Guardian cuts costs but numbers ‘don’t add up’
Britain’s leading left-wing publisher burned through another £48m in cash in the last six months. How long can it go on?
Although the Guardian has reduced its costs and losses this year, a seismic shift in the publishing industry — where historic declines in print income are accelerating while digital advertising revenues flatline because readers are moving to mobile and Facebook and Google are taking the lion’s share — means the day of reckoning is closer. ... The Guardian’s digital business has gone into reverse as Google and Facebook swallow online advertising.
Platforms  public_sphere 
5 weeks ago
Donald Trump’s risky plan to use the Internet to suppress Hillary Clinton’s turnout - The Washington Post
What's not known is if Facebook nudges will actually affect how and when people vote. Facebook ran an experiment in 2010, showing that social cues on the social network could boost voter turnout. But that's different than getting particular people to take action or not based on a targeted ad. (Green and Issenberg note that the effect of trying to suppress the vote could just as easily be to inspire people to go to the polls; it's simply not clear how people will react.) This isn't about Trump trying to sell his brand to as many people as possible. It's about Trump trying to sell his brand to particular people.
facebook  election  bigdata  ee  algorithms 
5 weeks ago
China’s plan to organize its society relies on ‘big data’ to rate everyone - The Washington Post
Imagine a world where an authoritarian government monitors everything you do, amasses huge amounts of data on almost every interaction you make, and awards you a single score that measures how “trustworthy” you are.

In this world, anything from defaulting on a loan to criticizing the ruling party, from running a red light to failing to care for your parents properly, could cause you to lose points.
BigData  china 
5 weeks ago
Kate Crawford & Ryan Calo: There is a blind spot in AI research : Nature News & Comment
Fears about the future impacts of artificial intelligence are distracting researchers from the real risks of deployed systems, argue Kate Crawford and Ryan Calo.
algorithms  AI  predictive_policing 
7 weeks ago
Data Ethics
Newly emergent ethical issues inherent in using data at scale point to the need for both a broader understanding of the possibilities and challenges of using data in the philanthropic context as well as conscientious treatment of data ethics issues. Major foundations can play a meaningful role in building a broader understanding of these possibilities and challenges, and they can set a positive example in creating space for open and candid reflection on these issues. To those ends, we recommend that funders:
ee  responsible_data  rdf  engine_room  upturn  ethics 
8 weeks ago
Subpoenas and Gag Orders Show Government Overreach, Tech Companies Argue - The New York Times
But the government has not given up the fight with the tech industry. Open Whisper Systems, a maker of a widely used encryption app called Signal, received a subpoena in the first half of the year for subscriber information and other details associated with two phone numbers that came up in a federal grand jury investigation in Virginia.

The subpoena arrived with a court order that said Open Whisper Systems was not allowed to tell anyone about the information request for one year.

Technology companies contend that court-imposed gag orders are being used too often by law enforcement and that they violate the Bill of Rights. The companies also complain that law enforcement officials are casting a wide net over online communications — often too wide — in their investigations.
ee  open  DOJ  signal  openwhispersystems 
8 weeks ago
Financial Security Should Be the Next Human Right
According to a recent paper by economists Alan Krueger and Larry Katz, the number of workers in “alternative [employment] relationships” increased by more than half—from 10 percent of the workforce in 2005 to 15 percent of the workforce in 2015.— That’s nearly 10 million people. Put another way, new contingent jobs accounted for all the net new job growth during that time period.
ee  UBI  finance  uber  gig 
8 weeks ago
n collaboration with Amnesty International, SITU Research designed this interactive digital platform to facilitate the organization, analysis and presentation of evidence documenting scorched earth and chemical weapons attacks of civilians in Jebel Marra, Darfur.

Accessing geo-spatial information, satellite imagery, witness testimony and photographs within a single interface, this tool is intended to provide a spatial and temporal account of previously undocumented violations.

