Showing posts with label Big Data. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Big Data. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

The Top Transit System In The World Suffers For Lack Of Tech

The MTA seeks high-tech solutions for its bus and subway crisis ‘A dire need’ for new products to fix subway delays and move buses through congested streets
New York’s subways and buses are in crisis. As it copes with cascading delays, traffic congestion, and declines in ridership, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) is seeking salvation from an unlikely source: the tech sector. On Wednesday, the MTA announced the creation of “the nation’s first Transit Tech Lab,” an accelerator designed to vet new high-tech products designed to help improve the nation’s largest public transit system.

The number one solution is Hyperloop. Speed up the construction of the Boston-NYC-DC Hyperloop. One megacity 100 million strong is waiting in the wings. The NYC-DC stretch will be a 30 minute swing, city center to city center. Which means If it takes you 20-30 minutes to get to the city center, you are within reasonable commute distance. All sorts of small residential towns will flourish within that 30 minute strike distance from the DC, Baltimore, Philly, and NYC city centers.

But for NYC that one track will not be enough. NYC needs to go axial with Hyperloop. You know how roads fan out diagonally from the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Something similar needs to happen to NYC with Hyperloop. With Penn Station as the hub, a bunch of 10-15 minute rides need to be carved out. Where I live in right now - Middletown, NY - is a sweet 10 minute Hyperloop distance from Penn Station. What that means is all shorter distances simply don't make economic sense. To that add 15 minutes to get to the train station both ways, and that is a healthy 45 minute commute to and from work. Such Middletowns need to be located in all directions from Penn Station.

You have to rethink real estate. The sector is ripe for disruption. The wooden frame house is the horse carriage. It's time now for the motor car: factory made metal frame homes that bring the costs down 50%.

And then you can hope to tackle the internal congestion. With this radial Hyperloop solution, you will also have solved the housing crisis. Houses are too artificially expensive. Everyone who has a job deserves to be able to buy a house. How do you do that? By bringing the price on the houses down. Manufactured homes have made vast improvements. They offer better designs than conventional houses, are far stronger (try hurricane, fire, earthquake proof ... bring it on, Sandy!) and are on average half the price of similar sized wooden frame houses. And you can set them up by cutting few trees. Heck, you could have tree houses.

You want the rural, rustic lifestyle of trees all around you, but you also want the advantage of having 10 million people congregated on one island. The knowledge economy, the service economy is the future. The soft skills will be in vogue as robots and AI relentlessly eat into the hard skills of hammering nails.

One 100 million strong megacity will also free up large chunks of land across the country. America should plant itself an Amazon forest. The top contributing country to global warming should take the lead on planting some trees.

Once you get the big picture correct and start making moves towards it, you can then come to fixing the trains and buses. Big Data is no substitute for fixing traffic signals, and orchestrating fewer cars on the streets, but Big Data can go a long way. Who says city governments can't invest in tech startups? A few good moves and the city debt is paid for.

Data is the new oil. The city could charge for the data it collects.

WiFi all across the Subway would turn the trains into the place where people go to have meetings. It will also help serve ads. I am for keeping the ticket prices down. The subway cab is where New Yorkers meet each other. 100 maybe thousand times truer than Central Park.

Google's Waymo car service is custom made for NYC. It is already active in Phoenix. Ends up if you don't need drivers cab rides are super cheap. And self driving cars don't need parking space, they automatically do car pooling. One person in a four seater car is the traffic congestion problem that is for lack of intelligence. Artifical Intelligence, that is.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Android Phones Should Machine Record All Talk

Android phones should machine record all talk on all Android phones all over the world and feed all that to AI, so as to later enable voice search in all languages. Literacy is over rated. What if all knowledge could be translated into every human language? And not just in writing but orally. Literacy is primitive tech. I like it, but it should not be the gatekeeper it is. You should be able to access all knowledge orally. Too many human brains are going to waste right now. Human beings should not have to do robot work. Planting rice is robot work. And Android phones should be solar and drone powered. The drones give you the Internet access and solar gives you energy. There is no wire in sight. If everybody is armed with a phone, we could provide police service to every human being at a much lower cost. Much, much lower cost. 911 would be an app on your phone. Your phone knows who you are, and where you are. We should build a world government, and get every human being to directly vote. You vote on your phone, you have a biometric ID. You press your thumb during the vote week, and you vote through the vote app. Barack Obama should run for President Of The World. POW-WOW. Everyone should have ready credit on your phone. You graduate high school, you get credit. The credit shows up on your phone. Google sends "checks" to your phone for all the data it collects on you, from which it makes money. And there is a Universal Basic Income. Food comes from Iowa. Iowa and the Caribbean, and Bihar. 911 is number one. Education. Voting. Credit. And you unleash unprecedented creativity.

