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Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Aug 01, 2016 How a happy moment for neuroscience is a sad moment for science: Systems neuroscience is celebrating a landmark, but one that shows the way we do science is broken.
QUOTE: modern science’s incentives are all wrong. If we only measure the quality of someone’s science by the amount of money they accrue and the number of “impactful” papers they produce, then by definition we are not measuring the quality and rigour of the science itself.
Medium Jul 03, 2016 Amazon Is Quietly Eliminating List Prices
QUOTE: The problem with list prices or, as they are sometimes called, manufacturers’ suggested retail prices, is that they are regularly more of a marketing concept than what anyone is actually charging. When Amazon was saying the list price of the Breville Infuser was $800, Breville itself was selling the machine for $500 — about the same as Amazon. Other retailers sell it for $500, too.
New York Times Apr 18, 2015 FBI admits flaws in hair analysis over decades
QUOTE: The Justice Department and FBI have formally acknowledged that nearly every examiner in an elite FBI forensic unit gave flawed testimony in almost all trials in which they offered evidence against criminal defendants over more than a two-decade period before 2000. Of 28 examiners with the FBI Laboratory’s microscopic hair comparison unit, 26 overstated forensic matches in ways that favored prosecutors in more than 95 percent of the 268 trials reviewed so far...
Washington Post Nov 30, 2014 Justice Is Swift as Petty Crimes Clog Courts: Cases Adjudicated in Minutes or Less, Often Without Lawyers
QUOTE: Years of aggressive policing tactics and tough-on-crime legislation have flooded the American court system with misdemeanor cases—relatively small-time crimes such as public drunkenness, loitering or petty theft. The state courts that handle such charges often resemble assembly lines where time is in short supply, according to judges and lawyers who work in the courts. Many poor defendants, despite their right to court-appointed legal counsel, don’t get lawyers, and those who do often receive scant help in the rush to resolve cases.
Wall Street Journal, The (WSJ) Dec 07, 2013 Playing Pension Games (Fair Game)
QUOTE: Securities laws require issuers of municipal debt to provide the information investors need to make informed decisions when buying or selling these instruments. But lax disclosure practices remain, making it hard to spot signs of problems...
New York Times Dec 02, 2013 As Hospital Prices Soar, a Stitch Tops $500
QUOTE: A day spent as an inpatient at an American hospital costs on average more than $4,000, five times the charge in many other developed countries...Rising costs of drugs, medical equipment and other services, and fees from layers of middlemen, play a significant role in escalating hospital bills, of course. But just as important is that mergers and consolidation have resulted in a couple of hospital chains — like Partners in Boston, or Banner in Phoenix — dominating many parts of the country...
New York Times Oct 28, 2013 Mozilla sheds a light(beam) on Web privacy: Lightbeam plug-in for Firefox shows who's watching when you log into your favorite sites, encourages users to anonymously submit tracking data
QUOTE: [Lightbeam for Firefox] add-on shows, graphically, how the sites you visit interact with other sites -- and how tracking information may be gathered in the process, often from multiple sites at once without your knowledge.
InfoWorld Oct 19, 2013 High School Sexual Assault Case Is Revisited, Haunting Missouri Town
QUOTE: Ever since The Kansas City Star ran a long article last Sunday raising new questions about the Nodaway County prosecutor’s decision to drop charges against a 17-year-old football player accused of sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl, the simplicity of small-town life here has been complicated by a storm of negative attention.
New York Times Sep 24, 2013 Don't get blind-sided by hidden travel fees
QUOTE: That cheap rate on the screen rarely includes all fees. Without the help of a knowledgeable travel agent or a resource like NerdWallet that compares fees for a given airline route, it's challenging to calculate your total cost. Hotels, cruises and especially airlines like this model because fees have allowed them to stay profitable while slashing their base prices to appear competitive.
CNN/Money Magazine Sep 20, 2013 Fukushima Forever
QUOTE: Fukushima is just the latest episode in a dangerous dance with radiation that has been going on for 68 years. Since the atomic bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima in 1945 we have repeatedly let loose plutonium and other radioactive substances on our planet, and authorities have repeatedly denied or trivialized their dangers. The authorities include national governments (the U.S., Japan, the Soviet Union/ Russia, England, France and Germany); the worldwide nuclear power industry; and some scientists both in and outside of these governments and the nuclear power industry. Denials and trivialization have continued with Fukushima.
