Tag: data mining

Tech talking out of both sides of its mouth

noun: hypocrisy; plural noun: hypocrisies

    1. the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform; pretense.

Bob Hoffman calls out those steeped in the practice:

The Silicon Valley aristocracy, who have made billions and billions of dollars by collecting ungodly amounts of personal information about us, came out in force yesterday to denounce governments for collecting ungodly amounts of personal information about us.

They’re shocked — shocked I tell you! — at the intrusion into our privacy.

I have two words for these greedy, lying, hypocrites: screw you.

It’s one of the finer rants I’ve have seen on the interwebspheres, and is worth a full read.

Privacy invasion aside, I think big data marketing is not the panacea it is believed to be. Further, as the data set continues to grow, the return on mining investment will head the opposite direction.

MG signing off (to reset Safari, much as he does after almost every web page he visits)

Practice diligence to avoid fear of the web

Eduardo Porter of the New York Times:

A few months ago, I nervously created my first Facebook page with the minimum necessary information to view pictures posted by old friends.

I returned to the page a few days later to discover that somehow it had found out both the name of my college and my graduation class, displaying them under my name. I have not returned since. In the back of my mind, I fear a 28-year-old hacker and a couple of Russians have gathered two more facts about me that I would rather they didn’t have. And it’s way too late to take my life offline.

There is no doubt that Facebook knows a lot about you. Me too, and I’ve only been on it a few weeks.

I’ve spent my time configuring my profile with an eye to keep my friends protected – plenty of lists with different access rights, for business and pleasure, and I’ve taken to ignoring most apps (with particular emphasis on polls and the like). While it is but simple diligence, I’m pretty sure it will do the trick just fine for “marketing threats.” But only time will tell. If you are still running around the web like a chicken with its head cut off, you might also want to bookmark this free educational resource from Verisign on how to stay safe on the web. There’s a hefty section on social networks within.

As for Facebook itself having all that data at its disposal, well that is the price you pay. But you never know when someone might cook up a solution for that too.

Financial data mining goes grassroots

Now here is an idea whose time has come. You have shrinking inefficiencies in global financial markets, combined with more funds chasing fewer opportunities. Meanwhile, you have this burgeoning source of data growing on the internet (instead of just within S&P, Bloomberg, and Reuters). So, mine the internet for useful tidbits with which to make trading decisions. Nice.

While Majestic Research is looking for sales and income data (driven by consumer behavior) during their proprietary crawls, I say take the whole process a step further. Financial markets are less about raw performance data than they are about supply and demand, so use the net crawling techniques to develop sentiment metrics about companies based on how much they are talked about. Today’s lone blogger unhappy about some company’s performance is tomorrow’s pack of short-sellers.