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Daily Archives: March 10, 2019

How to stop robocalls on your iPhone

Business Insider: “It’s not your imagination; robocalls are on the rise. According to research from the communications security firm First Orion, as recently as 2017, just 3.7% of all cellphone calls placed were automated “spam” calls, but by 2018, spam calls represented 29.2% of all calls. In 2019, nearly half of all cellphone calls will be scams, unless the telecom industry adopts measures to curb the trend, according to First Orion. Robocalls are so ubiquitous in part because they’re cheap for spammers to operate. To the average iPhone user inundated by spam calls, these calls may seem unavoidable, but the good news is that they aren’t. While you can’t completely inoculate yourself from robocalls, there are a number of steps you can take to minimize the number of annoying spam calls that arrive on your iPhone…” [h/t Pete Weiss]

Committee Report Confirms College is Still Well Worth the Cost

“A report released this morning by the Committee on Education and Labor reveals that a college degree is still well worth the cost. The report, titled “Don’t Stop Believin’ (in the value of a college degree)” collects the mountain of evidence showing that – despite the recent skepticism regarding the value of a college –… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data

Via LLRX – US takes tentative steps toward opening up government data – At the beginning of this year, President Trump signed into law the Open, Public, Electronic and Necessary Government Data Act, requiring that nonsensitive government data be made available in machine-readable, open formats by default. As researchers who study data governance and cyber… Continue Reading

Better Reporting of Government-wide Data Would Increase Transparency and Facilitate Oversight

Fees, Fines, and Penalties: Better Reporting of Government-wide Data Would Increase Transparency and Facilitate Oversight GAO-19-221: Published: Mar 7, 2019. Publicly Released: Mar 7, 2019. “Federal agencies collect hundreds of billions of dollars annually in fees, fines, and penalties, such as national park entry fees and penalties for violations of federal telemarketing law. Government-wide data… Continue Reading

In the Library’s Web Archives: Sorting through a Set of US Government PDFs

The Signal Blog – LC: “Today’s guest post is from Jesse Johnston, a Senior Digital Collections Specialist at the Library of Congress. The Digital Content Management section has been working on a project to extract and make available sets of files from the Library’s significant web archives holdings. This is another step to explore the web archives and make… Continue Reading

Meet BookBot: Mountain View library’s newest robot helper

Only in Silicon Valley does a robot return your library books: “Residents in downtown Mountain View have gotten their first peek at the future with the debut of BookBot, the library’s newest non-human helper. A creation of Google’s Area 120 — an experimental division of the technology juggernaut — the bot is the company’s first… Continue Reading

Library of Congress wants to attract more visitors, but will that undermine its mission?

Washington Post: “…Central to Hayden’s goals is a $60 million makeover of the library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, the historic 1897 architectural wonder known for its Great Hall, which is open to the public, and the Main Reading Room, the hushed temple where scholars work. Hayden unveiled the first glimpses of the concept — with its… Continue Reading

LC Post New CRS Content Now Online

Library of Congress Blog – Carla D. Hayden: “Less than half a year ago, I announced that the Library of Congress is providing Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports to the public for the first time. Since the launch of the CRS reports website, crsreports.congress.gov, the Library has made available all new or updated reports. Created for Congress by… Continue Reading

Farms aren’t tossing perfectly good produce. You are.

Washington Post: “If food waste were a country, it would be the world’s third-largest emitter of CO2, after China and the United States. In our nation alone, we throw away some 63 million tons of food a year, even as 40 million Americans are considered food insecure. Advocates of the “ugly produce” movement say they… Continue Reading

National Academies website – Vaccines are safe

“Vaccines go through a lot of testing.  Why? Because they are meant for healthy people and babies, vaccines often go through even more testing than other medical products. Vaccines are tested in labs and in hundreds to thousands of human volunteers before being approved for the public. This testing process takes many years, often more… Continue Reading

‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – interview with Umberto Eco

SPIEGEL Interview with Umberto Eco ‘We Like Lists Because We Don’t Want to Die’ – “Italian novelist and semiotician Umberto Eco, who is curating a new exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, talks to SPIEGEL about the place lists hold in the history of culture, the ways we try to avoid thinking about death and… Continue Reading

Cutbacks in local news leave many communities in the dark

AP – Local journalism is dying in plain sight: “Blame revenue siphoned by online competition, cost-cutting ownership, a death spiral in quality, sheer disinterest among readers or reasons peculiar to given locales for that development. While national outlets worry about a president who calls the press an enemy of the people, many Americans no longer… Continue Reading