Category Archives: Politics

Searching Big Data for ‘Digital Smoke Signals’ – NYTimes.com

Searching Big Data for ‘Digital Smoke Signals’ – NYTimes.com.

Excellent Article how the Public Sector is transforming by the private sector.  Good read.  Article frames out the group structure, and the team, but doesn’t go into the output of the statistics, i.e. group output, which is disappointing.  Gives you the sense the team is new, and is still coming to grips with what to output, whom to present it, and the advantages presented and opportunities taken as a result of the data. It could be this new, dynamic group within the United Nations is still trying to integrate with the rest of the organization, they are still wresting with the data, or the data draws dangerous conclusions that are not for public distribution.  Give the article a run through, and you will see the subtext is predicting world economies, and that is confidential to the people being analyzed, and also to the people who invest.

China’s Baidu Digital Eyewear Targeted Solely for Government

China’s Baidu developing digital eyewear similar to Google Glass | Reuters.

Three paragraphs are extremely interesting, and imply military applications as well as policing their own people.

Kuo said the device will be mounted on a headset with a small LCD screen and will allow users to make image and voice searches as well as conduct facial recognition matches.

 

“What you are doing with your camera, for example, taking a picture of a celebrity and then checking on our database to see if we have a facial image match, you could do the same thing with a wearable visual device,” Kuo said.

 

We haven’t decided whether it is going to be released in any commercial form right now, but we experiment with every kind of technology that is related to search,” Kuo said. Kuo declined to comment on the other functions of the Baidu Eye or whether Baidu is working on other forms of wearable technology.

It implyies that targeted people who are targeted for ‘crimes’ such as civil disobedience, may be tracked in a database.  The last paragraph implies that the technology may be targeted for the ‘public’ / government sector use.  In addition, all governments may use this technologies at their borders easier recognition of targeted individuals.  I could also visualize other highly policed states, where terrorism is very active, to provide these glasses to transportation gatekeepers, such as bus drivers, or train conductor, where at the point of collecting tickets, they may be able to perform retinal recognition, and allow the collection of fees, depending on the accuracy of the technology, as well as identify them for any outstanding warrents for arrest.  A person may board a bus, and by identifying the person through facial, retinal, and/or voice recognition, if cleared a security check, the bus driver may ask automatically, would you like this fare deducted from your linked checking, or which credit card, ending in the last for digits.

This technology might eventually be mandated by the states within the EU.  That’s a thought, as well as the requirements to connect each border check to cross reference with Interpol, the World Health Organization (WHO) for the spread of possible infectious disease control, as well as local government warrents.

Brave New World.

Press regulation in the U.K.: Royal Charter Applies to Internet

BBC News – Press regulation: How royal charter applies to internet.

In this article, I find it extremely interesting, and I see both sides of the coin.  On one side, we have a regulated press, where approved concepts and ideas are allowed to be expressed, even by the common blogger.  In the U.K. you need a license for a T.V., however, some of the rationale for this may be specifically for news or stories that are accurate comes back from a long history at the Associated Press, where news needed to be confirmed by three sources.  In addition, the history of the Assiociated Press is an interesting one.  If there was a ship from England entering the bay, people would take row boats out, and compete to get the news from the ship, so it was agreed to send one ship and share the news.

In essence, regulated news, maybe for political reasons, maybe to not ensure a panic to maintain a society in case of an emergency, after all, a thought, a single idea, as they say on the Internet can be believed to be true if articulated well, and go ‘virual’ as they say, and pass for believable, and something that was not true, may cause societal breakdown, to the extreme.  One case of this is the broadcast in the United States that caused a mild panic, because people thought it was a plausable story, it was 1938, and it was the War of the Worlds, appropriately coined a few years before world war.

An argument can be made to the contrary, which is one person may report a factual story, but yet, without government sanction, the story would have legal precident to be blocked, recended, and the person may be fined or jailed, depending on the story.  Is this good, is this a removal of such liberties as the United States has the freedom of speech, which this country was founded upon?  Is this now an archaic principle?  Only time will tell.

