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Should We Care That Netflix Knows Everything About Our Viewing Habits?

A tweet from Netflix poking fun at the 53 users they said watched "A Christmas Prince" every day for the past 18 days "went viral," as the kids say, and provoked questions about just how much data Netflix has stockpiled about our binge-watching, and who has access to it.

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Mapping the Country’s Differing TV Tastes Is Too Confusing For Our Binary-Driven Brains to Handle

This week, The New York Times released 50 maps illustrating our tastes in television broken down by geography and I'm pretty sure they broke my brain.

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William Shatner Says, “A Woman’s Place Is in the Fridge,” Remains the Worst

Thousands of fans turned out for Montreal Comic-Con July 8-10, many to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. Overall, the mood was positive, forward-looking, and particularly supportive of diversity in the franchise. But then William Shatner opened his mouth, and took us all back in time (not in a fun Voyage Home way) with a string of sexist jokes.

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Adult Women Now Make Up Half of All Gamers, Outnumber Boys Under 18 Years Old

Gamers gonna game.

Hey remember how girls are supposed to think that video games are gross and totally don't belong in your hobby, or whatever? Yeah, no. We make up 48% of all "gamers," according to the Entertainment Software Association—which makes us a larger demographic than teenage boys. So, guess you'd better get used to us.

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New Tool Can Tell How Much Your Email’s Worth to Hackers

Just in case you weren't paranoid enough.

Now that everyone is nice and freaked out about the NSA stealing all of their data, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have developed a program to determine how much the data in your Gmail account is worth -- not to the government, but to the hackers that target such accounts, in case anyone forgot that this is still an issue.

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Twitter Analytics Now More Granular, Fans of Buzzwords Everywhere Overjoyed

I'm sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can't help it that I'm so popular.

Twitter just got a lot more analytical. You can now access a variety of analytic tools, tracking your follows, unfollows, mentions, and times that your tweets have been favorited, retweeted, or replied to. Yes, it is now possible to count how many 140-character insights others thought were important enough to pass on. How could this possibly get any better?

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See What Other People Are Watching With YouTube Trends Map

If you've ever felt the urge to peek over the shoulder of a co-worker to see what video they're watching, YouTube has a new tool that's right up your alley. Today saw the release of YouTube Trends, which lets you get a look at what videos the rest of the country is tuned into on YouTube. You can even break down the data by user age and gender to make sure you're keeping up with the Joneses and not missing out on all the cat videos, trailers, and lip read dubs that your peers are into right this second. After all, you wouldn't want to look foolish, would you?

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Digging Into Big Data: Watch the O’Reilly Strata Conference Live Here

We've already seen data scientist described as the sexiest job of the next century, so by one metric, The O'Reilly Strata Conference -- which brings together big names in big data to talk about their big ideas -- is the sexiest event going today. We'll be hosting the live stream of the conference's keynote speeches today and tomorrow to help you keep up on the latest developments in data. Whether you want to know how better data analysis could make for more effective, efficient government services or you just want a better understanding of how EA is using data to make better games -- and track your spending on them -- there's something for you. Check out the stream of the event from Santa Clara, California and some of our picks for the speeches we're most interested in below. And don't worry -- unless something very surprising happens, this conference will stay very SFW.

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5 Out of 5, Would Watch Again…And Again And Again: Our Favorite Star Trek Characters

Last week, we asked who the worst characters in Star Trek history were -- the series alums you never want to see back -- and you told us. This week, we're still excited for the upcoming movie, but taking a rosier view on things, so we asked who your favorite characters were, and you all weighed in again. We thank you for it. So without further ado, presented for your approval -- or disapproval, if that's your thing -- your choices for the 10 best characters in Trek-dom -- and one honorable mention we just couldn't bring ourselves to leave on the cutting room floor.

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Mannequin Spies May be Dressing You With Their Camera-Eyes

Shopping for clothes can be, for some of us, a private affair. Some people will only shop with their closest friends, others prefer to do it alone. One thing is certain: Nobody wants to get caught and judged after finding that a pair of pants doesn't fit the way it should. It may concern you, then, to find out that certain retailers have begun employing a new type of camera to keep tabs on their customers, hidden behind the eye-sockets of mannequins.

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Google Adds Their Secretive Data Center to Street View, No Secret Handshakes Required

Google keeps a pretty tight lid on the amount of access they allow to their various data centers. Considering the sheer volume they deal with on a regular basis, this is undoubtedly a good thing. After all, there's nothing worse than a privacy breach when your company prides itself on handling data. Though they've long been sharing data on their servers, only a select few Google employees were actually allowed on the server floor. Until now. Google has now added the data center in Lenoir, North Carolina to their Street View service.

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Is Data Scientist Really The Sexiest Job of the 21st Century?

Do infographics get you hot and bothered? Is snuggling up in front of the fireplace with a glass of red and a SQL database your idea of a cozy night in? Are you looking for a lover who can keep your axes labelled all night long? If so, you're apparently not alone. The Harvard Business Review, a noted authority on "things that are sexy," has declared "Data Scientist" to be the sexiest career of the 21st century.

