Section 003, Instructor: Ermira Zifla

Weekly Question #5: Complete by March 1, 2017

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on March 1, 2017. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

Here is the question:

Just like you did about a month ago, find another online article dated within last two weeks from a credible source that has something to do with data and is interesting and relevant to you. Copy and paste the URL directly into your response followed by a few sentences that explain what is interesting about it.

38 Responses to Weekly Question #5: Complete by March 1, 2017


    The article, ‘Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED,’ by Andy Greenberg explains how malware can be implemented on a computer system by studying the patterns of a computer’s blinking LED light. Apparently a computer’s LED light can leak sensitive information if a hacker has a hold of one’s ‘air-gapped’ system. A drone, or a hacker, or a hacker operating the drone in which is insight of a LED light on a computer can implement malware into it’s system. The air-gap seems to be a seal tight defense wall for a computer, and hackers are unable to hack computers not connected to internet, but by using the same malware that hacked into US military systems over a decade ago, they are able to debunk the air gap. But the LED method of hacking proves to be faster and more efficient as the air-gap hacking lacks sureness and efficiency with the issue of a solid internet connection. The LED hack is over a longer period of time and is something like a virtual morse code. By tracking and recording the blink patterns a hacking system can determine information that is being transmitted through computer servers. And though the human eye can’t determine these blink patterns, malware can record blinks fast enough to steal information, and if not the case, they can at least take encrypted files and decode them later. What is even more important is that the LED light is always blinking and data is being indexed and sorted and transmitted even at night, unbeknownst to the owner of the computer. The only ways to counter such convert attacks on one’s computer systems is to either keep air-gapped machines in secure rooms, or simply cover their LED light with tape to block view of light rhythm.


    In this article, it briefly describes how carriers and search engines collect data on what websites you use most frequently and what you are searching. It goes on to say that there are laws protecting peoples personal data that is collected from being sold to other companies. I found this very interesting because I did not know that search engines such as google track what you are looking up every time you are on their site. I hope that these protection laws stay in tact, for the sake of privacy of the people.

  • Profile photo of James Dean
    So this is a good one. Another case of stolen databases. This one is affecting the many people who go to Coachella every year. It is a large yearly festival in California and usually draws great bands and celebrities. Someone on the dark web is trying to sell the database of approximately 950,000 accounts for the festivals website. An outside website has verified the veracity of the accounts for sale. Just another reminder to be careful with your information online.


    This article is about how the time we wake up affects our food choices, which in turn affects our health. In a new international study, researchers found out that people who wake up earlier are more likely to make “healthier and more balanced meal time decisions throughout the day,” while those who wake up later consume more sucrose, saturated fatty acids, and fat, which leads to a higher risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. Another study in the article tells about how even if “night owls” (those who go to bed later) and “early birds” (those who wake up earlier) sleep the same amount of hours, the night owls are still more likely to develop diabetes. This is interesting and relevant to me because in college we have to balance eating healthy, getting exercise, and doing homework/studying. This proves that it would be better to wake up earlier and be more productive earlier in the day, and then go to bed earlier, rather than staying up late to finish work and study. I found it interesting that even when people sleep the same amount of hours, those who stay up later are still more prone to diabetes. This shows that it is important to try and maintain a good sleep schedule and healthy habits, which is something that many people seem to struggle with, especially at college.

  • Profile photo of Veronica Antoni
    I find this article particularly interesting because it talks about a current problem in America concerning the president of the United States which is a popular topic right now. It talks about the concern of specifically, data scientists because what used to be open data is now private data and new tools like Data Refuge are making an effort to make data available to everyone again but the government has already removed some content from the site. It talks about open data and how it can be affected by the barriers set by entities and organizations and their unwillingness to share information and shows how the recently elected 45th president of the United States supports turning open data into private data.

