National / International News

Voices: How much data sharing is too much?

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 09:00

One of the ongoing conversations at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival involves questions and concerns around data and data collection.

How are we trying to use data to live a better life with the help of wearable devices?

How is the government is collecting data and what does that mean about our privacy?

The topic even manifested itself in real-time data from Twitter input into a machine that made custom Oreo cookies. SXSW attendees may be more savvy than the average social media-ite, but they still ask themselves the same questions of when to share data on their activities, and when it's best to keep it to themselves.

VJ Tucker, from a startup called Curious Science, thinks very carefully about what content he adds to the Facebook universe:

"I have a group of friends that can't go to SXSW Interactive and enjoy seeing the panels that I see, so I usually aggregate together all my quotes from the day and put them up... I only try to only put content out there that I feel is compelling to other people. So I don't live tweet everywhere I'm at or anything like that just because it feels like noise in the world instead of anything that's concentrated and compelling."

Southby volunteer Leslie Hales says she uses the typical social media platforms -- Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter -- but she deliberately avoids tagging her location:

"I'm not really on the location grid just because I feel like it's just too much...I don't know if I want everyone knowing where I am every second of the day."

In fact, location sharing came up with visitors and locals alike, as evidenced by SXSW volunteer and Austin-ite Alan Navarro, who says he does not see the benefits of tagging where you are on social media:

"I just don't see that there's a reason for me to put out where my location is online. There's not a real insentive to do that, so I just leave it alone."

Luciana Caletti of the Brazilian startup Love Mondays does not mind adding her location to tweets, as it makes sense to her to highlight the fact that she is at SXSW. She adds, however, that attending Edward Snowden's skyped-in appearance is giving her second thoughts on where her data is going:

"All this data being collected...so far it's fine, but if it falls into the wrong hands in the future, you never know who is going to be in charge of the country. So I am starting to be a bit more concerned."

Hong Kong Says UBS Tried To Rig Interbank Lending Rate

NPR News - Fri, 2014-03-14 09:00

UBS, which was fined for manipulating the Libor rate in 2012, was censured by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the territory's de facto central bank.

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Image released of bloodied baby suit

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:57
An image of the motif on a blood-stained baby sleepsuit found on a path in Fort William is released by police.

Bellingham chemotherapy 'going well'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:56
Actress and TV presenter Lynda Bellingham reveals that her treatment for cancer is "going swimmingly" as she collects an OBE from the Prince of Wales.

'Big Men' filmmaker chronicles oil boom in Ghana

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:54

In 2007, oil was discovered off the coast of Ghana.

The follow up questions -- what happens next to the Ghanaians who live there, and the Texas oil company that first put a drill in the ground --  is the subject of a new documentary from Rachel Boynton called “Big Men.”


Filmmaker Rachel Boynton.

Courtesy of Rachel Boynton

Ghana had never had oil before. Kosmos Energy, the oil company that made the discovery, was a start-up – this was their first well.

"It was this crazy important moment for the company and also for the country as a whole," says Boynton.

She documents the scramble for all parties involved to make a profit from the oil. She has an amazing amount of access to the oil company’s CEO and Ghanaian government officials. 

“The thing that’s holding it together is really this idea of everyone out for himself,” Boynton says.

Boynton also films in Nigeria where oil has been a part of the economy for decades.

“When you’re telling a story about new oil in a country, a lot of people are going to want to know well, what happens to the country?”

She talks to Nigerian rebels who intentionally damage the pipelines to protest misappropriation of oil profits. 

“I was really fascinated by how freely people would talk about ‘wanting to be big’” she says, about the title of the documentary. “They were giving voice to something that I see all the time in America, but that people don’t talk really talk about quite so freely.”

The negative side effects of an oil boom are easy to see in Nigeria. Boynton recounts wading through burning oil sludge there. The fires are sent intentionally by two men who were paid to do it – Boynton finds them and speaks to them.  

“I realize over the course of this interview that they live in this town, where they’ve set these fires. And you gotta understand, this town has been destroyed by these fires. There’s smoke everywhere, it’s absolutely toxic to live there. The land is destroyed. And I say to these guys you know, you live here, did it ever occur to you that you might be shooting yourselves in the foot?”

One of the men answers,

“I don’t really think I’m shooting myself in the foot because, you know, if I shot myself in the foot and somebody paid me money for it, and I didn’t die, that’s alright with me."

'There will be tears' - O'Driscoll in his own words

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:53
Rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll prepares for his Ireland farewell

VIDEO: Tony Benn's 'beyond grave' broadcast

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:39
Tony Benn left a short message with Channel 4 to be broadcast after his death.