Huffington Post Sep 15, 2013 The Banality of Systemic Evil (THE STONE)
QUOTE: Clearly, there is a moral principle at work in the actions of the leakers, whistle-blowers and hacktivists and those who support them. I would also argue that that moral principle has been clearly articulated, and it may just save us from a dystopian future. In “Eichmann in Jerusalem,” one of the most poignant and important works of 20th-century philosophy, Hannah Arendt made an observation about what she called “the banality of evil.” One interpretation of this holds that it was not an observation about what a regular guy Adolph Eichmann seemed to be, but rather a statement about what happens when people play their “proper” roles within a system....A good illustration of this phenomenon appears in “Moral Mazes,” a book by the sociologist Robert Jackall that explored the ethics of decision making within several corporate bureaucracies.
New York Times May 28, 2013 WHO calls Middle Eastern virus, MERS, ‘threat to the entire world’ as death toll rises: The SARS-like virus has so far killed 24 people, more than half of those diagnosed.
QUOTE: ...the WHO says that more than half of the people who have been diagnosed with MERS have died. The organization said that 24 of 44 confirmed MERS cases have ended in death. In a move that might complicate finding a vaccine, Dutch scientists have taken the unusual step of patenting the killer virus.
New York Daily News Mar 31, 2013 Is A ‘Just Looking’ Fee A Smart Business Decision?
QUOTE: To complicate things even further for brick and mortars, the rise of smartphones has made it easy for consumers to walk into a store, browse the inventory, and comparison shop right from within. Stores risk losing customers to competitors before they’ve even left the store....As of the first of February, this store will be charging people a $5 fee per person for “just looking.”
WebProNews Mar 04, 2013 List Price = Joke Price: 4 Examples of How Original Prices Are Meaningless
QUOTE: ...JCPenney CEO Ron Johnson came clean about how the store’s original prices were fake prices cooked up mainly to make the inevitable markdowns seem more impressive and tempting to shoppers. The strategy is known as “price anchoring,” and it’s standard practice....While the new system sounded great to many consumer advocates, it proved to be a failure with shoppers...
Time Magazine Mar 01, 2013 Will the “Six Strikes” Copyright Alert System Hurt Consumers And Small Businesses?
QUOTE: On Monday, the Copyright Alert System, or “Six Strikes”, went into affect across the five biggest ISPs in the U.S. The system hopes to catch those pirating content over P2P networks, and send them a notice detailing their infringement. The hope is that those who are caught will start using legal alternatives. To better understand the CAS, we have to look at what the Center for Copyright Information is doing with it. First, there are three tiers to the CAS that consumers should be aware of with each tier having two levels within it. The three tiers are as follows – educational alerts, acknowledgement alerts and mitigation measures.
WebProNews Feb 25, 2013 Why I'm quitting Facebook
QUOTE: In my upcoming book "Present Shock," I chronicle some of what happens when we can no longer manage our many online presences. I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away. Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 21, 2013 Steps to Guard Against Identity Fraud
QUOTE: The annual report found that the incidence of identity theft overall was about 5.3 percent of consumers, compared with 4.9 percent the year before. Much of the increase was driven by so-called “new account” fraud, involving the unauthorized opening of general use or store brand credit cards, as well as “account takeover” fraud, in which the identity thieves may change consumers’ contact information — like their mailing addresses — to gain illegal access to their accounts
New York Times Nov 09, 2012 Fantasyland: Denial has poisoned the GOP and threatens the rest of the country too.
