Friday, November 22, 2013

Why I expect my Ethical Hackers to do very, very well.
Your Job, Their Data: The Most Important Untold Story About the Future
All the drones, synthetic biologists, and self-driving cars notwithstanding, the story of how companies quantify, analyze, and try to predict your job performance may be the most important story in technology.
That is to say, when we look back in 20 years about what has changed in our lives, we will be able to find this thread of data-driven personnel decision making as the thing that's changed people's lives the most.
My colleague Don Peck has an unnerving feature in this month's magazine on precisely this issue: "They're Watching You At Work." I highly encourage you to absorb this tale's anecdotes and data.

See? It's what happens after your personal everything has been compromised that's important. Perhaps we could ask him to expand on that for the Privacy Blog?
Jim Edwards reports:
One of Google’s top futurists, Vinton Cerf, said yesterday that “privacy may be an anomaly” and “it will be increasingly difficult for us to achieve privacy.”
They are scary words, coming from a man whose official job title at Google is vp/chief internet evangelist. Cerf is also known as the “father of the internet,” after his role in developing ARPANET, the forerunner to the web.
Read more on Business Insider.

If being pulled over wasn't voluntary, is anything that follows?
Texas Police Set Up Checkpoints To Collect Blood And Saliva From 'Volunteers'
… Now, thanks to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, citizens can't even travel across a single city without being routed off the road and asked (nicely) to cough up a little DNA.
The Fort Worth Police Department (FWPD) installed the roadblock north of the city during daytime traffic. They flagged down some motorists at random and asked them to give breath, saliva, and blood samples. The FWPD claims the effort was "100 percent voluntary" and anonymous.
It acknowledges that most of the drivers had broken no law, but it said the effort was valuable to federal contractors working to complete a 3 year, $7.9M USD survey on behalf of the The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) aimed at collecting medical data for use in combating drunk driving.
But Cope questioned how it could be voluntary if uniformed officers forced her off the road.
I gestured to the guy in front that I just wanted to go straight, but he wouldn’t let me and forced me into a parking spot,” she recalled.
… Obviously, if officers are going to pay you for a blood sample or cheek swab, then the "detainment" is obviously voluntary. Cops normally don't pay citizens for DNA they collect. But Cope's experience shows that even voluntary "surveys" seem mandatory when officers make every effort to conceal the voluntary aspects of the stop until after the citizen has already complied.
Apparently on the consent form that officers gave "voluntary" participants, fine print informed the driver that [the police had taken] "passive alcohol sensor readings before the consent process has been completed."

Should we try writing “First Amendment 2.0?”
Paper – The New Speech
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 21, 2013
The New Speech - Andrew Tutt, Yale University – Information Society Project, Yale University – Law School. July 17, 2013. 41 Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, 2014
“Could the government...
prevent Facebook from deleting an individual’s Facebook account without first following government-prescribed procedures?
Intervene to require Google to conduct its search engine rankings in a certain manner, or subject Google to legal liability for wrongful termination or exclusion?
Require social networks and search engines to prominently reveal the criteria by which their algorithms sort, order, rank, and delete content?
Demand that some user information or data be deleted, withheld, made inalienable, non-transferable, ungatherable or uncollectable?
Engage in detailed regulation of the intellectual property and privacy relationships that inhere between individual users and the platforms they engage?
Each of these questions implicates the First Amendment, and as each question reveals, the same stresses that strained the institution of property when Charles Reich wrote The New Property in 1964 confront digital speech in 2014. The most important “speech” of the next century will be generated, intermediated, transformed, and translated by massive computers controlled by powerful institutions: petitions in front of the shopping mall replaced with “Likes” on Facebook and “Votes” on Reddit; sports leagues replaced by leagues of Counter-Strike and Call of Duty; broadcast and cable news replaced by interactive, algorithmically-generated, computer-curated granularly distributed news memes spread via blogs and aggregators. As more of the activities that were once exclusively the province of the physical world become the province of the digital, more of the issues that once confronted the distribution and allocation of rights in property will confront the distribution and allocation of rights in speech. While the great speech debates of the twentieth century were about the content of speech — that is, what one could say — the great speech debate of the twenty-first century will be about what counts as speech and whose speech counts. Will it be that of institutions and algorithms, or individuals and organic communities? These are questions courts are already confronting and they are getting the answers wrong. In contrast to scholars who by turns either deemphasize the transformative nature of the New Speech or argue that courts will have little impact on its growth, this Article argues that potentially critical judicial missteps are already occurring. Just as the needs of modern industrial society were delayed and often stymied by the judiciary of the early twentieth century, if we fail to consider the implications of the speech decisions courts make now, the needs of the modern information society may be delayed and stymied by the judiciary of the early twenty-first.”
This Article is an effort to explore the ways in which speech platforms represent a new challenge to the First Amendment, one that will require it to bend if we are to prevent the Lochnerization of the Freedom of Speech. It ties together various threads — the power of automation, the centrality and power of Internet media platforms, the doctrines developing in the courts, the actual acts of censorship in which these platforms regularly engage, and the core purposes the First Amendment was designed to serve — to make a sustained argument that we must think seriously about restructuring and dejudicializing the First Amendment if we are to avoid seeing the First Amendment transformed into a powerful shield for the very sorts of censorship it was written to prevent.

