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Alexander Howard
Works at CBS Interactive
Attended Colby College
Lives in Cambridge, MA
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Fish oil smells like the new snake oil: The vast majority of clinical trials find no impact on risk of heart attack or stroke.
The vast majority of clinical trials have found no evidence that fish oil supplements lower the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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Financial industry & regulators fret over Freedom of Information Act reform in Congress, per The Hill: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/237259-regulators-fret-over-foia-reform-bill

At least the concerns about sensitive info are being aired in public this time, albeit not on the record: the regulators aren't commenting, and neither is industry. (It was their lobbying that scuttled FOIA reform become law last December, despite bills passing both houses of Congress unanimously.) Behind this story is a deeper one about how power and influence are used. The odds against strong FOIA reform being passed in the 114th Congress look longer today. 
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Wonderful day at Drumlin Farm. Glad to renew my @MassAudubon membership again. http://massaudubon.org
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I LOVE Drumlin Farm !!  As the  Spring ,and Summer move in,you should travel a bit more west. Central Ma has so much to offer  :)
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"Just as we talk about 'software as a public service', we should talk about 'data as a public asset'." - United Kingdom Chief Data Officer Mike Bracken http://www.techrepublic.com/article/uks-first-chief-data-officer-to-focus-on-making-data-a-public-asset/
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Time to hear from the people whose opinions really matter: The jury.
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Perceptual learning skills will help analysts and physicians interpret vast amounts of data

Benedict Carey: "The most important question when dealing with reams of digital data is not whether perceptual skills will be centrally important. The question is when, and in what domain, analysts will be able to build a reliable catalog of digital patterns that provide meaningful “clues” to the underlying reality, whether it’s the effect of a genetic glitch, a low-pressure zone or a drop in the yen." 
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/sunday-review/learning-to-see-data.html

hat tip +raju narisetti 
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Hi alexander:)
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In 2014, I broke the news of user accounts to download tax transcripts at the IRS website: http://e-pluribusunum.com/2014/01/16/irs-enables-americans-to-download-their-tax-transcripts-over-the-internet/ Now, Brian Krebs reports that there are security issues with account creation: http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/03/sign-up-at-irs-gov-before-crooks-do-it-for-you/
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Financial industry & regulators fret over Freedom of Information Act reform in Congress, per The Hill: http://thehill.com/policy/technology/237259-regulators-fret-over-foia-reform-bill

At least the concerns about sensitive info are being aired in public this time, albeit not on the record: the regulators aren't commenting, and neither is industry. (It was their lobbying that scuttled #FOIA reform become law last December, despite bills passing both houses of Congress unanimously.) Behind this story is a deeper one about how power and influence are used. The odds against strong FOIA reform being passed in the 114th Congress look longer today. 
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Goodbye, winter. (Hello, spring sun.) Our last snowlady of the season bids you a final fare thee well.
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This week, the United Kingdom appointed its very first chief data officer. They chose the same fellow who is the chief digital officer and executive director of digital, putting a lot of weight on the shoulders of Mr. Mike Bracken. 

Here's my newly published interview with him about his plans for the role: http://www.techrepublic.com/article/uks-first-chief-data-officer-to-focus-on-making-data-a-public-asset/
In this interview, the UK's first CDO, Mike Bracken, says he will be looking for ways to set standards and get more useful data flowing across siloed agencies to improve governance.
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Bad news: Slack was hacked: http://slackhq.com/post/114696167740/march-2015-security-incident-and-launch-of-2fa 

Good news: passwords were hashed salted, + & 2 Factor Authentication is now available. If you're a user, I recommend turning it on.
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Work
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Writer
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Reading, writing and arithmetic.
Employment
  • CBS Interactive
    Columnist, 2014 - present
  • 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
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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
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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. I contribute a weekly column to TechRepublic. 

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.
Education
  • Colby College
    1994 - 1998
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Other names
Xander
Alexander Howard's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
The Navy's New Robot Looks and Swims Just Like a Shark | WIRED
www.wired.com

The Navy’s new underwater drone is designed to look and swim like a real fish.

The Laborers Who Keep Dick Pics and Beheadings Out of Your Facebook Feed...
www.wired.com

Inside the soul-crushing world of content moderation, where low-wage laborers soak up the worst of humanity, and keep it off your Facebook f

Federal Agencies Are Flooded by Comments on New Rules
online.wsj.com

Record numbers of online comments are flooding agencies at a time when Congress is stuck in gridlock and the Obama administration has turned

Daimler Acquires Uber Rival RideScout
online.wsj.com

Daimler is making a bet on the ride-sharing economy, a day after Germany slapped a country-wide ban on Uber Technologies.

The 'right to record' is not a question of technology, but rather power ...
www.techrepublic.com

The "right to record" will gain even more attention as smartphones, wearables, and social media usage increases. Alex Howard believes this w

The Internet's Original Sin
www.theatlantic.com

It's not too late to ditch the ad-based business model we have and build the web we want.

How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business at Will | Business | WIRED
www.wired.com

Beneath its slick interface and crystal clear GPS-enabled vision of the world, Google Maps roils with local rivalries, score-settling, and d

YouTube Parody as Politics: How The World Made Pharrell Cry
www.theatlantic.com

Remixes from around the world show that what brings us together is more important than what divides us.

OpenID Connect may usher in a new era of federated online identity
www.techrepublic.com

OpenID Connect is designed to replace username/password authentication. The protocol, in use by Google and others, may solve governments' ne

Supreme Court to rule on warrantless searches of electronic devices
arstechnica.com

Cops want access, without warrants, to electronic devices of everybody arrested.

Data journalism only matters when it's transparent
www.motherjones.com

Data journalism only matters when it's transparent.

Publishers Can Afford Data Journalism, Says ProPublica's Scott Klein
mediagazer.com

This story, by Alexander Howard / Tow Center …, appeared on Mediagazer.

Earth Day Pioneer Denis Hayes’ New Challenge: Greenest Commercial Buildi...
energyblog.nationalgeographic.com

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
blogs.fas.org

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
arstechnica.com

Coding blunder that exposed sensitive data may still be putting users at risk.