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You Can Now Legally Unlock Your Phone in the US

You Can Now Legally Unlock Your Phone in the US | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Our long national nightmare is over. We can finally legally unlock our smartphones in the United States. Today, President Obama will sign the Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act (that’s a... Keep reading →
Matt Pascarella's insight:

Interesting that "The bill began as digital petition on the We the People site."

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The NSA Revelations All in One Chart

The NSA Revelations All in One Chart | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
We plotted the NSA programs, showing which ones fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, and which ones are more controversial.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

"This is a plot of the NSA programs revealed in the past year according to whether they are bulk or targeted, and whether the targets of surveillance are foreign or domestic. Most of the programs fall squarely into the agency’s stated mission of foreign surveillance, but some – particularly those that are both domestic and broad-sweeping – are more controversial."

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Global Opinions of U.S. Surveillance

The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Global attitudes survey asked 48,643 respondents in 44 countries what they thought about the American government monitoring communications, such as emails and phone calls, in the U.S. and other countries. Specifically, global publics were asked whether the U.S. government’s alleged monitoring of communications from individuals suspected of terrorist activities, American citizens, citizens of the survey countries or the leaders of the survey countries is acceptable or unacceptable.

Matt Pascarella's insight:

Recent survey worth skimming through re: Global Opinions of US gov’t surveilling suspected terrorists, its own citizens, foreign citizens and leaders.

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Graphing the Words in the News Over Time

Graphing the Words in the News Over Time | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it

"The New York Times made public a fun tool, Chronicle, that makes it easy for anyone to graph the number of times a word was published in the Times since 1850.

Matt Pascarella's insight:

Check out this super useful research tool from NY Times R&D's @alexislloyd

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Forget the Shortest Route Across a City; New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful | MIT Technology Review

Forget the Shortest Route Across a City; New Algorithm Finds the Most Beautiful | MIT Technology Review | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
If you prefer beautiful routes over short ones, GPS mapping algorithms are of little use. But Yahoo researchers have come up with an approach that could change that.
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Seeing More Politics in Your News Feed? Facebook Boosts Partisan Sites

Seeing More Politics in Your News Feed? Facebook Boosts Partisan Sites | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Media sites with political bents have been some of the biggest winners of the Facebook publisher bump, drawing huge increases in comments and shares.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

A few of the sites they discuss here aren't even necessarily "partisan" nor are they attracting traffic due to a particular political slant.  Bottom line: These brands have done well because their editors know what the hell they are doing and they have top-notch writers, reporters, and designers who pull it all together.  They study their audiences constantly and have made it their missions to dream up innovative ways to increase and intensify engagement.   And, yes, the help from FB definitely factors in to their traffic — just saying, it's not only that...  High five to @bendreyfuss 

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Man left critically ill after self-immolation outside Germany's Libyan embassy.

Man left critically ill after self-immolation outside Germany's Libyan embassy. | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
A man in his mid-20s set himself alight outside the Libyan embassy in Berlin in what appears to be a protest against the embassy's dealing with his financial support.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

"We don't think the action was motivated politically but assume it took place in a disagreement with the Libyan embassy…"

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Agitating kidney patients warn of self-immolation

KATHMANDU, July 14: Kidney patients, who are staging a relay hunger strike, warned of self-immolation if the government failed to address their demands.  Their strike has entered the 35th day on Monday. 

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This Pastor Self-Immolated To Protest Social Injustice

This Pastor Self-Immolated To Protest Social Injustice | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
On June 23 of this year, Rev. Charles Moore stepped out of his car in a shopping mall parking lot in Grand Saline, Texas and set himself on fire. The retired United Methodist pastor was 79 years old and was a life long advocate for social justice. He...
Matt Pascarella's insight:

Before lighting himself on fire in a Texas shopping mall parking lot a few weeks ago, Rev. Charles Moore wrote:  "I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service.”


The Reverend was trying to send a message that, in large part, went unheard.


