Monday, June 23, 2014

Might be fun to see if any NY taxi drivers really are aliens. (Men in Black alert)
Vijay Pandurangan writes:
Recently, thanks to a Freedom of Information request, Chris Whong received and made public a complete dump of historical trip and fare logs from NYC taxis. It’s pretty incredible: there are over 20GB of uncompressed data comprising more than 173 million individual trips. Each trip record includes the pickup and dropoff location and time, anonymized hack licence number and medallion number (i.e. the taxi’s unique id number, 3F38, in my photo above), and other metadata.
These data are a veritable trove for people who love cities, transit, and data visualization. But there’s a big problem: the personally identifiable information (the driver’s licence number and taxi number) hasn’t been anonymized properly — what’s worse, it’s trivial to undo, and with other publicly available data, one can even figure out which person drove each trip. In the rest of this post, I’ll describe the structure of the data, what the person/people who released the data did wrong, how easy it is to deanonymize, and the lessons other agencies should learn from this. (And yes, I’ll also explain how rainbows fit in).
Read more on Medium.

Journalists are just noticing this?
Lawyers given green light to scan jurors' social media sites in search of bias, misconduct
Lawyers have been given the green light to scan the social media sites of jurors.
The American Bar Association says it's ethical for lawyers to scour online for publicly available musings of citizens called for jury service — and even jurors in deliberations.
But the ABA does warn lawyers against actively "following" or "friending" jurors or otherwise invading their private Internet areas.

(Related) This is old news.
Recent ABA Opinion OK's Investigating Jurors' Social Media Presence
The American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility is the latest ethics committee to address the issue of whether attorneys may investigate jurors' and potential jurors' social media presence on sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In ABA Formal Opinion 466 (April 24, 2014), the committee answered the question in the affirmative.

For Content Creators for a change...
[Poster] Which Creative Commons License is Right for me?
Creative Commons makes it easy for content creators to define a set of rules under which they would like the public to use their creative work. For instance, if you upload a photograph on the Internet, you can apply a Creative Commons license that would allow others to embed that photograph in a website or use in a presentation but not sell it commercially.
The important thing to note about CC licenses is that they are irrevocable. Thus, if you release your images under a particular CC license, others will always have the right to use them under that license even if you later decide to stop distributing the images under Creative Commons.
If you have been trying to understand the terms of the various Creative Commons licenses, this comic poster from CC Poland is a good resource to start with. There are 6 types of licenses with separate conditions attached to each of them and you got to understand them well before picking a license for your work.

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