Month: January 2014

Big data

The number of people that use internet increases day by day. Nowadays people can have access to the internet wherever they are using different kinds of technology such as cellphones, tablets, video games, computers and many others. This huge increment of internet users is creating a big concentration of data that is being called Big Data.

When you are using the internet for whatever it is the reason, you are generating a lot of data about what you are seeing or searching and creating Big Data.

The real issue about Big Data is not the huge collection of data that is being done but what is going to be done with all this information. The organisations (or whoever controls it) have to know how to make as best decisions as possible.

Gather data can be very useful and helpful for the human kind. With all of this it is possible to get and understand values that can help organisations to act the way community need them to, for example, modify some things to avoid traffic, identify the worst healthy problems and try to solve them or at least reduce some of the problems people may have.

Companies like Ford and Nike  has a team to analyse the results of analysis of Big Data to create new products to their users. They are using the analysis of Big Data with sustainability. Ford, for example, created a new model of car for 2015 that is lighter, uses aluminium alloy components and a new engine that reduces fuel usage. And Nike after a big data analysis found new alternatives to the usage of their materials. They are now using new resources for their production.

Amazon, as well, are using the Big Data generated by its users to improve their customer service. They have all the information about the user they need. Since name, address, phone number and email to what products they have searched and bought. They are using all this data to create a relationship with the user when he/she contact them for some reason.

Big Data and Metadata (that is the information behind all these data) can be one of the biggest things to help changing the future of the world to good if we know how to utilize this powerful tool.

Sources:

http://www.sas.com/en_us/insights/big-data.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_data
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/ford-nike-big-data-smart-sustainable-design
http://www.fastcodesign.com/1669551/how-companies-like-amazon-use-big-data-to-make-you-love-them

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Crazy little (little?) thing called… Internet!

That the internet is a very big thing, it’s not breaking news for anyone. But can you imagine or guess how much big it really is?

We have sites coming from all around the planet earth and we can have access to them anytime we want to. And how is it possible?

One thing we do have to keep in mind is that the internet is completely physical. All the data (I am talking about all the information that you can have access when you are using internet) is concentrated in servers that are physical computers used to save all this files. And some people may think “but I use wireless internet” but to create the wifi signal it is necessary a router connected to the internet by cables.  And there are also many cables passing through countries and continents (many of them by the sea).

This way we can start to see how big the internet actually is.

And as an experience to see how things really work, I traced the path data course until the final destination.

I decided to use the site of my university from Brazil, which is www.fateczonasul.edu.br.

traceroute to Fatec Zona Sul website

The packets pass through Goldsmiths router, after to the UK Academic Joint Network Team, in London.

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After that they go to Switzerland, TeliaSonera International Carrier. To leave London the packets have to pass through a submarine cable, but there are many cables that leave the UK to the rest of Europe, so, it is not possible to find out by which one it is running.

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The United States of America is the next place where our data goes to. There are some cables that connect that part of Europe and USA like FLAG FA-1, Apollo and TAT-14.

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And then from USA to the final place… BRAZIL. The packets this time pass through the only cable that connects the Usa and Brazil, Sebras-1.

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Sebras - 1

Sebras – 1

This analyse was very important to understand how things actually work, how the data is divided and how it travels to arrive where we really want, once I am not a “simple user”, I am a computing student and a future professional in this area.