Thursday, January 31, 2013

UNCTAD Technology and Innovation Report 2012: Innovation, Technology and South-South Collaboration

From the report: "Fast-growing South–South trade and investment is an opportunity to ramp up developing countries’ abilities to master market-useful technologies and to bolster their abilities to innovate new products and services, an UNCTAD report says. The Technology and Innovation Report 2012, subtitled Innovation, Technology and South–South Collaboration, was released today. South–South economic cooperation is one of the major global economic developments of the past two decades. Exchanges between developing countries accounted for 55 per cent of global trade in 2010, as compared to 41 per cent in 1995, and this trend is already leading to useful diffusions of technology and innovative capacity, the Report says. Increased South–South exchange can lead to greater technological sharing, in a variety of ways. A first important channel is the import of goods, the Report says, which are used by importing countries to improve their production processes through copying and reverse engineering. Global production networks and foreign direct investment (FDI) are other factors that could promote transfers of technology and technological development in countries." Read more

Mapping Creates Jobs and Drives Global Economic Growth

From the article: "The transformation of the maps we use everyday is driven by a growing industry that creates jobs and economic growth globally. To present a clearer picture of the importance of the geo services industry, we commissioned studies from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and Oxera. What we found is that maps make a big economic splash around the world.

In summary, the global geo services industry is valued at up to $270 billion per year and pays out $90 billion in wages. In the U.S., it employs more than 500,000 people and is worth $73 billion. The infographic below illustrates some examples of the many benefits of maps, whether it’s improving agriculture irrigation systems or helping emergency response teams save lives." Read more

Power and the Internet

From the article: "All disruptive technologies upset traditional power balances, and the Internet is no exception. The standard story is that it empowers the powerless, but that's only half the story. The Internet empowers everyone. Powerful institutions might be slow to make use of that new power, but since they are powerful, they can use it more effectively. Governments and corporations have woken up to the fact that not only can they use the Internet, they can control it for their interests. Unless we start deliberately debating the future we want to live in, and information technology in enabling that world, we will end up with an Internet that benefits existing power structures and not society in general." Read more

U.S. Kids Need Computer-Science Education

From the article: "The future of the U.S. economy depends upon technological progress, and learning basic skills like computational thinking and programming are great ways to expose students at an early age to its importance. If the U.S. doesn't follow suit, we will lose out in the global economy.

By 2018, there will be nearly three times as many job openings requiring computer science knowledge than qualified applicants. This goes well beyond just becoming a professional programmer -- learning computer science can teach problem solving skills, new ways of breaking down complex scenarios, and a means to build something tangible in our software-driven age." Read more

Hackers in China Attacked The Times for Last 4 Months

From the article: "For the last four months, Chinese hackers have persistently attacked The New York Times, infiltrating its computer systems and getting passwords for its reporters and other employees.

….The timing of the attacks coincided with the reporting for a Times investigation, published online on Oct. 25, that found that the relatives of Wen Jiabao, China’s prime minister, had accumulated a fortune worth several billion dollars through business dealings." Read more

Consumers Now Trust Microsoft More than Apple with Their Privacy

Samson, Ted. "Consumers Now Trust Microsoft More than Apple with Their Privacy." InfoWorld, January 29, 2013. 

From the article: "Big-name tech companies including Hewlett-Packard, Amazon, IBM, eBay, Intuit, Microsoft, and Mozilla are among the 20 most-trusted organizations among American consumers, according to Ponemon Institute's "2012 Most Trusted Companiesfor Privacy." Meanwhile, companies who've made the list in years past -- such as Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Dell -- didn't make the cut this time around." Read more

Smartphone Users' Privacy Betrayed By Their Gadget Sensors, Says Study

From the article: "Research into smartphone security has revealed that your phone's sensors could help criminals unlock your stolen gadget. And, given that these elements all come as standard on most smartphonemodels, and are not subject to the same controls as other phone functions, they are a bigger security risk. The study was carried out by a visiting professor at Swarthmore College, who analyzed data captured from a smartphone's accelerometer--that's the gadget that analyzes the direction your phone is tilting or moving and turns the screen accordingly, and used for games like Doodle Jump--and found it could be used to work out where someone tapped the screen." Read more

Who Owns, Controls Social Media Activity?

