Thursday, May 26, 2016

Research Data Alliance Promotes Knowledge Sharing Worldwide

INK BOTTLE“Real artists are not nice people; all their best feelings go into their work, and life has the residue.” 
~ W.H. Auden, letter to his brother (1927, quoted in Richard Davenport-Hines,Sex, Death and Punishment)

Good News: Sharing Essential Intel That Born on date 3000 BC: 5,000-Year-Old Chinese Beer Recipe Revealed

Ugly News: 2016 AD Recipe for Asian City Down Under: Sydney will be unrecognisable now that the planners have gone .... But while Ausies have this group we are safe or sort of Knitting Nannas interrupt first midcoast council meeting The Forecast For Legal Analytics Is Mostly Sunny

 “To decide whether life is worth living is to answer the fundamental question of philosophy,” Albert Camus famously wrote — a statement that has only swelled in intellectual notoriety and spiritual significance in the half-century since. But beyond philosophy, when the will to live or die plays out in the personal realm, it creates a vortex of pain — not only for the anguished person contemplating suicide but for those who love them, to say nothing of the periloussocial contagion of suicide.
*“Who is RDA? The Research Data Alliance (RDA) is an international organization focused on the development of infrastructure and community activities aimed to reduce barriers to data sharing and exchange, and promote the acceleration of data driven innovation worldwide. With close to 4,000 members globally, RDA comprises individuals, organizations and policy makers representing multiple industries and disciplines, who are committed to building the social, organizational and technical infrastructure needed to reduce barriers to data sharing and exchange, and accelerating data driven innovation worldwide…”

What Public Knowledge Does – Public Knowledge promotes freedom of expression, an open Internet, and access to affordable communications tools and creative works. We work to shape policy on behalf of the public interest.”

Public Knowledge Encourages Silicon Valley to Make Diversity in Tech a Priority By Shiva Stella, May 24, 2016 – “Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission published a “Diversity in High Tech” report investigating demographics within the technology sector, focusing on Silicon Valley. Conducted upon request by Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), the report points out that the sector is predominately white and male. Examining executive-level positions in high-tech alone, the report determines that only 20% of the talent pool is female and that those of color make up less than 16% of it at that level.

“LexisNexis Legal & Professional today launches an interactive online tool that shows how the rule of law is measured and why it’s important. This first-of-its-kind data tool, the LexisNexis Rule of Law Impact Tracker, quantifies the relationship between rule of law and social and economic development.

An officials from the departments of Homeland Security and Justice are stressing the importance of continued collaboration to keep cyberattacks at bay  Breaches: Justice official: Info sharing is the best revenge

The Privilege of Buying 36 Rolls of Toilet Paper at Once The Atlantic. It’s expensive to be poor

Dogs Test Drug Aimed at Humans’ Biggest Killer: Age New York Times (EM). The planet has too many people already and now we will make it worse by keeping the rich (as in big resource consumers) around longer.

AI will create ‘useless class’ of human, predicts bestselling historian Guardian 

SSRN announced today that the company is joining Mendeley as part of Elsevier: “Specifically, we joined Elsevier, to be further developed alongside Mendeley today, a leading innovator in scholarly communication and author collaboration. Our goal is to enhance engagement within and around an author’s academic work. Mendeley’s data and analytical tools will help us support our authors and, most importantly, we will continue to provide free submissions and free downloads.  Mendeley has thrived since obtaining the support ofElsevier, the world’s largest scholarly publisher, and now we will be able to offer broader services that deeply integrate the SSRN Community into the social network of science.”

Nicholas Gruen’s recent two-part series on the problems with the use of evidence in policymaking, and with policy evaluation offered a thought-provoking interpretation of the challenges involved in effective policymaking today. However, rather than creating another arm of bureaucracy devoted solely to evaluation as he suggests, I would argue that improving the dialogue between policymakers and researchers is a more effective solution with longer term benefits. ... Universities across the UK provided well written case studies of social, health and economic impact. These are all now accessible and searchable online....

Chicago Booth CRSP (Center for Research in Security Prices) – “2016 the Big Picture illustrates the investment returns of major asset classes from 1926 onward. The animated chart will open at full screen.” [David vun Kannon]
"Knowledge Seminar: An Inside Look at Federal Appellate Courts": The Federal Judiciary Channel has today posted this video at YouTube.

Center for Data Innovation – “Since President Obama’s first day in office, open data has been a major priority for the administration, and the United States has established itself as a world leader in open data. But until recently, legislative data—information about legislative activities, including bills and their status, lawmaker votes, committee meetings, public communications by members of Congress, lobbying information, and the products of legislative supp. Join the Center for Data Innovation for a panel discussion exploring the impact of open legislative data on the public and private sectors and identifying opportunities for both federal and state governments to better provide this data to unlock social and economic benefits.” [Via Kris Kasianovitz]

Microsoft Research Blog: “Progress in AI research and applications is exploding, and that explosion extends to our own team working on academic services. Continuing our work supercharging Bing and Cortana, we are also applying new technologies to Microsoft Academic, which serves the research community. 

