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DataScan: Issue #35

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Is digital privacy making antitrust exciting again? Disappointing return on investment from big data?
 

DataScan

June 11 · Issue #35 · View online
Curated digest on the world of data.

Is digital privacy making antitrust exciting again? Disappointing return on investment from big data? Why are Bitcoin and Ethereum surging? In need of cryptoeconomics 101? Need help hiring (and keeping) great developers? 

Is digital privacy making antitrust exciting again? 🤔  Nitasha Tiku iterates how data is now the world’s most valuable resource and, as Silicon Valley has “cornered the market on amassing personal information”, this may lead to antitrust cases around price, privacy and consumer welfare:
An intellectual shift among antitrust experts could ultimately pose an existential threat to Silicon Valley—especially to the idea that its companies are simply scrappy, innovative upstarts that won out rather than heavyweight incumbents using valuable data troves and network effects to dominate one niche after the other.
– Interesting read. Especially in regards to the potential knock-on effect on consumer’s perception of the tech giants. 💭  Side note, check out this write up by David Dayen on what’s really going on with Google’s new ad blocker
Disappointing return on investment from big data? 💸  INTRIGUING read by Matt Asay explaining why abundant data by itself solves nothing:
This isn’t to say that big data is a big sham. It’s not. However, enterprises are years away from getting full value from their data assets. Throwing cash at the problem isn’t helping matters either. Companies need to scale back their ambitions to invest in projects that are more evolutionary than revolutionary in nature, looking to tweak rather than overhaul existing operational practices.
China uncovered a massive underground network of Apple employees selling computer and phone users’ personal data. Allegedly, they used the “company’s internal computer system to gather users’ names, phone numbers, Apple IDs, an other data” - which they sold for “more than 50 million yuan (US$7.36 million). 👀  They have not yet commented on whether the "data belonged to Chinese or foreign Apple customers”. 😬
Why are Bitcoin and Ethereum surging? 📈  Interesting curation by Product Hunt of new use cases for cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain. 🆒  In particular - Blockstack’s new decentralised internet browser looks interesting. 
In need of an explanation of cryptoeconomicsNick Tomaino explains:
Cryptoeconomics is the study of economic interaction in adversarial environments. In decentralised P2P systems that do not give control to any third party, one must assume that there will be bad actors looking to disrupt the system. Cryptoeconomic approaches combine cryptography and economics to create robust decentralised P2P networks that thrive over time despite adversaries attempting to disrupt the network. The cryptography underlying these systems is what makes the P2P communication within the networks secure and the economics is what incentivises all actors to contribute to the network so that it thrives over time.
GitHub released the findings from their Open Source Survey 2017 - which sought to “gather high quality and novel data on open source software development practices and communities”. 🙏  Key insights:
  • Documentation is highly valued, frequently overlooked, and a means for establishing inclusive and accessible communities.
  • Negative interactions are infrequent but highly visible, with consequences for project activity.
  • Open source is used by the whole world, but its contributors don’t yet reflect its broad audience.
  • Using and contributing to open source often happens on the job.
  • Open source is the default when choosing software.
Miscellaneous
😎  How to hire (and keep) great developers – some great points by Stack Overflow’s COO, Jeffrey Szczepanski.
🔦  WORTHWHILE read on how to avoid picking the wrong technology just because it’s cool. 
💰 Nice visualisation of the UK government’s spending
✅  Google released Data Centers - recounting a decade of innovation.
👾  Deep-dive study of how millions use Xbox Live.
💙  Turning big data into art - love the visualisation showing wind patterns below + see it in real time here

Wind map, by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg
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