In the last week alone, we’ve read half a dozen articles on how technological innovation can improve outcomes in diverse fields. Investors can look to Twitter updates and search engine queries to characterize investor sentiment accurately. The military will be able to decide and deploy much more rapidly through the use of robotic forces. Psychiatrists might start using phone data to track depressive symptoms. Yet each of these innovations will not come without its own inherent risks. Among the perils to be navigated will include: (1) Over-prediction: The European Central Bank published an intriguing study this month on how online bullishness (expressed in Twitter updates and Google searches) positively correlated with investment sentiment and led established sentiment surveys. But while high Twitter bullishness predicted increases in stock returns, the stock returns then retreated to their fundamental values. Social feedback emerges…

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Through the Looking Glass With the holiday season officially in full swing, retailers are feeling the heat to push out their hottest releases before the year-end shopping frenzy cools off. As always, the most anticipated releases of the year come from the tech sector. Both Sony and Microsoft launched new all-in-one gaming and entertainment systems last month, Samsung released its newest iPhone competitor, and the 800 pound gorilla is offering a new iPad, and two new variations on the iPhone. Unfortunately, techies with the new smartphone-like wearable headset from Google, called the Google Glass, at the top of their holiday wish list will have to wait till next year to impress fellow denizens of their cubicle pod. Even though Google will not be bringing it’s much hyped Glass to market in 2013, all eyes are watching as it takes the…

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Our fellow citizens, it appears that spies like us – they really like us! But lest we get puffed up with pride, it appears that spies like almost everyone these days. In recent months, countless revelations surrounding the extensive intelligence gathering work of the National Security Agency have swirled about. Accessing email messages, phone records, online data, and direct wiretaps, the NSA has compiled mountains of data on persons of interest, including many who pose no discernible threat to the physical security of the United States. Among the allegations: Words with friends: We’ve shared some tense words with world leaders in recent weeks, including our friends and allies, ever since it’s come out that we’ve been spying on more than thirty of them. Though her official calls happen on a hyper-encrypted Bundesrepublik phone, German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal cellphone was…

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