Friday, June 01, 2018

‘Too inconvenient’: Trump goes rogue on phone security

Almanac: Lord Hertford on his misanthropy

“Men are wicked, and when I die I shall at least have the consolation of knowing that I have never rendered anyone a service.” Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford (quoted in the Goncourt brothers’ ... read more

AJBlog: About Last Night 

A study finds more than 80 percent of tap water samples collected on five continents contained plastic fibers.


Sam Cooper in Global News:

Criminal syndicates that control chemical factories in China’s booming Guangdong province are shipping narcotics, including fentanyl, to Vancouver, washing the drug sales in British Columbia’s casinos and high-priced real estate, and transferring laundered funds back to Chinese factories to repeat this deadly trade cycle, a Global News investigation shows.
The flow of narcotics and chemical precursors — and a rising death count in western Canada caused by synthetic opioids — is driven by sophisticated organized crime groups known as Triads.
The Triads have infiltrated Canada’s economy so deeply that Australia’s intelligence community has coined a new term for innovative methods of drug trafficking and money laundering now occurring in B.C.
It is called the “Vancouver Model” of transnational crime.
More here

The Mind of Donald E. Westlake | CrimeReads 

… It turns out that Westlake really did make it all up. The secret meetings, the complicated communications methods, the identifying of jobs and buying of plans, the dealers in guns and fake documents: all of it—buttressed, I’m sure, by some regular old library research—came from Westlake’s head. It’s convincing because he was very good at his job. And his job was making things up.

Featuring: Lancaster University’s Professor of Social Theory and Political Economy Andrew Sayer (author of the book Why We Can’t Afford the Rich) and John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler of the Tax Justice Network.

"Being an investor sounds good, doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to be an investor, sounds like kind of a benefactor but actually in practice a lot of investment, possibly a majority of investment is purely extractive…And in our economy the asset rich have become richer at the expense of the asset poor, people who own very little”

~ Professor Andrew Sayer

‘Too inconvenient’: Trump goes rogue on phone security – The president has kept features at risk for hacking and resisted efforts by staff to inspect the phones he uses for tweeting.
“President Donald Trump uses a White House cellphone that isn’t equipped with sophisticated security features designed to shield his communications, according to two senior administration officials — a departure from the practice of his predecessors that potentially exposes him to hacking or surveillance

Author Louise Penny Calls Herself ‘A Killing Machine – But A Happy One’

Penny’s Instructor Gamache “has become to Canada what Hercule Poirot is to Belgium, and garnered Ms. Penny legions of messianic fans. At last count, she has sold 6.3 million books worldwide. Seldom has murder induced such hunger pangs, with characters who crack cases while indulging in maple-cured rashers of back bacon and wild blueberry jam.”

What happens to your digital wealth on death and incapacity?
Key points • Due to rapid changes in technology, digital wealth is forming a greater proportion of your estate than you may realise even where you do not own a digital business, although such business owners will have additional issues to consider. • Succession law has yet to evolve to ... Read more

Your Home is Your…Snitch? When your appliances work as police informants – By Daniel Zwerdling – The Marshall Project Justice Lab column examines the science, social science and technology of criminal justice.

Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’ - OpenDemocracy – “Data is making us dumber. This seeming paradox has been gaining currency, at least in the tech-saturated Global North. We’re increasingly bombarded with advice on how to manage data overload. The English comedian Dave Gorman summed it up in the tongue-in-cheek title of his recent book: “Too much information: Or: Can Everyone Just Shut Up for a Moment, Some of Us Are Trying to Think.” We like to laugh about this stuff. It helps us to cope with the deep human fear that the world has moved beyond our understanding and control. If indeed we’re in a state of hysterical denial, James Bridle wants to give us all a slap in his forthcoming book “New Dark Age: Technology, Knowledge and the End of the Future.” Bridle invites us to engage in a direct confrontation with our decreasing comprehension of the world.

Scott Morrison's digital tax on Google, Facebook could raise $200m

Capturing the Architecture of American Agriculture—and a Passing Way of Life | Glimpses | Zócalo Public Square.

Analysis – China, Russia among countries embellishing GDP data

Center for Data Innovation – referencing this Washington Post article: Exposing Faked Economic Data – “Louis Martinez, a professor at the University of Chicago, has published an analysis of 25 years of satellite data that suggests China, Russia, and other authoritarian countries routinely falsify their gross domestic product (GDP). Martinez analyzed changes in nighttime light levels in satellite imagery, which can serve as a measure of economic activity, and found that in free democracies such as the United States and Canada, a 10 percent increase in average nighttime light intensity in a year correlated with a 2.4 percent increase in GDP for that year.

David Smith: "That Does It. I Am Officially Switching Back to “Statistician”.… "