Law and Legal

How to shop without Amazon

“I’m Hanna Kozlowska, an investigative reporter at Quartz. I like shopping. I love a great new outfit, or a new skincare hack. I have hobbies that require gear (ski socks, knitting needles). I like my home to look nice-ish and have all sorts of useful things in it. I buy way too many books. I de-stress by browsing through review websites like The Strategist, and I listen to podcasts that offer up a gazillion product recommendations per episode. Doing all of these things brings me joy or relief, but I don’t love the consumerism and waste it encourages. And what I particularly don’t appreciate is how Amazon—a company with many questionable business practices—has weaseled itself into my life, by making it so quick, cheap, and easy to do all these things I love, not to mention chores like buying shoelaces or heads for my electric toothbrush. With my guilt about supporting Amazon steadily fed by a stream of media reports about the company’s various sins, I decided over the summer that I’d quit my several-times-a-month Amazon habit, and document what I did instead. It turned out that it wasn’t that difficult to do, so for this Valentine’s Day—a consumerist holiday if there every was one—here are my suggestions for how to get out of a toxic relationship with the world’s biggest online retailer…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Python programming language: Now you can take NSA’s free course for beginners

ZDNet – NSA releases Python course after receiving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for its training materials. “Developers already have numerous options from the likes of Microsoft and Google for learning how to code in the popular Python programming language. But now budding Python developers can read up on the National Security Agency’s own Python training materials.  Software engineer Chris Swenson filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the NSA for access to its Python training materials and received a lightly redacted 400-page printout of the agency’s COMP 3321 Python training course. Swenson has since scanned the documents, ran OCR on the text to make it searchable, and hosted it on Digital Oceans Spaces. The material has also been uploaded to the Internet Archive…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Local Bookstores Have A New Weapon In The Fight With Amazon

Fortune: “In the book industry, Amazon is Goliath, the giant who overshadows everyone else. But there’s a new David on the scene, Bookshop.org. It doesn’t expect to topple the giant, but it has launched a weapon that could make Amazon’s shadow a little smaller, and help local bookstores fight back. Bookshop.org, a website that went live at the end of January and is still in beta mode, is designed to be an alternative to Amazon, and to generate income for independent bookstores. And, perhaps more importantly, it seeks to give book reviewers, bloggers and publications who rely on affiliate income from “Buy now” links to Amazon a different option. Profit from books sold through Bookshop will be split three ways, with 10% of the sale price going into a pool that will be divided among participating bookstores, 10% going to the publication that triggered the sale by linking to Bookshop.org, and 10% going to Bookshop.org to support its operations. Bookshop’s 10% commission for affiliate publications is roughly twice Amazon’s 4.5% affiliate commission…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Difficult Conversations Worksheet

Difficult Conversations Worksheet By Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Northern Illinois University, Human Resources Services

“Every Difficult Conversation consists of Three Conversations: * The What Happened? Conversation * The Feeling Conversation * The Identity Conversation *”

Categories: Law and Legal

LC – Machine Learning + Libraries Summit Event Summary

“On Friday, September 20, 2019, the Library of Congress hosted the Machine Learning + Libraries Summit. This one-day conference convened 75 cultural heritage professionals (roughly 50 from outside the Library of Congress and 25 staff from within) to discuss the on-the-ground applications of machine learning technologies in libraries, museums, and universities. Hosting this conference was part of a larger effort to learn about machine learning and the role it could play in helping the Library of Congress reach its strategic goals, such as enhancing discoverability of the Library’s collections, building connections between users and the Library’s digital holdings, and leveraging technology to serve creative communities and the general public.

The Machine Learning + Libraries Summit Event Summary is now available as a downloadable report on labs.loc.gov. This document includes more detailed information about the conference proceedings. It broadly summarizes recurring themes of discussion and compiles the outputs of the small group activities. We hope it serves as a point of entry into broader conversations around the challenges, opportunities, and actionable items concerning machine learning in cultural heritage…”

Categories: Law and Legal

LC – New Online Collection: Military Legal Resources

In Custodia Legis: “This collection includes material from the William Winthrop Memorial Library at the U.S. Army Judge Advocate General’s Legal Center and School in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Judge Advocate General’s Corps (JAG) is the legal arm of the United States Army, established on July 29, 1775 by General George Washington. Judge Advocates are stationed in the United States and abroad. They are most known for representing soldiers during courts-martial, but their duties encompass a wide range of legal disciplines. Selections of their physical library collection have been digitized and made available to the public online, including primary source materials and publications in the field of military law. The collection is divided into three webpages to best highlight the type of material available: JAG Legal Center & School Materials, Historical Materials, and Military Law and Legislative History. These pages contain the digitized material, as well as descriptions of the collections and, in some cases, historical and contextual significance. The three webpages organize the collection with drop-down menus, under which you can find the descriptions and links to the PDFs…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Top USA.gov Queries from Google in 2019

