Blog Rolls

Former NFL Player Tim Green Has A New Opponent — ALS

Green, a well-known voice on NPR in the 1990s, is one of a growing number of former football players with the degenerative illness Lou Gehrig's disease. And he's not hiding it.

(Image credit: Heather Ainsworth for NPR)

Categories: Just News

Customs And Border Protection Paid A Firm $13.6 Million To Hire Recruits. It Hired 2

A report by the Office of the Inspector General revealed Accenture, contracted to help hire 7,500 new agents, is "nowhere near" completing its goals and "risks wasting millions of taxpayer dollars."

(Image credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Michael Flynn Asks For No Prison Time, Cites Help He Gave Special Counsel

Defense lawyers told the judge their client gave investigators extensive help and gave the country exemplary military service.

(Image credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Categories: Just News

Cybersecurity of the Person

Kosseff, Jeff, Cybersecurity of the Person (October 31, 2018). First Amendment Law Review, 2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3276218

“U.S. cybersecurity law is largely an outgrowth of the early-aughts concerns over identity theft and financial fraud. Cybersecurity laws focus on protecting identifiers such as driver’s licenses and social security numbers, and financial data such as credit card numbers. Federal and state laws require companies to protect this data and notify individuals when it is breached, and impose civil and criminal liability on hackers who steal or damage this data. In this paper, I argue that our current cybersecurity laws are too narrowly focused on financial harms. While such concerns remain valid, they are only one part of the cybersecurity challenge that our nation faces. Too often overlooked by the cybersecurity profession are the harms to individuals, such as revenge pornography and online harassment. Our legal system typically addresses these harms through retrospective criminal prosecution and civil litigation, both of which face significant limits. Accounting for such harms in our conception of cybersecurity will help to better align our laws with these threats and reduce the likelihood of the harms occurring.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Buffeted By Brexit Woes, Theresa May Embarks On Whirlwind European Tour

A day after the prime minister delayed a critical vote on her Brexit deal, May has hit the road in search of assurances from European leaders — while political turmoil churns back home.

(Image credit: Michael Sohn/AP)

Categories: Just News

Rays Of Sun Or A Reminder Of Atrocities? After Protests, L.A. Mural Will Be Removed

The artist says he meant no harm, but some Korean neighbors see echoes of a flag flown by the imperial Japanese army during World War II.

(Image credit: Beau Stanton/Courtesy)

Categories: Just News

How to Find Out When a Webpage Was Published

maketecheasier: “When you’re doing research on a topic, it’s vital to ensure your sources are up to date. If you’re writing an academic paper, dates of publication are often required in the citations. The majority of the time, getting the date is easy: simply look on the site and find the “published on” date to find out how recent it was. Things get a little more complicated when there is no date listed on the webpage. When this happens, how do you know when the page was published?…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Race to Understand Antarctica’s Most Terrifying Glacier

Wired: “Few places in Antarctica are more difficult to reach than Thwaites Glacier, a Florida-sized hunk of frozen water that meets the Amundsen Sea about 800 miles west of McMurdo. Until a decade ago, barely any scientists had ever set foot there, and the glacier’s remoteness, along with its reputation for bad weather, ensured that it remained poorly understood. Yet within the small community of people who study ice for a living, Thwaites has long been the subject of dark speculation. If this mysterious glacier were to “go bad”—glaciologist-­speak for the process by which a glacier breaks down into icebergs and eventually collapses into the ocean—it might be more than a scientific curiosity. Indeed, it might be the kind of event that changes the course of civilization…Glaciers like Thwaites that terminate in the ocean tend to follow a familiar pattern of collapse. At first, water gnaws at the ice shelf from below, causing it to weaken and thin. Rather than sitting securely on the seafloor, it begins to float, like a beached ship lifted off the sand. This exposes even more of its underside to the water, and the weakening and thinning continue. The shelf, now too fragile to support its own weight, starts snapping off into the sea in enormous chunks. More ice flows down from the glacier’s interior, replenishing what has been lost, and the whole cycle starts over again: melt, thin, break, retreat; melt, thin, break, retreat…”

