Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan
Director, Babilim Light Industries

Website | @aallan

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.

Sessions

Location: King's Suite
Alasdair Allan (Babilim Light Industries)
Average rating: ****.
(4.54, 13 ratings)
Big data isn't just multi-terabyte datasets hidden inside eventually-concurrent distributed databases in the cloud. It’s also about the hidden data you carry with you all the time, data that is generated for you and about you, but not necessarily by you. Hidden data, your data, carrying on its secret life without your knowledge, but with your implicit and implied consent. Read more.
Data Science
Location: Room 1-6 Audience level: Intermediate
Alasdair Allan (Babilim Light Industries), Zena Wood (University of Exeter)
Average rating: ****.
(4.33, 3 ratings)
Observing how other humans interact is so interesting that we do it recreationally, we call it "people watching". Evolution has equipped us both with a desire to people watch, and with the tools we need to do it, but it's hard to describe what it is we're doing. If we could, we could make our machines people watch for us, potentially yielding novel insights into our own social interactions. Read more.

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