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Alexander Howard
Works at The Huffington Post
Attended Colby College
Lives in Cambridge, MA
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Alexander Howard

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Extending the impact of open data about health care facilities

People have been using Yelp​ to find hotels and restaurants for years. Now, they can make more informed decisions about hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers, too. As part of a new consumer protection initiative, government health data has become integrated into the Yelp review pages for all of these facilities. 
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/yelp-propublica-hospital-reviews_55df4880e4b0e7117ba923fe

To pull this off, Yelp is collaborating with the award-winning nonprofit news organization ProPublica​ to show you which health care facilities are safe, fast and well-run. 

Yelp already had user reviews on all of these facilities, as well as huge amounts of data on which bike stores and bookshops and car-battery suppliers its users prefer. Now, ProPublica is providing Yelp with cleaned-up data originally released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The data in question was already available as part of ProPublica's news apps, including its dialysis tracker, its nursing home inspector and its emergency room wait watcher. But this partnership will expose the data to a much bigger audience. According to Yelp itself, 83 million unique visitors per month use Yelp through their mobile devices.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/yelp-propublica-hospital-reviews_55df4880e4b0e7117ba923fe
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+Dennis D. McDonald the ratings in question apply to the facilities -- dialysis center, hospitals, nursing homes -- and are the determinations that they're based upon were already made by CMS, a government regulator for Medicare and Medicaid services. Yelp is using government data that ProPublica structured, but it's not NEW data: it was already in their news apps and CMS was already collecting it. Administrators may not like what the data says about the facilities they run, but that's another matter.
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The Eastern Market area was awesome before we left. Now, on the wake of construction removing a big parking lot. DC has opened up a huge swath of sky to the south, along set up 2 full blocks of 7th street, between Independence and Penn pedestrian-only during the weekend. Great move. The long, open air bazaar is a fine complement to the farmers' market.
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[NEW] Our Relationship Status With Tinder And Dating Apps: It's Complicated http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/55ccf3e9e4b064d5910ae171
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Why
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Loons calling. Grilling by the lake in Maine is so unlike points further south. One more night left to savor the difference.
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Greatest...beutiful
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Fascinating. The FDA "recalled" a tweet & Instagram post by Kim Kardashian:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonkblog/wp/2015/08/11/kim-kardashians-tweet-about-a-morning-sickness-drug-has-landed-the-company-in-trouble/ No risks provided for a drug she described -- and she was, apparently, a paid sponsor for the pharmaceutical company in question.
The celebrity's Instagram post about a morning sickness drug attracted the attention of her followers -- and federal regulators.
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+ Alexander Howard, well that's cleared that up then lol,and I'm off to bed,goodnight,God bless.
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POLL: When Is It OK To Use Your Cellphone In Public? Please weigh in: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/when-is-it-ok-to-use-your-cellphone-in-public_55df39f1e4b08dc09486af24 
New research on mobile device etiquette from the Pew Internet and Life Project gave us insight into where American adults feel using a cellphone is OK -- and where it is not. Pew's researchers didn't ask
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+Philip Cohn-Cort
In that case I guess I shouldn't try to infer anything about myself based on the percentage of people who agree/disagree with me. Which is probably a good thing.
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Passed a car with an HTML license plate on the drive south. Too bad the state of Vermont doesn't allow markup: could have had <HTML> in front & </HTML> on the back. :)
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Hai
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Last night with the loons of Maine. This weekend, we return to the loons along the Potomac.
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Very serene and therapeutic site ;) 
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Elite social networks have existed for millennia. Online, for many years now. New: Facebook, Twitter and Apple adding "velvet ropes." http://www.computerworld.com/article/2960469/social-media/how-facebook-apple-and-twitter-are-ending-online-equality.html And yes, I feel fortunate to be "verified" on several of them, although I don't use the filters in question to shut out the "hoi polloi."
Social network users used to be equal. But now three of the biggest tech companies are deliberately creating a new elitism.
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Billboards in England will tailor ads to train travelers based on age & gender: http://www.wsj.com/articles/england-to-roll-out-tailored-billboards-1439250509 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7bXJ_obaiYQ
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Fassil Berhane's profile photo
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Education
  • Colby College
    1994 - 1998
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Male
Other names
Xander
Story
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Semper scriben
Introduction

I'm a writer and editor, focused upon how shifts in technology are changing journalism, government and society.

