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The success of LinkedIn Using Network Effect

In the lectures, we learned that there are two major reasons why people would imitate the behavior of others. One reason is based on direct-benefit effects, also called Network effects, which suggest that people receive an explicit benefit when they align their behaviors with those of others. The creators of LinkedIn recognized the power of […]

Misinformation Cascade

Following terrorist attacks in various parts of the world, sites such as Facebook and Twitter flooded with posts regarding the attackers and victims. Countless countries received word of the attacks minutes after they were implemented, demonstrating the power of modern technology, but with such a medium comes those who hunt for online attention. False information […]

Information Cascades in a Money-Making Social Network

While popular social networks such as Facebook and Twitter provide a platform for you to advertise your own products and view products created by others, neither of these social networks have a way for somebody to directly earn money through the ad services put forth by Facebook and Twitter due to the page views they […]

Paris and the trail of social media misinformation

Information cascades occurs when “an observer sees something and does the exact same thing despite one’s own beliefs or private information to the contrary”.  As discussed in the model in class and in the textbook, a person would copy others regardless of the private signal received because he/she observes a majority of others doing the […]

A Deadly Information Cascade

       The events that have recently transpired have brought with it an information cascade, put in motion by the portrayal of news through the media. The attacks by ISIS in multiple parts of the world has caused people to take to social media and other platforms in order to voice their opinions but […]

How VHS Conquered Betamax

We’re all familiar with VHS tapes––renting them from BlockBuster, rewinding them, having the tape rip out somehow. But much less people know about another videocassette format, Betamax. In the late 1970s and 1980s, VHS and Betamax waged a format war, and VHS emerged the victor. Betamax was introduced in 1975––two years before VHS. It was […]

Analyzing the Privacy of Bitcoin’s Network

Bitcoin is traditionally thought to that provide a certain anonymity. When speaking about financial transactions it is important to make the distinction between anonymity and privacy. A transaction is anonymous when the purchaser remains unknown, while privacy is used in cases where what was purchased and the price paid for it are unknown. Cash is generally […]

A Whole GNU World: How Munich Switched from Windows to Linux

In 2001, a movement started in Munich to switch government computers’ operating systems from Windows to GNU/Linux.  The article describes how such an unlikely movement followed through.  Personal computers require an operating system in order to run, and while most consumers are accustomed to using Mac OS or Windows, there are many free, non-proprietary alternatives […]

Attack vulnerability of scale -free network due to cascade breakdown

As we discussed in the class for the information cascade model, a complex networks can be brought down by attack on a single or a very few nodes through the process of cascading failures. Here in the research by Liao Zhao, Kwangho Park and Ying-Cheng Lai, a recent model for cascading failures in complex networks […]

Using Prediction Markets to Test the Peer Review Process This article in The Atlantic gives an interesting example of a crossing between gambling and science. In Chapter 22 we discussed how a prediction market can help aggregate individual information using the simple mechanism of gambling. In the model we constructed in class, each participant has a utility function and an initial endowment of […]

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Blogging Calendar

November 2015