Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Black Panther and The Bloomberg 50

Why do accountants look so good in heels?
Because they never lose their balance.

NEWS I HOPE YOU CAN’T USE: The 21 biggest data breaches of 2018

Vladimir Putin's Stasi identity card discovered in German archives - The Sydney Morning Herald

Tibet gets a warmer reception as world wakes to Beijing's methods

Dollar Stores Are Targeting Struggling Urban Neighborhoods and Small Towns. One Community Is Showing How to Fight Back. Institute for Local Self-Reliance 

Top 10 emerging technologies of 2018 

The Bloomberg 50: “What does Black Panther director Ryan Coogler have in common with Ben van Beurden, chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell? Or Representative-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez with Michael Gelband, co-founder and CEO of ExodusPoint Capital Management? A place on the second annual Bloomberg 50, our look at the people in business, entertainment, finance, politics, and technology and science whose 2018 accomplishments were particularly noteworthy. Some who made the list are familiar faces up to new tricks, such as actor-producer Reese Witherspoon; others, like Sarah Friar, CEO of Nextdoor, the social network for neighbors, are just starting to make their mark. Once you’re done with 2018, go to the bottom of the page to find out which 20 people you might be reading about in 2019.”

Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody is out in wide release on November 2 after a long time in the making (Sacha Baron Cohen was attached for six years before dropping out in 2013 over a dispute with the remaining band members). I still think SBC would have made a great Freddie Mercury, and it sounds like some, ahem, colorful details may not have made it into the film. Per NME:

There are amazing stories about Freddie Mercury,” he explained. “The guy was wild. There are stories of little people with plates of cocaine on their heads walking around a party.” However, Baron Cohen learned that these stories would not make the film. “They wanted to protect their legacy as a band.”

UK Daily Mail: Proposed new regulations would allow homes to be bought and sold through electronic valuations rather than human appraisers
  • Home appraisals could be done electronically without the need for a licensed human regulator, according to new proposals  
  • Regulators say the vast majority of homes could be appraised using electronic algorithms which could make house buying faster and cheaper   
  • About 214,000 home sales could have been made last year with the change 
  • House appraisers were largely blamed for inflating prices during the crash…”
MIT Technology Review: “Your smartphone’s AI algorithms could tell if you are depressed. Smartphones that are used to track our faces and voices could also help lower the barrier to mental-health diagnosis and treatment. Depression is a huge problem for millions of people, and it is often compounded by poor mental-health support and stigma. Early diagnosis can help, but many mental disorders are difficult to detect. The machine-learning algorithms that let smartphones identify faces or respond to our voices could help provide a universal and low-cost way of spotting the early signs and getting treatment where it’s needed. In a study carried out by a team at Stanford University, scientists found that face and speech software can identify signals of depression with reasonable accuracy.

Every moment of every day mobile phone apps collect detailed location data - The New York Times – “The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor of New York during the day and returns to Long Island at night. Yet another leaves a house in upstate New York at 7 a.m. and travels to a middle school 14 miles away, staying until late afternoon each school day.


The first criminal charges relating to ICIJ's 2016 investigation, the Panama Papers, have been filed in the United States. Four men were charged with money laundering and fraud.
"These defendants went to extraordinary lengths to circumvent U.S. tax laws in order to maintain their wealth and the wealth of their clients,” said U.S. Attorney Geoffrey S. Berman. There is plenty of detail for those who want it in the department’s indictment.


Recalled in the U.S. but still sold in India. Welcome to a broken global recall system.
It’s supposed to alert doctors and patients to problems with medical devices, but in reality, many notices fail to reach them. We homed in on the issue, which leaves many patients suffering for much longer than they need to, and looked at some of the solutions.
To help, we created the International Medical Device Database. But, some products – such as Essure’s contraceptive device – won't be found there as the company never recalled the device but instead withdrew the product from the market for business reasons.


If we lost you at TAVR, give us a moment! This life-saving replacement heart valve  – which can be installed without cracking open someone’s chest – has helped many people stay alive for longer. Now, younger patients are getting the valve, even though potential risks are unclear
The device also highlights the strategic ways some companies market their wares with some supporting advocacy organizations and sponsoring conferences.

“Experts say the rise of artificial intelligence will make most people better off over the next decade, but many have concerns about how advances in AI will affect what it means to be human, to be productive and to exercise free will. Digital life is augmenting human capacities and disrupting eons-old human activities. Code-driven systems have spread to more than half of the world’s inhabitants in ambient information and connectivity, offering previously unimagined opportunities and unprecedented threats. As emerging algorithm-driven artificial intelligence (AI) continues to spread, will people be better off than they are today? Some 979 technology pioneers, innovators, developers, business and policy leaders, researchers and activists answered this question in a canvassing of experts conducted in the summer of 2018. The experts predicted networked artificial intelligence will amplify human effectiveness but also threaten human autonomy, agency and capabilities.

What do different generations want from work?
JOB SECURITY: There are plenty of stereotypes about what the different generations want out of work, but on the big questions there's actually little difference, say experts.

And the Space Agency goes to... Adelaide
South Australia has won the bidding war to host the Australian Space Agency’s headquarters on the site of the old Royal Adelaide Hospital.

‘Oh wow.’ How public servants react when the minister asks who worked for their opponent
CORRECTED LINK: It sounds ominous — a minister asking for a list of public servants seconded to the last minister’s office before a change of government — but it was all just a big misunderstanding.
Cloud gets interesting
A major study commissioned by Macquarie Government has found that complex legacy systems and data management are the biggest challenges for the deployment of cloud services in government. (Partner article)

ClauseBank: consultation on new additions to procurement contract copy-and-paste list