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We are the first humans to live in the future.

In my last post ” You are not a Gadget. Yet ” I attempted to outline how society is being reinvented by the internet, our connected devices – the internet of things.

You might not agree that they are having an effect. If not, you need to wake up.

As in all moments of major technological change, people, companies, and institutions feel the depth of the change, but they are often overwhelmed by it, out of sheer ignorance of its effects.

The Internet, as all technologies, does not produce effects by itself it is the storage of Data that will shape the future. 

Big Data is used almost anywhere these days; A vast subject- from news articles to professional magazines, from tweets to YouTube videos and blog discussions, impacting across virtually all academic disciplines.

Every minute of your existence is being stored and this vast storage is the most relevant subject of our times. DATA NOW STREAM from our daily life:

Today, machines seem to get better every day at digesting vast gulps of information from phones and credit cards and televisions and computers; from the infrastructure of cities; from sensor-equipped buildings, trains, buses, planes, bridges, and factories, you name it —

And they remain as emotionally inert as ever.       But for how long.

It is estimated that if all the data used in the world today were written to CD-ROMs and the CD-ROMs piled up in a single stack, the stack would stretch all the way from the Earth to the Moon and a quarter of the way back again.

The data flow so fast that the total accumulation of the past two years—a zettabyte—dwarfs the prior record of human civilization.

A report by the International Data Corporation in 2010 estimated that by the year 2020 there will be 35 Zettabytes (ZB) of digital data created per year.

All of what we do today leaves a digital trail:

Every bit of that information is being stored—but by whom? for what?

The US alone is home to 898 exabytes (1 EB = 1 billion gigabytes)—nearly a third of the global total.

Kilobyte     1,000 bytes

Megabyte  1,000,000 bytes

Gigabyte  1,000,000,000 bytes

Terabyte  1,000,000,000,000 bytes

Petabyte   1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

Exabyte    1,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

Zettabyte   1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

Yottabyte    1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes

Just in case you have no concept of a byte.  A byte is a sequence of 8 bits (enough to represent one alphanumeric character) processed as a single unit of information. A single letter or character would use one byte of memory (8 bits), two characters would use two bytes (16 bits).

So you would want to be certified to think that Society as we know it is not a changing. 

The question is:  What is all of this information going to produce.

There is already an algorithm to detect when women were pregnant by tracking purchases of items such as unscented lotions—and offered special discounts and coupons to those valuable patrons. To plunder the Stock Exchange/Foreign Exchange. (See previous Posts)

Credit-card companies have found unusual associations in the course of mining data to evaluate the risk of default: people who buy anti-scuff pads for their furniture, for example, are highly likely to make their payments.

They are trained computers to identify deep patterns in vocal pitch, rhythm, and intensity; their software can scan a conversation between a woman and a child and determine if the woman is a mother, whether she is looking the child in the eye, whether she is angry or frustrated or joyful.

Other machines can measure sentiment by assessing the arrangement of our words, or by reading our gestures. Still others can do so from facial expressions.

Before you think about anything it has already being done. Good bye to the Present.

Big data is not just about helping an organization be more successful – to market more effectively or improve business operations. It reaches to far more socially significant issues as well. It is transforming science, engineering, medicine, healthcare, finance, business, and ultimately society itself.

The first full human genome sequence took five to 15 years to complete, and cost $1 billion to $3 billion. Now a genome sequence takes a little more than 24 hours and costs about $1,000.

NASA receives over 4 TB of new Earth Science data each day.


Like me you problem never hear of it and will never get to use it.

Google's data centre in Douglas Country, Georgia: The amount of data held by the internet giant means there may soon need to be a new number created to measure the quantity

So what am I exactly trying to say here.

I suppose the best starting point is the Human Brain.

Your brain is home to around 100 billion neurons, all of which are perpetually establishing and breaking connections, known as synapses, with other neurons.

There are trillions of these connections throughout your brain helping orchestrate everything from movement, to learning, to establishing and recalling memories. Just to give you some perspective on the storage capacity of your brain: It has a storage capacity of some estimates come in as low as 1 terabyte, or approximately 1,000 gigabytes.

You can easily buy a 1 gigabyte USB drive for under £15. A gigabyte is 1000 megabytes, so that means you’ve got three brains right there.

For comparison, if your brain worked like a digital video recorder in a television, 2.5 petabytes would be enough to hold three million hours of TV shows. You would have to leave the TV running continuously for more than 300 years to use up all that storage.

Now consider this:

A sweet little external hard drive can give you an entire terabyte of memory for about £70. That’s 1000 gigabytes, and roughly 3333 human brains. So for £70 bucks, you could store 3333 people’s brains in your backpack.  Nice!

If you want to back up your brain and upload it to a cylon body, IBM’s “neurosynaptic” chips are the closest thing to a synthetic brain yet.

Also, consider this:

A typical 3-minute song takes up about 5 megabytes of space. So that means your brain, can hold about 60 songs.

A computer chip that emulates the human brain - and might one day replace it

Now don’t get me wrong I acknowledge that every major scientific revolution has been driven by one thing, and that is data.

Data is pouring in from every conceivable direction: from operational and transactional systems, from scanning and facilities management systems, from inbound and outbound customer contact points, from mobile media and the Web.

Organizations are inundated with data – terabytes and petabytes of it. According to IDC, “In 2011, the amount of information created and replicated will surpass 1.8 zettabytes (1.8 trillion gigabytes), growing by a factor of nine in just five years.

That’s nearly as many bits of information in the digital universe as stars in the physical universe.

