Monday, April 30, 2018

Spying: Banking Commission Lawyers Who Code: The Coder-turned-Barrister

How to be an intellectual. Find three uninterrupted hours per day; overcome boredom; mind the distinction between intellectuals and academics... Dear Moi

Are your phone camera and microphone spying on you?

Spies Tracking Our Phones? Don't Be So Shocked

Spying shock: Shades of Big Brother as cyber-security vision comes ...

Stephen Lawrence: officer who allegedly spied on family named
Push for greater spy powers

Specter of Adolf Hitler and Josef Stalin is haunting Antipodean landscapes - Labor warns against move to give Dutton new spying powers

TWO powerful government agencies are discussing radical new espionage powers that would see Australia's cyber spy agency monitor Australian citizens for the first time. Under the plan, emails, bank ...
Berg fears he was duped into spying

Former Polish MP charged with spying for Russia, China: report

Listen up: Alexa isn't spying on you, and this 'spying' skill only proves it

Cybersecurity is much like driving a car: one accident can change everything, sending ripples of misfortune through every aspect of your life. Protecting your devices may seem excessive, even silly. Do you really need two-factor identification? Aren’t all those complicated passwords just a little annoying? Isn’t public Wi-Fi use acceptable in small doses?

Then someone drains your bank account. Or your identity is stolen. Or your credit score plummets, and you have no idea why. You would do anything to go back in time. Here are five spy hacks to do now before it’s too late. 
4 clever ways to prevent spying and 1 way to spy

Three intellectual mysteries swirled among the lawyers, bankers, spinners and journalists gathered for Kenneth Hayne's royal commission opening address Royal commission bombshells - great to watch, painful to receive

We called for a banking commission, and this is why we needed it 

Who's who in royal commission zoo? 

Old crusties 'looking at breasts' over as women lawyers on rise

Senior counsel Rowena Orr (centre) with Mark Costello (left) and Eloise Dais.
Senior counsel Rowena Orr (centre) with Mark Costello (left) and Eloise Dais. Eddie Jim

The representation of female and younger barristers appearing at the royal commission is challenging the perception barristers are "old white men wearing wigs".

Changing face of the bar

Analyzing Operation GhostSecret: Attack Seeks to Steal Data Worldwide McAfee. Established readers will recall that many security experts debunked the notion that the Sony Pictures hack was brought to you by North Korea. First, Sony was so badly protected that hacking it was akin to going through an open door. Second, the North Korean attribution was laughably poor. One item I recall is the breathless claim that the “keyboard” (which is a misleading term no pro would use) was “Korean”. In fact, the choice was South Korean….and the use of their language is outlawed in North Korea (the dialects are sufficiently different as for them to be more like distinct languages).
Hackers demonstrate the “master key” they built for millions of electronically-locked hotel rooms. ↩︎ ZDNet

McKinsey’s latest AI research predicts it could create trillions worth of value … someday Recode 

Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out of Social Media Counterpunch. By our very own “Bill B”!

ATO data reveals Australia's haves and have-nots

The highest average taxable income of $192,500 was recorded in Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 2027 postcode, which covers the exclusive eastern Sydney suburbs of Darling Point, Edgecliff and Point Piper, according to the 2015-16 Tax Stats. NSW was also home to the lowest-earning area, postcode 2387, which ...

ATO scrutinises data on Airbnb hosts, Uber drivers

SHARE economy users will be heavily scrutinised by the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) this year, so must make sure they are compliant, experts say. Thousands of Australians are moonlighting as Uber drivers, hosting Airbnb guests or performing odd jobs on Airtasker and the tax office believes many fail to meet their ...

Number of Australians who earned more than $1ma year yet paid no tax ...

Sixty-two Australians who earned more than $1m in the 2015-16 financial year paid no income tax. That represents a 30% increase from the previous financial year. New data from the Australian Tax Office, released on Friday afternoon, shows that despite a political focus on wage stagnation and income inequality in recent ...