From the article: "Now that the use of social media is part of the TV newsroom norm, the industry is wrestling with the next wave of issues associated with the medium — hashing out matters ranging from who owns on-air personalities’ Facebook accounts to delineating between professional and personal tweets.
Individuals on all sides of the equation, from station group owners to newsroom staffers, are pushing to add more structure to the use of social media both on and off the job, primarily so the practice doesn’t come back to bite them, industry watchers say. 

The lack of industry wide standards regulating social media practices also is starting to create unexpected problems, particularly for anchors and reporters who, to some degree, are winging it." Read more

EU Data Supervisor Wants Greater Powers

From the article: "The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Peter Hustinx, has unveiled a two-year strategy aiming to promote a “data protection culture,” increase oversight of EU institutions, and cut red tape.

Speaking at an event in Brussels alongside EU justice commissioner Vivianne Reding and EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, Hustinx on Tuesday (22 January) said the strategy is designed to make the EDPS more efficient and effective." Read more

Open Data Economy: Eight Business Models for Open Data and Insight from Deloitte UK

From the article: "The first response concerned Deloitte’s ongoing research into open data in the United Kingdom [PDF], conducted in collaboration with the Open Data Institute.

Harvey Lewis, one of the primary investigators for the research project, recently wrote about some of Deloitte’s preliminary findings at the Open Government Partnership’s blog in a post on “open growth.” To date, Deloitte has not found the quantitative evidence the team needs to definitely demonstrate the economic value of open data. That said, the team found much of interest in the space." Read more

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gartner: Social Business Efforts Largely Unsuccessful So Far

From the article: "Many large companies are embracing internal social networks, but for the most part, they're not getting much from them, according to analyst firm Gartner.

By 2016, some 50% of enterprises "will have internal Facebook-like social networks," and 30% of these will be considered to be as crucial as email and telephones, a Gartner study announced on Tuesday states.

However, through 2015, 80% "of social business efforts will not achieve the intended benefits due to inadequate leadership and an overemphasis on technology," according to the report." Read more

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Protecting Online Freedom as the Internet Turns 30

From the article: "The Internet turned 30 earlier this month. On Jan. 1, 1983, engineers launched the basic protocol for sharing bits between computers, setting in motion the networked world we live in today.

It’s during anniversaries like these that we have a chance to take stock of this remarkable network and the people who make it what it is.

As the Internet enters its middle years, we users can no longer take it for granted. It’s more than a cloud. It’s people, technology and physical infrastructure. As with any infrastructure, the Internet needs protection and maintenance to survive; otherwise the wires and signals that send digital communications will cease to function. The online community also needs protections — to prevent our ideas from being blocked, our identities from being hijacked and our wallets from being picked." Read  more

Twitter Gives Up User Data to Feds 69% of the Time

From the article: "Twitter has released new numbers showing that the social network complied with government data requests 69% of the time in the U.S., as government requests for user information worldwide continue to rise.

The total number of information requests increased to 1,009 during the second half of 2012, up from 849 during the first half of the year, according to Twitter's transparency report. Government requests for content removal also increased to 42 from just six." Read more

Digitization, Innovation, and Copyright: What is the Agenda?

From the report: "This essay discusses the need for research on the consequences of digitization, as well as the impact of alternative policies governing the creation and use of digital information. This agenda focuses on the development of research to investigate the economics of digitization, to analyze the governance of intellectual property in this sector, particularly through copyright, and to pioneer approaches to analyzing measurement of digitization. This agenda overlaps with many related open questions in organizational and strategy research." Read more

What Google's Transparency Report Doesn't Tell Us

From the article: "Google's Transparency Reports, released every six months, are interesting not just for what they reveal about government requests for Internet user data, but also for what they do not reveal...

The company's latest report, released on Wednesday, shows that the U.S. government again led other nations in submitting the most requests for user data with Google. In the second half of 2012, the U.S. put in 8,438 requests for Internet user data, up 6% from the 7,979 requests it placed in the first six months of the year.

Between 2011 and 2012, U.S. data requests from Google increased by more than 30%....

Google's transparency reports do not include requests for user data made by the government under the U.S. Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence SurveillanceAmendment Act or through the use of National Security Letters (NSLs). Most of the requests made via these statutes are tied to national security issues and often compel providers to disclose far more data than ECPA subpoenas and court orders permit." Read more

5 Findings in ONC HIE Research

From the article: "The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT has published research that aims to help providers and professionals better understand several high-impact services that can sustain health information exchange organizations.