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The Internet Quantified [Infographic]

The Internet is a big place. There are a lot of tubes, so to speak. The amount of data that is created, shared, and consumed on the internet is practically impossible to conceive of in a physical format and would be literally impossible to deal with that way. That said, how much data really is thrown around? That's what this infographic from MBA Online attempts to tackle, and the results are staggering. 98 years of video? 770 magazines worth of blog posts? Each and every day? Now it's up to you to decide whether this is a triumph of the digital age or an embarrassingly large amount of digital trash, but one thing is for sure: It's a lot and I'm glad we don't have to try and cram it all on a shelf somewhere.

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What Are Websites Made Of? [Infographic]

The Internet is a mysterious thing. We all use it, but what makes a website, really? Obviously, some of us know more about this than others. Still, this is the question asked and answered by the company Broadband Choices, in this infographic. The graphic provides statistics like how much data is on the Internet, from less than half a trillion gigabytes in 2005, to more than one trillion gigabytes in 2010, and a projected leap to nearly eight trillion gigabytes by 2015. So, if you've ever wondered what exactly is that Internet thing anyway, here is your answer.

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Where is the World's Data Stored? [Infographic]

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego everybody's data? Well, Mozy's Where oh Where is the World's Data Being Stored? infographic can tell you and no, its not a big .jpg that just says "TEH CLOUD LOLZ," although that might not be entirely inaccurate. The infographic provides a nice little breakdown of how much data is probably out there, where the biggest data centers are and how all that data is stored. Spoiler: some of it is still stored by digital tape. Check out the full infographic after the jump, and start backing up your digital tapes, Zip disks and 3.5 inch floppies.

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Data Raps About Cats [Video]

Thanks to the remixing skills of Dan Bull, Data's poem "Ode to Spot" from Star Trek: The Next Generation has been transformed into a tight hip-hop track. Yes, it has been done before, but this is the best version yet. (via Topless Robot | MP3 download link)

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It’s World Backup Day. Is Your Data Backed Up?

Here's a new holiday we can get behind: As a protective measure against April Fools' Day pranks gone awry and as a matter of generally good computer hygiene, March 31st has been decreed World Backup Day by Redditors and the women, men, and narwhals that love them. Regularly backing up data may be common practice for some tech-minded individuals, but for many laptop-toting civilians, it isn't -- and the results can be disastrous. At some point, you or someone you know has probably experienced the pain of a term paper gobbled up by corrupted data, and it's alarmingly common for an entire hard drive to fail. As World Backup Day's organizers point out, the hard drive is the component of the computer most likely to break unexpectedly: Brand new hard drives fail at a rate of three percent per year, and it only gets worse as time goes on. And this is to say nothing of users' potential to accidentally inflict harm on their own data with viruses and malware. What to do? External drives, USB sticks, DVDs, and Blu-ray discs offer relatively painless IRL data backup, and online backup on the cloud may be even cheaper and more secure. More info about the pros and cons of each method on the World Backup Day website. (World Backup Day website | Thanks, pinwale.)

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Law & Order Outcomes Subjected to Comprehensive Statistical Analysis

In a story ripped from the headlines, blogger Matthew Belinkie from Overthinking It has released a comprehensive review of the success/failure rate from the first 10 seasons of Law & Order. Far from being mere fan fodder for those that wiled away so much of their lives on the series, Belinkie has some startling observations to make about the show and the city that spawned it. First up: the basics. The chart above breaks down the guilty/not guilty/plea/other outcomes of each episode. Right away you can see a steady progression of success followed by a sharp decline and equally sharp rise in success over the first five seasons.
The success rate started high, went higher, and then plummeted to a bleak 59% in the 1993 season. That means in 2 out of every 5 episodes that year, the bad guy got away with it.
What Belinke does next is add some cultural context to those stats, with surprising results.

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200 Countries and 200 Years in 4 Minutes: The Joy of Stats [Video]

We're unabashed data geeks, so this four-minute presentation by health professor and statistician Hans Rosling on 120,000 pieces of human data worldwide over the past 200 years may have been more exciting to us than it should have been. But it's helped by the nifty AR display and Rosling's genuinely excited, sports announcer-like tone.

Rosling is Professor of Global Health at Stockholm’s prestigious Karolinska Institute and founder of the Gapminder Foundation. He’s a man who revels in the glorious nerdery of stats – and in The Joy of Stats he entertainingly explores the history of statistics, how statistics works mathematically, and how with statistics we can take the massive deluge of data of today’s computer age and use it to see the world as it really is – not just as we imagine it to be. Rosling’s famous lectures use enormous quantities of public data to reveal the story of the world’s past, present and future development.
(BBC via BoYT)

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From Triple Play to Home Run: Why Your Cable Company Should Offer Cellphone Service

Recently, a number of cable companies have been dropping hints about offering cellphone / wireless Internet service. So far they’ve just been baby steps, with a small test rollout here, or a limited test deployment there. But thus far, none of the CableCos really have much to show for all their talk.

But the cable companies need to think bigger, much bigger: If they do, both you and they will end up winners. Here's why:

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