Next-generation IT infrastructure
Source: McKinsey & Company
The pressure on IT infrastructure leaders is unrelenting. They must deliver higher service levels and new IT-enabled capabilities, help accelerate application delivery, and do so while managing costs. As standard IT improvements near a breaking point, it’s no wonder that many IT infrastructure leaders have started to look for more transformative options, including next-generation IT infrastructure (NGI)—a highly automated platform for the delivery of IT infrastructure services built on top of new and open technologies such as cloud computing. NGI promises leaner organizations that rely more on cloud-provider-level hardware and software efficiencies. In addition, NGI facilitates better support of new business needs opened up by big data, digital customer outreach, and mobile applications.
To understand how senior executives view NGI, we canvassed opinions from invitees to our semiannual Chief Infrastructure Technology Executive Roundtable. The results were revealing: executives expressed strong interest in all key NGI technologies, from open-source infrastructure-management environments to software-defined networking, software-as-a-service offerings, cloud orchestration and management, and application-configuration management. Yet most have not yet fully taken advantage of the promise of NGI, largely because of the up-front investment required. The immaturity and complexity of the technology is also slowing adoption, as is concern about the security of the public cloud, particularly with respect to companies’ loss of control in the event of private litigation or inquiries from governmental agencies.
New GAO Reports
Source: Government Accountability Office
1. Telecommunications: Projects and Policies Related to Deploying Broadband in Unserved and Underserved Areas. GAO-14-409, April 23.
Highlights - http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/662712.pdf
2. Warfighter Support: DOD Policy and Implementation Plan for Reconstitution of Forces. GAO-14-530R, April 23.
Job Tasks, Computer Use, and the Decreasing Part-Time Pay Penalty for Women in the UK (PDF)
Source: Institute for the Study of Labor
Using data from the UK Skills Surveys, we show that the part-time pay penalty for female workers within low- and medium-skilled occupations decreased significantly over the period 1997-2006. The convergence in computer use between part-time and full-time workers within these occupations explains a large share of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty. However, the lower part-time pay penalty is also related to lower wage returns to reading and writing which are performed more intensively by full-time workers. Conversely, the increasing returns to influencing has increased the part-time pay penalty despite the convergence in the influencing task input between part-time and full-time workers. The relative changes in the input and prices of computer use and job tasks together explain more than 50 percent of the decrease in the part-time pay penalty.
Price Coherence and Adverse Intermediation
Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers (via SSRN)
Suppose an intermediary provides a benefit to buyers when they purchase from sellers using the intermediary’s technology. We develop a model to show that the intermediary will want to restrict sellers from charging buyers more for transactions it intermediates. We show that this restriction can reduce consumer surplus and welfare, sometimes to such an extent that the existence of the intermediary can be harmful. Specifically, lower consumer surplus and welfare result from inflated retail prices, over-investment in providing benefits to buyers, and excessive adoption of the intermediaries’ services. Competition among intermediaries intensifies these problems by increasing the magnitude of their effects and broadening the circumstances in which they arise. We show similar results arise when intermediaries provide matching benefits, namely recommendations of sellers to buy from. We discuss applications to travel reservation systems, payment card systems, marketplaces, rebate services, search engine advertising, and various types of brokers and agencies.
64,613 Software Engineers Join Class Action Hiring Conspiracy Lawsuit against Apple, Google, Intel and Adobe
The biggest legal story out of Silicon Valley these days involves more than 64,000 software engineers collectively suing several high-tech giants over their collusion to keep workers’ salaries down.
The class-action lawsuit, with 64,613 plaintiffs, targets Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe for secretly agreeing not to poach each other’s engineers and to share salary information in an effort to control salaries.
The collusion reportedly began in 2005, when Apple’s Steve Jobs approached Google’s top executive, Eric Schmidt, about working together to hold down salaries.
After getting Google on board, Jobs “strong-armed” Adobe into joining the secret pact, according to court documents. The documents show that Adobe CEO Bruce Chizen was reluctant to go along until Jobs threatened to poach Adobe engineers.
OSTI.gov Newsletter — April/May 2014
Source: USDoE Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- OSTI Focused on Meeting Public Access Challenge
- ScienceCinema: Searchable Videos Showcasing DOE Research
- What is Audio Indexing?
