Friday, October 13, 2017

I guess the IRS finally noticed what was going on.
IRS temporarily suspends contract with Equifax
The IRS has temporarily suspended the $7.2 million, no-bid contract it awarded to Equifax to verify the identities of taxpayers when they create accounts on its website, the agency said today.
… The decision comes after media reports earlier today that the Equifax website may have been compromised a second time.

Makes you think, “Fake News!” doesn’t it?
Russia reportedly used Pokémon Go in an effort to inflame racial tensions
Russia’s far-ranging campaign to promote dissension in the United States reportedly included an effort to weaponize Pokémon Go. CNN reported today that in July 2016, a Tumblr page linked to Russia’s now-notorious Internet Research Agency promoted a contest encouraging people sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement to play the game near famous sites of police brutality. Players were told to change their characters’ names to the victims of those incidents — an apparent effort to inflame racial tensions.

Perhaps we need to automate trials? Remove the human factor. Eliminate bias.
Is a Fair Trial Possible in the Age of Social Media?
Is there any more satisfying reading than the transcripts of “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s disastrous jury selection? A seeming cherry on the top of the schadenfreude sundae of Shkreli’s legal disgrace, the transcripts also illuminate how social media, which spread news of the defendant’s price-jacking and unapologetic comments about his pharma business well ahead of the trial, influenced his jury selection. It raises the question: Is it possible to have a fair trial or an impartial jury in an age when anyone is just a viral tweet or a Facebook search away?
Frank J. Mastro wonders, too. He examines how social media and other online behavior caused mistrials as far back as 2009. From the moment smartphones first began to transform social behavior, they were disrupting trials, too.

There must be a demand for this stuff, right?
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak launches Woz U institute to train people for tech jobs
Steve Wozniak, one of Apple’s three original founders, has launched a new training initiative designed to get people ready for “high-paying technology” jobs.
The Woz U digital institute is initially launching as an online-only affair and promises to deliver a “new approach” to education for tech industry jobs. For now, the curriculum focuses on training for computer support specialists and software developers (.Net, JavaScript, Ruby, Java, and Python), but it will later expand into other facets of the STEM realm, including cybersecurity, mobile apps, and data science.

Google commits $1 billion in grants to train U.S. workers for high-tech jobs


Because I like lists (and because I’m teaching #1 right now!)
15 Top Data Analytics Tools
Data analytics tools are, to be sure, in great demand. A May 2017 story in The Economist declared that data is now more valuable than oil. While it can’t run your car, data nonetheless is a key commodity that many of the world’s biggest businesses run on and is the life blood of many corporations.
In treating data as an asset, that means the tools to perform data analytics are just as vital to the business, because without analytics you have no context, no knowledge. You just have data, which, like raw petroleum, is useless unless it is refined.
… What follows is a list by no means complete, but a comprehensive list of the different data analytics tools available. Some are free, others with a fee. They are in no particular order.

Leading Data Analytics Tools

Probably not the first thing that comes to mind, but Excel is one of the most widely used analytics tools in the world given its massive installed base. You won’t use it for advanced analytics to be sure, but Excel is a great way to start learning the basics of analytics not to mention a useful tool for basic grunt work. It supports all the important features like summarizing data, visualizing data, and basic data manipulation. It has a huge user community with plenty of support, tutorials and free resources.

Because they might be useful…
35 Artificial Intelligence Courses
It's no surprise there's great interest in artificial intelligence courses: artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be making its way into literally every aspect of technology.
In fact, according to Gartner, "By 2020, AI technologies will be virtually pervasive in almost every new software product and service." And IDC has predicted that worldwide spending on AI will reach $12.5 billion this year, 59.3 percent more than in 2016. By 2020, revenues could skyrocket to more than $46 billion.
This growing focus on AI has many IT pros scrambling to update their knowledge. Courses on artificial intelligence, machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing and related topics are attracting huge numbers of students.

This could be useful…
Guide on How to Transcribe YouTube Videos Automatically
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 12, 2017
Karrar Haider via Hongkiat: “A lot of us may not know but YouTube comes with many useful features like translation for titles and description and YouTube keyboard shortcuts etc. Similarly, there are ways with which you can transcribe YouTube videos. As nowadays, the speech recognition software have improved a lot, you can get a reliable automatic transcription that can be easily edited to perfection with little to no effort. It’s quite easy to transcribe YouTube videos as YouTube automatically transcribes most of the videos as soon as they are uploaded. In this post, I’ll show you 3 ways to get YouTube video transcriptions for free…

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