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Category Archives: Internet

Study by law prof challenges Google search results

Tim Wu, Michael Luca, and the Yelp Data Team [note – Wu was compensated by Yelp for his work] – “While Google is known primarily as a search engine, it has increasingly developed and promoted its own content as an alternative to results from other websites. By prominently displaying Google content in response to search queries, Google is able to leverage its dominance in search to gain customers for this content. This yields serious concerns if the internal content is inferior to organic search results. To investigate, we implement a randomized controlled trial in which we vary the search results that users are shown ­ comparing Google’s current policy of favorable treatment of Google content to results in which external content is displayed. We find that users are 45% more likely to engage with universal search results (i.e. prominently displayed map results on Google) when the results are organically determined. This suggests that by leveraging dominance in search to promote its internal content, Google is reducing social welfare ­ leaving consumers with lower quality results and worse matches.” Study: “Is Google degrading search? Consumer Harm from Universal Search

Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record

Stewardship of the Evolving Scholarly Record: From the Invisible Hand to Conscious Coordination by Brian Lavoie and Constance Malpas, June 2015: “The scholarly record is increasingly digital and networked, while at the same time expanding in both the volume and diversity of the material it contains. The long-term future of the scholarly record cannot beContinue Reading

OPM – Actions to Strengthen Cybersecurity and Protect Critical IT Systems

“The recent intrusions into U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) systems that house personnel and background investigation data for Federal employees and other individuals have raised questions about the security of OPM data and the integrity of its Information Technology (IT) assets. Since Director Archuleta arrived at OPM, she has led the agency in takingContinue Reading

Free Ebook Foundation to promote access preservation of knowledge literature culture

“Two projects that have been building towards a sustainable ecosystem for free ebooks have joined together in a new non-profit corporation. The Free Ebook Foundation envisions a world where ebooks will be funded, distributed and maintained for the benefit of all, by coordinating the efforts and resources of many. Unglue.it and GITenberg, the two projectsContinue Reading

America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review

Council of State Governments – America’s Knowledge Economy: A State-by-State Review: “The United States’ long-term economic growth will be determined by its ability to encourage the research and development that fosters innovation. In this presentation, The Council of State Governments and Elsevier, a world-leading provider of information solutions, discuss their newly released report, America’s KnowledgeContinue Reading

2015 Scholar Metrics released

Google Scholar Blog: “Scholar Metrics provide an easy way for authors to quickly gauge the visibility and influence of recent articles in scholarly publications. Today, we are releasing the 2015 version of Scholar Metrics. This release is based on citations from all articles that were indexed in Google Scholar as of mid-June 2015 and coversContinue Reading

GAO Report – Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies

Cybersecurity: Recent Data Breaches Illustrate Need for Strong Controls across Federal Agencies, GAO-15-725T: Published: Jun 24, 2015. Publicly Released: Jun 24, 2015 “GAO has identified a number of challenges federal agencies face in addressing threats to their cybersecurity, including the following: Designing and implementing a risk-based cybersecurity program. Enhancing oversight of contractors providing IT services.Continue Reading

Americans’ Internet Access: 2000-2015

Pew – As internet use nears saturation for some groups, a look at patterns of adoption:”A new analysis of 15 years-worth of data highlights several key trends: For some groups, especially young adults, those with high levels of education, and those in more affluent households, internet penetration is at full saturation levels. For other groups,Continue Reading

CFPB consumer complaint database

“[June 25, 2015] the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [went] live with an enhanced public-facing consumer complaint database. It includes for the first time over 7,700 consumer accounts of problems they are facing with financial companies concerning mortgages, bank accounts, credit cards, debt collection, and more. The CFPB is also publishing a Request for InformationContinue Reading

Job Opening – New Librarian of Congress

The Atlantic – Robinson Meyer: Experts say that a new librarian should digitize more works, raise more money—and use email. “The current librarian, James Billington, has held the title since his appointment by President Reagan in 1987. Though named by the president and confirmed by the Senate, the Librarian doesn’t change with every new WhiteContinue Reading

Study – smartphones diminish attention span

A Microsoft study highlights the deteriorating attention span of humans, saying it has fallen from 12 seconds in 2000 to eight seconds:  “According to scientists, the age of smartphones has left humans with such a short attention span even a goldfish can hold a thought for longer. Researchers surveyed 2,000 participants in Canada and studiedContinue Reading

Paper – The Oligopoly of Academic Publishers in Digital Era

PLOS ONE Open Access – “The consolidation of the scientific publishing industry has been the topic of much debate within and outside the scientific community, especially in relation to major publishers’ high profit margins. However, the share of scientific output published in the journals of these major publishers, as well as its evolution over timeContinue Reading