Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Fighting Disinformation Online - Ripples of Wuhan

What can insect colonies teach us about politics? That self-interest isn’t as natural or as pervasive as we may think Colonies 

As of Sunday evening, there were 78,997 cases and 2,470 deaths worldwide, with all but 2,055 cases and 26 deaths in China. But thenumber of cases outside China is spreading far and wide, now in 33 countries, including 691 on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, 602 in South Korea, 146 in Japan, 134 in Italy, 89 in Singapore, 74 in Hong Kong, 43 in Iran, 35 in Thailand and 35 in the United States. Canada has 10 cases. Coronavirus could start to empty shelves in some U.S. stores by mid-April

What happens if the coronavirus can’t be contained?

Everyone is hiding...I'm absolutely f***ing petrified." Australian citizen trapped in China

It's likened to a scene from an apocalypse. Empty streets, overflowing hospitals and an overwhelming sense of fear in a city of 11 million people placed in "lockdown".

"What have you done? I don't want to live anymore...Take those (bodies) lying on the ground somewhere else. Otherwise, you better kill me." Wuhan hospital worker

In China, almost two thousand people have died as a result of coronavirus with tens of thousands more infected. Authorities are resorting to extreme measures to try to halt the contagion.

"It's beyond quarantine. I don't even know what to call it. It's quite terrifying knowing that people can knock on your door and drag you out for no reason at all because you have a temperature." Australian citizen trapped in China
Four Corners: Coronavirus

Fear, panic buying in Italy as coronavirus cluster worsens

That's according to Australia's director-general of intelligence Mike Burgess, who on Monday delivered his first annual threat assessment.
Foreign spies active in Australia: ASIO

A suspected spy who allegedly sought to put a Chinese agent in federal parliament was able to leave Australia after being questioned at the airport, exposing a gap in national security laws.
Melbourne businessman and spy suspect Brian Chen has apparently abandoned plans to return to Australia as new information emerges about his alleged operations for China, including that he was granted access to the historic summit meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in Singapore in 2018 by posing as an accredited journalist. CHINA'S SPY SECRETS Suspected Chinese spy avoids ASIO's net at airport

Revealed: quarter of all tweets about climate crisis produced by bots Guardian 

Wolf Richter: Subprime Credit Card Delinquencies Spike to Record High, Past Financial-Crisis Peak, as Other Consumers Relish the Good Times. Why?

The concern is not for banks or investors in subprime-credit-card backed securities. But what does this bifurcation tell us about consumers?


The Difference Between Tax Avoidance And Tax Evasion

Lifehacker by Tommaso Faccio
In the wake of the Panama papers revelations, the distinction between tax planning, tax avoidance, aggressive tax avoidance and tax evasion seems to have been lost between the lines


Innovation does not thrive in a culture of crony capitalism
Innovation and Science Australia, an advisory body to the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, has produced a commissioned report with the bureaucratic title Stimulating business investment in Australia.  It stresses the difference between R&D (research and development) and innovation, the latter being mainly about the application of established technologies in new ways.  Unsurprisingly, it finds that firms that innovate have higher revenue and employment growth than those that do not.

Michael J. Graetz (Columbia) & Ian Shapiro (Yale), The Wolf at the Door: The Menace of Economic Insecurity and How to Fight It (Harvard University Press 2020):
WAD.Front CoverThe acclaimed authors of Death by a Thousand Cuts argue that Americans care less about inequality than about their own insecurity. Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro propose realistic policies and strategies to make lives and communities more secure.

This is an age of crisis. That much we can agree on. But a crisis of what? And how do we get out of it? Many on the right call for tax cuts and deregulation. Others on the left rage against the top 1 percent and demand wholesale economic change. Voices on both sides line up against globalization: restrict trade to protect jobs. In The Wolf at the Door, two leading political analysts argue that these views are badly mistaken.

Michael Graetz and Ian Shapiro focus on what really worries people: not what the rich are making but rather their own insecurity and that of people close to them. Americans are concerned about losing what they have, whether jobs, status, or safe communities. They fear the wolf at the door. The solution is not protectionism or class warfare but a return to the hard work of building coalitions around realistic goals and pursuing them doggedly through the political system. This, Graetz and Shapiro explain, is how earlier reformers achieved meaningful changes, from the abolition of the slave trade to civil rights legislation. The authors make substantial recommendations for increasing jobs, improving wages, protecting families suffering from unemployment, and providing better health insurance and child care, and they guide us through the strategies needed to enact change.

