Law and Legal

The Archive of Contemporary Music is losing its space in TriBeCa

The New York Times – Wanted: A Home for Three Million Records:”…Housed in a nondescript building in TriBeCa is the Archive of Contemporary Music, a nonprofit founded in 1985. It is one of the world’s largest collections of popular music, with more than three million recordings, as well as music books, vintage memorabilia and press kits. For point of comparison, the Library of Congress estimates that it also holds nearly three million sound recordings. Inside its space on White Street, there are shelves upon shelves upon shelves of vinyl records and CDs. Signed Johnny Cash records hang close to nearly 1,800 other signed albums. There are boxes of big band recordings, world music and jazz and original soundtracks. Most of the inventory is stored in the basement below. Notably, the archive, which still receives about 250,000 recordings a year, is home to a majority of Keith Richards’s extensive blues collection. (Mr. Richards, of the Rolling Stones, sits on the board of advisers.) And now it all has to go, somewhere. Rent in the neighborhood has continued to rise, challenging the organization to stay on budget, said Bob George, the founder and director of the archive. Recently, Mr. George reached an agreement with his landlord to get out of his lease early. He has until June to find another space…”


Categories: Law and Legal

The Internet Is No Longer a Disruptive Technology

Bloomberg – The disruptive innovators of 10 years ago are today’s stable incumbents. “Internet-enabled industry disruption defined business strategy in the 2010s, but as 2020 begins, that era appears to be winding down. The disruptors have largely become the new establishment, and unlike a decade ago, it doesn’t look like the new leaders will be displaced any time soon. Today’s internet is a mature and mainstream technology. This was not the case a decade ago. In 2009, multiple industries were in the midst of upheaval thanks to internet-enabled transformations. The iPhone was only two years old. In the music industry, compact discs still represented a plurality of revenues, and most of the rest came from digital purchases. Streaming, whether of music or on Netflix, was still in its infancy. We were in the middle of the transition from print ads to digital ones; 2009 was the last year the newspaper industry had higher ad revenues than Google, and the last year Facebook’s revenues were less than $1 billion. E-commerce was growing, but Sears and Kmart were still large retail chains. YouTube was known mostly for a handful of viral videos (Susan Boyle, anyone?). Today, much has changed. The music industry has become the streaming industry, with compact discs and digital sales becoming less and less important; today’s industry growth is powered by subscriptions. Beginning a few years ago, total revenues have started to grow again after 15 years of declines. The competitive threats to the leader in music streaming, Spotify, come from well-financed competitors with similar offerings, like Apple Music and Amazon Music, rather than a brand-new technology. The music industry may have been the first to be threatened by internet-related disruption in the late 1990s, with the growth of mp3 sharing and Napster, and is now perhaps the first industry to have completed its transformation…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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Categories: Law and Legal

The 100+ Best Websites on the Internet

MakeUseOf: “It’s seriously hard to keep track of which sites have the greatest content and resources. So to help make things easier, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of over 100 of the best websites on the internet. The sites on this list are those that we consider to be genuinely useful, top-of-the-line websites (not apps) where you’ll find what you need. We update this list regularly, so check back occasionally, and be sure to tell your friends! Jump Ahead: Books | Browsing | Files | Finance | Learning | Local | Movies | Music | News | Online Privacy | Productivity | Search | Shopping | Social | Software..”

Categories: Law and Legal

Global Apathy Toward the Fires in Australia Is a Scary Portent for the Future

New York Magazine Intelligencer: “Right now, on the outskirts of a hyper modern first world megapolis, at the end of a year in which the public seemed finally to wake up to the dramatic threat from global warming, a climate disaster of unimaginable horror has been unfolding for almost two full months, and the rest of the world is hardly paying attention. The New South Wales fires have been burning since September, destroying fifteen million acres (or more than two thousand square miles) and remain almost entirely uncontrolled by the volunteer firefighting forces deployed to stop them; on November 12, greater Sydney declared an unprecedented “catastrophic” fire warning. That was six weeks ago, and the blazes are almost certain to continue burning through the end of next month, the soonest real rain might arrive. They may last longer still, of course, aided in part by record-breaking heat waves that are simultaneously punishing the country (technically an entire continent, Australia as a whole averaged more than 100 Fahrenheit earlier this month) and devastating marine life in the surrounding ocean. “On land, Australia’s rising heat is ‘apocalyptic,” the Straits-Times of Singapore wrote. “In the ocean, it’s even worse.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

