Data Mining

Some fantastic data mining detective work is revealed by Alexis Madrigal at The Atlantic:

One day, some drug dealer bought a particular digital scale—the AWS-100— on the retail site, And then another drug dealer bought the same scale. Then another. Then another.

Amazon’s data-tracking software watched what else these people purchased, and now, if you buy the AWS-100 scale, Amazon serves up a quickstart kit for selling drugs.

Amazon drug list

Along with various scale-related paraphernalia, we find:

In a few years, will corporations, employers, insurers and others track “diseased lists” of individuals whose social media, smartphone, and purchasing activity hints that they may have health problems? Via PandoDaily, Michael…

In this age of constant advertisement and brand placement, trending topics on Twitter have become a great free way for advertisers to get their message in front of more potential customers. The…

Duncan Geere reports for Wired :

An artist named Tahir Hemphill wants to datamine 30 years of hip-hop lyrics to provide a searchable index of the genre’s lexicon.

The project analyzes the lyrics of over 40,000 songs for metaphors, similes, cultural references, phrases, memes and socio-political ideas. For each, it registers a date and a geographical location. Hemphill has raised more than $8,000 in funding for the project on Kickstarter, from 349 people.

The idea is so that important questions can be answered, like who was the first to mention “haters,”…