Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Of course it is too late. Once the bureauacracy has expanded, it can not (never, ever, ever) be cut back.
The Case for Abolishing the DHS
… The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was a panicked reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks. It owes its continued existence to a vastly exaggerated assessment of the threat of terrorism. The department is also responsible for some of the least cost-effective spending in the U.S. Government. It’s time to admit that creating it was a mistake.

A ruling “on second thought?”
Yahoo wins motion to declassify court documents in PRISM case
… The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled Monday that the Justice Department must unseal documents from a classified 2008 case that Yahoo has said will demonstrate the Internet company "objected strenuously" to providing the government with customer data.
… The ruling, first noted by the Daily Dot, gives the Justice Department two weeks to provide estimates on how long it expects the review process to take.
… Monday's order was made by the same court that Yahoo originally petitioned five years ago to review the government's order over concerns it violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The court responded at the time that the company's concerns were "overblown" and that "incidentally collected communications of non-targeted United States persons do not violate the Fourth Amendment."

Worth reading. I think they understand what happened to the Music and Book industries, so perhaps their TV predictions are correct also.
Apple May Have Found the Chink in TV’s Armor: Pay-for-Ad-Skipping
Apple has been shopping networks and studios a service that would allow users to skip commercials for a fee. The negotiations represent a new spearhead from Apple to bring a premium TV platform to market, with the company seeing revenue-for-ad-skipping as an opportunity to get its corporate foot in the door.
The report comes from Jessica Lessin, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, who cited unnamed sources that had been "briefed on the negotiations."
… Most TV Suits—like Suits everywhere—would rather ride the gravy train until it wrecks than risk a disruption that could put them ahead of the game or fail.
Contrast that to the music and publishing industries, which were both in disastrous states when Apple approached them with its disruptive iTunes Store and iBooks (respectively). Their need was Apple's opportunity, which is almost always the case with anything disruptive.
The music industry signed up for Apple's (then) Mac-only iTunes Store and was subsequently saved from the folly of its own inept digital strategies. The publishing industry turned to Apple because Amazon was rapidly devaluing the publishing world's products (books). The DOJ rained on that parade, but the point is that the execs signed on because they were desperate.

There should be some value for my students, in particular the database of open source tools
Data Analytics For Oversight and Law Enforcement

For my Vets.
Which occupations contribute most to society?
Soldiers -- followed closely by teachers, physicians, scientists, and engineers -- contribute the most to society's well-being, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

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