"Reverend Moore thought this was going to be a whole lot bigger of a deal than it turned out to be," [social justice advocate Jeff] Hood told HuffPost. "He expected it to make national news.”

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Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment | Opinion | WIRED

Everything You Need to Know About Facebook’s Controversial Emotion Experiment | Opinion | WIRED | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Facebook conducted a study for one week in 2012 testing the effects of manipulating News Feed based on emotions. The results have hit the media like a bomb. What did the study find? Was it ethical? And what could or should have been changed?
Matt Pascarella's insight:

What this study begins to show is that FB’s current ecosystem is based on weak links, performative-based relationships, and narrow modes of communicating.


Now that members have assembled masses in their "networks," they are beginning to realize these are, in fact, weak links ripe with irrelevant information.  So, now, social media users are beginning to seek out new tools that will enable them to have higher-quality, more meaningful and targeted relationships.  But the tools required to do so are few and far between — especially on current social platforms.


Instead of drilling down on how to create better conditions to bring people closer together, from the bottom up, FB is taking a much more aggressive and manipulative top-down approach by attempting to toy with, censor, and exploit its users emotions.  

 

They out to keep in mind: Engagement in social life is not forced, it is earned.  

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An insider's battle plan: 'Elections are about winning. Period'

An insider's battle plan: 'Elections are about winning. Period' | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
A "2014 Election Cycle Budget" of $3.983 million was laid out nearly a year ago when Enterprise Washington, a business and industry political committee, displayed its wares to the Washington Retail Association.



Power in the Washington Legislature was the message of the Powerpoint pr
Matt Pascarella's insight:

I'd like to see this powerpoint — particularly these items: “incumbent vulnerability polling,” “late tracking polls,” “Use ‘soft’ money to pay for polling,” “hot button issues,” “Protection of pro-business allies” and “Identify anti-business enemies to defeat.”

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How can journalists be objective when writing about dead children?

How can journalists be objective when writing about dead children? | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it

Giles Fraser: Loose canon: Being calmly rational about Gaza feels like a very particular form of madness. Journalism must convey the emotion too. (Warning: contains images some readers may find upsetting)

Matt Pascarella's insight:

"But in the midst of unimaginable suffering, the idea of calm objectivity feels like a desperate attempt to maintain some thin veneer of civilisation protecting us from the total futility of it all."

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Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America’s Image

Global Opposition to U.S. Surveillance and Drones, but Limited Harm to America’s Image | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Revelations about the scope of American electronic surveillance efforts have generated headlines around the world. A new Pew Research Center survey finds widespread decline in the view that the U.S. respects the personal freedoms of its people. But in most countries there is little evidence this opposition has severely harmed America’s overall image.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

"The Snowden revelations appear to have damaged one major element of America’s global image: its reputation for protecting individual liberties. In 22 of 36 countries surveyed in both 2013 and 2014, people are significantly less likely to believe the U.S. government respects the personal freedoms of its citizens. In six nations, the decline was 20 percentage points or more."

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Meet Vladimir Putin's master of propaganda

"Russian President Vladimir Putin's popularity has soared at home in the wake of his actions in Ukraine - and the masterful spin his intervention has been given.  The joy that greeted Putin's seizure of Crimea from Ukraine in March was due, at least in part, to a propaganda system less complete but more virulent than its Soviet predecessor. At the center of the system is a remarkable journalist called Dmitry Kiselyev."

Matt Pascarella's insight:

"Kiselyev and the propaganda machine under his control have challengers. One of the sharpest, Sergei Medvedev of the New Economic School, wrote recently that the Ukrainian adventure, and above all the shooting down of the Malaysian airliner, had inflicted an "irreversible defeat" on Russia, that it had sealed the loss of Ukraine to the West."

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How capital captured politics

How capital captured politics | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Slavoj Žižek: WikiLeaks has shown us that western democracies are now ruled by market forces that debase the very notion of freedom
Matt Pascarella's insight:

"It sets rules that would assist the expansion of financial multinationals into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers. It prohibits more regulation of financial services, despite the fact that the 2007-08 financial meltdown is generally perceived as resulting from a lack of regulation. Furthermore, the US is particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow, including traffic of personal and financial data. Despite all this, we heard little about it."


