Friday, January 31, 2014
Since their razor-thin Affordable Care Act victory, nearly all of the Democratic lawmakers most experienced and most passionate on health care have either left Congress or announced their plan to leave this year.
Well that and the hedge funds that will pay big bucks for health care expertise.
Canada's electronic spy agency snooped on travelers who used free airport Wi-Fi—and tracked them long after they left, according to newly released files provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
They're jealous of our fish.
By now, the NSA is known for its bulk collection of personal data, including metadata from cellular carriers. However, it was not known that the FBI also participates in its own share of bulk collection. According to Wired, the FBI somehow ended up with the entire e-mail database of TorMail.While investigating a French web hosting company for child pornography, the FBI received a search warrant for a TorMail account it believed was involved. Instead of asking TorMail for access to the account, court documents reveal that the FBI instead took a look it its own copy of “data and information from the TorMail e-mail server, including the content of TorMail e-mail accounts.”
TorMail bills itself as a secure e-mail service, but now the Silk Road drug forum operator who calls himself Dread Pirate Roberts says users should assume none of their TorMail accounts are visible to the FBI.
Is nothing sacred?
The economy took a small step back from its previous quarter, the Commerce Department reported today, with GDP up 3.2% in Q4. Overall, 2013 also took a big step back from 2012, however, even if it appears that the momentum may have shifted a bit toward the end of the year.
As speculative as the technology may sound, the implications for business are very real. DeepMind was founded by gaming prodigy and neuroscientist Demis Hassabis, considered by some the greatest gamer in history. That skill has been channeled into creating technology with highly commercial applications. DeepMind “has been developing a variety of approaches to AI, and applying them to various potential products including a recommendation system for e-commerce,” Liz Gannes at Re/code reports. That’s an area of impact that includes pretty much everything.
As has almost become routine, Columbia's policy violates basic principles of due process and fairness--even as it promises to treat accused students with "respect, dignity, and sensitivity throughout the process." A student accused of sexual assault receives five days' notice ("whenever possible") to prepare for the hearing. Once the hearing commences, he can't have an attorney present (though, unlike Swarthmore, Columbia's willing to concede he can "seek legal advice outside of the process," given that "information collected in this process may be subpoenaed in criminal or civil proceedings"). He has the right to make an opening and closing statement, no longer than seven minutes, but can't cross-examine his accuser, or directly question any witness.
The accused student is judged not by a jury of his peers but instead by a three-person panel consisting of two administrators and one student "chosen from a specially trained pool of panelists." Columbia doesn't reveal what this special training entails, but based on the Stanford experience, in which the special training consisted of provisions such as the suggestion that an accused student presenting his case logically was a sign of guilt, the provision (which is absent in other Columbia disciplinary processes) doesn't inspire confidence. And the accused student can be branded a rapist based on a 2-1 vote, with the two-person majority reaching its decision on a preponderance-of-evidence (50.01 percent) threshold.
It takes a lot of education to see why this is fair.
A chance inquiry by an unidentified collector has led to a spectacular literary discovery: Parts of two previously unknown poems by Sappho, the great Greek poetess of the 7th Century B.C. One of the poems is remarkably well preserved and adds greatly to what is known about Sappho and her poetic technique.