Tuesday, November 26, 2013

This should not be amusing, but I'll wager it is.
From the good folks at EPIC:
EPIC has filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel for the secret legal analyses that justifies the use of the NSA PRISM program. PRISM is a program that allows the FBI and NSA to collect information – including the contents of internet users’ communications – directly from internet service providers, and without a warrant. Through this lawsuit, EPIC seeks to clarify which, if any, legal authority would permit such extensive domestic surveillance of personal activities. The secrecy of these opinions is of increasing concern to Open Government advocates. EPIC, joined by a coalition of FOIA organizations, recently filed an amicus brief in support of a New York Times lawsuit for opinions of the Office of Legal Counsel. For more information, see EPIC v. DOJ – PRISM.

Shared custody? Shared ownership?
John Moore and Rob Tholemeier write:
A common and somewhat unique aspect to EHR vendor contracts is that the EHR vendor lays claim to the data entered into their system. Rob and I have worked in many industries as analysts. Nowhere, in our collective experience, have we seen such a thing. Manufacturers, retailers, financial institutions, etc. would never think of relinquishing their data to their enterprise software vendor of choice.
It confounds us as to why healthcare organizations let their vendors of choice get away with this and frankly, in this day of increasing concerns about patient privacy, why is this practice allowed in the first place?
Read more on HealthcareITNews. Of course, they take the position that the data belongs to the healthcare organization (and maybe not the patient?), which may raise some ire in some of this site’s readers, but at the very least, entities should not be allowing EHR vendors to assume ownership of data. Responsibility to protect data, yes. Ownership as in with all the rights that go with ownership, no.

(Related) Is this a first? I kind of doubt it...
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 – The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Veterans Health Administration issued the following directive:
1. REASON FOR ISSUE: This Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Directive establishes policy for approving and providing authorized users access to VHA personally identifiable information (PII) in Information Technology (IT) systems of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
2. SUMMARY OF CHANGES: This is a new Directive.
Read more via Targeted News Service here.

“We don't need no stinking Internet!” It also makes a nifty stalking tool!
The Internet of Things, Unplugged and Untethered
A startup called Iotera wants to let you track your pets, your kids, or your belongings without relying on commercial wireless networks.
… The system uses GPS-embedded tags that can last for months on a single charge, occasionally sending their coordinates over unlicensed wireless spectrum to small base stations with a range of several miles.
Iotera expects businesses to use its technology to track everything from tools on construction sites to workers in dangerous places like oil rigs. Or people might use it to keep an eye on their pets. Iotera’s founders say two companies (which it won’t name) are trying it out. One is using it to help parents monitor their children’s whereabouts, and the other is tracking company-owned devices.

Interesting. Does MakeUseOf.com know the story of Kim Dotcom (listed as 'principal strategist')? Still, “50GB free” is an incentive.
– is a site for uploading, downloading, and storing files. Your data is encrypted and decrypted during transfer of the files, to ensure your privacy. Your data is accessible anytime from whatever device you are using. Only you control the keys to your files. Share folders with your contacts and see their updates in real time. Online collaboration is private and secure.

Seriously, did anyone expect a rational strategy?
Newtown report: Shooter Adam Lanza had no clear motive, was obsessed with Columbine
Newtown shooter Adam Lanza had no clear motive, but was obsessed with Columbine and planned the rampage that took the lives of 20 children and six school staffers at Sandy Hook Elementary, "including the taking of his own life," according to a long-awaited report on last December's shooting released Monday.
"Many people have asked why the shooter did what he did on December 14, 2012," said the 48-page report, which was published on the state's Division of Criminal Justice website.

Is it easier to allow the “nattering nabobs of negativism” to make rules they can't enforce – or even know when they have been violated. We'll be over here doing what we think is important.
Colum Lynch reports:
The United States, Great Britain, and its chief intelligence allies, known as the Five Eyes, agreed late Friday to support a Brazilian and German sponsored General Assembly resolution promoting an international right to privacy, but only after thwarting efforts to impose new legal constraints on foreign espionage that could potentially restrain the U.S. National Security Agency, according to diplomats involved in the negotiations.
Read more on ForeignPolicy.com (free reg. required)

For my Statistics students, who may agree that Big Data is the future, but still hate math...
I have no idea about the privacy and security controls in place, but this is fascinating stuff and demonstrates some of the good that can come out of Big Data.
[From the article:
“This study broadly shows that we can take decades of off-the-shelf electronic medical record data, link them to DNA, and quickly validate known associations across hundreds of previous studies,” lead author Josh Denny, M.D., Vanderbilt associate professor of biomedical informatics and medicine, said in a statement. “And, at the same time, we can discover many new associations.”

(Related) Those old “rules of thumb” are crumbling...
How is Big Data Transforming Your 80/20 Analytics?
Even today, most organizations technically struggle to answer even the simplest 80/20 analytics questions: Which 20% of customers generate 80% of the profits? Which 20% of suppliers are responsible for 80% of customer UX complaints? What 20% of customers facilitate 80% of the most helpful referrals? Indeed, even organizations where top management keeps their eyes glued to KPI-driven dashboards have trouble agreeing on what their Top Ten Most Important Customer/Client 80/20 analytics should be.
That’s not good because Big Data promises to redefine the fundamentals of the 80/20 rule.

Question: Is the speed of adoption related to productivity improvements? Again I point to: http://elsa.berkeley.edu/~bhhall/e124/David90_dynamo.pdf
The Pace of Technology Adoption is Speeding Up
Many people suggest that rates of new product introduction and adoption are speeding up, but is it really, across the board? The answer seems to be yes. An automobile industry trade consultant, for instance, observes that “Today, a typical automotive design cycle is approximately 24 to 36 months, which is much faster than the 60-month life cycle from five years ago.” The chart below, created by Nicholas Felton of the New York Times, shows how long it took various categories of product, from electricity to the Internet, to achieve different penetration levels in US households. It took decades for the telephone to reach 50% of households, beginning before 1900. It took five years or less for cellphones to accomplish the same penetration in 1990. As you can see from the chart, innovations introduced more recently are being adopted more quickly. By analogy, firms with competitive advantages in those areas will need to move faster to capture those opportunities that present themselves.

Something for my website students. (Well, I thought it was fun.)
Welcome To Revolver Maps 2.0
Revolver Maps are real time visitor globes rendered by the Revolver Engine.

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