Blog Rolls

Father's And Son's Hand Injuries Lead To The Mother Of All Occupational Therapy Bills

After surgery for separate hand injuries, a father and son endured lengthy occupational therapy, which their insurer considered to be an alternative treatment. The family owed more than $8,500.

(Image credit: Heidi de Marco/Kaiser Health News)

Categories: Just News

Trump's New IRS 'Postcard' Is Not So Simple And Not Really A Postcard

President Trump and Congressional Republicans promised taxpayers could file their returns on a postcard, but the new IRS effort isn't quite that.

(Image credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Army Veteran, Who Had Lost His Arms, Drowns While Paddleboarding At Age 25

Cody Iorns lost his arms in a 2015 motorcycle accident, but with the help of prosthetic limbs and hard work, he became a fixture in the local paddleboarding community.

(Image credit: Marvin D. Lynchard /Department of Defense)

Categories: Just News

Capital Gazette Shooting Victims: The 5 Killed In Attack On Maryland Newspaper

A gunman entered the offices of The Capital newspaper in Annapolis Thursday and opened fire, killing four of the paper's journalists and a sales assistant. We have profiles of the victims.

Categories: Just News

Crossing the Big Data / Data Science Analytics Chasm

Data Science Central: “The key of any organization’s digital transformation is becoming more effective at leveraging data and analytics to power their business models. That is, how can organizations exploit the growing bounty of internal and external data sources to uncover new sources of customer, product, service, operational and market insights that they can use to optimize key business and operational processes, mitigate compliance and cybersecurity risks, uncover new monetization opportunities, and create a more compelling, differentiated customer experience..”

Categories: Law and Legal

Israel Court Convicts Man For String Of Bomb Threats Against Jewish Centers

The man, who is Jewish and holds both U.S. and Israeli citizenship, reportedly made about 2,000 hoax bomb threats.

(Image credit: Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

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Legal Writing Tools for Mac Lawyers

Law Technology Today: “Mac computers are now the preferred choice for young professionals, including young lawyers and law students. And many other firms have become Mac enthusiasts. Whether you love the interface, the physical design, or whether you got fed up with the Blue Screen of Death and slow forced updates, it’s great to know that more legal tech developers are bringing their products to the Mac platform…”

Categories: Law and Legal New, Tip, and Top for June 2018, Part 2

In Custodia Legis: “Earlier this month, Andrew provided an update on the enhancements, including that the date of the “Previous Meeting” on the homepage is now linked to a list of items that were on the House or Senate floor that day. The previous release also included errata, a published correction for a committee report that, if applicable, will display in the overview box of the committee report. In this release,  you will find that ”On the Floor” reports are now linked from the “Yesterday in Congress” browse, so you can quickly locate detailed information about what was considered on the previous legislative day. We’re also introducing notifications that users can subscribe to in order to receive news and information about new features and system maintenance…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Little Things and Big Challenges: Information Privacy and the Internet of Things

Brill, Hillary and Jones, Scott, Little Things and Big Challenges: Information Privacy and the Internet of Things (June 1, 2017). Available at SSRN: or

“The Internet of Things (IoT), the wireless connection of devices to ourselves, each other, and the Internet, has transformed our lives and our society in unimaginable ways. Today, billions of electronic devices and sensors collect, store, and analyze personal information from how fast we drive, to how fast our hearts beat, to how much and what we watch on TV. Even children provide billions of bits of personal information to the cloud through “smart” toys that capture images, recognize voices, and more. The unprecedented and unbridled new information flow generated from the little things of the IoT is creating big challenges for privacy regulators. Traditional regulators are armed with conventional tools not fully capable of handling the privacy challenges of the IoT. A critical review of recent Federal Trade Commission (FTC) enforcement decisions sheds light on a recommended path for the future regulation of the IoT. This Article first examines the pervasiveness of the IoT and the data it collects in order to clarify the challenges facing regulators. It also highlights traditional privacy laws, principles, and regulations and explains why those rules do not fit the novel challenges and issues resulting from the IoT. Then it presents an in-depth analysis of four key FTC enforcement decisions to highlight how the FTC has and can regulate the IoT without undermining the innovation and benefits that this technology — and the data it provides — brings to our society.”

