Public Policy is social agreement written down as a universal guide for social action. We at The Policy ThinkShop share information so others can think and act in the best possible understanding of "The Public Interest."

Are you up on what’s happening with technology? The internet of nothings | The Economist

The internet is nearly a quarter century old.  Really.  What is next?  The conversation on what will follow has started and it is fascinating…  The Policy ThinkShop brings you the following London Economist article from their blog “Babbage.”

It will open your eyes to the possibilities and limitations of how cloud computing, gps, the internet, etc., will shape how the world around us functions.  Let us know what you think.

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“BABBAGE is getting a little tired of all the hype surrounding the “internet of things” IoT. To judge from some of the more breathless claims, the IoT would seem to be just around the corner. The worst offenders, no surprise, are those who expect to profit most from embedding sensors in anything and everything, and connecting them wirelessly to servers in the cloud.The expectations are huge. Gartner, an IT consultancy in Connecticut, reckons some 26 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. Another consultancy, ABI Research of New York, believes the number will be 30 billion, while Cisco Systems, a network-equipment firm in California, expects there to be no fewer than …”

via Difference Engine: The internet of nothings | The Economist.


Filed under: analytics, Big Data and Big Government, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, MashCrunchWired, News, Technology and You

Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project: Gadgets and technology are changing our lives…

According to Pew foundation research, technology is changing how we relate to one another.  Gadgets and communication tools are so prevalent in our everyday lives that the impact is bound to be pervasive and profound.  But what will this impact be?  And how do you feel about it?  Are you aware of how technology is changing how you communication to people in your life?  Is it improving your overall quality of life or is it becoming a hindrance?  You decide…

“The internet, cell phones and social media have become key actors in the lives of many American couples. Technology is a source of support and communication as well as tension, and couples say it has both good and bad impacts on their relationships.”

According to the Pew study:

The overall impact of technology on long term relationships

  • 10% of internet users who are married or partnered say that the internet has had a “major impact” on their relationship, and 17% say that it has had a “minor impact.” Fully 72% of married or committed online adults said the internet has “no real impact at all” on their partnership.
  • 74% of the adult internet users who report that the internet had an impact on their marriage or partnership say the impact was positive. Still, 20% said the impact was mostly negative, and 4% said it was both good and bad.

Tech as a source of support and communication

  • 25% of married or partnered adults who text have texted their partner when they were both home together.
  • 21% of cell owners or internet users in a committed relationship have felt closer to their spouse or partner because of exchanges they had online or via text message.
  • 9% have resolved an argument with their partner online or by text message that they were having difficulty resolving in person.

Tech as a source of tension

  • 25% of cell phone owners in a marriage or partnership have felt their spouse or partner was distracted by their cell phone when they were together.
  • 8% of internet users in a committed relationship have had an argument with their spouse or partner about the amount of time one of them was spending online.
  • 4% of internet users in a committed relationship have gotten upset at something that they found out their spouse or partner was doing online.

More via Pew Research Center’s Internet and American Life Project.

Filed under: analytics, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, Data Trends - American Demographics and Public Opinion, Social Media, Technology and You, Technology Trends

Microsoft Won the Super Bowl in More Ways Than One

According to Mashable, a leading technology blog, the biggest winners were not on the field at the Superbowl and neither were the biggest players…

“Of course you don’t. Because Apple didn’t run one.  According to rumors, Apple was supposed to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Mac — but instead, longtime nemesis Microsoft took center stage with its first national minute-long Super Bowl spot, one that was both memorable and touching. It was a somewhat rare win for Microsoft — along with a commanding win for Paul Allen, Microsoft cofounder and Seahawks owner.”

via Microsoft Won the Super Bowl in More Ways Than One.

