Saturday, February 09, 2019

An early heads-up. The Privacy Foundation at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Spring Seminar: Friday, April 26, 2019: “Current California Privacy Legislation” More details as they become available.

Biometrics and other things, AI uses them all.
To help replace the CAC card, Pentagon enlists AI startup
Brooklyn-based artificial intelligence startup (TWOSENSE.AI) is working with the Department of Defense to replace the CAC card.
… The contract … will focus on next-generation identity verification by authenticating users “by their behavior, such as how they walk, type, carry their device, or interact with the screen,” TWOSENSE.AI said in a release

(Related) To use digital ID you first must have digital hardware.
The Case For and Against Digital ID
At this year’s Davos summit in Switzerland, the topic of digital ID made headlines. According to a new research study presented at the World Economic Forum in Davos, developing economies that adopt digital ID systems (rather than paper-based ID systems) have the potential to grow their annual GDP by up to 13 percent by the year 2030. The big caveat, however, is that any form of new digital ID system is going to raise questions about personal privacy.
… In Estonia, digital ID cards are used for just about everything official – including voting, signing documents and submitting tax claims. In fact, digital ID has helped to streamline the business system so much that Estonian government officials now claim that the average individual saves 5 business days each year, simply due to productivity gains. In terms of economic growth, that’s good for an additional two percentage points of GDP growth each year.

Apparently it is worth the time and effort spent. Silly me, I thought the idea was to skip all that effort.
Ray Stern reports:
Arizona police have increasingly been digging into online records to find out who’s responsible for photo-enforcement tickets.
Cops in several cities that use speed or red-light cameras tell Phoenix New Times they’ve been doing extra research to find the people in violation photos, beyond simply sending notices asking a car’s registered owner to rat out the offending driver.
Read more on New Times.

The Marketing Department wanted it that way. (Notice that they are not changing the prices.)
Target makes changes to app after report finds it displayed higher prices inside stores
Target has openly admitted that prices can be different in-store versus online, but there can also be a price difference within the Target app depending on where you use it.
… A Target spokesperson said each product will now have a disclaimer below the price to indicate if the price will be valid in store or at
If you see a lower price in the app, take a screengrab and Target will match the price. You should also turn off the location setting, that way the app won’t know where you are when shopping.

Merging for the architecture.
Cramer: What Wall Street doesn't get about the SunTrust-BB&T merger
The biggest banking deal since the financial crisis has more to do with technology than any traditional bank metric, CNBC's Jim Cramer said Friday of BB&T's pivotal $66 billion commitment to buy rival SunTrust Banks.
"To me, this BB&T merger of equals with SunTrust is about keeping up with the Joneses — in this case, keeping up with the Wells Fargos, the J.P. Morgans and especially the Bank of Americas," he told investors. "These financial titans can spend fortunes to build out terrific cloud-based customer relations platforms that have done a phenomenal job of adding new clients. On their own, neither SunTrust nor BB&T can really compete with the big boys when it comes to technology."
… "I think technology — specifically, the need for customer relations management software — is a crucial part of what drove this deal," Cramer argued, pointing to what he saw as Bank of America's lead in the digital banking arena.
In its most recent quarter, Bank of America reported 36 million active digital banking users, versus 31 million three years ago. The bank also said that 77 percent of its consumer deposits were digital, up from 67 percent three years ago.
"Right now, Bank of America is the king of mobile. They have an incredible app, and they have Salesforce to help them figure out what their customers want and when they want it, and they integrate it together," Cramer explained.

Perspective. Busier than I thought.
Uber’s JUMP bikes are seeing high utilization rates
In the past year, more than 63,000 people took 625,000 rides on JUMP bikes in San Francisco, JUMP announced today. Each JUMP bike in San Francisco saw an average of seven rides per bike per day compared to the docked-bike industry average of one to two per day.
… On an industry-wide basis, docked systems see an average of one to two rides per bike per day, according to 2017 data from the National Association of City Transportation Officials.
Meanwhile, JUMP rides have continued to decrease the number of Uber rides. In July, Uber reported finding the number of car trips decreasing by 10 percent while trip frequency of JUMP + Uber increased by 15 percent.

