Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Bureaucrats too meek to political masters - Grattan: APSC talks up work from home while commissioner talks code of conduct breaches - Chris Johnson

Public servants have become too “meek” to their “political masters”, according to a prominent Australian political journalist.

Michelle Grattan, who has reported on politics for five decades, admitted she was being blunt when she made the statement.

“The modern doctrine of the need for bureaucracy to be more responsive to its political masters has changed the dynamic of the relationship between ministers and their bureaucrats,” Grattan said in her Speaker’s Lecture.

“Many ministers look for excessive compliance in their public service advisors.

“Anyway, with the news and political cycles becoming ever faster, bureaucrats inevitably get caught up in this cycle, as they service their bosses, and those bosses require often not just instant but also politically tailored responses.”

Grattan also referenced the three defining APS scandals of the past year — the robodebt royal commissionthe use of consultancies and the allegations about Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo texting a Liberal powerbroker.

Bureaucrats too meek to political masters, says Grattan

APSC talks up work from home while commissioner talks code of conduct breaches - Chris Johnson

Vulnerabilities in Cellphone Roaming Let Spies and Criminals Track You Across the GlobeIntercept

Are We Having a Moral Panic Over Misinformation?

A sane look at the handwringing over today’s supposedly unique and dangerous misinformation

Meet ‘New Elites’ Who Control Twitter’s Israel-Hamas News

The ‘new elites’ of X: Identifying the most influential accounts engaged in Hamas/Israel discourseOct 20, 2023 RAPID RESEARCH REPORT University of Washington Center for an Informed Public: “Since the first news of the attack on Israel by Hamas, we have seen anecdotal reports from users of X (formerly Twitter) that the platform has become less useful for surfacing verified news and more generally disorienting. Through a novel data collection process we identify highly influential accounts in the Hamas/Israel discourse on X that comprise the most dominant English-language news sources on Twitter for the event. 

In this Center for an Informed Public rapid research report, we compare these accounts to traditional news sources and find on average they have far fewer subscribers while achieving far greater views, are of more recent popularity, and show a greater posting frequency. Most of the accounts also use video and images frequently, framed in emotional ways. Strikingly, many of these accounts have received prior promotion from X owner Elon Musk, either through direct recommendation or through Musk’s account replying to their content, which may explain some of their dominance of “news twitter.”

  • With seven accounts racking up a cumulative 1.6 billion tweet views over three days of posts, our analysis points to a new crisis twitter that is faster, more disorienting, and potentially more shaped by Musk himself…”

See also 404 Media – ‘Verified’ OSINT Accounts Are Destroying the Israel-Palestine Information Ecosystem. The problem with profit and engagement driven misinformation from pseudo-OSINT accounts during the Israel-Palestine conflict is “unprecedented.” One expert said after Musk’s recent changes “all hell broke loose.

77 incredibly useful tips for Google apps: Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and beyond

Fast Company: “I’ll let you in on a little secret: Google’s apps and services are absolutely overflowing with buried treasures. More than any other tech company, Google loves tucking interesting options and features into out-of-the-way places. 

Some of the best elements of Gmail, Google Calendar, and other popular productivity tools are almost completely out of sight, in fact, and all too easy to overlook if you don’t know where to find ’em. Once you have a road map, though, these virtual jewels couldn’t be easier to embrace. And once you get yourself in the habit of using them, you’ll never look at Google’s apps the same way again. So summon your inner adventurer, and let’s get to it: Here are a whopping 77 tips for Gmail, Google Calendar, Maps, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Search…”