Friday, April 14, 2023

These 26 words ‘created the internet.’

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.” “Those who deny Auschwitz would be ready to remake it.”

How to Be the Most Interesting (and Interested) Person in the Room

Anthony Albanese is named one of the most influential people in the world by Time Magazine: 'A symbol for hope and inspiration'

NPR quits Twitter. Who’s next to leave?

Elon Musk has practically dared news media to leave Twitter. Eventually, someone was going to say enough is enough. More may follow.

Articles and Columns for March 2023

  • The Disappeared: Indigenous Peoples and the international crime of enforced disappearance – Catherine Morris and Rebekah Smith of Peacemakers Trust Canada conducted extensive research on disproportionate violence against Indigenous persons in Canada that includes uncounted disappearances of Indigenous children, women, and men. Canada’s decades of failure to prevent and halt disappearances forms part of a long litany of grave international human rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. Continued reports of officially hushed-up violence lead to increasingly clarion allegations of genocide. The authors’ work on documenting enforced disappearance, failure to investigate and prosecute crimes against indigenous people has parallel application to the habitual failure of U.S. authorities to address crimes perpetrated against Native Americans.
  • Manhattan grand jury votes to indict Donald Trump, showing he, like all other presidents, is not an imperial king – Following news that a Manhattan grand jury had voted to indict Donald Trump, CNN’s John Miller announced on Thursday evening March 30, 3023: “I am told by my sources that this is 34 counts of falsification of business records, which is probably a lot of charges involving each document, each thing that was submitted, as a separate count.” Prof. Shannon Bow O’Brien, a presidency scholar, takes on the concept of the imperial presidency: “Throughout history, many presidents have pushed the boundaries of power for their own personal preferences or political gain. However, Americans do have the right to push back and hold these leaders accountable to the country’s laws. Presidents have never been monarchs. If they ever act in that manner, I believe that the people have to remind them of who they are and whom they serve.”
  • 2023 Finding People MiniGuide – This guide by Marcus P. Zillman is a selected list of free and fee based (some require subscriptions), people finding resources, from a range of providers. A significant number of free sources on this subject matter are sourced from public records obtained by a group of companies who initially offer free information to establish your interest, from which point a more extensive report requires a fee to obtain. It is important to note there can be many errors in these data, including the inability to correctly de-duplicated individuals with the same common names. Also note that each service targets a different mix of identifying data such as: name, address, date of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, relatives, education, employment, criminal records. social media accounts, income. As we conduct research throughout the day it is useful to employ both impromptu and planned searches about individuals that are referenced.
  • AI tools are generating convincing misinformation. Engaging with them means being on high alert – Lisa M. Given, Professor of Information Sciences & Director, Social Change Enabling Impact Platform, RMIT University writes: AI tools can help us create content, learn about the world and (perhaps) eliminate the more mundane tasks in life – but they aren’t perfect. They’ve been shown to hallucinate information, use other people’s work without consent, and embed social conventions, including apologies, to gain users’ trust. For example, certain AI chatbots, such as “companion” bots, are often developed with the intent to have empathetic responses. This makes them seem particularly believable. Despite our awe and wonder, we must be critical consumers of these tools – or risk being misled. Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI (the company that gave us the ChatGPT chatbot), has said he is “worried that these models could be used for large-scale disinformation”. As someone who studies how humans use technology to access information, so am I.
  • A survey of over 17,000 people indicates only half of us are willing to trust AI at work – Professor Nicole Gillespie, and Research Fellows Caitlin CurtisJavad Pooland Steven Lockey, discuss their new 17-country study involving over 17,000 people reveals how much and in what ways we trust AI in the workplace, how we view the risks and benefits, and what is expected for AI to be trusted. They find that only one in two employees are willing to trust AI at work. Their attitude depends on their role, what country they live in, and what the AI is used for. However, people across the globe are nearly unanimous in their expectations of what needs to be in place for AI to be trusted.
  • Algorithms are moulding and shaping our politics. Here’s how to avoid being gamed – In a recent paper, Prof. Chantelle Gray coined the term “algopopulism”: algorithmically aided politics. The political content in our personal feeds not only represents the world and politics to us. It creates new, sometimes “alternative”, realities. It changes how we encounter and understand politics and even how we understand reality itself.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 25, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: Canceling subscriptions is notoriously difficult. A proposed FTC rule wants to change that; Analysts share 8 ChatGPT security predictions for 2023; It’s impossible to review security cameras in the age of breaches and ransomware; and TikTok parent ByteDance owns a bunch of other popular apps. Seems relevant!
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 18, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: 9 Tips to Protect Your Smartphone from Hackers; NSA offers new tips on zero trust and identity; FCC Adopts New Rules to Block Unwanted Robotexts and Robocalls; and FDIC fails to establish effective controls to secure sensitive data, report says.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 11, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: What to Do When Your Boss Is Spying on You; Biden Administration’s Cybersecurity Strategy Takes Aim at Hackers; Your user data can be the prosecution’s star witness; and Browser Security report reveals major online security threats.
  • Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, March 4, 2023 – Four highlights from this week: Global internet connectivity at risk from climate disasters; The Insecurity of Photo Cropping; These 26 words ‘created the internet.’ Now the Supreme Court may be coming for them; and NSA Releases Best Practices For Securing Your Home Network.