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Daily Archives: July 25, 2013

Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA Debate

“The Berkman Center for Internet & Society is pleased to announce the release of a new publication from the Media Cloud project, Social Mobilization and the Networked Public Sphere: Mapping the SOPA-PIPA Debate, authored by Yochai Benkler, Hal Roberts, Rob Faris, Alicia Solow-Niederman, and Bruce Etling.  In this paper, we use a new set of online research tools to develop a detailed study of the public debate over proposed legislation in the United States that was designed to give prosecutors and copyright holders new tools to pursue suspected online copyright violations. Our study applies a mixed-methods approach by combining text and link analysis with human coding and informal interviews to map the evolution of the controversy over time and to analyze the mobilization, roles, and interactions of various actors. This novel, data-driven perspective on the dynamics of the networked public sphere supports an optimistic view of the potential for networked democratic participation, and offers a view of a vibrant, diverse, and decentralized networked public sphere that exhibited broad participation, leveraged topical expertise, and focused public sentiment to shape national public policy. We also offer an interactive visualization that maps the evolution of the public controversy by collecting time slices of thousands of sources, then using link analysis to assess the progress of the debate over time. We used the Media Cloud platform to depict media sources (“nodes”, which appear as circles on the map with different colors denoting different media types). This visualization tracks media sources and their linkages within discrete time slices and allows users to zoom into the controversy to see which entities are present in the debate during a given period as well as who is linking to whom at any point in time.”

Privacy Best Practices for Social Media

Privacy Best Practices for Social Media, CIO Council, July 2013: “One of the Federal Government’s most important missions is to provide citizens, customers, and partners with easy access to government information and services. As society increasingly relies on social media as a primary source for information, it is clear that these platforms have an important… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports: Aviation, InfoTech, Missile Defense, Navy Shipbuilding, Public Transport, USPS, VA Education Benefits

Aviation – Status of DOT’s Actions to Address the Future of Aviation Advisory Committee’s Recommendations, GAO-13-657, Jul 25, 2013 Information Technology – OMB and Agencies Need to More Effectively Implement Major Initiatives to Save Billions of Dollars, GAO-13-796T, Jul 25, 2013 Missile Defense – Precision Tracking Space System Evaluation of Alternatives – GAO-13-747R, Jul 25, 2013 Navy Shipbuilding – Significant Investments in the… Continue Reading

Agencies Encourage Lenders to Work with Student Loan Borrowers

“The federal bank regulatory agencies today issued a statement encouraging financial institutions to work constructively with private student loan borrowers experiencing financial difficulties.  Prudent workout arrangements are consistent with safe and sound lending practices and are generally in the long-term best interest of both the financial institution and the borrower. Student loan borrowers who are… Continue Reading

How Eliminating the Automatic Spending Reductions Specified by the Budget Control Act Would Affect the U.S. Economy in 2014

CBO letter to Rep. Chris Van Hollen, July 25, 2013: “As you requested, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) analyzed a proposal under which the automatic spending reductions in effect for 2013 would be  canceled at the beginning of August and none of the reductions scheduled for  2014 would be implemented; for 2013, mandatory payments made after early… Continue Reading

Economic Impact of Cybercrime and Cyber Espionage

Center for Strategic and International Studies July 2013: “The wide range of existing estimates of the annual loss—from a few billion dollars to hundreds of billions—reflects several difficulties. Companies conceal their losses and some are not aware of what has been taken. Intellectual property is hard to value. Some estimates relied on surveys, which provide very imprecise results unless… Continue Reading

How CBO Projects Income

“Projections of income earned by individuals and businesses are an integral part of the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) regular 10-year projections of the economy and a key component of its projections of federal revenues and outlays. CBO projects all the major income measures that are presented in the Commerce Department’s national income and product accounts… Continue Reading

New Highs for State and Local Government Revenue in 2011

“The U.S. Census Bureau reports that total revenue for state and local governments reached an all-time high of $3.4 trillion in 2011, up 8.4 percent from 2010, according to new statistics released today. Individual income tax revenue increased 9.5 percent to $284.9 billion, while corporate income tax revenue increased 10.7 percent to $48.5 billion. Overall,… Continue Reading

New Tool Puts Congressional District Statistics at Your Fingertips

“The U.S. Census Bureau has released My Congressional District, the first interactive tool geared exclusively toward finding basic demographic and economic statistics for every congressional district in the U.S. This Web app uses the latest annual statistics from the American Community Survey, providing the most detailed portrait of America’s towns and neighborhoods. Users can sort… Continue Reading

Understand and uncover the identity of your location with a tap

“Sitegeist is a mobile application that helps you to learn more about your surroundings in seconds. Drawing on publicly available information, the app presents solid data in a simple at-a-glance format to help you tap into the pulse of your location. From demographics about people and housing to the latest popular spots or weather, Sitegeist… Continue Reading

North American Bird and bat fatality-rate estimates from wind-energy projects

Comparing bird and bat fatality-rate estimates among North American wind-energy projects – K. Shawn Smallwood, Wildlife Society Bulletin Volume 37, Issue 1, pages 19–33, March 2013: “Estimates of bird and bat fatalities are often made at wind-energy projects to assess impacts by comparing them with other fatality estimates. Many fatality estimates have been made across… Continue Reading

Majority of Public Companies Indicate Cyber Attack Would Cause “Serious Harm”

News release: “A majority of the U.S. listed Fortune 500 firms are following the U.S. Securities and Exchange Guidelines by providing some level of disclosure regarding cyber exposures, with more than half indicating their firms would face “serious harm” or be “adversely impacted” due to a cyber-attack, according to a recent report by Willis North America,… Continue Reading