QUOTE: Romney has no political heirs in his own party or elsewhere, he does leave behind a cultural legacy of sorts. He raised Truthiness to a level of chutzpah beyond Stephen Colbert’s fertile imagination, and on the grandest scale. That a presidential hopeful so cavalierly mendacious could get so close to the White House, winning some 48 percent of the popular vote, is no small accomplishment. The American weakness that Romney both apotheosized and exploited in achieving this feat—our post-fact syndrome where anyone on the public stage can make up anything and usually get away with it—won’t disappear with him. A slicker liar could have won, and still might....This year’s instantly famous declaration by the Romney pollster Neil Newhouse that “we’re not going to let our campaign be dictated by fact-checkers” crystallized the mantra of the entire GOP. The Republican faithful at strata both low and high, from Rush’s dittoheads to the think-tank-affiliated intellectuals, have long since stopped acknowledging any empirical evidence that disputes their insular worldview, no matter how grounded that evidence might be in (God forbid) science or any other verifiable reality, like, say, Census reports or elementary mathematics
New York Magazine Nov 05, 2012 The Real Loser: Truth (Op-Ed)
QUOTE: To be sure, the Obama campaign has certainly had its own share of dissembling and distortion, including about Mr. Romney’s positions on abortion and foreign aid. But nothing in it — or in past campaigns, for that matter — has equaled the efforts of the Romney campaign in this realm. Its fundamental disdain for facts is something wholly new....win or lose, the Romney campaign has placed a big and historic bet on the proposition that facts can be ignored, more or less, with impunity.
New York Times Oct 24, 2012 Tax Policy Center in Spotlight for Its Romney Study
QUOTE: No white paper or policy manifesto put out during the presidential campaign has proved more controversial than an August study by the Washington-based Tax Policy Center, a respected nonprofit that issues studiously detailed tax analyses. That study found, in short, that Mr. Romney could not keep all of the promises he had made on individual tax reform...
New York Times Jul 14, 2012 Goldman Sachs and the $580 Million Black Hole
QUOTE: With Goldman Sachs on the job, the corporate takeover of Dragon Systems in an all-stock deal went terribly wrong. Goldman collected millions of dollars in fees — and the Bakers lost everything when Lernout & Hauspie was revealed to be a spectacular fraud.
New York Times Jul 13, 2012 That’s No Phone. That’s My Tracker.
QUOTE: Thanks to the explosion of GPS technology and smartphone apps, these devices are also taking note of what we buy, where and when we buy it, how much money we have in the bank, whom we text and e-mail, what Web sites we visit, how and where we travel, what time we go to sleep and wake up — and more. Much of that data is shared with companies that use it to offer us services they think we want.
New York Times May 24, 2012 Beware small investors: Facebook was just a warning
QUOTE: a bipartisan bill, innocuously named the JOBS Act, rolled back these and other investor protections for companies with less than $1 billion in revenue, deemed emerging growth companies. Once again, research analysts can communicate directly with management and if desired share favorable (or unfavorable) reports....Prior to Sarbanes-Oxley, researchers at Cornell and Dartmouth universities found that analysts affiliated with the underwriting bank issued buy ratings to prop up dropping stocks...
CNN (Cable News Network) Mar 09, 2012 The Web Is Awash in Reviews, but Not for Doctors. Here’s Why.
QUOTE: RateMDs now has reviews of more than 1,370,000 doctors in the United States and Canada. But getting in the faces of the previously untouchable professional class has inevitably led to legal threats. He says he gets about one each week over negative reviews and receives subpoenas every month or two for information that can help identify reviewers, who believe they are posting anonymously.
New York Times Mar 06, 2012 Web Sites Shine Light on Petty Bribery Worldwide
QUOTE: similar sites are spreading like kudzu around the globe, vexing petty bureaucrats the world over. Ms. Ramanathan said nongovernmental organizations and government agencies from at least 17 countries had contacted Janaagraha, the nonprofit organization in Bangalore that operates I Paid a Bribe, to ask about obtaining the source code and setting up a site of their own.
New York Times Mar 06, 2012 In today's warp-speed world, online missteps spread faster than ever
QUOTE: '"Everyone now has a global platform on which they can shout their opinions and voice their beliefs," says Frank Farley, a psychology professor at Temple University and former president of the American Psychological Association. But people haven't become more cautious about putting words out there, he adds -- even if they're wrong.'
