Law and Legal
Law.com – A survey of more than 1,200 senior attorneys found that women leave Big Law because of law firm operational policies and implicit bias. “Many experienced women attorneys in Big Law love what they do, but often they leave firms because they’re dissatisfied with how their firm operates and treats them, according to a report by ALM Media and the American Bar Association…”
Per May Whisner the report is for sale by the ABA – Walking out the Door: the Facts, Figures, and Future of Experienced Women Lawyers in Private Practice By Roberta D Liebenberg and Stephanie A Scharf. “A report from the American Bar Association and ALM Intelligence, “Walking Out the Door” addresses why senior women are far more likely than men to leave the practice of law. Women surveyed were far more likely than men to report factors that blocked their “access to success,” including lacking access to business development opportunities, being perceived as less committed to career and being denied promotion.”
Law360 – “President Donald Trump asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to find that he has “absolute immunity” from criminal investigations while president and to block the Manhattan district attorney’s subpoena of tax and financial records from his accounting firm. The Second Circuit found President Donald Trump’s presidential immunity from state criminal process doesn’t extend to the grand jury subpoenas at issue in the case. (AP) Trump lawyers petitioned the justices to overrule a Nov. 4 decision by the Second Circuit, which found his accounting firm, Mazars USA LLP, is required to furnish his tax returns to New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance. The tax returns and financial records are part of an investigation into hush-money payments made to two women alleged to have had affairs with Trump, according to Vance’s office. The high-profile case involves the limits of state investigative powers and the ability to obtain the president’s tax returns, an issue that’s been an object of intense scrutiny since before Trump became president and has been the subject of multiple court disputes…”
The New York Times – “The company’s tools enable researchers to track huge numbers of people. But doctors do not yet know if it will significantly improve health outcomes. “In 1976, the Harvard School of Public Health and two other major medical institutions started a study on nurses that has become one of the largest and longest research efforts ever conducted on women’s health. They have so far enrolled more than 275,000 participants. On Thursday, the Harvard school announced an even more ambitious women’s health study, one that aims to enroll a million women over a decade. The new ingredients allowing the huge scale: Apple’s iPhones, apps and money. Harvard’s new study is just one of three new large research efforts that Apple is working on with leading academic research centers and health organizations. Together, the studies, which Apple is paying for, show how the Silicon Valley giant and its popular products are reshaping medical research…Apple tools are enabling large-scale virtual studies that can follow people as they go about their daily lives. The company has developed a research app for iPhones — which participants can download from its app store — that is helping researchers quickly and easily recruit hundreds of thousands of study volunteers.
Researchers at Stanford Medicine, who studied whether an app on the Apple Watch could detect an irregular heartbeat condition, were able to enroll more than 400,000 participants in just eight months. Apple helped recruit volunteers by promoting the study, which was published on Wednesday, in its app store and emailing customers who had bought Apple Watches…”
AP – “The project will collect a pile of pooch data: vet records, DNA samples, gut microbes and information on food and walks. Five hundred dogs will test a pill that could slow the aging process. “What we learn will potentially be good for dogs and has great potential to translate to human health,” said project co-director Daniel Promislow of the University of Washington School of Medicine. If scientists find a genetic marker for a type of cancer in dogs, for instance, that could be explored in humans. For the study, the dogs will live at home and follow their usual routine. All ages and sizes, purebreds and mutts are welcome. Owners will complete periodic online surveys and take their dogs to the vet once a year, with the possibility of extra visits for certain tests. Their welfare will be monitored by a bioethicist and a panel of animal welfare advisers. To nominate a pet, owners can visit the Dog Aging Project’s website…”
everybody gardens: “…Deer have become one of the biggest problems for gardeners, mostly due to the way they forage on our treasured plants. The first line of defense is always some kind of physical barrier. In my garden the vegetable garden is a fenced haven, which has seen additions of lilies, hydrangeas and many other plants the deer love. There are shrubs bordering the garden surrounded by deer netting throughout the landscape, too. The next step is to use a repellent. My favorite is Bobbex, but there are countless formulas including sprays, granular formulations and other products. If they are not used regularly, the deer will feast on your plants. The list that follows is mostly plants grown in my own garden or by friends. They are deer-resistant, not deer-proof. In fact just about everything on the list could get tasted by deer, but they are not favorites. What is deer-resistant for one person might not be for another. Every time a list like this is put together, gardeners will contact me, explaining how the deer love one of the so-called resistant varieties…” [Good list – I have been successful with many of these plants and bulbs, and now will add more new shrubs, plants and bulbs to my gardens – enjoy!]