The goal of this collaboration and the platform itself is to render visible the developments and scale of ongoing human rights violations in a remote and inaccessible part of Sudan.
ee  human_rights  amnesty  SITU  Sudan 
8 weeks ago
Lemming Cliff – Medium
Here at the Lemming Cliff, you will be exposed to original documentation of human behavior, specifically as it relates to conflict, development, and — most heavily — human rights compliance. Contributors will be practitioners of various do-gooder arts, as well as the scientists that study them.
ee  human_rights  medium 
8 weeks ago
For First Time, Destruction Of Cultural Sites Leads To War Crime Conviction : The Two-Way : NPR
As the Two-Way reported earlier this year, the ICC normally handles allegations of massacres and other human rights abuses. Mahdi's case instead centered on the intentional destruction of significant buildings in the ancient city of Timbuktu in Mali:
ee  SITU  ICC  presentation 
9 weeks ago
Palantir Unleashes Its Lawyers Over US Army's Intelligence Software
he letter of intent says that half of the Army brigades have asked urgently for Palantir because of too many problems with DCGS-A in the field and at home station.

“Instead of embracing feedback from the warfighter, the Army bureaucracy continues to defend its own failing system while blocking or delaying access to Palantir’s proven technology,” the letter stated.

In its GAO protest, Palantir argued that the way the Army wrote its requirements in a request for proposals to industry would shut out Silicon Valley companies that provide commercially available products. The company contended that the Army’s plan to award just one contract to a lead systems integrator means commercially available solutions would have to be excluded, according to an industry lobbyist familiar with the issue.
palantir  ee  government  procurement 
9 weeks ago
Keep copyright out of the classroom - From crisis to opportunity
blog post by our grantee, Alek Tarkowski, on "Education in crisis" blog run by Education International, the global teachers' union
education  copyright  EU  OER 
9 weeks ago
How journalists can use Montage to report on war and conflict | IJNet
Using data from Montage to analyze video footage from the conflict, the map is able to relay information in real time, providing journalists and humanitarian workers with an essential resource. Montage data has also allowed the Center to produce maps that show Russian airstrikes' efficacy, the Assad government's resurgence and ISIS troop movements.Jigsaw, Montage’s creator, explained that the tool is inspired by Bellingcat founder Eliot Higgins, who became known for scouring through YouTube footage of the Syrian civil war to investigate specific attacks, chemical weapon allegations and movements of troops.
ee  data-driven_journalism  syria  jigsaw  montage  bellingcat 
9 weeks ago
Switzerland votes for meatier surveillance law by large margin | Ars Technica UK
Swiss citizens have backed by a large margin a new law that will expand government surveillance powers, following a national referendum held in Switzerland on Sunday [26 Sept]. In total, 65.5 percent were in favour, and 34.5 percent against. Under the new law, Switzerland's intelligence agency, the Service de renseignement de la Confédération (SRC), will be allowed to break into computers and install malware, spy on phone and Internet communications, and place microphones and video cameras in private locations.
9 weeks ago
Apply to MuckRock's Thiel Fellowship
Maybe your proposal will look into the adoption of Palantir by local governments — often the result of no-bid contracts based on confidential presentations. Maybe it will shed light on Palantir’s federal work: Private contractors make up about 70% of the United State’s intelligence budget, but the work they do is often under appreciated by the public.Or maybe you think that the public could benefit from better understanding of Thiel’s bold, nuanced vision of free speech.
ee  palantir  thiel  paypal  freedomofinformation 
10 weeks ago
It's Official: Testing Rape Kits Prevents Assault And Saves Everybody Millions
“The cost of testing rape kits pales in comparison to the costs to victims and society,” said Rachel Lovell, a senior research associate at Case Western Reserve’s Begun Center for Violence Prevention Research and Education, in a press release. “If testing rape kits doesn’t appeal to one’s better nature of providing justice for victims and a safer community for all, we can also show that these efforts can improve the bottom line.”
BigData;  humanrights  rape_kit  ee 
11 weeks ago
How to Make Education Affordable and Accessible
Congressmen cite OER as a solution for high cost of education
OER  US  Congress 
11 weeks ago
Yuval Noah Harari on big data, Google and the end of free will -
Forget about listening to ourselves. In the age of data, algorithms have the answer, writes the historian Yuval Noah Harari
september 2016
Innovation is overvalued. Maintenance often matters more | Aeon Essays
Entire societies have come to talk about innovation as if it were an inherently desirable value, like love, fraternity, courage, beauty, dignity, or responsibility. Innovation-speak worships at the altar of change, but it rarely asks who benefits, to what end? A focus on maintenance provides opportunities to ask questions about what we really want out of technologies. What do we really care about? What kind of society do we want to live in? Will this help get us there? We must shift from means, including the technologies that underpin our everyday actions, to ends, including the many kinds of social beneficence and improvement that technology can offer. Our increasingly unequal and fearful world would be grateful.
infrastructure  innovation  technology  ee  maintainers 
august 2016
Trump’s financial records, depositions and interview transcripts: The documents behind ‘Trump Revealed’ - Washington Post
the archive contains 397 documents, comprising thousands of pages of interview transcripts, court filings, financial reports, immigration records and other material. Interviews conducted off the record were removed, as was other material The Post did not have the right to publish. The archive is searchable and navigable in a number of ways. It is meant as a resource for other journalists and a trove to explore for our many readers fascinated by original documents.
ee  data-driven_journalism  opendata 
august 2016
The Tiny NGO That Changed Reporting on Rio’s Favelas During the Olympics – The Development Set – Medium
When the Games end, Williamson plans to release a multimedia manual to help other cities reproduce CatComm’s media strategy. The group will also publish an analysis of six years of coverage on favelas. RioOnWatch, meanwhile, will shift to supporting the nonprofit’s original focus: covering community-led solutions in favelas.

