A Map of the 1973 Internet

This is the whole map of the 1973 internet.

Reference: A Map of the 1973 Internet

Winner and Looser of 2016 US Presidential Election

Well, this morning, everyone should already know the winner and looser of the 2016 US presidential election. So, based on the spirit of this blog, let’s look at the winner and looser in infographic and predictive analytics as a result of the 2016 US presidential election.

Winner: Google Election

Google made it so easy to understand election status and results in one simple page with tabs for overview, president, senate, house, .., etc. The bar between the two presidential candidates is so clear that we know who is winning and who is catching up, as well as how many electoral votes are needed to win.

google-dashboard

I especially like the semi-transparent red and blue to indicate the majority stakeholders by states and the status of swing states in the lower part of the dashboard. In contrast to what Google is doing, other media does not use the semi-transparent colors for the remaining states so it becomes less clear who would win the rest of the electoral votes and is difficult to see the trend.

nbc-dashboard

On the other hand, the bar between the candidates in the Google dashboard diffuses the bias introduced by the area chart of the US map (implying large areas having more electoral votes).

The only item I would add to the Google election dashboard is to apply the semi-transparent colors to the bar between candidates as well. This would make the dashboard perfect.

In summary, Google election dashboard does a excellent job for the US presidential election. It brings clarity to both the status and trend of the election results in a very precise manner. It deserves to be the winner of BI dashboard design for this election.

Looser: Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics does a very poor job in this presidential election. All predictive models consistently say Mrs. Clinton would win the election over Mr. Trump. As we all know this morning, the prediction is a total failure.

538 is a pretty popular site about predictive analytics. The following image shows you its prediction during the night of the election results. The forecast had been in favor of Mrs. Clinton until 10 PM, when the curve started to switch to the favor of Mr. Trump. And, the switch did not become evident until 11:30 PM (at the big gap where red line above blue line in the lower part of the chart), when some people could already tell the trend before the forecast trend.

538-forecast

However, we probably should not blame predictive analytics for such big failure. It is because the strength of predictive analytics is to predict “major trend”, not a single outcome; and most of our predictive analytics today rely solely on “data” and nothing else.

As I pointed out in my recent blog on my site and KDnuggest site, if predictive analytics is purely based on data without understanding the underlying process, its forecast is subject to noise and bias in the data and could be very inaccurate. This becomes evident during this presidential election. Because all data were bias towards Mrs. Clinton, it predict Mrs. Clinton to win.

In addition, since the presidential election result is a single outcome and involves a lot of human factors which cannot be quantified analytically, predictive analytics may not be the right tool for the prediction at all! The totally failed prediction makes predictive analytics the looser of this election.

Predictive analytics still works well in a controlled context, but may not be the right tool for election prediction unless we are able to (1) quantify human factors and correlations accurately, (2) do not depend solely on data, and (3) fully disclose the prediction errors.

 

This painful video shows what it was like to send an email in 1984

For those of you who remember life before the Internet, you’ll know that from the early to mid ’90s, access made serious leaps from the realms of government and research facilities to the home. By 1996, approximately 45 million people around the world were using the Internet, with roughly 30 million of those in North America, 9 million in Europe, and 6 million in the Asia/Pacific region. And fortunately for us, it looked a whole lot more awesome than it did in 1984.

Reference: This painful video shows what it was like to send an email in 1984

Data Lake vs Data Warehouse: Key Differences

A data lake is a storage repository that holds a vast amount of raw data in its native format, including structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data. The data structure and requirements are not defined until the data is needed.

Reference: Data Lake vs Data Warehouse: Key Differences

A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

… with the help of a robot made by British programmer Joshua Browder, 19, it costs nothing. Browder’s bot handles questions about parking-ticket appeals in the UK. Since launching in late 2015, it has successfully appealed $3 million worth of tickets.

Reference: A 19-year-old made a free robot lawyer that has appealed $3 million in parking tickets

This tiny glass disc can store 360TB of data for 13.8 billion years

… To create the data disc, researchers from the University of Southampton used a process called femtosecond laser writing, which creates small discs of glass using an ultrafast laser that generates short and intense pulses of light. These pulses can write data in three layers of nanostructured dots separated by 5 micrometres (that’s 0.005 mm).

… While the technology was first demonstrated in 2013, it’s now capable of storing much more data: the team has already saved copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Newton’s Opticks, The Magna Carta and The King James Bible on these tiny discs.

Reference: This tiny glass disc can store 360TB of data for 13.8 billion years

Microsoft finally gives OneDrive for Business customers unlimited storage

Unlimited OneDrive for Business is limited to customers with the following subscriptions:

  • Office 365 Enterprise E3, E4, E5
  • Office 365 Government E3, E4, E5
  • Office 365 Education
  • OneDrive for Business Plan 2
  • SharePoint Online Plan 2

Reference: Microsoft finally gives OneDrive for Business customers unlimited storage