Categories: Law and Legal

New rule covers purchasing authority for cyber emergencies “The federal government is moving to expand emergency procurement authority for purchases used to respond to or recover from a cyberattack, according to a new proposed rule in the Federal Register. The change places cyberattacks against the United States in the same category as nuclear, biological, chemical or radiological attacks. It would allow federal procurement officials to spend up to $20,000 for domestic purchases and $30,000 for international purchases under micropurchasing rules, as well as $750,000 and $1.5 million for simplified acquisition purchases, provided the work has “a clear and direct relationship to the support of a contingency operation.” The notice — put out by the Department of Defense, General Services Administration and NASA — implements several provisions from the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act that increase the dollar threshold for agency purchases that are in support of federal efforts to respond to an emergency or a disaster…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Report – How tech companies use dark patterns to discourage us from exercising our rights to privacy

The Norwegian Consumer Council (Forbrukerrådet) – “In this report, we analyze a sample of settings in Facebook, Google and Windows 10, and show how default settings and dark patterns, techniques and features of interface design meant to manipulate users, are used to nudge users towards privacy intrusive options. The findings include privacy intrusive default settings, misleading wording, giving users an illusion of control, hiding away privacy-friendly choices, take-it-or-leave-it choices, and choice architectures where choosing the privacy friendly option requires more effort for the users. Facebook and Google have privacy intrusive defaults, where users who want the privacy friendly option have to go through a significantly longer process. They even obscure some of these settings so that the user cannot know that the more privacy intrusive option was preselected. The popups from Facebook, Google and Windows 10 have design, symbols and wording that nudge users away from the privacy friendly choices. Choices are worded to compel users to make certain choices, while key information is omitted or downplayed. None of them lets the user freely postpone decisions. Also, Facebook and Google threaten users with loss of functionality or deletion of the user account if the user does not choose the privacy intrusive option. The GDPR settings from Facebook, Google and Windows 10 provide users with granular choices regarding the collection and use of personal data. At the same time, we find that the service providers employ numerous tactics in order to nudge or push consumers toward sharing as much data as possible…”
Categories: Law and Legal

A Twitter Bot Has Joined the Immigration Battle to Fight ICE With Facts

Gizmodo: “A bot on Twitter is sharing images of all 212 immigration detention centers along with the address and demographic information of each location, tossing cold, hard facts into the heated online debate over immigration in America. Artist Everest Pipkin created the bot, @Abolish_ICE_Now, on Friday, about two months after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the “zero tolerance” policy that has resulted in U.S. Border Patrol agents separating thousands of undocumented children from their parents—an unspeakably cruel policy child health care professionals have characterized as “a form of child abuse.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

The Floating Robot With an IBM Brain Is Headed to Space

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 20:17
The IBM robot bound for the International Space Station doesn't have a body, but it has cameras for eyes, microphones for ears, and a speaker for a mouth.
Categories: Just News

Hundreds Arrested Protesting Trump Administration's Immigration Policies

Protesters marched through Washington, D.C., on Thursday to fight for families separated at the southern border. It was one of several demonstrations around the country.

(Image credit: Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

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NASA's Astro-Mice Will Test What Space Does to Your Gut

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 20:04
A new study will help the space agency understand how to keep its astronauts—and their resident microbes—healthy on future missions to Mars.
Categories: Just News

