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Daily Archives: August 8, 2014

Privacy in Online Markets: A Welfare Analysis of Demand Rotations

O’Brien, Daniel P. and Smith, Doug, Privacy in Online Markets: A Welfare Analysis of Demand Rotations (July 1, 2014). FTC Bureau of Economics Working Paper No. 323. Available for download at SSRN:
We compare the private and social incentives for privacy when sellers can commit to transparent privacy policies that are understood by consumers. The purpose is to establish a baseline for how well markets perform when firms’ privacy policies are common knowledge. In this setting, if the market is competitive, the outcome is first best or firms provide too much privacy. For monopolized markets, we obtain new results for the welfare effects of demand rotations when preferences over the good and privacy are drawn from the location-scale family, which includes the normal (probit) and logistic (logit) models of demand. We discuss the nature of the distortions and implications for policy toward privacy and the market provision of product attributes generally.”


A Path to Understanding the Effects of Algorithm Awareness

Hamilton, K., Karahalios, K., Sandvig, C. & Eslami, M. (2014). “A Path to Understanding the Effects of Algorithm Awareness.” In CHI Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems (alt.CHI). ACM, New York: “The rise in prevalence of algorithmically curated feeds in online news and social media sites raises a new question for designers, critics, and… Continue Reading

Whistleblowers Silenced by Non-Disclosure Agreements – Focus on SEC

POGO – “On July 25, the Project On Government Oversight, along with more than 50 other organizations, sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) expressing concern over the growing problem of silencing whistleblowers. Many companies regulated by the SEC are now requiring employees reporting misconduct to sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) that undermine the force… Continue Reading

Drugs in space and sleepless in the shuttle – Study

MindHacks: “A fascinating study published in today’sLancet Neurology reports on sleep deprivation in astronauts but also describes the drugs shuttle crew members use to keep themselves awake and help them fall asleep. The study looked at sleep data from 64 astronauts on 80 space shuttle missions along with 21 astronauts on 13 International Space Station missions, and compared it… Continue Reading

Agile in the Federal Government: Improving Execution

Agile in the Federal Government: Improving Technical Execution – ccpace: “As discussed in the first paper in this series Agile in the Federal Government: Scrum and Beyond, the history of Agile adoption in industry took the path of usage of eXtreme Programming (XP) followed by the combination of Scrum and XP. In the government, the… Continue Reading

Agreement on the New Development Bank – Fortaleza, July 15

[Via Wikipedia] “People’s Republic of China and the Republic of South Africa, collectively the BRICS countries, RECALLING the decision taken in the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi in 2012 and subsequently announced in the fifth BRICS Summit in Durban in 2013 to establish a development bank; RECOGNIZING the work undertaken by the respective finance… Continue Reading

New FICO Score Model to Help Expand Consumer Access to Credit

Tara Siegel Bernard – NYT: “The creator of one of the most widely used and influential credit scores, FICO, said on Thursday that the latest version of its score would no longer weigh medical debts — which account for about half of all unpaid collections on consumers’ credit reports — as heavily as it did… Continue Reading

Two Factor Auth

Two Factor Auth (2FA): “Two-step verification, abbreviated to TSV (not equal to two step authentication TSA nor to Two-factor authentication, abbreviated to TFA) is a process involving two subsequent but dependent stages to check the identity of an entity trying to access services in a computer or in a network with just one factor or secret,… Continue Reading

IBM’s New Processor Uses Little Energy and Functions Mimic Human Neural Networks

New York Times – John Markoff: “Inspired by the architecture of the brain, scientists have developed a new kind of computer chip that uses no more power than a hearing aid and may eventually excel at calculations that stump today’s supercomputers. The chip, or processor, is named TrueNorth and was developed by researchers at IBM and… Continue Reading