The more the merrier.

Friday, February 08, 2019

Unclear on purpose? There was a breach but nothing was breached?
Australian parliamentary network hacked; no sign data stolen
Australia's leading cybersecurity agency is investigating a breach of the country's federal parliamentary computing network amid speculation of hacking by a foreign nation.
Lawmakers and staff in the capital, Canberra, were made to change their passwords on the system after the overnight breach.
A joint statement from House of Representatives Speaker Tony Smith and Senate President Scott Ryan says there's no evidence that data had been accessed in the breach, but investigations are continuing.

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” Clarke's First Law
“Any sufficiently poor disaster recovery is indistinguishable from managerial incompetence.” Bob's First Law
Wells Fargo customers are furious as 2nd service outage in a week means they can't use their debit cards or access accounts online
Wells Fargo customers were unable to use debit cards or access online banking because of a "systems issue" causing "intermittent outages," the company said on Twitter on Thursday morning.
The outage seemed to be nationwide, with customers taking to social media to express their concerns and grievances. Some said they were experiencing difficulty buying gas and getting to work, while others were unable to purchase food or pay bills.
… A Wells Fargo spokesperson sent Business Insider the following statement: "We're experiencing system issues due to a power shutdown at one of our facilities, initiated after smoke was detected following routine maintenance. We're working to restore services as soon as possible."

Law enforcement by intimidation? Forgetting your password could be very costly.
Australia Wields Vast Decryption Powers Before Planned Review
Australian security agencies have begun using sweeping new powers to access encrypted communications, even before a promised review to address concerns from the likes of Google, Apple and Facebook.
The powers were granted under a new decryption law which was rushed through parliament in December amid fierce debate, and was seen as the latest salvo between governments and tech firms over national security and privacy.
Under the fresh rules, refusal to grant authorities access to devices is punishable with up to 10 years in prison, and police told a parliamentary inquiry they had used that threat to compel two suspects to hand over their passwords.
Citing secrecy provisions in the law, police declined to say if they had used the new law to force device makers or telecommunications firms – including global giants like Apple – to break or bypass encrypted communications.
The same provisions bar industry from disclosing whether they have received such police demands, known as "compulsory notices".
Stanton warned the new law posed "an enormous threat" to export opportunities for Australian tech firms "because they can no longer provide any assurance that their gear hasn't been tampered with by Australian security".
"Even to say, 'no, it hasn't', is an offence" under the law," he added.

Is this everything we need?
Amazon weighs in on potential ‘legislative framework’ for facial recognition
Amazon supports the creation of a “legislative framework” covering facial recognition technology. That’s according to Michael Punke, vice president of global public policy at Amazon’s AWS division, who penned a blog post this week outlining proposed guidelines for the “responsible use” of face-classifying software by private, commercial, and government entities.

Does this really have that much of an impact on DUI apprehension? Isn’t it the electronic equivalent of flashing your lights to caution drivers?
NYPD – Google and Waze Must Stop Sharing Drunken-Driving Checkpoints
The New York Times: “Google’s navigation app Waze is known for providing real-time, user-submitted reports that advise drivers about potential thorns in their roadsides. But one feature has Waze in conflict with law enforcement officials across the country: how the app marks the location of police officers on the roads ahead or stationed at drunken-driving checkpoints. Over the weekend, the New York Police Department, the largest force in the nation, joined the fray, sending a letter to Google demanding that the tech giant pull that feature from Waze. In the letter, which was first reported on by Streetsblog, the Police Department said that allowing people to share the locations of sobriety checkpoints impeded its ability to keep streets safe.
“The posting of such information for public consumption is irresponsible since it only serves to aid impaired and intoxicated drivers to evade checkpoints and encourage reckless driving,” the department’s acting deputy commissioner for legal matters, Ann P. Prunty, wrote in the letter. “Revealing the location of checkpoints puts those drivers, their passengers, and the general public at risk.”..