- Statistically Speaking: The Contents of ScienceCinema
- Publication Metrics: Measuring and Evaluating the Impact of DOE’s Research Results
- 15th Anniversary of DOE R&D Accomplishments
- OSTI Director Walter Warnick Honored at Retirement
- SciTech Connect Full-Text MARC Records
- Most Viewed Documents
- Search Tip: In-Document Search
- DOE Science Showcase: Carbon Sequestration
- The Latest from OSTIblog
Offshore Outsourcing of Administrative Functions by State Medicaid Agencies
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General
WHY WE DID THIS STUDY
Outsourcing occurs when State Medicaid agencies enter into agreements with contractors to perform administrative functions. Outsourcing can occur inside the United States (domestic outsourcing) or outside (offshore outsourcing) and can be direct (when a Medicaid agency contracts with an offshore contractor) or indirect (when a Medicaid agency’s contractor subcontracts to an offshore contractor). There are no Federal regulations that prohibit the offshore outsourcing of Medicaid administrative functions. However, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) requires covered entities to have business associate agreements (BAAs) to protect personal health information (PHI).
HOW WE DID THIS STUDY
We conducted a survey of 56 Medicaid agencies, including those of the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. We asked Medicaid agencies (1) whether they had any policies, Executive Orders, State laws, or contract requirements (collectively, “requirements”) addressing the outsourcing of administrative functions offshore and (2) whether they directly or indirectly outsourced administrative functions offshore. For Medicaid agencies with outsourcing requirements, we asked whether these requirements address PHI and whether the Medicaid agencies monitor contractors’ compliance with the requirements. We reviewed the Medicaid agencies’ requirements and BAAs. For the Medicaid agencies that outsource offshore, we asked what types of administrative functions are outsourced offshore.
WHAT WE FOUND
Only 15 of 56 Medicaid agencies have some form of State-specific requirement that addresses the outsourcing of administrative functions offshore. The remaining 41 Medicaid agencies reported no offshore outsourcing requirements and do not outsource administrative functions offshore. Among the 15 Medicaid agencies with requirements, 4 Medicaid agencies prohibit the outsourcing of administrative functions offshore and 11 Medicaid agencies allow it. The 11 Medicaid agencies that allow offshore outsourcing of administrative functions each maintain BAAs with contractors, which is a requirement under HIPAA. Among other things, BAAs are intended to safeguard PHI. These 11 Medicaid agencies do not have additional State requirements that specifically address safeguarding PHI. Seven of the eleven Medicaid agencies reported outsourcing offshore through subcontractors, but none reported sending PHI offshore. If Medicaid agencies engage in offshore outsourcing of administrative functions that involve PHI, it could present potential vulnerabilities. For example, Medicaid agencies or domestic contractors that send PHI offshore may have limited means of enforcing provisions of BAAs that are intended to safeguard PHI. Although some countries may have privacy protections greater than those in the United States, other countries may have limited or no privacy protections.
The Legal Needs of Emerging Online Media: The Online Media Legal Network after 500 Referrals
Source: Digital Media Law Project
Since December 2009, the DMLP has operated the Online Media Legal Network, a free attorney referral service for independent, online journalists and journalism organizations. The OMLN has served as a fundamental part of the legal support structure for online journalism, assisting more than 260 clients with over 500 separate legal matters.
As a result of that experience, the DMLP has been in a unique position to observe the nature of these new journalism ventures and their legal needs. This report collects these observations, including the following:
- Those who have sought help from the OMLN overwhelmingly create their own original content, rather than aggregate the content of others. Many also provide support services to other journalists, platforms for users to talk to one another, or tools to access primary source information.
- While some clients report on niche issues, many more are focused on reporting news of general interest, either to the public at large or local audiences. Non-profit clients show a greater focus on reporting on social issues such as health and education than for-profit or individual clients.
- OMLN clients show significant evidence of forward planning. They are more often proactive than reactive to legal issues, frequently seeking assistance with intellectual property, content liability, and corporate questions before crises occur.
- Individual clients not employed by an organization, and those clients who reported on businesses or to consumer audiences, sought help defending against legal threats more often than other clients. This indicates a particular need for greater litigation assistance among these categories.
- The advice sought by OMLN clients with regard to intellectual property matters shows a near-perfect balance between protecting their own content and using the content of others.
The Business of Government — Spring 2014 Edition
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government
We highlight the latest trends for improving government effectiveness by introducing you to key government executives, detailing the work of public management practitioners, and offering insights from leading academics.
