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Sentiment Analysis Forecasts “No” Vote Will Prevail in Scottish Independence Referendum

httpswww.flickr.comphotostony_fosters_picsRegardless of the outcome of today’s Scottish Independence Referendum, today is a landmark event in Great British history. Within the next 24 hours, Scotland will vote to decide whether or not to dissolve their 307-year-old union with England. Opinion polls have suggested the vote is too close to call; different polls have disagreed about whether or the “Yes” camp or the “No” camp have the edge, and either way the results have fallen within the margin of error. But widespread ambiguity hasn’t stopped Bing from confidently proclaiming the “No”s have it. They’ve been using their tool, Bing Predictions, to mine sentiment towards the referendum across the web, and locked the results yesterday, at 48.7% Yes, 51.3% No. The tool has previously predicted the winner of American Idol 8 weeks before...
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10 Machine Learning Experts You Need to Know

10 Machine Learning Experts You Need to KnowMachine learning- to put it mildly- is an incredibly broad and varied field, with multitudes of applications. Thus, writing a list entitled “10 Machine Learning Experts You Need to Know” proves challenging for a number of reasons. Firstly, I’ve restricted my ten picks to those currently working in the field- if I extended it to those living and passed, I never would have been able to identify only ten worthy of mention. Secondly, this list is in no way ranked- how would I decide which is more remarkable? Boltzmann machines or backpropagation? Self-driving cars or self-autonomous helicopters? Coursera or Udacity? Third, this is by no means an exhaustive list of people currently making significant contributions to the field of machine learning, or the wider world. But if you have a...
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Data Science Needs to Fail More, Faster.

rsz_gossamer_albatross_iiDarwin never actually said the following quote, but it’s truthy so I’ll use it: It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. —Darwin-ish I was watching a talk by Josh Wills the other day. He was applying Lean engineering concepts to data science. To illustrate how important rapid learning is, he told a story about the team that built the Gossamer Condor and won the Kremer Prize for human-powered flight. They won because they failed more repeatedly than their competition. I’m sure their competition was brilliant, and they definitely had several years head start, but they lost because it took them maybe a year to iterate from design, to build, to test flight, to crash and destroy, and...
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RJMetrics Bags $16.5 Million in Series B Funding

5363621051_0b22192093_zBusiness intelligence and database analytics startup, RJMetrics has secured $16.5 million in Series B funding. The round was led by August Capital, with participation from existing investors Trinity Ventures and SoftTech. Eric Carlborg from August Capital will join the ranks of RJMetrics board of directors. RJMetrics co-founder and CEO Robert J. Moore told TechCrunch that the new-found funds would be spent on ‘continued product development and engineering, as well as marketing.’ “The universe of true ‘cloud BI’ providers that provide data consolidation, a hosted data warehouse, and a web-based frontend is extremely small and almost entirely focused on large enterprises,” Moore wrote to TechCrunch in an email. “RJMetrics can easily deal with enterprise-grade data sets, but we also have price points that make us accessible to the hundreds of thousands...
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Google Reveals that Government Demands for User Data Has Risen by 250% Since 2009

3626810940_61ae9c3786_zWith the increase in the usage of internet services, request for user information by Governments and courts has been steadily rising. In the wake of last weeks revelations about Yahoo’s secret legal battle with the US NSA, over customer data, latest is Google’s biannual Transparency Report which reveals the number of requests made to Google from various governments in six-month periods with certain limitations. The tenth installment of the report sees a 150% rise in the number of requests worldwide since Google began publishing this data in 2009; already this year, the internet giant has seen government demand rise by 15% compared to the second half of last year. In the U.S., those increases are 19% and 250%, respectively, reports the Google Public Policy Blog. These do not include demands...
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Amazon: See How Big Data Can Drive Business Success

2265816229_a7c158ec8a_zAmazon is a big data giant, which is why I want to look at the company in my second post of my series on how specific organisations use big data. We all know that Amazon pioneered e-commerce in many ways, but possibly one of its greatest innovations was the personalized recommendation system – which, of course, is built on the big data it gathers from its millions of customer transactions. Psychologists speak about the power of suggestion – put something that someone might like in front of them and they may well be overcome by a burning desire to buy it – regardless of whether or not it will fulfil any real need. This is of course how impulse advertising has always worked – but instead of a scattergun approach,...
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Instaclustr Gets $2m Boost in Seed Funding, Gains Foothold in the NoSQL Ecosystem

8070164918_8a7e71c3a8_zInstaclustr, a startup that provides hosted and managed DataStax Enterprise and Apache Cassandra™ services, announced a first round investment offer for over $2 million in funding. The round was spearheaded by ANU Connect Ventures, a fund manager responsible for investing in promising commercial opportunities arising out of the Australian National University research, other regional research institutions and local innovative companies according to a statement. “We have undertaken considerable due diligence on the potential of Apache Cassandra and the demand for managed services in this space,” explained the CEO of ANU Connect Ventures, Nick McNaughton, on the occasion. “We also believe in the capability of the Instaclustr management and technical teams and consider that they are well placed to build a significant global software business.” “Demand for Apache Cassandra has accelerated...
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Google’s CausalImpact Makes Causal Analyses Quick and Easy

Google's CausalImpact Makes Causal Analyses Quick and EasyTo infer the causal impact that a designed market intervention has exerted on an outcome metric over time has been a significant issue in econometrics and marketing. Last week, Google open sourced CausalImpact – an open-source tool that will assist analysts in monitoring any measurable outcome with regards to products or policies, as a result of an designed intervention. “Today (9th September), we’re excited to announce the release of CausalImpact, an open-source R package that makes causal analyses simple and fast. With its release, all of our advertisers and users will be able to use the same powerful methods for estimating causal effects that we’ve been using ourselves,” says the Google open source blog, announcing the launch. “Our main motivation behind creating the package has been to find a better...
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