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Daily Archives: June 15, 2014

Financial Accounts of the United States – Federal Reserve – First Quarter 2014

Z.1 Financial Accounts  of the United States. Flow of Funds, Balance Sheets, and Integrated Macroeconomic Accounts First Quarter 2014. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, June 5, 2014.

“The net worth of households and nonprofits was $81.8 trillion at end of the first quarter this year, about $1.5 trillion more than at end of 2013. In the first quarter, the value of directly and indirectly held corporate equities increased $361 billion and the value of real estate expanded $751 billion. Domestic nonfinancial debt outstanding was $42.6 trillion at the end of the first quarter of 2014, of which household debt was $13.2 trillion, nonfinancial business debt was $13.9 trillion, and total government debt was $15.5 trillion. Domestic nonfinancial debt growth was 5 percent at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in the first quarter of 2014, about ¼ percentage point less than in the fourth quarter of 2013. Household debt edged up at an annual rate of 2 percent in the first quarter (excluding charge-offs of home mortgages). Net originations of home mortgages continued to be weak, while consumer credit continued to grow at the pace of the previous two years. Nonfinancial business debt rose at an annual rate of 7.3 percent in the first quarter, after a 6.6 percent increase in the fourth quarter. As in recent years, corporate bonds accounted for most of the increase. State and local government debt declined at an annual
rate of 0.7 percent in the first quarter, after declining at a 4.9 percent rate in the fourth quarter. Federal government debt rose at an annual rate of 7.1 percent in the first quarter, a bit slower than the pace of growth in the fourth quarter.”

The Art and Science of Data-driven Journalism | Why Data Journalism Matters

Tow Center for Digital Journalism: “While it’s easy to get excited about gorgeous data visualizations or a national budget that’s now more comprehensible to citizens, the use of data journalism in investigations that stretch over months or years is one of the most important trends in media today. Powerful Web-based tools for scraping, cleaning, analyzing, storing,… Continue Reading

Investment, Growth and the Natural Rate of Interest

Carr, Douglas, Investment, Growth and the Natural Rate of Interest – How the Marginal Product of Capital Explains (Almost) Everything (June 13, 2014). Available at SSRN: “An Investment-Growth model is developed based upon generalized conditions that an economy’s participants: 1) act to maximize economic growth, and 2) are indifferent at the margin between consumption and… Continue Reading

Reflections on How Designers Design With Data

Reflections on How Designers Design With Data – Alex Bigelow, Steven Drucker, Danyel Fisher, and Miriah Meyer. Microsoft Research. May 2014. “In recent years many popular data visualizations have emerged that are created largely by designers whose main area of expertise is not computer science. Designers generate these visualizations using a handful of design tools and environments.… Continue Reading

Handbook on European data protection law

“This handbook on European data protection law is jointly prepared by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and the Council of Europe together with the Registry of the European Court of Human Rights. It is the third in a series of legal handbooks jointly prepared by FRA and the Council of Europe. In… Continue Reading

Opt Out From Online Behavioral Advertising (Beta)

“Welcome to the consumer opt out page for the Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. Our participating companies are committed to transparency and choice. Some of the ads you receive on Web pages are customized based on predictions about your interests generated from your visits over time and across different Web sites. This type of ad… Continue Reading

Enabling Privacy Through Transparency

Oshani Seneviratne, Lalana Kagal – Enabling Privacy Through Transparency, 2014 – MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “Many access control systems, particularly those utilized in hospital environments, exercise optimistic security, because preventing access to information may have undesirable consequences. However, in the wrong hands, these over-broad permissions may result in privacy violations. To circumvent this issue, we have developed… Continue Reading

Multi-Person Motion Tracking via RF Body Reflections

Multi-Person Motion Tracking via RF Body Reflections, Fadel Adib; Zachary Kabelac; Dina Katabi. MIT-CSAIL-TR-2014-008. April 26, 2014. “Recently, we have witnessed the emergence of technologies that can localize a user and track her gestures based purely on radio reflections off the person’s body. These technologies work even if the user is behind a wall or obstruction. However,… Continue Reading

New Yorker Commentary – A Wider War

Dexter Filkins via the The New Yorker [snipped] “…the events unfolding in Iraq point toward a much wider war, reaching from the Iranian frontier to the Mediterranean coast. The long open border between Iraq and Syria, and the big stretches of ungoverned space, has allowed extremists on each side to grow and to support one another. isis and… Continue Reading

U.S. Chemical Safety Board Releases Final Investigative Report on 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

‘The Deepwater Horizon spill that took place on April 20, 2010 in the Macondo Prospect oil field has been described as “one of the largest environmental disasters in U.S. history.” The explosion and subsequent spill took the lives of 11 workers, seriously injured 17, and leaked a reported 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf… Continue Reading