Blog Rolls

Mapping Police Violence

Police Accountability ToolUse the data on this page to hold Police Chiefs and Mayors accountable for ending police violence in your city. The charts below use data from January 2013 through December 2019 to show which police departments are most – and least – likely to kill people. You can also compare police departments operating in jurisdictions with similar levels of crime to show that, even under similar circumstances, some police departments are much more likely to kill people than others. And after you’ve explored this tool, click here to learn about police violence in your state…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How to take back the information you’ve given to all your favorite apps and websites

Popular Science: “Social media networks know a lot about you. In fact, that’s their primary job. They want to collect information about you and use that to sell advertisements that you can’t resist. In return for your data, these companies give you a chance to interact with other users and share your life no matter how interesting or banal. Recently, instructions have been floating around the web about how to see the secret interests Instagram thinks you want to see ads about. The results are sometimes hilariously wrong, but they can also be worryingly accurate. Your information is a product that companies leverage. In a perfect world, this exchange would result in a harmonious civilization in which people find others with similar interests and we enjoy our hobbies in peace. In real life, however, our information crawls around the dark corners of the web where it’s compromised, sold, leveraged, and otherwise abused. And that’s not even mentioning what happens when one of these social media sites flickers out of existence and takes all of your stuff with it. This article provides a quick primer on how to see what data sites have collected about you, as well as how to download and delete it. It’s handy information to have before the next site shuts down or accidentally tells a bunch of bad guys your favorite movie and your cellphone number…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Eye-catching advances in some AI fields are not real

Science: “Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. Each iPhone learns your face, voice, and habits better than the last, and the threats AI poses to privacy and jobs continue to grow. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim—and some of the gains may not exist at all, says Davis Blalock, a computer science graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Blalock and his colleagues compared dozens of approaches to improving neural networks—software architectures that loosely mimic the brain. “Fifty papers in,” he says, “it became clear that it wasn’t obvious what the state of the art even was.” The researchers evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways. But they were rarely compared properly—and when the researchers tried to evaluate them side by side, there was no clear evidence of performance improvements over a 10-year period. The result, presented in March at the Machine Learning and Systems conference, surprised Blalock’s Ph.D. adviser, MIT computer scientist John Guttag, who says the uneven comparisons themselves may explain the stagnation. “It’s the old saw, right?” Guttag said. “If you can’t measure something, it’s hard to make it better.”…

Categories: Law and Legal

George Floyd Reverberates Globally: Thousands Protest In Germany, U.K., Canada

The killing of George Floyd has sprung a global movement against inequality and racism; protests were seen over the weekend in the U.K., Germany and Canada.

(Image credit: Matt Dunham/AP)

Categories: Just News

Every bookmark manager ever made

Bookmarkos – “The following is an attempt to categorize every bookmark manager ever made into the following categories: visual-based, list-based, start pages, search-based, tag-based, tab management, read it later, image bookmarking, privacy focused, sync-based, offline downloadable solutions, and other…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Bad state data hides coronavirus threat as Trump pushes reopening

Politico – Test counts inflated, death tolls deflated, metrics shifted: “Federal and state officials across the country have altered or hidden public health data crucial to tracking the coronavirus’ spread, hindering the ability to detect a surge of infections as President Donald Trump pushes the nation to reopen rapidly. In at least a dozen states, health departments have inflated testing numbers or deflated death tallies by changing criteria for who counts as a coronavirus victim and what counts as a coronavirus test, according to reporting from POLITICO, other news outlets and the states’ own admissions. Some states have shifted the metrics for a “safe” reopening; Arizona sought to clamp down on bad news at one point by simply shuttering its pandemic modeling. About a third of the states aren’t even reporting hospital admission data — a big red flag for the resurgence of the virus…”

See also BuzzFeed news – “The CDC Released New Death Rate Estimates For The Coronavirus. Many Scientists Say They’re Too Low. Public health experts are accusing the CDC of bending under political pressure to say the coronavirus is less deadly…”

Categories: Law and Legal

EFF’s Guide to Digital Rights During the Pandemic: An eBook

EFF: “As part of EFF’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve edited and compiled our critical thoughts on digital rights and the pandemic into an ebook: EFF’s Guide to Digital Rights and the Pandemic. To get the ebook, you can make an optional contribution to support EFF’s work, or you can download it at no cost. We released the ebook under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits sharing among users…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Zoom’s New, Stronger Encryption and Security Will Protect Paying Clients Not Free Accounts

Newsweek: “The video-conference app Zoom plans to strengthen the encryption of its service for paying customers, but the upgrade will not be available to users of its free service. The tech company discussed the encryption boost on a call with civil liberties groups earlier this week. Zoom security consultant Alex Stamos later confirmed the details of the reported move in an interview with Reuters, which first reported the changes on Friday. But he also told the news outlet that Zoom’s plans could still change…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Christo, Famous For His Monumental Works Of Art, Dies At 84

The artist Christo died at his home in New York City on Sunday. He's known for major outdoor art installations that often involved wrapping buildings and elements of nature in fabric.

