Tuesday, November 30, 2021

6 Ways to Make It Harder for Data Brokers to Collect Your Data

Second Commissioner Jeremy Hirschhorn's speech to the 14th International ATAX Conference on Tax Administration ...
Olympic Games analogy of note … 

 MakeUseOf: “Data brokerage is the underground economy that powers online advertising today. They follow us so much everywhere online; it’s hard to believe that this practice of buying and selling our data is even legal. The real-world equivalent of this practice is someone stalking you 24/7, noting your every move, with little or no consequence. And while it initially appears as a harmless way to sell you more things, data brokerage has evolved to affect everything from your credit scores to insurance premiums. So, what can you do to make it hard for data brokers to buy and sell your data?…”

Israel bans foreigners from entering country to stop Omicron variant Jerusalem Post

A new variant of the Covid virus discovered in southern Africa, experts warn: its power may exceed delta What China Reads

Supply-Chain Crisis Only Getting Worse With China’s 7-Week Port Quarantine Bloomberg. Paraphrasing, the CCP should risk workers’ lives so Western rentiers can make bank (and Western consumers consume). Let me know how that works out.

The New York Times – Researchers can now design and mass-produce genetic material — a technique that helped build the mRNA vaccines. What could it give us next?…In a way, that future has arrived. Gene synthesis is behind two of the biggest “products” of the past year: the mRNA vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna. Almost as soon as the Chinese C.D.C. first released the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 to public databases in January 2020, the two pharmaceutical companies were able to synthesize the DNA that corresponds to a particular antigen on the virus, called the spike protein. This meant that their vaccines — unlike traditional analogues, which teach the immune system to recognize a virus by introducing a weakened version of it — could deliver genetic instructions prompting the body to create just the spike protein, so it will be recognized and attacked during an actual viral infection…Now companies and scientists look toward a post-Covid future when gene synthesis will be deployed to tackle a variety of other problems. If the first phase of the genomics revolution focused on reading genes through gene sequencing, the second phase is about writing genes. Crispr, the gene-editing technology whose inventors won a Nobel Prize last year, has received far more attention, but the rise of gene synthesis promises to be an equally powerful development. Crispr is like editing an article, allowing us to make precise changes to the text at specific spots; gene synthesis is like writing the article from scratch…”

This New Tool Lets You See Floods From Around the World, Dating Back to 1985

Smithsonian Magazine: An innovative interactive map could aid future disaster planning, especially for vulnerable countries in the developing world. “Last month, the United Nations University released a free tool that generates high resolution maps of floods worldwide since 1985. The new resource comes after a year of historic water-related disasters, including severe floods in Western Europe and the northeastern United States. Experts hope the online tool will aid in disaster readiness and future planning, especially for vulnerable countries with limited access to reliable flood maps.  The tool allows scientists, organizations and curious members of the public to adjust variables to see where floods have occurred in the past. Users can select a location and timeframe, and the tool, which draws on decades of data from remote-sensing satellites, produces a flood map at a 30-meter—about 100-foot—resolution. Viewers can see water inundation images down to street level. Similar mapping tools have been developed to assess floods by type and region, “but you don’t see anything happening at a global scale,” says Hamid Mehmood, a remote-sensing specialist at UN University’s Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UN-INWEH) in Hamilton, Canada, and the tool’s lead developer…”

Andrew Podger- Public servant Angie McKenzie as FOI act delegate has no right to anonymity from Senator Rex Patrick

Senator Rex Patrick may have gone too far in personalising his criticism of Angie McKenzie but, as the delegate making the decision regarding his request for documents under the FOI Act, she has no right to anonymity.