All posts tagged data

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Big data has rapidly become one of the hottest topics in the technology world. We know what it is- immensely large sets of data that computers use to discover trends and behaviours of people- but what does it mean? Basically, big data is big knowledge, and knowledge is power.

There are many positive aspects of big data: it helps companies to provide more personalized products and services to customers and it assists with research on such vital issues as global warming and treatments for cancer. But big data has a dark side that can’t be ignored. As big data use increases, so do consumer privacy concerns.

Today, many apps and websites require that users share their location and give their basic information. With this, more and more companies are facing scandals about the use of customer information and whether customers are given fair warning about how much of their personal data they are agreeing to share. Just this month German courts ruled that Facebook’s privacy policy doesn’t provide users with enough information about what data they will be collecting- or what they will be doing with that data.

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It makes sense that big data and privacy would be an issue with such devices such as phones and computers, but the same risks are spreading to technology that previously wasn’t a concern. For example, cars are increasingly being designed with connecting capabilities, meaning they record and transfer information to an outside computer. This information can include anything from frequent routes of the driver to biometric analysis of who is driving the vehicle.

But what are companies using personal information for? A vast array of things. Like many others, the telecommunications industry, often uses big data for good: improving customer experiences, more efficiently forecasting demand, and reducing customer churn among other things. These uses are, for the most part, beneficial to all parties. But there is always the danger of manipulation. These companies already have private consumer data stored in their computers, and that means that it is at risk of any rogue employee or hacker with bad intentions. These rogues can use the data to make money, track someone down, or even steal identities.

All of this being said, risks around big data can be minimized by instilling ethical values into employees that have access to it and to encourage consumers to be aware of exactly what information they are agreeing to share and whom they agreeing to share it with.

With those ideas in mind, big data can be hugely beneficial to a company.

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All tier 1 carriers are betting for 5G. But, what is exactly 5G? Is it the next generation of wireless communication? Is it the need of more speed? Companies are starting to promise the impossible for the communication for the next few years. There is not an official and clear definition of 5G yet but the telecom companies are establishing themselves as 5G leaders, spending billions of dollars in capex and Opex to provide the service. The previous generations have been known for their speed of data transition, and in this case, it will be also remarkable. It is speculated that between the end of 2018 and 2020, the 5G platform will be operating at its best. The real advantages of 5G will come in massive speed, capacity and low latency, overpassing the levels of 4G technologies. Now, 4G networks are also improving, but still are expensive, power-consuming and demand complicated service plans.

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It happens to all of us! We buy the latest IPhone or Android and hire the best mobile plan, so we can make the best of our new mobile devices; spending a fortune on mobile contracts that often offer more than what we truly use. So, how can we know what plan or how much data do we need to match our use? With these helpful guidelines, we hope to make it clearer to you.

As obvious as it may sound, the amount of data we need depends on what each of us does on line. Whether it is on our phones or tablets, the amount of data used on our devices to scroll on social media will be vastly different that the one needed to stream HD movies. So, that’s the first step, to ask ourselves what do we need the data for.

Here are some examples of the amount of data used per hour in different activities:

Music streaming (average quality, 160Kbps): 1.2MB per minute, 72MB per hour

Music streaming/downloading (320Kbps): 2.4MB per minute, 144MB per hour

Netflix video, HD: 1GB to 2.8GB per hour

Photo uploading: 5MB per photo

Online gaming: 5MB per hour

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If you have trouble understanding what those numbers mean, let’s imagine that every day you see a movie while getting ready for work, (50MB), then you scroll your Facebook News Feed while travelling on the subway, (2MB), then at lunch you upload a picture on Instagram of you and your dog hiking, (5MB), and at night listen to a new playlist on your Spotify while working out, (20MB). All that data summed up gives a total of 77 MB in one day; which would mean that in a month you would need 2000MB (2 GB) approximately. But, to have an idea on how different the consumption can be, if you don’t stream anything but are enthusiastic on social media, send or receive 12 emails and use about 12 apps every day, you’ll use an average of 510MB per month. On the contrary, if you listen to 4 songs in streaming plus watch 12 minutes of streaming video the use would surpass the 2GB.

As you can see, there are different parameters to measure how much data we use and therefore to know what plan to hire.  However, whether you are a social media addict, or a youtuber, always remember you can minimize these numbers, by making little changes like downloading your music for offline listening, or make the best of Wi-Fi zones to upgrade your apps, upload pictures or download games. Either way, these facts may help you get a better idea of how much data you need for your monthly use, and with that in mind, you can find the best suited mobile plan and stop overpaying for unused data.

 

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With the arouse of new technologies and innovative ways to understand human behavior, the concept of city has change to function accompanied by innovation. The concept of “Big Data” helped to comprehend that people create information daily, and that this data -correctly read- allows organizations, companies and governments to anticipate their needs and act on it. Even though it is a relatively new term, it has already made something clear: we, the people, give out information freely in large amounts and that material can be transform into power of action.

That’s where the concept of “Smart City” takes place, from the knowledge that throughout technology and communication, policies to achieve better and more efficient cities could be pursued through better infrastructure and optimal governmental services such as security, health and urban planning. But how?

Even though people generates a great deal of information every day, it doesn’t mean that all of it is worth collecting. That’s where “Big Data” plays a fundamental role, since it allows to analyze and organize valuable statistics. There are numerous apps that limit themselves to recollect specific type of data, like Waze that reads traffic patterns to create driving recommendations or Google Now that predicts user`s preference to suggest actions (the weather, distance from work to home, etc.) That is why it is important to delimit the use that will be given to certain information to know what tools to use to read it.

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Since the key to create Smart Cities is to generate conditions for sustainable growth, meaning safe, resourceful, ecofriendly cities; the approaches that governments must take to walk towards that goal must be center in specific actions, for example: to improve citizens’ safety (using face recognition systems, mobility sensors, etc.), to ameliorate urban transportation (trough anticipation to traffic jams, better surveillance to accidents, prevention to bad weather condition, etc.), and to enhance citizens’ participation (creating open governments to decrease bureaucracy making the administration more efficient).  The delimitation of these spaces of action will help determine the information needed hence stablishing the use that must be giving to “Big Data”

Lastly, creativity plays an essential role since each city has different needs and must proceed at its own pace; so, it is fundamental to understand the priorities and requirements of the people to respond to them and create circles of trust that allows better and faster steps towards becoming a Smart City.

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