How to be an intellectual. Find three uninterrupted hours per day; overcome boredom; mind the distinction between intellectuals and academics... Dear Moi
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 ...
We called for a banking commission, and this is why we needed it
Who's who in royal commission zoo?
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”!
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
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…”Facebook and the Future of Online Privacy Project SyndicateI 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.
“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 Gittins…Simon 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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3144445
“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.”
“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. A US start-
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.”
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.