GovLab Editorial Meeting Links, 7/25/13

  1. Quantifying cities’ emotional effects – MIT News: “In the latest issue of the journal PLoS One, researchers from MIT’s Media Lab present a new online tool that they hope will help social scientists take a more rigorous look at city dwellers’ emotional responses to their environments. The tool presents online volunteers with pairs of images randomly drawn from Google Maps’ compendium of street-level photographs; each volunteer selects the image that better represents some qualitative attribute. Algorithms use the results of the pairwise comparisons to assign geographical areas scores, from one to 10, on each attribute.”
  2. NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails – ProPublica: “But ask the NSA, as part of a freedom of information request, to do a seemingly simple search of its own employees’ email? The agency says it doesn’t have the technology. ‘There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,’ NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker told me last week.”
  3. Today’s Vote on NSA Spying Is Vital, Whether It Succeeds or Not – The Atlantic: “Whether it fails or succeeds, America will have every member of the House on record either supporting or opposing the surveillance state’s collection of customer data on all phone calls. These are people who stand for election every two years. If there was ever a litmus test for a legislator, this should be it. Vote to let the NSA persist in exercising this authority? Face a primary challenger who will go door-to-door in your district explaining exactly what you recently approved.”

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