War on Terror Suffering Info Overload? | Jupiter@Nite | 7.21.10

War on Terror Suffering Info Overload? | Jupiter@Nite | 7.21.10

Before we get started, I want to tell you about my INSPIRATION for tonight’s show.  I spent more than 4 hours today recovering data from a pile of old HDs I had sitting around, thanks to receiving a new toy from ThinkGeek.

(link: http://bit.ly/9jSu4O)

This thing is fantastic, but a little touchy.  I had to make sure that the drive was already spun up and whirring contently before plugging in the USB portion, which I didn’t realize until I went and looked up some reviews on another website.  So actually the first hour was spent cursing violently and attempting to troubleshoot past my own stupidity, after which the thing performed perfectly.  Eventually I defeated the data goblins, and recovered the buried treasures of my family’s past.  Photos, tax documents, old emails, everything.  About 30gb worth, spread over 9 different drives.

 

INFORMATION OVERLOAD:

We all suffer from complete data saturation today. With our busy email inbox, steady Facebook and Twitter feeds, news radio, and cell phones our mind never seems to get a moments rest, and truthfully it’s all just too much for us to retain and process.

 

This is exactly the situation the US Government’s Intelligence agencies are in. So, tonight’s show is gonna be about the perils of living in the Information Age.  Namely, the concept that by proliferating so much information out over potentially faulty hardware, and over networks and far-flung bureaucracies, sometimes it can all become too big.  Too much to handle.

 

War on Terror is now so big, nobody knows its true size or cost

http://projects.washingtonpost.com/top-secret-america/

* 3,100 firms & agencies involved, across more than 10,000 locations.

* ~854,000 people (1.5x the population of Wash DC) have Top-Secret Clearance.

* In the Wash DC area, more than 17 billion square feet of buildings have been built (or are under construction) since 9/11, for the purposes of intelligence agencies.

* Wasted duplication of effort is inevitable because there is no single source of oversight.

* More than $100 BILLION of our national budget has been spent over the past 3 years, on intelligence gathering efforts

*Every day, the National Security Agency’s systems “intercept and store 1.7 billion e-mails, phone calls and other types of communications.”

              (Good summary-style re-post: http://yhoo.it/ce3k0u )

 

 

 

TIPS TO COMBAT INFO OVERLOAD:

   No data silos allowed. IE, if you use a task manager on your Smart Phone, make sure it syncs to a service that fits with your current work flow.

   Don’t use a service/app that is outside your current normal routine. For example, don’t use an app that syncs to Remember the Milk if you don’t typically already login to that service on a regular biases. Out-of-site and out-of-mind. I opted to go with the less functional Google Tasks simply because it integrated so well into my Android/GCal/Gmail work flow. I know RTM is a better service, but that means nothing if I won’t ever remember to use it.

   Use a memory enhancer, the digital kind. Evernote comes to mind. It’s a software/service combo that supports syncing notes of all kinds (audio, text, images, pdf, doc, etc) across desktops and handheld devices.

   Focus on your top 3 or so tasks for the day. If you come across something shiney online that you don’t want to loose track of, take advantage of a service like Read it Later to store it for your attention at a better time.

   More great info over at Worthless Genius

 

 

Traffic counts are wrong, nobody knows why

http://blog.reddit.com/2010/07/experts-misunderestimate-our-traffic.html

* Reddit admins use Google Analytics widgets to track page traffic vs. major tracking services.  Numbers from these independent trackers are as little as 10% of the Analytics data.

* Reddit’s ‘unique visitor’ count = 8,000,000

* Compete.com = 927,000

* Quantcast = 10,000,000 to 12,000,000 since Jan 1, 2010

– Also shows 2 months of declining traffic, which Reddit says they have not had since 2007.  So even if the numbers are off, they aren’t consistently off in the same way each month.

* Alexa = weird.  It uses some strange metric to measure your % of total internet traffic.  But doesn’t provide numbers on how they compute these percentages.

* Nielsen (yes, the ratings people) = total audience of 652,000 people

 

Comments on this story are very interesting…

* One comes from the webmaster @ Penny Arcade:

— Apparently those services’ numbers become more accurate if you install their tracking service which invariably slows down your service response times, so nobody wants to do that.  Or wants to buy the software.

* Another comes from the Google DoubleClick Ad Planner project manager:

— Explains how to “certify” your Analytics data using a program called Ad Planner.

— Also explains that the primary difference here is not actual traffic measurements, but the definition of a “unique visitor.”

 

 

 

CLOSING NOTES:

San Diego Comic Con, July 22-25.  Tonight is “preview” night.

              Over the next few days, we’ll probably be keeping a close eye on all the geek media news that will come streaming out of there, and so the next couple nights will probably have a heavy slant towards covering that stuff.

 

‘Thor’ And ‘Captain America’ Posters Debut!

 

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