Sunday, December 18, 2016

What number would you consider ‘trivial’ and where is the line beyond which is unforgivable? 
India Ashok reports:
The US intelligence community is reportedly slated to reveal an estimate of the number of Americans, whose online communications and activities have been under government surveillance.  The monitoring was part of the comprehensive surveillance programs intended to keep an eye on foreigners.  The disclosures are expected to be made public as early as January, according to a report.
The estimate was reportedly requested by members of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee and is slated to come as Congress begins deliberating the possibility of reforming current surveillance authority, known as Section 702, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Read more on IBT.

I wonder which law school they breezed through?
Prenda Law “copyright trolls” Steele and Hansmeier arrested
   "The defendants in this case are charged with devising a scheme that casts doubt on the integrity of our profession," said US Attorney Andrew Luger in a statement.  "The conduct of these defendants was outrageous—they used deceptive lawsuits and unsuspecting judges to extort millions from vulnerable defendants.  Our courts are halls of justice where fairness and the rule of law triumph, and my office will use every available resource to stop corrupt lawyers from abusing our system of justice."
The indictment explains how the defendants "used sham entities to obtain copyrights to pornographic movies—some of which they filmed themselves—and then uploaded those movies to file-sharing websites in order to lure people to download the movies."
Prenda Law sued hundreds of people for copyright infringement, accusing them of illegally downloading pornographic movies.  In 2013, US District Judge Otis Wright sanctioned the firm in a Los Angeles case, along with Steele and Hansmeier personally, saying they had perpetrated a fraud on the court.  Wright also referred the case to criminal investigators. 

AI is coming!  Hide the children!  “Watson, where’s the best place to hide the children?” 
First look: IBM's Watson Analytics comes to the iPad
IBM today announced Watson Analytics Mobile for iPad -- an app that can be used along with a free personal or paid enterprise Watson account.
The app can import data from a cloud-based Watson account into a spreadsheet or CSV format, as well as use apps such as OneDrive and Dropbox to import files.  In addition, Twitter hashtags can be entered directly into the app for analysis.  
Most features are available to free-account users -- except for analyzing Twitter hashtags, although if you're new to Watson, you'll get a 30-day trial of that.
   The app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store.

(Related).  Maybe I’ll build a replacement for Siri.
Microsoft gives away 100,000 questions and answers to advance virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Cortana
Ask Google Assistant or Cortana something like “What’s 4 +4?” today and you’re likely to hear “8.”  Ask a more difficult question, like “What did the ancient Greeks eat?” and chances are, instead of answering the question directly, you will likely get pointed toward a website for you to sift through to find an answer to your question.
Microsoft Machine Reading Comprehension (MS MARCO), a dataset of 100,000 questions and answers made available to researchers for the first time today, was made to change that.
By open-sourcing a dataset with answers written by humans, Microsoft hopes MS MARCO can make breakthroughs in artificial intelligence research, and begin to help AI read and understand language like humans would.
   MS MARCO is available to businesses and researchers, but datasets available to download for free are for non-commercial use.

It’s the end of the Academic Quarter.  This looks like something my students would try.

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