The research is meant to help professionals who are putting in place health information exchange (HIE) with policy, technical and business-related skills related to query-based exchange, push notification and subscription services, provider directories, master data management and consumer engagement." Read more

Monday, January 28, 2013

More Using Electronics to Track Their Health

From the article: "Whether they have chronic ailments like diabetes or just want to watch their weight, Americans are increasingly tracking their health using smartphone applications and other devices that collect personal data automatically, according to health industry researchers.

“The explosion of mobile devices means that more Americans have an opportunity to start tracking health data in an organized way,” said Susannah Fox, an associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project, which was to release the national study on Monday. Many of the people surveyed said the experience had changed their overall approach to health." Read more

See also

Using Twitter to Track the Flu: Researchers Find a Better Way to Screen the Tweets

From the article: "Sifting through social media messages has become a popular way to track when and where flu cases occur, but a key hurdle hampers the process: how to identify flu-infection tweets. Some tweets are posted by people who have been sick with the virus, while others come from folks who are merely talking about the illness. If you are tracking actual flu cases, such conversations about the flu in general can skew the results.

To address this problem, Johns Hopkins computer scientists and researchers in the School of Medicine have developed a new tweet-screening method that not only delivers real-time data on flu cases, but also filters out online chatter that is not linked to actual flu infections. Comparing their method, which is based on analysis of 5,000 publicly available tweets per minute, to other Twitter-based tracking tools, the Johns Hopkins researchers say their real-time results track more closely with government disease data that takes much longer to compile." Read more

More Than 700 Million Smartphones Shipped in 2012 as Apple, Samsung Dominate

From the article: "A record 700 million smartphones were shipped in 2012, with more than half of those coming from industry leaders Samsung and Apple.

Samsung shipped an estimated 213 million smartphones — roughly 30 percent of the market — according toStrategy Analytics.

Apple, meanwhile, saw its shipments rise 46 percent to 135.8 million, giving the company about the same 19 percent of the market it had a year earlier." Read more

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Big Data Brings Big Privacy Concerns

From the article: "Wary of privacy implications of massive data collection systems, the Senate Commerce Committee plans to continue a probe of the industry, coinciding with a separate inquiry underway at the Federal Trade Commission." Read more

Data Privacy Day 2013: Microsoft Releases Privacy Trends Study and Video Series

"Data Privacy Day 2013: Microsoft Releases Privacy Trends Study and Video Series." Networked World, January 23, 2013. 

From the article: "To celebrate Data Privacy Day 2013, Microsoft commissioned a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults "to better understand people's online privacy perceptions and expectations." The research study showed that privacy is becoming more important to people. They want and need more control of their personal information. Sadly, less than half of all adults ‘mostly’ or ‘totally understand’ how to protect themselves online." Read more

Big Data and Cloud Computing Empower Smart Machines to Do Human Work, Take Human Jobs

From the article: "From giant corporations to university libraries to start-up businesses, employers are using rapidly improving technology to do tasks that humans used to do. That means millions of workers are caught in a competition they can’t win against machines that keep getting more powerful, cheaper and easier to use." Read more

Airbnb And The Unstoppable Rise Of The Share Economy

From the article: "The “gig economy,” the plethora of microjobs fueled by online marketplaces offering and filling an array of paid errands and office chores, has been well-documented, and sites like TaskRabbit, Execand Amazon’s Mechanical Turk continue to grow apace. What Larson finds himself in, however, is something lesser-noticed and potentially far more disruptive–a share economy , where asset owners use digital clearinghouses to capitalize the unused capacity of things they already have, and consumers rent from their peers rather than rent or buy from a company." Read more

Preparing for the Worst: Author Martin Ford Imagines a Future when Machines Have All the Jobs

From the article: "Martin Ford saw it everywhere, even in his own business.

Smarter machines and better software were helping companies do more work with fewer people. His Silicon Valley software firm used to put its programs on disks and ship them to customers. The disks were made, packaged and delivered by human beings. Now Ford’s customers can just download the software to their computers — no disks, no packaging, no delivery workers.

… He suggests imposing massive taxes on companies, which would be paying far less in wages thanks to automation, and distributing the proceeds to those left unemployed by technology. That would give them money to spend to keep the economy spinning.

