Archive for the ‘technology and internet’ Category

“They’re blowing up my phone”: Group Messaging Practices Among Adolescents

July 13, 2015 Comments off

“They’re blowing up my phone”: Group Messaging Practices Among Adolescents
Source: Microsoft Research

While group messaging has become popular, particularly among adolescents, it has not yet been explored in the HCI literature. We interviewed 48 adolescents, aged 15-24, who use group messaging regularly. We present a framework for understanding the types of groups they communicate with according to three dimensions: focus, membership, and duration. We also present findings about factors influencing their choice of group messaging tools and the problems they have managing multiple group threads using multiple tools. We explore the problem of notification overload and users’ strategies for managing frequent notifications. We describe one approach of “social alerting, ” when group members notify one another directly, rather than rely on app notifications. We relate our findings to prior work and offer design suggestions to address the challenges our participants faced in managing frequent group notifications.

Preliminary Strategic Analysis of Next Generation Fare Payment Systems for Public Transportation

July 13, 2015 Comments off

Preliminary Strategic Analysis of Next Generation Fare Payment Systems for Public Transportation
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP) Report 177: Preliminary Strategic Analysis of Next Generation Fare Payment Systems for Public Transportation explores attributes, implementation strategies, and applications of next generation transit fare payment (NGFP) systems. The report documents the state of the practice of emerging fare payments options for public transportation; develops a typology of available and anticipated options for NGFP that can serve a broad range of transit agencies and stakeholders in the United States; and evaluates the pros and cons of the options presented in the typology.

Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data

July 10, 2015 Comments off

Following the Money 2015: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data
Source: U.S. PIRG

Every year, state governments spend hundreds of billions of dollars through contracts for goods and services, subsidies to encourage economic development, and other expenditures. Accountability and public scrutiny are necessary to ensure that the public can trust that state funds are spent as well as possible.

In recent years, state governments across the country have created transparency websites that provide checkbook-level information on government spending – meaning that users can view the payments made to individual companies as well as details about the goods or services purchased or other public benefits obtained. These websites allow residents and watchdog groups to ensure that taxpayers can see how public dollars are spent.

In 2015, all 50 states operated websites to make information on state expenditures accessible to the public and these web portals continue to improve. For instance, in 2015, all but two states allow users to search the online checkbook by agency, keyword and/or vendor, and 44 states provide checkbook-level data for one or more economic development subsidy programs. Many states are also disclosing new information and are making it easier for outside researchers to download and analyze large datasets about government spending.

This report, our sixth annual evaluation of state transparency websites, finds that states continue to make progress toward comprehensive, one-stop, one-click transparency and accountability for state government spending. Over the past year, many states have launched new and improved websites to better open the books on public spending, or have adopted new practices to further expand citizens’ access to critical spending information. Some states, however, still have a long way to go.

An Overview of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS) and Applications

July 10, 2015 Comments off

An Overview of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS) and Applications
Source: Microsoft Research

In this paper we describe a new release of a Web scale entity graph that serves as the backbone of Microsoft Academic Service (MAS), a major production effort with a broadened scope to the namesake vertical search engine that has been publicly available since 2008 as a research prototype. At the core of MAS is a heterogeneous entity graph comprised of six types of entities that model the scholarly activities: field of study, author, institution, paper, venue, and event. In addition to obtaining these entities from the publisher feeds as in the previous effort, we in this version include data mining results from the Web index and an in-house knowledge base from Bing, a major commercial search engine. As a result of the Bing integration, the new MAS graph sees significant increase in size, with fresh information streaming in automatically following their discoveries by the search engine. In addition, the rich entity relations included in the knowledge base provide additional signals to disambiguate and enrich the entities within and beyond the academic domain. The number of papers indexed by MAS, for instance, has grown from low tens of millions to 83 million while maintaining an above 95% accuracy based on test data sets derived from academic activities at Microsoft Research. Based on the data set, we demonstrate two scenarios in this work: a knowledge driven, highly interactive dialog that seamlessly combines reactive search and proactive suggestion exper

CA — The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers

July 9, 2015 Comments off

The Use of Social Media by Canadian Judicial Officers (PDF)
Source: Canadian Centre for Court Technology

This ground-breaking discussion paper examines the complex issues surrounding the use by judges and tribunal members of social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn. The foundation of the discussion paper is an unprecedented survey of Canadian judicial officers. Responses from almost 700 participants (approximately 500 in English and 200 in French) provide valuable information about their use of, and opinions on, social media.

After a review of the responses, and consideration of what is currently available as guidance to judicial officers as well as examples of the implications of social media use, the discussion paper concludes with the recommendation that all judicial officers “have a duty to ensure that they understand the advantages, disadvantages and risks of the use of social media in personal and professional contexts and conduct themselves accordingly.”

The paper also concludes that existing policies, principles, codes of conduct or guidelines are inadequate to respond to that duty and suggests that until more guidance is provided, “judicial officers should use social media with caution, keeping in mind the above principles.”

Making Sense of Mobile Technology: The Integration of Work and Private Life

July 8, 2015 Comments off

Making Sense of Mobile Technology: The Integration of Work and Private Life
Source: Sage Open

Mobile technologies have facilitated a radical shift in work and private life. In this article, we seek to better understand how individual mobile technology users have made sense of these changes and adapted to them. We have used narrative enquiry and sensemaking to collect and analyze the data. The findings show that mobile technology use blurs the boundaries between work and private life, making traditional time and place distinctions less relevant. Furthermore, work and private life can be integrated in ways that may be either competitive or complementary. We also observed an effect rarely discussed in the literature—the way personal and professional aspirations affect how work and private life are integrated. Implications include the need for researchers and organizations to understand the wider consequences that arise from the integration of work and private life roles.

Inverse Privacy

July 7, 2015 Comments off

Inverse Privacy
Source: Microsoft Research

An item of your personal information is inversely private if some party has access to it but you do not. We analyze the provenance of inversely private information and its rise to dominance over other kinds of personal information. In a nutshell, the inverse privacy problem is unjustified inaccessibility to you of your inversely private information. We believe that the inverse privacy problem has a market-based solution.