  • Profile photo of Seth Keatley
    This article is about how Nokia recently acquired a technology company (Withings), and plans to send health information gathered by your devices to your doctor. This is an interesting concept because it will allow doctors to have instant information about their patients’ health, but it also raises ethical concerns. Some may argue that this technology violates HIPPA legislation and should not be allowed. Nokia has already started testing this technology, so only time will tell what becomes of it.

  • Profile photo of Lily Heinemann
    This article talks about and compares recent surveys taken by companies about how hard they think it is to properly communicate their company’s reputation to others. The factor of communication takes into account language barriers, time zones, and cultural differences. One of the surveys of 2,100 consumers and 1,050 senior executives found that 69% of them think reputation communication of their companies is difficult. This is important because the reputation of companies plays a pivotal role in their success in the marketplace, so communication of that reputation is essential.

  • Profile photo of Johnny Luu

    This article shows the cities around the world with the most dangerous air. They came up with these cities by comparing the means of micro-grams per cubic meter in the air. Then for several regions of the world they provided a bar graph showing the countries with the most dangerous air. They also provided a real-time map that shows with color each country and amount of air pollution.

    I found this article interesting because they offered 2 ways of illustrating their point, with the bar graphs and map. Also because it shows that air pollution isn’t only a problem in certain parts of the world. It’s a world-wide problem that needs to be solved. It’s not only relevant to us, but also, imperative that we know what problems are going on so we’re able to do something about it all.

  • Profile photo of Keerthana Rachamadugu
    This article talks about the robot the Japanese produced through their research in AI technology. This robot can assign employees in the company the right job that would make them the most efficient based on their past performance. Through Robot Boss the company experienced 8% productivity boost. I found this article really interesting because AI is the next big transformation that our society will go through. I found it very interesting that this robot was able to accomplish things that would take many people many days to do. For example, extracting intelligence from Big Data to respond to fluctuating work conditions like inclement weather, sudden spike in demand, or short periods of non-standard work load. It’s interesting to see how our technology and data will branch out to go through various areas of societal functioning.

  • Profile photo of Walter Kirby
    This article addresses the concern to some people that using their cellphone may lead to cancer. Despite the fact that radio waves exist in cellphones, and that radio waves are a type of radiation, they are of such low frequency in phones that it does not play a factor. The problem for totally dismissing the possible connection between cellphone usage and cancer is that ethics is involved. Scientists simply cannot take a bunch of people and hoard them into one room and see how they react to certain chemicals and radio waves. I found this article extremely interesting because most young people, including myself, are highly involved with technology, especially cellphones. Luckily, using a cellphone does not lead to cancer because that otherwise would have harmed a lot of people who were not even aware of that possibility. Now, not only is it almost a proven fact that they are not linked, people are fully informed that there is no connection and they can rely upon this article for evidence.

    This article talks about the increasing use of data by accountants to fight fraud within companies. This is interesting to me because I am an accounting major and it now seems that accountants need to know how to work with data and be able to make better decisions with it. It also allows accountants to make better decisions on how to prevent fraud and decrease loss for their company. I think the accounting industry is changing dramatically and will continue to push for accountants who know how to use data in order to protect companies from big losses. I also believe forensic accountants, which is what I want to do, will become a bigger necessity for all companies so they can look into different aspects of their company and look for potential fraud and loss. Data will continue to increase and companies will need people to accurately look at it in order to make better decisions that can help them grow.

    This article is about how a software bug at CloudFare, which is an internet-service provider that handles about 10% of the world’s web traffic, led to the leaking of authentication data. Authentication data being passwords and private information. This article is interesting and relevant to me since the leaking of personal data can be disastrous as seen with the Ashley Madison Hack.

  • Profile photo of Malik Lassiter
    The article above is about advanced data visualization and how it is emerging as a major source of presenting big data. This is important because it is making data visualization even more interactive and understandable through different dimensional views and outstanding animation. Basically it is changing how we view data by making it possible for more data to be presented at one time but still clear enough for one to understand and use to make conections.

