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Category Archives: E-Government

Who is “Public” Data Really For?

LitHub: “…Both words—“public” and “open”—invite a question: For whom? Despite the efforts of Mae and Gareth, and Tom Grundner and many others, the internet as it exists is hardly a public space. Many people still find themselves excluded from full participation. Access to anything posted on a city web page or on a .gov domain is restricted by barriers of cost and technical ability. Getting this data can be particularly hard for communities that are already marginalized, and both barriers—financial and technical—can be nearly impassable in places with limited resources and literacies. Data.gov, the United States’ “open data portal,” lists nearly 250,000 data sets, an apparent bounty of free information. Spend some time on data.gov and other portals, though, and you’ll find out that public data as it exists is messy and often confusing. Many hosted “data sets” are links to URLs that are no longer active. Trying to access data about Native American communities from the American Community Survey on data.gov brought me first to a census site with an unlabeled list of file folders. Downloading a zip file and unpacking it resulted in 64,086 cryptically named text files each containing zero kilobytes of data. As someone who has spent much of the last decade working with these kinds of data, I can tell you that this is not an uncommon experience. All too often, working with public data feels like assembling particularly complicated Ikea furniture with no tools, no instructions, and an unknown number of missing pieces…” [h/t Barclay Walsh]

CDC – Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People

CDC Guidance For Fully Vaccinated People along with a one page infographic [h/t Pete Weiss] Overview Guiding Principles for Fully Vaccinated People Recommendations for Visiting with Others in Indoor Private Settings Recommendations for Large Gatherings Recommendations for Other Personal or Social Activities Outside the Home Recommendations for Travel Recommendations for Isolation, Quarantine and Testing See… Continue Reading

USPTO chief information officer most excited about new search algorithms

FedScoop – “New search algorithms for relevant prior art most excite the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s CIO right now. USPTO created the machine-learning algorithms to increase the speed at which patents are examined by importing relevant prior art — all information on its claim of originality — into pending applications sent to art units, said Jamie Holcombe. Filtering… Continue Reading

Climate change and the 1991-2020 U.S. Climate Normals

Climate.gov: “As soon as the 2021 New Year’s celebrations were over, the calls and questions started coming in from weather watchers: When will NOAA release the new U.S. Climate Normals? The Normals are 30-year averages of key climate observations made at weather stations and corrected for bad or missing values and station changes over time.… Continue Reading

Everyone ages 16 and up can get the COVID-19 vaccine

Google – Find a vaccination site near you See also Latest Data on COVID-19 Vaccinations Race/Ethnicity – As noted in previous analysis, preventing racial disparities in the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines will be important to help mitigate the disproportionate impacts of the virus for people of color and prevent widening racial health disparities going forward.… Continue Reading

GSA: Distributed work makes government teams happier, more productive and inclusive

govfresh – “The U.S. General Services Administration’s 18F has a great post on why distributed government is critical to highly-functioning public service teams, emphasizing a ‘distributed first’ approach to work. The post touches on key issues that make work cultures great and how distributed operations facilitate these, including issues related to: Inclusivity Accessibility Trust and… Continue Reading

Explore Congressional Reactions to Historic Events on Congress.gov

In Custodia Legis: “The Congress.gov team has received feedback requesting that we add content from prior congresses to the Congressional Record and public law text collections. We are pleased to announce that we have made substantial progress on this request. The Bound Congressional Record collection now goes back to the 82nd Congress (1951-1953) and the… Continue Reading

FCC Encourages Public to Use Its Speed Test App

FCC: “In today’s world, it is critical that families and businesses across the country have access to broadband. As work, education, healthcare, and many other activities have moved online, broadband is no longer nice to have. It’s need to have for everyone. In order to better determine where high speed internet services are currently unavailable,… Continue Reading

GPO and Libraries Set Goal to Make Every US Government Document Accessible

“The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) is undertaking a massive effort to capture and make publicly accessible every U.S. Government document through the National Collection of U.S. Government Public Information (National Collection). GPO will do this by digitizing documents and making them accessible on govinfo and the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications (CGP), as well as… Continue Reading

National Archives can’t resurrect Trump’s tweets, Twitter says

Politico: “Twitter will not allow the National Archives to make former President Donald Trump’s past tweets from his @realDonaldTrump account available on the social media platform, the company told POLITICO on Wednesday, in the latest display of Silicon Valley’s power over communications channels used by the U.S. government. The statement came as the National Archives… Continue Reading

Surveillance Nation

“A BuzzFeed News investigation has found that employees at law enforcement agencies across the US ran thousands of Clearview AI facial recognition searches — often without the knowledge of the public or even their own departments. A controversial facial recognition tool designed for policing has been quietly deployed across the country with little to no… Continue Reading