptographically generated digital signatures.In much the same way that a person signs a check or a legal document, a digital signature attached to the software image and verified by the device ensures that only the software that has been authorized to run on that device, and signed by the entity that authorized it, will be loaded. The device must have protection from various run-time threats and malicious intentions.

The device also needs a firewall or deep packet inspection capability to control traffic that is destined
to terminate at the device. Once the device is in operation, it will start receiving hot patches and software updates. Operators need to roll out patches, and devices need to authenticate them, in a way that does not consume bandwidth or impair the functional safety of the device. Security at both the device and network levels is critical to the
operation of IoT.  Fortunately, this does not require a revolutionary approach, but rather an evolution of measures that have proven successful in IT networks, adapted to the challenges of IoT and to the constraints of connected devices.

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