“At USA.gov we collect two sets of search data: 1) searches that users type into Google that include USA.gov pages in the search results and 2) queries that users type while on USA.gov. In reporting our top searches for 2019 we are including both sets of search data.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Top Searches on USA.gov in 2019

“At USA.gov we collect two sets of search data: 1) searches that users type into Google that include USA.gov pages in the search results and 2) queries that users type while on USA.gov. In reporting our top searches for 2019 we are including both sets of search data.”

Categories: Law and Legal

1,000 of the most stunning landscapes in Google Earth

Google Blog: “…Earth View is a collection of thousands of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes, seen from space. Over the last decade, the collection has been witnessed by millions around the world as wallpapers for Android devices, screensavers for Chromecast and Google Home, and as an interactive exhibit in Google Earth’s Voyager. Earth View was even once featured on the world’s biggest billboard to bring a little zen to Times Square during the holidays. Today, we’re making our biggest update to Earth View by adding more than 1,000 new images to the collection, bringing the total to more than 2,500 striking landscapes. The upgraded imagery features more locations around the globe and is optimized for today’s high-resolution screens—featuring brighter colors, sharper images and resolutions up to 4K….”

Categories: Law and Legal

NYSDEC Issues Revised Guidance for PFAS Sampling and Analysis

Earlier this month, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) just released its new “Guidance for Sampling and Analysis of PFAS Under NYSDEC’s Part 375 Remedial Programs January 2020 (“PFAS Guidance”).  The purpose of the PFAS Guidance is to establish procedures for sampling PFAS and for determining if PFAS is a contaminant of concern for a particular site requiring remediation.  The PFAS Guidance is not yet available on the NYSDEC website but has been distributed to consultants working on sites subject to one of the DEC remedial programs.

Since the NYSDEC has not yet established Ambient Water Quality Standards (AWQS) and Soil Cleanup Objectives (SCOs) for PFAS , the PFAS Guidance states that the NYSDEC will determine on a case-by-case basis if PFAS-contaminated media will be subject to remediation.

The PFAS Guidance states that all future workplans should include PFAS sampling and analysis procedures that conform to the PFAS Guidance analysis will be required for sampling of soil, groundwater, surface water, and sediment but not soil vapors. The field sampling procedures for the various media are set forth in the appendices. Appendix B establishes the sampling protocols for soils, sediments or other solids. Appendix C sets forth the sampling protocols for non-potable groundwater monitoring wells. Appendix D contains the methodology for sampling PFAS in surface water, Appendix E applies to PFAS sampling of private water supply wells and Appendix F for collecting PFAS samples from fish tissue. Laboratories analyzing environmental samples for PFAS must hold ELAP certification for PFOA and PFOS in drinking water by EPA Method 537.1 or ISO 25101

Appendix G of the PFAS Guidance contains a list of 19 PFAS substances that are to be initially analyzed for all remedial program sites. This PFAS Analyte List may be adjusted or refined  for a particular site depending on investigative results.

Water Sample Results

The PFAS Guidance states that PFAS will be a potential contaminant of concern in groundwater or surface water requiring further assessment when PFOA or PFOS is detected in any water sample at or above 10 ng/L (ppt).

In addition, NYSDEC indicates that further assessment of water may be warranted if either of the following screening levels are met:

  • any other individual PFAS (not PFOA or PFOS) is detected in water at or above 100 ng/L; or
  • total concentration of PFAS (including PFOA and PFOS) is detected in water at or above 500 ng/L

Soil Sample Results

The PFAS Guidance states that for purposes of delineation and remedy selection,  soil samples should be tested using the Synthetic Precipitation Leaching Procedure (SPLP) and the leachate analyzed for PFAS. Soils exhibiting SPLP results above 70 ppt for either PFOA or PFOS (individually or combine) are to be evaluated during the cleanup phase.

The PFAS Guidance notes that the SPLP leachate criteria is based on the Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCL) proposed for drinking water by New York State Department of Health. Thus, the SPLP criteria may be updated based on future federal or state regulatory standards.

NYSDEC indicates in the PFAS Guidance that remedial parties have the option of analyzing samples concurrently for both PFAS in soil and in the SPLP leachate to minimize project delays.

