Law and Legal

Biden administration will investigate Trump-era attacks on science

The Mew York Times – “The Biden administration will investigate Trump-era political interference in science across the government, the first step in what White House officials described as a sweeping effort to rebuild a demoralized federal work force and prevent future abuses. In a letter to the leaders of all federal agencies, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced Monday the formation of a task force aimed at identifying past tampering in scientific decisions. It will review the effectiveness of policies that were supposed to protect the science that informs policy decisions from inappropriate political influence and develop policies for the future. “We know that there were blatant attempts to distort, to cherry pick and disregard science — we saw that across multiple agencies,” Jane Lubchenco, the new deputy director for climate and the environment at the White House science office, said in an interview. The Biden administration, she said, is “ushering in a new era.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

Paper – How video conferencing reduces vocal synchrony and collective intelligence

Tomprou M, Kim YJ, Chikersal P, Woolley AW, Dabbish LA (2021) Speaking out of turn: How video conferencing reduces vocal synchrony and collective intelligence. PLoS ONE 16(3): e0247655. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0247655
“Collective intelligence (CI) is the ability of a group to solve a wide range of problems. Synchrony in nonverbal cues is critically important to the development of CI; however, extant findings are mostly based on studies conducted face-to-face. Given how much collaboration takes place via the internet, does nonverbal synchrony still matter and can it be achieved when collaborators are physically separated? Here, we hypothesize and test the effect of nonverbal synchrony on CI that develops through visual and audio cues in physically-separated teammates. We show that, contrary to popular belief, the presence of visual cues surprisingly has no effect on CI; furthermore, teams without visual cues are more successful in synchronizing their vocal cues and speaking turns, and when they do so, they have higher CI. Our findings show that nonverbal synchrony is important in distributed collaboration and call into question the necessity of video support.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Musée du Louvre launches online collection database and new website

“Two new digital tools have just gone live to bring the richness of the Louvre collections to the world’s fingertips: collections.louvre.fr/en, a platform that for the first time ever brings together all of the museum’s artworks in one place; and a new and improved website, https://www.louvre.fr/en that is more user-friendly, attractive and immersive. Designed for both researchers and curious art lovers, the collections.louvre.fr database already contains more than 482,000 entries, including works from the Louvre and the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, sculptures from the Tuileries and Carrousel gardens, and ‘MNR’ works (Musées Nationaux Récupération, or National Museums Recovery) recovered after WWII and entrusted to the Louvre until they can be returned to their legitimate owners. For the first time ever, the entire Louvre collection is available online, whether works are on display in the museum, on long-term loan in other French institutions, or in storage…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Five Tech Commandments to a Safer Digital Life

The New York Times – We can survive a world of ever-changing tech if we remember these principles. “…Vijay Balasubramaniyan, the chief executive of Pindrop, a security firm that develops technology to detect fraudulent phone calls, said we should always remember that any piece of our identity we post online could eventually be used by fraudsters to hijack our online accounts. “Your digital identity, which comprises all your pictures, videos and audio, is going to fundamentally allow hackers to create a complete persona of you that looks exactly like you, without you being in the picture,” he said. So here are some of the most important guidelines — like strengthening passwords and minimizing the data shared by your phone camera — to keep you and your loved ones safe for the foreseeable future. I refer to these as the five tech commandments in the hope that you will remember them as if they were gospel…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How to Recognize Scam Sites That ‘Help’ You Schedule Your Vaccine

lifehacker – “As vaccine supply struggles to meet demand, grassroots social media groups known as “vaccine hunters” have sprung up all over the country, helping people find and book appointments. As helpful as these groups can be, they’ve also become the new favorite target for scammers. Here’s how you can protect yourself. How vaccine hunter scams work – As many states have failed to provide centralized information on exactly where you could get a vaccine booking, vaccine hunter groups have stepped in to fill the gap. These groups informally share information about where you might be able to snag an appointment, whether on county healthcare sites, pharmacy websites, informal pharmacy standby lists, or individual hospital waiting lists. In a spirit of goodwill, people in these groups often help (typically elderly) strangers book vaccine appointments on their behalf. Unfortunately, this is where scammers jump in. Posing as good samaritans, scammers will ask for your personal information, and try to sell bogus vaccine appointments or vaccines. The Better Business Bureau has put out an alert warning people about the scam, and offers these tips for avoiding cons while finding a vaccine appointment…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Your Phone Can Be Hacked Remotely: Here’s How to Stop That

