Microsoft NERD

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Smarter city
From to Boston to Beijing, tracking taxi trips could help build cleaner cities
The paths of 170 million cabs in NYC over 2011. Image credit: HubCab
Big cities tend to have big pollution problems. But the very source of that bad air — tens of thousands of trips made by crawling, stalling, fuming taxi cabs — could offer city planners a more granular look at the pollution problem. It could even reveal suggestions for fixes, two studies of cab habits in Beijing and New York City suggest.  Read More
Your space my space
How to ethically study people on Facebook? Researchers discuss
(Shutterstock)
A study on Facebook users that altered the news feeds of some 700,000 people in 2012 drew shrill outcry from Facebook users, ethicists, politicians, and researchers when the work was published this summer. The feedback prompted a post-mortem of the methods in that study within the research community as well as a re-examination of ethics surrounding research on people and their data. Read More