To prevent the creation of a massive, idle underclass, Ford suggests paying incentives for people to keep going to school and to behave in ways that benefit the environment and society.

He admits his ideas are “fairly radical and political untenable ... But I don’t believe there are any easy conventional solutions.” Read more

How to Get America Online

From the article: "ON Monday, President Obama said that during his second term, Americans would act together to “build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores” and that “we cannot cede to other nations the technology that will power new jobs and new industries — we must claim its promise.”

The president is right that digital communication networks — especially high-capacity fiber networks reaching American homes and businesses — can be a powerful economic engine. But we are far away from being able to realize that vision, even as we cede the advantage such technology offers to other countries." Read more 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Managing Crowd Innovation in Public Administration

From the report: "Governments all over the world have discovered the world of social media, for better or for worse. Whereas some of them are making every effort to prevent the unhierarchical and therefore uncontrollable (dissident) opinion-forming process in Web 2.0, others are looking for ways of putting the potentialities of this new opening-up of communication to use. One approach that is increasingly being tried out is opening up innovation processes in government. However, this opening-up of innovation processes is anything but trivial. It requires a thoroughly thought-out strategy and thus confronts government systems with extensive challenges if it is not to suffer the same fate as other unsuccessful attempts at reform in the past. In our essay, we reflect on the consequences of these challenges for public managers." Read more

Personal Information Markets and Privacy: A New Model to Solve the Controversy

From the report: "From the early days of the information economy, personal data has been its most valuable asset. Despite data protection laws, companies trade personal information and often intrude on the privacy of individuals. As a result, consumers become more and more irritated and concerned. They feel out of control and lose trust in electronic environments. Technologists, economists and regulators are struggling to develop solutions that meet businesses’ demand for more personal information while maintaining privacy. However, no promising proposals seem to be in sight. A vision of how internet economics can accommodate privacy is elusive. We would like to break this helpless cycle and propose a 3-tier market model for personal information markets with privacy. In our model, clear roles, rights and obligations for all actors re-establish trust. The 1st market tier, ‘relationship space’, enables data subjects and visible business partners to build trusting relationships. The 2nd market tier, ‘service space’, supports 1st tier relationships with distributed information processing. The 3rd tier is called ‘rich information space’. Here, anonymized personal information will drive innovative socio-inspired services, and companies can freely exchange non-identified data without restrictions. To transition to this model, we show how existing privacy-enhancing technologies and legal requirements can be integrated." Read more

Informational Capabilities - The Missing Link for the Impact of ICT on Development

From the article: "Under what conditions can information and communications technologies (ICTs) enhance the well-being of poor communities? The paper designs an alternative evaluation framework (AEF) that applies Sen’s capability approach to the study of ICTs in order to place people’s well-being, rather than technology at the center of the study. The AEF develops an impact chain that examines the mechanisms by which access to, and meaningful use of, ICTs can enhance peoples “informational capabilities” and can lead to improvements in people’s human and social capabilities. This approach thus uses peoples’ human capabilities, rather than measures of access or usage, as its principal evaluative space. Based on empirical evidence from rural communities’ uses of ICTs in Bolivia, the study concludes that enhancing people’s informational capabilities is the most critical factor determining the impact of ICTs on their well-being. The findings indicate that improved informational capabilities, like literacy, do enhance the human capabilities of the poor and marginalized to make strategic life choices to achieve the lifestyle they value. Evaluating the impact of ICTs in terms of capabilities thus reveals that there is no direct relationship between improved access to, and use of, ICTs and enhanced well-being; ICTs lead to improvements in people’s lives only when informational capabilities are transformed into expanded human and social capabilities in the economic, political, social, organizational and cultural dimensions of their lives." Read more

China Aims to Create Electronics Giants

From the article: "China's industry ministry on Tuesday set an aggressive goal of forging global giants in the electronics sector within the next two years through mergers and alliances, and reiterated a longstanding push for Chinese companies to explore overseas acquisitions.

China is pushing to consolidate its electronics industry in a bid to create the next tech giant. The WSJ's Paul Mozur tells us how far the country still has to go to compete with the likes of Apple and Samsung.