MakeUseOf: “We use our smartphones for almost everything—from paying bills to sending emails. Therefore they contain highly sensitive information about our lives. And if that data falls into the wrong hands, that could lead to quite disastrous consequences. Here’s how your phone can get hacked remotely and what to do about it…”

Categories: Law and Legal

MIT study finds labelling errors in datasets used to test AI

engadget: “A team led by computer scientists from MIT examined ten of the most-cited datasets used to test machine learning systems. They found that around 3.4 percent of the data was inaccurate or mislabeled, which could cause problems in AI systems that use these datasets. The datasets, which have each been cited more than 100,000 times, include text-based ones from newsgroups, Amazon and IMDb. Errors emerged from issues like Amazon product reviews being mislabeled as positive when they were actually negative and vice versa. Some of the image-based errors result from mixing up animal species. Others arose from mislabeling photos with less-prominent objects (“water bottle” instead of the mountain bike it’s attached to, for instance)…One of the datasets centers around audio from YouTube videos. A clip of a YouTuber talking to the camera for three and a half minutes was labeled as “church bell,” even though one could only be heard in the last 30 seconds or so. Another error emerged from a misclassification of a Bruce Springsteen performance as an orchestra…”

Categories: Law and Legal

NASA study says it’s the first to directly measure humans’ role in climate change

Observational evidence of increasing global radiative forcing. First published: 25 March 2021 https://doi.org/10.1029/2020GL091585

“Changes in atmospheric composition, such as increasing greenhouse gases, cause an initial radiative imbalance to the climate system, quantified as the instantaneous radiative forcing. This fundamental metric has not been directly observed globally and previous estimates have come from models. In part, this is because current space‐based instruments cannot distinguish the instantaneous radiative forcing from the climate’s radiative response. We apply radiative kernels to satellite observations to disentangle these components and find all‐sky instantaneous radiative forcing has increased 0.53±0.11 W/m2 from 2003 through 2018, accounting for positive trends in the total planetary radiative imbalance. This increase has been due to a combination of rising concentrations of well‐mixed greenhouse gases and recent reductions in aerosol emissions. These results highlight distinct fingerprints of anthropogenic activity in Earth’s changing energy budget, which we find observations can detect within 4 years.”

Categories: Law and Legal

The Suez Canal is the linchpin in the world’s trade network

Quartz – “Right now, the Ever Given—a container ship about 1,300 feet long, which is longer than the Eiffel Tower is tall—is lodged sideways in Egypt’s Suez Canal, where it is blocking all other ships from passing. Efforts are underway to remove it, but they’re moving slowly. It could take days to straighten out the ship, which was blown off its course by strong winds, and more time to repair damage to the canal. The situation is a giant headache, given that Suez is the node in the global shipping network with the greatest effect on world trade. An estimated $400 million worth of goods flow through the canal each hour. In a study last year, economists examined the importance of various hubs facilitating trade between various destinations.  Of them, “Egypt is the most important in terms of being pivotal and being able to affect global welfare when there’s changes to how easy it is to go through this particular node,” says Woan Foong Wong, an assistant professor of economics at University of Oregon and one of the authors of the study…About 80% of the volume of international trade is transported by sea, according to the United Nations. The “very purpose of the canal is to shorten transportation routes for global supply chains,” says Yemisi Bolumole, an associate professor of supply-chain management at Michigan State University. It allows ships to save thousands of miles in their journeys, making it one of the most trafficked shipping lanes in the world. About 12% of the world’s trade volume makes its way through Suez…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 27, 2021

Via LLRXPete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 27, 2021 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Five highlights from this week: How to Wipe a Computer Clean of Personal Data; Phishers’ perfect targets: Employees getting back to the office; Anyone with an iPhone can now make deepfakes; Massive camera hack exposes the growing reach and intimacy of American surveillance; and Federal Government Needs to Urgently Pursue Critical Actions to Address Major Cybersecurity Challenges.

