Tag Archives: Google

The “Gold” of the Information Age


A report by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland in 2012, recognized “Big Data” to be a completely new class of economic assets, much like gold and currency (Lohr). Big data is becoming as valuable as gold to large companies and governments around the world in the “Information Age” of the 21st century. During the California Gold Rush of 1848, thousands of people moved to California from 1848 to 1855 in hopes of finding gold and becoming wealthy. The gold rush sparked the American economy due to the vast amount of laborers and gold being acquired on U.S. soil, which helped fuel the United States through the Second Industrial Revolution. Today we are experiencing the “Rush of Big Data” around the globe. Thousands of businesses, such as Google, Yahoo, and IBM are using large quantities of data in order to create new products and markets for consumers. The “Rush of Big Data’ is fueling the Information Age of the 21st century, and causing major impacts on businesses and economies all over the world.

Continue reading The “Gold” of the Information Age

There’s More than Meets the Eye

Big Data Inforgraphic

This is a link to the Infographic

        This infographic shows a number of statistics related to the collection and transfer of data on the internet, giving the audience an idea of how massive “The World of Data” really is. This information is presented in such a way that the audience believes the information, instead of questioning the sources of the data. The viewers, including myself, get attached to the point that this infographic is trying to make by honing in on specific facts such as: Google collects 24 Petabytes of data per day, 20 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute, and 2.9 million emails are sent every second, which causes us to trust the information in this random image. However, how can we trust the sources of this information and where do they come from? To find out, we will take a look at the specific piece of data: “Google collects 24 petabytes of data per day.” By analyzing the source of information in this image, we can determine the reliability and value of the infographic itself.

Big Data Infographic


The claim that “Google processes 24 petabytes of data per day” must have come from some research or information that Google presented themselves. To find this research, I began by searching the web for “Google’s Data Consumption” (I actually used Bing as a search engine, just in case Google was not willing to freely release this information to the public). I got redirected a couple of times to new websites, but it didn’t take long before I found an article about MapReduce, which is the software Google uses to sort and process their large quantities of data. In this article, a photo was shown comparing the amount of data Google has processed from August 2004 to September 2007. If you look at the numbers for 2007, and add up the amount of input data with the amount of machines used, it does indeed come out to over 20 petabytes.

Google MapReduce Satistics


Here’s the link to the magazine

        This article was published in 2008, in the “Communications of the ACM” magazine. “ACM (Association of Computing Machinery) is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, and they deliver resources that advance computing as a science and a profession.” The fact that this source was researched by a reliable Association, reviewed by a publishing company, and published, I believe it establishes itself as highly credible. The original infographic also mentioned MapReduce as one of its sources, therefore I think this Infographic uses reliable information and can be trusted.

ACM’s website is here

Big Data Infographic 2

        This infographic uses the reliable information that “Google collects 24 petabytes of data per day,” and puts it in context to make a strong claim about “How Big the World of Data” really is. This is how most infographics are, therefore the source of information is usually irrelevant, because the strong claims and visual evidence allows the audience to believe and consider the claim being made. However, the sources of information really matter, especially when being made in other contexts, such as a lawsuit against Google, or a scientific study about how information is collected online. Therefore, it’s important to understand the reliability and value of a piece of information by knowing the source. There’s a reason you cite all of your sources in a research paper, or any other academic paper for that matter. It’s not just so you can sound smarter, it proves that your work is credible and your facts come from actual data and is not made up. This infographic may have turned out to be reliable, however not all infographics are. Depending on the context the information is being used in, most infographics should not be trusted without a little bit of background research.

Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met Wikileaks



The blog post “Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met WikiLeaks” by Karine Nahon does a very good job of showing how WikiLeaks is viewed now, in 2014. In a short summary of how WikiLeaks is now used, it is as an example. The article itself is about the future of the internet. The discussion of the blog post is about how the internet should be managed in the future. It focuses on two specific possibilities, one is that the internet is corporate controlled and the other is government controlled. WikiLeaks is talked about in the argument about a government controlled internet. This is because WikiLeaks exposed so many government secrets that the government is now considered less trustworthy than before. When one thinks of the government most people used to think of a group that had their best interests in mind, but now with the WikiLeaks out and many government secrets being revealed people have started to question whether or not they can trust the government. The post also uses Google and WikiLeaks as models for the future of the internet and how each model has its own pros and cons. This article is import to the relevance of WikiLeaks because it has beena few years since the original uproar of the release of WikiLeaks. Most of the articles were very reactionary and polarized. The main two argument around the release of WikiLeaks was if the site’s creation was an act of trader or a patriot, but with the passage of time WikiLeaks has been accepted as its own entity. When just doing a simple Google search of WikiLeaks it is easy to see that very few articles focus on the website itself. There is a mix of gossip about Julian Assange and articles like “Fighting for Which Future? When Google Met WikiLeaks” which use WikiLeaks as an example. WikiLeaks has lost its focus in the national spotlight, with time. There are no more predictions about the effects WikiLeaks has changed how people think about the internet, but now that it has been out for awhile the actual website itself is much less in the discussion about the future of the internet


Social Media Sites and Their Average Monthly Usage



This post does a great job showing the more important social media sites at first glance. The purpose of the infographic is to show how many minutes the average user spends on each site over a one month period. Facebook pops out the most just because of the size of its bubble and logo while others have smaller bubbles and take longer to be noticed. It took me several seconds to notice the Google+ bubble at the bottom. This picture’s authority comes from the The Wall Street Journal logo at the bottom right hand side of the frame. The Wall Street Journal is a well-known and well respected news source and adding it to the picture gives it more value. Also, the data was taken from the internet and compiled by comScore which gives the picture a little more authority.

