Blog Rolls

3 People Reported Dead On Long Island, N.Y., In Collision Of Vehicle And 2 Trains

Officials say the vehicle went around the warning gate and was hit, first by one train and then by another one traveling in the opposite direction.

Categories: Just News

Watch Michael Cohen Testify Before Congress Right Here

Wired Top Stories - Wed, 02/27/2019 - 00:00
On Wednesday morning, the former Trump fixer will appear before the House Oversight Committee to share everything he knows about Trump's business practices.
Categories: Just News

New on LLRX – Making a difference with data driven decision-making

Via LLRX.comMaking a difference with data driven decision-making – Amanda L. Brown, Esq., Legal Technology Consultant, Louisiana Legal Aid Navigator Project, Louisiana Bar Foundation – shares her experience on how using technology is an effective way to bridge the justice gap, and supports this position by demonstrating how data-driven decisions are used to help shine a light on where the needs are to ensure that efforts are then appropriately channeled from the start.

Categories: Law and Legal

Joe Biden 'Very Close' To 2020 Decision As His Family Gives Its Blessing

The Democratic former vice president said that he still has to decide "whether or not I am comfortable taking the family through what would be a very, very very difficult campaign."

(Image credit: Rick Bowmer/AP)

Categories: Just News

Dutch Customs Seize 90,000 Bottles Of Russian Vodka Allegedly Bound For North Korea

The booze bust in Rotterdam comes on the eve of Kim Jong Un's meeting with President Trump in Vietnam and is a breach of U.N. sanctions banning the export of luxury goods to the communist country.

(Image credit: Minh Hoang/AP)

Categories: Just News

May a federal court count the vote of a judge who dies before the decision is issued?

586 U. S. _ (2019) – “A judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Honorable Stephen Reinhardt, died on March 29, 2018, but the Ninth Circuit counted his vote in cases decided after that date.* In the present case, Judge Reinhardt was listed as the author of an en banc decision issued on April 9, 2018, 11 days after he passed away. By counting Judge Reinhardt’s vote, the court deemed Judge Reinhardt’s opinion to be a majority opinion, which means that it constitutes a precedent that all future Ninth Circuit panels must follow. See United States v. Caperna, 251 F. 3d 827, 831, n. 2 (2001). Without Judge Reinhardt’s vote, the opinion attributed to him would have been approved by only 5 of the 10 members of the en banc panel who were still living when the decision was filed. Although the other five living judges concurred in the judgment, they did so for different reasons. The upshot is that Judge Reinhardt’s vote made a difference. Was that lawful?…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Heat death of the universe with loss of cloud cover

Fortune Data Sheet:New computer simulations reported in the scientific journal Nature Geoscience show that the atmospheric accumulation of carbon dioxide could dissolve stratocumulus clouds. Scientists forecast that, with less cloud cover, the world’s surface temperature could rise as high as 8 to 10 degrees Celsius in addition to the warmth caused by the greenhouse effect. “To imagine 12 degrees of warming, think of crocodiles swimming in the Arctic and of the scorched, mostly lifeless equatorial regions” that befell Earth 56 million years ago, reports Quanta Magazine.

  • Clouds currently cover about two-thirds of the planet at any moment. But computer simulations of clouds have begun to suggest that as the Earth warms, clouds become scarcer. With fewer white surfaces reflecting sunlight back to space, the Earth gets even warmer, leading to more cloud loss. This feedback loop causes warming to spiral out of control.
  • For decades, rough calculations have suggested that cloud loss could significantly impact climate, but this concern remained speculative until the last few years, when observations and simulations of clouds improved to the point where researchers could amass convincing evidence…”
  • See also BBC – How artificially brightened clouds could stop climate change
Categories: Law and Legal

Treasury runs out of money in September unless Congress suspends debt ceiling

Federal Debt and the Statutory Limit, February 2019 – “The debt limit—commonly called the debt ceiling—is the maximum amount of debt that the Department of the Treasury can issue to the public or to other federal agencies. The amount is set by law and has been increased over the years to finance the government’s operations. Currently, there is no statutory limit on the issuance of new federal debt because the bipartisan budget act of 2018 (Public Law 115-123), enacted in February 2018, suspended the limit through March 1, 2019. On March 2, 2019, the limit will be reset to reflect cumulative borrowing through the period of suspension. Unless additional legislation either extends the suspension or increases the limit, existing statutes then will allow the Treasury to declare a “debt issuance suspension period” and to take “extraordinary measures” to borrow additional funds without breaching the debt ceiling.