Robert Mueller’s Secret Memos Part 3

Jason Leopold via BuzzFeedNews – The Documents The Justice Department Didn’t Want Congress To See – “BuzzFeed News sued the US government for the right to see all the work that Robert Mueller’s team kept secret. Today we are publishing the third installment of the FBI’s summaries of interviews with key witnesses…BuzzFeed News has obtained some of the most important and highly sought-after documents from special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation: summaries of FBI interviews with key White House officials. [Read the documents here.] The hundreds of pages of documents, obtained through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, were the subject of a protracted legal dispute between the Justice Department and the House Judiciary Committee, which sought them over the summer as part of its impeachment inquiry. The committee had requested access to an unredacted copy of the Mueller report, grand jury testimony from the investigation, and the FBI’s summaries of 33 interviews. The Justice Department resisted, claiming the impeachment inquiry does not entitle the panel to see those records. A federal judge disagreed, ruling in October that “DOJ is wrong” and that the White House and the Justice Department were “openly stonewalling” the committee…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Major US companies breached, robbed, and spied on by Chinese hackers

WSJ via FoxBusiness: “The hackers seemed to be everywhere. In one of the largest-ever corporate espionage efforts, cyberattackers alleged to be working for China’s intelligence services stole volumes of intellectual property, security clearance details and other records from scores of companies over the past several years. They got access to systems with prospecting secrets for mining company Rio Tinto PLC, and sensitive medical research for electronics and health-care giant Philips NV. They came in through cloud service providers, where companies thought their data was safely stored. Once they got in, they could freely and anonymously hop from client to client, and defied investigators’ attempts to kick them out for years. Cybersecurity investigators first identified aspects of the hack, called Cloud Hopper by the security researchers who first uncovered it, in 2016, and U.S. prosecutors charged two Chinese nationals for the global operation last December. The two men remain at large. A Wall Street Journal investigation has found that the attack was much bigger than previously known. It goes far beyond the 14 unnamed companies listed in the indictment, stretching across at least a dozen cloud providers, including CGI Group Inc., one of Canada’s largest cloud companies; Tieto Oyj, a major Finnish IT services company; and International Business Machines Corp…”

Categories: Law and Legal

IRS Reforms Free File Program Drops Agreement Not to Compete With TurboTax

Thanks to ProPublica – “Finding free online tax filing should be easier this year for millions of Americans. The IRS announced significant changes Monday to its deal with the tax prep software industry. Now companies are barred from hiding their free products from search engines such as Google, and a years-old prohibition on the IRS creating its own online filing system has been scrapped. The addendum to the deal, known as Free File, comes after ProPublica’s reporting this year on how the industry, led by TurboTax maker Intuit, has long misled taxpayers who are eligible to file for free into paying.

Under the nearly two-decade-old Free File deal, the industry agreed to make free versions of tax filing software available to lower- and middle-income Americans. In exchange, the IRS promised not to compete with the industry by creating its own online filing system. Many developed countries have such systems, allowing most citizens to file their taxes for free. The prohibition on the IRS creating its own system was the focus of years of lobbying by Intuit. The industry has seen such a system as an existential threat. Now, with the changes to the deal, the prohibition has been dropped…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Goldfish make themselves at home in the Chesapeake

When humans dump unwanted goldfish into the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay (also seen in the Susquehanna river) and even Chesapeake Bay, the little fish with lineage from Asia prove to be prodigious reproducers who grow far beyond captive size, displacing native species. According to the Chesapeake Bay Program – “With enough food and room to grow, wild goldfish can balloon to a monstrous five pounds and reach lengths of over 12 inches–roughly the size of a football. Goldfish are rampant, destructive eaters and can easily outcompete the Bay’s native species for food. They dine on algae, underwater grasses, insects, tadpoles, crustaceans, fish eggs and smaller fish, uprooting vegetation, stirring up sediment and destroying native fish habitat as they go…” Please do not dispose of goldfish in open waters – they thrive in freshwater and brackish water. Thank you.

