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DataScan: Issue #10

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How can VR improve data visualisation? Have you played with Uber's new data vis yet? Has your Google
 

DataScan

December 4 · Issue #10 · View online
Curated digest on the world of data.

How can VR improve data visualisation? Have you played with Uber’s new data vis yet? Has your Google Android account been compromised? Are you in the “danger zone” from reusing your passwords? Have you heard of Amazon Athena? 
How is the Chinese government planning to leverage big data for a mass surveillance program? Can an implant enhance our attention, creativity and focus? What is the Internet like in North Korea?
A curated summary of the top data news from the week:

Data visualisation
Check out deck.gl - Uber’s WebGL-powered framework designed to make visualisations of large data sets simple 😍 - it “enables users to quickly get impressive visual results with limited effort through composition of existing layers” 🆒 Also – Uber now wants to collect your location data when you aren’t using the app..🔍
Evan Warfel argues that VR could “radically change” data visualisation to making “understanding complex data as easy as walking through IKEA”. 🤔 Warfel argues his point through some interesting visuals - with the idea that they would be easier to comprehend by being submerged in a VR “experience” where the “viewer can explore [the data] at her or his will”. This 3D perspective would make “data [visualisation] easier, less dense, and more intuitive”. Interesting idea. 👾
London rental prices - by Herwig Scherabon
Graphic designer Herwig Scherabon visualises the data behind gentrification. The Joy Division-esque diagram above shows the differences in rent prices across London. Worthwhile having a browse on the rest on the visuals - depicting income inequality and segregation in large cities, including LA and San Francisco. 😶
Security
Gooligan hacks one million Google Accounts
Over ONE MILLION Google Android accounts have been compromised since August. The attackers were able to “get to the lowest level of the Android operating system” 😰 Although they appear to have stuck to ad fraud, they “could have used the credentials to pour over people’s email messages, or to hold people’s photo libraries for ransom”. Check here if your account has been breached. 
Europol admitted an “very serious” data breach due to an employee taking home sensitive files on terrorist suspects. The files, which also included details on previous attacks, were found on a NAS hard drive - which was connected to the Internet WITHOUT a password… 😬
Over 26,000 UK National Lottery accounts have been compromised exposing the personal details of thousands. IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY - highlights the dangers of reusing passwords! ⛔⛔⛔
Miscellaneous
AWS launched a new SQL query service called Amazon Athena - which enables SQL queries on data stored in the AWS S3 storage service - with the goal to make it easy to analyse large amounts of data quickly. Plus - users are only charged based on the amount of data scanned by each query. 👍
The Chinese government is looking to use big data to “assign citizens a score that determines their eligibility for everything from loans to big data”. 👀 An all TOO CLOSE reality of Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four..? 😱
Neuroscientist Theodore Berger has developed an implant which stimulates the brain to convert short-term memories into long-term memories. Berger has now started human trials - with the end goal to “enhance human intelligence in areas like attention, creativity and focus”. 🤔
Ever wondered how the Internet works in North Korea..? 🙃 Instead of allowing open access, the government is “building a nationwide intranet that offers email and websites but is totally shut off from the rest of the world”. Imagine a life where “no electronic channel offers a truly secure means of communication” - alongside the threat of dissents being sent to a prison camp, or worse.. A frighteningly restrictive parallel universe? 😬
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