Sunday, August 04, 2013

“We're your government and we're here to sell you to the highest bidder...”
Government agencies are cashing in by selling personal information to advertising firms without Swedish citizens even knowing about it.
The Dagens Nyheter newspaper suggested the Transport Agency (Transportstyrelsen) was making as much as 30 million kronor ($4.5 million) a year as a result of the process. Both the National Tax Agency (Skatteverket) and the national board of student aid (CSN) are also sharing private details for a fee, the paper revealed.
We have a mandate from the government to sell the data,” said Kjell-Åke Sjödin of the Transport Agency’s register.
Read more on The Local (Se).

Nothing new here. We've known about this since June of 1949 (when 1984 was published)
Your TV might be watching you
Today's high-end televisions are almost all equipped with "smart" PC-like features, including Internet connectivity, apps, microphones and cameras. But a recently discovered security hole in some Samsung Smart TVs shows that many of those bells and whistles aren't ready for prime time.
The flaws in Samsung Smart TVs, which have now been patched, enabled hackers to remotely turn on the TVs' built-in cameras without leaving any trace of it on the screen. While you're watching TV, a hacker anywhere around the world could have been watching you. Hackers also could have easily rerouted an unsuspecting user to a malicious website to steal bank account information.
Samsung quickly fixed the problem after security researchers at iSEC Partners informed the company about the bugs. Samsung sent a software update to all affected TVs. [Note: If Samsung can “push” an upgrade, to all TVs they could also push a downgrade to specific TVs. Bob]

And now the real battle begins...
DOJ Proposes Remedy to Address Apple’s Price Fixing
News release: “The Department of Justice and 33 State Attorneys General today submitted to the court a proposed remedy to address Apple Inc.’s illegal conduct, following the July 10, 2013, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York decision finding that Apple conspired to fix the prices of e-books in the United States. The proposed relief is intended to halt Apple’s anticompetitive conduct, restore lost competition and prevent a recurrence of the illegal activities… The department’s proposal, if approved by the court, will require Apple to terminate its existing agreements with the five major publishers with which it conspired – Hachette Book Group (USA), HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C., Holtzbrinck Publishers LLC, which does business as Macmillan, Penguin Group (USA) Inc. and Simon & Schuster Inc. – and to refrain for five years from entering new e-book distribution contracts which would restrain Apple from competing on price. Under the department’s proposed remedy, Apple will be prohibited from again serving as a conduit of information among the conspiring publishers or from retaliating against publishers for refusing to sell e-books on agency terms. Apple will also be prohibited from entering into agreements with suppliers of e-books, music, movies, television shows or other content that are likely to increase the prices at which Apple’s competitor retailers may sell that content. To reset competition to the conditions that existed before the conspiracy, Apple must also for two years allow other e-book retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble to provide links from their e-book apps to their e-bookstores, allowing consumers who purchase and read e-books on their iPads and iPhones easily to compare Apple’s prices with those of its competitors.”
  • Via Computer World – “Apple, in its own brief filed Friday, called the DOJ proposal “a draconian and punitive intrusion into Apple’s business, wildly out of proportion to any adjudicated wrongdoing or potential harm.”

Perspective. Global markets can be a bit confusing...
Apple Beats Samsung In Korea, Samsung Beats Apple In The US
Who is winning and where of course depends upon what you are defining as winning. In this case, it’s consumer satisfaction with smartphone technologies. It seems that Samsung beats Apple in the US in terms of this consumer satisfaction, while Apple beats Samsung in Korea. Each is beating the other off home turf and losing on it.

Wow! Building better lawyers, right here in River City! I wonder if this is more generally aplicable, or if only would be lawyers are hard to teach?
Facilitating Better Law Teaching
Facilitating Better Law Teaching, Martin Katz – University of Denver Sturm College of Law – August 2, 2013 Emory Law Journal, Vol. 62, No. 823, 2013 U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-37
This Essay is about solutions – real solutions that law schools can deploy right now to improve the education we provide. And it is about how to overcome obstacles to implementing those solutions right now. This is how change happens. We have all heard a great deal about the problems facing legal education (and the legal profession more generally). Pundits have gone on for years about how law graduates are ill prepared for practice. More recently, there has been a seemingly endless barrage of commentary about the difficulty recent law graduates face in finding jobs. Often these commentators suggest extreme remedies (such as closing down all United States law schools or completely deregulating law practice so that anyone can offer legal services). Others suggest less extreme, but unrealistic remedies (such as forcing law faculties to change how they teach, stopping them from writing so that they can teach more, or doing away with faculty governance so that they have no say over these matters). My goal here is not to debate the many criticisms that have been leveled at legal education. While these criticisms may be overstated at times, I will start from the premise – which I believe is hard to debate – that most law schools could do a better job than they currently do to prepare their graduates to practice law and to get jobs. I will start by discussing a potential solution to these problems that is non-extreme, well researched, and relatively well accepted within the legal academy: the recommendations contained in the 2007 Carnegie Foundation report on legal education, titled Educating Lawyers (Carnegie Report). I will then explore why the Carnegie Report recommendations are still far from fully implemented in most U.S. law schools. Finally, I will recommend a set of realistic strategies for law schools to more fully implement the Carnegie Report’s recommendations, and introduce a nationwide initiative called Educating Tomorrow’s Lawyers that is designed to facilitate this process.”

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