Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Few Links

1. MySpace has allowed a large quantity of bulk user data to be put up for sale: user playlists, mood updates, mobile updates, photos, vents, reviews, blog posts, names and zipcodes. Friend lists are not included.

2. InfoChimps is a bulk data marketplace with more than 5000 data sets in its catalog so far. The vast majority are free.

3. A Mulley Communications/NCI study shows that people do not pay much attention to more than three results on a Google search result page. Also that the ads on the right hand side of the results page are barely looked at.

4. Here is a video of heatmaps being generated based on eye movements.

5. It's worth looking at data-series on capital expenditure: in this case in the UK. A pick-up in this series should lead improvements in employment figures.

6. Ellerdale, still in alpha testing, tracks data sources from around the web, primarily Twitter, and examines what topics are being discussed. It then organizes these conversations into categories like "people," "sports," "politics," "music," "television," and more.

7. The most rented movie in Chicago last year? "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." This app on the NTY website allows for examination of Netflix rental patterns, neighborhood by neighborhood, in a dozen cities.

8. Netflix have announced that they canceling plans for a second Netflix Prize contest, one that would have involved the release of more information than the first.

9. Privacy concerns were an issue in the Netflix decision. Among the first to draw attention to the issue was University of Colorado law professor Paul Ohm, who said: "Researchers have known for more than a decade that gender plus ZIP code plus birthdate uniquely identifies a significant percentage of Americans (87% according to Latanya Sweeney's famous study)."

10. Here's a recent paper by Ohm on re-identification of individual data.

11. The deadline for Facebook's Ph.D. Fellowship Program has passed, but it's interesting to note that they have a particular focus on Internet Economics.

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