The target for the electronics sector is part of a wider plan to consolidate China's fragmented major industries, including steel, shipping, automobiles, cement and aluminum. Overcapacity in heavy industries has been blamed for amplifying a sharp slowdown in growth in the past two years." Read more

State of the Internet: The Broadband Future Is Faster, but Still Unevenly Distributed

From the article: "We may not be a gigabit nation yet when it comes to broadband, but the latest data from Akamai shows that the the number of broadband connections over 10 Mbps — what Akamai dubs “high broadband” has grown by 73 percent from the third quarter of 2011 to the third quarter of 2012. The country has also see a 20 percent overall increase in average speed  to 7.2 Mbps over the past year, but the number of people who have adopted broadband (measured at anything above 4 Mbps) was 62 percent, which puts the U.S. at No. 12 in the worldwide rankings when it comes to adoption and No. 9 when it comes to average speeds." Read more

Your Gadgets Are Slowly Breaking the Internet

Talbot, David. "Your Gadgets Are Slowly Breaking the Internet." MIT Technology Review, January 9, 2013. 

From the article: "Behind all the dazzling mobile-ready electronics products on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week is a looming problem: how to make the networks that support all these wireless devices function robustly and efficiently.  

With less fanfare than you’d see in Vegas, potential solutions are arising in labs in Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, and New Brunswick, New Jersey. The grand challenge is to overhaul the Internet to better serve an expected flood of 15 billion network-connected devices by 2015—many of them mobile—up from five billion today, according to Intel estimates." Read more

State of the Web: Why can’t Washington craft better Internet laws?

From the article: "The tragic suicide of programmer and activist Aaron Swartz, who was charged with multiple computer crime felonies prior to his death, has reignited calls for Washington to craft better Internet-related legislation. Many laws on the books are seen as outdated, misaligned with reality, and just plain crazy. There has to be a better way, or so the theory goes. But what if there isn’t? What if the lawmaking process, by its very nature, cannot handle the fast-paced world of the Internet and the cultural shifts that go along with it? What then?" Read more

China’s Information Challenge

From the article: "To maintain monopoly control of political power in a country with a hard-charging economy, fast-growing middle class and the rising expectations they create, party officials will do all they can to monitor and manage the flow of information within the country and across its borders. This is especially important for a new generation of leaders now assuming their posts, officials who know that public expectations for good governance have never been higher. But with more than half a billion Chinese citizens now online, more than 300 million active on Weibo (China’s Twitter) and an increasingly ineffective “great firewall,” assertions of control over words and ideas reflect little more than wishful thinking." Read more

Checklists Can Help in Surgical Crises, Too: Study

From the article: "By using simulation technology, researchers were able to show something previously thought impossible to prove: the benefits of using surgical checklists in an operating room emergency.

In an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality-funded study, a team of researchers observed 17 surgical teams participating in 106 staged crises. The researchers found there was stricter adherence to critical steps in “life-saving processes” when a set of crisis checklists was available.

According to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, there was a 75% reduction in “failure to adhere to critical steps” when checklists were used. In these instances, 6% (24 of 371) of the critical steps were missed, compared to 23% (89 of 379) when teams were working from memory. Each session was recorded, and physician researchers observed and scored adherence to the established, evidence-based response guidelines." Read more 

Obscurity: A Better Way to Think About Your Data Than 'Privacy'

From the article: "While many debates over technology and privacy concern obscurity, the term rarely gets used. This is unfortunate, as "privacy" is an over-extended concept. It grabs our attention easily, but is hard to pin down. Sometimes, people talk about privacy when they are worried about confidentiality. Other times they evoke privacy to discuss issues associated with corporate access to personal information. Fortunately, obscurity has a narrower purview.

Obscurity is the idea that when information is hard to obtain or understand, it is, to some degree, safe. Safety, here, doesn't mean inaccessible. Competent and determined data hunters armed with the right tools can always find a way to get it. Less committed folks, however, experience great effort as a deterrent." Read more

Even if It Enrages Your Boss, Social Net Speech Is Protected

From the article: "As Facebook and Twitter become as central to workplace conversation as the company cafeteria, federal regulators are ordering employers to scale back policies that limit what workers can say online.

Employers often seek to discourage comments that paint them in a negative light. Don’t discuss company matters publicly, a typical social media policy will say, and don’t disparage managers, co-workers or the company itself. Violations can be a firing offense.