Categories: Law and Legal

Remote working may not be the ‘new normal’ after all

Tech Republic: “Firms’ enthusiasm for scaling back on office space may have cooled slightly, with a new survey by professional services group KPMG suggesting that CEOs no longer intend to downsize their physical footprint after the COVID-19 pandemic. KPMG’s 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey indicated that only 17% of chief executives plan to reduce office space, compared to more than two-thirds (69%) of those surveyed in August 2020. At the same time, just 30% said they planned to have the majority of employees working remotely 2-3 days per week – potentially scuppering the hopes of employees who hoped, or even expected, for remote working to become the “new normal” in the post-pandemic workspace. KPMG said the results suggested that bosses were more confident about a return to normal office life thanks to the “positive momentum” of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts. CEOs also feel they are on stronger footing than they were a year ago, thanks to successful digitization initiatives. Despite this, only one-third (31%) of CEOs said they anticipated a return to normal in 2021, while 45% expect things to return to normal in 2022. Nearly two-thirds (61%) of companies said they would wait until a vaccine had been rolled out successfully before they asked their staff to return to the office, and 76% said they would wait until the government said it was safe to return to the office before encouraging their staff to do so…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How Books Can Address Economic Inequality

Publishers Weekly – “Economists and political activists have been issuing warnings about growing economic inequality, or the widening economic disparity between social groups, in the U.S. for years. Economic inequality includes income inequality and wealth (or ownership) inequality, and its impact can be measured in how social outcomes for people differ based on their race, gender identification, education, health care, geography, and intergenerational wealth. PW talked with a variety of publishers about acquiring and publishing books on economic inequality, what’s in the market now, and plans for the topic going forward. Those who weighed in were Dana Bliss, editor, Oxford University Press; Amanda Cook, v-p and editorial director, Crown; Tara Grove, editor-in-chief, New Press; Hollis Heimbouch, senior v-p and publisher, Harper Business; Sarah Humphreville, editor, Oxford University Press; Steve Piersanti, founder and editor, Berrett-Koehler; Lynne Rienner, president and editorial director, Lynne Rienner; and Glenn Yeffeth, publisher, BenBella…”

Categories: Law and Legal

30 Of The Best Nature Photos From The Tokyo International Foto Awards

Bored Panda – “The Tokyo International Foto Awards acknowledges, commends, and promotes outstanding photography from all corners of the globe. TIFA connects photographers with the creative community in Tokyo, Japan, to provide them with an excellent platform to present their work to a new market. We encourage all photographers to participate in the TIFA photo competition. Share your unique talents with the world and win prizes, awards, and recognition.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Archives uncover forgotten names of Auschwitz inmates

Time of Israel: “Researchers find previously unknown identities of an estimated 4,000 prisoners and information about 26,000 others. Ninety percent of the notorious camp’s files were destroyed by its guards before they fled but a recently completed two-year collaboration with the Arolsen Archives in Germany is bringing new information to light. Ewa Bazan, an archivist at the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, compares her work on newly accessible records to piecing together a “puzzle” that is revealing new names and stories of the Nazi death camp’s inmates. “We didn’t know what to expect when we started the project,” Bazan told AFP,  The patient, humble research carried out by Bazan and her colleagues has uncovered the previously unknown identities of an estimated 4,000 camp inmates as well as information about 26,000 others…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Why noise pollution is bad for your heart

