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Category Archives: E-Records

This Tiny Website Is Google’s First Line of Defense in the Patent Wars

Wired: “TDCommons is a free space for inventors to lay claim to breakthroughs without having to file a patent. Why is it so off the radar? A trio of Google engineers recently came up with a futuristic way to help anyone who stumbles through presentations on video calls. They propose that when algorithms detect a speaker’s pulse racing or “umms” lengthening, a generative AI bot that mimics their voice could simply take over. That cutting-edge idea wasn’t revealed at a big company event or in an academic journal. Instead, it appeared in a 1,500-word post on a little-known, free website called TDCommons.org that Google has quietly owned and funded for nine years. Until WIRED received a link to an idea on TDCommons last year and got curious, Google had never spoken with the media about its website. Scrolling through TDCommons, you can read Google’s latest ideas for coordinating smart home gadgets for better sleep, preserving privacy in mobile search results, and using AI to summarize a person’s activities from their photo archives. And the submissions aren’t exclusive to Google; about 150 organizations, including HP, Cisco, and Visa, also have posted inventions to the website. The website is a home for ideas that seem potentially valuable but not worth spending tens of thousands of dollars seeking a patent for. By publishing the technical details and establishing “prior art,” Google and other companies can head off future disputes by blocking others from filing patents for similar concepts. Google gives employees a $1,000 bonus for each invention they post to TDCommons—a tenth of what it awards its patent seekers—but they also get an immediately shareable link to gloat about otherwise secretive work. TDCommons adds to Google’s long-standing, and far more vocal, efforts to carve out greater space for freewheeling innovation in an industry where patents can be used to hobble or extract cash from competitors. The site may be dowdy and obscure, but it does the trick. “The beauty of defensive publications is that this website can be pretty simple,” says Laura Sheridan, Google’s head of patent policy. “It needs to establish a date. And it needs to have documents be accessible. There’s not much more we need to do.” In reality, the experiment has struggled to cut through government bureaucracy and overcome competition from more robust archives. Sheridan acknowledges it’s a work in progress. TDCommons needs a bigger flow of uploads to become less peculiar and more vital. It offers a unique hope of expanding public access to the technical creativity happening inside corporate walls—and shifting more resources toward that work.”

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024

Via LLRX –  Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 17, 2024 -Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

OMB stands up first online database of all federal programs

Federal News Network: “It took 13 years — with some stops, starts and stumbles in between — but as of today, the federal government now has a single website designed to deliver detailed, searchable information about all federal programs. The Office of Management and Budget flipped the switch Thursday on the new Federal Program Inventory,… Continue Reading

Service Jobs Now Require Bizarre Personality Test From AI Company

404 Media: “Applying to some of the most common customer and food service jobs in the country now requires a long and bizarre personality quiz featuring blue humanoid aliens, which tells employers how potential hires rank in terms of “agreeableness” and “emotional stability.” If you’ve applied to a job at FedEx, McDonald’s, or Darden Restaurants… Continue Reading

The impact of generative AI in a global election year

Brookings – Valerie Wirtschafter: “The influence of the online ecosystem in shaping democratic discourse is well-documented, with the expanded reach of generative artificial intelligence (AI) representing a novel challenge in a historic election year. Generative AI enables the creation of realistic images, videos, audio, or text based on user-provided prompts. Given the potential exploitation of… Continue Reading

Wyden Reveals Phone Data Used to Target Abortion Misinformation at Visitors to Hundreds of Reproductive Health Clinics

“U.S. Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., revealed today that an anti-abortion political group used mobile phone location data to send targeted misinformation to people who visited any of 600 reproductive health clinics in 48 states. In a letter to the Federal Trade Commission and Securities and Exchange Commission, Wyden urged the government to act quickly to… Continue Reading

FCC gets tough: Telcos must now tell you when your personal info is stolen

The Register: “The FCC’s updated reporting requirements mean telcos in America will have just seven days to officially disclose that a criminal has broken into their systems. After releasing a proposed rule in early January and giving the industry 30 days to respond, the FCC’s final rule was published today. It solidifies what the agency… Continue Reading

American Local Government Elections Database

“The study of urban and local politics in the United States has long been hindered by a lack of centralized sources of election data. We introduce a new dataset of about 78,000 candidates in 57,000 electoral contests that encompasses races for seven distinct local political offices in most medium and large cities and counties in… Continue Reading

CISA Launches #Protect2024 Resources Webpage for State and Local Election Officials

“As part of its unwavering commitment to safeguarding the security and integrity of the nation’s elections infrastructure, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) launched its new #Protect2024 webpage today. Election security remains a paramount concern for CISA, the lead federal agency entrusted with securing the nation’s elections infrastructure. The agency continues to proudly stand… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, February 11, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on… Continue Reading

Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites

024 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP) Understanding the Privacy Practices of Political Campaigns: A Perspective from the 2020 US Election Websites Year: 2024, Pages: 91-91, DOI Bookmark: 10.1109/SP54263.2024.00091. Kaushal Kafle, William & Mary, USA ;  Prianka Mandal, William & Mary, USA  ; Kapil Singh, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center, USA ; Benjamin Andow,… Continue Reading