I have nothing against the collection of Data nor with sharing the data, which ultimately could improve the lives of the millions of people who are generating it—and the societies in which they are living – to provide a beneficial impact on society as a whole.

The potential for doing good is perhaps nowhere greater than in public health and medicine, fields in which, “People are literally dying every day” simply because data are not being shared.

There are over 200 satellites in orbit continuously collecting data about the atmosphere and the land, ocean and ice surfaces of planet Earth which might save us from Climate Change.

Some of this data is held in transactional data stores – the byproduct of fast-growing online activity. Machine-to-machine interactions, such as metering, call detail records, environmental sensing and RFID systems, generate their own tidal waves of data.  All these forms of data are expanding, and that is coupled with fast-growing streams of unstructured and semi structured data from social media.“

The challenges facing big data today and going forward including, but not limited to: data capture and storage; search, sharing, and analytics; big data technologies; data visualization; architectures for massively parallel processing; data mining tools and techniques; machine learning algorithms for big data; cloud computing platforms; distributed file systems and databases; and scalable storage systems.

In bio medicine the Human Genome Project is determining the sequences of the three billion chemical base pairs that make up human DNA.

Big Data is further expected to add more than €250 billion a year to the European public sector administration. Thus, the whole European Union could benefit from the cumulative financial and social impact of Big Data.

One clear example of Big Data is the Square Kilometer Array (SKA) (www.skatelescope.org) planned to be constructed in South Africa and Australia. When the SKA is completed in 2024 it will produce in excess of one exabyte of raw data per day (1 exabyte = 1018 bytes), which is more than the entire daily internet traffic at present.

Another example of Big Data is the Large Hadron Collider, at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), which has 150 million sensors and is creating 22 petabytes of data in 2012 (1 Petabyte = 1015 bytes).

Smart cities, data gathered by sensors integrated with transport data, financial transactions, location of users, social network interaction will provide an entirely new dimension to thinking about how cities function.

These three examples are only scratching the surface.

Google almost certainly has more data storage capacity than any other organization on Earth. Their biggest data centers cost half a billion to a billion dollars, so they can’t have more than 20 or so of those. These are the storage centers we know about.

  1. Berkeley County, South Carolina
  2. Council Bluffs, Iowa
  3. Atlanta, Georgia
  4. Mayes County, Oklahoma
  5. Lenoir, North Carolina
  6. The Dalles, Oregon
  7. Hong Kong
  8. Singapore
  9. Taiwan
  10. Hamina, Finland
  11. St Ghislain, Belgium
  12. Dublin, Ireland
  13. Quilicura, Chilie
  14. Eemshaven, Netherlands
  15. Groningen, Netherlands
  16. Budapest, Hungary
  17. Wrocław, Poland
  18. Reston, Virginia
  19. Additional sites near Atlanta, Georgia

In 2010, they were operating around a million servers, with close to 10 exabytes of active storage attached to running clusters. Google has a hard drive die every few minutes.

Let’s assume Google has a storage capacity of 15 exabytes, or 15,000,000,000,000,000,000 bytes.

  • Amazon (They’re huge, but probably not as big as Google.)
  • Facebook (They’re on the right scale and growing fast, but still playing catch-up.)
  • Microsoft (They have a million servers, although no one seems sure why.)

However, it’s nothing compared to the ridiculous claims by some news reports about the NSA datacenter in Utah. This facility could hold “between an exabyte and a yottabyte” of data.Microsoft data center

Apple tends to make between three and five times as much revenue as Google does. Whether it is Apple or Google at the top of the heap, you cannot deny that they are both building platforms and business models that will shape the next decade in the tech industry.

Computing is definitely moving to the cloud, and Microsoft, Google, and Amazon are all in it to win it by manipulate us all.

Because the shifts in both the amount and potential of today’s data are so epic, businesses require more than simple, incremental advances in the way they manage information.

Public Sector Information (PSI) is the single largest source of information in Europe. Its estimated market value is €32 billion.

The value of Big Data to the UK economy alone, being £216 billion and 58,000
jobs in the next 5 years.

Data traffic is expected to grow to 10.8 Exabyte per month by 2016.

Could we have foreseen the mortgage meltdown, the financial institution crisis and the recession, if only we had gotten our arms around more data and done more to correlate it?

Could we trim millions of dollars in fraud from government programs and financial markets?

But big data wants more.

Not satisfied with seeing everything about everybody it wants to store your spoken words which for thousands and thousands of year were private and should remain private.

For us to allow or turn a blind eye to this kind of monitoring and storage would be the first steps to towards slavery.  

Such a move by Governments under the cloud of spotting terrorists plots is a form of terrorism on free speech.  All Smart Phone should be be encrypt to ensure the freedom of mankind.

So I will leave you with this.

Modern science demands the use and understanding of numerical methods.

Data is like an object approaching a fixed point. It is travelling at a constant speed, such that, after one second, the distance is halved: after 1.5 seconds, the distance is halved again; after 1.75 seconds, it is halved again and so on. So data will never actually reach the fixed point, because with each fraction of a second it only halves the distance remaining.  Both the Data and the distance can theoretically be split infinitely.

Big Data technologies to analyse and properly compare disperse and huge data sets would provide huge benefits in terms of discoveries in experimental sciences.

And you think you live in the Present- think again.

Exabytes, zettabytes and yottabytes definitely are on the horizon.

But tell me where is hindsight located? Only then we will be able to cut through the myths surrounding the key technology of our time.

No single person can make sense of what a billion other people are saying. The best way to Safeguard personal data is not to give it in the first place.