Categories: Law and Legal

DHS OIG Report – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry

DHS Office of Inspector General Audit – CBP’s Searches of Electronic Devices At Ports of Entry / Redacted, December 3, 2018: “Between April 2016 and July 2017, CBP’s [U.S. Customs and Border Protection] Office of Field Operations (OFO) did not always conduct searches of electronic devices at U.S. ports of entry according to its SOPs. Specifically, because of inadequate supervision to ensure OFO officers properly documented searches, OFO cannot maintain accurate quantitative data or identify and address performance problems related to these searches. In addition, OFO officers did not consistently disconnect electronic devices, specifically cell phones, from the network before searching them because headquarters provided inconsistent guidance to the ports of entry on disabling data connections on electronic devices. OFO also did not adequately manage technology to effectively support search operations and ensure the security of data. Finally, OFO has not yet developed performance measures to evaluate the effectiveness of a pilot program, begun in 2007, to conduct advanced searches, including copying electronic data from searched devices to law enforcement databases.

These deficiencies in supervision, guidance, and equipment management, combined with a lack of performance measures, limit OFO’s ability to detect and deter illegal activities related to terrorism; national security; human, drug, and bulk cash smuggling; and child pornography…”

Categories: Law and Legal

FACT CHECK: Trump Says 'A Lot Of Wall Has Been Built' As He Demands We Build More

President Trump is threatening a government shutdown if he doesn't get funding to build his border wall. In a meeting with Democratic leaders, he said, "tremendous amounts of wall have been built."

(Image credit: Rebecca Blackwell/AP)

Categories: Just News

Report: Climate change could flush your savings

Grist: “Businesses say risks to their bottom line from climate climate add up to tens of billions of dollars. That may seem like a lot, but their actual risks to business are at least 100 times higher, according to a study just published in Nature Climate Change. Trillions, instead of billions. The mismatch between those numbers could liquify the money you’ve been saving for retirement. Company climate plans “give little inkling that up to 30 percent of manageable assets globally may be at risk,” researchers wrote. Climate change could soon be “the defining issue for financial stability” according to Mark Carney, governor of the Bank of England and former head of the Financial Stability Board, the international body established to make recommendations to prevent financial collapse. To take that out of econo-speak: Failure to fully comprehend climate risks — droughts, floods, heat waves — could lead to an economic crisis that makes the Great Recession look like a joyride. The researchers had access to a treasure trove of data, environmental disclosures from 1,630 companies worth more than more than two-thirds of the world’s stock markets added together. It’s the biggest and most comprehensive study of this kind ever done. Some 83 percent of businesses said that they faced real risks from climate change, but only 21 percent had quantified those risks.

It’s fascinating to see how the one in five companies that have crunched the numbers anticipate climate change will affect their business. For example, Samsung estimated that if a cyclone shut down one of their semiconductor factories for a single day it would cost $110 million. And when monsoon floods stopped Hewlett-Packard’s hard drive manufacturing in Thailand, back in 2011, it cost the company $4 billion...the estimates of investor risk come from the Economist Intelligence Unit, academic research, and the World Economic Forum, not Conservation International. In this paper, the researchers simply tallied up all the adaptations companies are making…”

Categories: Law and Legal

TIME’s Person of the Year: The Guardians

“For taking great risks in pursuit of greater truths, for the imperfect but essential quest for facts, for speaking up and for speaking out, the Guardians — Jamal Khashoggi, the Capital Gazette, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo — are TIME’s Person of the Year…” The article includes a section on each of the subjects, as well as a video. It is truly heartbreaking.

