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Draft of UN’s New Report on Global Warming Delivers Bleak Assessment

Justin Gillis, New York Times: “Runaway growth on the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human emissions, the draft report said, and those problems are likely to intensify unless the gases are brought under control. The world may already be nearing a temperature at which the loss of the vast ice sheet covering Greenland would become inevitable, the report said. The actual melting would then take centuries, but it would be unstoppable and could result in a sea level rise of 23 feet, with additional increases from other sources like melting Antarctic ice, potentially flooding the world’s major cities.”

FBI Digitizes Millions of Files

“The digital conversion of more than 30 million records—and as many as 83 million fingerprint cards—comes as the FBI fully activates its Next Generation Identification (NGI) system, a state-of-the-art digital platform of biometric and other types of identity information. The system, which is incrementally replacing the Bureau’s Integrated Automated Fingerprint Identification System, or IAFIS, willContinue Reading

CFPB Publishes Report to Promote Financial Wellness in the Workplace

“The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) published a report to promote financial wellness in the workplace. The report contains case studies that are designed to educate employers about practices that can improve employees’ financial health and increase worker productivity…Research has shown that, particularly since the recession, financial distress is widespread among the American workforce. ThisContinue Reading

City72 open-source emergency preparedness platform

“An effective preparedness platform customizable to your city. City72 is an open-source emergency preparedness platform that promotes community resilience and connection. This Toolkit is designed specifically for emergency preparedness organizations and provides the information and resources to create a customized City72 site for any city or region. It includes: how to create localized content, access to the code toContinue Reading

Follow the money: A study of cashtags on Twitter

Follow the money: A study of cashtags on Twitter, Martin Hentschel, Omar Alonso, First Monday, August 14, 2014. “The popularity of Twitter goes beyond trending topics, world events, memes, and popular hashtags. Recently a new way of sharing financial information is taking place in social media under the name of cashtags, stock ticker symbols that are prefixedContinue Reading

Internet Archive Book Images – millions of copyright-free images

Internet Archives: “An American academic is creating a searchable database of 12 million historic copyright-free images. Kalev Leetaru has already uploaded 2.6 million pictures to Flickr, use the link above to see the millions of hard to find historic images all for free now on line.” Also from Internet Archives, see also: “Open Library is anContinue Reading

US Worker Displacement: 2011-2013

BLS: “From January 2011 through December 2013, 4.3 million workers were displaced from jobs they had held for at least 3 years, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statisticsreported today. This was down from 6.1 million workers for the prior survey period covering January 2009 to December 2011. In January 2014, 61 percent of workers displaced from 2011 toContinue Reading

Usage-Based Insurance and Telematics

National Association of Insurance Commissioners: “Usage-Based Insurance (UBI) is a recent innovation by auto insurers that more closely aligns driving behaviors with premium rates for auto insurance. Mileage and driving behaviors are tracked using odometer readings or in-vehicle telecommunication devices (telematics) that are usually self-installed into a special vehicle port. The basic idea of telematicContinue Reading

Study: Government Blocks Specific Journalists From Accessing Information

David Sorota: “As states move to hide details of government deals with Wall Street and as politicians come up with new arguments to defend secrecy, it was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don’t like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing “seriousContinue Reading

Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment – July 2014

BLS news release: “Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 348 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 16 areas, and unchanged in 8 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Fifteen areas had jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent and 68 areas had rates of less thanContinue Reading

EPIC FOIA Case – Army Blimps over Washington Loaded with Surveillance Gear, Cost $1.6 Billion

“EPIC has received substantial new information about the surveillance blimps, now deployed over Washington, DC. The documents were released to EPIC in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of the Army. The documents also reveal that the Army paid Raytheon $1.6 billion. EPIC will receive more documents about the controversial program In October. For more information, see EPIC: EPIC v. ArmyContinue Reading

The “40-Hour” Workweek Is Actually Longer – by Seven Hours

Gallup Economy: “Adults employed full time in the U.S. report working an average of 47 hours per week, almost a full workday longer than what a standard five-day, 9-to-5 schedule entails. In fact, half of all full-time workers indicate they typically work more than 40 hours, and nearly four in 10 say they work atContinue Reading