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IBM Uses Call-Detail Records To Identify "Friends" 116

theodp writes "Big Blue may know what you did last summer. Or at least who you called. In a move out of the NSA's playbook, IBM Research has been scrutinizing the call-detail records of 'one of the largest mobile operators in the world' (PDF). By analyzing who calls whom, and for how long, IBM claims its patent-pending snooping software can now identify circles of 'friends' who tend to exhibit the same profit-threatening behavior. 'We believe that our analysis is a first of its kind that exploits the underlying social network in a telecom call graph,' boasted a team of IBM researchers and a UMD prof. For now, IBM seems to have focused on using the info to see if your friends are churners, so you can be dealt with pro-actively lest you follow their lead and bolt. However, IBM suggests its SNAzzy data mining technology (Social Network Analysis for Telecom Business Intelligence) has a bright future, noting it 'is also capable of analyzing any kind of social network or graph, not just telecom networks.'"

Comment Danger, Will Robinson?! (Score 1) 210

If this method for detecting life works well then you better believe any advanced alien civilization relatively close to us probably already knows exactly where we are. Perhaps we should hope that life is so common in the universe that they are working their way down a long boring list of warm wet rocks with weird crap growing on them and it will take them a long time to investigate us.

Comment Re:Obvious? (Score 1) 510

Actually it doesn't surprise me at all...that's why I apologized to the Dutch. Perhaps I should apologize to the Germans as well. My paternal grandparents were both immigrants from Germany. I actually took three years of German in high school. That was over 20 years ago and although now it is lost to me from disuse it was quite obvious to me that the articles were in Dutch and not in German. A silly cultural joke isn't always a indication of ignorance; sometimes it is really nothing more than a silly joke.

Comment Re:The Emperor's New Mind (Score 1) 415

I stand corrected by AC's #1 and #2 with my apologies as IANAS. I completely agree that my comment was not factually accurate, please allow me to rephrase it. This experiment and the conclusions drawn from it in the article remind me of ideas proposed by Roger Penrose in his book, The Emperor's New Mind. Anyone interested in further reading of relevance to this discussion might consider this book. I really enjoyed it.

NYC Wants Ideas For "Taxi Technology 2.0" 302

An anonymous reader writes "New York City is soliciting ideas from the public about possible technology improvements for its 13,000+ fleet of taxis. TLC (the city agency in charge of cabs) is 'seek[ing] input and information on ways to enhance the technology systems in each taxicab for the benefit of passengers, drivers and owners alike.'"

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