Categories: Law and Legal

NOAA Arctic Report Card – Update for 2018

2018 Headlines: Effects of persistent Arctic warming continue to mount – “Continued warming of the Arctic atmosphere and ocean are driving broad change in the environmental system in predicted and, also, unexpected ways. New emerging threats are taking form and highlighting the level of uncertainty in the breadth of environmental change that is to come. Highlights

  • Surface air temperatures in the Arctic continued to warm at twice the rate relative to the rest of the globe. Arctic air temperatures for the past five years (2014-18) have exceeded all previous records since 1900.
  • In the terrestrial system, atmospheric warming continued to drive broad, long-term trends in declining terrestrial snow cover, melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet and lake ice, increasing summertime Arctic river discharge, and the expansion and greening of Arctic tundra vegetation.
  • Despite increase of vegetation available for grazing, herd populations of caribou and wild reindeer across the Arctic tundra have declined by nearly 50% over the last two decades.
  • In 2018 Arctic sea ice remained younger, thinner, and covered less area than in the past. The 12 lowest extents in the satellite record have occurred in the last 12 years.
  • Pan-Arctic observations suggest a long-term decline in coastal landfast sea ice since measurements began in the 1970s, affecting this important platform for hunting, traveling, and coastal protection for local communities.
  • Spatial patterns of late summer sea surface temperatures are linked to regional variability in sea-ice retreat, regional air temperature, and advection of waters from the Pacific and Atlantic oceans.
  • In the Bering Sea region, ocean primary productivity levels in 2018 were sometimes 500% higher than normal levels and linked to a record low sea ice extent in the region for virtually the entire 2017/18 ice season.
  • Warming Arctic Ocean conditions are also coinciding with an expansion of harmful toxic algal blooms in the Arctic Ocean and threatening food sources.
  • Microplastic contamination is on the rise in the Arctic, posing a threat to seabirds and marine life that can ingest debris..”
Categories: Law and Legal

NOAA Expands Public Access to Big Data

Collaboration with Amazon Web Services enhances data access – “NOAA generates thousands of datasets as part of its mission to collect information on environments that span from the surface of the sun to the depths of the ocean floor. More than 68,000 datasets are made publicly available from NOAA with the National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) providing access to more than half of those datasets. With such vast holdings, NOAA faces the challenge of providing access to the data in an efficient and scalable manner.

NOAA’s Big Data Project (BDP) helps address this challenge by collaborating with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft, and the Open Commons Consortium to host NOAA’s public data on their cloud platforms. By providing access to the data in this manner, the BDP aims to enhance data discoverability and accessibility, improve efficiency for NOAA and users, as well as spur innovation and economic growth. AWS helps the BDP to achieve these goals by hosting the data on its Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) cloud platform as part of its Public Dataset Program…”

Categories: Law and Legal

United States Congressional Web Archive now includes content for 113th and 114th Congresses

LC – In Custodia Legis: “The Library of Congress Web Archiving Program is dedicated to providing reliable access to historical web content from the legislative branch. To that end, the Library has just released an update to the United States Congressional Web Archive. The archive, which includes member sites from the House and Senate, as well as House and Senate Committee websites, now includes content for the 113th and 114th Congresses. The archive has also added subject facets for the 105th and 106th Congresses to enhance access to the older content in the archive.

Categories: Law and Legal

People from all over the world are sending emails to Melbourne’s trees

ABC.Net.Au: “Melbourne gave 70,000 trees email addresses so people could report on their condition. But instead people are writing love letters, existential queries and sometimes just bad puns…” Please take a couple of minutes and read this article – you may cry, you may appreciate how important trees are in our urban areas (and if so – I encourage you to give to non profit groups such as Casey Trees – who have planted thousands of trees in Washington, DC.), and you will also experience the positive power of email. You will understand what I mean when you read the article.

Categories: Law and Legal

Stormy Daniels Ordered To Pay Trump $293,000 In Fees In Defamation Lawsuit

Earlier this year, a federal judge dismissed the adult film star's suit over a tweet Trump sent in April suggesting Daniels was lying about being threatened in 2011.

(Image credit: Tobias Schwarz /AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Amazon’s Holiday Toy Catalog Is Advertising Parents Actually Want

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 12/11/2018 - 17:48
And some people are mad they didn't get one.
Categories: Just News

Gunman Attacks French Christmas Market, Killing At Least 4 And Wounding Several

Initial reports indicate a suspect had been known to authorities as a security risk.

(Image credit: AP)

Categories: Just News

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