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Daily Archives: October 27, 2013

Conclusions of the European Council Meeting October 24-25, 2013

This STATEMENT OF HEADS OF STATE OR GOVERMENT appears on the last of the 19 page document [snipped]:

“The Heads of State or Government discussed recent developments concerning possible intelligence issues and the deep concerns that these events have raised among European citizens. They underlined the close relationship between Europe and the USA and the value of that partnership. They expressed their conviction that the partnership must be based on respect and trust, including as concerns the work and cooperation of secret services. They stressed that intelligence gathering is a vital element in the fight against terrorism. This applies to relations between European countries as well as to relations with the USA. A lack of trust could prejudice the necessary cooperation in the field of intelligence gathering. The Heads of State or Government took note of the intention of France and Germany to seek bilateral talks with the USA with the aim of finding before the end of the year an understanding on mutual relations in that field. They noted that other EU countries are welcome to join this initiative. They also pointed to the existing Working Group between the EU and the USA on the related issue of data protection and called for rapid and constructive progress in that respect. ” See also ongoing revelations on NSA domestic and global surveillance.

Research Brief – Social Security’s Real Retirement Age Is 70

Center for Retirement Research, Boston College – IB#13-15 by Alicia H. Munnell “The brief’s key findings are: Due to increases in Social Security’s Delayed Retirement Credit, the effective retirement age is now 70, with monthly benefits reduced for earlier claiming. Benefit levels at 70 appear appropriate given that rising deductions for Medicare and greater benefit taxation have… Continue Reading

How to get the most out of library e-books via the right gadget, text to speech, and otherwise

Via – Want to hear text to speech from free library books on your 50-mile commute? Even if you own an Android machine and the usual app can’t do “read-aloud” unless audiobooks count? A new, expert and insightful report by David Rothman focuses on the new Kindle Fire HDXes. He recommends them to be… Continue Reading

New Study Finds Cash Alone Effective Way to Fight Poverty

“Researchers today released the results of a long-awaited study, which may reveal a promising new direction in alleviating poverty, one much simpler than many popular aid methods. While traditional charities and aid programs often have infrastructures designed to deliver specific types of aid to the poor, such as food or livestock, the researchers studied a… Continue Reading

New York Review of Books – The fast pace of change on the information superhighway

Are We Puppets in a Wired World? – Sue Halpern highlights new books on a range of issues including privacy, big data, social media and predictive analysis in relationship to e-commerce. “In the first five years of the new millennium, Internet use grew 160 percent; by 2005 there were nearly a billion people on the Internet. By 2005,… Continue Reading

Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs

Open Access, Megajournals, and MOOCs – On the Political Economy of Academic Unbundling – by Richard Wellen. SAGE Open October-December 2013 vol. 3 no. 4 2158244013507271. The online version of this article can be found at: DOI: 10.1177/2158244013507271. “The development of “open” academic content has been strongly embraced and promoted by many advocates, analysts, stakeholders,… Continue Reading

The Global Gender Gap Report 2013

Press Release, October 25, 2013 – Increased Political Participation Helps Narrow Global Gender Gap in 2013 The Global Gender Gap Report 2013 “finds 86 out of 133 countries improved their global gender gap between 2012 and 2013, with the area of political participation seeing the greatest progress Iceland has the narrowest gender gap in the… Continue Reading

An Open-World Assumption for Hypermedia

Distributed Affordance: An Open-World Assumption for Hypermedia – by Ruben Verborgh, Michael Hausenblas, Thomas Steiner, Erik Mannens, and Rik Van de Walle “Hypermedia links and controls drive the Web by transforming information into affordances through which users can choose actions. However, publishers of information cannot predict all actions their users might want to perform and… Continue Reading

CU-Boulder-led study shows unprecedented warmth in Arctic

News release: “Average summer temperatures in the Eastern Canadian Arctic during the last 100 years are higher now than during any century in the past 44,000 years and perhaps as long ago as 120,000 years, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. The study [Unprecedented recent summer warmth in Arctic Canada, in Geophysical Research… Continue Reading

Loss and damage from climate change

News release: “An open access special issue of the International Journal of Global Warming brings together, for the first time, empirical evidence of loss and damage from the perspective of affected people in nine vulnerable countries. The articles in this special issue show how climatic stressors affect communities, what measures households take to prevent loss… Continue Reading