Law and Legal
USAToday: “If you were affected by the 2017 Equifax data breach, you can now file a claim for a piece of the settlement. The credit-reporting company has agreed to pay between $575 million and $700 million to settle state and federal investigations related to a massive security incident that exposed the personal information of more than 147 million Americans two years ago. The settlement, which was announced Monday and is considered the largest ever for a data breach, has preliminary court approval. The official settlement website, www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com, has been posted and is accepting claims. To confirm you’re eligible to file a claim, enter your last name and the last six digits of your Social Security number on the site or call the Settlement Administrator at 1-833-759-2982…”
- After providing your last name and last six digits of you social security number – bingo – [Based on the information you provided, our records indicate your personal information was impacted by this incident.] For more information, visit the FAQ page. [Just saying – the breach occurred 2 years ago and $125 in no way compensates anyone for the permanent loss of critical “personal data.”]
“Mutual Rescue Doggy Day Out encourages people to take dogs from local shelters on outings and field trips in the community. Common Doggy Day Outs can include a hike, a trip to a beach or lake, a sleepover in a home or even a nice dinner in a pet friendly restaurant. These outings help shelter dogs manage kennel stress, burn off energy and get more exposure in their communities. Doggy Day Out only requires minimal training commitments for participants. This encourages members of the public, who normally wouldn’t have time to volunteer, to engage with their local shelter and advocate for the animals. It’s a great excuse to get out and get some exercise or explore with a canine sidekick. Doggy Day Out also helps you reach a new segment of your community. Most people only interact with a shelter to surrender or adopt a pet or if they have time to volunteer. Doggy Day Out invites the community to engage with your organization and become advocates, adopters and donors.
Doggy Day Out can help:
- Relieve kennel stress in shelter dogs
- Give you more information about how your dogs behave in the real world
- Get the dogs greater visibility and exposure to potential adopters
- Spread your shelter’s message in the community…”
NPR – “The Senate intelligence committee has released its report detailing Russia’s targeting of election systems in 2016 along with recommendations for protecting American elections from foreign interference. The committee’s final report on election security [redacted] appeared Thursday as the 2020 presidential race gets underway in what promises to be a bitter and divisive election battle. It also followed former Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller’s stark warning to lawmakers on Wednesday that Russia’s sprawling influence operation of 2016 was not a one-and-done.
“No, it wasn’t a single attempt,” Mueller said during some six hours of testimony about his Russia investigation, before two House committees. “They’re doing it as we sit here. And they expect to do it during the next campaign.” The leaders of the Senate intelligence committee echoed that warning in unveiling their election security report on Thursday, while also hailing the steps they said have been taken since 2016…”
BBC – The world of work is in transition. Are you ready? – “The world of work is being struck by waves of change. Some are vast and visible – leaps in machine learning and artificial intelligence or the rise of ‘do anything from anywhere’ technologies. Other ideas are just beginning to emerge – like monitoring content to ensure proper gender balance, or rethinking office design to promote air quality. Behind it all are the people whose ideas and attitudes have the potential to shape the next chapter of our lives. Here are the 101 indispensable things that you need to know about our work-life future…”
Hakai Magazine – “From the moment a fisher lands a fish to the moment that fish lands on your plate, 27 percent of it will disappear. Consider the Atlantic salmon you ate for dinner last night—say, 300 grams. Then lop off more than a quarter of it. Now consider what would happen if we piled up your discards and mine, along with all the other fish that disappear from the global food system in a given year. Imagine we piled up all those discards—all 46 million tonnes of them—in one very smelly spot. They would fill one of the world’s largest landfills, which (incidentally) is not located in China or India, but hides in plain sight just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. Or let me put it another way: it would take about six years to pile up enough rotting seafood to outweigh all the adults in the world…”
KKF – U.S. Global Health Legislation Tracker. Published: Jul 22, 2019. “This tracker provides a listing of global health-related legislation introduced in the 116th Congress. Currently, there are more than 30 pieces of legislation related to global health. They address topics ranging from global health security to neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and reproductive health. The tracker includes the bill title, sponsor(s), current status, and topic, as well as a short description of its global health-related provisions. The tracker includes bills only; resolutions are not included. Legislation is listed in alphabetical order by short title. In certain cases, identical bills have been introduced in both chambers of Congress (often referred to as companion bills). For example, the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights Act and the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Act of 2019 were each introduced in both chambers. Such companion bills are listed separately in the tracker. The tracker will be updated as needed…”
WSJ video – Research shows that exposure to nature, even indoors, can help reduce stress. Biophilia expert Rebecca Bullene shows you how to pick the perfect plants for your office and the best ways to take care of them.
