Thursday, August 30, 2012

ICANN's Boondoggle

Roush, Wade. "ICANN's Boondoggle." Technology Review, August 21, 2012.

From the blog: "As you may have heard, the relatively manageable list of "generic top-level domains" (gTLDs) that we've all mastered over the last couple of decades, such as .com, .net, and .org, is set to expand dramatically starting next year. You could soon find Amazon at and Google at google­.search. And there may be hundreds more new top-level domains—the proposals now under review range from .aaa to .zulu. This expansion isn't happening because we're running out of unique Web addresses under the existing set of gTLDs. Far from it. It's happening because the body in charge of these things—the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN—thought it would be fun and profitable." Read more

Hackers Vow 'Hellfire' in Latest Major Data Leak

From the article: "A group of hackers has released a vast quantity of data from banks, government agencies, consulting firms and many others and promised more data leaks in the future…. The leak, like so many others, highlights some of the amazingly lax password practices people and companies follow." Read more

State And Local Health IT Spending to Grow, Report Says

Pulley, John. "State And Local Health IT Spending to Grow, Report Says." Nextgov, August 29, 2012.

From the article: "Development of state health insurance exchanges and new quality-based care systems for Medicaid will help drive a $2.7 billion increase in IT spending by state and local health and human services agencies over the next five years, according to a new market report." Read more


You’d Need Six Months to Watch Every Presidential Campaign Ad

Giroux, Greg. "You’d Need Six Months to Watch Every Presidential Campaign Ad.", August 22, 2012.

From the stats: "At 30 seconds a spot, and sometimes 60, it would take more than six months to watch all 526,633 presidential election ads that have run on television since the general election began in earnest in early April." Read more

Privacy in the Age of the Hacker: Balancing Global Privacy and Data Security Law

From the abstract: "The twin goals of privacy and data security share a fascinating symbiotic relationship: too much of one undermines the other. The international regulatory climate, embodied principally by the European Union’s 1995 Directive, increasingly promotes privacy. In the last two decades, fifty-three countries enacted national legislation largely patterned after the E.U. Directive. These laws, by and large, protect privacy by restricting data processing and data transfers.

At the same time, hacking, malware, and other cyber-threats continue to grow in frequency and sophistication. In 2010, one security firm recorded 286 million variants of malware and reported that 232.4 million identities were exposed. To address these evolving threats, modern security techniques analyze and process massive amounts of data. The Article posits that international law increasingly favors privacy, throwing the symbiotic relationship out of balance. By restricting data processing and by failing to exempt data processing for security purposes, global privacy laws undermine private data by increasing its vulnerability. " Read more

ICT Innovations: Radical & Disruptive? Vague Concepts – Delicate Choices – Conflicting Results

From the abstract: "Information and communication technology innovations (ICT) are considered to be of central importance to social and economic developments. Various innovation theories offer classifications to predict and assess their impact. This article reviews the usefulness of selected approaches and their application in the convergent communications sector. It focuses on the notion of disruption, the comparatively new distinction between disruptive and sustaining innovations, and examines how it is related to other innovation-theoretical typologies. According to the literature, there is a high frequency of disruptive changes in the field of internet protocol-based innovations in combination with wireless technology. A closer analysis reveals that these classifications and assessments not only differ in detail but are even contradictory. The article explains these differences by highlighting delicate choices that have to be taken by analysts applying the disruption concept. It argues that its applicability is comparatively low in the convergent communications sector and generalizations of single-firm assessments are hardly valid." Read more

How Data Science Is Transforming Health Care: Solving the Wanamaker Dilemma

O'Reilly, Tim, Mike Loukides, Julie Steele, and Colin Hill.  How Data Science Is Transforming Health Care: Solving the Wanamaker Dilemma. O'Reilly, August 2012.

From the report: "In the early days of the 20th century, department store magnate John Wanamaker famously said, "I know that half of my advertising doesn't work. The problem is that I don't know which half." That remained basically true until Google transformed advertising with AdSense based on new uses of data and analysis. The same might be said about health care and it's poised to go through a similar transformation as new tools, techniques, and data sources come on line. Soon we'll make policy and resource decisions based on much better understanding of what leads to the best outcomes, and we'll make medical decisions based on a patient's specific biology. The result will be better health at less cost.

This paper explores how data analysis will help us structure the business of health care more effectively around outcomes, and how it will transform the practice of medicine by personalizing for each specific patient."
Read more