Perspective. In 1890, the Census used paper punch cards to tabulate the data. That was far less risky than this.
The Challenge of America's First Online Census

I still have a gas powered car. Is it now a valuable collectors item or just an obsolete piece of junk?
GM is going 'all-electric,' but it doesn't expect to make money off battery-powered cars until early next decade
… GM is clear that its electric vehicles won't make money until "early next decade," Barra said.
Turning a profit from electric vehicles has long been considered a major challenge for automakers, which are pouring money into electric vehicle, EV, technology in the face of fluctuating oil prices, government initiatives to reduce carbon pollution and excitement over Tesla.

I see a student poll coming.
Is Reddit the Most Influential Site on the Internet?
Journalist and author Christine Lagorio-Chafkin discusses her new book about the history of Reddit.

Listen to the podcast:

Free to use!
Cleveland Museum of Art: 30,000 high quality digital images now available
Creative Commons Blog: “The Cleveland Museum of Art is one of the most visited art museums in the world, and soon it will become one of the most important online collections as well. Today, we are announcing a release of 30,000 high quality, free and open digital images from the museum’s collection under CC0 and available via their API. CC0 allows anyone to use, re-use, and remix a work without restriction. In line with the museum’s mission to work “for the benefit of all people in the Digital Age,” the Cleveland Museum is leading the charge for comprehensive metadata and open access policy. The museum sees its role as not only providing access, but also creating sincere partnerships that increase utility and relevance in our time.
Creative Commons CEO Ryan Merkley joined museum director William M. Griswold and Chief Digital and Information Officer Jane Alexander at the CMA to announce this release. “I hope this model of working closely together with visionary organizations will be one that we can replicate with other museums, and that this will become the new standard by which institutions share and engage with the public online,” he said. The museum’s leadership echoed the sentiment…”

You don’t often get this: A scifi vision of the (near?) future and a rebuttal based on today.
Mother of Invention”
A new short story by the author of Marvel’s Black Panther: Long Live the King.

Thursday, February 07, 2019

Consider this a ranging shot. The full broadside will follow shortly.
Germany orders Facebook to change the way it gathers data
Germany is moving to break up Facebook's dominant position in gathering data about social media users.
The country's antitrust office ruled Thursday that Facebook is abusing its virtual monopoly in social media by combining data from Instagram, WhatsApp and third party websites.
The office said Facebook used the data to build a unique profile about each user to gain more market power.
In future, Facebook will have to seek German users' explicit consent to collect and combine such data. The Bundeskartellamt ordered Facebook to come up with proposals for how to do this.
… Facebook said it disagreed with the decision and plans to appeal against it.
… It also accused the Bundeskartellamt of trying to "implement an unconventional standard for a single company."

(Related) Not that I’m counting.
Lucian Constantin reports:
Since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May last year, EU organizations have reported almost 60,000 data breaches, but so far fewer than 100 fines have been issued by regulators.
According to a new report by multinational law firm DLA Piper, the European Commission’s official statistics show 41,502 data breach notifications between May 25, 2018, and January 28, 2019 (Data Protection Day). However, this only covered 21 of the 28 EU member states and didn’t include countries like Norway, Iceland and Lichtenstein, which are not EU members but are part of the European Economic Area (EEA) and are subject to the same regulation.
Read more on ITWorld.

Learning how to operate in the land of GDPR. How do you explain AI? Reading this article convinces me that lawyers who can explain GDPR to management are worth their weight in gold.
What Do You Rely on Consent For? 3 Things Consent No Longer Makes Legal After the Google GDPR Fine
The recent 50 Million Euro Google GDPR fine changes how every organization must do business around the globe. This is due to new requirements for consent under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) as outlined by Giovanni Buttarelli, European Data Protection Supervisor. Companies must focus on more than consent to legally process analytics and AI when those processes cannot be described with the required specificity and voluntariness at the time of data collection.
You can no longer use consent to:
  1. Process data collected with non-compliant consent;
  2. Process “Analytics & AI” (as defined below); or
  3. Make decentralized Analytics & AI legal.
Most historical data, Analytics & AI, and decentralized processing is illegal under the GDPR. If your organization is relying on consent for any (all?) of these processes, you are in violation of the GDPR.1

This is all they’re giving to Congress? No wonder they remain so ignorant.
CRS – Artificial Intelligence and National Security
Vias FAS: “The CIA has around 140 projects involving or related to artificial intelligence, CRS noted (citing a 2017 story in DefenseOne). See Artificial Intelligence and National Security, updated January 30, 2019.”