Mapping the European ICT Poles of Excellence: The Atlas of ICT Activity in Europe
Source: European Commission
The EIPE Atlas presents the results of the empirical mapping of ICT activity in Europe and the ranking of the top European NUTS 3 regions based on their performance in EIPE Composite Indicator (EIPE CI), together with the ranks for the individual 42 indicators which contributed to the building of the EIPE composite indicators. The report offers a snapshot of the performance of regions that are identified as the main locations of ICT activity in Europe. It is meant to provide a comprehensive picture of how ICT activity is distributed across Europe and where its main locations are. This information is expected to give a better overview of the European ICT landscape, activity and actors in each location and to reveal their strengths and weaknesses.
Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio
Transcript: Innovations in Justice— Real Crimes in Virtual Worlds: An Interview With Dr. Brian Regli and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Hello, this is Cornelia Sigworth. I’m a Policy Advisor with the Bureau of Justice Assistance. Today I am sitting down with Dr. Brian Regli from Drakontas Communication Tool and Dr. Robert D’Ovidio from Drexel University. Dr. Regli is the Chief Executive Officer of Drakontas Incorporated [LLC, http://www.drakontas.com. In this role, he is responsible for developing product commercialization strategies for emerging technologies. Dr. D’Ovidio is an Associate Professor at Drexel University, where he teaches for the Criminal Justice Program and directs Drexel’s research program in computer crime and digital forensics. Both Dr. Regli and Dr. D’Ovidio are working with the Bureau of Justice Assistance to develop curriculum materials to increase awareness of crimes committed in virtual worlds and to build capacity among state and local law enforcement [agencies] to combat these crimes.
So, Brian, when you think of video games, you think of fun, not crime. How are people exploiting virtual worlds and online video game worlds for criminal purposes?
Understanding the acceptability of e-mental health – attitudes and expectations towards computerised self-help treatments for mental health problems
E-mental health and m-mental health include the use of technology in the prevention, treatment and aftercare of mental health problems. With the economical pressure on mental health services increasing, e-mental health and m-mental health could bridge treatment gaps, reduce waiting times for patients and deliver interventions at lower costs. However, despite the existence of numerous effective interventions, the transition of computerised interventions into care is slow. The aim of the present study was to investigate the acceptability of e-mental health and m-mental health in the general population.
An advisory group of service users identified dimensions that potentially influence an individual’s decision to engage with a particular treatment for mental health problems. A large sample (N = 490) recruited through email, flyers and social media was asked to rate the acceptability of different treatment options for mental health problems on these domains. Results were analysed using repeated measures MANOVA.
Participants rated the perceived helpfulness of an intervention, the ability to motivate users, intervention credibility, and immediate access without waiting time as most important dimensions with regard to engaging with a treatment for mental health problems. Participants expected face-to-face therapy to meet their needs on most of these dimensions. Computerised treatments and smartphone applications for mental health were reported to not meet participants’ expectations on most domains. However, these interventions scored higher than face-to-face treatments on domains associated with the convenience of access. Overall, participants reported a very low likelihood of using computerised treatments for mental health in the future.
Individuals in this study expressed negative views about computerised self-help intervention and low likelihood of use in the future. To improve the implementation and uptake, policy makers need to improve the public perception of such interventions.
SPLC report: Users of leading white supremacist web forum responsible for many deadly hate crimes, mass killings
SPLC report: Users of leading white supremacist web forum responsible for many deadly hate crimes, mass killings
Source: Southern Poverty Law Center
Nearly 100 people in the last five years have been murdered by active users of the leading racist website, Stormfront, according to a report released today by the SPLC’s Intelligence Project.
Registered Stormfront users have been disproportionately responsible for some of the most lethal hate crimes and mass killings since the web forum became the first hate site on the Internet in 1995, a month before the Oklahoma City bombing. The report found that hate killings by Stormfront members began to accelerate rapidly in early 2009, when Barack Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.
A similar racist web forum, Vanguard News Network (VNN), was used by neo-Nazi and former Klan leader Frazier Glenn Miller, who has been charged with the Sunday murder of three people he mistakenly believed were Jews in Overland Park, Kan. Miller, who apparently changed his last name in recent years to Cross, logged more than 12,000 posts on VNN, whose slogan is, “No Jews, Just Right.”
New GAO Report
Source: Government Accountability Office