Would it not be great? To have a directly elected President Of The World? Black lives matter, and every vote counts.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Data As Exhaust Fume

English: Dhoopkutty used to fume sandal powder
English: Dhoopkutty used to fume sandal powder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There is so much data that is being generated and collected and not used for anything at all, data right now can safely be called exhaust fume. Some is being used, but most is not.

Just being able to map all that is being collected, let alone making sense of it, is an industry in itself.

Being able to map and then make intelligent use of -- now that is a big one. And hence the term Big Data.

Big Data use that does not compromise privacy will go a long way. Think of it as excellent customer service. Half the time they don't even ask what you want, they already know.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Don't Push Me, I Am On The Edge

Agricultural Drones Relatively cheap drones with advanced sensors and imaging capabilities are giving farmers new ways to increase yields and reduce crop damage.
Ultraprivate Smartphones New models built with security and privacy in mind reflect the Zeitgeist of the Snowden era.
Brain Mapping A new map, a decade in the works, shows structures of the brain in far greater detail than ever before, providing neuroscientists with a guide to its immense complexity.
Neuromorphic Chips Microprocessors configured more like brains than traditional chips could soon make computers far more astute about what’s going on around them.
Genome Editing The ability to create primates with intentional mutations could provide powerful new ways to study complex and genetically baffling brain disorders.
Microscale 3-D Printing Inks made from different types of materials, precisely applied, are greatly expanding the kinds of things that can be printed.
Mobile Collaboration The smartphone era is finally getting the productivity software it needs.
Oculus Rift Thirty years after virtual-reality goggles and immersive virtual worlds made their debut, the technology finally seems poised for widespread use.
Agile Robots Computer scientists have created machines that have the balance and agility to walk and run across rough and uneven terrain, making them far more useful in navigating human environments.
Smart Wind and Solar Power Big data and artificial intelligence are producing ultra-accurate forecasts that will make it feasible to integrate much more renewable energy into the grid.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Big Data On The Way

By 2020, about 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created every second for every human being on the planet, according to the annual IDC Digital Universe study. At that point, the world will be looking at digital knowledge in the neighborhood of 44 zettabytes, or 44 trillion gigabytes, up from just 4.4 zettabytes today. (While the sheer scale of this expanding universe is impressive, it’s worth recalling that we sent astronauts to the moon and back using computers with only 2 kilobytes of RAM.)


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Google And Hardware

Image representing Larry Page as depicted in C...
Image via CrunchBase
Google has been a software company. The king of search sits at the center of all things web. I love Google like some people love Apple. When it first came out I remember embedding the Google search engine on my personal homepage which was hosted on Yahoo’s hot domain Geocities, by now defunct. I have watched it as it has grown. It has been amazing to me that although Google has become big, like really big, it has not stopped innovating. When small innovative companies become big, they slow down. But when Google became big it just started innovating at large scales, it simply started tackling large problems that only the resourceful can.

Social came after search and it can be argued Facebook got that one. But mobile came after social and Google’s Android rules the roost. Big Data is widely perceived as one of the next big things and Google seems well positioned for that phase as well. Robotics is all the rage and Google is making acquisitions left and right.

We have all heard of driverless cars and Google Glass. The Glass is already here, the car is only a few years away. One thing you notice real quick is the dominant software company in the world – used to be Microsoft in the Windows era – is fast becoming a hardware company.

Only a few years back Google was so adamant about staying away from hardware that when it felt vendors were not doing right by its smartphone concept, it brought forth the Nexus line of phones but under the aegis of outside vendors. Even the acquisition of the phone company Motorola was a compulsion. Google really wanted the patents Motorola had to dig in with Android that was being attacked on all sides, primarily by Apple. I never thought Steve Jobs had a case. You can’t copyright the Personal Computer concept, and you can’t copyright the smartphone concept.

But by now the reluctance is gone and Google is unabashed about being a hardware company. What happened? I think what happened was it is not like Google one day decided to give Dell a run for the money and started building PCs as well. What happened was smartness caught up with hardware. Minus the smartness hardware was pretty much junk to Google. But with the smarts every inch of hardware can feel like software. It is the difference between a tongue and a thumb. The tongue, it can be argued, is smart, it is sensitive.