  • This article is about how Cloud Pets, a stuffed animal that allows children and parents to send voice messages to each other leaked their database, resulting in large amounts of hackings. Included in the database, were emails, passwords, voice recordings, as well as photographs of children. The article says that a major factor that contributed to the ease of hacking was that Cloud Pets has no password requirements, meaning a user’s passcode could be simply “t.” This is interesting because it has made me more cautious about the gifts I buy for family friends with young children. Also, it brought to my attention that I need to use diverse and complex passwords.

    This article is about the data the use to see who won awards at the Oscars. It tells you how the Oscars award got mixed up on Sunday night. I never thought that an Oscar could get mixed up, and I never knew they used data to pick the winner. I found this interesting because in class we are learning how even the smallest mistake could make such a huge impact in our data set. I wouldn’t want to be the company that does data for the Oscars, even though they apologized for the mix up.

    This is a article about “micro service” and how it was adopted in 2011. It talks about how many big companies are analyzing big data, but now micro services are creating a new approach to developing applications. The article goes on to describe micro services and how they are efficient because they can be worked on separately without shutting down the system. Many organizations are considering switching over to this new way to record data due to its higher reliability and ease.

  • Profile photo of Alison Kline
    This article describes data that analyzed how the health of the euro and the financial crisis in 2008 impacted Euro zones’ bank lending to each other. European Central Bank data shows that cross border lending has decreased significantly within the past year which is leading to fears about countries falling out of the currency union. As a Supply Chain major, I will have to be aware of the financial stability of countries that I may be supplying goods to or from. The analysis of historical data can help to predict future lending patterns and may impact decisions that will be made by supply managers.

  • Profile photo of Sarah Trested

    This article discusses social medias involvement with banks. It includes interesting data statistics involving a bankers ability to determine how likely someone is to pay back a loan, among other things. This can become problematic due to the fact that it can lead to discrimination and exclusion. For example, If using someone’s browsing history to exclude them from an offer for a cheap flight is OK, is it also reasonable to use those data to lock them out of health insurance (eg, by assuming that someone who Googles doughnut shops is a bad risk)?

  • Profile photo of Amy Huynh
    This article addresses Arby’s recent data breach. Arby’s, the fast food chain, was breached by hackers due to malware on its point-of-sale system network. Between October 25, 2016 to January 19, 2017, the hackers stole data off of customer payment cards. Numerous credit unions are suing Arby’s and have filed complaints against the company for its lack of security and responsibility. I found this article interesting because it relates to the other breaches of companies we have talked about in our class. Also, I found it ridiculous how cardholder data was exposed for nearly 3 months; Arby’s should have fixed the issue as soon as it happened, however, they failed to do so.

  • Profile photo of Kahleem M Wilkins

    Deloitte predicts that over 300 million smartphones, or more than one-fifth of units sold in 2017, will have machine learning capabilities within the device in the next 12 months. This relates and is interesting to me because we are in a generation that is filled with new and exciting technology and having technology learn on its own will better our lives. It is said that overtime, machine learning will be a typical way of life and not just in smartphones.

  • Profile photo of Parth B Patel

    I found this really cool article and visualisation that shows how Americans Over 70 Spend Their Day. The overall things that Americans over 70 do that are measured are sleep, personal care, travelling, eating and drinking, work/education, household activities, socialising and recreation (other than tv), and watching TV. The research and visualisation also have time as an independent variable which really helps states the different time frames and what activities correlate to that. The article also has a base representation of how Americans spend their day also.

  • Profile photo of Emma Girandola
    This article talks about the mishap that happened at the 2017 Oscar Awards. Unfortunately at the very end of the show “La La Land” was announced as best picture. However, “Moonlight” was the real winner. This was due to a mistake of the FiveThirtyEight Oscars Tracker that missed the top prize. I found it interesting to read because I was unsure about how the voting system worked. Now I know that it is based off of a model of historically, predictive Oscar winners and not just measuring voting directly.

