Overview

Ransbotham Profile

With computers and global connectivity, everything we do has the potential to affect everyone else-- both negatively and positively.

Computer security is an example of largely negative impacts. Spam floods our inboxes. Crooks attack our computers within minutes of connecting to the Internet. Identity theft is rampant and personal privacy disappears along with our bank accounts. My infected computer makes you buy anti-virus software

But of course it isn't all bad. Mobile phones with email connect us with friends no matter where we or they are. Amazon reviews help us figure out what products to buy. Google and Wikipedia provide instant answers. Facebook connects us with friends-- and Twitter lets us know when they are brushing their teeth.

I like to study the influence of this evolving computer inter-connectivity on business, primarily through large scale data analysis. Here are some questions I am trying to figure out...

Security and Risk

  • Does installing a computer system create a "smoking gun" and make a hospital more likely to get sued? details...
  • Sure "with enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow", but does having open source code make it easier for attackers? details...
  • Does paying people to find bugs in software do more harm than good? details...
  • ...and others

Emerging social, mobile, and grid computing

  • What do businesses like Starbucks gain from using Facebook and Twitter? details...
  • What make some Wikipedia pages more useful than others? details...
  • How are restaurant reviews different if they are fired off from a mobile phone while sitting in the restaurant? details...
  • ...and others

Strategic use of information technology

  • Do online auto auctions hurt or help physical auctions? details...
  • Should companies acquire technology startups early while they are risky but cheap or later when they are known but expensive? details...
  • When do startup biotech companies make more money from being acquired rather going public? details...
  • ...and others