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Daily Archives: October 29, 2013

EPIC – Leahy and Sensenbrenner Introduce USA FREEDOM Act

“The Democratic Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Republican author of the Patriot Act have introduced the USA FREEDOM Act, which would reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and limit NSA surveillance activities. A bi-partisan coalition, including 17 Senators and 70 Members of Congress, have joined as original co-sponsors. Key provisions of the FREEDOM Act increase transparency of intelligence activities, prevent end-runs around the FISA Court, and improve public reporting. In 2012 EPIC testified before the House Judiciary Committee about the need to reform FISA and to improve oversight of the FISA court. The FREEDOM Act also ends the controversial bulk phone records collection program. EPIC has brought a challenge in the Supreme Court to the phone records program, explaining that it is unlawful under current law. For more information, see EPIC: In re EPIC and EPIC – Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.”

IMF – Doing Business 2014

Doing Business 2014 - Understanding Regulations for Small and Medium-Size Enterprises, October 29, 2013.  Main Findings: “Ukraine, Rwanda, the Russian Federation, the Philippines, Kosovo, Djibouti, Côte d’Ivoire, Burundi, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Guatemala are among the economies improving the most in 2012/13 in areas tracked by Doing Business. Worldwide, 114 economies implemented 238 regulatory reforms in 2012/13 making it easier to do business as measuredContinue Reading

New study suggests coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate change

News release: “Coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate warming, improving their chance of surviving through the end of this century, if there are large reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study funded by NOAA and conducted by the agency’s scientists and its academic partners. Results further suggest corals have already adaptedContinue Reading

Drinking Water From The Potomac River – An endangered watershed?

This is a podcast of the The Kojo Nnamdi Show, recorded on October 28, 2013 –  the conversation about the Potomac River and drinking water is here: “Three-fourths of our region’s drinking water comes from the Potomac, but there are new concerns about contaminants in the river. Kojo examines the challenges facing the source of our drinkingContinue Reading

Open data: Unlocking innovation and performance with liquid information

Open data—machine-readable information, particularly government data, that’s made available to others — “has generated a great deal of excitement around the world for its potential to empower citizens, change how government works, and improve the delivery of public services. It may also generate significant economic value, according to a new McKinsey report. Our research suggests that sevenContinue Reading

SIGTARP Quarterly Report to Congress

Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program - Quarterly Report to Congress, October 29, 2013 “The financial system has stabilized in part due to five years of the TARP bailout,  but the toxic corporate culture that led up to the financial crisis and TARP has not sufficiently changed. At the core of theContinue Reading

Commentary – Why the Financial Crisis Took Economists By Surprise

Never Saw It Coming – by Alan Greenspan:  “The economics of animal spirits, broadly speaking, covers a wide range of human actions and overlaps with much of the relatively new discipline of behavioral economics. The study aims to incorporate a more realistic version of behavior than the model of the wholly rational Homo economicus used for so long.Continue Reading

The Area 51 File: Secret Aircraft and Soviet MiGs

Declassified Documents Describe Stealth Facility in Nevada: “The CIA’s history of the U-2 spy plane, declassified this past summer, sparked enormous public attention to the U-2′s secret test site at Area 51 in Nevada, but documents posted today by the National Security Archive show that Area 51 played an even more central role in the development ofContinue Reading

OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2013

“The OECD Science, Technology and Industry Scoreboard 2013 draws on the latest internationally comparable data to uncover the strengths of OECD and other leading economies and explore the continuing challenges to overcome the effects of the recent financial and economic crises. It features indicators traditionally used to monitor developments in science, technology, innovation and industry,Continue Reading

Commentary – America’s Incredible Shrinking Information Sector

Vision Statement: America’s Incredible Shrinking Information Sector - Interactive by Alvin Chang; Analysis by Hank Robison “The information industry – which the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as processors, producers, and distributors of data, informational, and cultural products—shed more jobs in the first decade of the millennium than any other sector except manufacturing. Down more thanContinue Reading