Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace
Tartle Best Data Marketplace

Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby discuss the dangers of relying on centralization and data centers to the environment, society, and the progress of humanity. They also talk about how a recent explosion in one of Google’s Iowa-based data centers, followed by massive outages around the world, led to three electricians being injured. 

Building on an Unstable Foundation

Imagine the chaos that would happen if Google Maps just stopped working for a day. The average civilian no longer had the technology they needed to find the fastest routes to work and get a birds-eye view of the traffic in their city. Businesses and restaurants would struggle to help customers find their brick-and-mortar locations. Food delivery riders would have to map out routes on their own. A day without the Maps could set us back by several days in terms of global efficiency.

This just shows how fragile the internet and  data processing is. Technology has become a part of our society’s foundation. But have we engineered and regulated it to be foolproof?

Is It Time to Decentralize?

Data blips can cripple society for far longer than the actual occurrence. So when they do happen, Jason believes that we need to look at the cloud and understand how we are missing out because we rely on centralized systems to process our information.

We could, instead, use the combined processing power that all of our individual smartphones and devices have to decentralize the system, and manage how the internet functions from there. As blockchain technology develops, becomes more efficient, and is integrating into society, this should be the future of how we deal with data. There is no reason to keep a centralized server system when all our individual devices can have the power to run everything decentralized.

What’s your data worth?

Sign up for TARTLE through this link here.

Follow Alexander McCaig on Twitter and Linkedin.

Join Alexander and Jason as they discuss how geopolitical tensions are destabilizing the chip manufacturing industry - and what this means for the future of technology.

Continued Geopolitical Tensions Affect Chip Supply

Chips are important for cars, smartphones, and medical equipment. The world is currently experiencing a chip shortage, which has led to a limited production of new vehicles and smartphones. This means that people must grapple with higher prices for these products.

One main reason behind the shortage is the geopolitical tension between Taiwan and China. 

Taiwan, which is home to more than 90 percent of manufacturing capacity for the world’s most advanced semiconductors, which are a crucial component for making chips. In addition, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company is also the world’s largest and most critical chip manufacturer. 

China’s refusal to recognize Taiwan as a sovereign country, as well as their own means that the rest of the world must work with restricted access to this stronghold of chip manufacturing. 

Honing American Competitive Edge in Chip Manufacturing

In anticipation of the decrease in chip supply, the United States Congress has passed the CHIPS and Science Act, signed by Joe Biden, which would have more than $200 billion invested in semiconductor chip manufacturing over the next five years.

These latest measures to stimulate the local chip manufacturing industry raise concerns on whether taxpayer’s money is going to be used to create a monopoly for existing companies. This would stifle competition and create a situation similar to Wall Street, where the industry would eventually become “too big to fail.” A collapse in chip manufacturing would cripple the entire economy.

Furthermore, Alexander and Jason point out the need for American manufacturers and data centers to offer competitive wages to workers. The wage gap between the jobs offered locally and the ones offered in Taiwan can make the move to another country more tempting. The resulting loss of talent would have a clear impact on the US.

If the United States is to succeed in its goal of becoming a big player in the  chip manufacturing industry, it will need better protections against monopolistic mega industries and unfair labor practices.

What’s your data worth?

Sign up for TARTLE through this link here.

Follow Alexander McCaig on Twitter and Linkedin.

All the data we can gather about a person can be used to create a map on the progression of debilitating diseases. 

How do we get genes to mutate for a positive benefit? How do we use machines to splice proteins and work on genetics? How can we improve our quality of life by removing the things that debilitate us, at the source code level?

While we don’t have the answers to these questions just yet, we do have the data and resources to start searching now. We need to create a world where genetic engineering is a possibility for the people who need it the most. Unfortunately, our data isn’t being utilized for these pursuits.

Stop Putting Profits Before Life

Your healthcare data is priceless and the fact that other companies are making you pay to submit it is absurd.

Imagine what you can do with your genome data if it’s in the right hands. Instead of being used for a one-time service, your personal information can be a part of research trials for the cure to cancer. 