Just like Big Data is right round the corner, the Internet Of Things is right round the corner. And that Internet Of Things is all about smart hardware. Your smoke alarm is smart, your refrigerator is smart, your garage door is smart, your toaster is smart, your car sure is smart. You end up with a smart home. You know the difference between a dumb phone and a smart phone. Extrapolate that and you get the idea. Your home currently is a dumb home.

It is not a sure thing that Google will dominate the next big things like it has dominated search and mobile. But it sure has a clear shot at it. It is poised to be one of the dominant names in both Big Data and the Internet Of Things. As to if will be the top name, the dominant name, that question is up in the air. It is usually extremely hard for the company that dominated one phase of innovation to also dominate the next one. Microsoft dominated the PC, but it did not go on to dominate the web.

It is amazing to me that Larry Page is no Steve Jobs. Larry Page hardly ever makes news, but Google is in the news on a daily basis. Steve Jobs was a dominant personality made for the media. Page stays in the background. But Page’s footprint will likely end up larger at the end of the day, perhaps substantially larger. I think Apple’s best days are behind it, but Google just might end up becoming the world’s first trillion dollar company. But if it does, it will have to hit that mark before 2020. It not, it will have missed it.

That is an interesting proposition because we are living through a time when the relationship between the state and the individual is being redefined. Companies like Google are all about empowering the individual all over the world. All Google users are global citizens at some level, to some degree.

Steve Jobs of course started out his journey saying you have to do both software and hardware. He was proven wrong as Microsoft took the lead by being a purely software company. And then he was proven right as Apple overtook Microsoft in market value on the strength of its iPhone sales. Perhaps the PC was not the right vehicle for the vision. Only a smartphone accorded that fusion.

Robotics should move from the science fiction space to our living rooms in a few short years. Amazon wants to deliver your orders with drones that will fly from their warehouses to our front yards. Giants like Google and Amazon are already competing in that robotics space.

So, yes, the number one software company in the world, Google, now is working to become also the top hardware company in the world. Where does that put Samsung?
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Sunday, September 08, 2013

How To Massively Scale Zady

Crowdsourcing and Big Data and a rating/flagging system.

I don't need to know Sergey Brin to be able to post an ad on Google. It is an automated process. I don't know Morgan Freeman, I mean Meg Whitman, although I believe I do follow Pierre Omidyar on Twitter ("Can you like tweet back once in a while, Omidi?") but I can list items on eBay just fine.

Zady runs the risk of ending up interesting and small. But it has the potential to be really big. And big is when you make it easy for people to get on the Zady train. I hope the startup has a great CTO who will put the brains to carve out a great tech solution to the scaling issue.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Long Data Is Still Big Data

Image representing Hadoop as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase
You add the time dimension to Big Data and you get Long Data. Long Data is still Big Data.

Stop Hyping Big Data and Start Paying Attention to ‘Long Data’

crunching big numbers can help us learn a lot about ourselves. ..... But no matter how big that data is or what insights we glean from it, it is still just a snapshot: a moment in time. ..... as beautiful as a snapshot is, how much richer is a moving picture, one that allows us to see how processes and interactions unfold over time? ..... many of the thi

Structure of Evolutionary Biology - Blue
Structure of Evolutionary Biology - Blue (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
ngs that affect us today and will affect us tomorrow have changed slowly over time ...... Datasets of long timescales not only help us understand how the world is changing, but how we, as humans, are changing it — without this awareness, we fall victim to shifting baseline syndrome. This is the tendency to shift our “baseline,” or what is considered “normal” — blinding us to shifts that occur across generations (since the generation we are born into is taken to be the norm). ..... Shifting baselines have been cited, for example, as the reason why cod vanished off the coast of the Newfoundland: overfishing fishermen failed to see the slow, multi-generational loss of cod since the population decrease was too slow to notice in isolation. ..... Fields such as geology and astronomy or evolutionary biology — where data spans millions of years — rely on long timescales to explain the world today. History itself is being given the long data treatment, with scientists attempting to use a quantitative framework to understand social processes through cliodynamics, as part of digital history. Examples range from understanding the lifespans of empires (does the U.S. as an “empire” have a time limit that policy makers should be aware of?) to mathematical equations of how religions spread (it’s not that different from how non-religious ideas spread today). ...... building a clock that can last 10,000 years .... the 26,000-year cycle for the precession of equinoxes ...... Just as big data scientists require skills and tools like Hadoop, long data scientists will need special skillsets. Statistics are essential, but so are subtle, even seemingly arbitrary pieces of knowledge such as how our calendar has changed over time
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