Google Blog: “People around the world come to Search to ask questions related to language, like looking up the definition of a word or double checking the pronunciation of a word in another language. Just this morning I’ve already searched how to define “otorhinolaryngologist” and the translation of “naranja” in Spanish to English. Now, we’re helping people pronounce tricky words and understand the meaning of those words. First, we’re launching a new experimental pronunciation feature that lets you practice word pronunciations right in Search. For the visual learners out there, we’re adding images to our English dictionary and translation features to help you better understand the meaning of a word…”
MakeUseOf: “A quick Google search for “spy software” yields over 150 million results. There is a massive interest in spying software and gadgets. Irrespective of the motivation or justification, spying is illegal. It is a gross invasion of privacy in most countries around the world. You don’t have to suffer if someone is spying on you. There are several tools that will help you find hidden spy apps and programs on your computer, smartphone, or otherwise. Here’s how to protect yourself from being spied on…”
Penn State News – “To help people spot fake news, or create technology that can automatically detect misleading content, scholars first need to know exactly what fake news is, according to a team of Penn State researchers. However, they add, that’s not as simple as it sounds. “There is a real crisis in our cultural understanding of the term ‘fake news,’ so much so that several scholars have actively moved away from that label because it’s so muddy, confusing and weaponized by certain partisan sources,” said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory in the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications.
In a study, researchers narrowed down myriad examples of fake news to seven basic categories, which include false news, polarized content, satire, misreporting, commentary, persuasive information and citizen journalism. The researchers also contrasted those types of content with real news and report their findings in the current issue of American Behavioral Scientist… [h/t Pete Weiss]
The Verge: “The US office responsible for patents and trademarks is trying to figure out how AI might call for changes to copyright law, and it’s asking the public for opinions on the topic. The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a notice in the Federal Register last month saying it’s seeking comments, as spotted by TorrentFreak. The office is gathering information about the impact of artificial intelligence on copyright, trademark, and other intellectual property rights. It outlines thirteen specific questions, ranging from what happens if an AI creates a copyright-infringing work to if it’s legal to feed an AI copyrighted material. It starts off by asking if output made by AI without any creative involvement from a human should qualify as a work of authorship that’s protectable by US copyright law. If not, then what degree of human involvement “would or should be sufficient so that the work qualifies for copyright protection?”..
Axios – “Over a two-week period, the computer networks at more than half of the Fortune 500 left a remote access protocol dangerously exposed to the internet, something many experts warn should never happen, according to new research by the security firm Expanse and 451 research...According to Coveware, more than 60% of ransomware is installed via a Windows remote access feature called Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). It’s a protocol that’s fine in secure environments but once exposed to the open internet can, at its best, allow attackers to disrupt access and, at its worst, be vulnerable to hacking itself…
The Expanse/451 study found that 53.4% of Fortune 500 companies had an RDP exposure over a two-week period scanning for open RDP ports. The technical sophistication of the companies didn’t seem to have much impact on RDP exposures. For example, around 80% of hospitality industry companies and just under 80% of defense and aerospace companies had at least one exposure, even though defense and aerospace are among the most security-conscious sectors. Cybersecurity budget, either as a percentage of the annual budget or total spending, also had no consistent effect on exposure. By percentage of budget, 43% of companies in the lowest-spending quartile had exposures, compared to 53% of those in the top spending quartile…”
The New York Times Magazine: “In this special Tech & Design Issue of The New York Times Magazine, we ponder the internet’s future at a time when that future has never felt more unsettled. It isn’t just about Facebook and the other American tech giants, which no longer enjoy the rapid growth that characterized their early days. The rise of the Chinese internet has threatened a geopolitical power shift, as a different government and national economy looks poised to become the center of the online world. Even governments that don’t “censor” the internet have begun to talk about regulating it in unprecedented ways — as with the European Union’s G.D.P.R. law, which already has given a huge swath of the developed world a subtly different set of online rules.
