Archive for May, 2018

What Is the GDPR?

This recently enacted EU directive could have a major impact on your online interactions. Of late, there have been many questions raised over privacy and data ownership, and this Come here to find out more info; this EU site also offers additional information on this law.  This CRS report is also helpful – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along?; the European Parliament Think Tank has issued numerous papers on this legislation and its impact on both providers and users. Another excellent source is from the Law Library of the Library of Congress – Personal Data Protection and the EU GDPR – that points the way to other useful links. There are even implications for libraries in how they record, store, and disseminate records such as circulation transactions or online reference conversations.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Abraham Lincoln – Additional Primary Sources

We have quite rightly highlighted primary/secondary sources on whom some consider the finest of our presidents. (He ranks #1 in the C-SPAN Historians Survey of Presidents 2017, a position he has held in the previous iterations of this poll.) We have come across other collections at Brown University that we would like to recommend: “Brown’s Lincoln Broadsides collection comprises an assortment of printed materials intended for broad public distribution in a variety of formats. Within this digital collection you will find, for example: handbills (a single sheet of text intended for wide public distribution), leaftlets (a handbill folded to create multiple leaves), small pamphlets (unbound booklets, typically stapled or sewn), souvenir cards, circulars, broadsheets, brochures.”; Lincoln Envelopes –  “This collection contains embellished envelopes created during the period surrounding Lincoln’s presidency and the time immediately after his assassination. Many of the envelopes depict Lincoln himself….”; Lincoln Graphics “…include most of the known photographic images of Lincoln, along with engravings and popular prints by, among other firms, Currier & Ives and Kurz & Allen.”; Lincoln Manuscripts

The Hay Library’s famed collection of manuscripts authored or signed by Lincoln, now comprises nearly 1,100 pieces.

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Why Are We Getting So Many Spam Phone Calls?

Whatever happened to the “Do Not Call Registry” that almost everyone signed up for? How come we are now inundated with robocalls? As this NPR interview points out, the technology that blocks these types of calls has been superseded by marketers using more sophisticated types of equipment. And as the government does not appear to be doing anything about these breaches, we’d better get used to this situation for some time.

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Jersey City Narrows Gap in Population with Newark

According to the 2017 population estimates just released by the Census Bureau, Jersey City’s increase in population outpaced Newark’s growth, further tightening the competition for the title of New Jersey’s largest city. The numbers are:

Jersey City: 267,446 (2016) – 270,753(2017)

Newark: 284, 386 (2016) – 285,154 (2017)

Newark’s population grew by a mere 768 residents; Jersey City expanded by 3307 people.

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Health Statistics for America’s Largest 500 Cities

Emanating from NYU, the City Health Dashboard utilizes 36 key metrics in determining the health factors of a municipality. You can drill down these data to the census tract level in each city. Jersey City’s profile is replete with figures revealing the health and social indicators at the neighborhood level. You can also compare across cities as well as across metrics. There is much valuable information here; this is a source worth exploring.

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Photos of 2018 NJCU Graduation

Well over one hundred photos are available for your perusal, courtesy of The Jersey Journal.

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2018 NJCU Graduation – Live!

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Online Primary Sources for American History: The Papers of President Woodrow Wilson

The Library of Congress holds the largest number of Wilson papers, totaling in excess of 280,000 documents. There are handwritten drafts typewritten notes, and numerous letters on a vast array of subjects ranging from the Paris Peace Convention to the establishment of the Federal Reserve banking system. What may interest New Jerseyans is the contents of Series 2 that has among its treasures his documents pertaining to his governorship of the Garden State. An index to his papers is also available online; a timeline adds to the usefulness of this site.

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2018 Fortune 500

There has certainly been a lot of volatility in this year’s listings   reflecting in part the tumultuous roller coaster that is the stock market. Major takeaways are be seen here. There are many filters to this ranking; here are two important ones. Each company on the list has a brief, informative profile.

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Science Fiction Podcasts

We have previously highlighted sites that feature sf stories: Nature and Galaxy; both of these present stories to be read and savoured, the former contains contemporary stories, while the latter was published decades ago. But what if you want to multitask and listen to stories? The following would be good places to visit: Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, and Escape Pod. And don’t forget Geeks Guide to the Galaxy that discusses the whole realm of science fiction.

