Friday, March 27, 2015

The more you know, the more you want to keep your old car running.
Jesse Tahirali reports:
Your new car is probably spying on you.
Modern vehicles are powerful data-scraping machines, warns a group of B.C. privacy advocates, and Canada urgently needs to regulate what companies can do with the information cars send them.
The British Columbia Freedom of Information and Privacy Association (FIPA) published a 123-page report Wednesday, detailing what your vehicle might know about you and who can access that information.
In the report, which is the culmination of a year’s worth of research, the group calls for immediate action in creating standards for “connected cars” — vehicles equipped with the Internet, providing features like navigation and parking assistance, in-car entertainment and a range of safety features.
Read more on CTV News.

U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and John Hoeven (R-ND) reintroduced their Driver Privacy Act, legislation that protects a driver’s personal privacy by making it clear that the owner of a vehicle is also the owner of any information collected by an Event Data Recorder (EDR).
An EDR is an onboard electronic device that has the ability to continuously collect at least 43 pieces of information about a vehicle’s operation. This includes direction, speed, seatbelt usage and other data. The senators’ legislation would ensure that the vehicle owner controls the data and their personal privacy is protected.
… Fifteen states, including North Dakota, have passed laws related to EDRs. States with laws protecting drivers’ ownership of EDR data include Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Washington.

As I understand it, “stories” are investigated by local teams and then the stars of 60 Minutes swoop in and do the “reporting.” This would seem to create a real potential for error. If 60 Minutes can't be held accountable, Bloggers should be untouchable.
Lumber Liquidators Weighs Libel Suit Against CBS
Executives at Lumber Liquidators, the controversial discount floor retailer, are telling investors they are feeling so emboldened by a recent regulatory announcement they may sue the news program “60 Minutes” over its reporting that raised issues about the safety of the company’s products, the FOX Business Network has learned.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced it will conduct an investigation into the company’s laminate flooring. However, the agency said it would not use the same “destructive” testing method used by '60 Minutes.'
… The deconstructive method for testing flooring is conducted by taking the product apart, and then testing each individual piece for the toxin. But the safety commission said Wednesday it would be testing only the finished goods, similar to the methods Lumber Liquidators uses, and one in which the carcinogen level in the flooring appears much lower.

We seem to be heading toward e-Textbooks. I wonder what those all-in-one printers that “print and bind a book” cost?
For young readers – print and digital coexist
“A new book called Words Onscreen: The Fate of Reading in a Digital World cites surveys that say that young readers increasingly prefer to read books from paper, not screens. More than that, though, they find ebooks and printed books complementary. Printed books are good for protracted reading and comprehension. Ebooks are good for subsequent reference and convenient access. I started arguing this in 2008, and it certainly reflects my own experience. The future composts the past. [What the hell does that mean? Bob] The advent of films made it possible for performances that couldn’t work onstage to be born and it moved all the plays that were uncomfortable fits onstage to the screen. What it left behind were plays that were more like plays — and a theater industry that’s still going strong, even if it’s dwarfed by the screen. By the same token, books are becoming more booklike. Books that work best as ebooks — for example, big reference books; but also short works that are too slight to rest comfortably on their own between covers — are moving to ebook-land. Things that are produced as printed books have passed a test in which someone has asked, “Is there an important reason for this to exist in print, instead of exclusively onscreen?”

How to become a “Chief Economist?”

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