Category Archives: Blog Discussion

Algorithmic Governance

Pitched as being one of the potentially most pervasive applications of big data, algorithmic governance posits that in a evidence-driven policy world and perfectly transparent process, machines can both construct and enforce the law. One of the bigger criticisms of this is the potential biases initially engineered into the system.

Case as example, Google image recognises blacks as gorillas.

Does Open mean Accessible?

Over the past week there has been a flurry of discussion in Ireland over proposed amendments to the Freedom of Information Act here and has led to public reversal by the Minister responsible.
Freedom of access public information is a core principle in a liberal democracy and Ireland has in the past few years had a middling reputation in this arena. Continue reading Does Open mean Accessible?

Near Field Community

I was shopping yesterday and had my first interaction with an NFC enabled store kiosk. My mobile has NFC and I purchased some writable tags a few months ago to experiment with. It’s useful to me to have a tag on my wireless charger that puts the mobile into sleep mode when I set it there. But I had yet to have a retailer avail themselves of this. Continue reading Near Field Community

Who’s Responsible for Online Comments?

Screenshot 2013-10-12 12.11.07There was a rather important finding in the EU Court of Human Rights yesterday that caught my eye. In a precedent setting finding, the court found the owners of Delfi, an Estonian news-site provider, were liable for comments posted to the site by outraged customers of Leedo – an Estonian ferry provider in the process of reducing the routes it provided to Estonian islands. The vituperative comments were directed at the ferry service provider, by way of the news providers website and were considered offensive by the court.
The nature of libel via the Internet remains a contentious area and this finding further increases the responsibility on providers to censor their feeds – raising issues around EU freedom of expression rights.
The original articles appeared throughout Europe in 2006. Continue reading Who’s Responsible for Online Comments?

Big Data in Bygone Times

Screen-Shot-2013-04-24-at-14.33.10-150x150There are some telling lessons for today’s larger organisations by  looking into the history of the organisation.  Big data is not a new phenomenon – it is entirely relative and all too strikingly familiar. Over time individuals and organisations have been constantly challenged by what seemed to be mountains of data containing a prospective valuable nugget of knowledge. In a recent McKinsey Quarterly article, Big Data in the age of the telegraph, Rebecca Rosenthal looks at the example of Daniel McCallum and the New York and Erie Railroad. Identifying the pain that ‘although the telegraph’s speed made more information available, organizing and acting on it became increasingly difficult,’ Rosenthal explores how McCallum sought to deal with both the deluge of information and also the inherent need to have it available where it could acted upon the most timely fashion.  Continue reading Big Data in Bygone Times

MindMixer Helps Citizens Engage With Their Communities

Screen Shot 2013-04-18 at 11.27.22“One of the biggest roadblocks to implementing local community ideas is finding resources in city government or local organizations who might be able to help. More importantly, how can you involve like-minded individuals in the discussion? A new type of civic engagement platform – like MindMixer – can help. MindMixer is in essence a “virtual town hall,” a community forum where constituents can meet to discuss issues and share ideas. (Here’s an overview of how MindMixer works.)”