November 5, 2011 |
Social psychologist Diederik Stapel made a name for himself by pushing his field into new territory. His research papers appeared to demonstrate that exposure to litter and graffiti makes people more likely to commit small crimes and that being in a messy environment encourages people to buy into racial stereotypes, among other things. But these and other unusual findings are likely to be invalidated. An interim report released last week from an investigative committee at his university in the Netherlands concluded that Stapel blatantly faked data for dozens of papers over several years.
February 1, 2010 |
William Holmes was at his desk at a downtown San Francisco engineering firm when a message from the U.S. Geological Survey flashed onto his computer screen: A magnitude 7.0 earthquake had struck 10 miles from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Within minutes, Holmes was making plans for a team of geotechnical engineers, architects and seismic design experts to scour Haiti's devastated landscape and collect data to be analyzed in laboratories back home. Theirs will be a humanitarian mission in the broadest sense.
November 22, 2013 |
A partnership announced Thursday between the data analyzers who found Americans who might be persuaded to vote for President Obama and the ad creators who successfully pushed them to the polls provides a glimpse of the future of political advertising. The partnership of GMMB, Obama's chief ad creator and buyer, and Civis Analytics, a firm formed by the head of the campaign's data analysis operation, puts in place two elements that the Obama campaign used to great effect to propel him to an easy reelection despite a still-sputtering economy in 2012.
September 20, 2013 |
In the coming weeks, Gov. Jerry Brown will likely sign AB 484, a measure that would put the state at odds with the Obama administration and risk $1.5 billion in federal funding by effectively suspending data collection on K-12 student achievement for the current school year as the state transitions to the Common Core curriculum. What this effort doesn't consider is that there are other crucial changes taking place in California's education system, including different ways to allocate funding to schools.
November 20, 2013 |
The brilliant brains of many new cars can share their secrets through the Internet, allowing car owners to be alerted through their smartphones about when exactly to fill up with gas, what might be causing that funky engine noise and when their children are taking out the family car for joy rides. Now, several companies are trying to give owners of many older cars the same ability to constantly and wirelessly access the knowledge hidden in on-board diagnostics units. The companies are building gadgets somewhere in between a Fitbit-like health monitor, a motion sensor and Google Chromecast.
March 31, 2012 |
The National Science Foundation has awarded $10 million to UC Berkeley for the purpose of advancing "big data" research and technologies. The grant was part of a larger initiative by the Obama administration that allocated $200 million around the country to big data technology Thursday. The Berkeley funds will go toward the university's Algorithms, Machines and People Expedition, which is already conducting several projects tackling...
November 14, 2012 |
After what the Obama campaign accomplished with a backroom filled with 20-something math geeks, American presidential politics will never be the same. For decades, candidates have put their faith in political consultants whose gut instincts, ability to read polls and track records of victories made them look like magicians with an astounding array of tricks up their sleeves. Mitt Romney had one such man at his side throughout the 2012 campaign, a guy named Stuart Stevens who could claim to have helped elect more Republican governors and senators than any contemporary media consultant.
June 13, 2012 |
Data broker Spokeo Inc. will pay $800,000 to settle a Federal Trade Commission lawsuit that alleged the Pasadena company illegally sold personal information. Spokeo collects and aggregates data such as home addresses, email addresses and telephone numbers from public records and social media sites. It compiles that information into profiles, which it sells to subscribers. The FTC's statement on the settlement said the company sold data to businesses "in the human resources, background screening and recruiting industries" in violation of the law. Until 2010, Spokeo marketed its services to employers and recruiters.
September 19, 2013 |
New census data released Thursday painted a grim picture of the economic recovery in the United States. Still there were bright spots in California. Poverty levels and household incomes for 2012 remained below 2007 levels in many parts of the country and haven't changed much from the year before. The number of Americans living in poverty -- a record 46.5 million -- remained largely unchanged in 2012. And the data show that the share of households with incomes below $24,999 stands at 24.4%.
July 31, 2013 |
WASHINGTON -- The Great Recession wasn't quite as bad as previously thought and the recovery since 2009 has been a bit stronger, according to a periodic data recalculation designed to better reflect the economic impact of movies, TV shows and other intellectual property. The economy contracted an at average annual rate of 2.9% during the recession, which ran from the fourth quarter of 2007 through the second quarter of 2009, compared to the previous estimate of a 3.2% contraction, the Commerce Department said Wednesday.