With a large inflow of tax revenues in April, those extraordinary measures would enable the Treasury to continue financing the government’s activities for several months. However, if the debt limit remains unchanged, the ability to borrow using those measures will ultimately be exhausted, and the Treasury will probably run out of cash near the end of this fiscal year or early in the next one, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. If that occurred, the government would be unable to pay its obligations fully, and it would delay making payments for its activities, default on its debt obligations, or both. The timing and size of revenue collections and of outlays over the next several months could, however, differ noticeably from CBO’s projections. Therefore, the extraordinary measures could be exhausted and the Treasury could run out of cash either earlier or later than CBO projects…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Google makes it easier to find prescription drug disposal sites

TechCrunch: “In an effort to combat the opioid crisis, Google will begin labeling places where people can safely dispose of their prescription drugs. Now, users can find clearly labeled drug disposal sites directly from searches for things like “drug drop off near me” or “medication disposal.” Those locations include a network of hospitals, pharmacies and government buildings where people can drop off medication they might have left over from a surgical procedure so that it doesn’t fall into idle hands. As the company noted in its announcement, more than half of all prescription drug abuse cases begin with medication that people find through friends and family…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Sexual Assault Of Detained Migrant Children Reported In The Thousands Since 2015

Opponents of the Trump administration's family separation policy say migrant children are not safe in government custody. Administration officials say most of the allegations are unproved.

(Image credit: Jose Luis Magana/AP)

Categories: Just News

National Archives Releases New Batch of Kavanaugh Records

Via EPIC – “In response to EPIC’s Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, the National Archives has just released thousands of records about Justice Kavanaugh work in the White House Counsel’s office after 9-11. The records include e-mails from 2002-2003, briefings, meeting memos, and correspondence, and office files about anti-terrorism legislation and access to presidential records. Emails previously released to EPIC revealed that Kavanaugh and John Yoo, architect of the warrantless surveillance program overturned by the US Congress, exchanged messages about the development of domestic surveillance programs. During the Supreme Court nomination hearing, EPIC warned the Senate that the nominee has shown little regard for the Constitutional privacy rights of Americans as a top White House legal advisor and then as a federal appellate judge.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Bloomberg Healthiest Country Index, 2019

“Iceland, Japan, Switzerland round out top five; U.S. is 35th – Health index looks at life expectancy, environmental factors…The index grades nations based on variables including life expectancy while imposing penalties on risks such as tobacco use and obesity. It also takes into consideration environmental factors including access to clean water and sanitation. Spain has the highest life expectancy at birth among European Union nations, and trails only Japan and Switzerland globally, United Nations data show. Spain by 2040 is forecast to have the highest lifespan, at almost 86 years, followed by Japan, Singapore and Switzerland, according to the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Primary care is essentially provided by public providers, specialized family doctors and staff nurses, who provide preventive services to children, women and elderly patients, and acute and chronic care,” according to the European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies 2018 review of Spain, noting a decline the past decade in cardiovascular diseases and deaths from cancer…”

Categories: Law and Legal

The value of owning more books than you can read

Big Think – Or how I learned to stop worrying and love my tsundoku

  • “Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf.
  • Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don’t know.
  • The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.” [Yes, thank you – read on….]
Categories: Law and Legal

Chinese police test gait-recognition technology from AI startup

South China Morning News: “You can tell a lot of things from the way someone walks. Chinese artificial intelligence start-up Watrix says its software can identify a person from 50 metres away – even if they have covered their face or have their back to a camera – making it more than a match for Sherlock Holmes. Known as gait recognition, the technology works by analysing thousands of metrics about a person’s walk, from body contour to the angle of arm movement to whether a person has a toe-in or toe-out gait, to then build a database.“With facial recognition people need to look into a camera – cooperation is not needed for them to be recognised [by our technology],” said Huang Yongzhen, co-founder and chief executive of Watrix, in an interview in Beijing.