Categories: Law and Legal

A bibliophile’s paradise – the National Library of France

Vox Populi – “Before there was the internet, there was la Bibliothèque nationale de France (the National Library of France) in Paris: an ever-expanding collection of books, manuscripts, maps and other cultural artifacts that has been operating continuously since the 15th century. The documentary Toute la mémoire du monde (All the Memory in the World), made by the influential and celebrated French filmmaker Alain Resnais in 1956, is an astounding tour of the institution before digitisation, when the world’s largest well of information wasn’t at our fingertips, but fastidiously collected and sorted behind library walls. Resnais focuses not only on the imposing scope of the library’s holdings, but also explores the vast enterprise of maintaining it for centuries to come, as well as the facility’s role as a bustling home for curiosity and enquiry. Through moody black-and-white cinematography of the library’s collection, architecture and meticulous processes, the film explores a place that, like human knowledge itself, is ‘destined to be forever a work in progress’. A dramatic score by Maurice Jarre – by turns pulsing, soaring and delicate – acts as a further guide through the labyrinth of the library, and the film itself.” Director: Alain Resnais

Categories: Law and Legal

It’s 2020 and you’re in the future

Wait But Why – “It’s finally the 2020s. After 20 years of not being able to refer to the decade we’re in, we’re all finally free—in the clear for the next 80 years until 2100, at which point I assume AGI will have figured out what to call the two decades between 2100 and 2120. We now live in the 20s! It’s exciting. “The twenties” is super legit-sounding, and it’s so old school. The 40s are old. The 30s even more so. But nothing is older school than the Roaring 20s. We’re now in charge of making this a cool decade so when people 100 years from now are thinking about how incredibly old-timey the 2020s were, it’s old-timey in a cool appealing way and not a boring shitty way. It’s also weird that to us, the 2020s sounds like such a rad futuristic decade—and that’s how the 1920s seemed to people 100 years ago today. They were all used to the 19-teens, and suddenly they were like, “whoa cool we’re in the twenties!” Then they got upset thinking about how much farther along in life their 1910 self thought they’d be by 1920. In any case, it’s a perfect time for one of those “shit we’re old” posts. So here are some New Years 2020 time facts…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Secrets of Successful Female Networkers

HBR – “…But some female leaders do establish strong networks—and they win greater influence and more-senior positions as a result. What are they doing differently? A new study sheds light on their strategies. “I was talking with many women about how to improve their networks, the challenges they face, and what they and their organizations could do better, and I realized that all the studies on the issue were pretty old and narrow,” explains Inga Carboni, a professor at William & Mary’s Mason School of Business and the study’s lead author. “I couldn’t answer their questions.” The researchers analyzed data collected from 16,500 men and women in more than 30 organizations across a range of industries over the past 15 years. Then they interviewed hundreds of female executives. This led them to identify four characteristics that distinguish the networking behaviors of more-successful women from those of their peers. In some cases those matched the behaviors of high-performing men; in others there were subtle but important differences. When shaping their professional networks, top women were…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Please Support BeSpacific in 2020

Dear Readers, Colleagues and Friends – Greetings and Happy New Year.

If you read BeSpacific on a regular basis and my research is useful to you, please support this site by donating  – $5 – or another amount, such as $8, $16, $20 – using the PayPal link on the BeSpacific Home Page.

I created and continue to maintain BeSpacific because I am passionate about law and technology and the myriad ways that the knowledge created by the intersection of these areas impacts our daily work, civic lives, education, government, and a wide range of professional communities of best practice.

I have sustained BeSpacific as the solo researcher and publisher, posting daily for almost 18 years, for thousands of monthly readers (via the blog, Twitter, RSS and by email subscription).

Your contribution to BeSpacific throughout this year will assist with the costs of hosting my site, and the email marketing service I use to deliver daily opt-in subscription updates.

Thank you in advance for your time and consideration, and support. And thank you to the readers who currently support BeSpacific on a regular basis. I hope that more readers will consider doing the same.

Wishing you peace, good work, good health and opportunities to actively engage with issues that matter to you.

Sabrina I. Pacifici

Categories: Law and Legal

The Decade in Legal Tech: The 10 Most Significant Developments

LawSites – Robert Ambrogi –  “In legal technology, it was a decade of tumult and upheaval, bringing changes that will forever transform the practice of law and the delivery of legal services. Feisty startups took on established behemoths. The cloud dropped rain on legacy products. Mobile tech untethered lawyers. Clients demanded efficiency and transparency. Robots arrived to take over our jobs. “Alternative” became a label for new kinds of legal services providers. An expanding justice gap fueled efforts at ethics reform. Investment dollars began to pour in. Data got big. Every year, I write a year-end wrap-up of the most significant developments in legal technology. But as we reach the end of a decade, I decided to look back on the most significant developments of the past 10 years. Looking back, it may well have been the most tumultuous decade ever in changing how legal services are delivered. (Here are my prior years’ lists of the most important developments: For several years now, I’ve closed out the year with a round-up of the 10 most important legal developments 2018, 2016, 201520142013. In 2017, I bypassed the list to focus on a single overarching development, The Year of Women in Legal Tech.)…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Movies, Music, and Books That Enter the Public Domain in 2020