Filed under: Blogosphere, News, Technology and You, Technology Trends,

Policy ThinkShop Research to Light Your Way! Who’s Not Online and Why | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

The Pew Foundation has an impressive network of websites promoting socially relevant and timely research that looks at emerging social trends and challenges in the areas of technology, social media, religion, politics, and others…  The most recent issue addressing internet use, one of the main areas that Pew supports, includes a survey on internet use.  The survey is important because we know, for obvious reasons, much about people using the internet but not so much about those absent from cyberspace.  The report gives us interesting data and analysis on the nearly fifth of persons 18 years or older who by choice or constraint are not going online.  This trend is interesting given the current explosion of handheld devises that make the internet ubiquitous and internet able gadgets an increasingly unavoidable necessity.

As you have become accustomed, The Policy ThinkShop does the research for you and provides a friendly place where you can come back and discuss what you found useful and relevant in your daily musings and/or work.

Be sure to come back and comment as your participation here will promote The Policy ThinkShop blog and keep our team working for you…

The full report is being provide here by The Policy ThinkShop.  Enjoy:



“As of May 2013, 15% of American adults ages 18 and older do not use the internet or email.

Asked why they do not use the internet:

34% of non-internet users think the internet is just not relevant to them, saying they are not interested, do not want to use it, or have no need for it.

32% of non-internet users cite reasons tied to their sense that the internet is not very easy to use. These non-users say it is difficult or frustrating to go online, they are physically unable, or they are worried about other issues such as spam, spyware, and hackers. This figure is considerably higher than in earlier surveys.

19% of non-internet users cite the expense of owning a computer or paying for an internet connection.

7% of non-users cited a physical lack of availability or access to the internet.

Even among the 85% of adults who do go online, experiences connecting to the internet may vary widely. For instance, even though 76% of adults use the internet at home, 9% of adults use the internet but lack home access. These internet users cite many reasons for not having internet connections at home, most often relating to issues of affordability—some 42% mention financial issues such as not having a computer, or having a cheaper option outside the home.”

via Who’s Not Online and Why | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Filed under: access to education, analytics, Big Data and Big Government, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, MashCrunchWired, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, Paper Media, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Relations, Social Media, Technology and You, Technology Trends,

The Who, What, Where, When & Why of Health Care Social Media | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project

Information is to behavior as technology is to understanding.  Let me clarify.  Technology is increasingly making it more “mobile” and convenient to obtain, process and include health related information in our daily activities and decision making.  In fact, physicians and patients are likely to increasingly benefit from recent advances in more mobile and popular forms of social media tools–such as Apps–in their need to manage health related information as providers of care and consumers, respectively.  Take for example Apps and search engines.  These two increasingly popular and used tools for accessing and managing health information are increasingly impacting a physician’s ability to learn and deicide and a patient’s ability to “get a second opinion” or increase their health literacy as they are more able to ask question and get immediate answers from numerous sources without having to rely on the often limited patient doctor relationship.  The Pew foundation does a nice job of keeping us up to date on how the internet is changing every aspect of our lives–including healthcare.

“Susannah Fox will deliver a keynote address to a symposium hosted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University. She will discuss the Pew Research Center’s latest findings related to technology adoption and use in both the U.S. and abroad, with a particular focus on the social impact of the internet on health and health care.”

MORE via The Who, What, Where, When & Why of Health Care Social Media | Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Health Literacy, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, Medical Research, News, Public Health, Social Media, Technology and You, Technology Trends

The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist

Given today’s liberalization of news information, few bastions remain where one can sift through the cacophony of media bites and babble to form an educated

opinion or assess an educated risk. The Economist is failing in this regard on the American debate on healthcare reform–The Affordable Care Act.

Healthcare reform in America is a struggle for power and wealth at the increasingly small American top and a life and death struggle for most of the people below.

If we loose respected journals like the Economist in these times of mass information as intellectual fodder for the masses, we will be left without an intellectual meeting place where concerned minds can gather to contemplate benchmarks and directions. Regarding The Affordable Care Act debate in America, not only has the current president failed to sell and communicate the important of ACA implementation, he has once again betrayed the needs of the many for the expedient and self serving calculus of preserving power and status by appealing to an imaginary center–not too different here from the pragmatic Bill Clinton on Welfare Reform. But we digress.