(Related) Compare and contrast.
Understanding China's AI Strategy

Would this work for other industries? (Hint: Yes!)
What’s Behind JPMorgan Chase’s Big Bet on Artificial Intelligence?
According to Saxena, AI will help financial services companies expand banking penetration worldwide, launch new products and deepen customer engagements.
… Companies across every industry are looking to gather and use more data. They want to better understand who their customers are, how they interact with them, the services they provide, and how they can improve those services and experiences. Every activity is becoming data-driven.
AI is allowing companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon to achieve hyper-scale. You can get personalized news feeds in real-time. A grocery store or a bookstore like Amazon can serve hundreds of millions of users globally. That is possible when you inject AI into every piece of your business process. Now, transfer this to AI and finance. The future of AI in finance is a bank that can serve billions of people and provide personalized services.

Perspective. That’s a lot of bricks and mortar for a non-bricks and mortar company.
When Amazon Went From Big to Unbelievably Big
… According to its latest annual report, Amazon now has 288 million square feet of warehouses, offices, retail stores, and data centers. In 2017—the biggest growth year for the company’s properties—alone, it added more square feet of building (74.6 million) than the company had total in 2012 (73.1 million), when it was already the largest online retailer in the world. Amazon has added more building space from 2016 to 2018 as it did in all the rest of its history. Go back a little further in time, and the growth is even more astounding: Amazon has 48 times the square footage it did in 2004.

Perspective. Perhaps adults are not ready to be kids again.
At least 1,500 people were injured in e-scooter-related crashes in America since late 2017 — Consumer Reports
“Consumer Reports did what no one in government seems to be doing,” tweeted Kim Zetter (an author & journalist I follow, you should too).
They slogged through all the data, “tracked the number of e-scooter accidents and injuries nationwide, and found 1,500... these are just ones they found by calling 110 hospitals and 5 agencies in 46 cities - there are likely many more.”

Wednesday, February 06, 2019

How fragile is Internet service?
Comcast service mostly back after gunfire damage causes outages in Charleston area
Cable and Internet giant Comcast said its telecommunications network in the Charleston region was damaged by stray gunfire Monday morning, leading to outages across parts of its local service area.
… Workers found a .45-caliber bullet lodged in a fiber-optic cable, he said.

Perspective. Acknowledged or not, this is an arms race and a cyber-Maginot line will not suffice.
France Latest Nation to Acknowledge Offensive Cyber Operations
… At the beginning of 2019, French Defense Secretary Florence Parly publicly acknowledged in a speech delivered at the Forum International de Cybersecurit√© in Lille, France that her nation was changing its posture from “active defense” to “offensive cyber capabilities.” This was not just a throwaway line in a speech, either: it was the public articulation of a very real change in the way that France views the global cyber threat matrix. As Parly herself pointed out, “Cyber war has begun.” And France is not about to sit around idly as other nations mobilize offensive cyberspace operations (OCO).
… In shifting from defense to offense in its cyber operations, France appears to be following the lead of the United States, which recently announced a major policy change of its own back in September 2018. At that time, the Trump Administration authorized offensive cyber operations. National Security Advisor John Bolton officially eased the rules that prevented the Department of Defense from coordinating offensive cyber attacks against the enemy.
… What’s worrisome, however, is that the U.S. specifically pointed to two of the world’s most powerful state actors – Russia and China – as its primary adversaries in cyberspace, and not a rogue nation like Iran or North Korea. In other words, the threat of a terrorist organization carrying out a cyber attack on the U.S. homeland now appears to be much less than that of a major nation-state carrying out a coordinated attack against the U.S. infrastructure.
… With the easing of the rules of engagement in cyberspace, the U.S. military would largely be free to engage in any action that falls below the important threshold known as the “use of force.” In other words, as long as the U.S. military or cyber defense team decided that a threat was imminent against the U.S, grid (or any network deemed to be critical), it could launch a cyber attack that did not result in death, destruction, or extreme financial damage.