  • Profile photo of Jibreel Murray
    I found this article to be very interesting. The article addresses business retailers and other businesses using big datasets to solve and analyzes problems. The article points out that many business leaders believe they need large datasets to solve business problems; however, this is not always true. On average Businesses are spending up to 2 million dollars to have big datasets broken-down and analyzed by experts. Smaller data sets are much cheaper than big datasets and more efficient in addressing problems. Businesses only need 1% of data to get the job done. I find it interesting that companies could potentially save millions of dollars by using smaller datasets and don’t know it. I would like to own my own business someday and after reading this article I will look to use small data samples to solve problems first.

  • Profile photo of Robin Goetz
    The article looks at the new presidents handling of government data and how he might change, manipulate or even falsify the data for his own purposes. It talks about changes in the calculation of the trade deficit, which would overstate the deficit of the American trade and thus help the president to push through protectionist trade policies. In addition, other government data might not be published anymore. A famous example mentioned in the article is the data on climate change, which the president wanted to be removed from the EPA’s website. The article ends with the statement, that although it is too soon to actually make a judgement if Donald Trump is going to manipulate or undermine government data, people have to be aware of the possibility. This is important, because only data from a transparent government allows its people to actually see if its actually keeping its promises. I found this article to be very interesting. Since Donald Trump has become the president of the United States, there were many questionable statements, decisions and actions, which often seemed irrational, confusing and sometimes even anti-democratic. (e.g. calling the press the enemy of the people) Transparency and accurate data are crucial for a democratic government to be credible. I personally are very keen on finding out how the Trump government will deal with their data, as I personally think it is a good indicator to show if they are actually trying to actively manipulate the opinion of the people, e.g. by blocking out any data supporting ideas they do not support, or if they will use rational argumentation to make their points.

    This article is interesting because it is the opposite of what we have been saying in class and the general assumption that big businesses find data to be useful. The article specifies how strategies have changed within the last twenty years and how we have become accustomed to using data to our advantage; according to the article it does everything but that. Data drains time, kills accuracy, and kills agility. I found this surprising when looking at articles because of how different it is from the rest

  • Profile photo of Jordan Massey
    This article shows which 20 artists listeners have been using to create the highest number of Pandora stations from over the past week, and reflect which up-and-coming artists are currently trending on the platform. It is interesting to see the numbers of Pandora stations for new artists and the comparisons between different artists and if they have elevated or dropped from their previous standing. It is interesting to see what impact Pandora listens have on determining the next big music artist.

  • Profile photo of Luke Greenley
    The article I found was an interesting perspective on big data and its affect on the business world. The author is not a fan of data, and cites various problems that it is responsible for. He believes that data wastes time, money, and energy and it is affecting the way we do business in a negative way. The author warns of the risks of collecting data and analyzing it in the traditional fashion. His point that data is blinding us from real insights and influences our analysis was very interesting to me. It is implied in the article that data analysis is becoming more and more private and personal, when in his opinion it should be more open and shared. Data should be collected and analyzed with a multitude of sources across a global interface to truly be valuable, otherwise it could be a significant threat to the business. This article interested me because it is a very realistic view of what could be, and in this day and age with the ever-evolving technology at our disposal we must be hyper-aware of threats to the well-being of our businesses and the way we are to conduct business.


    The article I found gives a rather independent look at approval ratings of President Trump while also explaining what these ratings mean for him. They explain that within the first months of his presidency, opinions towards Trump have been strongly held opinions (meaning they either ‘strongly approve’ or ‘strongly disapprove’). Gallup notes that while President Trump’s ratio of 27% ‘strongly approve’ to 41% ‘strongly disapprove’ is consistent with most historic polls regarding presidents, his total number of those who ‘strongly approve’ (64%) and those who ‘strongly disapprove’ (77%) far exceed the norm. Ultimately, Gallup claims that with intense polarization as well as a lot of strongly held opinions, Trump will have a difficult time with the public, especially if he cannot keep congressional republicans on his side.


