All posts by travmorg

Bots Make Up 61.5 Percent of Web Traffic

Bots Make Up 61.5 Percent of Web Traffic

This article breaks down web traffic and who is actually on the internet.  It turns out that there has been an 8% increase to 20.5% of traffic coming from non human impersonators not including legitimate bots from companies like google in order to crawl the web.  Is this increase in bot traffic creating even less privacy in our lives than ever?


Canadian government investigates Google for ‘anti-competitive acts’

Canadian government investigates Google for ‘anti-competitive acts’

This article explains the investigation that has been launched against google in canada.  The reason they are investigating google is because they have been accused of manipulating search results in order to favor their own products.  Should they be able to do so on their own site?  Or does google’s competitors deserve the right to have advertising space above their own products?  I would compare this to NBC airing their own television show advertisements during sunday night football.  They use this ad time in order to gain viewership of their own product.  How does this differ to what google has done?

Boston Police indefinitely suspend license plate reader program citing privacy concerns

This article discusses the use of license plate scanners in the city of Boston and how the police department has just announced that it will suspend the use of them.  The reason this type of practices is being suspended is because of the privacy concerns by citizens of Boston.  The use of these scanners is to scan millions of license plates a year and be able to track the movements of citizens of Boston.  Do the police have the right to track us using technology such as license plate scanners?

Revealed: The Soviet Union’s $1 Billion ‘Psychotronic’ Arms Race with the US

Revealed: The Soviet Union’s $1 Billion ‘Psychotronic’ Arms Race with the US

In this article it talks about a project during the cold war conducted by both the Soviet Union and the United States.  This project was in effort to discover how to control peoples minds.  The ethical implications of something like this would be incredibly damaging to society not only in a physical way but also financially considering how this discovery revealed that the Soviet Union spent over $1 Billion dollars on the project.

Backed By Google Ventures, LevelUp Battles Patent Trolls

Backed By Google Ventures, LevelUp Battles Patent Trolls

This article describes the nature of patent troll firms and current efforts to prevent trolls from stoping innovation.  A patent troll is a firm or lawyer that specializes in obtaining patents in order to collect license fees but does not produce or manufacture any tangible products.

This is business model brings about numerous ethical issues but the biggest issue that it brings up is how much it damages innovation within our country.  “Boston University law school study estimated that patent trolls cost US companies about $29 billion.”  If we continue to sue those who are trying to create startups and innovate we will hinder our country from development in engineering and software development industries.  On the other side of the coin, if we become too restrictive about patent laws we may loose the protection that startups need to survive.  

Indiana Superfund Locations vs Average Cancer Related Deaths

Screen Shot 2013-12-13 at 2.55.25 PM

The visualization above displays the state of Indiana broken into counties. Each county is shaded in order to display the number of deaths resulting from cancer. The darker blue the county is the more deaths on average have occurred. The overlying yellow circles are the locations that have been declared by the EPA as superfund sites.

The point of this project was to try and discover a correlation between superfund zones and the number of cancer occurrences within a given area. According to this map there does seem to be a higher number of cancer related deaths in the counties with more superfund sites. This may have something to do with higher cancer rates, but we cannot declare that it is the direct cause of cancer in these areas. There are numbers of other factors that could explain the cancer rates including anything from nutrition to poverty.

I went about creating this visualization by gathering data in order to display thebreakdown of number of cancer related deaths in each county. I gathered the superfund site locations from the EPA where I was able to find address and translate them to coordinates for the visualization. I also was able to use json data and sample code from a map on d3js that displayed unemployment by county in the United States.

Listed below is a link to the site where I have posted the visualization.