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David Ignatius, The Washington Pst, 24 Nov 2022 If leading powers don't find ways to limit AI's reach, Henry Kissinger warns, “it is simply a mad race for some catastrophe.”
I picked this up via Mark E Jeftovic's Axis of Easy, and it's worth paying attention to:
I merely summarize:
Financial data was sent to Meta by TaxAct, H&R Block, and TaxSlayer.
Not surprisingly, female customers bear the brunt of the privacy violations.
A case study and post-pandemic holday travel horror story: https://papersplease.org/wp/2022/11/23/the-airport-of-the-future-is-the-airport-of-today-and-thats-not-good/
Today, the day before Thanksgiving, will probably be the busiest day for air travel in the USA since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020. If you are flying this week for the first time in three years, what will you see that has changed? Unfortunately, many of the most significant changes made during the pandemic are deliberately invisible—which is part of that makes them so evil.
During the pandemic, largely unnoticed, the dystopian surveillance-by design airport of the future that we've been worried and warning about for many years has become, in many places, the airport of today.
While travelers were sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, airports have taken advantage of the opportunity to move ahead with expansion and renovation projects. While passenger traffic was reduced, and terminals and other airport facilities were operating well below capacity, disruptions due to construction could be minimized.
A characteristic feature of almost all new or newly-renovated major airports in the U.S. and around the world is that they are designed and built on the assumption that all passengers' movements within the airport will be tracked at all times, and that all phases of passenger processing will be carried out automatically using facial recognition.
In the airport of the future, or in a growing number of present-day airports, there's no need for a government agency or airline that wants to use facial recognition to install cameras or data links for that purpose. As in the new International Arrivals Facility at Sea-Tac Airport, which opened this year, the cameras and connectivity are built into the facility as common-use public-private infrastructure shared by airlines, government agencies, and the operator of the airport—whether that's a public agency (as with almost all U.S. airports) or a private company (as with many foreign airports).
This integrated and as-invisible-as-possible surveillance infrastructure exemplifies the malign convergence of interests between government agencies that want to identify and track travelers for pre-crime predictive profiling and control, and airlines and airports (motivated by business efficiency even when they are operated by instrumentalities of state and local governments) that want to use the same hardware, and data from government ID databases, for business process automation and revenue maximization.
That malign convergence of interests extends to an interest in making surveillance tech inconspicuous and, if it is visible at all, making it appear normal and unavoidable. Neither government agencies nor travel companies nor airports want travelers to notice or question what is happening, or want to take responsibility for it. If travelers ask questions, airlines want to be able to answer, “the Federal government made us do it”, even if that isn't true (as it unquestionably isn't for U.S. citizens or any domestic flyers within the U.S.).
The integration of facial recognition into the airport structure makes these surveillance systems and practices much less visible—by design—than retrofitted or standalone surveillance cameras. Their positioning along the flow of passengers from airport entrance to aircraft door makes it almost impossible to pass through the airport and board a plane without being photographed, identified, and tracked.
Opting out is, in these new airports and terminals, a purely theoretical option for travelers who already know their rights (without being given notice of them), figure out how to assert them (again without notice) and who are willing to put up with additional questioning, search, and/or delay.
Ashley Ahn, NPR, 19 Nov 2022
Four new prefixes to the International System of Units were announced by the 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures on 18 Nov 2022, marking the first expansion of the metric system since 1991. The new prefixes are ronna (27 zeroes after the first digit) and quetta (30 zeroes) at the top of the measurement range, and ronto (27 zeroes after the decimal point) and quecto (30 zeroes) at the bottom. Said the UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL), “The change was largely driven by the growing requirements of data science and digital storage, which is already using prefixes at the top of the existing range (yottabytes and zettabytes, for expressing huge quantities of digital information).” NPL indicated ronto and quecto will be useful in quantum science and particle physics.
I think we're seeing an Elon Musk blindspot. Essentially: he's purchased a social network, but seems to think that the secret to making it work is the same as the solution for Tesla and SpaceX—namely: excellent engineering. Undoubtedly, there are ways to improve the Twitter platform, as Mudge has pointed out. But what has kept users coming to Twitter and giving it high-quality content is the social network bit, not the platform, per se. It is having people you respect there, alongside you, sharing ideas and engaging in conversations. Musk—who is clearly not gifted in person-to-person interactions—just misses that. That's also why he doesn't see why the TwitChan platform he's unleashed, in which trolls hurl racial, misogynistic and antisemitic epithets, conspiracy theories, and unbridled hate speech without consequence will drive people away from the commons rather than draw them to it.
You can have an amazing social media platform, but without creatives to provide it with content, Twitter is doomed. Looking at Twitter purely from the engineering/coding perspective misses this bigger, deeper truth for Twitter. Alas, Musk has missed the window to get this right, hold on to the critical 10% of creatives and thinkers who provide 90% of the content and promote Twitter as a “pro social” platform with—perhaps—a slightly more coarse filter (literally).