There’s only one week left for New South Wales public servants to contribute to the People Matter Employee Survey 2016, which closes on Tuesday, May 31. MMXVI Survey

An academic economist was taken off a plane last week after a fellow passenger became suspicious. He was feverishly scribbling what she thought was "terrorist code" or foreign lettering into a notebook. It turned out that Guido Menzio, an Italian economist from the the University of Pennsylvania, was working on some differential equations for a model on menu costs and price dispersion. Thankfully, Mr Menzio was allowed back on his flight. But passengers can't be too careful. Here are ten ways to tell you might be sitting next to an economist; police have also released pictures of two prime suspects

 Aberdeen: the Granite City in crisis Telegraph

America’s Most Common Drug Ingredient Could Be Making You Less Empathetic Gizmodo (Re Silc; original)

The basic income is a dangerous idea that gives the state power to control every penny that citizens spend Independent

OIAC Investigates Veda for selling personal information

You probably haven’t even noticed Google’s sketchy quest to control the world’s knowledge Washington Post  I most assuredly noticed Google Books and didn’t like it. My book is copyrighted and they have no business publishing even as much of it as they have.

Google’s Making Its Own Chips Now. Time for Intel to Freak Out Wired 

If you thought your frumpy, over-talkative work neighbour Charles was bad, check this out. A man had admitted that he ejaculated into a female co-worker’s coffee cup, and rubbed his penis on her desk for years...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Google And Other Raid Matters

Our old holiday spot: clever bats they do own their own town - bat for a mayor - A coastal town in New South Wales, Australia, has been raided by over100,000 bats and has now been declared in a state of emergency ...

The first meeting of the new Inner West Council in Sydney has been shut down after hundreds of chanting protesters refused to allow the council's administrator to speak. About 200 protesters, angry at the New South Wales Government's decision to merge Ashfield, Leichhardt and Marrickville councils into one entity and the WestConnex project, drowned out Inner West Council administrator Richard Pearson during the meeting at Petersham on Tuesday night.
Inner-west-council protesters raided

French investigators have raided Google’s Paris headquarters, saying the company is now under investigation for aggravated financial fraud and organised money laundering. In a major escalation of France’s long-running enquiry into Google’s tax affairs, magistrates revealed on Tuesday that the software giant is suspected of evading taxes by failing to declare the full extent of its activities in the country Google Raided


via Tax Prof: Airbnb, Other Peer-To-Peer Companies Pay Out Billions Beneath IRS’s Radar

Electoral Matters: Ignorant People ...

I am part of that force which would
Do evil evermore, and yet creates the good
~ Bathroom quote: Mephistopheles from Goethe’s Faust

Well, the Australian public has spoken. According to a new poll, we reckon Malcolm Turnbull is more likeable and trustworthy than Bill Shorten, but we think Shorten is more caring. So basically, the less politicians care about us, the more we like them. MASOCHISTS, ALL OF YOU! Here are your headlines... Minister Mathias Cormann accidentally praises caring labor leader Bill Shorten ...
Echoing Eleanor Roosevelt’s clarion call for our individual role in democracy and social change, Baldwin adds:
A country is only as good… only as strong as the people who make it up and the country turns into what the people want it to become… I don’t believe any longer that we can afford to say that it is entirely out of our hands. We made the world we’re living in and we have to make it over.

The Federal Police raid on Labor Senator Stephen Conroy's office is "unprecedented" in a country proud of its non-politicised security agencies, Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus says. Raids at Election Times

THE Australian Federal Police have raided the offices of Labor staff at the party’s campaign headquarters in Melbourne. Labor frontbencher Tony Burke confirmed the news and the raids are connected to an ongoing investigation surrounding leaked confidential documents discussing the National Broadband Network (NBN) Raids ...

First, Do Some Harm: How to Smear a Disfavored Candidate on NYT’s Front Page  FAIR

Michael Yabsley calls for reform of Australia's electoral funding system
 Yabba calls for political donation overhaul
Malcolm Turnbull's John Howard induced headache on council amalgamations  in Sydney's eastern suburbs

Consistent with the requirements of the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998, the Pre‑election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) was released at 1pm on Friday 20 May 2016.
The document is available on the Treasury website and the Finance website

Federal Labor MP David Feeney, (labour's Christopher Pyne) who forgot to declare a $2.3 million house, is back in hot water after accidentally leaking his party’s campaign tactics. The member for Batman left secret talking points given to him by Bill Shorten’s media adviser behind at Sky News after a difficult interview in which he confused the school kids and baby bonus policies.

