Colorado Schools, Income Inequality, Iraq Museums, More: Wednesday Buzz, July 5, 2017


Fox 21 News (Colorado): New website shows financial information of schools, districts statewide. “The website, Financial Transparency for Colorado Schools, launched Friday, June 30 and was created in response to legislation from 2010 and 2014 that sought to provide the public a deeper understanding of how education dollars are spent in schools, districts and BOCES.” BOCES means Boards of Cooperative Educational Services.

Vox EU: Global earnings inequality: Evidence from a new database. “Recent studies have analysed trends in global income inequality, but for most people in the world, labour earnings represent the vast majority of their income. This column uses a new global database on occupational earnings since 1970 to examine trends in earnings inequality between countries’ high- and low- earners, between countries, and between occupational groups. Global earnings inequality has fallen over the past half-century, and so has inequality within occupations, with main equalisation in the late 1990s and 2000s.”


Al-Monitor: Iraq accelerates work on its virtual national museum. “Iraq’s Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities has accelerated its efforts to finish by the end of 2018 the Virtual Museum of Iraq, which will create a comprehensive database of Iraqi archaeological heritage online.”

TechCrunch: Amazon’s Alexa passes 15,000 skills, up from 10,000 in February. “Amazon’s Alexa voice platform has now passed 15,000 skills – the voice-powered apps that run on devices like the Echo speaker, Echo Dot, newer Echo Show and others. The figure is up from the 10,000 skills Amazon officially announced back in February, which had then represented a 3x increase from September.”

Ubergizmo: Facebook’s Internet Drone Test Flight Completed. “Facebook has been working on an ambitious program to bring internet connectivity to the over 4 billion people across the globe who are still without access. The company is going to use drones for this purpose. Aquila, Facebook’s internet drone, has been in testing for quite some time now. The company has now confirmed that its Aquila drone has completed test flights.”


NPR: To Test Your Fake News Judgment, Play This Game. “The game’s interface mimics the dating app Tinder, which made swiping famous. On a phone, players swipe left when they think the article in front of them is fake, and right when they believe it’s real.”


The Nation (Thailand): Big Brother-like control on social media users. “THE NATIONAL Reform Steering Assembly (NRSA) has accepted a proposal that would require social media users to identify themselves and for the establishment of a ‘watch centre’ to monitor netizens 24 hours a day. The junta-appointed assembly yesterday voted 144-1 to pass the proposal.”

Global Voices: With Facebook, Twitter and YouTube Blocked, Venezuelans Share Tech Advice. “On the evening of June 28, Internet users from various cities in Venezuela reported that multiple websites and social media platforms — including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Periscope — were inaccessible.”

Gizmodo: Facebook Wants Kids in Juvenile Detention to Get Internet Access. “Facebook is supporting a bill currently before the California legislature that, if passed, would give children in juvenile detention facilities and foster care homes the right to internet access.”


The Register: For all the chaos it sows, fewer than 1% of threats are actually ransomware. “Ransomware dominated the threat landscape last year even though file-encrypting nasties made up less than one in a hundred examples of different Windows malware during 2016. The mode of action and damage created by file-encrypting trojans makes them a much greater threat than implied by a consideration of the numbers, according to a study by security testing outfit AV-Test.”

BuzzFeed: Facebook Is Fighting A Gag Order Over Search Warrants For User Account Information. “New public court filings — in an otherwise sealed case — reveal a brewing First Amendment fight between Facebook and federal prosecutors over an order blocking the company from alerting users about search warrants for account information.”


Quartz: The solution to US politics’ Facebook problem is Facebook. “The further down this road we go, the more we will have to come to grips with the reality that digital tools are essential to successful real-time governance, and that elections themselves are just one data-point in the broader stream of information that can help governments craft better policy. Indeed, the success of societies on the whole may well be determined far more by which adopts to the latest technologies than by which most resembles 18th century American democracy.” Good morning, Internet…

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