Big Data, Data Mining and Machine Learning: Under the Hood

In the last few years ‘Big Data’ and ‘Data Mining’ have become the buzzwords of the tech industry. It’s how Facebook knows what adverts to show you, it’s how iPhones correct your typing and, apparently, how the NSA decides whether you are a terrorist. But what do these buzzwords actually mean? What are computers doing when they’re ‘learning’ or ‘mining’? When asked, experts say in a serious tone ‘it’s a very complicated field that isn’t easy to understand’ but they’re lying. The principles are easy to grasp and you don’t need to be an expert to appreciate the potential of this subject or to think of applications yourself! Continue reading

When life hands you lemons

Is a lemonade stand actually a good way to make money?

As a rookie entrepreneur I have recently been trying to think of viable business ideas, but that is easier said than done. Yesterday it was beautiful so I decided to go to Clapham Common in London to clear my head and think of new ideas. After 15 minutes or so I became thirsty, and after realising that the nearest place to buy a cold drink was a 10 minute walk, I thought to myself: Is making a homemade lemonade stand on Clapham Common a feasible business idea? It is the most stereotypical thing for a kid who wants to be an entrepreneur to do, but in terms of starting a business I have a comparable amounts of knowledge! So I thought it would be fun to do a couple of calculations and put some thought into it. Here are the results: Continue reading