Habitual Facebook Use and its Impact on Getting Deceived on Social Media

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Habitual Facebook Use and its Impact on Getting Deceived on Social Media
Source: Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication

There are a billion Facebook users worldwide with some individuals spending 8 hours each day on the platform. Limited research has, however, explored the consequences of such overuse. Even less research has examined the misuse of social media by criminals who are increasingly using social media to defraud individuals through phishing-type attacks. The current study focuses on Facebook habits and its determinants and the extent to which they ultimately influence individual susceptibility to social media phishing attacks. The results suggest that habitual Facebook use, founded on the individual frequently using Facebook, maintaining a large social network, and being deficient in their ability to regulate such behaviors, is the single biggest predictor of individual victimization in social media attacks.

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Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths
Source: Everytown for Gun Safety/Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Federal data from the Centers for Disease Control indicate that between 2007 and 2011, an average of 62 children age 14 and under were accidentally shot and killed each year.

But our analysis of publicly reported gun deaths, highlighted in “Innocents Lost: A Year of Unintentional Child Gun Deaths,” shows that the federal data substantially undercount these deaths:

  • From December 2012 to December 2013, at least 100 children were killed in unintentional shootings — almost two each week, 61 percent higher than federal data reflect.
  • About two-thirds of these unintended deaths — 65 percent — took place in a home or vehicle that belonged to the victim’s family, most often with guns that were legally owned but not secured.
  • More than two-thirds of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them.

Shining a Light on State Campaign Finance: An Evaluation of the Impact of the National Institute on Money in State Politics

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Shining a Light on State Campaign Finance: An Evaluation of the Impact of the National Institute on Money in State Politics
Source: RAND Corporation

The National Institute on Money in State Politics collects, processes, and makes public information on campaign contributions made to state-level candidates for public office. The Institute asked the RAND Corporation to probe user perspectives on the Institute and its data, on how the data are being used, and on how the utility of the data might be improved in the future. Drawing on experiences of a variety of users, as well as a review of the publications that have used the Institute’s data and research reports, this report provides an evaluation of the Institute’s impact on the public discourse over campaign finance at the state level. It is our view that the Institute serves an important purpose — to undertake the collection, centralization, and dissemination of state-level campaign finance data. No other organization has been successful in this effort or is likely to be so. All the audiences that the Institute seeks to engage have found value in the Institute’s efforts. The most successful of these are the scholarly, journalistic, and advocacy communities. The interviewees we spoke with were impressed, felt indebted to the Institute, and expressed an inability to do the sort of research, reporting, and advocacy on state campaign finance without the Institute. Overall, a variety of influential users engaged in campaign finance and public policy view the Institute’s work as being of high quality and adding value.

21 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All: Meet the 2014 MacArthur Fellows

September 19, 2014 Comments off

21 Extraordinarily Creative People Who Inspire Us All: Meet the 2014 MacArthur Fellows
Source: MacArthur Foundation

MacArthur today named its 2014 class of MacArthur Fellows, recognizing 21 exceptionally creative individuals with a track record of achievement and the potential for significant contributions in the future.

Fellows will each receive a no-strings-attached stipend of $625,000, paid out over five years. The Fellowship comes with no stipulations or reporting requirements, and allows recipients maximum freedom to follow their own creative visions.

The MacArthur Fellows work in diverse fields and often across multiple disciplines.

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Income, Poverty and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2013
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that in 2013, the poverty rate declined from the previous year for the first time since 2006, while there was no statistically significant change in either the number of people living in poverty or real median household income. In addition, the poverty rate for children under 18 declined from the previous year for the first time since 2000. The following results for the nation were compiled from information collected in the 2014 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement.

The nation’s official poverty rate in 2013 was 14.5 percent, down from 15.0 percent in 2012. The 45.3 million people living at or below the poverty line in 2013, for the third consecutive year, did not represent a statistically significant change from the previous year’s estimate.

Median household income in the United States in 2013 was $51,939; the change in real terms from the 2012 median of $51,759 was not statistically significant. This is the second consecutive year that the annual change was not statistically significant, following two consecutive annual declines.

The percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire 2013 calendar year was 13.4 percent; this amounted to 42.0 million people.

Environmental Views from the Coast: Public Concern about Local to Global Marine Issues

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Environmental Views from the Coast: Public Concern about Local to Global Marine Issues
Source: Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal

Surveys conducted in 2009–2012 asked residents of eight U.S. coastal regions about ocean-related environmental problems. Analysis of these multiregion data tests how individual characteristics predict views on locally focused marine issues, and whether after controlling for individual characteristics there remain systematic place-to-place variations. We find two kinds of place effects: some related to broad attributes such as resource employment, and others explained by local society–environment relations. Apart from these place effects, the individual-level predictors of coastal environmental concerns resemble those seen elsewhere for non-coastal environmental concerns, including effects from age, gender, and education. Political party, however, proves to be the most consistent predictor across issues from local to global in scale. Significant education effects offer support for an information deficit model of coastal concerns, but the pervasive partisanship and education × party interactions suggest that ideology-linked processes of biased assimilation and elite cues filter how information is acquired.

Paper available free until Dec. 31, 2014.

Heated Battle for U.S. Senate Draws Deluge of Outside Group Ads, Most Are Dark Money

September 19, 2014 Comments off

Heated Battle for U.S. Senate Draws Deluge of Outside Group Ads, Most Are Dark Money
Source: Wesleyan Media Project

With prognosticators giving even odds that Republicans will take over the U.S. Senate after this November’s elections, outside groups are taking notice. Almost 52 percent of ads aired in favor of Republican candidates have been sponsored by interest groups, and that figure is 40 percent on the Democratic side. Groups have spent an estimated $97 million on advertising in Senate races this election cycle, which is up from the estimated $78 million spent to this point in the 2012 election cycle. Table 1 provides total ad counts by sponsor in Senate races in the current and the 2012 election cycles, including all ads aired through August 30 in each cycle.

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