RemindLED: an unforgetting device from Harry Potter

“A Remembrall is a tennis ball-sized glass ball that contains smoke that turns red when its owner has forgotten something. It turns clear once whatever was forgotten is remembered.” — Harry Potter Wikia Seems useful, right? Put one of those on the kitchen table, and you’ll never ever forget to put out …

Rewriting Excel for the era of big(ger) data

The spreadsheet may very well be the biggest innovation after the personal computer itself. Spreadsheets are used by professionals in virtually all sectors where information is processed, where they are entrusted with anything between shopping lists and billion-dollar, life-or-death decisions support systems. They are used for all sorts of tasks …

Big data: a quest for policy

This article explores the (potential) impact of big data on policy and policy research. Smart devices generate an ever-increasing volume, variety and velocity of data (so called big data). The expectation is that big data will play a significant role in policy-making processes and policy research. However, to capture the …

Measuring the information society using big data

How can we take advantage of big data (1) to improve the availability of currently existing global ICT statistics, amd (2) to improve the measurement of the information society? The opportunities for using big data in the context of ICT statistics production are in combining a big data source with a …

Prevent form spam using in-browser proof-of-work

Automated bots abuse comment forms to put advertisements on websites. Traditional CAPTCHAs prevent spam by exploiting the fact that computers cannot solve a particular problem easily, and that humans that can solve them are scarce/expensive/slow (but available in the regular use case). Proof of work, by contrast, exploits the fact that …

Fast forward: how the speed of the internet will develop between now and 2020

This study provides insight in the future upload and download bandwidth demand for residential broadband connections, by answering the following research question: How will upload and download bandwidth change between now and 2020? A prospective quantitative model of bandwidth demand was developed in order to answer the research question. The figure below shows …

Big data for official statistics

The 2014 ESS “Big Data in Official Statistics” event, organised in Rome on 31 st March and 1st April 2014, aimed at contributing to the implementation of the Scheveningen Memorandum, by achieving the following objectives: Increasing awareness of the Big Data challenges in the ESS and propose ways to address …