"The key decisions concerning our economy are negotiated and enforced in secret, and set the coordinates for the unencumbered rule of capital. In this way, the space for decision-making by the democratically elected politicians is severely limited, and the political process deals predominantly with issues towards which capital is indifferent (like culture wars)."


More on TISA here:

 https://wikileaks.org/tisa-financial/


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Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist

Blacklisted: The Secret Government Rulebook For Labeling You a Terrorist | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
The Obama administration has quietly approved a substantial expansion of the terrorist watchlist system, authorizing a secret process that requires neither “concrete facts” nor “irrefutable evidence” to designate an American or foreigner as a terrorist, according to a key government document obtained by The Intercept. The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance,” a 166-page document issued last Read more
Matt Pascarella's insight:

As always, great work @jeremyscahill 

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The Air Strike Propaganda Video Israel Doesn't Want You to See

The Air Strike Propaganda Video Israel Doesn't Want You to See | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
After posting a video about "How the IDF Fights Terror in Gaza," the Israelis quickly pulled it down.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

Interesting story about how Israel seems to be adopting the discourse of the American government when it comes to drones, "clean targeting" and "ethical killing."  


According to the IDF, “Unlike terrorist organizations who fire indiscriminately at innocent civilians, the IDF has a long procedure in order to choose targets in Gaza.”  


The IDF continues, “In order to target terror in a precise and effective fashion and minimize civilian casualties,” the description added, “the IDF uses a well-developed strategy.”

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Housemates save Tamil asylum seeker from self-immolation

Housemates save Tamil asylum seeker from self-immolation | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Another Tamil asylum seeker has set himself on fire, this time in Melbourne's eastern suburbs
Matt Pascarella's insight:

This is the third instance this year of a Tamil asylum seeker attempting suicide by fire [in Australia]. 

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Japanese Man Sets Himself On Fire, Self-Immolation In Protest To Controversial Military Expansion Plans

Japanese Man Sets Himself On Fire, Self-Immolation In Protest To Controversial Military Expansion Plans | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
The man spoke to a throng of onlookers in opposition to the landmark proposal to allow for a more active Japanese military.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

"Then all of a sudden his body was enveloped in fire… He was yelling against the government, about collective self-defense.”

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EFF, ACLU Join Idaho Mom’s Legal Challenge to NSA Surveillance

EFF, ACLU Join Idaho Mom’s Legal Challenge to NSA Surveillance | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho - The Electronic Freedom Foundation (EFF), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho have announced they will join Anna Smith's legal team in her challenge of the government's bulk collection of the telephone records of millions of innocent Americans.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

It's quite simple: "I believe who I call, when I call them, and how long we talk is not something the government should be able to get without a warrant. I sued because I believe the Constitution protects my calls from government searches."

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GCHQ's dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping | ZDNet

GCHQ's dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping | ZDNet | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
A fresh set of documents leaked by Edward Snowden show how the UK intelligence agency can manipulate online polls and debates, spread messages, snoop on YouTube and track Facebook users.
Matt Pascarella's insight:

Definitely worth noting: "Some of the most interesting capabilities of the tools on the list include the ability to seed the web with false information — such as tweaking the results of online polls — inflating pageview counts, censoring video content deemed "extremist" and the use of psychological manipulation on targets — something similar to a research project conducted with Facebook's approval, which resulted in heavy criticism and outrage levied at the social media site."

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Making Sense of Youth Political Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa | The Georgetown Public Policy Review

Making Sense of Youth Political Violence in Sub-Saharan Africa | The Georgetown Public Policy Review | The Impact Machine | Scoop.it
Matt Pascarella's insight:

This finding is of particular note: “An individual’s education level and employment status had no effect on willingness to participate in violence in most countries.”

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