The Economist has been a reliable source for decades as it has proven to be an \”objective\” source of information on the complex world stage. It\’s recent coverage of the American scene, however, requires vision and focus if it is going to support the journal\’s reputation as one of the few sources that our college professors respected that were not refereed journals.

The headline of the above story, \”The Obamacare sofware mess,\” is as semantically charged as it is irrelevant to any of the public policy issues raised by a serious American healthcare market debate addressing the important issue of how healthcare is distributed, facilitated or accessed by people in need of healthcare services.

Semantics: The term \”Obamacare\” plays directly into the divisive and charged narrative that portrays the healthcare debate in America as a tug of war between an \”evil and un-American\” president and American freedom. The framing of the current full court press, by conservatives, to obstruct the American president, at all at all costs, and the popular will of a democracy, is akin to saying that Churchill failed to stop Hitler sooner or to foresee the costs of settling with Stalin because of his neonatally determined speech impediment. It is academically irresponsible and intellectually dishonest, at least on the pages of this fine journal, to stain this usually intellectually rigorous space with narratives that are more appropriate in pop news sources that entertain people who are looking to reinforce their own deeply held biases and/or myopic political world views.

The Economics has been a leading world source of factual information relevant to the business of serious policy discourse and sober business leadership.

The foregoing comments are submitted on behalf of the Policy ThinkShop blogging team.

As a not for profit, non partisan source of policy analysis and conversation, we rely heavily on sources like the Economist to promote reason and thoughtful

conversation on all things public policy….

Please reconsider your use of the American public policy discourse and reflect on your use of language to add to and further support our current cacophony of obstructionism and self promoting pragmatism in the pursuit of popular power and further public policy noise…


The Policy ThinkShop Policy Team

via Comments on Health insurance: The Obamacare software mess | The Economist.

Filed under: ACA and Medicaid, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, European Alliances, Government Works?, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, ideology, Mass Media and Public Opinion, Medicaid Expansion, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Public Health, Public Policy, Social Media, Software and Hardware Change, symbolic uses of politics, symbols as swords, Technology and You, WeSeeReason

Deciding Who Sees Students’ Data –

Communication and information have been important drivers of civil society, as groups, individuals and even nation states are able to use what they know and what they share with others to improve important aspects of social relationships in areas like public relations, collaboration, mutual understanding, trust building and the ability of individuals to express and assert their social needs and civil rights.  As more and more information is being collected on all aspects of our daily lives and that information is accessed by third parties for purposes not necessarily related to the initial rationale for which the information was gathered in the first place, issues arise regarding the use of that information and how that use impacts an individual’s freedoms and rights; such as:

  • Privacy
  • Ownership of personal information
  • Access to information
  • Ability to explain and defend ones rights or needs with your own information that reflects your ability to determine and express yourself.

Information that is collected on us increasingly impacts our health, privacy, political freedom and economic opportunities as various parties know more about us than we often know about ourselves and/or interpret information about us that is collected, understood and explained by others.

Our optimism regarding technological progress in the area of information technology, knowledge management and the social narrative others have about our identity is increasingly being questioned.  The NYTs has a provocative article on how information impacts the educational system which is so often decisive in the lives of our children, friends and family members.

“WHEN Cynthia Stevenson, the superintendent of Jefferson County, Colo., public schools, heard about a data repository called inBloom, she thought it sounded like a technological fix for one of her bigger headaches. Over the years, the Jeffco school system, as it is known, which lies west of Denver, had invested in a couple of dozen student data systems, many of which were …”

More via Deciding Who Sees Students’ Data –

Filed under: access to education, analytics, Big Data and Big Government, Blogosphere, consumers, Education Policy, Education Reform, Health Policy, Healthcare Reform, News, Parenting, Public Policy, Technology and You, Technology Trends

How to Charge Your iPhone Faster

Energy power can make you or break you no matter how good your technological gadget is.