Testing for Imported Soil

The PFAS Guidance states that soil imported to a site for use in a soil cap, soil cover, or as backfill must be tested for PFAS in general conformance with DER-10, Section 5.4(e) for the PFAS Analyte List (Appendix F) using the analytical procedures discussed below and the criteria in DER-10 associated with SVOCs.

  • If PFOA or PFOS is detected in any sample at or above 1 µg/kg, then soil should be tested by SPLP and the leachate analyzed for PFAS.
  • If the SPLP results exceed 10 ppt for either PFOA or PFOS (individually) then the source of backfill should be rejected, unless a site-specific exemption is provided by DER.

PFAS Sampling For Sites Subject Site Management

For sites that were previously remediated and are now under site management, the PFAS  Guidance says PFAS will need to be analyzed to determine if modification to any components of the SMP is necessary (e.g., monitoring for PFAS, upgrading treatment facilities, or performing an RSO).

Thus, much like MTBE sites in the 1990s and chlorinated sites in the early 2000s, it is possible that sites that have received certificate of completion may become subject to reopeners where PFAS was not previously assessed and site management sampling identifies PFAS as a contaminant of concern. As the noted American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “It Aint Over Till its Over.”

The post NYSDEC Issues Revised Guidance for PFAS Sampling and Analysis appeared first on Schnapf Environmental Law.

Categories: Law and Legal

3D Printing Is Changing the World

This is a 12 minute HBO production via YouTube – by VICE – “3D-printing innovations in recent years have brought a sea change in the fabrication of everything from automobile parts to human bio-tissues. VICE’s Krishna Andavolu delves into the cutting-edge research behind what’s being called the next industrial revolution, meeting the scientists and entrepreneurs pushing the boundaries of manufacturing, material science, and even space exploration.”

Categories: Law and Legal

In Manila and San Francisco, Rising Seas Are a Crisis Right Now

The New York Times: “…An estimated 600 million people live directly on the world’s coastlines, among the most hazardous places to be in the era of climate change. According to scientific projections, the oceans stand to rise by one to four feet by the end of the century, with projections of more ferocious storms and higher tides that could upend the lives of entire communities. Many people face the risks right now. Two sprawling metropolitan areas offer a glimpse of the future. One rich, one poor, they sit on opposite sides of the Pacific Ocean: the San Francisco Bay Area (population 7 million) and metropolitan Manila (almost 14 million). Their history, their wealth, and the political and personal choices they make today will shape how they fare as the water inevitably comes to their doorsteps…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Environmental Protection Rises on the Public’s Policy Agenda

“Reflecting a strong U.S. economy, Americans’ policy priorities have changed in recent years. The public now places less priority on economic and job concerns than it did just a few years ago. At the same time, environmental protection and global climate change are rising on the public’s agenda for the president and Congress. For the first time in Pew Research Center surveys dating back nearly two decades, nearly as many Americans say protecting the environment should be a top policy priority (64%) as say this about strengthening the economy (67%). In addition, while a smaller share (52%) rates dealing with global climate change as a top priority, this is 14 percentage points higher than just three years ago. Today, similar shares rate climate change and improving the job situation (49%) as top policy priorities for President Donald Trump and Congress. Three years ago, 68% said jobs were a top priority, compared with just 38% who named climate change…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Libraries address food poverty in school holidays with ‘Feed and Read’ sessions

UK Times and Star: “West Cumbrian libraries are set to address food poverty and keep young minds active across the half term break. When schools close for a week from February 17-21, nine Allerdale libraries are taking up Feed and Read sessions. This offers a free healthy lunch to children in libraries, whilst also giving them access to books. The scheme proved a roaring success in summer with over 900 packed lunches reaching children in Workington and Maryport. Libraries in Silloth, Aspatria, Wigton, Maryport, Cockermouth, Keswick, Moorclose, Seaton and Workington are all taking part, running one session each. The theme is ‘Love Cumbria’ and the sessions will include fun activities, events, competitions and opportunities to access a huge range of books including books on Cumbria and local history. Each library will be exhibiting community artwork as an expression of their love of the county. Feed and Read is a joint initiative, funded by both Cumbria County Council’s Allerdale Local Committee and Allerdale Borough Council to address food poverty during school holidays when children may ordinarily receive a free school lunch but also to keep young minds active whilst not in school. The offer is open to all children…” [Thank you to the libraries and librarians all around the world who feed our children – that they have to do so should give us all pause, and then take action]

Categories: Law and Legal

Law Libraries and the Future of Public Access to Born-Digital Government Information

Kunkel, Rebecca, Law Libraries and the Future of Public Access to Born-Digital Government Information (2017). 109 Law Libr. J. 67, 2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3519405

“As government publications have shifted from print to electronic, mechanisms for guaranteeing the public’s right to access government information have not kept pace. Because legal resources are among the publications most at risk of loss, law libraries should participate in efforts to ensure that born-digital government information remains freely available to all.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Why are Lawyers writing code?