But in a series of recent rulings and advisories, labor regulators have declared many such blanket restrictions illegal. The National Labor Relations Board says workers have a right to discuss work conditions freely and without fear of retribution, whether the discussion takes place at the office or on Facebook." Read more

Becoming Your Own Doctor In The Brave New World Of Personalized Medicine

From the article: "So for most people, serving as our own doctor is well-nigh impossible. Being a doctor isn’t a part-time position or a hobby. A small number of smart, highly motivated people take the extreme effort necessary to become a doctor, but this isn’t the path the vast majority of the rest of us have taken, can take, or even want to take. And even if we are wannabe Dr. Welbys and Dr. Houses, we don’t have the necessary skills and fortitude and time to get a genuine medical education." Read more

Foresight Future Identities: Final Project Report

From the report: "The Foresight project on the Future Identities set out to explore how changes in technology, politics, economics, our environment and demographics will affect our notion of identity.

The aim of the project was to come to a broad and independent scientific view of changing identities in the UK through a synthesis of existing evidence from a range of academic disciplines, including computer science, criminology, the social sciences and the humanities.

The Report identifies key challenges for effective policy making and implementation in a rapidly changing, globalised, technology-rich, and densely networked UK. It focuses on implications for: crime prevention and criminal justice; health, the environment and wellbeing; skills, employment and education; preventing radicalisation and extremism; social mobility; and social integration." Read more 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Big Data Meets Big Brother in the Passenger Screening Line

Sternstein, Aliya. "Big Data Meets Big Brother in the Passenger Screening Line." Nextgov, January 16, 2013. 

From the article: "The Transportation Security Administration is considering screening passengers based on behavioral profiles generated by commercial data brokers, according to new contracting notices.
The agency potentially could use such computations to let consenting passengers with positive assessments bypass certain airport security inspections, officials said.  

For a moment, set aside fears about TSA peering into your gun-buying habits or pharmacy purchases. Are commercial data aggregations even accurate? No one knows. Not the Federal Trade Commission or the Justice Department. Not the data brokers. And not the people being profiled -- they often aren’t allowed to see their own records." Read more

Mapping Cloud Interoperability in the Globalized Economy: Theory and Observation from Practice

From the report: "This is one of three in-depth exploratory studies, which aim to gain a deeper understanding of the role that interoperability plays as an enabler of innovation and creativity in international trade. Each study explores the various institutions, policies and approaches that shape the interoperability landscape and investigates the effects of these factors and drivers on trade in the globalized economy.

In this series, we examine:
(i) to what extent and how interoperability has contributed to the promotion of international trade;
(ii) what respective roles international organizations have played in concert with other stakeholders with regard to interoperability and international trade;
(iii) what policies and approaches to supporting interoperability have been used, and with what results; and
(iv) what can be learned from these experiences with regard to emerging interoperability issues in the context of international trade.

The three studies address this set of questions from different angles, acknowledging the multi-faceted character of the concept of interoperability (Gasser & Palfrey, Basic Books 2012). Two of them “Fostering innovation and trade in the global information society: The different facets and roles of interoperability”, and “Mapping Cloud Interoperability in the Globalized Economy: Theory and Observations from Practice” – focus specifically on cloud computing, an emerging technical paradigm through which to analyze the policy relevance of interoperability in a globalized economy. This example also facilitates exploration of some of the key issues and practical challenges that arise as various stakeholders engage with cloud services, infrastructure, and data across the world, as well as the implications for trade, policy, and different actors, especially, governments.
 The third study, “Interoperability in Information and Information Systems in the Furtherance of Trade” is focused on the role, current debates, and associated benefits and challenges in establishing a system of interoperability for information and information systems in the service of trade in a global economy over time." Read more

EHR Adoption Could Exceed 80 Percent by End of 2013, New Study Finds

From the article: "Family physicians are adopting electronic health records (EHRs) at a much faster rate than previous data suggested, reaching a nearly 70 percent adoption rate nationwide, new study findings reveal. 

The study, published in the January/February issue of the Annals of Family Medicine, shows EHR adoption by family physicians has doubled since 2005, with researchers estimating that the adoption rate will exceed 80 percent by the end of 2013." Read more 

UN Plans Internet Governance Amid Outcry to Defund ITU

From the article: "A petition to de-fund the U.N.'s telecom arm emerges just as the ITU readies to hammer out internet governance plans at the World Telecommunication Information andCommunication Technology Policy Forum meetings in February and May 2013.