Brothers jailed for 'cruel abuse'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:33
Two brothers who played cards to see who would be first to abuse a young girl are jailed for more than 20 years each.

'Ireland will win in Paris and take the title'

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:27
Jeremy Guscott, Jonathan Davies and Andy Nicol offer their thoughts on what promises to be a remarkable day of rugby

VIDEO: Hugh’s Review: What’s in the Budget Box?

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:18
BBC chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym looks at what might feature in the impending Budget.

Tony Benn - a tribute

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 08:16
Tony Benn: from slick face of Labour to veteran campaigner

VIDEO: Pistorius trial day 10 - in 60 seconds

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:50
On the 10th day of the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius, retired Police Colonel Schoombie van Rensburg has been questioned about evidence at the crime scene.

Week in pictures: 8-14 March 2014

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:46
Some of the best news photos from the week

Tory grandees warn over 40p tax rate

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:46
Former Conservative Chancellors Lord Lawson and Lord Lamont warn too many people are paying the 40p tax rate and urge George Osborne to act.

Morrisons hit by massive data theft

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:44
The majority of staff at Morrisons have been affected by the theft of payroll data, the company has said.

New York blast site rescue continues

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:41
Rescue operations continue two days after a gas leak and explosion demolished two buildings in New York City, killing eight and injuring scores.

US-Russia in Ukraine crisis talks

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:39
US and Russian envoys hold key talks in London on the Ukraine crisis, as Sunday's disputed referendum in Crimea looms.

VIDEO: Williams and Short's memories of Benn

BBC - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:35
Shirley Williams and Clare Short share their memories of the late Tony Benn.

BP signs deal to get back in the game

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:34

BP has inked a big deal with the Environmental Protection Agency. Beginning next week, the global energy company will be allowed to bid on leases to drill for oil on territory controlled by the U.S. government, including the Gulf of Mexico. 

In 2012, on the heels of the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP was barred from doing business with the federal agencies. Since then, it has continued to operate ten rigs in the gulf.

“The region is extremely important,” says Matthew Jurecky, the head of oil and gas research for a consulting firm called Global Data, noting he wasn’t surprised the BP ban was lifted, because he always assumed it was “temporary and conditional.”

“They’ve been one of the top producers, responsible for many of the largest projects in the gulf,” he says.

In 2010, four billion barrels of oil poured from one of BP’s deepwater wells into the gulf. Since then, the company has paid more than $3 billion in fines and penalties.

“After the oil disaster, BP’s bottom line was hit quite hard,” says Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

According to Knittel, the timing of this announcement isn’t coincidental.  In New Orleans next week, at an event in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is scheduled to auction off lease rights to millions of acres off the gulf coast.

“I imagine BP will use this as an opportunity to expand operations,” Knittel says. The company has committed to spending $40 billion in the region over the next decade.

In the administration agreement BP signed with the EPA, it has agreed to more monitoring. Among other things, it will have to hire independent auditors to oversee its operations. 

BP can now bid on leases to drill for oil on government land

Marketplace - American Public Media - Fri, 2014-03-14 07:34

BP has inked a big deal with the Environmental Protection Agency. Beginning next week, the global energy company will be allowed to bid on leases to drill for oil on territory controlled by the U.S. government, including the Gulf of Mexico. 

In 2012, on the heels of the Deepwater Horizon spill, BP was barred from doing business with the federal agencies. Since then, it has continued to operate ten rigs in the gulf.

“The region is extremely important,” says Matthew Jurecky, the head of oil and gas research for a consulting firm called Global Data, noting he wasn’t surprised the BP ban was lifted, because he always assumed it was “temporary and conditional.”

“They’ve been one of the top producers, responsible for many of the largest projects in the gulf,” he says.

In 2010, four billion barrels of oil poured from one of BP’s deepwater wells into the gulf. Since then, the company has paid more than $3 billion in fines and penalties.

“After the oil disaster, BP’s bottom line was hit quite hard,” says Christopher Knittel, the William Barton Rogers Professor of Energy Economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management.

According to Knittel, the timing of this announcement isn’t coincidental.  In New Orleans next week, at an event in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is scheduled to auction off lease rights to millions of acres off the gulf coast.

“I imagine BP will use this as an opportunity to expand operations,” Knittel says. The company has committed to spending $40 billion in the region over the next decade.

In the administration agreement BP signed with the EPA, it has agreed to more monitoring. Among other things, it will have to hire independent auditors to oversee its operations. 

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