The source of the infographic is an article about how little time Google+ users spend on the site. I actually did not expect this to be the focus of the article, but instead for it to be about how large the Facebook bubble is. The infographic conveys almost all of the information needed to come to the same conclusion as the author of the article. The article explains that Google released a statistic that Google+ has over 90 million users, and 60% of them are active daily. The infographic demonstrates the even if 60% of the users are active, they spend only a few seconds on the site at a time, probably coming from logging into one of Google’s many sites.

Google & Privacy. Worried? You shouldn’t be.

Vaidhyanathan criticizes Google for having a “lack of privacy” and  for being an invasive “smokescreen”. While Google does have a history of exposing private information, their mission, overall, is not to expose our private lives. Indeed, there are times where it seems Google is absorbing every bit of information like a sponge. What we must remember is that the purpose of this information vacuum is for our benefit. Google’s purpose is not to blackmail us. Vaidhyanathan is concerned about the amount of data Google holds but he might as well be just as concerned with the government. We send in tax forms and fill out censuses with just as much information regarding our lives. David Carr, writer for the New York Times, argues that although Google’s motives have been called into question, it is overall an extremely useful tool. In his article “How good (or Not Evil) is Google?” he points out that Google financed more than $4 billion dollars towards pure research and applications to make it more powerful in order to please us, the users. Both authors point out the 2007 incident where Google scanned millions of books without permission. Vaidhyanathan argues this as evidence that Google is invasive however Carr makes a good point: no one else put effort into scanning these books page by page. Google’s goal here wasn’t to rip off all of the authors, it was to share the information in the books with the world and to preserve text that could otherwise be lost. Marie Curie’s books, for example, are too radioactive to touch and can be used by very few select scientists with expensive suits. This is a specific reason why we would need a company like Google to put the information online for all to see and use. By extending access to billions of people, Google is expediting the advancement of society. Yes, Google’s massive absorption rate and capacity of data is frightening but it is not being used for evil. It is only benefiting us and making our lives easier for the moment so even though Vaidhyanathan is critical, we shouldn’t be too worried.

The Importance of Googlization

Google is the biggest company that specializes in collecting information, with billions of consumers each year. Using this information, Google creates tools and programs that greatly improve our lives, at least in most people’s perspective. In Siva Vaidhyanathan’s: “The Googlization of Us”, he argues that we should worry more about the information that Google collects from us, because it’s not always what is seems to be. Google takes our private information and can do whatever they please with it, which could cause that information to be exposed dangerously online. In theory, you could stop Google from collecting your information, but that would completely hinder your online experience, which is why Google set it up that way. I agree with Vaidhyanathan, that Google does not necessarily have the right to collect all this private information from people, however just like people adapted to the printing press and the automobile, we will learn to live with this accumulation of information. While we must adapt and accumulate to the “Googlization” of everything, it is becoming more and more important in our lives. In the reading by James Gleick: “The Information”, Gleick gives us a historical representation of the growth and importance of information. However, I believe that he also constantly argues that information is pushing mankind to a new level of thinking and globalization. Gleick states: “We are a half century further along now and can begin to see how vast the scale and how strong the effects of connectedness.” The “information age” that Gleick talks about is allowing humans to connect and grow more rapidly than ever before, and while we are still becoming accustomed to this new age, it will continue to increase and affect our lives every day. “Googliziation” may take away some of our privacy, like Vaidhyanathan argues, however it is also leading the way in the expansion of information, which will push our society to new levels of thinking and innovation.



The article shows Google as this villain or bad guy. They say that Google “exploits” us and that it takes a “free ride”. One issue with this is that Google is not just a company but it is an accumulation of thousands of people working together. To more emphasis the multiple perspectives Google takes, employees are required to work on projects on their own that could not have corrupt input. This makes Google a diverse company trying to filter through as many ideas as possible without a strict goal to their research. This makes it next to impossible for Google to be a company that is trying to googlize everyone, but more a company that has found a way to provide great services go customer instead of charging the customer for the service they charge them for information and then sell that to companies.

Of those services that Google supplies are, maps, the search engine, mail, and many others. Just to go into one Google maps is a very useful service that allows you to get direction and give you an estimated time based on current traffic condition. It is also able to give you routs for public transportation and give you the time of the next train or bus. This example is to show that the services that Google provided would easily be worth a subscription package, but by Google recording our information they are able to make this service free.