Tag Archives: data

NFL preps footballs with data-tracking chips

Think that it’s too easy for NFL players to kick extra points and field goals? The league is hoping that technology will up the skill level… not to mention the thrills. The NFL tells the Toronto Sun that it plans to conduct a study where footballs will have chips inside to track their flights between the goal posts. If too many successful field goals come from wildly off-center kicks, the league may narrow the uprights to make it more challenging. The tests would be limited to the preseason (ESPN sourcesalso mention Thursday-night regular games), but they could start as soon as 2017.

Continue reading NFL preps footballs with data-tracking chips

Big data shows racial bias in police behavior

Stanford University just delivered further proof that massive, readily available data sets can solve tricky law enforcement problems. School researchers combing through a mix of 28,119 Oakland Police Department stop reports, officer body camera footage and community surveys havelearned that there are “significant” racial biases at play. OPD officers are not only more likely to stop a black person, but far more likely to conduct searches of black people, even though they weren’t any more likely to find something incriminating. Officers more frequently handcuffed black people without arresting them, too. And the pattern is the same regardless of the crime rate in a given region.

Continue reading Big data shows racial bias in police behavior

Google’s codebase is ludicrously huge for good reason

Google’s codebase — the programming instructions that run every one of its services from Gmail to Slides — span a whopping 2 billion lines of code that stretch across 1 billion files and require 86 terabytes of storage, according to Google engineering manager Rachel Potvin. She recently disclosed those figures at the @Scale engineering conference. She also noted that this massive collection of data is mirrored and continually updated in ten data centers peppered around the globe. “Not only is the size of the repository increasing,” Potvin explained during her lecture, “but the rate of change is also increasing. This is an exponential curve.”

Continue reading Google’s codebase is ludicrously huge for good reason

VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

VPNs (virtual private networks) are a popular choice for sidestepping censorship and geographic restrictions on services like Netflix with more than 20 percent of Europeans using them. However, researchers at the Queen Mary, University of London recently examined 14 of the region’s most popular VPN providers and found nearly all of them leaked information about their users to some degree.

Continue reading VPNs may not protect your information as well as you think

Why Police Need a Warrant to Track Your Cell Phone Location Records

Across the country, a vigorous debate is taking place in federal and state courthouses about how privacy protections should apply to modern technologies. One of the most spirited issues in this debate is whether the Fourth Amendment requires law enforcement to get a warrant to track a person’s location via their cell phone. This week EFF filed two new amicus briefs that answer that question with a resounding yes.

Continue reading Why Police Need a Warrant to Track Your Cell Phone Location Records