Next stop: bankruptcy.
The newest monetary system in the world may be undone by the oldest problem there is.
A few weeks ago, Sam Bankman-Fried's FTX cryptocurrency exchange collapsed in a classic run. Investors were spooked by evidence that the exchange had mismanaged their money and couldn't pay them back, so they panicked. And they were right. They couldn't get their money back.
The blockchain technology behind cryptocurrency was supposed to make events like this a thing of the past. But FTX's business was to serve as a gateway into (and out of) cryptocurrency. That business still depends on humans to serve as honest gatekeepers. And we've seen over and over that humans can't resist the main temptation that comes with this role: to use their customers' money for their own purposes.
What Happens When Crypto Meets Ted Lasso
A group of American cryptocurrency investors is trying to turn an obscure English soccer club into the Internet's team with a global following of crypto[currency] enthusiasts.
The Community Security Initiative of the UJA-Federation of New York sounded the alarm that set off the manhunt that ended in two arrests.
Sam Bankman-Fried, Elon Musk, and a secret text https://www.semafor.com/article/11/22/2022/sam-bankman-fried-elon-and-a-secret-text
Elon Musk Tweets Defense of Cop Who Killed Unarmed Black Man in Ferguson Missouri
Musk running another phony poll to bring back most suspended users:
“Should Twitter offer a general amnesty to suspended accounts, provided that they have not broken the law or engaged in egregious spam?”
Now you know why people are referring to Elon's Twitter as $8chan. It's headed toward being the most toxic place on the Net for however long it lasts—which isn't likely to be long under these conditions. -L
High-profile Apple executive overseeing App Store deleted his Twitter account, which had over 200,000 followers https://finance.yahoo.com/news/high-profile-apple-executive-overseeing-142618165.html
Elon Musk Inherited Twitter's Child Abuse Nightmare—Experts Say He's Making It Worse
It was amusing yesterday hearing Musk talking about “building his own phone” if #Twitter is tossed from the #Apple and #Google app stores for violations of their Terms of Service. Notably, his comment gives us instant insight into his lack of knowledge in this area. Let's review:
The amateur investors who trusted the crypto platform have lost a shot at financial stability. He Lost $17,000 in Crypto. https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2022/11/ftx-ftt-users-losses-alameda-sam-bankman-fried/
Here's How to Avoid His Mistake: He's not the first person to suffer this fate, but hopefully he can be the last. https://www.wired.com/story/i-lost-17000-dollars-crypto-how-to-avoid/
My colleague Kendall sent you some information about the aftermath of the nordstream pipe bursting which was uploaded here right away: https://seclists .org/risks/2022/q4/3 Here is a follow-up.
Projects estimate the emissions they have prevented by predicting how much deforestation and land clearing would have occurred without them. The reductions are then sold on as credits. We found their predictions were often inconsistent with previous levels of deforestation in the area and in some cases, the threat to the trees may have been overstated.
There is a reason that Indigenous Environmental Network and Indigenous Climate Action held a protest against offsetting at COP26, the UN's annual climate conference: Offsetting incentivises the commodification of nature and allows powerful corporations to take over the lands of vulnerable communities, risking human rights abuses. Offset schemes often exclude local and Indigenous Peoples from land management practises that allow them to grow food and preserve biodiversity. <https://t.sidekickopen84.com/s3t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7kF8bWDTTW1C5FXw59hl3kW7_k2841CX6NGN36PYCpvfv7lW7vZ0Py3jpv0Sf197v5Y04?te=W3R5hFj4cm2zwW4mKLS-3T1jVGW45Nq0H3K78fMW3FbmCt3Xv9WMW3T0W843JF3YjW3zdZ6p1LBDN_W4cgyYh45n4V3W3F9cm73zhrNGW4cQK1L3T3KWNW41QW513K77SmW4cfM1M3M7MSgW4fJfX_1GysvpW1YZrlM24RsJK39x12&si=8000000023715636&pi=b900d744-9de6-431f-eb58-041670f2b14f> <https://t.sidekickopen84.com/s3t/c/5/f18dQhb0S7kF8bWDTTW1C5FXw59hl3kW7_k2841CX6NGN36PYCpvfv7lW7vZ0Py3jpv0Sf197v5Y04?te=W3R5hFj4cm2zwW4mKLS-3P5VTyW41WVrw3F6bT3W49LdrL41YyllW41PGFk43TBFHW1Lw2bX45LLHwW41pRqm45n4V50&si=8000000023715636&pi=b900d744-9de6-431f-eb58-041670f2b14f>,
A research on programs in the Brazilian Amazon headed by scientist and former project inspector Thales West discovered that initiatives consistently misrepresented their carbon reductions. The procedures, he claimed, “are not robust enough, leaving room for projects to obtain credits that have no influence at all on the environment.”
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