Japan has the equivalent of the GDPR. Unlikely the US ever will.
EU and Japan Create World’s Largest Area of Safe Data Transfers
On 23 January, the European Commission announced that it had adopted an adequacy decision in relation to Japan, to enter into force immediately. The mutual agreement, which covers Japan’s 127m citizens as well as the whole of the EU, allows personal data to be transferred between Japan and the EU without the need for additional safeguards such as Standard Contractual Clauses, and creates the largest area of safe data transfers in the world.
… For the European Commission to grant an adequacy decision, a country’s data protection laws must provide adequate protection for personal data, which means an ‘essentially equivalent’ level as the EU’s GDPR. Countries are not, however, required to have exactly the same laws as the EU in place.

Is a warrant so difficult or time consuming that it is worth the risk to skip it?
Ben Spurr has an update on a privacy travesty that has been going on for about two years:
Law enforcement officers are increasingly seeking access to personal information stored on transit riders’ Presto fare cards, with requests for the data spiking by 47 per cent in 2018 compared to the year before.
And while Metrolinx, the provincial agency that controls Presto, only acceded to a minority of the requests, in 22 instances related to law enforcement investigations or suspected offences the agency divulged card users’ information without requiring a warrant or court order, a practice that has troubled rights groups since its was first exposed by the Star two years ago.
Read more on The Star.
But over on Twitter, law professor Lisa Austin offered a possible justification/explanation:
The disclosures are about crimes on their property. OCA in R v Ward said that a telecom has legitimate interests in voluntary disclosure where the investigation involves the criminal misuse of its services. Maybe that's what they are using. Not so convincing.
Tamir @tamir_i
Replying to @leahwest_nsl @Lisa_M_Austin
They claim it's not blocked by ON FIPPA or the Charter.

Think of it as a police body camera for the rest of us?
… Today, the USPTO has granted a patent that could see the S Pen also used as a camera with an optical zoom — potentially removing the need for a camera notch (or hole-punch).

Design failure? Can’t update the software even though the watch “communicates?”
EU orders recall of children's smartwatch over severe privacy concerns
For the first time, EU authorities have announced plans to recall a product from the European market because of a data privacy issue.
The product is Safe-KID-One, a children's smartwatch produced by German electronics vendor ENOX.
According to the company's website, the watch comes with a trove of features, such as a built-in GPS tracker, built-in microphone and speaker, a calling and SMS text function, and a companion Android mobile app that parents can use to keep track and contact their children.
… "The mobile application accompanying the watch has unencrypted communications with its backend server and the server enables unauthenticated access to data," said authorities in the RAPEX alert. "As a consequence, the data such as location history, phone numbers, serial number can easily be retrieved and changed."
On top of this, authorities also said that "a malicious user can send commands to any watch making it call another number of his choosing, can communicate with the child wearing the device or locate the child through GPS."
All of these were seen as huge privacy issues by Icelandic consumer protection authorities, which asked EU authorities for the product's recall.
… While ENOX is the first children's smartwatch vendor to have its products recalled on the EU market, more are bound to follow. Other smartwatches are most likely to exhibit similar privacy and security holes.
Some of these are listed in an October 2017 report from the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC). Back then, BEUC issued a public service announcement on the security and privacy concerns surrounding several children's smartwatch models, warning that most products are rife with security flaws and that they should not be in stores, to begin with.

Courts are not always logical.
When Jazz Was a Public Health Crisis
In 1923, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a ruling shutting down a dance hall that featured jazz music. The opinion, shared by many in polite society, made clear that jazz was considered not just a mere nuisance, but a danger to health and public safety. The court stated that the music
is not only disagreeable but it also wears upon the nervous system and produces that feeling which we call “tired.” That the subjection of a human being to a continued hearing of loud noises tends to shorten life . . . is beyond all doubt.