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 27, 2012 Yoga and Sex Scandals: No Surprise Here
QUOTE: After accusations of sexual impropriety with female students, John Friend, the founder of Anusara, one of the world’s fastest-growing styles, told followers that he was stepping down for an indefinite period...Yoga teachers and how-to books seldom mention that the discipline began as a sex cult — an omission that leaves many practitioners open to libidinal surprise.
New York Times Feb 24, 2012 Attorneys: Cardinal ordered memo on priests destroyed
QUOTE: A Philadelphia archdiocese official on trial for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse of children has asked a court to throw out charges against him based on a 1994 memo showing Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua ordered a list of suspected abusive Catholic priests to be destroyed. Attorneys for Monsignor William Lynn asked a Philadelphia court to dismiss charges of conspiracy and child endangerment based on documents that Lynn had informed his superiors -- including the cardinal -- that priests in the archdiocese were assaulting children.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 17, 2012 Drones Set Sights on U.S. Skies
QUOTE: A new federal law, signed by the president on Tuesday, compels the Federal Aviation Administration to allow drones to be used for all sorts of commercial endeavors... Local police and emergency services will also be freer to send up their own drones. But while businesses, and drone manufacturers especially, are celebrating the opening of the skies to these unmanned aerial vehicles, the law raises new worries about how much detail the drones will capture about lives down below — and what will be done with that information.
New York Times Feb 10, 2012 The Afghanistan Report the Pentagon Doesn't Want You to Read
QUOTE: a bombshell piece about Lt. Colonel Daniel Davis, a 17-year Army veteran recently returned from a second tour in Afghanistan. According to the Times, the 48-year-old Davis had written an 84-page unclassified report, as well as a classified report, offering his assessment of the decade-long war. That assessment is essentially that the war has been a disaster and the military's top brass has not leveled with the American public about just how badly it’s been going.
Rolling Stone Jan 29, 2012 Words matter in Penn State perjury case
QUOTE: the story began with an assistant coach at Penn State, Mike McQueary, who testified that nearly 10 years ago he walked in on former coach Jerry Sandusky sexually abusing a young boy in the football team's locker room showers. McQueary, who was a graduate assistant at the time, said he had no doubt that he witnessed "severe sexual acts" that were wrong and "over the lines." Yet, as a transcript shows, each time McQueary's story was told it became less specific, until others at the end of the line reacted as if what he had seen was no big deal.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jan 23, 2012 Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights
QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days. A set of overlapping opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad privacy principles to bring the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches into the digital age...
New York Times Dec 12, 2011 Amazon Denies It Has a Small-Business Problem (You're the Boss)
QUOTE: For years — since its inception — Amazon has been at implicit war with local brick-and-mortar stores. Last week, the implicit seemingly became explicit when Amazon began a promotion that encouraged customers to check out prices at local retailers and use a specially designed “Price Check” smartphone app to report what they found back to Amazon. Customers who then purchased the same item from Amazon received a 5 percent discount, up to $5.
New York Times Nov 30, 2011 Is your phone telling the carrier everything you do?
QUOTE: the XDA-Developer site noticed that a preinstalled mobile app, named CarrierIQ, was logging all smartphone activities with no way to opt out....Although consumers are buying smartphones — and assume they have ownership — are the handsets theirs to do with as they please, without the carriers or handset makers know what they’re doing?
GigaOM Sep 19, 2011 In Small Towns, Gossip Moves to the Web, and Turns Vicious
QUOTE: In rural America, where an older, poorer and more remote population has lagged the rest of the country in embracing the Internet, the growing use of social media is raising familiar concerns about bullying and privacy. But in small towns there are complications. The same Web sites created as places for candid talk about local news and politics are also hubs of unsubstantiated gossip, stirring widespread resentment in communities where ties run deep, memories run long and anonymity is something of a novel concept.
New York Times Sep 05, 2011 Leak Offers Look at Efforts by U.S. to Spy on Israel
QUOTE: While the American government routinely eavesdrops on some embassies inside the United States, intelligence collection against allies is always politically delicate, especially one as close as Israel.