CatComm certainly has a point of view, but Williamson resists the idea that that the group is painting an overly rosy picture of informal settlements. “We never deny favelas’ limitations and problems, but that’s true for all communities,” she said. “Talking about the good doesn’t mean you’re romanticizing. The reality is the opposite: by not recognizing these communities’ assets, we are depriving them and ourselves of true development.”

Carless said journalists who draw on CatComm’s resources are not in danger of being biased if they follow professional standards.
ee  journalism  brazil  olympics 
august 2016
The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group's iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender - The Citizen Lab
Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management.
human_rights  ee  security  apple  activism  citizenlab 
august 2016
Private lives are exposed as WikiLeaks spills its secrets
Three Saudi cables published by the WikiLeaks identified domestic workers who'd been tortured or sexually abused by their employers, giving the women's full names and passport numbers. One cable named a male teenager who was raped by a man while abroad; a second identified another male teenager who was so violently raped his legs were broken; a third outlined the details of a Saudi man detained for "sexual deviation" — a derogatory term for homosexuality.

Scott Long, an LGBT rights activist who has worked in the Middle East, said the names of rape victims were off-limits. And he worried that releasing the names of people persecuted for their sexuality only risked magnifying the harm caused by oppressive officials.

"You're legitimizing their surveillance, not combating it," Long said.
privacy  wikileaks  ee  human_rights  middleeast 
august 2016
Syrian refugees create app to help navigate German bureaucracy - The Washington Post
A team of six Syrian refugees are trying to solve one of the main obstacles the hundreds of thousand of refugees who flocked to Germany in the past two years must overcome: excessive bureaucracy. They're building an app for smartphones and computers designed to help recent arrivals to the German capital, Berlin, navigate the piles of paperwork required to receive social benefits, health care and a place to stay.
refugees  germany  apps  civictech  bureaucracy  bureaucrazy  ds 
august 2016
The Nauru files: cache of 2,000 leaked reports reveal scale of abuse of children in Australian offshore detention | Australia news | The Guardian
More than 2,000 leaked incident reports from Australia’s detention camp for asylum seekers on the remote Pacific island of Nauru – totalling more than 8,000 pages – are published by the Guardian today. The Nauru files set out as never before the assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty.
ee  refugees  human_rights  data  leak 
august 2016
for digest: new research shows that open access papers have a 50% greater citation advantage than papers published in traditional subscription-based journals.
OA  citation  advantage 
august 2016
Can We Tell a Truer Story about Civic Tech? | Civic Hall
We have an expectations problem in the civic tech world that is making donors waste money and social justice projects waste opportunities. When foundations and executives expect technology to create rapid results, or massive results, they can set up their tools and their teams to fall short. And simplistic expectations mess up the incentives for advocates and donors alike.
pdf  ee  civictech 
august 2016
In Portuguese - Is the distribution of processes at Supreme Court really randomic:
A Brazilian citizen filed a Freedom of Information Request to release the source code of the computers that distribute processes among Brazilian Supreme Court judges. The request was denied, generating a debate on transparency of algorithms used in Justice and the public sector.
pt-br  algorithms  supremecourt  foi  brazil  ds 
august 2016
Hillary Clinton's Initiative on Technology & Innovation
clinton supports open licensing for publicly-funded research
august 2016
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