But perhaps the deepest shift has been a shift in attitudes: the breaking of a spell that seemed to protect Silicon Valley from distrust. After years in which questions about online privacy hardly penetrated the consumer consciousness, Americans have awakened to a feeling of deep suspicion about how companies are harvesting and using their data. An NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll earlier this year found that American adults, by double-digit margins, believed that social media does more to spread falsehoods than truths and more to divide the country than to unite it. Even the tech giants’ own employees have now become uneasy about the implications of their work, leading to some unusual labor movements among their highly compensated white-collar ranks…”
Lin, Tom C. W., Artificial Intelligence, Finance, and the Law (November 4, 2019). 88 Fordham Law Review 531 (2019); Temple University Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3480607
“Artificial intelligence is an existential component of modern finance. The progress and promise realized and presented by artificial intelligence in finance has been thus far remarkable. It has made finance cheaper, faster, larger, more accessible, more profitable, and more efficient in many ways. Yet for all the significant progress and promise made possible by financial artificial intelligence, it also presents serious risks and limitations.
This Article offers a study of those risks and limitations—the ways artificial intelligence and misunderstandings of it can harm and hinder law, finance, and society. It provides a broad examination of inherent and structural risks and limitations present in financial artificial intelligence, explains the implications posed by such dangers, and offers some recommendations for the road ahead. Specifically, it highlights the perils and pitfalls of artificial codes, data bias, virtual threats, and systemic risks relating to financial artificial intelligence. It also raises larger issues about the implications of financial artificial intelligence on financial cybersecurity, competition, and society in the near future. Ultimately, this Article aspires to share an insightful perspective for thinking anew about the wide-ranging effects at the intersection of artificial intelligence, finance, and the law with the hopes of creating better financial artificial intelligence—one that is less artificial, more intelligent, and ultimately more humane, and more human.”
The Daily Dot: “We’re living in the Instagram age, an era dominated by photos and images, it’s often very hard to determine if the photo you are looking at has been altered or not; image enhancement is almost considered protocol when it comes to creating online content, and photo-editing apps are too plenty to count. Along with this, the internet is home to a thriving repost culture, making it hard to pinpoint where a photo came from, and whether or not you are seeing it straight from its original source. For both instances, there’s one thing you can do to investigate a picture’s origin and authenticity, and that’s to use Google reverse image search. It’s a very quick process to do on your computer’s Web browser, but if you intend to do a Google reverse image search through your smartphone, you’ll need to have the Chrome app installed. Here’s a quick guide…”
The Humane Gardener – You can have all the native plants you want, but you won’t have nearly as many wild visitors unless you also leave the leaves – “I opened the October issue of Consumer Reports with a feeling of mild dread. Every autumn, the magazine publishes an article extolling the virtues of leaf blowers, mowers, and other tools of destruction.A piece debating the pros and cons of vacuum functionality warned that leaf blowers might damage plants. But not to worry, the writer noted in the online version of the article: You can always switch to the vacuum mode instead! “If you have a small yard and are diligent about keeping up with leaves as they fall, or if you want to surgically suck up leaves from around bushes and flower beds, the vacuum mode on your leaf blower can save you time and effort.” Time, effort, money—these are the shortsighted reasons often cited for deploying weapons against nature. I could list dozens of reasons why leaf blowers and vacuums are counterproductive to all three of those goals…In an era of compounding losses, we need to focus not on saving ourselves from inconvenience but on saving lives instead. As I watch plants go to sleep for the winter, I think of all the animals who are doing so too, especially the ones who’ve been able to make a life here because we have enough leaves to help them through every season. From the luna moth to the wood frog, many of our wild residents need the ground layers that so many of our human neighbors are intent on blowing away. Some of the species featured here were new to our habitat this year—a testament to what can happen when we adopt an ethos of minimal disturbance to the land…”