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Jersey City Ranked Among America’s Fittest Cities

Employing multiple criteria such as “built environment” and “health behaviors”, the ACSM American Fitness Index has been released; Jersey City comes in at 69. The interactive index allows you to compare the top 100 cities.

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What Does the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Do?

Come here to find out.

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A Record Number of Foreign Student Graduates Remain in the U.S.

According to this recent Pew Research report – Number of Foreign College Students Staying and Working After Graduation Surges – there has been a 400% increase in foreign students remaining here, especially in the STEM fields. This is in line with a 2018 NSF report showing that temporary visa holder enrollments (foreign students) have steadily increased over the past years; these findings are further supported by this National Foundation for American Policy 2017 report – The Importance of International Students to American Science and Engineering.

The Open Doors program from the IIE provides a plethora of related data.


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Full Text of the DOD Summary Report on the Niger Ambush

It is here and a transcript of the press briefing is also available as is a video.

U.S. forces have been deployed in Niger since 2013 as advisers and trainers because Niger is in a region controlled by terrorist organizations ranging from Boko Harum to al-Qaeda. (Why U.S. forces are in Niger from CSIS adds to the discussion.)

These CRS reports provide background information: Niger: Frequently Asked Questions About the October 2017 Attack on U.S. Soldiers and Attack on U.S. Soldiers in Niger: Context and Issues for Congress.

For those who are interested in where our military forces are deployed around the world, please consult this CRS report – Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2017. Basic country information can be found in the CIA World Factbook and this BBC Country Profile.

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CRS Reports on the “Iran Deal”

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National Film Registry Digital Collection

Every year, the Library of Congress announces those films of cultural significance that are to be preserved by this worthy institution. Some 66 early films have been digitized and are available for online viewing. They range from a film depicting the immediate aftermath of the massive San Francisco earthquake of 1906 to a short film by D W Griffith. More will be added over time.

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Best High Schools in Jersey City, New Jersey, and the Country

The 2018 US News & World Report high school rankings report has just been issued. More than 20,500 high schools, including charters and magnet schools, were evaluated against a set of criteria. Jersey City schools figure in the state rankings with three of the schools attaining medal status with McNair High School ranking 5th in the state and 68th in the nation with a gold medal to prove it. Here is the complete list for New Jersey schools.

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Artificial Intelligence and National Security

This recent CRS report highlights the challenge of utilizing AI in military situations and analyses since much of the development is fostered in the civilian sphere. This documents also points out that China intends to be a world-player in this sector by 2030. (For more on this see this threat, please consult this 2018 House Hearing – China’s Pursuit of Emerging and Exponential Technologies as well as this 2017 Economist article – China may match or beat America in AI.

AI presents a two-edged sword: “Although AI has the potential to impart a number of advantages in the military context, it may also introduce distinct challenges. AI technology can facilitate autonomous operations, lead to more informed military decision-making, and will likely increase the speed and scale of military action. However, it is also unpredictable, vulnerable to unique forms of manipulation, and presents challenges to human-machine interaction.”(2)

Other reports of interest include: DOD Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Cloud Taxonomy (govinfo, 2018); Artificial Intelligence and National Security (Belfer Center, 2017); Game Changers: Artificial Intelligence, Part 1 (House Subcommittee on Information Technology, 2018); Artificial Intelligence: Emerging Opportunities, Challengers, and Implications (GAO, 2018); Strategic Robotpower: Artificial Intelligence and National Security (US Army War College, 2017); and The Risks of Artificial Intelligence to Security and the Future of Work (RAND, 2017).



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How Did New Jersey Do in the Latest “Nation’s Report Card”?

For those who are interested, you can come here for the state results for grade 4 and grade 8 mathematics; and here for grade 4 and grade 8 results for reading. Highlights on a national level are also accessible.

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Projections of Education Statistics to 2026

This new NCES report, Projections of Education Statistics to 2026, is the 45th in this annual series of future-gazing. Besides data at the K-12 levels, this documents also focuses on the higher education sector with numerous tables exploring such trends as first time freshmen, total enrollment in higher education, the number of degrees to be awarded, et alia. A valuable planning tool for administrators and planner.

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