Features like this have given Watrix an edge in catching runaway criminals, who tend to avoid surveillance, said Huang. Police on the streets of Beijing, Shanghai and Chongqing, have already run trials of gait recognition technology, said Huang, and the company officially launched its 2.0 version last week, which supports analysis of real-time camera feeds at a mega-city level. “We are currently working with police on criminal investigations, such as tracking suspects from a robbery scene,” said Huang, who was dressed all in black for the interview in his company office. “Currently, China has about 300,000 wanted criminals on the loose and counting. [Our software’s] database includes those with a prior gait record…”

Categories: Law and Legal

You Do Not Need Blockchain: Eight Popular Use Cases And Why They Do Not Work

SmartDec – Ivan Ivanitskiy: “People are resorting to blockchain for all kinds of reasons these days. Ever since I started doing smart contract security audits in mid-2017, I’ve seen it all. A special category of cases is ‘blockchain use’ that seems logical and beneficial, but actually contains a problem that then spreads from one startup to another. I am going to give some examples of such problems and ineffective solutions so that you (developer/customer/investor) know what to do when somebody offers you to use blockchain this way…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Paper – Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features

In Control with no Control: Perceptions and Reality of Windows 10 Home Edition Update Features, Jason Morris, Ingolf Becker, Simon Parkin – University College London Workshop on Usable Security (USEC) 201924 February 2019, San Diego, CA, USAISBN 1-1891562-53-3 – “Home computer users are regularly advised to install software updates to stay secure. Windows 10 Home edition is unique as it automatically downloads and installs updates, and restarts the computer automatically if needed. The automatic restarts can be influenced through a number of features, such as‘active hours’ (the period during which a computer will never automatically restart to finish installing an update) or by explicitly setting a time when to restart the computer. This research investigates if the features Microsoft provides for managing updates on Windows 10 Home edition are appropriate for computer owners.We build a model of the update behaviour of Windows 10. The model identifies all interaction points between the update system and the users. We contrast the theory with reality in a survey study with 93 participants which establishes the experiences and perceptions of users of Windows 10 Home.Windows will not restart a computer outside active hours if the computer is in use. However, if any user of a machine sets an explicit restart time, the computer will restart at that time in order to install quality updates even if the computer is still inactive use (potentially by a different user to the one who set the restart time). While overall perceptions of updates were positive,the pattern of use of almost all users was incompatible with the default setting of the ‘active hours’ feature. Only 28% of users knew of its existence. Users are mostly unaware of quality (bug-fix) updates, perceiving that updates act mostly to add features.Half of our participants report unexpected restarts, while half also reported growing concern about the state of their device if an update took a long time. Participants who had previous negative experiences had weaker beliefs about their ability to control updates than those who had not.We recommend that operating systems obtain explicit permission for restarts consistently; there are opportunities for default features such as active hours and update progress displays to learn from usage activity.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Whose Genes Are They, Anyway?

Penn State University [via Pete Weiss] “You’ve seen the ads from companies that promise to tell you, based on your DNA, where your ancestors came from. You’re eager to trace your family’s roots, so you order a test kit, send in your sample, and await the results. Your involvement with the company may end there, but two Penn State researchers say that for your DNA sequence—your genome—the journey has just begun. What you may not realize is that when you get your DNA sequenced, in most cases you don’t own the sequence in a legal sense. The company that sequenced it does, or at least, in our current legal framework, it can act as if it does: It can sell or give your data to other organizations, which often are not bound by the agreement you signed with the sequencing company. Even if you pay for just the basic service that will allow you to sketch your ethnic background, the company may sequence your entire genome—and then pass that information along to others.The problem is that when dealing with your genetics, it’s never just about you, says Gray. “The DNA for your blood relatives is very similar to yours, so when you put your data in the system, you’re not only exposing yourself, you’re also exposing your progeny, your parents, uncles and aunts, and other people in your family, who did not sign a waiver. Your child may have a rare disease, but your brother’s family may not want the data to be available. How does the family make that decision?”

Then there’s the possibility of being identified in ancestry databases even if you’ve never had your own DNA sequenced. In early 2018, police identified the serial rapist-murderer known as the Golden State Killer by comparing DNA from crime scenes with genome information and family trees in a publicly-available ancestry website. The genome data came from relatives who had had their DNA sequenced for genealogy purposes. Several other cases have been solved in a similar way but to less fanfare…”

Categories: Law and Legal

House Passes Resolution To Block Trump's National Emergency Declaration

Democrats are also planning court challenges to fight the president's use of executive authority to redirect federal funds and build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

(Image credit: Guillermo Arias/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

The Best Photo of Birds Fighting Over Food (and Other Sony World Winners)

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 02/26/2019 - 18:06
Do not get between gannets and their fish.
Categories: Just News

Emma Thompson Quits Film After Studio Hires Executive Accused Of Harassment

"If people who have spoken out — like me — do not take this sort of a stand ... things are very unlikely to change at anything like the pace required to protect my daughter's generation," she wrote.

(Image credit: Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News


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