The newly released image of a black hole (below) is a watershed moment for physics. Finally, we can put some of Einstein’s most famous predictions from a century ago to the test, but it was not as easy as pointing a big lens at the M87 galaxy and pressing a button. It took years of work and the collaboration of more than 200 scientists to make it happen. It also required about half a ton of hard drives.
Momentum is gaining in Washington for a privacy law that could sharply rein in the ability of the largest technology companies to collect and make money off people's personal data. A national law, the first of its kind in the U.S., could allow people to see or prohibit the use of their data. Companies would need permission to release such information.
Some computer scientists are worried that our ability to create data will eventually outstrip our ability to store it, so Microsoft is looking at ways to store that data in DNA. The company has created the world’s first automated DNA read and write platform, as PCMag reports. It’s not as simple or portable as a flash drive, but it could be the future of data storage.
AI has a data quality problem. In a survey of 179 data scientists, over half identified addressing issues related to data quality as the biggest bottleneck in successful AI projects. Big data is so often improperly formatted, lacking metadata, or “dirty,” meaning incomplete, incorrect, or inconsistent, that data scientists typically spend 80 percent of their time on cleaning and preparing data to make it usable, leaving them with just 20 percent of their time to focus on actually using data for analysis.
Data science is a growing and promising field that attracts more and more young talents on a year-to-year basis. The world has accumulated enormous amounts of data that needs to be turned into valuable and actionable information for business, politics, education, and economy. We do not even notice how the world has changed over the last decades. It is completely driven by data that defines which venture will be successful.
A bipartisan pair of senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prevent tech companies from amassing personal information about teenagers without their consent. The bill, introduced by outspoken tech critics Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would prevent internet companies from targeting ads toward children and require the companies to provide more insight into how they collect and use children's data.
When a bug in FaceTime allows strangers to hear and watch us, we get that, in the same visceral way we can imagine a man snooping outside our window. But your data -- the abstract portrait of who you are, and, more importantly, of who you are compared to other people -- is your real vulnerability when it comes to the companies that make money offering ostensibly free services to millions of people.
For years, Facebook gave some of the world’s largest technology companies more intrusive access to users’ personal data than it has disclosed, effectively exempting those business partners from its usual privacy rules, according to internal records and interviews.
With Europe passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) -- a significant piece of data protection legislation with global implications -- and now California implementing a new privacy law, coupled with several high-profile incidents involving companies exposing consumer data, there is a growing push for federal data privacy legislation in the United States.
"Every day, billions of dollars change hands, and countless decisions are made, on the basis of our likes and dislikes, our friends and families, our relationships and conversations. Our wishes and fears, our hopes and dreams," Cook said. "These scraps of data, each one harmless enough on its own, are carefully assembled, synthesized, traded, and sold."