    These smart teddy bears meant as toys for children have been hacked and up for ransom. The bears are connected via cloud with an app called cloudpet. Parents can send voice messages and store account data with the smart teddy bear. In the first place I think a smart teddy bear is a horrible idea. It sound creepy and takes the originality out of a traditional teddy bear. Not only is it screwed with hackers but it’s a for profit product that won’t be the first time to appear in the children markets.

  • Profile photo of Ellen Gbeyeh Wiah

    This article talks about how scientist used unverified data to exaggerate the impact of global warming and influence the Paris convention on climate change. This article was interesting to me because, I know global warming and climate change is happening and there have been evidence and data that proved this. Using unverified data will lead skeptics of climate change to further make their point that climate change is fake, and this will lead to mistrust in actual verified data on climate change which is a real and detrimental issue the world is facing today.

    Blockchains are digital ledgers for cryptocurrency (e.g. Bitcoin) transactions. The latest push in the world of finance is develop technology that effectively manages this data, which would lead to considerable cost savings on middlemen and third party involvement in transactions. The competition between banks to develop this technology signals the increasing representation of money with data. While most transactions are handled virtually, the development of blockchains demonstrate the growing markets of money purely represented with data. The most prominent example of this move is Bitcoin, but the push by banks to develop Ethereum (J.P Morgan’s cryptocurrency) shows that data, its security, and its accuracy will continue to find roles of increasing importance in financial markets.

  • Profile photo of Jamya L Day

    Unlike most website that track users’ activity with cookies, Facebook utililzes people-based targeting. “All of your profile data on Facebook along with how you interact with others on Facebook is tracked and categorized. It then generates a virtual “profile” of you as a person to determine your interests, sexual preference, etc.” Facebook is a platform that users don’t pay for, rather outside parties buy them in an essence. Marketers and businesses pay for ads to target certain demographics of users.

  • In this article, the topic discussed is in regards to Donald Trump’s administration and whether or not they are fabricating or miscalculating the United States government’s data on imports and exports. This is a troubling issue because such information about our country is crucial to our economic growth, and if it were made up or miscalculated, our people wouldn’t even know if our trade deficit was true or not. The suspected issue is that “re-exports” are being factored into the data, which doesn’t make any economic sense, since “re-exports” are goods that are imported and then sold overseas. One political benefit for Trump is that the data make our country appear to have a larger trade deficit than there actually is, making it seem like America’s trade is suffering. This could allow for more protectionist legislature regarding trade to be passed, which, in general, is a backhanded power move on the US political stage.


    This article is about the efforts of a man to combine Data Modeling, Business Process Management, and Enterprise Architecture to create a more efficient use of data in the business work place. It’s called erwins’s end game and basically they want to use data and the power it holds to the fullest extent and help other companies with a lot of data like Amazon use their data properly. They want to make data driven software that makes it easier to find trends in data, figure out ways to find customers, and learn what strategies are working and what strategies aren’t.

    The article talks about the internet providers are trying to sell residents’ information data to higher bidder. Take google as an example, although Google uses encryption to protect your searches from prying eyes, these companies can potentially see what sites you actually end up visiting and when you visit them. For the mobile carrier, they are able to track your location and could keep tabs on how much time you spend using different apps. After collecting these information of the users, they sells to higher bidder.
    Nowadays, everyone uses electronic devices and internet. However, when we are using it, how many people would know the company of the software we use are collecting our information or even privacy. And they are trying to make a profit on it. The reason why I think this is interesting is it actually affect people’s life different level. In China, every single cell phone users are bothered by crank call at least twice a week. For the number that used over years, they receive crank call everyday or even over three times a day.
    People spend money to purchasing technology to get a convenience life style. However, their information are used as a profitable tool and finally bring negative effect to themselves. Is it worth that we use internet that suppose to take advantage on? Or is it even safe?


    This article from The Virginia Pilot states that when collecting meteorology data, citizens could fill the voids that weather reporter’s data, making for more accurate forcasts.

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Ermira Zifla (instructor) 10:00am-12:00pm Wednesdays, Speakman Hall 207C or by appointment.
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