Adelaide born,  bred and based Minister misses the point of hard core irony ... One questioner asked if the Liberal Party can please just let “Malcolm be Malcolm”, rather than a man pressured to appease the far right. Christopher Pyne disagreed with the questioner, saying Mr Turnbull is “doing exactly what he wants to do” as Prime Minister Looking for Real Malcolm ... 

Just What Were Donald Trump’s Ties to the Mob? Politico

Forgotten Figures from the Australian Electoral Commission have shown that more than 94 per cent of eligible Australians are enrolled to vote. But that means about 955,000 people are not enrolled. The most offenders were the 18-to-24-year-old demographic, with a total of nearly 350,000 young people not enrolled. Get on that, you anti-democratic young hoons! If you haven’t yet, you can enrol to vote online ...


The forgotten coup in Australia Defend Democracy
"Stevens says Supreme Court decision on voter ID was correct, but maybe not right": Robert Barnes has this article in today's edition of The Washington Post.

Even the "value capture" aspect – using light rail as a rezoning wand to magically transform all it touches into Sydney's new hyper-dense core – isn't necessarily bad. Dense, transit-serviced cities are the greenest human habitat. They can also be thrilling.
But that'd be density done well. Sadly, it's not what we're getting. The CSELR, scarcely deserving either its "light rail" or its "public transport" tag, enables density done very, very badly. Stretched between minimum principle and maximum profit, it feeds vast public costs into vaster private gain. Bastardry of the first order. Bambi Baird is presiding over the Bjelke-isation of NSW. Corrupt? He doesn't have to be. Indeed, if you can rewrite laws and stack boards, it's more efficient not to be. Every night, more trees go. Every day, more parkland is fenced and devoured.
 Progress done badly: why Mike Baird's light rail is bastardry of the first order

Complement this particular fragment of the wholly invigorating Nobody Knows My Name with Susan Sontag onliterature and freedom and the great Zen teacher D.T. Suzuki on what freedom really means, then revisit Baldwin on the artist’s struggle for integritythe revelation that taught him to see, his forgotten conversations with Margaret Mead about identity, race, power, and forgiveness and with Nikki Giovanni about what it means to be truly empowered, and his advice to aspiring writers.

FiveThirtyEight, Trump’s Scorning Of Data May Not Hurt Him, But It’ll Hurt The GOP:
Big DataData doesn’t win elections; candidates do. Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump bet on that idea last week when he announced his plan to rely on his personality and rallies in the general election instead of collecting data on voters. Trump has a point: The effect of “big data” and improved analytics on elections is often overhyped. Even David Plouffe — the architect of President Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns, the most data-savvy in history — agreed that Obama’s “data processing machine” was not responsible for his wins.

Canadians get matched with Americans wanting to flee the possibility of a Trump presidency

Do you think Donald Trump is the first U.S. politico to menace publishers over bad coverage? Not even close. My new Cato piece cites a few examples from a depressingly long history. Plus:reprinted at Newsweek.
BonusSen. Sherman Minton (D-Ind.) who put forth the remarkable proposal to make it “a crime to publish anything as a fact anything known to be false,” and who had led a Senate committee’s investigation of the Gannett newspaper chain over its (then) Republican-leaning politics, was later nominated by President Harry Truman to be an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, where he served for seven years and became a leading exponent of judicial deference to the executive branch

"Stevens says Supreme Court decision on voter ID was correct, but maybe not right": Robert Barnes has this article in today's edition of The Washington Post.

A Florida man has been slapped with felony criminal hacking charges after gaining unauthorized access to poorly secured computer systems belonging to a Florida county elections supervisor. David Michael Levin, 31, of Estero, Florida, was charged with three counts of unauthorized access to a computer, network, or electronic device and released on $15,000 bond, officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said. According to a court document filed last week in Florida's Lee County and a video it cited as evidence, Levin logged in to the Lee County Elections Office website using the pilfered credentials of Sharon Harrington, the county's supervisor of elections. Levin, who authorities said is the owner of a security firm called Vanguard Cybersecurity, also allegedly gained access to the website of Florida's Office of Elections.