The Conversation: “Facebook’s News Feed algorithm determines what users see on its platform – from funny memes to comments from friends. The company regularly updates this algorithm, which can dramatically change what information people consume. As the 2020 election approaches, there is much public concern that what was dubbed “Russian meddling” in the 2016 presidential election could happen again. But what’s not getting enough attention is the role Facebook’s algorithm changes play, intentionally or not, in that kind of meddling. A key counterpoint to the Russian misinformation campaign was factual journalism from reputable sources – which reached many of their readers on Facebook and other social media platforms. As a social media researcher and educator, I see evidence that changes to Facebook’s News Feed algorithm suppressed users’ access to credible journalism in the run-up to Trump’s election…” [h/t Pete Weiss]
Vice – A new report documents two years of science being scrubbed from government websites. “The Trump administration has undermined the fight against climate change by suffocating facts and science on government websites, according to a federal watchdog group that monitors thousands of government pages for changes. A report published by the Environmental Data & Governance Initiative (EDGI) on Monday found that language related to climate change has disappeared at an alarming pace since Trump took office in 2016. Across 5,301 pages—ranging from websites belonging to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the US Geological Survey (USGS)—the use of the terms “climate change,” “clean energy,” and “adaptation” plummeted by 26 percent between 2016 and 2018. Of the pages where “climate change” was stricken, more than half belong to the EPA…”
“Many of us have given up on the idea of carrying around a dedicated work phone. After all, why bother when you can get everything you need on your personal smartphone? Here’s one reason: Your work account might be spying on you in the background. When you add a work email address to your phone, you’ll likely be asked to install something called a Mobile Device Management (MDM) profile. Chances are, you’ll blindly accept it. (What other choice do you have?) MDM is set up by your company’s IT department to reach inside your phone in the background, allowing them to ensure your device is secure, know where it is, and remotely erase your data if the phone is stolen.
From your company’s perspective, there are obvious security reasons for installing an MDM on an employee’s phone. But for employees, it’s difficult to tell what these invisible profiles are collecting behind the scenes, as they provide people at your company with invisible control over your device. That’s why when it comes to your phone, no matter how much you trust your IT department, it’s a good idea to keep work and pleasure separate…”
Wired: “Climate change has thrown our beautifully balanced planet into chaos. As oceans and forests transform and ecosystems go into shock, perhaps a million species teeter on the edge of extinction. But there may still be hope for these organisms. Some will change their behaviors in response to soaring global temperatures; they might, say, reproduce earlier in the year, when it’s cooler. Others may even evolve to cope—perhaps by shrinking, because smaller frames lose heat more quickly.
For the moment, though, scientists have little idea how these adaptations may be playing out. A new paper in Nature Communications, coauthored by more than 60 researchers, aims to bring a measure of clarity. By sifting through 10,000 previous studies, the researchers found that the climatic chaos we’ve sowed may just be too intense. Some species seem to be adapting, yes, but they aren’t doing so fast enough. That spells, in a word, doom…”
- Details: Defense Ministry spokesman Wu Qian told a news conference if “anyone dares to separate Taiwan from China, the Chinese army will certainly fight, resolutely defending the country’s sovereign unity and territorial integrity,” according to AP. The white paper states “we will not attack unless we are attacked, but we will surely counterattack if attacked.”
Why it matters: Taiwan is one of several flashpoints in the U.S.-China relationship. China regards the self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province. The State Department notified Congress this month that it has approved a $2.2 billion arms sale to Taiwan. The U.S. Navy has sent ships to the Taiwan Strait that divides the island with the Chinese mainland in recent months.
- This is the first white paper China has issued since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s sweeping 2015 military reforms, the Japan Times notes…”
The National – “At only 27, Freshta Karim is the founder of Charmagz, an organisation that transforms buses into mobile libraries. They drive them around Kabul so that Afghanistan’s youngest citizens can develop and foster a love for critical thought and reading. “We are a group of young Afghans who have witnessed war and its direct impact on our childhood firsthand,” says the Charmagz team in their mission statement. “Our childhood, like millions of other Afghan children, was lost before we could live it. The pain brings us together in order to make a difference in other children’s lives.” Children are encouraged to drop by before or after school to read, play chess, learn and debate. Before or after your school hours, drop by in #Charmaghz and read your favorite short-story…”