Silicon Valley is Pushing Back On Children’s Privacy. Should They? Here is a Brief Case Study

I just read a piece from the New York Times,  A Trail of Clicks, Culminating in Conflict, and I must say I agree with advanced privacy protection for children.  I created a start-up a few years ago, mobile application, that allowed the sharing of image posts, and the woman at RIMM was on the cusp of rejecting the app, or wanted me to change the rating of the application.  I have to say that, at the time, I was on a shoe string budget, and time was money.  Annoyed, and a bit frustrated, I attempted to express that the program was designed to enable antique dealers to get on line appraisals, for example, on the go..  So if you liked garage sales, or flea markets, but didn’t know the estimated value, using the mobile application, you could look up a registered expert in that area of antiques, and send them a request for an instant appraisal.  If the appraiser had the app they would get a notification and/or a text message notifying them a request for an appraisal was sent to them, then could offer their services for a price, then respond with comments, and it could all be paid through mobile payments.  Sounds innocent enough; however, the RIMM representative insisted it could be used for pornographic use.  I slept on it that night, and as a father of two girls, it appeared to me she was absolutely right, the best of intentions, and all, so we changed the rating of the application in their store and published the application.  This is just an example, and may appear to be an apples and oranges comparison; however, it’s more alike than one thinks.  Alluring children on television during a programming session of their favorite T.V. show is targeting a demographic and is allowed, and although has a precedence, the demographic targeting of advertisements, for example, has never been able to be as fine tuned as it can be today, and the ramifications to a child relative to a conditioned adult has consequences to shape a child’s mind, or theoretically using a form of AI rules engine to fine tune their preferences seems benign enough.  However, the child may be influenced by trends that are imposed upon them, rather than the contrary.  I am not studying the affects that an AI rules engine with induction predictive capabilities may have on a child as a child psychologist, with a background in technology, but I think several studies are warranted, and I hear a few thesis papers inking pen to paper now.  These studies should be jointly done by the FCC and the CDC.  It sounds drastic, although, the consequences of a physiological epidemic are just as troubling.  I have news for you, most of these start-ups are by kids themselves, relatively, without their own children, and do not consider the ramifications, just the dollar signs.  We should ask, although I can do it, should I?

Is the Apple and Samsung Battle Really about Android verse iOS?

Is this just a question of Samsung verse Apple, or iOS verse Android, but Apple is not battling the U.S. company, Google, and Google is not defending it’s partner because it has its own internally acquired hardware vendor, Motorola Mobility?

Since Samsung is a foreign company, should it be protected under United States Antitrust regulations, and if so, do they apply?  If by taking Samsung out of the U.S. marketplace, would Apple monopolize the marketplace?  Is it a grey area, the current number of mobile hardware manufacturers, relative to their share in the market, and how much control Apple would have shaping the U.S. marketplace if Samsung was removed?  Are the mobile hardware and/or OS manufactures an Oligopoly or a Monopoly?  As an example article, here is a brief statement on Monopolies and Oligopolies, and examples of Oligopolies. U.S Antitrust Laws could apply, but this decision should at least be presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, and possibly in a different context.  Is this a hardware manufacturer issue, or a mobile Operating System issue?

I continually see news articles like, Apple wants ban on Samsung products, even more damages.  Here is a solid paper from a Law student at Fordham regarding Oligopolies and Antitrust Law.  It started to make me think, along with another article from CNN Money, Android races past Apple in smartphone market share.  In the article it mentions how RIMM and Nokia / Symbian fell in market share significantly, and the top two competitors are Apple and Android.  For me, these articles raised a few questions.  Clearly RIMM and Nokia/Symbian differ in form factor and feature capabilities, and have been outpaced by Apple and Android.  Google purchasing Motorola Mobility seemed to enhance the lack of Google’s interest in backing other hardware manufacturers.  My first question is what is the difference between generic drugs and name brand drugs, and this situation, and how do Generics persist in the marketplace?  Is this battle really Android versus Apple, but Google is keeping an arm’s length because they have their own hardware manufacturer internally?  Second, are every single innovation adopted by one OS and/or hardware manufacturer, e.g. mutithreaded / multitasking support, all up for debate, fines, and closed the ability to compete in the marketplace.  This situation smells of geopolitics, and how American Capitalism marketplace may be leveraging some form of Protectionism.  Again, this case, and possibly Samsung should partner with another Android OS partner, possibly outside the U.S., to transform this case to the U.S. Supreme Court, and make this about the Operating Systems rather than hardware.