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Category Archives: Internet

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 Many hosted “data sets” are links to URLs that are no longer active.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]

Here are the states with the fastest internet

Tech Republic – “Anyone turning to the internet for information or entertainment will all tell you the same thing: They’re impressed with the fastest internet. It’s satisfying when search results are instantly provided. Conversely, it’s an overwhelming combination of frustration and annoyance when something streamed endlessly buffers. While you may not have immediate control, if… Continue Reading

How one phony vaccine website tried to capture your personal information

Tech Republic – “In a news release published Monday, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland revealed that it had seized a website called freevaccinecovax.org. Allegedly the site of a real biotechnology firm developing a COVID-19 vaccine, it was actually set up to collect personal data from visitors and use that information for… Continue Reading

Twitter’s latest bot will flag “harmful” language before you post

Ars Technica: “Want to know exactly what Twitter’s fleet of text-combing, dictionary-parsing bots defines as “mean”? Starting any day now, you’ll have instant access to that data—at least, whenever a stern auto-moderator says you’re not tweeting politely. On Wednesday, members of Twitter’s product-design team confirmed that a new automatic prompt will begin rolling out for… Continue Reading

These were the top publishers on Facebook in April 2021

NewsWhip: “We looked back at the top publishers on Facebook for the month of April 2021, ranked by their total engagement. The month saw a slight decline in engagement for most publishers and in the levels hit by the top articles, but the level of interactions did increase for some individual publishers. As usual, we… Continue Reading

How to access information offline anywhere on the globe with these apps

Tech Republic – “The rise of remote work means more people will travel to places that may not always provide reliable internet access. Modern office apps, such as Google Workspace, can store email and documents offline, then sync new and changed content when you reconnect. However, you might be surprised just how much information can… Continue Reading

History Hub – support community managed by NARA for researchers, citizen historians, archival professionals, and open government advocates

“What is History Hub? History Hub is a crowdsourcing platform sponsored by the National Archives. It is a place to ask questions, share information, work together, and find people based on their experience and interests. Experts from the National Archives as well as other experts, history enthusiasts, and citizen archivists are available to help with… Continue Reading

Review: Own the Map, by Conrad Samm

Via LLRX – Review: Own the Map, by Conrad Samm – Jerry Lawson highly recommends Conrad Saam’s intriguing new book, Own the Map, which encourages lawyers to think about marketing in new and better ways. The author’s primary thesis is that most lawyers should concentrate appealing to potential clients near the lawyer’s location. Saam develops… Continue Reading

Cybersecurity for Idiots

Bambauer, Derek E., Cybersecurity for Idiots (March 18, 2021). 106 Minnesota Law Review Headnotes __ (2021 Forthcoming), Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 21-04, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3807529 “Cybersecurity remains a critical issue facing regulators, particularly with the advent of the Internet of Things. General-purpose security regulators such as the Federal Trade Commission continually struggle… Continue Reading