Aside from that, these companies are taking your money and your data, turning around, and using it for their own profit. For example, you pay $99 or $149, whatever the amount is, to get a DNA swab done. Those companies are turning around and using your data to generate 6-digit, or even 7-digit profits.

In our current economic system, we’re letting the bigwigs get away with putting profit before people. And it’s time that we change how it works, while it’s not too late.

Make Data More Accessible

Even when scientists do make progress in the medical field, the effects are not always felt immediately. This is because we may not have adjusted our social infrastructures to accommodate these new technologies. 

One example is crime and justice from the 1980s to the 1990s. Since all the information on a certain location’s serial killers and murders existed in data silos, these criminals were free to just skip town once they started getting attention.

Data shouldn’t be someone else’s cash cow. It’s a reflection of who we are—our habits, preferences, and individual history.

Conclusion

TARTLE was created to allow people to share their data and earn from their hard work. You are free to choose how much information you put up for sale, and who gets to buy them from you. At every step of the process, you are in charge.

This is a stark difference from what you experience from big tech and genetics companies. We bet you never knew you could earn from the data you were giving them. It’s time to change how things operate.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

What possibilities can we explore in a world where everyone can get direct access to the technologies they need to go beyond? What if you could access a whole new dimension of analysis for your business?

In this episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby discuss how TARTLE’s API can benefit organizations, especially startups, all over the world.

Free, Accessible, and Flexible API

Alexander McCaig makes it very clear in the podcast: TARTLE has worked hard to create a public-facing API. The document is available for anybody who becomes a buyer on TARTLE; once they’ve signed up and had their accounts verified, they can come in and connect their servers to ours.

No paywall. No fuss. Just this chance to supercharge your startup.

This is an opportunity for people to enhance their work—regardless of whether it’s a product, service, or app—by having those direct conversations with TARTLE’s servers. It’s designed to be developer-friendly, and to encourage you to be creative. We give you the opportunity to get direct feedback into your target market.

So How Do You Get Started?

The first step is to head over to our website and sign up as a buyer. After that, you can take a look at our API documentation. It’s short and sweet, composed of only seven to 10 lines of code.

After that, you can pull it into your staging servers and run tests on the data you can pull down, to make sure it works.

You can contact us to obtain your API credentials for production and we’ll get back to you as fast as possible. Regardless of whether you are a startup in the United States or anywhere else around the world, TARTLE wants to empower you. We want you to supercharge your data sets, algorithms, and products and services through our API.

What makes us different is this: we do not charge you for calling on the API. Our platform is completely free. In status quo, other businesses would charge you for every single time you access the API. To make matters worse, everything is on a contract basis—so it’s all out of control.

The New Normal, and More

Remote work? Flexible working hours? These new trends aren’t just a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic (although it’s definitely helped companies adopt these practices faster). Even before these practices became widespread, companies have expressed interest in changing. In putting people first before profits. And they need technology that can do the same thing.

We are driven to do better and be better for the next generation. We’ve seen one too many tech companies growing into big, amalgamous entities that just grab whatever data they can get from people, using it without getting any clear consent from the data source, and definitely not compensating everybody for its use.

We are all consumers, participating in a system that should also work for us. TARTLE is built to make this possibility a reality.

Closing Thoughts

The TARTLE buyer API will allow for powerful new features for buyers to request and collect data.  Providing a free and easy to use API empowers data buyers to build on top of the TARTLE platform, which in turn improves liquidity for data sellers.  

Developer-focused tools for buyers represent a mature evolution of TARTLE toward a fair and equitable meeting place for exchange of personal data.  It is our goal to place the tools into the hands of data buyers to create things beyond our own imagination, and we look forward to the interesting uses which will be built on top of our platform.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

What is the main reason you decided to invest in a smartphone or a laptop?

For many of us, it’s the utility and convenience that comes with being able to connect with multiple people in just a few taps that seals the deal for us. For others, it's a hobby to follow the latest tech developments and invest in new releases.

