Fun with Big Data?

What news in the world of big data is interesting—and doesn’t mention hacking or Russia for a change?

Survey this: Nate Silver (aka the pollster-who-wasn't-supposed-to-get-it-wrong) and colleagues explore how data and transparency might fare in the Trump administration with respect to politics, economics, the environment, and criminal justice in this FiveThirtyEight podcast. And while polling may have been pathetic in the U.S., NPR found even worse results in the UK and France. 

Data ahoy! Is a cruise in your future? Carnival will now be giving passengers a smart medallion that can automatically open your stateroom door, tailor activities to your preferences, get food delivered to you poolside–and collect lots of data (and not just about your shuffleboard score). Creepy? (NYT) 

Urban IQ: Cities are getting smarter, from self-composting trashcans to sewers with sensors. If the president-elect does focus on infrastructure funding, look for data to deliver more and better urban solutions (Quartz).

Librarians rock! Two clever librarians in Florida outsmarted the book-culling algorithm by creating a fake patron to check out "endangered" books. Evidently human judgment can't be shelved so easily (Boingboing).

Party on VR!  Oculus has unveiled Parties and Rooms to make VR more–you guessed it–social. Can ping pong (or beer pong) be far behind? Facebook has similar ideas (Fast Company).

LOL?  If you've ever wondered if data scientists are actually funny, look no further than this compilation. So...what's your verdict?

What big data development and ideas struck you as surprising, intriguing, or worrisome?

This post was developed for Worldview Stanford’s Behind and Beyond Big Data course. Each week during the course, we share timely media with our participants to illustrate how big data is creating new knowledge, new value and new challenges. 

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