Tuesday, July 19, 2016

How Big Brotherly.
Google: Government requests for user data hit all-time high in second half of 2015
Government requests for user data from Google hit an all-time high in the second half of 2015, the internet company revealed on Monday.
Through July to December 2015, governments from around the globe made 40,677 requests, impacting as many as 81,311 user accounts.  That's an 18 percent spike from the first half of 2015, when government requests for data impacted 68,908 users.
By far and away, the most requests came from the United States, which made 12,523 data requests for this reporting period.  The requests impacted 27,157 users or accounts.

I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!” Captain Renault in Casablanca.
I'm shocked, shocked to find that obfuscation is going on here!”
FBI accused of using outdated IT to foil FOIA requests
   Ryan Shapiro, a national security researcher and Ph.D. candidate at MIT, has been studying the Freedom of Information Act for years with a particular focus on noncompliance by government agencies.  He already has multiple FOIA lawsuits in motion against the FBI, and earlier this month he filed a new one.
In it, he describes numerous attempts to obtain information over the past two years, and the FBI's frequent response that it can't locate what he's looking for.
"When it comes to FOIA, the FBI is simply not operating in good faith," Shapiro said via email.  "Since the passage of the Freedom of Information Act, the FBI has viewed efforts to force bureau compliance with FOIA as a security threat."

The FBI has established "countless means" of foiling FOIA requests, he alleges, including a process by which searches fail "by design."
In particular, the FBI typically conducts FOIA searches in the "universal index" portion of its legacy Automated Case Support system, which was deployed in 1995.  Because of the limitations of that technology, those searches frequently produce no results, he says.
Furthermore, despite the existence of two much better search applications within ACS -- along with newer search technologies implemented since then -- the FBI "almost always refuses" to use those more modern systems on the grounds that they're no more likely to produce results, and that using them would be "unduly burdensome and seriously wasteful of FBI resources," Shapiro says.
"The FBI’s assertion is akin to suggesting that a search of a limited and arbitrarily produced card catalogue at a vast library is as likely to locate book pages containing a specified search term as a full text search of a database containing digitized versions of all the books in that library," Shapiro said.  "Simply, the FBI’s assertion is absurd."

(Related)  …because this is what we expect!
The US Customer Experience Index, 2016
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jul 18, 2016
NextGov: “For the federal government, there was really nowhere to go but up in the latest Customer Experience Index released by Forrester Research.  Yet, despite a better score this time around, the government still finished dead last – as it did last year – among 21 industries assessed by Forrester.”

For my Data Management students.  How would you do it? 
Microsoft to host Boeing’s airline data in the cloud
   Boeing said its applications deliver digital navigation information to nearly 13,000 aircraft daily, and help airlines reduce crew scheduling costs and fuel utilization.  The applications also track real-time data on more than 3,800 planes around the globe to monitor operational performance, fuel use, and maintenance needs.

You can learn to use social media from the strangest people.
Pew: Trump's social media posts get more attention than rivals'
Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s social media posts attract far more attention than those of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton or her former rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), according to a study released Monday.
The Pew Research Center found that Trump’s Facebook posts received an average of 76,885 reactions, compared to Clinton’s 12,537.  Sanders, whose rise was buoyed by an intense Facebook fan base, only received an average of 31,830 reactions to his Facebook posts.
Trump also outpaced the Democrats in shares and comments.
That trend held true on Twitter as well.  The billionaire's bombastic tweets were retweeted an average of 5,947 times.  Clinton's were retweeted an average of 1,581 times, while Sanders’s were retweeted 2,463 times.

Perspective.  The first hard drive in the IBM PC XT (1983) was a 10 MB Seagate.  This is one million times larger.
Seagate unveils hard drives with up to 10TB capacity

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