Friday, June 23, 2017

Vale Brissie Girl Sara Zelenak

Sara Zelenak had so much to live for...

London Bridge terror attack victim Sara Zelenak's funeral

At her funeral on Friday, Sara’s parents Julie and Mark Wallace spoke of their daughter’s kind nature, love for rap music and affection towards her brothers Scott and Harrison.

Coast Dad's fears over missing girl caught up in London terror attack

Devastated friends and family have farewelled the young nanny who was tragically killed in the London Bridge terror attack with a touching memorial service before releasing white doves by her grave.

Sara Zelenak, 21, was one of two Australians killed when three terrorists ploughed into pedestrians on London Bridge and stabbed people in the nearby Borough Market earlier this month. 

On Friday, hundreds of mourners arrived at the Moreton Bay College campus - her former high school - for a private funeral service celebrating the young woman's life. 

A picture of Ms Zelenak smiling graced the cover of the memorial service's program, along with the words: 

'Love began in her heart and radiated to the whole world.' 
London Bridge inquest details fatal attacks on Sara Zelenak, Kirsty Boden 

There is an old Japanese proverb that basically states that if you think you are safe, you are in danger and if you think you are in danger, you are safe.

In other words, feeling safe fosters complacency and blinds people to threats while constant vigilance and low-grade anxiety about peril on the way are the best tools for keeping harm at bay...

In his book Foolproof: How Safety Can Be Dangerous and How Danger Makes Us Safe, Greg Ip explains how everything from football helmets to river levees has had the unintended consequence of fostering additional risky behaviour, creating new danger and even worse outcomes.
Terrorist attacks, like any crime, can be compared to forest fires, which Ip explores in detail in his book.
When everyone is engaged in both preventing forest fires (by putting out campfires and not throwing cigarettes out of their car windows) and reducing the size and the amount of damage caused by the fires that do occur (clearing brush and deadwood from rural properties), everyone is made safer from the increased precaution.
Public anxiety is diminished because there is a community effort being made to keep everyone safer.
When someone like Trump says it's his job to keep the public safe, what he really means is he'll keep everyone safe by suspending their civil liberties and personal freedoms, spy on them and increase his ability to act without oversight. When people fully abdicate to government their personal responsibility towards ensuring their own safety, they are just spreading the seeds of tyranny.
There is no winning the war on terror, just like there is no stopping all forest fires.
When prevention fails, as it inevitably will, the task is to stop the senseless destruction as soon as possible.
There is another old Japanese proverb that the British understand well - fall down seven times, stand up eight.
Sadly, that kind of maturity and leadership is missing in America's highest office.
The danger of feeling safe  

Streets of the future: Anti-terror bollards rolled out in Australian cities

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?”  ― Marcus Tullius Cicero

AVNER ZARMI on things that rise to the top: The Perils of the Tribal Echo Chamber 

This Is How Great-Power Wars Get Started ... First they mocked Franz Jozef ...  Foreign Policy

I find it irrational to become attached to one theory. I prefer to let different ideas compete like horses in a race and watch which one wins.

Uber Can’t Be Fixed — It’s Time for Regulators to Shut It Down HBR. “Uber’s business model is predicated on lawbreaking.”

Do as We Say not as We Do ... Shakespeare is in his element on a large canvass - This decision will certainly give frontline public sector workers the impression that there’s one set of rules for them and quite another for those at the top,’’ Ms Flood said.
170,000 federal public servants have not had a general pay rise since the Coalition was elected in 2013 and have been locked in a battle over renewal of enterprise agreements Wages for the Cream of our Society

"We have a hunger of the mind which asks for knowledge of all around us, and the more we gain, the more is our desire,” trailblazing astronomer Maria Mitchell observed in contemplating science, religion, and our conquest of truth at the end of the nineteenth century. “If we ever reach the point where we think we thoroughly understand who we are and where we came from, we will have failed,” Carl Sagan wrote a century later in his exquisite meditation on science and spirituality

Don’t Cry for Travis Kalanick Vanity Fair. “At the end of the day, Uber is the culture Kalanick created.” No. At the end of the day, Uber is a company that’s never going to make any money

Reminiscent of the poet Mark Strand’s 89 meditations on the clouds, Weinberger’s text is a sort of florilegium composed of lyrical descriptions of the stars drawing on various myths, folk tales, or anthropological sources from different eras and cultures

Next to BC We know that we are trivial readers - What does it mean for a journalist today to be a Serious Reader? Columbia Journalism Review

Silicon Valley to Liberal Arts Majors: We Want You Boston Review


"Everybody should be worried about Amazon," serial entrepreneur and author Gary Vaynerchuk told Cheddar at the big Cannes, France meeting gathering. "The Bible should be worried about Amazon."
Pundits talk their Ossoff

 “If you know where Charles Ruggles lives, Ray Bradbury, Michael McClure, or Edward Dorn, you may count yourself learned indeed.”
“Reporting, by and large, is being interested in everyone you meet. It’s surprising how often the most casual meetings turn up fascinating material. This goes for Egypt or a fight club in London. If you don’t consider anybody as being beneath consideration, it’s rewarding and it’s fun.” 

`Books on Concrete Subjects, and Old Books'  

A Great Way to Learn About Product Design: Visit the Museum of Failures Core 77 

Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Walking as Exercise ... "In 2015, the Academy of Medical Royal Colleges put out a report calling exercise a “miracle cure.” This isn’t a conclusion based simply on some cohort or case-control studies. There are many, many randomized controlled trials." (The New York Times - the city of life)

... Euthanasia and assisted suicide

INK BOTTLE“Taking the chance of making a complete fool of himself—and, sometimes, doing so—is the first demand that is made upon any real critic: he must stick his neck out just as the artist does, if he is to be of any real use to art.”
Randall Jarrell, “The Age of Criticism”

There are few people in the developed world who still cling to the maxim that "home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt". These days we can't afford to take the same view as Helmer, the husband in Ibsen's A Doll's House, one of literature's most cautious budgeters. It's a nice idea to be debt free and just spend what you earn. But when a home costs many times the average annual income and life's running costs often exceed the monthly income, borrowing is not something that can be avoided.

