These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
Pew Research Internet Project
As Internet experts look to the future of the Web, they have a number of concerns. This is not to say they are pessimistic: The majority of respondents to this 2014 Future of the Internet canvassing say they hope that by 2025 there will not be significant changes for the worse and hindrances to the ways in which people get and share content online today. And they said they expect that technology innovation will continue to afford more new opportunities for people to connect. Still, some express wide levels of concern that this yearning for an open Internet will be challenged by trends that could sharply disrupt the way the Internet works for many users today as a source of largely unfettered content flows.
Good Governance- A Sustainable Development Goal Too Essential To Be Side-lined
What do the public in the USA, UK, France and Germany consider the greatest impediment to global development? According to new research by the Gates Foundation and partners released at the InterAction forum last month called the Narrative Project, the answer is corruption. Additionally, a recent Gallup poll showed that, around the world, satisfaction with "freedom" is inversely proportional to the perception of corruption in a given country. The answer to corruption is good governance, at the national and local levels. But governance goes well beyond just stopping corruption. It is the cornerstone of individual freedom, political participation, secures the rights of the individual and the media, and makes politicians accountable to their constituencies.
The Evolution of Foreign Aid Research: Measuring the Strengths and Weaknesses of Donors
In 2012, 149 countries around the world received more than $125 billion of Official Development Assistance (ODA). Keeping track of those disbursements is no small feat. Measuring the effectiveness of the aid requires even greater legwork. Fortunately, data on ODA—unlike data on aid from many philanthropic organizations around the world—is systematically collected and monitored by the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This allows researchers to not only measure aid effectiveness from DAC countries and agencies, but to also monitor improvement over time and develop best practices for improving impact.
Developing the next evolution in underwater communication
Think about how far telecommunications have come in the past century, from the telegraph, to the wireless telephone, to being able to access the Internet from nearly anywhere on the planet. Along that path are a series of small evolutions that, when viewed from a distance, are revolutionary. Christian Schlegel is trying to spark the next communications evolution — but not through air, as with most telecommunications, but underwater. Dr. Schlegel, the NSERC/Ultra Electronics Maritime Systems Industrial Research Chair in Wireless Information Transmission and Networking at Dalhousie, is the lead researcher on one of four Nova Scotia projects to receive funding earlier this month through the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency's (ACOA) Atlantic Innovation Fund.
How Facebook is falling short as a weather communication tool
Facebook, the social media tool serving the masses, represents a potentially indispensable platform for time-sensitive, critical weather information for protecting life and property. Its interface facilitates conversation, information sharing, and access to vibrant multimedia. But sadly, it is failing to fulfill this potential on three counts:
- Its updates only reach a small fraction of the people who subscribe to them
- Its updates often do not post in a timely fashion
- Its updates offer no insight into whether the provided content is trustworthy