August 15, 2010: Predicting catastrophic health events "I've just picked up a fault in the AE35 unit. It's going to go 100% failure in 72 hours". These were famous words of the almighty computer HAL in "2001: A Space Odyssey". Few of us believe too much in software forecasts - be it weather, earthquakes or computer hard disk failures. Yet, we all know that sometimes it works. And such systems are very valuable, assuming they continuously improve.
December 21, 2009: The Power Of Visualization Things change, but we don't always understand how. Networks and clustering methods help to uncover changes in complex large-scale systems, but more sophisticated approaches are needed to distinguish between real trends and noisy data, between meaningful structural changes and random fluctuations.
Even though the topics of meetup presentations are largely determined by the preference of organizers, the 4,000 member strong Silicon Valley NewTech meetup started in Jan ’06 hosted hosted over 155 demost & talks representative of what is going on in the industry (although some categories, like digital health, are, indeed, underrepresented).
Vincent Lauria, Lakshmi Narayanan and Todd Miner collected historical data on the past 3 1/2 years of svnewtech demos and visualized it by using Diagramic software developed by Alex Kouznetsov:
Data from the spreadsheet were analyzed after simplifying - by filtering out highly repeated keywords such as ads (you can‘t get away from them– no change since 2006), and using higher-level categories for blogs, search (no interest in 2009 compared to 6 demos in 2008, see below), social and similar keywords.
We’ve transitioned from virtual worlds to virtual goods, are less interested in community chat and more in finance (be it social lending or accounting and fund rising), have less spare time and … may be ready for something new, not yet shown on the charts