BBC Future – “The roar of traffic, aircraft and even ringing telephones are linked to negative health effects. Now scientists are starting to unravel what all this noise is doing to our bodies. In 2011, Germany’s Frankfurt Airport – the country’s busiest – unveiled its fourth runway. The addition sparked major protests, with demonstrators returning to the airport every Monday for years. “It’s destroying my life,” one protester told Reuters a year later. “Every time I go into my garden, all I can hear and see are planes right above.” The new runway also channelled dozens of aircraft directly over the house of Thomas Münzel, a cardiologist at the University Medical Center of Mainz. “I have lived close to the German Autobahn and close to inner city train tracks,” he says. “Aircraft noise is the most annoying by far.” Münzel had read a 2009 World Health Organization (WHO) report linking noise to heart problems, but evidence at the time was thin. Driven in part by concern for his own health, in 2011 he shifted the focus of his research to learn more. Exposure to loud noise has long been linked with hearing loss. But the ruckus of planes and cars takes a toll beyond the ears. Traffic noise has been flagged as a major physiological stressor, second to air pollution and on roughly equal footing with exposure to second-hand smoke and radon. In the last decade, a growing body of research has linked noise from aircraft and road traffic to a heightened risk for a number of cardiovascular ailments. And scientists are also beginning to pinpoint the mechanisms at play…”

Categories: Law and Legal

HathiTrust Digital Library: Search & Collection Builder – A to Z

YouTube – HathiTrust – “Presenter: Angelina Zaytsev, User Services Librarian Are you looking for ways to zero in on just what you need for your reference interviews or research using HathiTrust Digital Library? This session provides an in-depth look at Search and Advanced Search to discover materials in the 17.4 million item collection. Learn how to use Collection Builder to collate titles and refer to them later.”
Categories: Law and Legal

Using FOIA logs to develop news stories

MuckRock – Strategies for delving into government filing cabinets by Yilun Cheng / Edited by Michael Morisy. “In the fiscal year 2020, federal agencies received a total of 790,772 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests. There are also tens of thousands of state and local agencies taking in and processing public record requests on a daily basis. Since most agencies keep a log of requests received, FOIA-minded reporters can find interesting story ideas by asking for and digging through the history of what other people are looking to obtain. Some FOIA logs are posted on the websites of agencies that proactively release these records. Those that are not can be obtained through a FOIA request. There are a number of online resources that collect and store these documents, including MuckRock, the Black Vault, Government Attic and FOIA Land. Sorting through a FOIA log can be challenging since format differs from agency to agency. A more well-maintained log might include comprehensive information on the names of the requesters, the records being asked for, the dates of the requests’ receipt and the agency’s responses, as shown, for example, in a log released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Agency…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Summer associate preparation

Via LLRXSummer associate preparation – With the summer associate season upcoming, Caren Luckie offers suggestions to participants on how to maximize the in-person and virtual services and resources that will be available to them.

Categories: Law and Legal

Collaboration technology has been invaluable during the pandemic

TechRepublic: “The pandemic forced the enterprise to quickly pivot from familiar business practices and develop ways to successfully function while keeping employees safe. A new report from Zoom, The Impact of Video Communications During COVID-19, was released Thursday. “Video communications were suddenly our lifeline to society, enabling us to continue work and school in a digital environment,” said Brendan Ittelson, chief technology officer of Zoom, on the company’s blog. “Any baby steps toward digital transformation suddenly had to become leaps and bounds, with people reimagining their entire day-to-day practically overnight.” Zoom commissioned the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to conduct a survey and economic analysis to evaluate the economic impact of remote work and video communications solutions during the pandemic. BCG also conducted a survey and economic analysis, with a focus on which industries pivoted business processes using video conferencing, resulting in business continuity and even growth during a time of significant economic turmoil..”

Categories: Law and Legal

How to blur your background in a Zoom call

TechRepublic – This simple Zoom trick can protect your privacy or hide a messy room from coworkers during your next video conferencing call.  Let’s say you have a Zoom meeting, but your normal work-from-home space is occupied, or worse, a mess. You have no time to clean it up, or find a neutral, privacy-maintaining space to set up, and panic sets in. Don’t worry–you have options built right into Zoom to hide the space behind you: background blurring. This easily toggleable option can keep your space private, or render messy rooms indeterminably fuzzy, and it’s available in Zoom right now…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Pages

Subscribe to www.dgbutterworth.com aggregator - Law and Legal