(Image credit: Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Workers Around The World Are Already Being Monitored

BuzzFeedNews – By Digital Contact Tracing Apps – “Imagine you arrive at work. Before you’re allowed to clock in, you have to complete a quiz on your phone that asks if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus. If you’re healthy, you get to walk in. Once inside, you go about your day while your phone uses Bluetooth beacons, GPS tracking, or both to determine the people you have been near. If one day you do come down with symptoms, the app alerts HR, which then alerts the people you’ve been in contact with. This is already a reality for thousands of workers around the world — in particular, those working in sectors like mining, energy, manufacturing, field services (like appliance installation or repair), construction, or hospitality. Digital contact tracing — using an app or another form of technology to track who you’ve been in touch with, with the goal of stopping the spread of the coronavirus — isn’t mandated by any states or governments in the US. But there’s nothing stopping private companies from encouraging or even requiring workers to participate…”

Categories: Law and Legal

US Small Business Owners Say COVID Will Have Lasting Impact on How They Operate

Survey of 1,400+ Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses participants highlights status of loan funds and that COVID-19 will change how they operate their businesses – “The impact of COVID-19 on small businesses and communities all over the world is significant. Consistent with our firm’s purpose of advancing sustainable economic growth and financial opportunity, Goldman Sachs is committed to supporting relief efforts, elevating the voices of our small business community to policymakers, and working across sectors on innovative sources of funding…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Biden Leaves Home To Visit Delaware Protest Site

Former Vice President Joe Biden left his house for the second time in a week to visit the location of protests last night. Posting about the unannounced trip, Biden wrote "We are a nation in pain."

(Image credit: OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami

COVID-19 – New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami, Jeffrey Brainard, Science  29 May 2020: Vol. 368, Issue 6494, pp. 924-925. DOI: 10.1126/science.368.6494.924. “Timothy Sheahan, a virologist studying COVID-19, wishes he could keep pace with the growing torrent of new scientific papers related to the pandemic. But there have just been too many—more than 5000 papers a week. “I’m not keeping up,” says Sheahan, who works at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. “It’s impossible.” A loose-knit army of data scientists and software developers is pressing hard to change that. They are creating digital collections of papers and building search tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that could help researchers quickly find the information they seek. The urgency is growing: The COVID-19 literature has grown to more than 31,000 papers since January and by one estimate is on pace to hit more than 52,000 by mid-June—among the biggest explosions of scientific literature ever. The volume of information “is like what you would get in a medical conference that used to happen yearly. Now, that’s happening daily,” says Sherry Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center who is studying COVID-19’s neurologic effects…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Reopening Plans in Everyday English

Library Journal – NO ONE SIZE FITS ALL – “We understand our plans may not be applicable to everyone’s situation. In fact, our experience shows how specific needs and situations will drive the different decisions each library makes. Our campuses range from dense urban centers to suburban settings. Even within the same city, our five libraries have different plans for re-opening.

  • One library with a very small staff is only offering remote services as long as instruction at their college remains online-only.
  • Another library supports several healthcare assistant training programs requiring in-person instruction. We need to re-open that library as soon as possible for those students.
  • Staff at another library want to be very cautious. They interacted with someone later confirmed to have been infected with COVID-19 from the Mount Vernon, WA, choir practice at which 45 of 60 choir members got sick even while following distancing guidelines.

It’s important to consider what’s best for your situation and review local and state health organizations recommendations…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Former NAACP Head Cornell Brooks Blames Derek Chauvin For Violence At Protests

"There would be no protests, there would be no demonstrations, had Derek Chauvin not killed George Floyd," former NAACP President Cornell Brooks tells All Things Considered.

(Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP)

Categories: Just News

How to Protest Safely in the Age of Surveillance

Wired Top Stories - Sun, 05/31/2020 - 15:27
Law enforcement has more tools than ever to track your movements and access your communications. Here's how to protect your privacy if you plan to protest.
Categories: Just News

Target Says It Will Temporarily Close Stores In Several States As Protests Continue

The move comes after several Target stores were ransacked and damaged during protests.

(Image credit: John Minchillo/AP)

Categories: Just News

Trump Lays Blame For Clashes On 'Radical-Left Anarchists'

As overlapping crises convulse an anxious nation, Trump seeks to cast blame for widespread protests gripping cities on "radical-left anarchists" like Antifa.

(Image credit: Alex Brandon/AP)

Categories: Just News

Photos: Protests In Response To The Death Of George Floyd Shake The Nation

Photos show demonstrators and police clashing as anguish and rage swept through cities across the nation in response to George Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody.

(Image credit: Tyrone Turner/WAMU)

Categories: Just News

Ohio Congresswoman Pepper Sprayed While Demonstrating Against Death Of George Floyd

Lulu Garcia-Navarro speaks with Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio) about the recent protests surrounding the death of George Floyd.

Categories: Just News

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