We are bombarded with more information each day than our brains can process—especially in election season. It's raining bad data, half-truths, and even outright lies. In A Field Guide to Lies: Critical Thinking in the Information Age, New York Times bestselling author Daniel J. Levitin shows how to recognize misleading announcements, statistics, graphs, and written reports revealing the ways lying weasels can use them.

It's becoming harder to separate the wheat from the digital chaff. How do we distinguish misinformation, pseudo-facts, distortions, and outright lies from reliable information?

  We used to say "seeing is believing"; now googling is believing. With 24/7 access to nearly all of the world's information at our fingertips, we no longer trek to the library or the encyclopedia shelf in search of answers.

While a wealth of literature has been devoted to life with the Internet, The Internet of Us: Knowing More and Understanding Less in the Age of Big Data by Michael Patrick Lynch is the first book to take a look at the deep philosophicalimplications of this seismic shift have not been properly explored until now.

  Our tech guru, Jesse Feiler from North Country Consulting fills us in on (some of) what's going on with the Apple and the Department of Justice/FBI battle of an encrypted iPhone used by one of the San Bernadino participants.

He talks about the issues and some incidental extras that have recently emerged and ask the question: What does all this mean for the big picture, and, by the way, does it have anything to do with your own data and how you protect it? (Yes.)

10/31/14 Panel

Oct 31, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf & Ken Lovett, Albany bureau chief and columnist for the New York Daily News.

Topics include:
Midterm Elections
Data Campaigns
Times Congress Editorial
Jon Stewart v. Koch Bros.
Turning Against Bill Cosby

The Data Quality Campaign, a Washington, D.C., nonprofit that advocates for high-quality data, has released a paper showing how far states have come in developing and using the data.

7/15/13 - Panel

Jul 15, 2013

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Newsman Ray Graf, and commentator and activist Libby Post. Joe Donahue moderates.

Topics include:
Zimmerman Verdict Fallout
Obama's Call for Calm
Gay Blood Ban
Texas Abortion Measure
Holder & Reporter's Data

Jesse Feiler - Big Data

Feb 19, 2013

  This morning we discuss called something called: Big Data. That's the term for the massive databases that are coming into vogue and raising privacy issues. Our tech guru, Jesse Feiler joins us to explain.

Jesse is a developer, consultant, and author specializing in iOS, FileMaker databases, and technologies for small businesses, nonprofits, and municipal governments. His most recent books are iWork for Dummies, Sams Teach Yourself Core Data in 24 Hours, and its companion Objective-C in 24 Hours.

His app, Minutes Machine for iPad, is available on the App Store. It helps nonprofits, homeowner associations, and small businesses manage meetings and generate minutes in real-time. 


Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick headed a list of hundreds of government, academic and business leaders who gathered in Holyoke Friday to mark the completion of an energy efficient high performance computing center.   WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill reports.

 Governor Patrick said the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center holds great scientific and economic promise, and he praised the partnership of government, academia and business that built the $165 million dollar center.

Vermont is getting a $5 million federal grant for a new automated system that will allow it to better gather and report on information from every school in the state.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

Officials say with the new system the state will be able determine, for example, how many students have taken geometry by ninth grade or attended full-day kindergarten.