Cops Around the Country Can Now Unlock iPhones, Records Show Motherboard

CRS Report via FAS – Covert Action and Clandestine Activities of the Intelligence Community: Selected Definitions in Brief – “While not defined by statute, DOD doctrine describes clandestine activities as “operations sponsored or conducted by governmental departments in such a way as to assure secrecy or concealment” that may include relatively passive intelligence collection information gathering operations. Unlike covert action, clandestine activities do not require a presidential finding but may require notification of Congress. This definition differentiates clandestine from covert, using clandestine to signify the tactical concealment of the activity. By comparison, covert operations are “planned and executed as to conceal the identity of or permit plausible denial by the sponsor.” 

Journalists:  the best and the worse time for alternative news ↩︎ Variety

I Downloaded the Information That Facebook Has on Me. Yikes. New York Times. I cannot understand why anyone would choose to allow any outside party to have access to their contacts list/address book. This guy actually did so consciously.
Is Facebook causing the end of happiness? Vivek Wadja. Personally, I think happiness is overrated, particularly because thinking about it makes you not happy.
Survey claims that 9% of Facebook users have deleted their accounts BGR. The article is skeptical of the survey (of 1000 people, big enough to be valid if the sample was properly constructed). But it’s not hard to imagine that 10% to as many as 20% of people who have FB accounts don’t use it much, so the bar for them ditching it would be low. The underlying survey is also interesting.

Active MEdia Dragons produce new brain cells throughout their lives Findings could help hunt for treatment for degenerative conditions such as Alzheimers, and psychiatric problems: “Humans continue to produce new neurons in a part of their brain involved in learning, memory and emotion throughout adulthood, scientists have revealed, countering previous theories that production stopped after adolescence. The findings could help in developing treatments for neurological conditions such as dementia…“The exciting part is that the neurons are there throughout a lifetime,” said Dr Maura Boldrini from Columbia University in New York and first author of the new study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. “It seems that indeed humans are different from mice – where [neuron production] goes down with age really fast – and this could mean that we need these neurons for our complex learning abilities and cognitive behavioural responses to emotions,” she said…”

“In this series, Legal Geek is speaking to Lawyers Who Code about why and how they learned to code, what the benefits have been and how long would it take to re-create the Matrix (OK, so we didn’t ask that last one). Next up is Simon GittinsSimon Gittins is a former coder who became barrister at 27. He later moved into LegalTech and founded the legal services platform Absolute Barrister, where he is the CEO.”

Co-design ‘risks being little more than a buzzword'.
There is little evidence that co-design improves outcomes. Also, few can define it. A new paper explores some of the challenges for public servants.


Miller, Nelson P., Teaching Law: A Framework for Instructional Mastery (March 20, 2018). Teaching Law: A Framework for Instructional Mastery, 2nd eds, ISBN: 978-0-9980601-8-7; 2018. Available at SSRN:
“This text for law professors has fourteen sections following a typical law school term. Section topics include Course Objectives, Syllabi, Lectures, Socratic Method, Differentiating Instruction, Integrating Instruction, Assessment, Multiple Choice Questions, Essay Questions, and Scoring and Grading. The text includes a beginning section on Pedagogy to help professors appreciate theoretical schools on education and the history of law teaching, and a concluding section on T eaching Vision.The text offers useful insights for anyone who teaches law and wants to improve at it. Reflection questions and exercises frame each section, engaging readers to implement suggestions and designs. Exhaustively researched, the text trains readers to articulate proper learning objectives, use syllabi more productively, adopt best practices when they lecture and use Socratic questioning, make learning more visual, and create better assessment instruments, among other reforms.”

Iris seed pods“The Copyright Office strives to provide high-quality services to its users. Therefore, the Office must develop an innovative and robust technological infrastructure that will provide these services in a streamlined, efficient, and cost-effective manner. IT modernization has been a top priority since 2011, beginning with a detailed analysis and review of the Office’s systems. The Office laid out its vision for this future-state IT enterprise solution in three documents—the Strategic Plan 2016—2020: Positioning the United States Copyright Office for the Future, the Provisional Information Technology Modernization Plan and Cost Analysis, and the Modified U.S. Copyright Office Provisional IT Modernization Plan. These plans highlight the need for a modernized IT infrastructure (to be facilitated by the Copyright Modernization Office), transforming the Copyright Office into a “lean, nimble, results-driven organization with the tools necessary to serve its varied constituencies—from the copyright community, to government entities, to the public at large.”

