You can tell a lot about someone from the car they drive. The data that many vehicles now collect can reveal the patterns of our daily lives and provide insights into our behaviour, actions and even our state of mind.
You may know nothing about it, but your phone – or your laptop or tablet – could be taken over by someone else who has found their way in through a back door. They could have infected your device with malware to make it a “bot” or a “zombie” and be using it – perhaps with hundreds of other unwitting victims’ phones – to launch a cyberattack.
EA Sports’ Fifa football videogame series is arguably the most successful sports gaming franchise of all time. Since its debut in 1993, it has sold over 260 million copies across 29 iterations. This position was reaffirmed in 2022, with its latest instalment, Fifa23, reported as the UK’s highest selling videogame at Christmas.
At the end of every year, I gather statistics on the most viewed Wikipedia articles of the year. This helps me, a computational social scientist, understand what topics captured the most attention and gives me a chance to reflect on the major public events of the year. I try to use data to determine how the public (and more specifically here, English-language Wikipedia readers) will collectively remember the past year.
Christmas is said to be a time for connecting with friends, family and having fun. But it can also be time of loneliness. Indeed, the results of a 2018 survey looking at loneliness during Christmas time in the UK revealed that 17% of people felt more lonely over the festive period.
After a good night out you may not be surprised when you wake up feeling rough the next morning. But what may surprise you is if your friends aren’t feeling the same way. Some may feel worse, some better and some (if they’re lucky) may not feel any of the negative consequences at all.
“You know what’s wrong with scientific power? It’s a form of inherited wealth. And you know what assholes congenitally rich people are.” That’s how filmmaker Michael Crichton put it in Jurassic Park nearly 30 years ago. The problem of scientific colonialism has not, however, gone away.