British Legal Technology Forum: “We find ourselves in the midst of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and this digital transformation brings with it a need for change in our working practices.There is a shift towards a more innovative, fresh and connected way of doing business. Organisations that are digitally savvy, in every sector, are leading the way and growing exponentially. The legal sector is no exception – indeed in many ways, lawyers are ahead of the game Legal firms are embracing digital legal software – reimagining their business, streamlining processes, integrating real-time systems, providing mobile access and automating routine tasks. As part of this, increasing numbers of lawyers are choosing to find out more about what is going on behind the technology that is transforming the way they work.Some want to become more familiar with technology ‘buzz words’ so they can converse knowledgeably with suppliers and optimise the use of their software. Others are learning to code for themselves. With apps and Artificial Intelligence (AI) becoming a lynchpin in the way forward-thinking legal firms now operate, and with these technologies so heavily reliant on coding, it is clear to see why lawyers are taking an interest… and why on Twitter #LawyersWhoCode is on the rise…”
Categories: Law and Legal

The 25 Most Trusted Brands in America

Morning Consult – “Survey respondents were asked “How much do you trust each brand to do what is right?” They could respond a lot, some, not much, not at all, or don’t know. This ranking is determined by share of “a lot” responses. For example, 42 percent of consumers trust USPS a lot…”

Categories: Law and Legal

2019 Internet Crime Report

“The FBI is the lead federal agency for investigating malicious cyber activity by criminals, nation-state adversaries, and terrorists. To fulfill this mission, the FBI often develops resources to enhance operations and collaboration. One such resource is the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) which provides the public with a trustworthy and convenient mechanism for reporting information concerning suspected Internet-facilitated criminal activity. At the end of every year, the IC3 collates information collected into an annual report. This year’s Internet Crime Report highlights the IC3’s efforts to monitor trending scams such as Business Email Compromise (BEC), Ransomware, Elder Fraud, and Tech Support Fraud. As the report indicates, in 2019, IC3 received a total of 467,361 complaints with reported losses exceeding $3.5 billion. The most prevalent crime types reported were Phishing/Vishing/Smishing/Pharming, Non-Payment/Non-Delivery, Extortion, and Personal Data Breach. The top three crime types with the highest reported losses were BEC, Confidence/Romance Fraud, and Spoofing. More details on each of these scams can be found in this report.Of note, the IC3’s Recovery Asset Team (RAT), which assists in recovering funds for victims of BEC schemes, celebrated its first full year of operation. During its inaugural year, the team assisted in the recovery of over $300 million lost through on-line scams, boasting a 79% return rate of reported losses.We’re also pleased to announce the creation of a Recovery and Investigative Development (RaID) Team which will assist financial and law enforcement investigators in dismantling money mule organizations…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Confidence in public acceptance of election results connects to following political news

“…Many political issues are highly polarized across partisan lines, but Americans’ confidence in the public’s willingness to accept election results regardless of who wins – a fundamental underpinning of our electoral system – is only modestly tied to party identification. Instead, it appears to have a closer relationship to how intensely U.S. adults engage with political and election news, according to a new analysis of data from Pew Research Center’s Election News Pathways project. The more closely someone follows political news, the more confidence that person has that election results will be accepted. And those differences cross party boundaries. The findings are based on a survey of 12,043 U.S. adults who are members of the Center’s American Trends Panel conducted from Oct. 29 to Nov. 11, 2019…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Apple’s malware problem is getting worse

Vox – Macs aren’t as safe as they used to be. Here’s how to protect yourself. “Think your Apple product is safe from malware? That only people using Windows machines have to take precautions? According to cybersecurity software company Malwarebytes’ latest State of Malware report, it’s time to think again. The amount of malware on Macs is outpacing PCs for the first time ever, and your complacency could be your worst enemy. “People need to understand that they’re not safe just because they’re using a Mac,” Thomas Reed, Malwarebytes’ director of Mac and mobile and contributor to the report, told Recode. Windows machines still dominate the market share and tend to have more security vulnerabilities, which has for years made them the bigger and easier target for hackers. But as Apple’s computers have grown in popularity, hackers appear to be focusing more of their attention on the versions of macOS that power them. Malwarebytes said there was a 400 percent increase in threats on Mac devices from 2018 to 2019, and found an average of 11 threats per Mac devices, which about twice the 5.8 average on Windows…”

Categories: Law and Legal

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