Database of 340 Million Customer Records Leaks onto Web

The time is long over due to cease talking about data privacy – we have none – and move forward, now, to develop and implement standards to secure our metadata from organizations that collect, aggregate, sell, buy and trade every facet of our “data” without our knowledge and consent, with ramifications that continue to remain opaque to all too many Americans. Via Wired: “You’ve probably never heard of the marketing and data aggregation firm Exactis. But it may well have heard of you. And now there’s also a good chance that whatever information the company has about you, it recently leaked onto the public internet, available to any hacker who simply knew where to look. Earlier this month, security researcher Vinny Troia discovered that Exactis, a data broker based in Palm Coast, Florida, had exposed a database that contained close to 340 million individual records on a publicly accessible server. The haul comprises close to 2 terabytes of data that appears to include personal information on hundreds of millions of American adults, as well as millions of businesses. While the precise number of individuals included in the data isn’t clear—and the leak doesn’t seem to contain credit card information or Social Security numbers—it does go into minute detail for each individual listed, including phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses, and other highly personal characteristics for every name. The categories range from interests and habits to the number, age, and gender of the person’s children.


Categories: Law and Legal

Pew Survey – Public Attitudes Toward Technology Companies

“A majority of Republicans say technology firms support the views of liberals over conservatives and that social media platforms censor political viewpoints. Still, Americans tend to feel that these firms benefit them and – to a lesser degree – society In the midst of an ongoing debate over the power of digital technology companies and the way they do business, sizable shares of Americans believe these companies privilege the views of certain groups over others. Some 43% of Americans think major technology firms support the views of liberals over conservatives, while 33% believe these companies support the views of men over women, a new Pew Research Center survey finds. In addition, 72% of the public thinks it likely that social media platforms actively censor political views that those companies find objectionable. The belief that technology companies are politically biased and/or engaged in suppression of political speech is especially widespread among Republicans. Fully 85% of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents think it likely that social media sites intentionally censor political viewpoints, with 54% saying this is very likely. And a majority of Republicans (64%) think major technology companies as a whole support the views of liberals over conservatives. On a personal level, 74% of Americans say major technology companies and their products and services have had more of a positive than a negative impact on their own lives. And a slightly smaller majority of Americans (63%) think the impact of these companies on society as a whole has been more good than bad. At the same time, their responses highlight an undercurrent of public unease about the technology industry and its broader role in society. When presented with several statements that might describe these firms, a 65% majority of Americans feel the statement “they often fail to anticipate how their products and services will impact society” describes them well – while just 24% think these firms “do enough to protect the personal data of their users.” Meanwhile, a minority of Americans think these companies can be trusted to do the right thing just about always (3%) or most of the time (25%), and roughly half the public (51%) thinks they should be regulated more than they are now. These are among the key findings of this Pew Research Center survey, conducted May 29-June 11 among 4,594 U.S. adults…”

Categories: Law and Legal

NSA Reports Data Deletion

NSA/CSS Statement, June 28, 2018: “Consistent with NSA’s core values of respect for the law, accountability, integrity, and transparency we are making public notice that on May 23, 2018, NSA began deleting all call detail records (CDRs) acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The Government relies on Title V of FISA to obtain CDRs, which do not include the content of any calls. In accordance with this law, the Government obtains these CDRs, following a specific court-authorized process. NSA is deleting the CDRs because several months ago NSA analysts noted technical irregularities in some data received from telecommunications service providers. These irregularities also resulted in the production to NSA of some CDRs that NSA was not authorized to receive. Because it was infeasible to identify and isolate properly produced data, NSA concluded that it should not use any of the CDRs. Consequently, NSA, in consultation with the Department of Justice and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, decided that the appropriate course of action was to delete all CDRs. NSA notified the Congressional Oversight Committees, the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and the Department of Justice of this decision. The Department of Justice, in turn, notified the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. The root cause of the problem has since been addressed for future CDR acquisitions, and NSA has reviewed and revalidated its intelligence reporting to ensure that the reports were based on properly received CDRs.”

Categories: Law and Legal

California Unanimously Passes Historic Privacy Bill

Wired Top Stories - Thu, 06/28/2018 - 17:57
The law will give Californians more control over the data that companies collect on them than ever before.
Categories: Just News

Merkel's Fragile Coalition Teeters On Edge Of Migration Question

The German chancellor hopes to find some answers to that question at a European Union summit beginning Thursday. The parties she counts as allies have been deeply divided over how to treat newcomers.

(Image credit: Ludovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News


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