Tuesday, February 05, 2019

We probably should not use this to advertise our Ethical Hacking class.
Catalin Cimpanu reports:
Two hacker groups are behind 60% of all publicly reported cryptocurrency exchange hacks and are believed to have stolen around $1 billion worth of cryptocurrency, according to a report published last week by blockchain analysis firm Chainalysis.
“On average, the hacks we traced from the two prominent hacking groups stole $90 million per hack,” said Chainalysis.
Read more on ZDNet.

I’m surprised that a voluntary effort is doing so well. Perhaps it is fear of a GDPR like law? Perhaps it’s ‘self-reporting?’
Online platforms still not clear enough about hate speech takedowns: EC
In its latest monitoring report of a voluntary Code of Conduct on illegal hate speech, which platforms including Facebook, Twitter and YouTube signed up to in Europe back in 2016, the European Commission has said progress is being made on speeding up takedowns but tech firms are still lagging when it comes to providing feedback and transparency around their decisions.
Tech companies are now assessing 89% of flagged content within 24 hours, with 72% of content deemed to be illegal hate speech being removed, according to the Commission — compared to just 40% and 28% respectively when the Code was first launched more than two years ago.

(Related) Elsewhere, things are different.
India plans to regulate popular Chinese apps TikTok, Helo, LIKE, others
Financial Times reported that the Indian government has come with up a draft regulation for popular social apps like TikTok, Helo, LIKE, Vigo Video, and others to moderate content on these platforms. These apps run on user-generated content (UGC) created by millions of people, but Indian regulators want the platform-owners to be more responsible for the stuff that flows through their networks.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (MeitY) is said to have proposed new rules for apps that have more than five million users. It requires them to establish a local office and appoint a senior official in the country who would be held responsible for any legal hassles that could arise from the nature of the content on the apps.
The draft law also calls for apps to deploy “automated tools for proactively identifying and removing or disabling public access to unlawful information or content.”

Are they treating the symptom or the cause?
Adam Popescu reports:
On paper, it looks as if San Francisco shouldn’t have a homelessness problem. There are as many permanent housing beds as people who need them. The city spends hundreds of millions of dollars to help get people off the streets, and last year voters approved a measure to raise $300 million annually to tackle the issue by taxing local companies. Yet there are about 7,500 homeless in the city because of soaring rents and the difficulty of treating substance abuse, mental illness, and other health concerns.
Now the world capital of innovation and Big Data is betting that streamlined information is the answer. City officials have spent the past two years building a digital program called ONE System that can track and monitor every homeless person in San Francisco. The idea is simple: Collect and sort information associated with the homeless to more effectively assess risk factors, determine those most in need, and get those people into available shelters and transitional housing. But the reality is more complicated. Five months after its introduction, ONE System has helped get only 70 people off the streets as it contends with the same challenges that have plagued past efforts—as well as new ones, including persuading the city’s most at-risk population to sign on to a program with echoes of Big Brother.
Read more on Bloomberg.

“Hey! What’s the big deal? Lawyers is rich!”
Attacking a Pay Wall That Hides Public Court Filings
The New York Times: “The federal judiciary has built an imposing pay wall around its court filings, charging a preposterous 10 cents a page for electronic access to what are meant to be public records. A pending lawsuit could help tear that wall down. The costs of storing and transmitting data have plunged, approaching zero. By one estimate, the actual cost of retrieving court documents, including secure storage, is about one half of one ten-thousandth of a penny per page. But the federal judiciary charges a dime a page to use its service, called Pacer (for Public Access to Court Electronic Records). The National Veterans Legal Services Program and two other nonprofit groups filed a class action in 2016 seeking to recover what they said were systemic overcharges. “Excessive Pacer fees inhibit public understanding of the courts and thwart equal access to justice, erecting a financial barrier that many ordinary citizens are unable to clear,” they wrote. The suit accuses the judicial system of using the fees it charges as a kind of slush fund, spending the money to buy flat-screen televisions for jurors, to finance a study of the Mississippi court system and to send notices in bankruptcy proceedings…”

