Tag: DNW

Data News of the Week: Sexual Assault Around The World

If you are a woman who is walking down the street alone in the late night, and accidentally you meet a group of guys hanging out with nowhere to go, what would happen when you pass them?

It may be the words “hey, beauty” or “hey, sexy girl,” or being instructed to smile. Or maybe more intentional: standing in the way or blocking the path in hope of some interaction. Or perhaps may get more aggressive, with hands reaching to inappropriate places. Actually, this kind of situation is far and wide, with one end harboring the potential for things to become more violent with physical abuse or rape. In Canada, the United States and The United Kingdom, women being sexually assaulted has become a serious problem. However, there is still a loophole after asking the police for help – Will the police believe you?

A 20-month investigation by The Globe and Mail reveals that sexual-assault victims are more likely to be believed in some areas of the country than in others. Continue reading “Data News of the Week: Sexual Assault Around The World”

Data News of the Week: A World Defended and Invaded by Data – a Technical News Story Covering NSA Files Leak

Do you consider your personal information well protected? You use different passwords for different accounts, keep your social network activity private, even fake your profile on social media. Your efforts are probably in vain.

Everything you have done is under surveillance and your life pattern can even be figured out by people who are thousands of millions away from you. The government knows that you called Daisy three times in twenty-four hours, with one after midnight. You use Google Map in Central, Hong Kong at 2pm and your route is also recorded. You may wonder: I am just nobody. Why will somebody spare effort to analyze my data? In fact, you are somebody. Three degrees of separation points out that if you have 190 friends on Facebook, then after “three hops”, the network you can reach is even bigger than the population of Colorado.

Continue reading “Data News of the Week: A World Defended and Invaded by Data – a Technical News Story Covering NSA Files Leak”

Data News of the Week | Gender Pay Gap: Why and How?

Professor Jordan Peterson has been the center of attention in last few weeks for participating in a number of debates regarding gender wage gap. Unlike the feminists calling for the reduction of discrimination over salary, he believes gender wage gap is an explainable consequence of multiple social factors rather than a problem caused by discrimination. Is he right? After all, why is there gender wage gap? Looking into 3 reports (Why is There a Gender Wage Gap – Our World in Data, Six Key Facts About the Gender Pay Gap – Our World in Data, Gender Pay Gap: the Day Women Start Working For Free – Washington Post) and a  published recently with analytics over statistics regarding gender wage gap will give us a thorough understanding of current gender wage gap. Continue reading “Data News of the Week | Gender Pay Gap: Why and How?”

Data News of the Week | What can we, the 20-year-old, do to change the world?

Nathan Ruser, a 20-year-old Australian National University student who is majoring in international security with a keen interest in cartography, discovered a fitness app had revealed the locations of secret military sites in Syria and elsewhere. He posted on Twitter about this, did not expect much response.

But the news ricocheted across the internet. Security experts said the Strave app’s “heat map” could be used by hostile entities glean valuable intelligence. The Pentagon said it was reviewing the situation.

How he found the news?

 “Whoever thought that operational security could be wrecked by a Fitbit?” Mr. Ruser, said in an interview with New York Times from Thailand, where he is spending part of the Australian summer break.

When he looked over Syria on Strava’s map — which is based on location data from millions of users, including military personnel, who share their exercise activity — the area “lit up with those U.S. bases,” he said.

Before publicly sharing his findings over the weekend, he discussed them in a private chat group on Twitter, made up of people interested in intelligence and security issues. “I know about two-thirds of what I know about the world from the group chats,” he said.

Continue reading “Data News of the Week | What can we, the 20-year-old, do to change the world?”

Data News of the Week | U.S. Gun Control Debate and the Media

There were more than four months after the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which is the deadliest mass shooting* committed by an individual of the States. As the largest gun-holding ratio (per capita) country around the world, USA has long been debating the gun control, yet, no consensus has been able to achieve. That’s also why media play a huge role in formulating the public debate and policy-making of gun control. We will discuss the two following reports by BBC (America’s gun culture in 10 charts) and The Telegraph (One mass shooting every day: Seven facts about gun violence in America) to illustrate the strengths and limitations of media coverage on the gun control.

*Mass shooting: When an attacker killed three or more victims in an indiscriminate rampage. Before 2013, the number was four. Continue reading “Data News of the Week | U.S. Gun Control Debate and the Media”

Data News of the Week | Trump Lies and His Job Promises

It has been more than a year under Donald Trump’s administration. Trump has made a lot of groundless claims and job promises which happen arbitrarily. Some newsagents keep a record of it and visualize the frequency. To criticise the act of the president in a more grounded way, The New York Times compares the lies frequency between Trump’s and the former president Barack Obama. We also dug deeper into one of his promises in his election platform which is job creation and employment enhancement. From which, we adopted a project from ProPublicaThe following will discuss the visualization, the use of words and the effects of the two projects. 

