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Earth The Almighty Buck Science

MasterCard Transactions To Be Mined For CO2 Data 124

Posted by timothy
from the strip-mined-with-acid-I-hope dept.
seamus1abshere writes "In the latest twist from Big Data, MasterCard and Brighter Planet today announced that cardholder transaction data will be mined for clues about CO2 emissions. Initial coverage will be of flights, car rentals, hotels and other purchases for which the credit card company stores extra metadata. Interestingly, the science behind the offering is all open source."
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MasterCard Transactions To Be Mined For CO2 Data

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  • Kewl... Oh, wait (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pitterpatter (1397479) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:21AM (#36115492) Journal
    While I would dearly love to have Al Gore's data from this enterprise, I'm not so sanguine about him having mine.
  • Matching products (Score:5, Insightful)

    by improfane (855034) * on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:36AM (#36115538) Journal

    I imagine that the most important piece of information regarding the transaction is the supplier and a transaction number. The amount is worthless. How would you match an amount to a product, especially if more than one product is purchased? Many customers pay different amounts for the same product, how will they factor this in? They'd have to ask the supplier what was actually purchased with some kind of order number.

    Some services are bought but not redeemed later in the future such as a flight or a cruise ship. They need to work out when a servie is actually utilised.

    Somehow I think they'd be better of analysing public transport systems. Such as buses, trains, planes and traffic. If 10 people buy a bus ticket, the bus will expel the same amount of CO2 than if the bus was full. Same with trains, they are quite often under capacity.

  • by frovingslosh (582462) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:42AM (#36115574)
    How much computing power will be used to mine all of this data? How much energy will be spent on this project? How much CO2 will be released as a result?
  • by artor3 (1344997) on Friday May 13, 2011 @02:58AM (#36115636)

    This is the most idiotic and trollish response that always gets thrown about. Expending energy to figure out how to save energy can easily be a net positive. I'm sure automotive engineers expelled a great deal of energy designing cars that get 30+ miles to the gallon instead of 15. Electrical engineers spent energy designing LED lighting that is far more efficient than incandescent. But you aren't thinking about that, nor are you thinking at all. You're just trolling, because you've been trained to hate anyone who suggests that CO2 can have a negative impact on the climate.

  • by Psychotria (953670) on Friday May 13, 2011 @03:56AM (#36115802)

    This is the most idiotic and trollish response that always gets thrown about. Expending energy to figure out how to save energy can easily be a net positive. I'm sure automotive engineers expelled a great deal of energy designing cars that get 30+ miles to the gallon instead of 15. Electrical engineers spent energy designing LED lighting that is far more efficient than incandescent. But you aren't thinking about that, nor are you thinking at all. You're just trolling, because you've been trained to hate anyone who suggests that CO2 can have a negative impact on the climate.

    No the parent is not trolling. "How much energy will be spent tracking this" is a perfectly valid question. If I spend x+10 energy on monitoring to save x+1 energy then that's a problem. It's a bit like saying that electric trains are "cleaner" than diesel trains. They're not. The pollution (or expenditure of energy) is just transferred to somewhere else.

  • by pnot (96038) on Friday May 13, 2011 @04:43AM (#36115970)

    While I would dearly love to have Al Gore's data from this enterprise, I'm not so sanguine about him having mine.

    As I'm sure you noticed from R'ingTFA, this programme basically involves some extra annotation on a system Mastercard's been running since 2002 allowing corporate clients to analyse spending on their cards. So yes, if you're working for Al Gore and spending his money on your company card, he will (shock horror) be entitled to data-mine your transactions for anything he damn well pleases. Get over it: you don't have any expectation of privacy when you're spending company money on company business.

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