jm + america   11

Republicans Are Adopting the Proud Boys
Extreme-right factions of the GOP happily taking on a brownshirt paramilitary gang. This is scary shit
fascism  america  politics  proud-boys  paramilitary  republicans  gop 
yesterday by jm
Facial recognition software is not ready for use by law enforcement | TechCrunch
This is a pretty amazing op-ed from the CEO of a facial recognition software development company:

Facial recognition technologies, used in the identification of suspects, negatively affects people of color. To deny this fact would be a lie. And clearly, facial recognition-powered government surveillance is an extraordinary invasion of the privacy of all citizens — and a slippery slope to losing control of our identities altogether. There’s really no “nice” way to acknowledge these things.

I’ve been pretty clear about the potential dangers associated with current racial biases in face recognition, and open in my opposition to the use of the technology in law enforcement. As the black chief executive of a software company developing facial recognition services, I have a personal connection to the technology, both culturally and socially.

Having the privilege of a comprehensive understanding of how the software works gives me a unique perspective that has shaped my positions about its uses. As a result, I (and my company) have come to believe that the use of commercial facial recognition in law enforcement or in government surveillance of any kind is wrong — and that it opens the door for gross misconduct by the morally corrupt.
techcrunch  facial-recognition  computer-vision  machine-learning  racism  algorithms  america 
june 2018 by jm
In America, Naturalized Citizens No Longer Have an Assumption of Permanence | The New Yorker
Michael Bars, the U.S.C.I.S. spokesman, told the Washington Examiner that the agency is hiring dozens of lawyers for the new task force. The mandate, according to both Cissna and Bars, is to find people who deliberately lied on their citizenship applications, not those who made innocent mistakes. The distinction is fuzzier than one might assume.

Back in 1989, I had to make a decision about whether to lie on my citizenship application. At the time, immigration law banned “aliens afflicted with sexual deviation,” among others suffering from “psychopathic personality,” from entry to the United States. I had come to this country as a fourteen-year-old, in 1981, but I had been aware of my “sexual deviation” at the time, and this technically meant that I should not have entered the country. [....]

Over the years, the applications for both citizenship and permanent residence have grown ever longer, filling with questions that seem to be designed to be used against the applicant. Question 26 on the green-card application, for example, reads, “Have you EVER committed a crime of any kind (even if you were not arrested, cited, charged with, or tried for that crime)?” ... The question does not specify whether it refers to a crime under current U.S. law or the laws of the country in which the crime might have been committed. In the Soviet Union of my youth, it was illegal to possess foreign currency or to spend the night anywhere where you were not registered to live. In more than seventy countries, same-sex sexual activity is still illegal. On closer inspection, just about every naturalized citizen might look like an outlaw, or a liar.
law  immigration  us-politics  america  citizenship  naturalization  history 
june 2018 by jm
After Charlottesville, I Asked My Dad About Selma
Dad told me that he didn’t think I was going to have to go through what he went through, but now he can see that he was wrong. “This fight is a never-ending fight,” he said. “There’s no end to it. I think after the ‘60s, the whole black revolution, Martin Luther King, H. Rap Brown, Stokely Carmichael and all the rest of the people, after that happened, people went to sleep,” he said. “They thought, ‘this is over.’”
selma  charlottesville  racism  nazis  america  race  history  civil-rights  1960s 
august 2017 by jm
Everybody lies: how Google search reveals our darkest secrets | Technology | The Guardian
What can we learn about ourselves from the things we ask online? US data scientist Seth Stephens‑Davidowitz analysed anonymous Google search results, uncovering disturbing truths about [America's] desires, beliefs and prejudices


Fascinating. I find it equally interesting how flawed the existing methodologies for polling and surveying are, compared to Google's data, according to this
science  big-data  google  lying  surveys  polling  secrets  data-science  america  racism  searching 
july 2017 by jm
The old suburban office park is the new American ghost town - The Washington Post
Most analyses of the market indicate that office parks simply aren’t as appealing or profitable as they were in the 20th century and that Americans just aren’t as keen to cloister themselves in workspaces that are reachable only by car.
cbd  cities  work  life  office-parks  commuting  america  history  workplaces 
july 2015 by jm
China’s Spies Hit the Blackmail Jackpot With Data on 4 Million Federal Workers
The Daily Beast is scathing re the OPM hack:
Here’s where things start to get scary. Whoever has OPM’s records knows an astonishing amount about millions of federal workers, members of the military, and security clearance holders. They can now target those Americans for recruitment or influence. After all, they know their vices, every last one—the gambling habit, the inability to pay bills on time, the spats with former spouses, the taste for something sexual on the side—since all that is recorded in security clearance paperwork. (To get an idea of how detailed this gets, you can see the form, called an SF86, here.) Speaking as a former counterintelligence officer, it really doesn’t get much worse than this.
daily-beast  sf86  clearance  us-government  america  china  cyberwar  hacking  opm  privacy 
june 2015 by jm
Uber Optics
That the company's consistent, nearly frozen posture of disingenuous smirking means that the most perceptible "Uber problem" is almost always how it frames things, rather than how it actually operates, whether it's systematically sabotaging of competitors or using its quarter-billion-dollar war chest to relentlessly cut fares and driver pay to unsustainable levels in order to undercut existing transit systems, is remarkable in its way, though. If your company's trying to conquer the world, in the end, being a dick might be the best PR strategy of all.
uber  dicks  dystopia  grim-meathook-future  teachers  california  free-markets  optics  pr  economy  america 
october 2014 by jm
The NSA Is Commandeering the Internet - Bruce Schneier
You, an executive in one of those companies, can fight. You'll probably lose, but you need to take the stand. And you might win. It's time we called the government's actions what it really is: commandeering. Commandeering is a practice we're used to in wartime, where commercial ships are taken for military use, or production lines are converted to military production. But now it's happening in peacetime. Vast swaths of the Internet are being commandeered to support this surveillance state.

If this is happening to your company, do what you can to isolate the actions. Do you have employees with security clearances who can't tell you what they're doing? Cut off all automatic lines of communication with them, and make sure that only specific, required, authorized acts are being taken on behalf of government. Only then can you look your customers and the public in the face and say that you don't know what is going on -- that your company has been commandeered.
nsa  america  politics  privacy  data-protection  data-retention  law  google  microsoft  security  bruce-schneier 
august 2013 by jm
21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous
Excellent data, this. I'd heard a few of these prices, but these graphs really hit home. $26k for a caesarean section at the 95th percentile!? talk about out of control price gouging.
healthcare  costs  economics  us-politics  world  comparison  graphs  charts  data  via:hn  america 
march 2013 by jm

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