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2015 State of American Energy Report

January 8, 2015 Comments off

2015 State of American Energy Report
Source: American Petroleum Institute

This report highlights how America can choose a future where the oil and natural gas industry continues to contribute to our nation’s economic recovery and job creation; to develop and utilize state-of-the-art technologies to safely discover, extract, refine, and transport oil and natural gas; and to enable the U.S. to become a global energy superpower.

ICBA Data Breach Toolkit

January 5, 2015 Comments off

ICBA Data Breach Toolkit
Source: Independent Community Bankers of America

Who Should Use This Toolkit:
Front-Line Marketing, Communications and Product Contacts at Issuing Financial Institutions

Purpose:
Protect cardholder trust in payments by providing a practical guide to managing communications after a data compromise at a third party.

Description:
To more effectively combat a public relations crisis with a breach of card security, ICBA and Visa have teamed up to bring a special communications toolkit to community banks. This comprehensive communications guide gives community banks the means of communicating with card customers and the media within 24 hours of a data compromise. Having this contingency plan in place can make all the difference in a data breach episode.

Toolkit Includes:
A brochure on communications best practices following a data breach, as well as customizable template materials like cardholder letters, statement inserts, FAQs, and media statements. Click on the documents below to download each PDF.

AASHTO and APTA’s 2015 Bottom Line Report Estimates $163 Billion Needed Annually to Fix Nation’s Aging Surface Transportation System

December 31, 2014 Comments off

AASHTO and APTA’s 2015 Bottom Line Report Estimates $163 Billion Needed Annually to Fix Nation’s Aging Surface Transportation System
Source: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association

The “2015 Bottom Line Report” on transportation investment needs, released today by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Public Transportation Association, estimates that to meet current demand it will require an annual capital investment over six years by all levels of government in the amount of $120 billion in the nation’s highway and bridge network and $43 billion in America’s public transportation infrastructure. To meet the combined surface transportation needs, it would require an investment of $163 billion investment per year in surface transportation over a six year period. Despite those dramatic investment needs, currently only $83 billion is invested in roads and bridges, while just $17.1 billion is invested in public transit.

Executive Survey Shows the Benefits of Data Innovation Across the Whole Economy

December 19, 2014 Comments off

Executive Survey Shows the Benefits of Data Innovation Across the Whole Economy
Source: BSA|The Software Alliance

There are pervasive myths and misconceptions about how data innovation is transforming the global economy, from the idea that it’s all about so-called “Big Data” (in fact, analyzing even small data sets can produce useful insights) to the false notion that all data is personal information (when discoveries are being made from data sources such as wind turbines, jet engines, financial markets, crop harvests, traffic patterns and energy consumption).

Today we released a new survey that sets right another such myth — that big tech companies and Silicon Valley start-ups are the main beneficiaries of data innovation. The reality is that data tools are catalysts for innovation and growth across the whole economy, and the benefits of that innovation and growth accrue to society as a whole.

Data Breach Reports (December 2, 2014)

December 9, 2014 Comments off

Data Breach Reports (December 2, 2014)
Source: Identity Theft Resource Center

Breaches on this list typically have exposed information which could potentially lead to identity theft, including Social Security numbers, financial account information, medical information, and even email addresses and passwords. ITRC follows U.S. Federal guidelines about what combination of personal information comprise a unique individual, and the exposure of which will constitute a data breach.

ERCOT Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan

December 5, 2014 Comments off

ERCOT Analysis of the Impacts of the Clean Power Plan (PDF)
Source: Electric Reliability Council of Texas

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is the independent system operator (ISO) for the Texas Interconnection, encompassing approximately 90% of electric load in Texas. ERCOT is the independent organization established by the Texas Legislature to be responsible for the reliable planning and operation of the electric grid for the ERCOT interconnection. Under the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) reliability construct, ERCOT is designated as the Reliability Coordinator, the Balancing Authority, and as a Transmission Operator for the ERCOT region. ERCOT is also registered for several other functions, including the Planning Authority function.

In June 2014, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed the Clean Power Plan, which calls for reductions in the carbon intensity of the electric sector. The Clean Power Plan would set limits on the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from existing fossil fuel-fired power plants, calculated as state emissions rate goals. For Texas, EPA has proposed an interim goal of 853 lb CO2/MWh to be met on average during 2020-2029, and a final goal of 791 lb CO2/MWh to be met from 2030 onward. EPA calculated the state-specific goals using a set of assumptions about coal plant efficiency improvements, increased production from natural gas combined cycle units, growth in renewables generation, preservation of existing nuclear generation, and growth in energy efficiency.

ERCOT has evaluated the potential implications of the proposed Clean Power Plan for grid reliability and conducted a modeling analysis of the impacts to generation resources and electricity costs in the ERCOT region. Based on this analysis, ERCOT anticipates that implementation of the proposed Clean Power Plan will have a significant impact on the planning and operation of the ERCOT grid. ERCOT estimates that the proposed CO2 emissions limitations will result in the retirement of between 3,300 MW and 8,700 MW of coal generation capacity, could result in transmission reliability issues due to the loss of generation resources in and around major urban centers, and will strain ERCOT’s ability to integrate new intermittent renewable generation resources. The Clean Power Plan will also result in increased energy costs for consumers in the ERCOT region by up to 20% in 2020, without accounting for the costs of transmission upgrades, procurement of additional ancillary services, energy efficiency investments, capital costs of new capacity, and other costs associated with the retirement or decreased operation of coal-fired capacity in ERCOT. This summary report describes the results of ERCOT’s analyses.

Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing

November 25, 2014 Comments off

Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing
Source: Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association

For the promise of learning technology to truly become reality for students and teachers, classrooms have to be equipped with the tools that fit their needs.

There are a lot of factors to finding the right match. One of the most important, we’ve found, is also one of the most overlooked – procurement. If it’s not your day job, it probably sounds pretty boring. It makes you think of bureaucracy and rules and everything that gets in the way of innovation.

But procurement matters. It’s the process for discovering, evaluating, and acquiring classroom tools and resources, and it’s key to how schools create teaching and learning environments, how developers decide on features and product improvements, and ultimately how innovations with impact are able to spread.

“Improving Ed-Tech Purchasing” is a new report from Digital Promise and the Education Industry Association that identifies the key obstacles and potential solutions for the procurement of K-12 personalized learning tools. The Johns Hopkins University Center for Research and Reform in Education surveyed district leaders, educators, and learning technology developers from across the country for this study, with a subset participating in in-depth interviews.

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