Perspective. I suspect that every class lecture is at least one podcast.
No, Podcasting Is Not a Small Business
Believe it or not, there’s money in podcasts.
Spotify is in advanced talks to acquire Gimlet Media, the Brooklyn-based narrative podcast company, for more than $200 million in cash, according to Recode.
… Two years ago, the startup was reportedly valued at roughly $70 million.
Podcasting may be a relatively small industry in the U.S, but if I had to guess, Spotify has bigger ambitions than that. Just take a look at the stats: The U.S. podcasting industry brought in $314 million in ad revenue in 2017. Yet the global picture is much different.
The podcast industry in China is 23x larger, estimated to be worth an eye-popping $7.3+ billion. Why? Perhaps because the model is different. Many of the podcasts in China are paid via subscription, while podcasts in America are mostly free or ad-supported.

There are some strange, possible scenarios here. If everyone in Colorado votes for candidate A, candidate B could get our electoral votes because large population states voted the other way.
Colorado Senate passes bill favoring popular vote over Electoral College
The Denver Channel: “A bill championed by Sen. Mike Foote, D-Lafayette, is the most accessed bill on the Colorado legislature’s website and could eventually change how the United States chooses its president. “The bottom line is that every Coloradan should have their voice heard,” said Foote.” Senate Bill 19-042 …makes] Colorado the 13th state to join what’s known as the National Popular Vote interstate compact. States in the compact agree to award all their electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote, no matter which presidential candidate wins in their state. But there’s a trick. It only goes into effect when enough states representing 270 electoral votes sign on, which is the number of votes a candidate needs to win the presidency. So far, 12 states with a total of 172 electoral votes have already joined the compact. Colorado would bring nine more, so 89 more electoral votes would be needed if the Colorado proposal passes and is signed by Gov. Jared Polis…”

Might this work in other fields?
How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying
Lebovits, Gerald, How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying (September 1, 2018). Gerald Lebovits, The Legal Writer, How to Succeed in Legal Writing by Really Trying, 90 N.Y. St. B.J. 61 (Sept. 2018). Available at SSRN: – “This column addresses how to make someone competent at legal writing if they currently are not and how to teach someone to be excellent if they already are competent.”

Monday, February 04, 2019

I’ll wager dollars to donuts that my students can come up with at least six procedures that would make this impossible.
A crypto exchange can't repay $190 million it owes customers because its CEO died with the only password

Another “proof of concept” test?
Operator of Tonga's internet cable cannot rule out sabotage
A director at the operator of Tonga's undersea internet cable has said he cannot rule out sabotage as the reason the cable broke and plunged the Pacific nation into virtual darkness for almost two weeks.
Repair crews found two breaks along the vital fibre-optic cable that connects Tonga with the rest of the world, Piveni Piukala, a director of Tonga Cable Ltd., said on Monday.
Several kilometres away, they found two more breaks and rope entangled on the separate domestic cable that connects the main island with some of Tonga's outer islands.

Implications for the 2020 election: We don’t need these any longer, we have better tools.
M.H.n reports:
Sixgill, an Israeli threat intelligence company, recently revealed that a Russian-language darknet forum has been selling access to the content management systems of a variety of news sites.
According to the company, the illicit trade has been going on since October 2018.
One bundle that the darknet website offered contained logins to 1,425 U.S.-based news sites.
Read more on Dark Web News.

What are others doing? Always a valid question. (Has someone already solved a problem we are wrestling with?)
UN launches Cyber Policy Portal
“The United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR) has just launched a Cyber Policy Portal that serves as an interactive, ‘at a glance’ tool for policymakers and experts. For the first time on a single site, users can access concise yet comprehensive cyber policy profiles of all 193 UN Member States, as well as regional and international organizations. Individual profiles summarize and link key cyber strategy documents, responsible agencies, legislation, and multilateral agreements. While governments are increasingly making their cybersecurity strategies and policies publicly available, policy-makers and experts seeking to develop an overview of national and international cyber policies often still need to piece together data from disparate sources. They attempt to identify relevant information in foreign languages, scour lengthy printed reports, and maneuver past complex assessment scores.
The sleek new Portal improves access to this critical information in a single, user-friendly tool. Search filters and a compare function allow easy analysis of progress across States and regions. Additional features include sharable and printable profiles, and feedback mechanisms to allow timely updates. All data is from open source and voluntarily submitted material with links to primary sources accessible within the Portal. Check out this short video to learn more and let us know what you think!”

