Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of Commerce’ Category

Public Comments on Big Data and Consumer Privacy in the Internet Economy

August 13, 2014 Comments off

Public Comments on Big Data and Consumer Privacy in the Internet Economy
Source: National Telecommunications & Information Administrataion

See Federal Register Notice: Request for Comments.

Comments (PDFs) from:

Alessandro Acquisti
American Civil Liberties Union, Center for Digital Democracy, Consumer Action, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Common Sense Media, Privacy Rights Clearinghouse
Application Developers Alliance
ARM Holdings
ARTICLE 29 Data Protection Working Party
Solon Barocas, Edward W. Felten, Joanna N. Huey, Joshua A. Kroll, and Arvind Narayanan
Center for Data Innovation
Center for Democracy & Technology
Center for Digital Democracy
Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown University Law Center
Center for Urban Science + Progress
Common Sense Media
Computer & Communications Industry Association
Consumer Bankers Association, American Bankers Association
CTIA—The Wireless Association
Direct Marketing Association
Electronic Frontier Foundation
Electronic Transactions Association
Chris Hoofnagle
Future of Privacy Forum
IMS Health
The Information Accountability Foundation
Information Technology Industry Council
Interactive Advertising Bureau
The Internet Association
Internet Commerce Coalition
Knowledge Ecology International
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights
The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, American Civil Liberties Union
Microsoft Corporation
Maureen K. Ohlhausen, Commissioner, Federal Trade Commission
Online Trust Alliance
James Overby
Public Knowledge, Benton Foundation, Center for Digital Democracy, Common Cause, Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Watchdog, Free Press, New America Foundation’s Open Technology Institute, U.S. PIRG, World Privacy Forum
Reed Elsevier Inc.
Jessica Rich, Director, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Federal Trade Commission
Charles B. Solin
Software & Information Industry Association
TechFreedom, International Center for Law and Economics
Technology Policy Institute
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
U.S. Public Policy Council of the Association for Computing Machinery
World Privacy Forum

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Facts for Features: Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 21-27, 2014

August 12, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features: Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 21-27, 2014
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The Buckeye Singles Council started “National Singles Week” in Ohio in the 1980s to celebrate single life and recognize singles and their contributions to society. The week is now widely observed during the third full week of September (Sept. 21-27 in 2014) as “Unmarried and Single Americans Week,” an acknowledgment that many unmarried Americans do not identify with the word “single” because they are parents, have partners or are widowed. In this edition of Facts for Features, unmarried people include those who were never married, widowed or divorced, unless otherwise noted.

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters

August 8, 2014 Comments off

Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters
Source: NOAA

On August 6, NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center released updated information on 2013 Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters and several new tools to assist users in analyzing the data. These new features allow users to better explore the type, frequency and cost of U.S. billion-dollar events by state and year, from 1980 to 2013.

Based on updated financial information, NOAA is adding two new disasters to the 2013 total to include an Illinois Flooding and Severe Weather that occurred April 16-19, 2013, and a Midwest Severe Weather event that occurred August 6-7, 2013. This brings the total number of 2013 billion-dollar weather and climate events to nine. The estimated cost of damages from these events is $23 billion dollars.

NOAA also reanalyzed the entire period of record to examine events that were close to $1 billion threshold. Based on this reanalysis, 17 were added events to the entire period of record dating back to 1980, including several drought in the early part of the record.

NOAA’s updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook calls for an increased chance of a below-normal season

August 7, 2014 Comments off

NOAA’s updated Atlantic hurricane season outlook calls for an increased chance of a below-normal season
Source: NOAA

Forecasters with NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center raised the likelihood for a below-normal season in today’s update to the Atlantic Hurricane Season Outlook. The update predicts a 70 percent chance of a below-normal season, a 25 percent chance of a near-normal season and only a five percent chance of an above-normal season. The probabilities in the initial outlook issued on May 22 were 50 percent, 40 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

Review of Waste and Mismanagement at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board

August 1, 2014 Comments off

Review of Waste and Mismanagement at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Office of Inspector General
From Transmittal Memo (PDF):

Attached is our final report detailing the findings of our investigation into allegations received from multiple whistleblowers alleging waste and mismanagement at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) , one of the components within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Our investigation uncovered waste in the PTAB that persisted for more than four years (2009-13) and resulted in the misuse of federal resources totaling more than $5 million. The bulk of the wasted resources related to PTAB’s paralegals, who had insufficient workloads and considerable idle time during those years. Paralegals told the OIG that they engaged in a variety of personal activities including watching television; surfing the internet; using Facebook and other social media; washing laundry and cleaning dishes; and shopping online while in an official pay status.

PT AB managers, including its senior-most personnel, were aware of this problem but took little action to prevent such waste because they believed the problem would disappear once PTAB hired additional judges. We found that, by failing to report the significant waste incurred by the PT B when Paralegal Specialists were being paid to not work, numerous PTAB employees appear to have violated certain regulations and Department of Commerce policies.

Facts for Features: Back to School: 2014-2015

July 31, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features: Back to School: 2014-2015
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

By August, summertime will be winding down and vacations will be coming to an end, signaling that back-to-school time is near. It’s a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends and making new ones, and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan newspapers and websites looking for sales on a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials. This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.

National Income and Product Accounts — Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2014 (Advance Estimate)

July 30, 2014 Comments off

National Income and Product Accounts — Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2014 (Advance Estimate)
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis

Real gross domestic product — the output of goods and services produced by labor and property located in the United States — increased at an annual rate of 4.0 percent in the second quarter of 2014, according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP decreased 2.1 percent (revised).


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