Regardless of why you choose to invest in new gadgets, technology has definitely enhanced our quality of living and made it easier to network. But we question: at what cost?

Covert Surveillance and Data Collection

In this episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby use an analogy of a gold bar to drive their point home. 

Let’s say that you’ve been storing one for years. You saved up for it and you know that it’s yours, it’s a property that you’ve worked hard to obtain. But what if someone just grabs it and claims it as theirs?

This is what big tech does to you every day. Big data has become the automation of oppression.

We are being farmed for our information, which in turn is being analyzed and used for a variety of purposes. For example, we give social media companies the power to control our perspective of the world when they have the data to refine the algorithms used in deciding top posts in our feed. 

We give away our location, consumer preferences, and contact details, and connections without understanding the full impact of our inaction. It’s not just a lost opportunity to profit off of what is rightfully ours. It is an infringement on our basic human rights and freedom.

Bring Back Big Tech to You

With TARTLE, we want to bring the focus back to your rights. Our platform is an effort to remind you that technology is supposed to be a tool for empowerment and emancipation. It is designed for that evolution, for that upbringing, uplifting of the human being.

To be clear, big tech is not the enemy. We’ve only been placed in a difficult situation because for years, corporations have had free reign over the development of technologies—and the regulations that come with it. We did not have the perception, tools, and resources that could engineer a solution against exploiting the data sharing features.

That changes with TARTLE. You can opt out of being Big Brother’s cash cow by investing your time and effort into our Marketplace. You can sign up for free, submit your data for bidding, and take the full amount that your data packet is worth. 

Closing Thoughts

This is an opportunity to discover how much you’ve been missing out. Access the full potential of your personal information and allow these insights to go directly to organizations that can support causes you are passionate about. 

We have the links you need to establish a direct relationship with these entities. In exchange, your participation gives these organizations and researchers a repository of ethically sourced data that they can use for the collective good.

Because you deserve that opportunity.

Big brother can’t grow if you don’t feed it data. Cut off their supply today by supporting a platform that puts YOU at the center of technological innovation.

What’s your data worth?

Research and data are paramount if we want to improve physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing across the board. These not only concern those who are already struggling with illness; healthcare should also focus on being preventive, rather than waiting for people to get sick.

However, the longstanding institutions that we rely on actually create a roadblock for researchers to do their job. Instead of keeping the population healthy, institutions are merely waiting for the people to get sick. In such a set-up, are we truly maximizing the capabilities and technologies that we have developed for the good of humanity?

In today’s episode, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby talk about exchanging healthcare data and its importance to the world. Join them as they listen to comments made by Lex Fridman and David Sinclair on bioinformatics and more.

Challenging the Data Barrier in Bioinformatics

To gain research info regarding healthcare, companies must first collect data. Data collection gives us the opportunity to detect certain diseases, their properties, and how the human body reacts to these.

Perhaps the biggest obstruction that bioinformaticians face are the privacy and ethical concerns when collecting data. Because health institutions aren’t able to disclose and share data regarding their patients, research slows down.

With TARTLE, you have the chance to purchase datasets to help your bioinformatics research or any study for that matter. Data that is being collected by TARTLE is consensually gathered, as users share their information for financial incentives. 

Data collection through TARTLE is also ethical because companies are buying ownership from consenting owners. Through this, the privacy and ethical barrier brought on by HIPAA is no longer an issue.

TARTLE benefits everybody. It gives users the power and knowledge on selling their data while paying them for doing so. It also offers companies massive amounts of datasets that they’re able to use, like medical research. 

Insurance Companies and Their Impact on Data Collection

In the podcast, Alexander McCaig and Jason Rigby listen to a video of David Sinclair discussing his checkup with a doctor. Through this, we discover that proactively collecting data about one’s self gives doctors better insight into your health, more than they ever could with a simple consultation.

