government

3 posts
Amazon Rekognition for government surveillance

Amazon’s Rekognition is a video analysis system that promises to identify individuals in real-time. Amazon wants to sell the systems to governments for surveillance. From the ACLU: Amazon is marketing Rekognition for government surveillance. According to its marketing materials, it views deployment by law enforcement agencies as a “common use case” for this technology. Among other features, the company’s materials describe “person tracking” as an “easy and accurate” way to...

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Amazon Rekognition for government surveillance

Amazon’s Rekognition is a video analysis system that promises to identify individuals in real-time. Amazon wants to sell the systems to governments for surveillance. From the ACLU: Amazon is marketing Rekognition for government surveillance. According to its marketing materials, it views deployment by law enforcement agencies as a “common use case” for this technology. Among other features, the company’s materials describe “person tracking” as an “easy and accurate” way to...

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Where constituent input ends up

When you have input to send Congress, you have a number of communication options available to you: phone, email, social media, etc. Many of the bigger issues have dedicated sites that help automate some of the process, which of course leads to a large volume of input that lands in a congressperson’s voicemail, inbox, and notifications tab. Where does it all go? The OpenGov Foundation looked into it and produced...

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Redistricting the congressional map with different goals

FiveThirtyEight asks, “There’s a lot of complaining about gerrymandering, but what should districts look like?” Looking for an answer, they imagined redistricting with different goals in mind, such as gerrymandering favoring Republicans or Democrats, promoting competitive elections, and maximizing majority-minority. Check out the possibilities for the nation or zoom in to a specific state. The latter provides a further breakdown by district and then race. So yeah, if you’re into...

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Troubling pick for Census Bureau deputy director

The administration’s current pick for deputy director of the United States Census Bureau is Thomas Brunell. He is a political science professor outside of the Bureau and argues against “competitive elections.” Danny Vinik and Andrew Restuccia, reporting for Politico: Since 2005, he has worked at the University of Texas at Dallas, where his research and writing has focused on redistricting and voting rights cases. He has frequently advised states on...

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How many people might lose health insurance

The Urban Institute estimated how many people in each state gained health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Now they might lose it. The New York Times reports. Oof. Tags: government, health care, New York Times

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Searchable budget proposal and the 10-year change

The administration released a budget proposal yesterday, which as you’d expect contains some big shifts. The New York Times calculated “the changes over 10 years, compared with projected spending under current law” and made the numbers available in a searchable table. Tags: budget, government

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Gerrymandering game shows you hot it works

Gerrymandering is the practice of manipulating boundaries in such a way that favors a political party. If you slice and group in various ways, you can end up with different election results. How many different ways can you draw boundaries though? And can results really change that much, depending on you draw the boundaries? District, by Christopher Walker, is a puzzle game that shows you how it works. The goal:...

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Data distributed as clipart

Government data isn’t always the easiest to use with computers. Maybe it’s in PDF format. Maybe you have to go through a roundabout interface. Maybe you have to manually request files through an email address that may or may not work. However, this file that OpenElections received might take the cake. It’s a spreadsheet, but the numbers are clipart. City of Detroit produced a lookup tables for its absentee precincts...

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Trump approval ratings compared to past presidents

Using multiple polls as their source data, FiveThirtyEight is tracking approval and disapproval ratings for Donald Trump. The page leads with overall estimates with a couple of bands of uncertainty for projections into the next few months. I still wonder what proportion of readers understand the ranges, but I’m glad they’re there. Scroll down the page to see how Trump’s ratings compare to past presidents. You can switch between approval,...

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