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Daily Archives: January 15, 2014

Federal Reserve Board Beige Book – January 15, 2014

“Prepared at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and based on information collected on or before January 6, 2014. This document summarizes comments received from business and other contacts outside the Federal Reserve and is not a commentary on the views of Federal Reserve officials. Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest economic activity continued to expand across most regions and sectors from late November through the end of the year. Nine Districts indicated the local economy was expanding at a moderate pace; among these, the Atlanta and Chicago Districts saw conditions improve compared with the previous reporting period. Boston and Philadelphia cited modest growth, while Kansas City reported the economy held steady in December. The economic outlook is positive in most Districts, with some reports citing expectations of “more of the same” and some expecting a pickup in growth. Three-quarters of the Districts indicated that retail activity had increased since the last Beige Book report. The exceptions were St. Louis and Kansas City, where retail results were mixed, and the Richmond District, which cited a softening of retail sales. Richmond, Atlanta, and San Francisco noted strong auto sales. Districts mentioning nonfinancial services noted increased activity, except for Richmond, which cited “little change” in demand for non-retail services. All Districts reported year-over-year increases in manufacturing activity, although Kansas City noted slower growth in December.”

EIA – Drilling Productivity Report

“The Drilling Productivity Report uses recent data on the total number of drilling rigs in operation along with estimates of drilling productivity and estimated changes in production from existing oil and natural gas wells to provide estimated changes in oil and natural gas production for six key fields. EIA’s approach does not distinguish between oil-directedContinue Reading

Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic

CRS – Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources, by Topic – Rita Tehan,  Information Research Specialist, January 9, 2014 “This report provides references to analytical reports on cybersecurity from CRS, other government agencies, trade associations, and interest groups. The reports and related websites are grouped under the following cybersecurity topics: policy overview National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)Continue Reading

Senate Intelligence Committee Releases Declassified Bipartisan Report on Benghazi Terrorist Attacks

“The Senate Intelligence Committee today issued a declassified report on the September 11-12, 2012, terrorist attacks against U.S. personnel at the Temporary Mission Facility and CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya. The committee found the attacks were preventable, based on extensive intelligence reporting on the terrorist activity in Libya—to include prior threats and attacks against Western targets—and givenContinue Reading

Billion-Dollar Weather/Climate Disasters

U.S. saw 7 billion-dollar weather and climate disasters in 2013: “The National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) is the Nation’s Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather/climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCDC tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have greatContinue Reading

EFF – How To Opt Out of Gmail’s Google Plus Integration

“Google recently unveiled a feature that consolidates their products even further. Now you will receive an email in your Gmail inbox if someone sends a message to your Google Plus account, even if they don’t know your email address. Some people—perhaps most people—will not want it to be easier for strangers to send messages to their email inbox,Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – National Flood Insurance, VA Surgical Implants

NATIONAL FLOOD INSURANCE PROGRAM – Progress Made on Contract Management but Monitoring and Reporting Could Be Improved, GAO-14-160, Jan 15, 2014 VA SURGICAL IMPLANTS – Shortcomings in Implant Purchasing and Tracking, GAO-14-271T, Jan 15, 2014

McKinsey – What executives should know about open data

Novel and more accessible forms of information from government and private sources represent a new and rapidly growing piece of the big-data puzzle. January 2014 | byMichael Chui, James Manyika, and Steve Van Kuiken. “Not all data that’s valuable is internal and proprietary. New initiatives by governments as diverse as those of the United States, Mexico, and SingaporeContinue Reading

Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women

Sedentary Behavior and Mortality in Older Women (Am J Prev Med 2014;46(2):122–135) & 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine “Background: Although epidemiologic studies have shown associations between sedentary behavior and mortality, few have focused on older women with adequate minority representation and few have controlled for both physical activity and functional status. Purpose: The objective of this studyContinue Reading

NYT – N.S.A. Devises Radio Pathway Into Computers

New York Times – David Sanger and Thom Shanker: “The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world that allows the United States to conduct surveillance on those machines and can also create a digital highway for launching cyberattacks.  While most of the software is inserted by gaining access to computer networks,Continue Reading