Murder is concentrated: 80% of violent killings in Latin American cities occur on just 2% of the streets.
↩︎ The Economist

Are 'old tech' government workspaces scaring away talent?
Could the public sector ever deploy systems so good they actually make people want to work for it? Business already has. This is what counts.

Inside the EPA's $162m modern regulator makeover.
Victoria's Environmental Protection Authority is undergoing its biggest reform in a generation, explains CEO Nial Finegan, re-orienting it towards prevention and community engagement.


How government can unlock billions of dollars in savings - Marek Rucinski

How government can unlock billions of dollars in savings. A US start-up used government data to make $1.5 billion. The New Zealand government put data to work to find $954 million. The potential for Australian agencies is enormous. But internal barriers remain. 
In the United States in 2006, two former Google employees formed a company, Weatherbill, to provide weather insurance to ski resorts, large event venues and farmers. In 2010, Weatherbill decided to focus exclusively on agriculture, launching the Total Weather Insurance Product.
The move prompted Greentech Media to ask: “Is it the Riskiest Startup Ever?” It explained:
“The company’s algorithms continually examine streams of incoming weather data, past history, local conditions and other factors to devise a personalised insurance policy for a farmer.”
 Marek Rucinski joins the ATO 

In his spare time Marek, likes to travel the world (on business and for pleasure)… sample the local dining options, and follow random range of hobbies… from automotive, industrial and interior design fields through gaming, theatre, cinema, geopolitics and history, to getting lost in future visions of science-fiction.
Marek on LinkedIn 

"OECD addresses the misuse of residence/citizenship by investment schemes" 

ATO statement on claims in tonight's A Current Affair
The ATO is taking steps to correct the record to ensure that public confidence in our administration of the tax and super systems is not undermined.

Taxing Wages 2018: “This annual flagship publication provides details of taxes paid on wages in OECD countries. It covers personal income taxes and social security contributions paid by employees, social security contributions and payroll taxes paid by employers, and cash benefits received by in-work families

The Australian Bureau of Statistics on 26 April 2018 released Taxation Revenue, Australia, 2016-17 Click here to open this document] "> [Click here to open this document] . It reports that total taxation revenue collected in Australia increased by $23.283 billion (5.0%) from $465.216 billion in 2015-16 to $488.499 billion in 2016-17.

The ATO on 27 April 2018 released its Taxation Statistics 2015-16 [Click here to open this document] publication, covering the 2015-16 financial year. The report presents an overview of 16 million 2016 income tax returns for 13.5 million individuals, 940,000 companies, as well as superannuation funds, partnerships, and trusts.
The statistics cover areas such as average taxable income by occupation. The ATO said the profession with the highest income was Surgeon with an average taxable income of $393,467. Anaesthetists, Internal Medicine Specialists, Psychiatrists, and Other Medical Practitioners filled the second, third, fifth, and sixth spots on the list.
Other stats revealed include:

1. The highest average taxable income of $192,500 was recorded in Sydney's 2027 postcode which covers Darling Point, Edgecliff, HMAS Rushcutter, and Point Piper.
2. Melbourne's 3142 postcode, covering Toorak and Hawksburn, was the second highest nationally with an average taxable income of $190,777.
3. NSW was home to the lowest earning area. Postcode 2387, covering Bulyeroi and Rowena in far North-East NSW, had an average taxable income of around $12,000.
4. Victoria has 5 of the bottom 10 postcodes with 3482 recording the second lowest average incomes nationally.
5. One in 3 Australians claimed a deduction for a charitable gift or donation. In total, Australians reported donating $2.8 billion with an average gift size of $211. The ACT is the most generous territory with 41% of residents claiming a deduction followed by 37% of Victorian and 36% of Northern Territorians.