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Data News of the Week | Visualising the Blockchain

The Rise and Rise of ICO in late 2017

If you still don’t know what is “blockchain” or what is “bitcoin”, The recent work from Max Galka will assure you this is the high time to do some self-study, or you will miss the birth time of “another Internet”. The idea of ICO, Initial Coin/Chain Offering, is an analogy of IPO. With the inception of “smart contract” capability, fundraising, a process to exchange currency to certificate, can be done in a distributed manner. The “currency” in the chain world can be Ethereum, NEO, BitCoin, … The “certificate” in the chain world is called “token” so the ICO process is also referred to as “token sale”. The convenience of ICO gains rapid growth with crazy capitals pouring into this field. Just check out this interactive/ animated token sale history.

Screenshot: The ICO Market Cap to date (Nov 2017)

Continue reading “Data News of the Week | Visualising the Blockchain”

Data News of the Week | US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. How does it matter to the companies and citizens?

Tax is one of the crucial parts of the country’s economic. Under the globalization, US tax policy might relevant to your life. The economic trends could affect you and the steps you might need to take so you can profit from it. Moreover, there are lots of data in the tax policies which could turn into some good data news. This week we will share some Trump’s new GOP tax cut plan data news.

What is the Tax Cuts about?

Trump’s Tax Plan and How It Affects You [Link]

The whole tax bill cuts the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21% and the top individual tax rate will drop to 37%, which used to be 39.6% in 2017.

The following chart shows the progressive tax rate before and after the bill, in one Table. We find that table is an effective way to display data with high density. It seems the tax will be deducted for everyone except for the lowest income bracket.


Read more: Corporate Income Tax: Definition, History, Effective Rate

Continue reading “Data News of the Week | US Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”

Data News of the Week | e-waste in Hong Kong

Cover photo credit: Monitour Project

We have a special edition for DNW this week dedicated to e-waste in Hong Kong. The notes are derived from a seminar plus brainstorm session with researchers from CUHK, HKBU, PolyU, Lingnan U, activists from Land Justice, Open Data Hong Kong, CODE4HK. This is a quick note from memory, so evidence/ statistics/ figures quoted in this note need further verification before you use them. There are enough pointers for the reader to go back the source and find direct contacts.

The news points to follow

E-waste refers to the abandoned Electric and Electronic Equipments (EEE). With the booming of ICT industry, we are witnessing more and more e-waste these days. Why should you care? Let’s cut through the news points first:

  • 75% e-waste is disappeared, as Green Peace estimates. It collects data of EEE production and calculates expected e-waste according to the lifespans of devices. Comparing this with the e-waste collection data from formal government bodies, we can see a 75% gap, meaning those are lost track
  • 97.7% e-waste in Hong Kong goes to unknown channels (figure in 2009; may change due to new recycling plant; government is trying to increase supervised channels). This may signal a large number of illegal operation, but not necessary all illegal.
  • Hong Kong used to import a large volume of e-wastes given the loophole in the legislations. Those e-wastes went to mainland China for processing. The export to China was disrupted at 2015.
  • Yards/ factories/ workshops that collect, process and dump e-wastes exist in many remote locations in Hong Kong, especially New Territory. Those locations are not easily accessible, protected by “private lands” and “gangs”, as put by Land Justice investigators.
  • Many workers in those yards are illegal immigrants, for example from mainland and South East Asia. They usually work without proper protective measures.

Continue reading “Data News of the Week | e-waste in Hong Kong”

Data News of the Week | Paradise Papers

Do you still remember the massive Panama Paper leak in 2016? When 13.4 million financial documents were released in this November, the offshore paradise islands got global attention again. Paradise Papers cover the time period from 1950 to 2016, including the more than 120,000 people and 25,000 offshore companies.

Tech-savvy readers can jump to the database directly. Like before, the dataset is modelled as a graph, namely treating the Officers, Intermediaries and Addresses as nodes and their relationships as links. Neo4j is one widely adopted graph database. Its web user interface, called “neo4j browser”, allows journalists to visually expand and explore a graph. The query language “Cypher” is a superset of relational query (SQL), full-text search and graph pattern matching. Its flexibility and built-in graph algorithms allow experienced journalists to systematically study the underlying graph. The download page on ICIJ includes snapshots of four neo4j databases exported in CSV format.

Continue reading “Data News of the Week | Paradise Papers”