In addition to this, we find out that doctors may opt to not perform lab tests that are not immediately needed, or if you do not have a family history for a particular disease. They are disallowed by insurance companies who do not want to spend on anything preventive. Insurance companies only shell out money when someone is already sick.

Insurance companies are only incentivized to save money. Therefore, preventative healthcare becomes impossible for those of a lower socioeconomic profile, and thus cannot afford private lab results.

A Proactive vs. Reactive Approach on Healthcare Development

The TARTLE marketplace is one of the means for preventative healthcare to grow and develop. Because insurance companies aren’t incentivized from giving away data, nor are hospitals allowed to. 

Because hospitals are a reactive system, we are not able to act on someone or gather data until someone is already sick. That is why preventative care is so important. Sickness is better understood, and hopefully lessened, in a world where we are encouraged to actively look out and test  for our own health. 

Hospitals are part of a system that’s economically driven, forcing people into two-dimensional systems that prioritize money before the well-being of a person. The system views unique individuals not as people, but as numbers and statistics without uniqueness. 

The metric that medical institutions should focus on is the maintenance of a disease-free population. How long someone is being kept healthy or how long someone lives should be the defining statistic that healthcare systems should prioritize.

Not only this, but a deeper understanding of preventative measures is a must, that will not only lengthen the life expectancy of every individual, but empower those same individuals with the ability to sell their data. Through a higher volume of data acquisition, researchers and companies can better develop better ways to prevent sickness and disease.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

Insurance. No one likes it. No one really wants it. We definitely hate paying for it. And why wouldn’t we? Insurance companies are notorious for not wanting to pay out any money on a claim and sometimes dropping people if they do successfully collect on one. After all, insurance companies aren’t really about protecting you, they’re about making money. As the sniveling weasel in The Incredibles put it, “What about our shareholders? Who’s looking out for them, huh?” 

As one would expect, insurance companies are always looking to cut their costs. For that, they have turned to data collection and analysis. TARTLE is of course big on data and what we can learn from it. However, we are not fans of the way insurance companies and pretty much everyone else tends to make use of third party data for their purposes. Not only is the sourcing of the data unethical in itself, it can also wind up being discriminatory. Not intentionally, sometimes assumptions are made that are written into the algorithms that analyze the data. Those assumptions may seem like no big deal at first, but they can be processed in such a way that they exclude far more people than intended, people that seem to fit a given profile but in the end differ in certain important ways the algorithm isn’t meant to look for. That’s one of the dangers of completely automating everything. When an AI is running the show, it doesn’t care about any programmed biases, it just does what it is told and does it completely ruthlessly. That is why Connecticut recently reminded insurers in the tiny state that they need to be careful to avoid any sort of discrimination in their use of data. Easier said than done.

To illustrate that, let’s say the insurance company offered a discount to anyone who linked a Whoop or a Fitbit to their insurance account. That might seem innocuous. Certainly, they are sourcing data in a better than normal way since people have to opt in to share it. However, those things on your wrist cost money. Money that not everyone might be able to afford. Just a Whoop subscription runs around $30 a month. How many people are going to be paying that so they can opt into a discount program? Not many, especially since that discount will probably not defray the costs of the subscription. 

On one hand, it seems perfectly reasonable to grant a discount to people who are willing to share more of their health data. Why wouldn’t an insurance company want to incentivize that behavior? Of course they would. On the other hand, not everyone can afford it, as stated above. Which makes this a case of exclusion based on economics. Intentional? Probably not. Not too many people actually wake up in the morning and ask themselves how they can screw over poor people today. Not even people working for an insurance company. 

So, what is the solution? How can an insurance company reward customers for sharing their health data without excluding those who can’t afford the necessary devices? TARTLE has exactly the right solution. We offer these companies the chance to reach out directly to their customers. The company can ask its customers on TARTLE to share whatever data they would like and when someone chooses to do so, the company simply pays the person for the data. That is something that virtually anyone can take advantage of. Yes, there are people who can’t afford any sort of device to work with TARTLE on, but if we are being honest, they don’t have insurance anyway. The solutions to that problem are on a whole other level (though there are other ways other organizations can use us to tackle that one). What we offer is the chance for insurance and other companies to interact directly with their customers to get the information they need and for those people to be incentivized. It’s a win/win scenario for everyone willing to take advantage of it.

