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State and local government sharing more data via Github

By sharing code, jurisdictions can cut IT development costs and better use resources. But it’s “a matter of cultural change. When the city of Chicago decided to publish open source code that could be used to predict critical health code violations at local dining establishments, they did something unusual with it: They published it to GitHub. The move, made at the end of 2014, was essentially made as a dare to data wonks to improve Chicago’s public health. By publishing code on Github, the city of Chicago hoped online strangers could refine their code and improve their prediction models. Chicago is just one of a number of state and local governments using Github, a repository for source code and software project management that’s a mainstay of the private sector tech world. Overcoming a government IT culture that prizes keeping data in closed silos and avoiding unexpected complications, Github has slowly but surely been making inroads in the relatively conservative world of government tech. According to the Silicon Valley-based company, the number of county, state, and local government organizations using GitHub has jumped from 30 in 2012 to 250 in 2015. There are also 300 federal organizations on GitHub, as well as a large number of foreign government entities.”

OECD Health Statistics 2015

“Many European countries saw further reductions in health spending in 2013, according to OECD Health Statistics 2015, released on July 7, 2015. Health spending continued to shrink in Greece, Italy and Portugal in 2013. Most countries in the European Union reported real per capita health spending below the levels of 2009. Outside of Europe, healthContinue Reading

New Report Finds Economic Conditions in Cities Are Improving

“Even as economic conditions in cities have improved in the years since the Great Recession, a new study from the National League of Cities (NLC) found that many factors — including lack of affordable housing, poverty, and skill and achievement gaps — are impeding the long-term economic sustainability of cities. Cities and Unequal Recovery, an analysis basedContinue Reading

Aclima – Google Partner to Map Outdoor Air Quality

TechCrunch: “If a city knows what intersections are full of smog, it could add trees or change stop light schedules to improve the air its citizens breathe. Google Earth’s Outreach program that equips nonprofits and public-benefit organizations with data wants to give the world these insights. So today, Google revealed that it’s been working withContinue Reading

President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Final Report

Final Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing, May 2015. “Law enforcement culture should embrace a guardian—rather than a warrior—mindset to build trust and legitimacy both within agencies and withthe public. Toward that end, law enforcement agencies should adopt procedural justice as the guiding principle for internal and external policies and practicesContinue Reading

Database on EU Distant Water Fleet

“What is this database and why does it matter? The EU lends its flag to a large fleet of vessels that operate in distant waters, meeting our ever-growing demand for seafood by netting catch as far afield as Greenland the distant Pacific Island States, and in all world’s oceans. All EU fishing vessels operating inContinue Reading

Deep learning of bank stress in the news

Detect & Describe: Deep learning of bank stress in the news. Samuel Rönnqvist, Peter Sarlin. arXiv:1507.07870 [q-fin.CP] July 25, 2015. “News is a pertinent source of information on financial risks and stress factors, which nevertheless is challenging to harness due to the sparse and unstructured nature of natural text. We propose an approach based onContinue Reading

Google now identifies peak times to avoid buying stuff in stores

Via Google+ “Do you ever find yourself trying to avoid long lines or wondering when is the best time to go grocery shopping, pick up coffee or hit the gym (hint: avoid Monday after work)? You’re in luck! Now, you can avoid the wait and see the busiest times of the week at millions ofContinue Reading

Consumer Watchdog complaint to FCC supports US Right to be Forgotten

“Consumer Watchdog today said an advertising association’s letter to the Federal Trade Commission misunderstands the Right To Be Forgotten and added that consumer privacy protections are not censorship. The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) today sent a letter asking the FTC to reject Consumer Watchdog’s complaint that Google’s failure to offer U.S. users the abilityContinue Reading

Paper – A quiet culture war in research libraries

Rick Anderson, UKSG Insights, July 7, 2015: “There is a growing rift between those who believe the library’s most fundamental purpose is to support and advance the goals of its host institution and those who believe the library’s most important role is as an agent of progress and reform in the larger world of scholarlyContinue Reading

Privacy Laws in Asia – free download available

Bloomberg BNA – “With its critical impact on the world economy and global trade, privacy legislation in Asia has been extremely active in the last several years. A recently released report, Privacy Laws in Asia, written by Cynthia Rich of Morrison & Foerster LLP for Bloomberg BNA, analyzes commonalities and differences in the privacy andContinue Reading

Univ of Toronto virtual legal research database uses IBM Watson

“The University of Toronto team that built a virtual legal research database [video demonstration is embedded in this article] for the IBM Watson Cognitive Computing Competition made it to the final round of the top three before finishing the competition in second place…The contest began when International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) asked 10 elite schools, includingContinue Reading