Big data isn’t just about multi-terrabyte data sets hidden inside eventually-concurrent distributed databases in the cloud, or enterprise-scale data warehousing, or even the emerging market in data. It’s also about the hidden data you carry with you all the time, about the slowly growing data sets on your movements, contacts and social interactions.
Until recently most people’s understanding of what can actually be done with the data collected about us by our own cell phones was theoretical; there were few real-world examples. But over the last couple of years this has changed dramatically.
This talk will discuss the data that you carry with you; the data on your cell phone and other mobile devices, along with the possibilities for making use of that hidden data to reveal things about our lives that we might not realise ourselves. We will explore the types of data that is collected, and the online data sources that you could be usefully cross-correlated with it.
Alasdair Allan is a scientist, author, hacker, tinkerer, and journalist who has recently been spending a lot of time thinking about the Internet of Things, which he thinks is broken. He is the author of a number of books and sometimes also stands in front of cameras. You can often find him at conferences talking about interesting things or deploying sensors to measure them. A couple of years ago, he rolled out a mesh network of five hundred sensor motes covering the entirety of Moscone West during Google I/O. He’s still recovering. A few years before that, he caused a privacy scandal by uncovering that your iPhone was recording your location all the time, which caused several class-action lawsuits and a US Senate hearing. Some years on, he still isn’t sure what to think about that.
Alasdair sporadically writes blog posts about things that interest him or, more frequently, provides commentary in 140 characters or less. He is a contributing editor for Make magazine and a contributor to O’Reilly Radar. Alasdair is a former academic. As part of his work, he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of what was—at the time—the most distant object yet discovered, a gamma-ray burster at a redshift of 8.2.
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