…Five days ago ITU's Secretary-General Hamadoun TourĂ© released the fourth and final ITU/WTPF-13 report outlining groundwork for internet governance (and internet regulatory topics) at upcoming meetings on February 6-8 and May 14-16." Read more

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Real World of Cost-Benefit Analysis: Thirty-Six Questions (and Almost as Many Answers)

From the report: "Some of the most interesting discussions of cost-benefit analysis focus on difficult problems, including catastrophic scenarios, “fat tails,” extreme uncertainty, intergenerational equity, and discounting over long time horizons. As it operates in the actual world of government practice, however, cost-benefit analysis usually does not need to explore the hardest questions, and when it does so, it tends to enlist standardized methods and tools. It is useful to approach cost-benefit analysis from the bottom up, that is, by anchoring the discussion in specific scenarios involving trade-offs and valuations. Thirty-six stylized scenarios are presented here, alongside an exploration of how they might be handled in practice. Open issues are also discussed." Read more

It’s 10 P.M. Do You Know What Your Avatar Is Doing?

From the article: "A few years ago, a research psychologist at Stanford University named Jeremy Bailenson effectively proved the soundness of Anderson’srecruitment methods (pdf). A week before the 2004 presidential election, Bailenson asked a bunch of prospective voters to look at photographs of George W. Bush and John Kerry and then give their opinions of the candidates. What the voters didn’t know was that the photographs had been doctored: each voter’s own visage had been subtly morphed together with that of one of the candidates.

In this and two follow-up experiments, Bailenson found what Rudy Rucker, the novelist who wrote Software, would have predicted: voters were significantly more likely to support the candidate who had been made to look like them. What’s more, not a single voter detected that it was, in part, his or her own face staring back." Read more

The Dunbar Number, From the Guru of Social Networks

From the article: "A little more than 10 years ago, the evolutionary psychologist Robin Dunbar began a study of the Christmas-card-sending habits of the English. This was in the days before online social networks made friends and “likes” as countable as miles on an odometer, and Dunbar wanted a proxy for meaningful social connection. He was curious to see not only how many people a person knew, but also how many people he or she cared about. The best way to find those connections, he decided, was to follow holiday cards. After all, sending them is an investment: You either have to know the address or get it; you have to buy the card or have it made from exactly the right collage of adorable family photos; you have to write something, buy a stamp, and put the envelope in the mail. These are not huge costs, but most people won’t incur them for just anybody." Read more

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Technology-Enabled Medication Tracking: A Tough Nut To Crack

From the article: "A patient who comes into the hospital for a complex cardiovascular procedure, at one end of the spectrum, or a straightforward pneumonia case, at the other, both face a safety risk in what may appear relatively simple to do: Getting, and maintaining, an accurate medication list.

Even with health IT advances and the march toward computerized provider order entry, health care facilities still struggle with the process of medication reconciliation, which is woven throughout the care continuum." Read more

Mining Electronic Records for Revealing Health Data

From the article: "Over the past decade, nudged by new federal regulations, hospitals and medical offices around the country have been converting scribbled doctors’ notes to electronic records. Although the chief goal has been to improve efficiency and cut costs, a disappointing report published last week by the RAND Corp. found that electronic health records actually may beraising the nation’s medical bills.

But the report neglected one powerful incentive for the switch to electronic records: the resulting databases of clinical information are gold mines for medical research. The monitoring and analysis of electronic medical records, some scientists say, have the potential to make every patient a participant in a vast, ongoing clinical trial, pinpointing treatments and side effects that would be hard to discern from anecdotal case reports or expensive clinical trials." Read more 

Will 2013 Be the Year of Privacy on Steroids?

From the article: "As I was flying 30,000 feet above sea level after spending time at the International Consumer Electronics Show, it became quite clear that 2013 is going to be 'The Year of Privacy on Steroids.' With so many new sites, gadgets and technology offerings integrating social media into their core functionalities, legislators will be hungry to regulate and legislate. The notion of privacy has become indelibly integrated into all aspects of our lives, impacting what we do on a daily and hourly basis. We communicate, we entertain, we consume, we share, we travel -- we live. And as technology and the online world continue to advance, we are seeing the introduction of new legislation that impacts our private lives.

Here is just a glimpse into what's to come." Read more

Health Online 2013

From the report: "81% of U.S. adults use the internet and 59% say they have looked online for health information in the past year. 35% of U.S. adults say they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have. 

