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Archive for the ‘technology and internet’ Category

Accessible Crowdwork? Understanding the Value in and Challenge of Microtask Employment for People with Disabilities

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Accessible Crowdwork? Understanding the Value in and Challenge of Microtask Employment for People with Disabilities
Source: Microsoft Research

We present the first formal study of crowdworkers who have disabilities via in-depth open-ended interviews of 17 people (disabled crowdworkers and job coaches for people with disabilities) and a survey of 631 adults with disabilities. Our findings establish that people with a variety of disabilities currently participate in the crowd labor marketplace, despite challenges such as crowdsourcing workflow designs that inadvertently prohibit participation by, and may negatively affect the worker reputations of, people with disabilities. Despite such challenges, we find that crowdwork potentially offers different opportunities for people with disabilities relative to the normative office environment, such as job flexibility and lack of a need to rely on public transit. We close by identifying several ways in which crowd labor platform operators and/or individual task requestors could improve the accessibility of this increasingly important form of employment.

UK — Social scientists urge 10 per cent uplift in budget for science and innovation

March 2, 2015 Comments off

Social scientists urge 10 per cent uplift in budget for science and innovation
Source: Campaign for Social Science

The £4.7 billion annual budget for science and innovation should increase by at least 10 per cent in real terms over the next parliament, the Campaign for Social Science says in a report on the prospects for social science over the next decade.

The Business of People: The Significance of Social Science over the Next Decade also calls for a new senior Whitehall social science adviser, more investment in Big Data, social science advice for MPs and members of the devolved administrations and more explicit recognition for social science in government strategy.

It says additional funds for science and innovation should be earmarked for research that brings together the perspectives of the physical and life sciences with those from social science, the arts and humanities.

The report warns that UK growth and prosperity will falter without a better grasp of human behaviour and public attitudes, especially in the service sector of the economy. Failing to understand the socio-economic dimensions of innovation could jeopardise the potential of new technologies and advances in the life sciences, physics and engineering. The report gives the recent example of Ebola and infectious disease, which can only be combatted through understanding people and communities.

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws

February 27, 2015 Comments off

Foreign Intelligence Gathering Laws
Source: Law Library of Congress

This report contains information on laws regulating the collection of intelligence in the European Union, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden. The report details how EU Members States control activities of their intelligence agencies and what restrictions are imposed on information collection. All EU Member States follow EU legislation on personal data protection, which is a part of the common European Union responsibility.

UK — Digital and technology skills matrix

February 27, 2015 Comments off

Digital and technology skills matrix
Source: Cabinet Office

This spreadsheet will help digital and technology specialists identify the skills that:

  • they need to work effectively in a digital environment
  • are needed by their organisation to complete a project or maintain a service
  • they want to develop

Any given role in an organisation will use skills from several of the skills groups, so users should choose the groups which are most relevant for their needs.

Each skills group is given a separate tab listing skills for that area of expertise, along with some helpful resources.

The matrix is also available in manual format as the Digital and technology skills reference guide.

FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet

February 26, 2015 Comments off

FCC Adopts Strong, Sustainable Rules to Protect the Open Internet
Source: Federal Communications Commission

Ending lingering uncertainty about the future of the Open Internet, the Federal Communications Commission today set sustainable rules of the roads that will protect free expression and innovation on the Internet and promote investment in the nation’s broadband networks. The FCC has long been committed to protecting and promoting an Internet that nurtures freedom of speech and expression, supports innovation and commerce, and incentivizes expansion and investment by America’s broadband providers. But the agency’s attempts to implement enforceable, sustainable rules to protect the Open Internet have been twice struck down by the courts.

Today, the Commission—once and for all—enacts strong, sustainable rules, grounded in multiple sources of legal authority, to ensure that Americans reap the economic, social, and civic benefits of an Open Internet today and into the future. These new rules are guided by three principles: America’s broadband networks must be fast, fair and open—principles shared by the overwhelming majority of the nearly 4 million commenters who participated in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding.

Absent action by the FCC, Internet openness is at risk, as recognized by the very court that struck down the FCC’s 2010 Open Internet rules last year in Verizon v. FCC.

See also: FCC Preempts Laws Restricting Community Broadband in NC/TN

Chinese enthusiasm for social media drops sharply

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Chinese enthusiasm for social media drops sharply
Source: Kantar

Chinese social media users are increasingly concerned with the impact social media is having on their lives as the number of people who feel positively about social media has dropped by 12.1 percentage points from last year to 64.7%.

The second annual Kantar China Social Media Impact Report also found that social media is now used by more age groups, by less educated people and by people in smaller cities, while Tencent WeChat has become the dominant social media platform of an increasingly mobile-connected country.

Categories: China, Kantar, social media

Report on Cybersecurity Practices

February 26, 2015 Comments off

Report on Cybersecurity Practices (PDF)
Source: Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Like many organizations in the financial services and other sectors, broker-dealers (firms) are the target of cyberattacks. The frequency and sophistication of these attacks is increasing and individual broker-dealers, and the industry as a whole, must make responding to these threats a high priority.

This report is intended to assist firms in that effort. Based on FINRA’s 2014 targeted examination of firms and other related initiatives, the report presents FINRA’s latest work in this critical area. Given the rapidly evolving nature and pervasiveness of cyberattacks, it is unlikely to be our last.

A variety of factors are driving firms’ exposure to cybersecurity threats. The interplay between advances in technology, changes in firms’ business models, and changes in how firms and their customers use technology create vulnerabilities in firms’ information technology systems. For example, firms’ Web-based activities can create opportunities for attackers to disrupt or gain access to firm and customer information. Similarly, employees and customers are using mobile devices to access information at broker-dealers that create a variety of new avenues for attack

The landscape of threat actors includes cybercriminals whose objective may be to steal money or information for commercial gain, nation states that may acquire information to advance national objectives, and hacktivists whose objectives may be to disrupt and embarrass an entity. Attackers, and the tools available to them, are increasingly sophisticated. Insiders, too, can pose significant threats.

This report presents an approach to cybersecurity grounded in risk management to address these threats. It identifies principles and effective practices for firms to consider, while recognizing that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to cybersecurity.

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