Why Jeff Bezos and his Amazon knows so much about youBBC News article includes extensive history, narrative, graphics, photos and insight into how and why Amazon collects massive amounts of data Amazon on users through multiple channels of e-commerce and devices – by Leo Kelion – “You might call me an Amazon super-user. I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from grass seed to birthday gifts. There are Echo speakers dotted throughout my home, Ring cameras inside and out, a Fire TV set-top box in the living room and an ageing Kindle e-reader by my bedside. I submitted a data subject access request, asking Amazon to disclose everything it knows about me Scanning through the hundreds of files I received in response, the level of detail is, in some cases, mind-bending. One database contains transcriptions of all 31,082 interactions my family has had with the virtual assistant Alexa. Audio clips of the recordings are also provided. The 48 requests to play Let It Go, flag my daughter’s infatuation with Disney’s Frozen. Other late-night music requests to the bedroom Echo, might provide a clue to a more adult activity…”

Should Facebook, Google Be Liable For User Posts?Reuters. I can’t believe that they have gotten away this far with the pretense that they are not liable. If you moderate content, you as a publisher are liable. The only time in theory you aren’t is if you are a chat board (as in a truly neutral platform) and let everything appear. Google regularly takes sites down for all sorts of reasons; it happened to us early on with Blogger. The pretense that they have not been publishers (the basis for their exemption) is really strained.
Leaked Document Shows How Big Companies Buy Credit Card Data On Millions of Americans Motherboard. Erm, not sure this is a big revelation. According to Tom Ferguson, political campaigns have been buying credit card data for quite a while to target actual and potential big ticket donors.

Lesson From The Tax Court: What Is 'New Matter' That Shifts Burden Of Proof To IRS?

engadget: “It’s getting easier to control what your smart home devices share, but what about the connected devices beyond your home 

RAND Corporation – Kavanagh, Jennifer, Samantha Cherney, Hilary Reininger, and Norah Griffin, Fighting Disinformation Online: Building the Database of Web Tools. Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial 4.0 International License, 2020.
“Today’s information ecosystem brings access to seemingly infinite amounts of information instantaneously. It also contributes to the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation to millions of people. In response to this challenge and as part of the RAND Corporation’s Truth Decay initiative, RAND researchers worked to identify and characterize the universe of online tools targeted at online disinformation, focusing on those tools created by nonprofit or civil society organizations.

The algorithm is watching you London Review of Books 
Explore the searchable Fortune List – “Over the 23 years we’ve been publishing this list with our partners at Great Place to Work, we’ve found three things to be true. Inclusion has become the gold standard for employee-centric companies. The bar rises every year. And no, workplace happiness is not a myth. Read on to see what defines a Best Company—and how yours could become one. (Plus: They’ve got 91,425 jobs open now!)…”

Exclusive: Barclays installs Big Brother-style spyware on employees’ computersCityAM

F**** the Poolice Current Affairs
Forget Sydney and London House Prices. Take a Look at Paris and Dublin Bloomberg

Shifting gears: Becoming an Uber driver in retirement
Starts at 90? (sic)
Becoming self-employed in retirement definitely has its benefits.
Which countries’ workers spend the longest (and shortest) in retirement?
YOUR MOVE: There are now more people over the age of 65 than there are under the age of five.

Especially Czech out this graph 

The intelligence coup of the century’
The Washington Post -February 11, 2020
For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret. The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software. The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican. But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company’s devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

Check out the first ever web page that went live in August 1991http://info.cern.ch/hypertext/WWW/TheProject.html. From humble beginnings … now there are over one billion seven hundred websites

NSW joins Canberra on the Internet

Louise Dodson
The NSW Parliament has now joined the Federal Parliament with a range of parliamentary information available on the Internet.
However, the NSW Parliament World Wide Web site will provide the most comprehensive information.
It includes explanations about the operations, procedures and legislative processes in NSW, historical information, biographical information about all the ministers and members, daily Hansards, business papers, bills before the House and daily "whats
on" information for both the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
"The development of this site gives the people of NSW unprecedented access to information about the workings of democracy in this State," the president of the Legislative Council, Mr Max Willis, said.
The speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Mr John Murray, promised it would be updated daily. "This will be a valuable education and business resource," he said.

The NSW Public Accounts Committee's Mr Jozef Imrich said the Web technology gives users the opportunity to bring government within easy reach of people irrespective of geographic barriers.
In the United States, the Government has developed an Interactive Citizen's Handbook, as an electronic guide through government agencies and departments to bring a new "town hall-style democracy" to the people.
The versatile Internet is also being used for telemedicine services. Australian medical technology company, Micromedical Industries, is using advanced Internet technologies for accessing doctors via a modem.
For instance, the Internet can be used for a heart check-up by uploading one's ECG to a central server.
Mr Peter Ludemann, the chairman of Micromedical Industries, said: "We have paved the way for a system which is accessible to remote communities, the home bound or even the world's fitness enthusiasts who want access to online medical expertise."