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26 Notes

Laws and Ethics Can’t Keep Pace with Technology

Codes we live by, laws we follow, and computers that move too fast to care.

Opinion piece by Vivek Wadhwa, writing for the MIT Technology Review.

Our laws and ethical practices have evolved over centuries. Today, technology is on an exponential curve and is touching practically everyone—everywhere. Changes of a magnitude that once took centuries now happen in decades, sometimes in years. Not long ago, Facebook was a dorm-room dating site, mobile phones were for the ultra-rich, drones were multimillion-dollar war machines, and supercomputers were for secret government research. Today, hobbyists can build drones and poor villagers in India access Facebook accounts on smartphones that have more computing power than the Cray 2—a supercomputer that in 1985 cost $17.5 million and weighed 2,500 kilograms. A full human genome sequence, which cost $100 million in 2002, today can be done for $1,000—and might cost less than a cup of coffee by 2020.

We haven’t come to grips with what is ethical, let alone with what the laws should be, in relation to technologies such as social media. Consider the question of privacy. Our laws date back to the late 19th century, when newspapers first started publishing personal information and Boston lawyer Samuel Warren objected to social gossip published about his family. This led his law partner, future U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, to write the law review article “The Right of Privacy.” Their idea that there exists a right to be left alone, as there is a right to private property, became, arguably, the most famous law review article ever and laid the foundation of American privacy law.

The gaps in privacy laws have grown exponentially since then.

2 Notes

FBI Plans to Have 52 Million Photos in its NGI Face Recognition Database by Next Year

What is NGI?

NGI builds on the FBI’s legacy fingerprint database—which already contains well over 100 million individual records—and has been designed to include multiple forms of biometric data, including palm prints and iris scans in addition to fingerprints and face recognition data. NGI combines all these forms of data in each individual’s file, linking them to personal and biographic data like name, home address, ID number, immigration status, age, race, etc. This immense database is shared with other federal agencies and with the approximately 18,000 tribal, state and local law enforcement agencies across the United States.

By Jennifer Lynch, writing at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

46 Notes

Britain's five richest families worth more than poorest 20%

The Family is Armitage.

(You’ll meet them in issue 11.)

FYI.

264 Notes

52 Notes

Forever has a few questions for you….

Art by Michael Lark.

Forever has a few questions for you….

Art by Michael Lark.

8 Notes

A Bandage That Senses Tremors, Delivers Drugs, and Keeps a Record

A flexible electronic skin patch has strain gauges to measure tremors, and heating elements to release drugs held inside nanoparticles.

Article by David Talbot.

Offering a preview of what future wearable medical devices may look like, researchers in Korea have built a skin patch that’s thinner than a sheet of paper and can detect subtle tremors, release drugs stored inside nanoparticles on-demand, and record all of this activity for review later.

While still under development, the technology might someday be useful to sufferers of Parkinson’s disease or other movement disorders. “The system represents a new direction in personalized health care that will eventually enable advanced diagnostics and therapy on devices that can be worn like a child’s temporary tattoo,” says Dae-Hyeong Kim, assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering at Seoul National University, who led the work (see “Innovators Under 35: Dae-Hyeong Kim”).

477 Notes

beingliberal:

 ’A Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ Want to understand this better? WATCH VIDEO  

Get Big Money Out of Politics - Attend an Event on the Day of the McCutcheon Ruling 

And Malcolm didn’t have to lift a finger….

beingliberal:

 ’A Date Which Will Live in Infamy’ 
Want to understand this better? WATCH VIDEO  

Money Out, Voters In

Get Big Money Out of Politics - Attend an Event on the Day of the McCutcheon Ruling

And Malcolm didn’t have to lift a finger….

11 Notes

Protesters clash with riot police during a protest against the Eurogroup meeting in Athens.

Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA

Protesters clash with riot police during a protest against the Eurogroup meeting in Athens.

Photograph: Orestis Panagiotou/EPA

9 Notes

Chile Derails "Monsanto Law" That Would Privatize Seeds

By Asha DuMonthier, writing for New America Media.

This month, rural women, indigenous communities, and farmers in Chile found themselves on the winning end of a long-fought battle against a bill that had come to be known by many in this country as simply, the “Monsanto Law.”

The bill, which would have given multinational agribusiness corporations the right to patent seeds they discover, develop or modify, was withdrawn by the Chilean government now controlled by newly elected members of the center-left coalition known as the New Majority, amid concerns that the law would bring harm to the country’s small and mid-sized farmers.

2101 Notes


"…[B]y the time Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List in early March, it took only 67 of the richest peoples’ wealth to match the poorer half of the world [in contrast to last years list of 85, a trend showing the dramatic effect of the rich getting richer].”
— The 67 People As Wealthy As The World’s Poorest 3.5 Billion | Forbes 

The Macao Accords are closer than you think.

"…[B]y the time Forbes published its 2014 Billionaires List in early March, it took only 67 of the richest peoples’ wealth to match the poorer half of the world [in contrast to last years list of 85, a trend showing the dramatic effect of the rich getting richer].”

— The 67 People As Wealthy As The World’s Poorest 3.5 Billion | Forbes 

The Macao Accords are closer than you think.