research

Facebook made lots of headlines a few months ago when people discovered that their news feeds had been manipulated for research purposes. Many people were shocked that they’d been unwitting participants in massive social science studies. But similar research at Facebook has also been used to help the company to determine how to best help customers deal with unwanted posts. This Radiolab program explores the light and dark sides of Facebook’s gigantic social engineering projects.

www.radiolab.org/story/trust-engineers/

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kaplan_tedxIn the last few years we’ve become accustomed to Google Earth and similar apps that give us the power to “go” almost anywhere in a matter of seconds. Massive geographical databases put the world at our fingertips. In this TED talk Frederic Kaplan describes a research project that adds another dimension—time—to our search capabilities. How long will it be before your phone is a digital time machine?
ted.com/talks/frederic_kaplan_how_i_built_an_information_time_machine.html

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Exclusive: How Google Will Use Balloons to Deliver Internet to the Hinterlands

September 13, 2013

If you live in a city, you probably take the Internet for granted. It’s always on, everywhere you go. But for many people in sparsely populated areas, the Internet is out of reach. In this Wired article, Steven Levy describes how Google is experimenting with a system that delivers the Internet to these people using balloons.

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The Internet Isn’t Just for People Anymore

July 25, 2013

The Internet was conceived as a way of connecting computers, but its inventors quickly realized that the Internet was a way of connecting people. Now one of those founders, Vint Cerf, is working with Peter Gabriel, Diana Reiss, Neil Gershendfeild, and others to bring dolphins, bonobos, elephants, and other species into the Internet community. This TED talk gives us a peek at the early stages of a research project that could profoundly change our relationship with non-human inhabitants of our planet—and possibly other planets.

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Is That a New Tattoo or a New Computer?

March 29, 2013
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The smart phone in your pocket is a computer that’s much more powerful and easy to use than the mainframes of yesterday. But if this research project pans out, that phone may eventually be a replaced by a small patch on the back of your hand.

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Uncovering Secrets in Government and Medicine

October 25, 2012
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The information explosion raises important questions about the free flow of information versus the threat to personal privacy. These two TED Talks present cases for more open information in government and medicine.

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