Article: Why open source adoption in federal IT is poised to accelerate

Governance, Open Source, Software

Why open source adoption in federal IT is poised to accelerate

In the private sector, adoption of open standards-based technology has been on a roll for years. Federal agencies have been slower to embrace these models, though adoption has been climbing steadily.

Embrace of standards-based technology may be about to accelerate amid increasing recognition in Washington about the need to modernize federal IT systems. The government still heavily relies on proprietary legacy systems that can be expensive to maintain, more vulnerable to cyberattacks and often struggle to meet the expectations of digital-savvy citizens.

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Article: Open Access Fiber to Improve U.S. Internet Connectivity

Dark Fiber, Hardware, Open Source

Open Access Fiber to Improve U.S. Internet Connectivity

With Democratic control of the House, Senate, and White House and widespread support for an infrastructure bill, the United States has a narrow opportunity to catch up to the rest of the world on last-mile fiber deployment. Assuming that the Accessible, Affordable Internet for All Act will be the basis for any legislation included in the infrastructure bill, the act should be revised with open access infrastructure (including open conduit and dark fiber that are subject to government oversight) as its central tenet.

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Article: How Non-Fungible Tokens Will be Present at Events and How to Start Applying Them Now

Crypto, Digital Content

How Non-Fungible Tokens Will be Present at Events and How to Start Applying Them Now

As we look forward from where NFTs began, it is evident that NFTs will soon become entrenched in live, virtual, and hybrid events as these certificates of authenticity become a favorite among artists. Messari analyst Mason Nystrom predicts the NFT market will surpass $1.3 billion by the end of 2021.

No matter your knowledge of cryptocurrency, you can start applying NFTs at your events through downloads, discounts, redeeming customized swag, and gamification elements. Here are a few key elements to keep in mind when thinking about NFTs.

  • Ticketing
  • Downloads
  • Swag
  • Gamification

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Article: Blockchain is the Panacea for ESG Data Woes

Blockchain, Governance, Innovation

Blockchain is the Panacea for ESG Data Woes

An oft noted major challenge lies in consistent ESG reporting or score uniformity across variegated frameworks and standards such as the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) —  with others still being formed. Talk of a uniform set of standards to garner “apples to apples” comparisons is increasing in focus. Yet this obstacle is a bit of a red herring: disparate score cards.

Instead of such hefty focus on frameworks, bandwidth needs to go toward companies’ ability to capture real-time sustainability data to then power environmental performance strategies. Proving traction against carbon-neutrality goals will require an external metric, yes, but most importantly will be reliant on technology that can generate accurate, auditable and accountable sustainability measurements, reporting and, thus, records to track against. The technology that will fulfill this pivotal role is blockchain.

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Article: Jillian York and Karen Gullo (counterpoint): Users, not government, should control online speech

Censorship, Deplatforming, Governance, Media

Jillian York and Karen Gullo (counterpoint): Users, not government, should control online speech

Big tech companies would have more control over online speech than they already have because they can afford the legal fights that will scare off new entrants to the market. What’s more, they would push legal, protected speech offline, and silence the voices of marginalized and less powerful people who rely on the internet to speak out — a diverse set of people that includes activists, journalists, LGBTQ individuals and many more.

Instead, users should have more power to control what they see on their feeds. They should be able to move freely with their data from one platform to another when they don’t like what they see.

Article: Cryptocurrency Advocates Receive Increasing Support

Crypto

Cryptocurrency Advocates Receive Increasing SupportCryptocurrency Advocates Receive Increasing Support

According to Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito, the group is saving money as a war chest. It anticipates needing the cash to fight a larger lobbying battle or file a lawsuit over the new regulations. Brito said:

“Our job is to say absolutely there is a real risk here and that we all need to work together, but don’t throw away the baby with the bathwater.”

Meanwhile, the crypto trade association Blockchain Association has seen its membership rise by 10 to 34 since December. The number of its employees has also doubled. Members of the association include Binance.US and Ripple Labs. They intend to make contributions to the association to help polish bitcoin’s image.

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Article: Bitcoin Is Going Mainstream. What Investors Need to Know

Crypto, Money

Bitcoin Is Going Mainstream. What Investors Need to Know

As Bitcoin becomes entrenched, it may only get harder for regulators to restrain. Its growing acceptance as an alternative investment or transaction currency is far outpacing regulatory controls. That, in turn, could improve the investment case for owning it, according to Piper Sandler.

“Many investors view this scale as a safeguard against potentially overbearing regulations from governments in the developed world,” Piper says. Investing in Bitcoin, the firm adds, is a “quasi call option for both individuals and institutions on this new and potentially disruptive technology.”

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Article: Lawmakers Press Big Tech CEOs on Speech Responsibility

Content Integrity, Governance, Media

pichai speechLawmakers Press Big Tech CEOs on Speech Responsibility

WASHINGTON – The CEOs of social media giants Facebook, Twitter and Google faced a grilling March 25 as lawmakers tried to draw them into admitting responsibility for helping fuel the January insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and rising COVID-19 vaccine misinformation.

In a hearing by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, lawmakers pounded Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg; Sundar Pichai, the Indian American CEO of Google, which owns YouTube; and Twitter chief Jack Dorsey over their content policies, use of consumers’ data and media use by young children.

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Article: Big Tech Becoming Big Brother: Whatever Computer Privacy That’s Still Left Is About to Be Gone

Censorship, Cyber-Security, Deplatforming

Big Tech Becoming Big Brother: Whatever Computer Privacy That’s Still Left Is About to Be Gone

Now a coalition of Big Tech and mainstream media companies are pushing new technology that could turn your phone or computer into an informant. Everything created on a device with a computer chip could be traced back to the author. Everything. Every post, every photo, and every video will have the creator’s digital signature on it.

“It’s not a bad idea to track down on information that’s false or misleading or deceptive. The problem is who are you going to put in charge of that? The people who have been put on in charge of it over the past four years, Silicon Valley companies, they’ve abused that power to crack down on information and viewpoints that they don’t like. They can use it as a tool of political interference.”

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Article: Report analyzes religious groups’ risks of internet ‘de-platforming’, calls for action

Censorship, Deplatforming

Report analyzes religious groups’ risks of internet ‘de-platforming’, calls for action

Religious groups that speak on controversial topics are at risk of being removed from social media platforms and need to prepare, a legal education group says.

While a “de-platforming” event can pose significant operational problems, there are also ways to organize broad-based efforts to respond when a group faces sanctions from influential internet companies such as Amazon, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.

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