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Monday, March 27 2017 @ 08:17 AM CDT
Friday, January 10 2014 @ 01:47 PM CST
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ask someone of a certain age today how politically engaged they think young adults are, and they’re likely to respond “not very.” And in fact, the current U.S. political system is dysfunctional enough that someone of any age could be forgiven for simply turning away in disgust. Of course, that does no one any good. Or, as we used to say back in the 1960’s, “If you’re not part of the solution, then you’re part of the problem.”
All of which makes me happy to bring your attention to a Web site called Ideas Today, Politics Tomorrow, for which my daughter Nora is a staff writer. She writes primarily about foreign affairs, and like everyone else at the site (including the founders), she’s unpaid.
Tuesday, November 02 2010 @ 12:01 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Better run for cover . . . it's Election Day in the USA
Heaven help us all (all us Americans, anyway) — it's election time again. That means we've once again descended into a morass of partisan invective, not to mention lies, damn lies, and (of course) statistics. Except that this election year it seems that everyone is behaving even worse than last time, when everyone acted even worse than the time before, when, well, do you sense a trend here?
One hallmark of this year's political "discourse" (to abuse a term) has been the number of astonishingly angry and ill-informed accusations made by some candidates against their opponents (and others). Nothing unusual about that, sad to say. But what is different is the degree of acceptance, and even approval, exhibited by many voters that in earlier years might have rejected these candidates as well as their statements.
Monday, September 27 2010 @ 12:03 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Have you discovered The Alexandria Project?
Page through a major newspaper (remember newspapers?) today like the New York Times, and you’re likely to run into two enormous ads, one by Google (almost two full pages) and one by AOL (a full two pages). Leaving aside the irony of Google advertising in a form of media that it has almost competed out of existence, there’s something potentially transformative going on here that’s worth exploring.
Thursday, May 21 2009 @ 05:52 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Saturday, July 26 2008 @ 05:14 AM CDT
Contributed by: Andy Updegrove
Ever since Steve Jobs addressed the adoring crowds at this year's Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, the press, Apple fans - and most especially, Apple investors - have been concerned over the state of his health. The reasons are obvious: Five years ago, Jobs announced that he had been diagnosed, and cured, of a rare and happily less pernicious form of pancreatic cancer (the more common variety is almost never discovered before it has become incurable). And, when Jobs took the stage this June, he was far thinner and more haggard than he had ever looked before.
Since then, although rumors have swirled, Apple has refused to state whether or not Jobs has had a recurrence of his cancer - or disclose any meaningful details at all. Even on calls with securities analysts, Apple's response has only been that "Steve's health is a private matter."
Thus you might think that if you were a journalist, and you got a call from Steve Jobs yourself, giving you, and you only, the private scoop on the status of his health, you might feel like a pretty lucky guy, and take that news to the public within whatever constraints you had agreed to with the Apple CEO. Or would you write a different story entirely, and bury that news in the penultimate paragraph of a long story, and write at length instead about how stockholders were entitled to know the news that you had just buried?
With that lead in, you can guess which way New York Times business page columnist Joe Nocera called the coin toss. So here's the good news about Steve Jobs (up front), and the bad news about a Journalistic decision.
Quote of the Day
“It's cheaper than other types of animation, but provides a much better experience for users than ordinary comics
-Migu Comic Co Ltd. VP Xiang Lisheng, commenting on the ITU's adoption of a new Chinese animation file structure See all Quotes
Latest NewsITU launches global dialogue on Artificial Intelligence for goodPress ReleaseITU
March 27, 2017 - AI for Good Global Summit aims to ensure that AI benefits humanity
Geneva, 23 March 2017 – The AI for Good Global Summit in Geneva, 7-9 June 2017, aims to accelerate the development and democratization of Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions to address global challenges such as poverty, hunger, health, education, equality and the protection of our environment.
Organized by ITU and the XPRIZE Foundation – in partnership with UN agencies, including OHCHR, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNICRI, UNIDO, UNITAR and UN Global Pulse – the summit will evaluate the opportunities presented by AI with a view to ensuring that AI benefits all of humanity.