(Related) How does Google fit into this?
I don’t know enough to assert one way or another whether the Google Books ruling is ultimately a “good” or a “bad” decision. What I do know is that it is fascinating.
US District Judge Denny Chin’s decision is, to my mind, far more interesting than a legal ruling has any right to be. I say this because at the core of the legal decision is a mind-twisting idea:
The display of snippets of text for search is similar to the display of thumbnail images of photographs for search or small images of concert posters for reference to past events, as the snippets help users locate books and determine whether they may be of interest. Google Books thus uses words for a different purpose — it uses snippets of text to act as pointers directing users to a broad selection of books.
Similarly, Google Books is also transformative in the sense that it has transformed book text into data for purposes of substantive research, including data mining and text mining in new areas, thereby opening up new fields of research. Words in books are being used in a way they have not been used before. Google Books has created something new in the use of book the frequency of words and trends in their usage provide substantive information.
Google Books does not supersede or supplant books because it is not a tool to be used to read book. Instead, it “adds value to the original” and allows for “the creation of new information, new aesthetics, new insights and understandings.” Hence, the use is transformative.

(Related) kind of... Does this do anything to advance scholarship?
A Textual Analysis of The Hunger Games

It's for the children! (Typical)
CBC News reports:
When Justice Minister Peter MacKay unveiled the federal government’s proposed cyberbullying law on Wednesday, he touted it as a necessary tool to combat the often hurtful spread of intimate images. To emphasize the underlying point, he made the announcement during national Bullying Awareness Week.
But legal experts were left wondering why a piece of legislation that is meant to rein in online tormentors is also taking on terror suspects and people who steal cable TV signals.
“There is a much larger agenda at play here,” says Rob Currie, director of the Law and Technology Institute at Dalhousie University.
Read more on CBC.

I guess I'm still waiting for a better definition than, “The US shouldn't be so powerful, we should.”
The United States and its key intelligence allies are quietly working behind the scenes to kneecap a mounting movement in the United Nations to promote a universal human right to online privacy, according to diplomatic sources and an internal American government document obtained by The Cable.

I wonder if I can break a 3D printer like I do with cameras?
Shapify creates 3D-printed selfies using Kinect
If you have a current-gen Kinect, you could soon be the owner of your very own selfie statue. In concept,'s service is similar to Germany's Twinkind, which set up a photo booth for your portrait, but Shapify's a little more DIY (and a little more lo-res).
Using Kinect for Windows or Kinect for Xbox 360, you can scan in your own image. First, you need to download and install the app and the Microsoft Kinect SDK.
… As you can see by the sample image above, it's not perfect, but at a flat rate of $59, a lot cheaper than Twinkind's booth, it's not a bad deal.

In A World of Digital Storage, Size Matters
Gigabytes and terabytes. In the world we live in now, storage space is everything. Megabytes no longer satisfy our relentless demands to store entire music libraries on an MP3 player. Single-digit gigabyte storages are no longer sufficient to hold our photos, videos, games and applications on smartphones. We need more!
Or do we? How long do you reckon we’ll take to make the jump from terabytes to petabytes? Will the computers of the future come with petabyte drives as standard? What’s with our incessant desire to store everything? And just how much data can there be? datascience@berkeley explains.

Oh, should I be getting Press Releases (with large bribes?) Also reads as, How to write an interesting blog...
How To Get A Technology Blog To Ignore Your Press Release

A Google map you have to be a big fan of Lord of the Rings to enjoy...
The Hobbit
The desolation of smaug

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