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Daily Archives: April 2, 2023

LLRX March 2023 Issue

Articles and Columns for March 2023

  • The Disappeared: Indigenous Peoples and the international crime of enforced disappearanceCatherine 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 alertLisa 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 Curtis, Javad Pool and 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, 2023Four 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, 2023Four 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, 2023Four 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, 2023Four 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.® – the free web journal on law, technology, knowledge discovery and research for Librarians, Lawyers, Researchers, Academics, and Journalists. Founded in 1996.

As Book Bans Gain Favor, Some Say Libraries Could Go

Pew Stateline: “Amid the national uproar about whether to allow students access to a wide variety of books, the superintendent of a Virginia school district this week proposed a sweeping solution: Get rid of school libraries altogether. Mark Taylor, who leads the district in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, suggested at a recent school board meeting that… Continue Reading

Stressed Plants ‘Cry’—and Some Animals Can Probably Hear Them

Scientific American – Microphones capture ultrasonic crackles from plants that are water-deprived or injured: “Plants do not suffer in silence. Instead, when thirsty or stressed, plants make “airborne sounds,” according to a study published today in Cell. Plants that need water or have recently had their stems cut produce up to roughly 35 sounds per hour,… Continue Reading

How data insights can solve geographic inequity, build regional economies

GCN – The Commerce Department’s Regional Economic Research Initiative will provide accessible data tools, visualizations and expert services help to federal, state, local and tribal decision-makers better understand what kind of projects will promote growth: “A new data initiative aims to increase the understanding of local regional economies and help them compete. The Department of… Continue Reading

DOJ said to have more evidence of possible Trump obstruction at Mar-a-Lago

Washington Post: “Justice Department and FBI investigators have amassed fresh evidence pointing to possible obstruction by former president Donald Trump in the investigation into top-secret documents found at his Mar-a-Lago home, according to people familiar with the matter. The additional evidence comes as investigators have used emails and text messages from a former Trump aide… Continue Reading

Thinking About AI

Albert Wenger – continuations – “I am writing this post to organize and share my thoughts about the extraordinary progress in artificial intelligence over the last years and especially the last few months (link to a lot of my prior writing). First, I want to come right out and say that anyone still dismissing what… Continue Reading