Google ads, black names and white names, racial discrimination, and click advertising
Do online ads suggestive of arrest records appear more often with searches of black-sounding names than white-sounding names? What is a black-sounding name or white-sounding name, anyway? How many more times would an ad have to appear adversely affecting one racial group for it to be considered discrimination? Is online activity so ubiquitous that computer scientists have to think about societal consequences such as structural racism in technology design? If so, how is this technology to be built? Let’s take a scientific dive into online ad delivery to find answers.
“Have you ever been arrested?” Imagine this question appearing whenever someone enters your name in a search engine. Perhaps you are in competition for an award, a scholarship, an appointment, a promotion, or a new job, or maybe you are in a position of trust, such as a professor, a physician, a banker, a judge, a manager, or a volunteer. Perhaps you are completing a rental application, selling goods, applying for a loan, joining a social club, making new friends, dating, or engaged in any one of hundreds of circumstances for which someone wants to learn more about you online. Appearing alongside your list of accomplishments is an advertisement implying you may have a criminal record, whether you actually have one or not. Worse, the ads may not appear for your competitors.
> Discrimination in Online Ad Delivery
Web site performance data has never been more readily available.
The overwhelming evidence indicates that a Web site’s performance (speed) correlates directly to its success, across industries and business metrics. With such a clear correlation (and even proven causation), it is important to monitor how your Web site performs. So, how fast is your Web site?
First, it is important to understand that no single number will answer that question. Even if you have defined exactly what you are trying to measure on your Web site, performance will vary widely across your user base and across the different pages on your site.
We will discuss active testing techniques that have traditionally been used, then explain newer technologies that permit the browser to report accurate timing data to the server.
How Fast is Your Web Site?
High Performance Web Sites
Building Scalable Web Services
Improving Performance on the Internet
Ang Cui is a Ph.D. student at Columbia University in New York City. His research focuses on embedded devices such as routers, printers and VOIP phones. He is the inventor of a novel, host-based defense mechanism known as Symbiotes. Symbiotes are designed specifically to retrofit black-box, vulnerable, legacy embedded systems with sophisticated anti-exploitation mechanisms. In this video portrait, Ang describes how the extent of the embedded threat in real-world environments, discusses novel exploitation techniques for embedded systems–like enterprise networking equipment–and develops practical defenses for embedded systems that constitute our global communication substrate.
Queue Portrait: Ang Cui
The programmability of FPGAs must improve if they are to be part of mainstream computing.
DAVID F. BACON, RODRIC RABBAH, SUNIL SHUKLA, T.J. WATSON RESEARCH CENTER
When looking at how hardware influences computing performance, we have GPPs (general-purpose processors) on one end of the spectrum and ASICs (application-specific integrated circuits) on the other. Processors are highly programmable but often inefficient in terms of power and performance. ASICs implement a dedicated and fixed function and provide the best power and performance characteristics, but any functional change requires a complete (and extremely expensive) re-spinning of the circuits.
Fortunately, several architectures exist between these two extremes. PLDs (programmable logic devices) are one such example, providing the best of both worlds. They are closer to the hardware and can be reprogrammed.
FPGA Programming for the Masses
Abstraction in Hardware System Design
Computing without Processors
Of Processors and Processing
Building Web sites that perform well on mobile devices remains a challenge.
NICHOLAS C. ZAKAS
The biggest change in Web development over the past few years has been the remarkable rise of mobile computing. Mobile phones used to be extremely limited devices that were best used for making phone calls and sending short text messages. Today’s mobile phones are more powerful than the computers that took Apollo 11 to the moon, with the ability to send data to and from nearly anywhere. Combine that with 3G and 4G networks for data transfer, and now using the Internet while on the go is faster than my first Internet connection, which featured AOL and a 14.4-kbps dialup modem.
The Evolution of Web Development for Mobile Devices
Making the Mobile Web Faster
Mobile Media: Making It a Reality
Mobile Devices in the Enterprise: CTO Roundtable Overview
Join us in Lombard, IL, April 3-5, 2013, for NSDI ’13.
The 10th USENIX Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI ’13) focuses on the design principles, implementation, and practical evaluation of large-scale networked and distributed systems. The technical sessions will focus on hot topics such as pervasive computing, network integrity, data centers, performance, big data, security, privacy, and many others. NSDI ’13 also includes a poster and demo session, where presenters can showcase early research and discuss it with fellow attendees.
Register by March 13 and save. Additional discounts are available!
Whenever someone asks you to trust them, don’t.
As part of a recent push to automate everything from test builds to documentation updates, my group—at the request of one of our development groups—deployed a job-scheduling system. The idea behind the deployment is that anyone should be able to set up a periodic job to run in order to do some work that takes a long time, but that isn’t absolutely critical to the day-to-day work of the company. It’s a way of avoiding having people run cron jobs on their desktops and of providing a centralized set of background processing services.
Swamped by Automation
Brian Beckman, Erik Meijer
It’s easy to do amazing things, such as rendering the classic teapot in HTML and CSS.
The Story of the Teapot in DHTML
A Conversation with Ray Ozzie
Mobile Application Development: Web vs. Native
Scripting Web Services Prototypes
Mobile performance issues? Fix the back end, not just the client.
Mobile clients have been on the rise and will only continue to grow. This means that if you are serving clients over the Internet, you cannot ignore the customer experience on a mobile device.
There are many informative articles on mobile performance, and just as many on general API design, but you’ll find few discussing the design considerations needed to optimize the back-end systems for mobile clients. Whether you have an app, mobile Web site, or both, it is likely that these clients are consuming APIs from your back-end systems.
Certainly, optimizing the on-mobile performance of the application is critical, but software engineers can do a lot to ensure that mobile clients are remotely served both data and application resources reliably and efficiently.
Making the Mobile Web Faster
Usablity Testing for the Web
Mobile Application Development: Web vs. Native
Streams and Standards: Delivering Mobile Video
Racing to unleash the full potential of big data with the latest statistical and machine-learning techniques.
ARUN KUMAR, FENG NIU, AND CHRISTOPHER RÉ, DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
The rise of big data presents both big opportunities and big challenges in domains ranging from enterprises to sciences. The opportunities include better-informed business decisions, more efficient supply-chain management and resource allocation, more effective targeting of products and advertisements, better ways to “organize the world’s information,” faster turnaround of scientific discoveries, etc.
Hazy: Making it Easier to Build and Maintain Big-data Analytics
The Pathologies of Big Data
Condos and Clouds
How Will Astronomy Archives Survive the Data Tsunami?