Gizmodo: “[January 1, 2020] isn’t just a day to nurse your hangover from New Year’s Eve—it’s also a day to celebrate the public domain. Movies, books, music, and more from 1924 are all entering the public domain today, meaning that you’re free to download, upload, and share these titles however you see fit. And it’s completely legal. Some titles from 1924, like the movie The Thief of Baghdad, already entered the public domain because there were stricter rules about registering copyright before the 1970s. If a copyright holder forgot to renew a copyright or put a mandatory copyright notice on their work, it could slip into the public domain accidentally.But there are plenty of other works that finally lose their copyright-protected status on January 1, 2020, like classic movies from silent-era comedians Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd. There are also books from Thomas Mann and E. M. Forster, and an English translation of We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, a pioneering dystopian science fiction novel from the Soviet Union. Even George Gershwin’s song “Rhapsody in Blue,” one of the most famous songs of the 20th century, finally becomes public domain today. While the list below, inspired by the work of Duke Law’s Center For the Study of the Public Domain and the Public Domain Review, may not be comprehensive, it’s a good place to start.

If something was published in 1924 or earlier, it’s no longer protected by copyright as of today. And if you’re waiting for stuff from 1925 to become public domain you have to wait exactly one year. January 1, 2021 isn’t so far away…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Red flags to watch out for when choosing a VPN

CNET – “Shoddy virtual private network (VPN) companies often scatter hints of their dubiousness everywhere they go. Learning to identify a few of these red flags can save you hours of research and a hefty annual subscription cost for supposedly connecting you to the internet more securely. Is the price too good to be true? Has the company been caught keeping logs? How are your connection speeds? To save you time, here are a few of the biggest red flags to watch out for when taking your new VPN out for a test drive…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Biased Algorithms Are Easier to Fix Than Biased People

The New York Times – Racial discrimination by algorithms or by people is harmful — but that’s where the similarities end. “In one study published 15 years ago, two people applied for a job. Their résumés were about as similar as two résumés can be. One person was named Jamal, the other Brendan. In a study published this year, two patients sought medical care. Both were grappling with diabetes and high blood pressure. One patient was black, the other was white. Both studies documented racial injustice: In the first, the applicant with a black-sounding name got fewer job interviews. In the second, the black patient received worse care. But they differed in one crucial respect. In the first, hiring managers made biased decisions. In the second, the culprit was a computer program. As a co-author of both studies, I see them as a lesson in contrasts. Side by side, they show the stark differences between two types of bias: human and algorithmic…”

Categories: Law and Legal

My Decade in Google Searches

The New York Times – A Decade of Distrust – By Vauhini Vara – This is a long list of google searches conducted by the author – you may indeed see searches familiar to you – and in many cases not – the thoughts the searches represent are meaningful. I did indeed look into “how to plant iris,” but I do not use Google – I use DuckDuckGo. And in case you are interested check your Google Privacy Settings to review what the company knows about you.

Categories: Law and Legal

The Tech That Will Invade Our Lives in 2020

The New York Times – From smart homes to ultrafast wireless speeds, here’s what to watch – “Tech is in our homes with thermostats that heat up our residences before we walk through the door. It’s in our cars with safety features that warn us about vehicles in adjacent lanes. It’s on our television sets, where many of us are streaming shows and movies through apps. We even wear it on ourselves in the form of wristwatches that monitor our health. In 2020 and the coming decade, these trends are likely to gather momentum. They will also be on display next week at CES, an enormous consumer electronics trade show in Las Vegas that typically serves as a window into the year’s hottest tech developments. At the show, next-generation cellular technology known as 5G, which delivers data at mind-boggling speeds, is expected to take center stage as one of the most important topics. We are also likely to see the evolution of smart homes, with internet-connected appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and vacuum cleaners working more seamlessly together — and with less human interaction required. “The biggest thing is connected everything,” said Carolina Milanesi, a technology analyst for the research firm Creative Strategies. “Anything in the home — we’ll have more cameras, more mics, more sensors.” If some of this sounds the same as last year, it is — but that’s because new technologies often take time to mature. Here’s what to watch in tech this year…”

Categories: Law and Legal


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