What’s your data worth? Sign up for the TARTLE Marketplace through this link here.

Forests, Lasers, and Data. 

Time for another episode of cool things happening in the world of environmental research. Today, we have a project that is helping us better understand the forests. The tool being used for this project? Lasers!

Researchers from the University of Gottingen have been looking into the many different kinds of structures that exist in forests around the world. Using 3D laser scanners, they went all over the globe, recording 3D models of the forests they visited over the span of two years. One of the things they specifically focused on was primeval forests; those that haven’t had their development affected by humans. Believe it or not that is still about 30% of the world’s forests. One of the things these researchers hope to accomplish by doing this is to better understand how humans affect forest development by comparing and contrasting the different structures to be found in ancient forests and those that have been altered by human activity.

This looks to be very good research. For maybe the first time, scientists are doing a study into how humans affect forest development using an actual control group. Before, we had really only been comparing past information on a given forest with what is happening now. There is nothing wrong with that and it can still be very useful, but it can be very difficult to say with certainty how things might have been different. Now, with these 3D models that have been created, being used in conjunction with satellite data, researchers can find two areas of a similar forest structure and climate, one that has been affected by people and one that has not. Then they can be tracked over a period of time to observe how their development diverges. For perhaps the first time ever, they will be able to track two similar forest structures over a period of time, providing us with excellent information on the environment and our impact on it. 

Is that really possible? Isn’t most of the primeval forest actually rainforest in the south of the world and the human influenced stuff the boreal forests in the north? Not as much as you would think. There is plenty of rainforest in Brazil that has been affected by commercial development and there are other rainforests in North America in the states of Washington and Alaska that a person could wander in for days and not find a trace of humanity. There is plenty of boreal forest in the North American and Northern Asia that is also untouched by humans. People don’t realize how many millions of acres are actually protected from any kind of development. 

There are of course different levels of development as well. Some areas of forest are surrounded by heavy human development, some have small towns scattered within them. Others have been logged and replanted while others are crisscrossed with trails for various off road vehicles. Some of these forests have been developed in some way for decades, others for just a few years. 

This new study is valuable precisely because using the researchers’ methods, it will be possible to track these various stages and types of development to actually see what the long term effects are. The results will be a huge help to understanding human impact on the environment and helping us learn the best ways to minimize it while still making it possible for people to have homes to live in as well get out and enjoy some of that nature we are talking about. 

TARTLE would also like to commend the researchers on their use of our basic philosophy. They didn’t just rely on satellites and or reports from others. Instead, they did the hard work of going to the source and getting the primary data they needed to get the best possible results. 

What’s your data worth?

Digitainability and the Power of Data

Digitainability is a bit of an odd term. It doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. So what is it? It’s the idea of using our digital technology to get to a more sustainable economy. We talked a lot about that last time without explicitly using the term. It will involve making use of our ability to collect and analyze data in order to identify places where we can be more efficient, to recycle more, places where policy can be refined to help promote greater sustainability. 

One of the key uses of AI will be in working in phases to get from where we are now to where we want to be. Imagine a giant ocean liner trying to make a turn. It doesn’t exactly happen on a dime. Trying to force that ship to turn too tightly risks literally breaking the ship apart and killing everyone aboard. The global, or even your local economic system isn’t terribly different. Trying to change everything all at once will cause massive damage that will do far more harm than good. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to change. Too often, the fact that changing too much too fast is risky has too often been used as an excuse for not changing at all. So, change we must, but without losing sight of the fact that we have to be careful with how we do it. Business as usual may not be able to continue but business completely upended won’t help much either. 