Pain without gain: the truth about austerity | Phillip Inman |

In 1965 a young New Yorker writer’s story ideas were rejected, one after another by the editor. Finally he said, “Oranges.” “That’s very good,” replied William Shawn Apples 

The Usefulness of Useless Knowledge Harpers (1939)

Wall Street Journal fires foreign affairs correspondent for ties to gunrunner

  • Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Jack of all trades, master of one
  • Jack of all trades, master of some
  • Judge not, that ye be not judged
  • Keep your chin up[20]
    • Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
    • Keep your powder dryValentine Blacker, 1834 from Oliver's Advice[21]
    • Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love. Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher (604 BC – 531 BC)[17]
    • Knowledge is power, guard it well.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

For No Syt: Regulation of Big Data: Perspectives on Strategy, Policy, Law and Privacy

An extraordinary report by consultants Capital Economics, for BVI Finance, claims that the British Virgin Islands are responsible for $1.5 trillion of assets invested around the world, and that these result in 2.2 million jobs and $15 billion in tax revenue. A better approximation would be that the BVI imposes global tax losses of $37.5 billion every year.
Any investments made via BVI could equally go through any other conduit jurisdiction but there is a particular reason why investments go through the small Caribbean nation. It is the anonymity of ownership that BVI sells globally, regardless of the repeated exposure of its entities’ involvement in tax abuses and other forms of corruption and criminal behaviour that is its unique selling point.  Not cost or market access, as the report claims, in fact there is little to choose between major financial centres on those metrics. There are also good reasons to avoid investing through a small and unbalanced economy, with questions over both its political governance and the sustainability of its business model.
The claimed $1.5 trillion of investment routed through the BVI is significantly higher than previous estimates by the likes of the IMF. And so too is the likely cost to the rest of us – not least in lost tax revenues.

Here’s a quick ballpark figure. The leading academic work by Gabriel Zucman (see Table 1) identifies a lower-bound for offshore assets of $7.6 trillion, with a proportion near 80% estimated to be undeclared to tax authorities, giving rise to an estimated global tax loss of $190 billion each year. As a hypothetical, and assuming the same propensity to declare to home tax authorities as Zucman finds elsewhere, the $1.5 trillion in assets claimed for BVI now would suggest that the jurisdiction would be responsible for global tax losses of the order of $37.5 billion.


yThe European Commission has just published its proposals for rules for tax advisers and related intermediaries which will require advance disclosure to national tax authorities and cross-border automatic information exchange of any tax scheme that might be deemed potentially aggressive. This is a welcome step, albeit one that still leaves the public in the dark about corporate tax avoidance since the disclosures won’t be publicly available (as our colleagues at Eurodad rightly note).  You can download the proposed European Commission Directive here.

TJN Senior Advisor Professor Richard Murphy has described the rules as “a vital step in the right direction”, adding in an interview with International Tax Review that:
“Without lawyers and accountants, most schemes would not exist . . . It’s better to attack the supplier than go after the user”
In the same article TJN’s John Christensen comments that the rules targeting tax avoidanceenablers might contribute to an important cultural change among tax professionals, too many of whom seem to operate in an ethical void:
“Too many tax advisers are prone to leave their moral and ethical values at home when they head to work, reckoning that the abusive schemes they concoct will never be investigated. These proposals have the potential for radically transforming this culture.”

Casanovas, Pompeu and de Koker, Louis and Mendelson, Danuta and Watts, David, Regulation of Big Data: Perspectives on Strategy, Policy, Law and Privacy (June 1, 2017). Health and Technology (2017) DOI 10.1007/s12553-017-0190-6. Available at SSRN: “This article encapsulates selected themes from the Australian Data to Decisions Cooperative Research Centre’s Law and Policy program

William Turton, The Outline – Leaked recording: Inside Apple’s global war on leakers – Former NSA agents, secrecy members on product teams, and a screening apparatus bigger than the TSA.
"A recording of an internal briefing at Apple earlier this month obtained byThe Outline sheds new light on how far the most valuable company in the world will go to prevent leaks about new products. The briefing, titled “Stopping Leakers – Keeping Confidential at Apple,” was led by Director of Global Security David Rice, Director of Worldwide Investigations Lee Freedman, and Jenny Hubbert, who works on the Global Security communications and training team. 

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog – Connect to job seekers with Google Search “At Google I/O this year, we announced Google for Jobs, a new company-wide initiative focused on helping both job seekers and employers, through collaboration with the job matching industry. One major part of this effort is launching an improved experience for job seekers on Google Search. We’re happy to announce this new experience is now open for all developers and site owners. For queries with clear intent like [head of catering jobs in nyc] or [entry level jobs in DC], we’ll show a job listings preview, and each job can expand to display comprehensive details about the listing:

For employers or site owners with job content, this feature brings many benefits:

“The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) has released its 2016 Internet Crime Report, describing the numbers and types of cyber crimes reported to IC3. Business Email Compromise (BEC), ransomware attacks, tech support fraud, and extortion are all common schemes affecting people in the U.S. and around the world. US-CERT encourages users to review the 2016 Internet Crime Report for details and refer to the US-CERT Security Publication on Ransomware for information on defending against this particular threat.” [thanks Pete Weiss]