Big Data Is Less About Size, And More About Freedom

My favorite quote in this interview:

Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist, recently said,

“The sexy job in the next ten years will be statisticians… The ability to take data—to be able to understand it, to process it, to extract value from it, to visualize it, to communicate it”

Unfortunately for those of us working on these problems in real life, it is not so simple. The archetypal data-renaissance man is mathematician, statistician, computer scientist, machine learner, and engineer all rolled into one. There are opportunities where you can lack some of these skills and work with a team that supplements your weak points—a startup is not one of those.

via TechCrunch Big Data Is Less About Size, And More About Freedom .

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Announcing: TechCrunch Disrupt, May 24-26 in New York

New York, the city that never sleeps, may finally meet its match. TechCrunch is coming, and we’re bringing three days of non-stop conference and startup-competition energy, May 24-26.

We call it TechCrunch Disrupt because we want to debate what’s really changing in media and technology right now, what’s causing disruption and what we need to do about it to survive and thrive in real time.

Each morning, we’ll explore media and technology disruption themes through hosted panel discussions, keynotes, roundtable conversations and select product demonstrations. We’ll bring the experts, thought leaders, top entrepreneurs and business leaders and others together to talk about what’s next. And why. With lots of audience participation.

via Announcing: TechCrunch Disrupt, May 24-26 in New York .

Facebook Kicks Off Implementation Of QR Codes

I can’t see this on my own Facebook profile yet, but we’ve gotten a number of tips in our inbox in the past 10 minutes so it’s safe to assume it’s not a hoax or anything: Facebook appears to have started enabling users to generate custom two-dimensional QR codes.

From the looks of the screenshot embedded above, there are two types of QR codes: a personal barcode or a “status QR barcode”. This also seems to appear on Facebook Fan Pages.

via TechCrunch: Facebook Kicks Off Implementation Of QR Codes .

QR barcodes are two-dimensional bar codes… similar to what you see on computer generated postal stamps when you use USPS automated kiosks.  The QR codes on facebook would have a link to one’s facebook profile, presumably.  This has tremendous potential, I believe, and could be use in everything from loyalty marketing programs, to integration w/ airline/hotel checkins etc. Of course, there’s the privacy issue, but that could be fixed with PGP or other security issues.  Heck, why not use the QR codes to store your public PGP key and use as a voter identification at these new high tech electronic voting booth.  Lots of possibilities here… a cheaper alternative than embedding RFIDs on everything… (I wonder if people realize how companies have begun embedding RFIDs in clothing — well, that’s a topic for another day)