The event will offer tangible guidance on the tenets of responsible AI development, from the perspectives of technology, ethics, standardization and policy.... ...Full Story
ITU adopts Chinese-made interactive content format as new global standard
GlobalTimes March 24, 2017 - The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) has adopted a new file structure for interactive mobile comic and animation content designed independently in China as its global standard on March 16, China's Ministry of Culture announced on Monday.
Known as T.621, the file structure will be able to be used on all types of mobile devices and platforms to provide high-definition content in a relatively small file.
The new file structure will also allow content creators to provide interactive content such as motion graphics and audio for online comics, which is in high demand in today's market.... ...Full Story
IEEE Approves New Standards Project IEEE P2755™—Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation
IEEE March 24, 2017 - IEEE and the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), today announced the approval of the IEEE P2755™—Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation project. The new standards project aims to build a framework for terminology to help advance related standards efforts. Sponsored by IEEE’s Board of Governors Corporate Advisory Group, the newly formed IEEE P2755 Working Group is defining initial terminology that addresses a range of applications spaces, including Robotic Process Automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Cognitive Computing, Autonomics, Machine Learning and related technologies that enable businesses and governments to improve performance and lower costs....Lee Coulter, chair, IEEE Guide to Terms and Concepts in Intelligent Process Automation Working Group [said] “It’s important to establish a framework now that can evolve in step with related industry developments to ensure a commonality for understanding related products, services and concepts, and to help advance the market space for the benefit of all.”... ...Full Story
Patent Advisory Group Recommends Continuing Work on Web Payments Specifications
W3C.org March 23, 2017 - The Web Payments Working Group Patent Advisory Group (PAG), launched in August 2016, has published a report recommending that W3C continue work on the Web Payments Specifications. W3C launches a PAG to resolve issues in the event a patent has been disclosed that may be essential, but is not available under the W3C Royalty-Free licensing terms. ...Full Story
Government Agencies to be Rated on Cybersecurity Using NIST Framework
National Law Review March 22, 2017 - The Trump administration has announced that it will impose new metrics on federal agencies related to cybersecurity. Agencies and departments will be required to comply with the framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and report back to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the White House....Plans to impose the NIST cybersecurity framework on federal agencies illustrate the Framework’s increasing importance as a standard for cybersecurity, not just for government agencies, but more broadly throughout the information ecosystem. With security breaches, state-sponsored cyber-attacks, and ransomware demands increasing, the Framework offers useful guidance on processes and actions designed to enhance data security for government and industry alike. ...Full Story
OGC approves new standard for geological science data
OGC.org March 21, 2017 - The membership of the Open Geospatial Consortium (OGC®) has approved GeoSciML as an OGC Standard. The OGC GeoSciML Standard defines a model and encoding for geological features commonly described and portrayed in geological maps, cross sections, geological reports, and databases.
GeoSciML provides a mechanism for storage and exchange of a broad range of geologic data enabling users to generate geologic depictions (such as maps) in a consistent and repeatable fashion....This standard describes a logical model and GML/XML encoding rules for geological map data, geological time scales, boreholes, and metadata for laboratory analyses....
The GeoSciML standard includes a Lite model, used for simple map-based applications; a basic model, aligned with INSPIRE, for basic data exchange; and an extended model to address more complex scenarios. The standard also provides patterns, profiles (most notably of OGC Observations and Measurements - also ISO 19156), and best practices to deal with common geoscience use cases.... ...Full Story
Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor
The Open Web Foundation March 20, 2017 - Today is the world wide web’s 28th birthday. Here’s a message from our founder and web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee on how the web has evolved, and what we must do to ensure it fulfils his vision of an equalising platform that benefits all of humanity.
Today marks 28 years since I submitted my original proposal for the world wide web. I imagined the web as an open platform that would allow everyone, everywhere to share information, access opportunities and collaborate across geographic and cultural boundaries. In many ways, the web has lived up to this vision, though it has been a recurring battle to keep it open. But over the past 12 months, I’ve become increasingly worried about three new trends, which I believe we must tackle in order for the web to fulfill its true potential as a tool which serves all of humanity.
1) We’ve lost control of our personal data
The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this – albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents – but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services. But, we’re missing a trick. As our data is then held in proprietary silos, out of sight to us, we lose out on the benefits we could realise if we had direct control over this data,...
