Big Data Goes To The Oscars And Other Friday Stories

Posted: Feb 28 2014, 10:36am CST | by , Updated: Mar 1 2014, 2:37am CST, in Technology News


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Big Data Goes To The Oscars And Other Friday Stories

Back in the last century, there was nothing I loved more than the Oscar ceremony. My first job as a journalist was reviewing movies (my first was Magnum Force, so that tells you how long ago it was). Today, if it’s not on a DVD with subtitles and a pause button for bio-breaks, I’m just not that interested.

Yet I was piqued by this InformationWeek column in which a company called Farsite claims to be able to pick the winners using big data analytics. Using historical data, previous wins from other groups, and even gossip, the company claims to have picked five of the six big winners last year, so it’ll be interesting to see if they can do it again. (By the way, the film critic for the San Francisco Chronicle does the same kind of analysis each year, using criteria such as the actor’s age, whether the part required a disability, and other parameters; I don’t think he uses a computer.)

While we’re on the subject of movies, former IT manager John Brandon highlighted in CIO this week five films showing data center gaffes. I was kind of surprised he only limited the list to five (Hackers, Tron: The Legacy, Paranoia, Entrapment, and Ocean’s Eleven). As long as no one destroys my long-held illusion that Matthew Broderick really could have broken into NORAD using the computer in his bedroom.

Speaking of unintentional gaffes, every so often you run across a headline that should have come from The Onion, but didn’t. This one – a winner for obviousness – came up on the DABCC tech news site last week: Virtualization Will Be The Top Priority For CIOs: VMware. In the works for next week: “Mainframes Will Be the Top Priority For CIOs: IBM” or “Java Will Be The Top Priority For CIOs: Oracle.”

More on head-scratching headlines (with apologies for criticizing a fellow journalist), Patrick Thibodeau writes in Computerworld last week about companies using big data analytics to help fight California’s drought. Except … what one local utility did was analyze water usage and put frowny-faces on the bills of those whose usage was above average. Isn’t that just data analytics? I’m missing the “big” part.

Finally, if you think you have arguments within your enterprise about mobility issues, they can’t be as divisive as this report in Mobile Today from the island of Coll in the Inner Hebrides (pop. 200). One group wants to bring mobile coverage to the island with a mast tower and two dishes, but it’s receiving opposition from others who fear “that new technology could rob the tranquil outpost of its remoteness.” Personally, I think what might ruin the island’s tranquility is people finding out there’s no cell coverage.

Email CIO Next Community Manager Howard Baldwin if you’re a CIO who wants to spout off in an opinion piece on what in your job either aggravates or energizes you.

Source: Forbes

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