Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Epidemic outbreak detection using search engine!!!!

Is it possible to detect a disease outbreak in an area using no pathological techniques but a search engine? For example, is it possible to detect Dengue fever outbreak in Cochin using internet..... It is!!!! 

Google has done just that. They have launched "flu trends" to detect flu outbreaks in an area by analyzing the data in their huge database. It seems that by analysing how many people search flu-related topics from an area, it is possible to predict how many people actually have flu symptoms. Google says "By counting how often we see these search queries, we can estimate how much flu is circulating in
 various regions of the US".
And guess what, the trend Google predicts surprising
ly resembles closely the actual data that 
CDC (Centre for Disease Control) produces every

You can check it out here:

Another off-the track application of the search data that google gathers everyday..... 

Now the question, Can Google save the world someday???? 

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Shift from "surging" to "dwelling"

An extract from a blog on how a modern depression would look like..
In precarious times, hunkering down can become not simply a defense mechanism, but a worldview. Grant McCracken, an anthropologist affiliated with MIT who studies consumer behavior, calls this distinction "surging" vs. "dwelling" - the difference, as he wrote recently on his blog, between believing that the world "teems with new features, new things, new opportunities, new excitement" and thinking that life's pleasures come from counting one's blessings and appreciating and holding onto what one already has. Economic uncertainty, he argues, drives us toward the latter.

Economists feel that the recession which is in full swing, is deep enough to become a Depression, like the Great depression of the 30's. So the global outlook would turn to more of a dwelling nature, rather that a surging one. 
I now ponder... what could be the best way to make the most out of a Recession ? Clearly clinging on to the job you have, if you have one, will be the one everyone do, so it won't make a difference. How to take advantage of the "dwelling" times that's coming? 

I will post my answer when i find out!!!!!!!!!!