Researcher and Writer in Washington, DC

Posts in category Technology

Bring in the nerds: Reviving the Office of Technology Assessm...

Bring in the nerds: Reviving the Office of Technology Assessment

Read it at http://www.rstreet.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Final-128.pdf

Outsourcing Oversight through Open Government D...

Outsourcing Oversight through Open Government Data

Congress has a big problem when it comes to oversight. The federal government has grown vastly larger over the past century, but Congress has done little to empower itself to keep track. However, thanks to open data, those outside the government now can lend a helping hand. The U.S. Constitution set up a principle-agent relationship […]

Aaron Swartz, Obituary, The Economist January 19, 2...

Aaron Swartz, Obituary, The Economist January 19, 2012

It is terribly sad when anyone commits suicide. Aaron Swartz, the genius who created RSS, helped make Reddit.com, and more, took his own life on January 11, 2013. He was a mere 26 years old. His life was a mix of fabulous successes, but also mental illness and misery. The Economist gave Swartz quite the […]

Adrienne LaFrance, “Library of Congress has Archive of Tweets,” Washington Post January 4, 2...

Adrienne LaFrance, “Library of Congress has Archive of Tweets,” Washington Post January 4, 2012

The Library of Congress, where I am employed, archives the posts on Twitter. The collection goes all the way back until the birth of Twitter in 2006—some 170 billion tweets. It is an interesting arrangement between the private sector (Twitter) and the government sector (the Library).  Additionally, the two parties have very different expertises. Twitter […]

How E-Readers May Exacerbate Human Isolat...

How E-Readers May Exacerbate Human Isolation

Previously I critiqued e-readers.  In short, I argued they were functionality without a purpose. They just do not fit my media consumption needs. Today, Philip Kennicott of the Washington Post wrote of the architectural ramifications of the disappearance of books.  It is an interesting architectural angle on the matter, and Kennicott also raises some intimately […]

Why Hard Copy Books, Magazines, and Newspapers Are Better Than E-Read...

Why Hard Copy Books, Magazines, and Newspapers Are Better Than E-Readers

As a disclaimer, let me say the following: Different people have different media needs.  I recognize this. As for me, I’m happy to read the newspaper online (if it is on a well designed website, like NYTimes.com.)  I’m fine with reading blogs online and short pieces (under 1,500 words, say).   I frequently digitize public domain […]

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