Archive for the ‘Blog’ Category

Cuba’s illegal gaming network serves the community

03
Jul

Cuba’s desire for digital connectivity has led to the organization and development of the “Street Network”. It acts as a social community as well as an alternative to government-controlled and regulated Internet service. Gaming online was a key motivator in the network’s development, but it now contains social media, wikis, marketplaces, and more. Being connected is important in 2017, but increasing access globally remains a challenge. The last rule of the Street Network is that you don’t talk about the Street Network. But that wasn’t always the case. For several years the clandestine Havana network of illegal Wi-Fi repeaters, lengths of high-speed network cable and squirreled away servers packed with pirated games, movies and music was sort of an open secret. The government didn’t just turn a blind eye to it; in some cases it protected the valuable equipment located on windowsills and rooftops, keeping an eye out for potential thieves. All of that changed in some people’s eyes in 2015 after several people in the Street Network (often just called the Snet) talked to the Associated Press and brought too much attention to their efforts. Since then, the Snet has continued to grow, quickly stretching outside the bounds of Havana and becoming something ...

Cuba’s illegal gaming network serves the community

03
Jul

Cuba’s desire for digital connectivity has led to the organization and development of the “Street Network”. It acts as a social community as well as an alternative to government-controlled and regulated Internet service. Gaming online was a key motivator in the network’s development, but it now contains social media, wikis, marketplaces, and more. Being connected is important in 2017, but increasing access globally remains a challenge. The last rule of the Street Network is that you don’t talk about the Street Network. But that wasn’t always the case. For several years the clandestine Havana network of illegal Wi-Fi repeaters, lengths of high-speed network cable and squirreled away servers packed with pirated games, movies and music was sort of an open secret. The government didn’t just turn a blind eye to it; in some cases it protected the valuable equipment located on windowsills and rooftops, keeping an eye out for potential thieves. All of that changed in some people’s eyes in 2015 after several people in the Street Network (often just called the Snet) talked to the Associated Press and brought too much attention to their efforts. Since then, the Snet has continued to grow, quickly stretching outside the bounds of Havana and becoming something ...

Diego Gomez-Zara will attend the Web Science Summer School 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia

03
Jul

Between July 1st-8th, Diego Gomez-Zara, graduate student at SONIC Lab, will attend the upcoming WSTNet Web Science Summer School in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is going to present his work “Leveraging Computational Social Science to address Grand Societal Challenges.”

Diego Gomez-Zara will attend the Web Science Summer School 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia

03
Jul

Between July 1st-8th, Diego Gomez-Zara, graduate student at SONIC Lab, will attend the upcoming WSTNet Web Science Summer School in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is going to present his work “Leveraging Computational Social Science to address Grand Societal Challenges.”

Diego Gomez-Zara will present an ERGMs workshop at SocVis

03
Jul

On August 12th, SONIC’s Ph.D. student Diego Gómez-Zará is going to conduct a workshop to the group SocVis, at the Universidad Católica’s Department of Computer Science, Santiago, Chile. He is going to teach Exponential Random Graphs Models (ERGM), a technique for the statistical modeling of social networks.

The ‘time machine’ reconstructing ancient Venice’s social networks

03
Jul

Machine-learning project will analyse 1,000 years of maps and manuscripts from the floating city’s golden age. History hangs heavy at the Frari, and computer scientist Frédéric Kaplan likes it that way. He has an ambition to capture well over 1,000 years of records in dynamic digital form, encompassing the glorious era of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. The project, which he calls the Venice Time Machine, will scan documents including maps, monographs, manuscripts and sheet music. It promises not only to open up reams of hidden history to scholars, but also to enable the researchers to search and cross-reference the information, thanks to advances in machine-learning technologies. Read the full article here.

The ‘time machine’ reconstructing ancient Venice’s social networks

03
Jul

Machine-learning project will analyse 1,000 years of maps and manuscripts from the floating city’s golden age. History hangs heavy at the Frari, and computer scientist Frédéric Kaplan likes it that way. He has an ambition to capture well over 1,000 years of records in dynamic digital form, encompassing the glorious era of the Most Serene Republic of Venice. The project, which he calls the Venice Time Machine, will scan documents including maps, monographs, manuscripts and sheet music. It promises not only to open up reams of hidden history to scholars, but also to enable the researchers to search and cross-reference the information, thanks to advances in machine-learning technologies. Read the full article here.

How to judge a book by its network

03
Jul

Taking advantage of the ‘customers who bought this item also bought’ feature of online commerce, this study constructed a co-purchase network of political books and science books. Researches found a clear division, which they label “partisan differences in the consumption of science”. Both groups bought science books — more than 400,000 between them. But it was relatively unusual to find books that appealed to both liberals and conservatives. Members of each group — and their good friends — had different ideas about what made a good book. Buyers of “blue books” (the liberals) tended to pick from basic science topics, including physics, astronomy and zoology. “Red” customers preferred books that discussed applied and commercial science, such as medicine, criminology and geophysics. And whereas liberal choices tended to reflect mainstream thinking, “red books” tended to be co-purchased with a narrower subset of science books on the fringes of each subject. Read the full article here.

Bad bots do good: Random artificial intelligence helps people coordinate

30
Jun

“To figure out whether random AI can help people coordinate, Hirokazu Shirado, a sociologist and systems engineer, and Nicholas Christakis, a sociologist and physician, both at Yale University, asked volunteers to play a simple online game. Each person controlled one node among 20 in a network. The nodes were colored green, orange, or purple, and people could change their node color at any time. The goal was for no two adjacent nodes to share the same color, but players could see only their color and the colors of the nodes to which they were connected, so sometimes settling conflicts with neighbors raised unseen conflicts between those neighbors and their neighbors. If the network achieved the goal before the 5-minute time limit was up, all players in the network received extra payment. The researchers recruited 4000 players and placed them in 230 randomly generated networks. Some of the networks had 20 people controlling the nodes, but others had three of the most central or well-connected nodes already colored in such a way that they fit one of the solutions. (Each network had multiple solutions.) And some of the networks had 17 people and three bots, or simple AI programs, in charge of the nodes. In some networks, ...

Noshir will address the Web Science Summer School 2017 in St. Petersburg, Russia

27
Jun

On July 1st Noshir Contractor, a cofounder of Web Science Trust, will present at the upcoming WSTNet Web Science Summer School in St. Petersburg, Russia. The title of his keynote address is “Leveraging Computational Social Science to address Grand Societal Challenges.”   Learn more about Web Science Summer School 2017 and its keynotes and speakers here.