“Europe has experienced a high level of immigration in recent years, driving debate about how countries should deal with immigrants when it comes to social services, security issues, deportation policies and integration efforts. Among these recently arrived immigrants are many who live in Europe without authorization. Coupled with unauthorized immigrants who were already in Europe, their numbers reach into the millions, though together they make up a small share of Europe’s total population. A new Pew Research Center analysis based on European data sources estimates that at least 3.9 million unauthorized immigrants – and possibly as many as 4.8 million – lived in Europe in 2017. The total is up from 2014, when 3.0 million to 3.7 million unauthorized migrants lived in Europe, but is little changed from a recent peak of 4.1 million to 5.3 million in 2016. Overall, unauthorized immigrants accounted for less than 1% of Europe’s total population of more than 500 million people living in the 28 European Union member states, including the United Kingdom, and four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). And among the roughly 24 million noncitizens of EU-EFTA countries living in Europe, fewer than one-fifth were unauthorized immigrants in 2017…”
National Academies: Committee Member Testifies Before Congress on Reproducibility and Replicability in Science – “David Allison, member of the committee that wrote a 2019 National Academies report on reproducibility and replicability in science, appeared on Nov. 13, 2019 before the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology on Nov. 13 to discuss the report’s recommendations and findings. The report recommends ways that researchers, academic institutions, journals, and funders should help strengthen rigor and transparency in order to improve the reproducibility and replicability of scientific research.”
Explore the list of 100 Novels That Shaped Our World – “Stories have the power to change us. We asked a panel of leading writers, curators and critics to choose 100 genre-busting novels that have had an impact on their lives, and this is the result. These English language novels, written over the last 300 years, range from children’s classics to popular page turners. Organised into themes, they reflect the ways books help shape and influence our thinking. There was months of deliberation and reflection by the panel but what would you have chosen? Share the novel that’s shaped you on our Facebook page or using #mybooklife on Twitter.”
BuzzFeedNews: “The number of violent hate crimes reported in the United States last year was the highest in 16 years, according to the FBI — but advocacy groups warned that the actual figure is much higher than the official count reported Tuesday. The Department of Justice defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property, motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Data released Tuesday by the FBI shows that although the total number of reported hate crimes in the United States decreased from 2017 to 2018, the number of offenses against people increased by 12%. Of the 7,120 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2018, 4,571 were crimes against persons (such as assault, rape, and murder). Most of the hate crimes — about 60% — were motivated by race, ethnicity, or ancestry bias. The other motivations included religion (19%), sexual orientation (17%), gender identity (2%), disability (2%), and gender (1%)…”
Victoria Hudgins, Ransomware Hit Case Management Provider TrialWorks. What Happens Next?, LegalTech News. “Add case management platform TrialWorks to the laundry list of companies and public sector agencies that were struck and paralyzed by a cyberattack this year. And unless lawyers backed up their client files to a separate storage network, they could be frozen out of their data by TrialWorks’ problems. Still, experts say there are ways to mitigate the damage…”
WSJ via FoxNews: “Google will soon offer checking accounts to consumers, becoming the latest Silicon Valley heavyweight to push into finance. The project, code-named Cache, is expected to launch next year with accounts run by Citigroup Inc. and a credit union at Stanford University, a tiny lender in Google’s backyard. Big tech companies see financial services as a way to get closer to users and glean valuable data. Apple Inc. introduced a credit card this summer. Amazon.com Inc. has talked to banks about offering checking accounts. Facebook Inc. is working on a digital currency it hopes will upend global payments. Their ambitions could challenge incumbent financial-services firms, which fear losing their primacy and customers. They are also likely to stoke a reaction in Washington, where regulators are already investigating whether large technology companies have too much clout…
Google’s approach seems designed to make allies, rather than enemies, in both camps. The financial institutions’ brands, not Google’s, will be front-and-center on the accounts, an executive told The Wall Street Journal. And Google will leave the financial plumbing and compliance to the banks—activities it couldn’t do without a license anyway. “Our approach is going to be to partner deeply with banks and the financial system,” Google executive Caesar Sengupta said in an interview…Checking accounts are a commoditized product, and people don’t switch very often. But they contain a treasure trove of information, including how much money people make, where they shop and what bills they pay…”