One way that AI would be of immense help is if we could take all the information we have about how certain changes have affected an area over a certain period of time. That can provide a lot of data for an AI to process in order to determine the effect similar changes will have in a given area. What’s even better is if the people working on such a problem made use of TARTLE and our resources in order to do this. By making use of our data marketplace, they can get real time data from people who are being directly affected by policy changes as they happen. That can then lead to near real time refinements on the ground as well as improving the model with better data. This can lead to determining how best to transition to a sustainable economy in a way that won’t completely upset the apple cart.

There is a strong and growing demand for this kind of shift. You see this in the drive for renewable energy, the tiny house movement, and even in boycotts. People will often boycott a product if they think the product is being produced through unethical means, such as palm oil boycotts in Europe. Critics will point out that the company will just shift to a different market that doesn’t care about how the palm oil was produced. The business might go so far as to treat their employees in third world countries even worse in order to make up for lost profits.

While this is probably true, it’s also a total copout. It denies that the people running the business have any agency themselves, that they simply have to do things the way they do them in order to even exist. Obviously we at TARTLE completely reject such an idea. We have to be able to expect real change out of companies as well as individuals. Pretending that certain entities just aren’t capable of that change is remarkably unhelpful and will actually make changing to something better even harder.

That’s another one of the ways we can use AI to our benefit. Our data can be used to educate the recalcitrant, to show them the impact of different choices on the world as a whole. We can then hope that people will make the kinds of decisions needed to build a truly better world.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.

Digital World and Sustainability

Digital sustainability and Artificial Intelligence is all the rage these days. There are universities doing research, op-eds in newspapers, and even several articles in this space talking about artificial intelligence and machine learning and how it will affect our lives in the years to come. Unfortunately, most of the focus has been on how it can be used to improve the bottom lines for businesses around the world. Don’t get us wrong, we’re not knocking the profit motive. However, we are knocking the idea that you have to keep on making more and more profit. That drive has a way of dehumanizing people (and frankly even the people with the drive) and making people lose focus on the things that really matter in the world. 

One of the effects of the constant drive for more profits is the drive to consume more things. More and more we look like Huxley’s Brave New World in which consumerism is promoted by the state, to the extent they put out slogans like “the less stitches, the more riches” to promote people buying new clothes instead of mending what they already have. Every economic ‘stimulus’ is given in the hopes that people use that money to go buy a bunch of stuff to keep things moving. Consumerism is a huge problem in the modern world. This is true both spiritually and materially, though for this article we’ll be focused on the material problems. 

Whether it is the government or business telling us that the way to happiness is the latest and greatest smartphone, TV, car, etc. this creates problems. All of that stuff requires resources to make. Minerals, trees, oils and who knows what are used every time something like that is purchased. And the old goes into landfills, which are gigantic, so gigantic in some places that people literally live on them in places like India, making a living off reselling some of the things in them. We’ve gotten better at reusing a lot of that stuff, being able to recycle things made of the rare minerals mined in Africa or melting down plastics so they can be remolded into something else. However, there is a finite amount of stuff on the planet and a growing population that will naturally keep using that stuff. We might well find ourselves able to get into space and use resources there before much longer, but it wouldn’t hurt to also reduce our dependency on the drive to constantly have more stuff as well. 

Which brings us back to our primary issue for this article, how can we use our digital technology to reduce that need? How can we use things like AI to make things more sustainable? Fortunately, our ability to collect and analyze data is just as unparalleled as our increased drive to consumerism. Improved analytics can be used for a variety of efforts that will make farming more efficient, enabling people to get the most food out of a plot of land while doing the least amount of harm to the environment. 

We can learn how to build safer, smaller, and lighter vehicles so that they use fewer resources, are more fuel efficient and still allow people to get from point A to point B. AI can be used to study the effects of different zoning laws. Would it be better to allow more mixing of business and residential areas so people don’t need to drive ten minutes whenever they need a gallon of milk? 

There is a lot of potential here. And a lot of ways that potential can be undermined. We’ll be exploring both of those a bit more next time.

What’s your data worth? Sign up and join the TARTLE Marketplace with this link here.