Politicians will try to block this technology. Apparently they all have something to hide.
Companies crawl the web with artificial intelligence to spot employee 'red flags'
Businesses are crawling social media, email and internal instant messaging services for employees making sexist or bullying comments in an attempt to root out troublesome behaviour and avoid lawsuits.
Fama, a California start-up which claims to have 120 clients including Fortune 500 companies, said it is helping businesses weed out individuals likely to cause a rift among workers and expose the business to costly lawsuits.
Its artificial intelligence-powered snooping software identified 82,900 instances of misogyny, 40,200 instances of bigotry, 677 insinuations of violence and 589 instances of criminal behaviour in 2018. Fama claims to scan 15,000 workers per month...

A paper for my Data Management students.
The implications of the difference between facts and knowledge
Via LLRX.comThe implications of the difference between facts and knowledge – Using the foundational paper, Facts or Knowledge? A Review of Private Internal Reports of Investigations by Fraud Examiners, Bruce Boyes succinctly identifies the difference between facts and knowledge to clarify why organizations should engage in knowledge management.

An article for my Software Architecture students.
5 Internet Of Things Trends Everyone Should Know About
… Soon, it will be taken for granted that pretty much any device we own – cars, TVs, watches, kitchen appliances can go online and communicate with each other. In industry too, tools and machinery are increasingly intelligent and connected, generating data that drives efficiency and enables new paradigms such as predictive maintenance to become a reality, rather than a pipe-dream. In fact, it is predicted that by the end of 2019 there will be 26 billion connected devices around the world.
Here are five predictions about how this is likely to play out over the next 12 months as we become increasingly used to the fact that the internet isn’t just something we connect to using computers and smartphones, but virtually anything we can think of:

(Related) Bad architecture? Are ignorant staffers cheaper?
'It's on the website.' How the internet made retail staff ignorant

(Related) Caution! This video is not accurate.
IoT Revolution: 5 Ways the Internet of Things Will Change Transportation

Perspective. Can we learn from bad examples?
India’s Digital Path: Leaning Democratic or Authoritarian?

Sunday, February 03, 2019

A computer Security challenge: Finding humans. Build a test that AI can’t pass.
Why CAPTCHAs have gotten so difficult
… Because CAPTCHA is such an elegant tool for training AI, any given test could only ever be temporary, something its inventors acknowledged at the outset. With all those researchers, scammers, and ordinary humans solving billions of puzzles just at the threshold of what AI can do, at some point the machines were going to pass us by. In 2014, Google pitted one of its machine learning algorithms against humans in solving the most distorted text CAPTCHAs: the computer got the test right 99.8 percent of the time, while the humans got a mere 33 percent.

Look for legal voids, make huge profits?
How your health information is sold and turned into ‘risk scores’
… Over the past year, powerful companies such as LexisNexis have begun hoovering up the data from insurance claims, digital health records, housing records, and even information about a patient’s friends, family and roommates, without telling the patient they are accessing the information, and creating risk scores for health care providers and insurers. Health insurance giant Cigna and UnitedHealth's Optum are also using risk scores.
There’s no guarantee of the accuracy of the algorithms and “really no protection” against their use, said Sharona Hoffman, a professor of bioethics at Case Western Reserve University. Overestimating risk might lead health systems to focus their energy on the wrong patients; a low risk score might cause a patient to fall through the cracks.
No law prohibits collecting such data or using it in the exam room. Congress hasn’t taken up the issue of intrusive big data collection in health care. It’s an area where technology is moving too fast for government and society to keep up.

Because I’m the faculty adviser to our Raspberry Pi club…
Raspberry Pi 4: Release Date, Specs, Price, Everything We Know

Top 12 Raspberry Pi Alternatives
Here is a selection of single board computers for homebrew projects and automation, with prices starting at only $5. Edited February 2019