Here are some tips on how to keep your iPhone powered up…

“Complaining about your smartphone’s short battery life or the amount of time it takes to charge up are classic examples of the first world problems that can result in impatience and …”

via How to Charge Your iPhone Faster.

Filed under: Blogosphere, consumers, Technology and You, ,

Microsoft and the PC industry: Defenestrated | The Economist A Policy ThinkShop Tech Ideas Review

Technology changes fast and information technology seems to be moving at the speed of light as our work, the life of our kids and even the government’s role in our lives are all changing in ways that keep us guessing.

Just when you thought that you had beat the current technological transformation from desktop PC to handheld devices that use Apps to send micro and instantaneous information to colleagues, friends and family, the technological gadget market seems to be going through yet another transformation.

The players include the usual suspects from the hardware, software and new media industries.  But what does this all mean for those of us who use these technologies for serious business and communication matters?  Are these technologies being driven by what kids need to chat and play?  Or are they serious productive tools that we can depend on as professionals?  Are these gadgets disposable despite their high cost and are we being forced to be on a never ending technological change conveyor belt that stretches our ability to keep up with the learning curve and the bill?

The Policy ThinkShop follows technological change in the communications area to keep you informed of what matters, what changes and how it may affect your business and your career.

“UNTIL August 23rd few people would have described Steve Ballmer as “retiring”. Microsoft’s chief executive has played both tiger and Tigger: snarling (toothlessly, as it turned out) at Apple’s gadgets; and bouncing, with a whoop, onto conference stages to extol his company’s wares. But retiring he is, within a year.

Mr Ballmer’s departure is a surprise. He had announced a reorganisation of the company only in July and had hoped to oversee much of the change. Some celebrated his going: Microsoft’s share price went up by 7.3% on the day the news broke. Mr Ballmer has plenty of …”

via Microsoft and the PC industry: Defenestrated | The Economist.

Filed under: analytics, Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, consumers, Culture Think, News, Policy ThinkShop Comments on other media platforms, Social Media, Software and Hardware Change, Technology and You, , ,

Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats

For those of us who have nothing to hide today, the idea that tomorrow’s leaders may be peeping at everything we do that we presume to be private is downright creepy!  Indeed, the so called leak scandal in DC today is giving more and more people some pause.

Imagine that we continue to allow the government to peek in on our lives with impunity.  Tomorrow, a government program that is partly privatized lands your most personal and private information in the hands of a leaker.  But that leaker does not leak to the general public, he or she sells or uses your information for personal gain.   The possibilities are no longer hypothetical.  It  all seems to be unraveling before our very eyes…

“‘WE WANT you to help us do this better,” asserted General Keith Alexander (pictured), the director of America’s National Security Agency (NSA), to hundreds of computer hackers at Black Hat, an annual information-security conference in Las Vegas on July 31st. General Alexander claimed that his agency’s mass-surveillance programmes had stopped 54 potential terrorist plots. He reassured the audience that their privacy was being protected. Still, there were a few heckles.

America’s spies have had a tough time since Edward Snowden, a former intelligence contractor, began leaking information that revealed the massive scale of NSA snooping. Indeed, just as General Alexander tried to charm the geeks, Britain’s Guardian newspaper published another leak by Mr Snowden. This one revealed a system called XKeyscore that lets the NSA glean emails, chats and browsing histories without specific authorisation. The intelligence agency confirmed the programme, but said it was lawful and essential.”

More via Surveillance in America: Dark arts, black hats | The Economist.

Filed under: Blogosphere, Changing Media Paradigm, Culture Think, MashCrunchWired, Mass Media and Public Opinion, News, political corruption, Political Economy, Political Facts and Fiction, political plots, propaganda and spin, Public Policy, Technology and You,

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Donald Trump’s full inauguration speech transcript, annotated – The Washington Post

In seemingly endless times of “trash talk” that led to an improbable and unpopular political victory, the newly minted president clamors: “Now arrives the hour of action.” Fleeting relief comes to the nation as the transition […]

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