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Cryptology ePrint Archive: Report 2018/962 - Zexe: Enabling Decentralized Private Computation
Interesting use of zcash protocol for arbitrary computation purposes. Might enable a distributed exchange
Zcash  protocol  zero  knowledge  proof  algorithm  cryptography  research  computer  science 
2 hours ago by asteroza
5,000-year-old prosthetic eye made from a mixture of natural tar and animal fat. This incredible object was found near the city of Zabol in Iran. The world's earliest prosthetic eye, which was once painted gold, was worn by an ancient priestess who stood 6’ tall. #goldeneye

— Lindsey Fitzharris (@DrLindseyFitz) October 14, 2018
research  parsingscience 
2 hours ago by dougleigh
Issue #9 of weekly newsletter highlighting our most popular science tweets of the past 7 days is out now! Check it out below, or subscribe at

— Parsing Science (@ParsingScience) October 15, 2018
research  parsingscience 
yesterday by dougleigh
We Are All Research Subjects Now - The Chronicle of Higher Education
These brakes on social inquiry are the same ones that academic researchers labor under — and sometime chafe under — today. And they are the same ones that the Social Data Initiative enlists in its public statements. But we should note that they were designed for research situations like the tearoom ethnography: where the privacy intrusion was intentional, where the potential harm to individuals’ dignity was obvious, where specific consent from the human subjects might feasibly have been obtained, and where careful scholarly review might have prompted a more ethical research design.

The data sets that Facebook plans to hand over to SSRC-approved researchers are by nature quite different. They first of all are being used only after the fact, having been collected via no peer-review process by a for-profit company. Accepting the terms of service of a social-media company is a far lower bar than the "informed consent" required by an IRB. These will be reams of personal data, possibly quite sensitive, and gathered unobtrusively, without the express consent (and often, knowledge) of those being researched.

It is not even certain whether the donors of data in this new venture are "research participants" in the sense that social scientists of the last century would have recognized. Some commentators have argued that because the company’s data will be anonymized before researchers get ahold of them (itself a concern as re-identification techniques improve), standards of informed consent do not even pertain.

Can the protections intended for a relatively small group of identifiable subjects in a bounded study — the men in St. Louis’s public restrooms in 1966, say — be extrapolated to the more than one billion virtual subjects who have been swept willy nilly into Facebook’s informational cache? The SSRC, in its early statements about the Social Data Initiative, seems to believe so. But today’s system of IRBs and federal regulations ought not be treated as definitive, especially given the new risks and possibilities presented by industry partnerships and big data.

Rather than accept the solutions of the 1960s and 1970s as a given, the new initiative would do better to reopen the questions that Tearoom Trade and other cutting-edge social research of its day generated about the legitimate bounds of social inquiry. The regulations that emerged were important, but so was the larger claim that human dignity ought to serve as an essential check on research ambitions....

For those who care both about pathbreaking social research and the rights of human subjects, the SSRC-Facebook collaboration poses dilemmas equivalent to those raised by Tearoom Trade. It is an opportunity to reconsider, and possibly revise, the rules of social inquiry. Are the guidelines for ethical research and treatment of subjects that were devised nearly 50 years ago a durable resource for us today? What kind of help can these tools, forged in quite different conditions, offer us in resolving the potential privacy violations and misuses of personal information that threaten today’s unwitting subjects of social media — and perhaps now scholarly — experimentation and manipulation?...

If we are all research subjects now, what kind of practices and policies will best preserve the values of individual dignity, privacy, and consent?

Given the unique nature of the new collaboration, these questions should be directed to the social scientists who will be making use of novel data sets. But they must also be answered by the corporations and data miners they collaborate with. If the byproduct is a new standard of data ethics with a broad purchase — viewed as the responsibility not simply of academics but also of the multifarious parties now engaged in social and behavioral research — that will truly fulfill the SSRC’s mission to "produce findings that improve everybody’s lives."
research  methodology  ethics  digital_methods  social_science  consent  IRB 
yesterday by shannon_mattern
Vault by HashiCorp
Vault secures, stores, and tightly controls access to tokens, passwords, certificates, API keys, and other secrets in modern computing. Vault handles leasing, key revocation, key rolling, auditing, and provides secrets as a service through a unified API.
yesterday by arimathea
The EVRYMAN Podcast by Dan Doty on Apple Podcasts
Download past episodes or subscribe to future episodes of The EVRYMAN Podcast by Dan Doty for free.
yesterday by arimathea
VMware Cert Link-o-Rama : vmware
All: So we have noticed that a growing list of subscribers of /r/vmware are looking for any help with getting certified in one of the many...
yesterday by arimathea

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