Online resources join the stream of information flowing in from people's interactions with clinicians, family, and fellow patients. When respondents were asked about the last time they had a serious health issue and to whom they turned for help, either online or offline:
- 70% of U.S. adults got information, care, or support from a doctor or other health care professional.
- 60% got information or support from friends and family.
- 24% got information or support from others who have the same health condition." Read more

Can Twitter Predict the Future? Pentagon Says Maybe

From the article: "The Defense Department wants new computer tools to analyze mounds of unstructured text, blogs and tweets as part of a coordinated push to help military analysts predict the future and make decisions faster.

The search is part of the Office of Naval Research's "Data to Decisions" program, a series of three-to-10-year initiatives that will address the volume of information that threatens to overwhelm planners in the digital age, contract databases indicate. The goal is to build an open source system that can unite various tools that collect, manage and draw relationships between data sets." Read more

Emotional Arousal Key to Information Sharing, Study Says

From the article: "Fueled by the ever-growing power of the Internet and countless websites being started up every day, today's world revolves around information sharing and receiving. And a study conducted by Jonah Berger of the University of Pennsylvania, shows that both high physical and emotional arousal lead to the sharing of more information, giving more insight as to why people share what they do.

A two-part study, "Arousal Increases Social Transmission of Information" was conducted with more than 100 participants by The Wharton School at the university, to look at the role emotional and physical arousal plays in information sharing, specifically news, both personal and public." Read more

See also

Kickstarter Launched 18,000 Projects in 2012; 17 Raised More than $1 Million

From the article: "Kickstarter reports that its 2.2 million members pledged more than $319 million in 2012, up 221 percent from the year before. But more striking, perhaps, is the scale of some of Kickstarter’s latest success stories. While no project had raised $1 million at this time last year, 17 projects passed that mark in 2012." Read more

'Crowdfunding' Sites Pay Medical Bills, Raise Hopes

From the article: "More people are turning to crowdfunding sites to ask friends, and friends of friends, for help with medical bills, accident costs and much more. But, surprise: Strangers give, too." Read more

Why Electronic Health Records Failed

From the article: "Back in 2005, researchers at the influential RAND Corp. made an optimistic prediction: Digitizing electronic medical records could save the health-care system at least $81 billion annually.

The savings were significant but not unreasonable: It would represent less than a 1 percent cut to health-care spending, much smaller than the 1.5 percent efficiency increase the retail sector saw when it went digital.

Seven years later, those savings have not materialized." Read more

U.S. Intelligence Community Forecasts Digital-Driven Future

From the article: "The digital technology revolution is transforming every single business and industry around the world. But, beyond that, it is having a transformational impact on economies and societies around the world, as we transition from the industrial society of the past couple of centuries to a new kind of information-based society. What will our world look like over the next couple of decades?" Read more

The Internet of Things Has Arrived — And So Have Massive Security Issues

From the article: "While not devoid of hype and hyperbole, the Internet of Things (IoT) does represent a revolution happening right now. Companies of all kinds – not just technology and telecommunications firms – are linking “things” as diverse as smartphones, cars and household appliances to industrial-strength sensors, each other and the internet. The technical result may be mundane features such as intercommunication and autonomous machine-to-machine (M2M) data transfer, but the potential benefits to lifestyles and businesses are huge." Read more

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Theory of Crowd Capital

From the report: "We are seeing more and more organizations undertaking activities to engage dispersed populations through Information Systems (IS). Using the knowledge-based view of the organization, this work conceptualizes a theory of Crowd Capital to explain this phenomenon. Crowd Capital is a heterogeneous knowledge resource generated by an organization, through its use of Crowd Capability, which is defined by the structure, content, and process by which an organization engages with the dispersed knowledge of individuals –the Crowd. Our work draws upon a diverse literature and builds upon numerous examples of practitioner implementations to support our theorizing. We present a model of Crowd Capital generation in organizations and discuss the implications of Crowd Capital on organizational boundary and on IS research." Read more

Facebook and Google May be Forced to Ask Permission to Use Personal Data

From the article: "Internet companies such as Facebook and Google may have to get further permission to use information if European Union lawmakers give users more control over their personal data.

EU lawmakers want to limit companies' ability to use and sell data – such as internet browsing habits – to advertising companies, especially when people are unaware their data is being used in such a way." Read more