Monday, May 26, 2014

Some of the unanswered questions resulting from some very poorly managed breach announcements. Perhaps Congress will ask these questions for us?
The eBay Data Breach: What You Need To Know
In what is one of the biggest breaches of user data yet, eBay has revealed that in March 2014 its servers were compromised. Other than confirming that staff accounts were co-opted and advising eBay account holders to change their passwords, it is revealing nothing else.

How do I surveil thee?
Let me count the ways...
The Transparency Reports Database – Government Requests for Users Data
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
Silk Transparency Project - “An increasing number of Internet and telecommunication companies are publishing reports detailing the number of government requests for user interaction data the companies have received in a given period of time. Technology and telecommunications companies store data on all user interactions. This includes “non-content data” (also called metadata). Metadata consists of login times, user location and IP addresses of users involved in the communication. Technology and telecom companies sometimes store actual content – recordings or copies of emails, chats, video chats, and voice calls. Governments file requests for this data for anti-terrorism surveillance but also for drug investigations and other law enforcement purposes. Called “Transparency Reports”, these reports also state how often the company complies with the government request. Silk collected all Transparency Reports from major service providers and normalized them into a comprehensive data resource for investigating government requests for users’ data. You can Explore the different Country / Company / Reporting Period pages to research specific queries or click here for our findings on:

I wonder if my Criminal Justice students would find this interesting? Should be no Privacy implications, since all the data is public – right?
Searching Social Media – Googling Facebook, Searching Twitter
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
Stosh Jonjak, Part 1, | Part 2 “Have you experienced an increase in social media search requests? As attorneys become more likely to turn to social media during their informal discovery processes, I have found an uptick in questions like: “could you please do a social media background check on this person?” This is a growing information need I believe law librarians are excellently suited to fill, and really the next generation of public records search requests. Through conducting these searches and by leaning on the expertise of others I have put together my own toolkit on tricks to use. [Here] I list methods incorporating Google advanced search terms to conduct searches on Facebook [and Twitter] quickly and with high relevancy.”

Should be simple to check the “best source” for revisions. Are there enough to support a “Corrections and Revisions Blog?”
New Paper – The (Non) Finality of Supreme Court Opinions
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
Adam Liptak, New York Times: “The Supreme Court has been quietly revising its decisions years after they were issued, altering the law of the land without public notice. The revisions include “truly substantive changes in factual statements and legal reasoning,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and the author of a new study examining the phenomenon. The court can act quickly, as when Justice Antonin Scalia last month corrected an embarrassing error in a dissent in a case involving the Environmental Protection Agency. But most changes are neither prompt nor publicized, and the court’s secretive editing process has led judges and law professors astray, causing them to rely on passages that were later scrubbed from the official record. The widening public access to online versions of the court’s decisions, some of which do not reflect the final wording, has made the longstanding problem more pronounced. Unannounced changes have not reversed decisions outright, but they have withdrawn conclusions on significant points of law. They have also retreated from descriptions of common ground with other justices, as Justice Sandra Day O’Connor did in a major gay rights case.”

After Outsourcing and Off-shoring raised wages in other countries, this makes sense. (Video interview)
The Reshoring Wave: It’s Taking America by Storm
… There are many factors fueling this move, including labor costs, transportation, quality issues and patriotism, among others. Hal Sirkin, a senior partner at Boston Consulting Group, has been examining this trend for years and admits that the recent surge in reshoring has shocked even experts and researchers. Knowledge@Wharton sat down with Sirkin to discuss the different elements contributing to the reshoring trend and how it affects global business dynamics, the labor market and even the U.S.-Mexico relationship.

This is an interesting idea. I read this as the potential for an almost real time survey on any question you can properly format. Perhaps my statistics students could try it. (Okay, probably not but I can dream.)
Online and social media data as a flawed continuous panel survey – Microsoft
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
“There is a large body of research on utilizing online activity to predict various real world outcomes, ranging from outbreaks of influenza to outcomes of elections. There is considerably less work, however, on using this data to understand topic-specific interest and opinion amongst the general population and specific demographic subgroups, as currently measured by relatively expensive surveys. Here we investigate this possibility by studying a full census of all Twitter activity during the 2012 election cycle along with comprehensive search history of a large panel of internet users during the same period, highlighting the challenges in interpreting online and social media activity as the results of a survey. As noted in existing work, the online population is a non-representative sample of the offline world (e.g., the U.S. voting population). We extend this work to show how demographic skew and user participation is non-stationary and unpredictable over time. In addition, the nature of user contributions varies wildly around important events. Finally, we note subtle problems in mapping what people are sharing or consuming online to specific sentiment or opinion measures around a particular topic. These issues must be addressed before meaningful insight about public interest and opinion can be reliably extracted from online and social media data.” Latest version (May 15, 2014)

(Related) If you don't know why you should be doing something like the survey described in the previous post. Read these.
6 Free Social Media Guides All Business Owners Should Read

Another reason for Google to improve its translation tool.
Chinese agencies announce open-access policies – Nature
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
“China has officially joined the international push to make research papers free to read. On 15 May, the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC), one of the country’s major basic-science funding agencies, and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which funds and conducts research at more than 100 institutions, announced that researchers they support should deposit their papers into online repositories and make them publicly accessible within 12 months of publication. The policies, which went into effect the same day they were announced, are similar to the mandate set by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Xiaolin Zhang, director of the National Science Library at the CAS in Beijing, says that another major research-funding agency, the national ministry of science and technology, is also researching open-access policies. He expects that its policy will take a similar line. (The ministry had not provided comment by the time this article was published.) Richard Van Nordeen, 19 May 2014, corrected May 20 2014.

For my student Vets. Because we remember.
VA National Gravesite Locator Tool
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 25, 2014
“The database of burial information is updated each day. Search for burial locations of veterans and their family members in VA National Cemeteries, state veterans cemeteries, various other military and Department of Interior cemeteries, and for veterans buried in private cemeteries when the grave is marked with a government grave marker. The Nationwide Gravesite Locator includes burial records from many sources. These sources provide varied data; some searches may contain less information than others. Information on veterans buried in private cemeteries was collected for the purpose of furnishing government grave markers, and we do not have information available for burials prior to 1997. Erroneous information can be corrected, but we are unable to add to the information contained in the existing record. If your search returns incorrect information about a veteran or family member buried in a national cemetery, please contact the cemetery directly to discuss your findings. To report incorrect information about a veteran buried in a private cemetery, click on “Contact Us” at the top of this page. Names cannot be added to the listing if a government grave marker was not furnished for the grave, or if the existing government grave marker was furnished prior to 1997. For more complete information concerning individual records, we suggest you contact the cemetery or local officials.”

No comments: