Law and Legal

Thoughts on Legal Citation and law review article on Citation Literacy

Via Mary Whisner on the GallagherFYI-Writing mailing list:

Categories: Law and Legal

Researcher study – U.S. House candidates vulnerable to hacks

Reuters: “Three of every 10 candidates running for the U.S. House of Representatives have significant security problems with their websites, according to a new study by independent researchers that underscores the threat hackers pose to the November elections…A team of four independent researchers led by former National Institutes for Standards and Technology security expert Joshua Franklin concluded that the websites of nearly one-third of U.S. House candidates, Democrats and Republicans alike, are vulnerable to attacks. NIST is a U.S. Commerce Department laboratory that provides advice on technical issues, including cyber security. Using automated scans and test programs, the team identified multiple vulnerabilities, including problems with digital certificates used to verify secure connections with users, Franklin told Reuters ahead of the presentation. The warnings about the midterm elections, which are less than three months away, come after Democrats have spent more than a year working to bolster cyber defenses of the party’s national, state and campaign operations.

Democratic National Committee officials told Reuters they have completely rebuilt the party’s computer network, including email systems and databases, to avert a repeat of 2016, when Russian intelligence agents hacked into Democratic accounts and then used stolen data to undermine support for Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Agencies Could Better Leverage Review Processes and Public Outreach to Improve Burden Estimates

Paperwork Reduction Act: Agencies Could Better Leverage Review Processes and Public Outreach to Improve Burden Estimates, GAO-18-381: Published: Jul 11, 2018. Publicly Released: Aug 10, 2018.

Each year, nearly every adult and business provides some form of information to a federal agency, whether via tax forms or benefits applications. Agencies estimate the time and resources it takes to provide this information to help manage the paperwork burden placed on the public. How do they ensure their estimates are accurate? The law requires agencies to solicit public input on information collections to validate their estimates. While agencies often consulted the public via stakeholder and board meetings, they often did not explicitly ask for input on estimates. We recommended that they better leverage public outreach to improve estimates.”

Categories: Law and Legal

An update to the Economic Outlook: 2018 to 2028

CBO – An Update to the Economic Outlook: 2018 to 2028 – “In CBO’s updated projections, real gross domestic product (GDP) grows by 3.1 percent in 2018 and 2.4 percent in 2019. In both years, growth in actual GDP outpaces growth in potential (that is, maximum sustainable) GDP, creating excess demand in the economy and further lowering the unemployment rate. In CBO’s forecast, that excess demand leads to higher inflation and interest rates—which, along with slower growth of federal outlays, restrain demand and slow GDP growth after 2019. By 2022, the excess demand in the economy disappears. From 2023 to 2028, real GDP grows by about 1.7 percent each year—close to CBO’s estimate of the economy’s maximum sustainable rate of growth.”

Read the report

Categories: Law and Legal

AP exclusive report “Google Tracks Your Movements, Like it or Not”

“Google wants to know where you go so badly that it records your movements even when you explicitly tell it not to. An Associated Press investigation found that many Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even if you’ve used a privacy setting that says it will prevent Google from doing so…Storing your minute-by-minute travels carries privacy risks and has been used by police to determine the location of suspects — such as a warrant that police in Raleigh, North Carolina, served on Google last year to find devices near a murder scene. So the company lets you “pause” a setting called Location History. Google says that will prevent the company from remembering where you’ve been. Google’s support page on the subject states: “You can turn off Location History at any time. With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored.” That isn’t true. Even with Location History paused, some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking. (It’s possible, although laborious, to delete it .)

For example, Google stores a snapshot of where you are when you merely open its Maps app. Automatic daily weather updates on Android phones pinpoint roughly where you are. And some searches that have nothing to do with location, like “chocolate chip cookies,” or “kids science kits,” pinpoint your precise latitude and longitude — accurate to the square foot — and save it to your Google account. The privacy issue affects some two billion users of devices that run Google’s Android operating software and hundreds of millions of worldwide iPhone users who rely on Google for maps or search…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Library of Congress releases 2018-2019 edition of the Recommended Formats Statement

“The Library of Congress is proud to announce the release of the 2018-2019 edition of the Recommended Formats Statement.  Please read all about it here: https://blogs.loc.gov/loc/2018/08/ensuring-the-long-term-accessibility-of-creative-content/.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Axios – The insane Trump news cycle of 2018 in one chart

Here’s how busy the Trump news cycle has been in just the first half of 2018, as seen in Google News Lab’s data on the googling trends of the public. It shows when and how much people searched about 30 of the biggest news events…This doesn’t even account for all of the policy changes, media attacks and tweets coming from President Trump and his administration. It’s clear we’ve been jumping from one four-alarm news fire to the next, with China, Russia and Robert Mueller receiving steady interest all year. If anyone thought the pace would slow after Trump’s first year, they were wrong…”

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Who owns the space under cities? The attempt to map the earth beneath us

The Guardian: “…In London, a city with 150 years of trenching, digging and boring to its name, the chaos is reaching new depths. According to Newcastle University’s Global Urban Research Unit, more than 4,600 basements have been granted planning permission in the last decade – in just seven of London’s 32 boroughs. The space under London is now getting so busy that the Ordnance Survey, Future Cities Catapult and the British Geological Survey have joined forces to create a new initiative called Project Iceberg, which will attempt to aggregate cities’ subterranean data. In London it will include transport tunnel information, geological records and maps of 1.5m km (0.9m miles) of underground utilities and four million kilometres of telecommunications lines…The Ordnance Survey has suggested that £5.5bn ($7bn) is spent every year on exploratory excavation just to figure out what’s underground, and according to a 2013 Mayor of London report, £150m of damage is done every year to underground utilities because of a lack of information. Underground urban planning of an extension of a tube line, for instance, requires knowledge of where sewer and water systems, electricity and utility tunnels, bunkers, foundations, basements, cellars, vaults, passageways, archaeological remains, data centres, basements, and other transport tunnels are located. Most cities have a “dial before you dig” hotline because there is no central holding place for data about underground space.

Enter Project Iceberg. The goal is to serve as a framework for data on all of these underground elements, from which a comprehensive visualisation can be built. The resulting map would need to be an all-inclusive spatial database, but how volumetric cartography might look is not yet imagined. It could perhaps be something like Bruno Imbrizi’s real-time 3D tube map that went viral in 2013. Or the framework could feed an augmented reality engine, so that aiming a phone camera at the ground would reveal what is underneath…”

Categories: Law and Legal

ADL Unveils First of-its-Kind Interactive Map Pinpointing Extremism and Hate Across U.S.

ADL H.E.A.T. Map is the first-of-its-kind interactive and customizable map detailing extremist and anti-Semitic incidents around the nation. ADL experts in its Center on Extremism developed this unique visualization with data points extracted from information sources including news and media reports, government documents (including police reports), victim reports, extremist-related sources, Center on Extremism investigations and more. Filter data sets and learn more about hate, extremism, anti-Semitism and terrorism in your area and around the country…”

Categories: Law and Legal

NOAA Data Tools: Daily Weather Records

The daily records summarized here are compiled from a subset of stations in the Global Historical Climatological Network. A station is defined as the complete daily weather records at a particular location, having a unique identifier in the GHCN-Daily dataset. For a station to be considered for any parameter, it must have a minimum of 30 years of data with more than 182 days complete each year. This is effectively a “30-year record of service” requirement, but allows for inclusion of some stations which routinely shut down during certain seasons. Small station moves, such as a move from one property to an adjacent property, may occur within a station history. However, larger moves, such as a station moving from downtown to the city airport, generally result in the commissioning of a new station identifier. This tool treats each of these histories as a different station. In this way, it does not “thread” the separate histories into one record for a city. This tool provides simplistic counts of records to provide insight into recent climate behavior, but is not a definitive way to identify trends in the number of records set over time. This is particularly true outside the United States, where the number of records may be strongly influenced by station density from country to country and from year to year. These data are raw and have not been assessed for the effects of changing station instrumentation and time of observation…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Trump’s Nemesis in the Age of Pinocchio

The New York Times highlights the work of Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post in the article Trump’s Nemesis in the Age of Pinocchio – Glenn Kessler’s database of presidential untruths will become a reference, a talisman…

Every untruth Trump utters, Kessler chronicles. At the beginning of this month, the running total was 4,229 false or misleading statements since the president took office, or more than 7.5 a day. This will be remembered. Historians will examine how an American presidency parted company with facts, and will assess the toll…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Comments on the digital age, which, as we all know, is 42.

Via Coyle’s InFormation – “I was recently speaking at a library conference in OSLO where I went through my criticisms of our cataloging models, and how they are not suited to the problems we need to solve today. I had my usual strong criticisms of FRBR and the IFLA LRM. However, when I finished speaking I was asked why I am so critical of those models, which means that I did not explain myself well. I am going to try again here, as clearly and succinctly as I can. Conflation of Conceptual Models with Data Models – FRBR’s main impact was that it provided a mental model of the bibliographic universe that reflects a conceptual view of the elements of descriptive cataloging. You will find nothing in FRBR that could not be found in standard library cataloging of the 1990’s, which is when the FRBR model was developed. What FRBR adds to our understanding of bibliographic information is that it gives names and definitions to key concepts that had been implied but not fully articulated in library catalog data. If it had stopped there we would have had an interesting mental model that allows us to speak more precisely about catalogs and cataloging…”

Categories: Law and Legal

AI is bringing a new set of rules to knowledge work

Thomson Reuters – When things go digital, they start following a new set of rules. “The rules of the physical world are either not applicable or are severely diminished. Things move from sparsity to abundance, where consumption does not lead to depletion. To the contrary, the more an object is consumed, the more valuable it becomes. Cost of production and distribution is no longer critical, and the concept of inventory is no longer applicable. When things go digital, they also move from linear to exponential –  a world in which new technologies and new players can enter and dominate an industry in just a few years. Consider that each year more people take online courses offered by Harvard than the number of students who attended Harvard in its 380-year history. Each year, three times more people use online dispute resolutions to resolve disputes on eBay® than lawsuits filed in the United States. Each day, five billion videos are watched on YouTube®. For context, the first YouTube video was uploaded in 2005. I was talking to a gentleman at Facebook® recently who said, “I joined Facebook three years ago and 70 percent of the company started after me.” Talk about hyper-growth businesses! This is the environment that we operate in: Not only must we adapt, but we must help our customers adapt as well…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views

The New York Times – The Flourishing Business of Fake YouTube Views – “Plays can be bought for pennies and delivered in bulk, inflating videos’ popularity and making the social media giant vulnerable to manipulation…”

Categories: Law and Legal

PEG White paper: Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain

Via David Gerard – author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts – See JPEG White paper: Towards a Standardized Framework for Media Blockchain. “On the JPEG initiative for standardization of media blockchain, exploring relevant standardization activities, industrial needs and use cases.” ISO/IEC JT1/SC29/WG1 WG1 N80019 Editors: Frederik Temmermans, imec – Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium Deepayan Bhowmik-University of Stirling, United Kingdom. “Fake news, copyright violation, media forensics, privacy and security are emerging challenges for digital media. JPEG has determined that blockchain technology has great potential as a technology component to address these challenges in transparent and trustable media transactions. However, blockchain needs to be integrated closely with a widely adopted standard to ensure broad interoperability of protected images. JPEG calls for industry participation to help define use cases and requirements that will drive the standardization process.”
Categories: Law and Legal

Paper – Why Britain Voted for Brexit

Britain’s Populist Revolt – A scholarly analysis of Why Britain Voted for Brexit, written by Matthew Goodwin, professor of politics at the University of Kent. [research paper, 2017]: “More than two years have passed since Britain voted for Brexit. Ever since that moment, the vote to leave the European Union has routinely been framed as an aberration; a radical departure from ‘normal’ life… Today, looking back, I see that most people never really had an interest in exploring what underpinned Brexit. To many on the liberal Left, Brexit is to be opposed, not understood….What seems remarkable to me is the sheer amount of energy that has been devoted to undermining or overturning the result versus that which has been devoted to exploring what led to this moment in the first place. There is no doubt that some of the short-term factors mentioned above were important. Brexit campaigners did make misleading claims and did spend more money than they should have. But this was also a campaign that saw the pro-Remain Prime Minister David Cameron suggest that Brexit might trigger World War Three, London’s elite prophesize about financial Armageddon, and political and economic leaders from across the globe descend on Britain to issue similarly dire warnings, including President Obama. In short, in the history of political campaigns this one was definitely not an example of best practice…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Study – Bad policing, bad law, not ‘bad apples,’ behind disproportionate killing of black men

EurekAlert – news release: “Killings of unarmed black men by white police officers across the nation have garnered massive media attention in recent years, raising the question: Do white law enforcement officers target minority suspects? An extensive, new national study from the School of Public Affairs and Administration (SPAA) at Rutgers University-Newark reveals some surprising answers. Analysis of every use of deadly force by police officers across the United States indicates that the killing of black suspects is a police problem, not a white police problem, and the killing of unarmed suspects of any race is extremely rare. “There might be some bad apples in the police department, but white officers are no more likely to use lethal force against minorities than nonwhite officers,” says Charles Menifield, lead author of the study and SPAA’s dean. “Still, the killings are no less racist but will require a very different set of remedies if we are to change the culture and stop this from happening.” In the study, published on Wiley Online Library, Menifield; postdoctoral research associate Geiguen Shin; and Logan Strother, a visiting scholar in law and public affairs at Princeton University; and several graduate students created a database of all confirmed uses of deadly force by police in the U.S. in 2014 and 2015, the most recent years for which sufficient data were available. They found that African Americans are killed by police more than twice as often as the general population. While only about 12 percent of the American population is black, 28 percent of people killed by police during this two-year period were black, according to the research, which also found that Latinos were killed slightly more than would be expected and white citizens less often. The study also found that less than 1 percent of victims of police killings were unarmed. Across all racial groups, 65.3 percent of those killed possessed a firearm at the time of their death. “The gun could be in their car, or on them, but it was there at the time they were killed,” says Menifield. “This shouldn’t be surprising because of the availability and ease of getting a gun in the United States.” High-profile killings of unarmed black men in the last few years – like that of 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014, which gave rise to the Black Lives Matter movement – have led many to speculate that white police officers may target nonwhite suspects with lethal force, Menifield says. The Rutgers-Newark research found, however, that white police officers actually kill black and other minority suspects at lower rates than would be expected if killings were randomly distributed among officers of all races.

The disproportionate killing of black men occurs, according to the researchers, because Institutional and organizational racism in police departments and the criminal justice system targets minority communities with policies – like stop and frisk and the war on drugs — that have more destructive effects…” [Haider‐Markel, D. P. and Joslyn, M. R. (2017), Bad Apples? Attributions for Police Treatment of African Americans. Analyses of Social Issues and Public Policy, 17: 358-378. doi:10.1111/asap.12146]

Categories: Law and Legal

Study – How Do Americans Feel About Online Privacy in 2018?

The Best VPN – “Concerns around online privacy have come to a head in 2018. In mid-March, The New York Times and The Guardian reported that data from 50 million Facebook profiles was harvested for data mining firm Cambridge Analytica — a number that would eventually be revised to 87 million in one of the largest data collection scandals of all time. Two months later, inboxes were flooded by a slew of privacy policy updates following the implementation of the EU’s GDPR, a privacy policy law that set guidelines for the collection and use of data. Although the law was designed to increase transparency regarding the collection of data, the updates raised user concern around how companies had been obtaining and using personal information in the past. So, with thundering headlines about data breaches and privacy loss stoking fears, just how are Americans feeling about their online privacy? To answer this question, we used Google Surveys to target 1,000 Americans of all genders and ages across the United States. Read on to see how we conducted our survey and learn more about our individual findings, or jump to view our full infographic…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Bone health critical a medical issue with increasing age

If you are post-menopause, or a woman/man over the age of 55 (this is not a magic number, as this condition can impact those younger and older) – please speak with your physician about having a baseline bone scan – it is quick, easy, non-invasive and accurate. Regardless of your respective physical health and exercise regime, osteoporosis does not discriminate. Women and men suffer from osteoporosis, it is a silent condition with significant consequences, but treatment is available and can include a combination of diet, exercise, supplements and medication.

Via Vox: “And it’s precisely the health care system’s failure to look for osteoporosis as often as it should — along with a parallel crisis in osteoporosis treatment — that is setting us up for the acceleration of a disturbing trend that was recently highlighted in an important study. Researchers writing in the journal Osteoporosis International found that hip fractures in women over 65 began increasing in 2013 among Medicare recipients (after plateauing for years), with an additional 11,000 estimated hip fractures between 2013 and 2015. There are two clues that point at the causes of this burgeoning crisis: There’s been a decrease in bone density screening tests and a decrease in prescriptions for osteoporosis medications (the biggest class of which are called bisphosphonates) because of patients’ fears of their side effects. So if doctors aren’t looking for osteoporosis, and many patients are turning down treatment, how can we prevent life-altering falls like those suffered by my grandparents?

More than 10 million Americans currently have osteoporosis, and another 44 million are at increased risk of developing it. By 2020, the number of Americans with low bone density is expected to rise to 64 million adults, or 20 percent of the population, with a proportional increase in the number of fractures…It’s no small wonder that a drop in osteoporosis screening and a decrease in the utilization of osteoporosis medications has caused hip fracture rates to rise. The biggest issue is that without screening, there is virtually no way to diagnose osteoporosis until a fracture occurs…”

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