Yesterday: Waverley votes to hold plebiscite on council mergers amid federal election campaign

Today: The mayor Sally Betts used her casting vote to reverse a decision to hold a plebiscite on a merger with Randwick and Woollahra councilsand to block attempts by Labor and independent councillors to get more information on the controversial $38 million Bondi Pavilion upgrade. Several members of the public began filming as councillors raised their voices, threatened to walk out and the mayor Sally Betts warned they could face penalties if they staged a boycott. At one point she called an adjournment asking councillors and the public gallery to calm down Sad, Sad days ahead as truth of how undemocratic we are becoming hurts 

Alexander Van der Bellen, 22 May

 Foreign intelligence services watching our 2016 election campaigns

The Coming Democratic CrackupRobert Parry, Consortium News

"Scandals Embroil Alabama Governor, Speaker and Chief Justice": Campbell Robertson will have this article in Tuesday's edition of The New York Times

Gold coast councillors under scrutiny over campaign funding

From belief to resentment in Indiana WaPo

A group of Ukrainian hackers has published the names and contact information of thousands of journalists who have reported from rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine, raising concerns about the safety of the journalists, including many from international media organizations. The hackers said they had gained access to computers used by the Russia-backed separatists to register journalists working in the conflict zone and felt it was necessary to publish the list "because these journalists collaborate with fighters from terrorist organizations." The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists issued a statement on Wednesday condemning the publication of the list, which contains 7,000 entries and data on about 4,500 journalists, including their cellphone numbers and email addresses.

​’​Sick​ and​ asphyxiating​’​​ – why we live in an age of anxiety Guardian
Bay Area public housing complex overrun with squatters Reveal

By Ian Fraser, Twitter @ian_fraser; originally posted at his How Corrupt is UK web site
Over the past few days, quite a few people have been insisting, on social media, that Britain isn’t corrupt. They’ve been claiming they see absolutely nothing wrong with Cameron describing countries such as Afghanistan and Nigeria, whose leaders were in London for the Anti-Corruption Summit in Lancaster House this week, as “fantastically corrupt”. When Cameron was caught on camera uttering these words in what he thought was a private conversation with the Queen, his clear insinuation was that their former colonial master is, by comparison, whiter than white

Petrin, Martin and Choudhury, Barnali, Understanding the Company: Corporate Governance and Theory (Introduction) (April 1, 2016). 'Understanding the Company: Corporate Governance and Theory', Barnali Choudhury & Martin Petrin, eds. (Cambridge University Press, Forthcoming). Available at SSRN:

"The Supreme Court -- Slowing down: Why, when it comes to justices, nine are better than eight." This article appears in the May 14, 2016 issue of The Economist.

"Critical Evidence May Have Been Destroyed, Sheikh Mohammed Lawyers Say; Defense sought to halt proceedings and disqualify military judge Col. James Pohl and prosecution team led by Brig. Gen. Mark Martins": Jess Bravin of The Wall Street Journal has this report

Baird's smooth move  

Jacob Saulwick asks why Mike Baird is sacking councils ("There are reasons to merge councils, but not the ones Mike Baird is using", May 18). I can tell him. As he wrote, Baird has replaced the councils with administrators and "local democracy has been suspended for over a year until elections are held in September 2017". This means that there will be no organised opposition to his development plans for WestConnex, along railways, in the city and so on. His developer friends win out. Sydney is destroyed, or improved depending on your opinion, but smoothly and efficiently.
Jon Marshall Lilyfield SMH letters

Whipping Hay 


Blue Feed, Red Feed: “Facebook’s role in providing Americans with political news has never been stronger—or more controversial. Scholars worry that the social network can create “echo chambers,” where users see posts only from like-minded friends and media sources. Facebook encourages users to “keep an open mind” by seeking out posts that don’t appear in their feeds. To demonstrate how reality may differ for different Facebook users, The Wall Street Journal created two feeds, one “blue” and the other “red.” If a source appears in the red feed, a majority of the articles shared from the source were classified as “very conservatively aligned” in a large 2015 Facebook study. For the blue feed, a majority of each source’s articles aligned “very liberal.” These aren’t intended to resemble actual individual news feeds. Instead, they are rare side-by-side looks at real conversations from different perspectives. To begin, click on a topic. Be forewarned: These Facebook posts do not represent the reporting or opinion of The Wall Street Journal, and are not verified, edited or endorsed in any way. Read our Methodology.”

THE REVOLUTION EVENTUALLY DEVOURS ITSELF: Pop the popcorn: Liberal pundits eating their own

Evenwel v. Abbott: “Supreme Court Leaves Meaning of ‘One-Person, One-Vote’ Unclear” [Ilya Shapiro/Cato, earlier]

Ripeness is all: Thomas/Kennedy dissent in Arrigoni Enterprises v. Town of Durham will excite inverse taking mavens [Gideon Kanner]

Movie Review: Weiner Vulture.  “Mr. Future Chief of Staff by marriage.”

We must weed out ignorant Americans from the electorate Washington Post. Another way to limit ballot access. People who are ignorant breed too. Are WaPo pundits next going to try to stop that?

Philippine dictator Marcos to get hero’s burial: Duterte MSN. Furzy: “The march to right wing dictatorships continues….”