New York Times Jul 11, 2011 This isn't the airline I signed up for
QUOTE: airlines selling flights operated by partners as their own. While disclosure of the airline operating the flight is required by the government, it's still easy to miss if you aren't paying close attention.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jul 04, 2011 Think Inside the Box
QUOTE: Bombarded with pharmaceutical ads listing what seems like every conceivable side effect, American consumers might think they are already getting too much information. But they — and their doctors — are not getting what arguably matters most: independent, plain-English facts about the medication. Fortunately, there is a simple model for getting such information across.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 Mine Owners Misled Inspectors, Investigators Say
QUOTE: Federal investigators said Wednesday that Massey Energy, the owner of the West Virginia mine where 29 men were killed in an explosion last year, misled government inspectors by keeping accounts of hazardous conditions out of official record books where inspectors would see them.
New York Times Jun 26, 2011 U.S. Plans Stealth Survey on Access to Doctors
QUOTE: Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of “mystery shoppers” to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it....In response to the drumbeat of criticism, a federal health official said doctors need not worry because the data would be kept confidential.
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 LulzSec Hackers Make Enemies Online
QUOTE: After six weeks of attacks — and hundreds of sarcastic Twitter posts — a number of people, offended by the exposure of innocent Internet users’ personal information and irritated by the bravado, are working to stop LulzSec by investigating and revealing its members’ identities to the world, and especially to the F.B.I.
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 ‘Safety Myth’ Left Japan Ripe for Nuclear Crisis
QUOTE: Over several decades, Japan’s nuclear establishment has devoted vast resources to persuade the Japanese public of the safety and necessity of nuclear power. Plant operators built lavish, fantasy-filled public relations buildings that became tourist attractions....The belief helps explains why in the only nation to have been attacked with atomic bombs, the Japanese acceptance of nuclear power was so strong that the accidents at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl barely registered. Even with the crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the reaction against nuclear power has been much stronger in Europe and the United States than in Japan itself.
New York Times Jun 24, 2011 Why they’re winning on CEO pay
QUOTE: two law school professors, Lucian Bebchuk and Jesse Fried at Harvard, who unlike most finance professors understand that the market for executive compensation is essentially rigged....the firms with high CEO pay turn out not to be the best performers.
Washington Post Jun 23, 2011 High Court sides with generic drug makers in narrow ruling
QUOTE: The justices in a 5-4 ruling said generic drug companies do not share the same level of responsibility as makers of brand-name equivalents, to update their warning labels when significant new risks emerge.
CNN (Cable News Network) Jun 23, 2011 Why SEO Disgusts Me
QUOTE: I recently had a discussion with the CEO of a leading Midwest search firm who described their common practice of creating fake accounts to pump client links into the comment section of blog posts and forums....I’m concerned when it gets difficult to compete in the industry without engaging in fraudulent behavior.
WebProNews Jun 20, 2011 Upending Anonymity, These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone
QUOTE: The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.
New York Times Jun 15, 2011 Watching the Detectives
QUOTE: Because the department ignores lawsuits, it cannot analyze or learn from them; instead, the city effectively writes off these suits as the extraordinarily high cost of doing police business. In contrast, a small but growing group of police departments around the country have found innovative ways to analyze information gathered from lawsuits. They investigate lawsuit claims as they would civilian complaints, and they discipline, retrain or fire officers when the claims are substantiated.
New York Times Jun 15, 2011 Ex-Spy Alleges Bush White House Sought to Discredit Critic
QUOTE: A former senior C.I.A. official says that officials in the Bush White House sought damaging personal information on a prominent American critic of the Iraq war in order to discredit him. Glenn L. Carle, a former Central Intelligence Agency officer who was a top counterterrorism official during the administration of President George W. Bush, said the White House at least twice asked intelligence officials to gather sensitive information on Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes an influential blog that criticized the war.
New York Times Jun 12, 2011 F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds
QUOTE: The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
New York Times Jun 12, 2011 Shedding Hazy Light on a Midnight Ride
QUOTE: With all the revisions prompted by a modern political statement, one Wikipedia contributor asked on a discussion page whether they should consider simply erasing all the additions and returning the page to its pre-Palin state “considering that this is an article about a guy that died 200 years ago (and no new information has emerged recently) the entire flurry of recent activity can be attributed to defenders or detractors of Sarah Palin.”
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