From January 2014 to May 2015,  I contributed a weekly column to TechRepublic, a division of CBS Interactive. From August 2013 to May 2014, I was a fellow at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, where I collaborated on research and the past, present and future of data-driven journalism. In 2013, I was also a fellow at the Ash Center for Democratic Innovation and Governance at the Harvard Kennedy School. From 2010 to 2013, I was the Washington Correspondent at O'Reilly Media, where I covered the voices, technologies and issues that are changing government, technology and society. Prior to joining O’Reilly, I was the associate editor of SearchCompliance.com and WhatIs.com at TechTarget, where I wrote about how the laws and regulations that affect information technology are changing, spanning the issues of online identity, data protection, risk management, electronic privacy and cybersecurity. 

Along with my correspondence for the O'Reilly Radar, I have contributed to the National Journal, Forbes, Slate, the Huffington Post, Govfresh, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, CBS News' What's Trending, Govloop, Governing People, the Association for Computer Manufacturing and the Atlantic, amongst others. I have appeared multiple times as an on-air analyst for Al Jazeera English and a guest on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, along with commentary for NPR's All Things Considered and other public radio shows.

I've been a speaker and moderator at conferences in Washington and beyond, including Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, Alfred University, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), NIST, Club de Madrid, Cato Institute, the New America Foundation, the World Bank, the Social Security Agency, the U.S. National Archives, the Web 2.0 Summit and Expo, Gov 2.0 Summit and Expo, Social Media Week, DC Week, SXSWi, Strata, GOSCON, AMP Summit, Tech@State, CAR/IRE, and the State of the Net, the Open Government Partnership Annual Conference, In 2011, I was visiting faculty at the Poynter Institute.

I'm a native of upstate New York, where I was born on a farm in a county that had more deer than humans. At age 8, I moved to Philadelphia and spent a decade growing up in one of America's great cities, attending Germantown Friends School until 1994. I graduated from Colby College four years later, with a bachelor of arts degree in biology (and a minor in sociology), and then enjoyed living in New England for another decade in Boston, Somerville and Cambridge. 

I'd describe myself as a geeky outdoorsman, cyclist, angler and photographer. I'm an unabashed fan of great science fiction and fantasy books, movies and games. I currently live in Capitol Hill in the District of Columbia with my wife, daughter and a growing number of pots, pans and houseplants. When I'm not working or parenting, I enjoy exploring the great outdoors, ambitious cooking and good books. 

You can find me online at E Pluribus Unum | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Linkedin | Wordpress | YouTube 

Bragging rights
I make a good crème brûlée.
Work
Occupation
Writer
Skills
Reading, writing and arithmetic.
Employment
  • The Huffington Post
    Senior Editor, Technology and Society, 2015 - present
  • TechRepublic, CBS Interactive
    Columnist, 2014 - 2015
  • Columbia University
    Fellow, 2013 - 2014
    Collaborated on research into data-driven journalism at the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at the Columbia Journalism School.
  • Harvard University
    Research Fellow, 2013 - 2013
    Collaborated on research at the Transparency Policy Project of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation.
  • O'Reilly Media
    Washington Correspondent, 2010 - 2013
  • TechTarget
    Associate Editor
  • Bain & Company
    Knowledge Broker
  • Sapient
    Operations Support
  • Whirling Dervish Design
    Web Designer
  • Charles Hajdu Builders
    Apprentice Carpenter
  • Beaver Country Day School
    Teacher, Tennis Coach
  • Delfino
    Garde Mangier
  • Star Island Company
    Clerk, Waiter
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Cambridge, MA
Previously
Washington, DC - Born in upstate NY, raised in Philly. - Bar Harbor, Maine - Boston, MA - Somerville, MA - Baltimore, MD - Star Island, NH
Contact Information
Work
Phone
4108499808
Alexander Howard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
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Supreme Court to rule on warrantless searches of electronic devices
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Data journalism only matters when it's transparent.

Publishers Can Afford Data Journalism, Says ProPublica's Scott Klein
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This story, by Alexander Howard / Tow Center …, appeared on Mediagazer.

Earth Day Pioneer Denis Hayes’ New Challenge: Greenest Commercial Buildi...
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Forty-four years ago today, Denis Hayes convened the very first Earth Day, an event that drew millions to events across the United States an

Did CIA Violate the Constitution's Speech or Debate Clause? - Secrecy News
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The Central Intelligence Agency may have violated the Speech or Debate clause of the U.S. Constitution by performing an unauthorized search

Extremely critical crypto flaw in iOS may also affect fully patched Macs
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Coding blunder that exposed sensitive data may still be putting users at risk.