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Sharing data for the common good?

How is shared data stored? Would a decentralised web give people power back? How to predict Hacker News article success? Who owns England? Why is my second startup different?


Sharing data for the common good? Nesta's new project, the Decentralised Citizen Owned Data Ecosystem (DECODE), is developing a technology which will enable individuals to be "in control of whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good". The technology is due to be piloted in Amsterdam and Barcelona:

In each city, 1000 people will be given an app through which they can share data about themselves to help companies or government groups create products or services to improve the city.

Interesting idea -- donating data to improve your community. 📈 For example, it could help to pinpoint "locations in which people feel unsafe or providing insight on how they use public spaces and transport". Read more about the project on the Nesta blog. 🚗

How is shared data stored? 💭 Or, "how do you get a bunch of computers, often distant from one another, connected via unreliable links, and prone to going down at unpredictable intervals, to nonetheless agree on what information they store?" 🤔 Yonatan Zunger explains distributed consensus - through the discussion of "bad burritos, sheep-tyrants, and the imaginary islands of ancient Greece". 😅 Lengthy but worthwhile.

-- Visual learner? Check out this slick animation explaining Raft distributed consensus protocol. ✅

Would a decentralised web give people power back? 💪 Intriguing TechCrunch article by Matthew Hodgson, albeit slightly old:

The Decentralised Web envisions a future world where services such as communication, currency, publishing, social networking, search, archiving etc are provided not by centralised services owned by single organisations, but by technologies which are powered by the people: their own community. Their users.

Key areas the Decentralised Web addresses:

  • Privacy - "data is distributed across the network and end-to-end encryption technologies are critical for ensuring that only authorised users can read and write"

  • Data portability - "users own their data and choose with whom they share this data"

  • Security - "decentralised environments are safer by their general nature against being hacked, infiltrated, acquired, bankrupted or otherwise compromised"

🛒 Instacart released an anonymised dataset containing over 3 million grocery orders. Some interesting findings:

Healthier snacks and staples tend to be purchased earlier in the day, whereas ice cream (especially Half Baked and The Tonight Dough) are far more popular when customers are ordering in the evening. In fact, of the top 25 latest ordered products, the first 24 are ice cream! The last one, of course, is a frozen pizza.

Download the dataset here. 😂

Officially under one year until the GDPR will be enacted! 👀 Check out Elliott Haworth's easily digestible article discussing the new data governance responsibilities, implications and the opportunities available around the legislation. Definitely worth a read. 📃


Predicting Hacker News article success with neural networks and TensorFlow - "Rust Rust Rust Rust Rust" has a 97.6% success rating. 😅

Does AlphaGo offer a "sobering look" into the future of man vs machine?

Take a look inside Europe's biggest data visualisation laboratory - which maps Bitcoin transactions across 64 screens. Highly recommend watching this video. 🆒

Who owns England? 🤔 Intriguing land ownership map - which combines "public data with Freedom of Information requests". 🇬🇧

Google launched a new tool for making data gifs. Nice. 🤖

🚆 Watch Paris: Metro map vs true geometry:

Paris Metro, via gyfcat

And lastly..

Check out this video + transcript of my talk at BoS Europe 2016 on why my second startup is different. In short:

Nick discusses some of the things that he has learned at DataSift he is applying to his new startup, from deciding when to take money, the good and bad of relying on large partners, dealing with organisational change in a high growth business and coping with the everyday stresses and strains of running a business in hyper-growth mode as a first time founder with a young family.

-- I was delighted to see DataBake (a Cognitive Logic side project) listed on Product Hunt on Friday. 🍰


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