2) It’s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web
...through the use of data science and armies of bots, those with bad intentions can game the system to spread misinformation for financial or political gain.
3) Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding
Political advertising online has rapidly become a sophisticated industry. The fact that most people get their information from just a few platforms and the increasing sophistication of algorithms drawing upon rich pools of personal data, means that political campaigns are now building individual adverts targeted directly at users. One source suggests that in the 2016 US election, as many as 50,000 variations of adverts were being served every single day on Facebook, a near-impossible situation to monitor. And there are suggestions that some political adverts – in the US and around the world – are being used in unethical ways – to point voters to fake news sites, for instance, or to keep others away from the polls....
These are complex problems, and the solutions will not be simple. But a few broad paths to progress are already clear. We must work together with web companies to strike a balance that puts a fair level of data control back in the hands of people, including the development of new technology like personal “data pods” if needed and exploring alternative revenue models like subscriptions and micropayments. We must fight against government over-reach in surveillance laws, including through the courts if necessary. We must push back against misinformation by encouraging gatekeepers such as Google and Facebook to continue their efforts to combat the problem, while avoiding the creation of any central bodies to decide what is “true” or not. We need more algorithmic transparency to understand how important decisions that affect our lives are being made, and perhaps a set of common principles to be followed. We urgently need to close the “internet blind spot” in the regulation of political campaigning....
It has taken all of us to build the web we have, and now it is up to all of us to build the web we want – for everyone. If you would like to be more involved, then do join our mailing list, do contribute to us, do join or donate to any of the organisations which are working on these issues around the world. ...Full Story
A Standard for Lighting Color Preference?
NIST Techbeat March 20, 2017 - One of the goals of artificial lighting is to make things look natural....To hit the “sweet spot” between too dull and too vivid, lighting manufacturers rely on an international standard that helps them determine whether their white lights will render objects “correctly” – that is, the way they might look in sunlight. This standard is based on an old system called the Color Rendering Index (CRI), which scores lamps on their color fidelity: The higher the CRI score, the more natural objects should look when illuminated. A score of 100 is considered “perfect.” Most good white light lamps get scores of 80 or higher.
But just because something looks natural does not mean that people like it....The final goal is to allow a new version of the CRI to remain as a “color fidelity” metric, but also to create a new standard for “color preference” to give companies further guidance for manufacturing LED lights. Companies could use one or both of these metrics depending on the intended applications.... ...Full Story
ITU Publishes Policy Recommendations on Digital Financial Services
ITU March 17, 2017 - After two years of extensive consultation, the ITU Focus Group on Digital Financial Services (DFS) has concluded its work with the publication of 85 policy recommendations and 28 supporting thematic reports. The Focus Group brought together more than 60 organizations from over 30 countries to drive greater financial inclusion for the estimated 2 billion people around the world who remain unbanked.
Commenting on the success of the Focus Group, ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: “Governments around the world face many similar challenges in their efforts to deliver fully integrated digital financial services. Until now solutions have largely been developed in isolation. This is the first time an organization has sought to develop a comprehensive set of practical and integrated guidelines drawing on expertise from across the financial service and telecommunication/ICT sectors.”... ...Full Story
New alliance to promote Ethereum blockchain technology
Network Asia March 16, 2017 - The world's most advanced enterprise and startup blockchain innovators have formed an alliance to build, promote, and broadly support Ethereum-based technology best practices, standards, and a reference architecture, EntEth 1.0.
The Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) seeks to augment Ethereum, enabling it to serve as an enterprise-grade technology, with research and development focused on privacy, confidentiality, scalability, and security. EEA will also investigate hybrid architectures that span both permissioned and public Ethereum networks.
The founding members of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance rotating board include Accenture, Banco Santander, BlockApps, BNY Mellon, CME Group, ConsenSys, IC3, Intel, J.P. Morgan, Microsoft, and Nuco....
EEA will collectively develop industry standards and facilitate open source collaboration with its member base as well as the Ethereum Chief Scientist and Inventor, Vitalik Buterin, and is open to any members of the Ethereum community who wish to participate. This collaborative framework will enable the mass adoption at a depth and breadth otherwise unachievable in individual corporate silos and provide insight to the future of scalability, privacy, and confidentiality of the public Ethereum permissionless network. ...Full Story