Sunday, July 23, 2017

Specter of John Hatton's Ideas at Federal Level


In NSW Parliament, Nick Greiner called it ''the most fundamental constitutional change in our history''.

Malcolm Turnbull backs Bill Shorten's call to introduce four-year fixed terms of parliament





FIXED-TERM parliaments exist in NSW because of a once-in-a-lifetime set of circumstances
Fixed terms legacy of  reformists - John Hatton, Peter Macdonald and Clover Moore


A Dozen Lessons on Investing from Ed Thorp 25iq (viaFelix Salmon). “The first thing people who have control do is tilt the playing field. Maybe the majority of wealth is accumulated because of tilted playing fields. Not because of merit.”
Subversion of Social Movements by Adversarial Agents(PDF) International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence. “Regardless of size, one fact about social movements is unchanging: their physical embodiment is always local. That is, social movements are the sum of the actions of individuals who are themselves in only one place—omnipresence is something that exists only in fantasy movies.”

"Basic steps needed to rid this state of corruption" by John Hatton AO 

WHEN I announced my candidacy for the upper house at the state election in March, I said: "NSW is a corrupt state." That statement went unchallenged. The frightening reality is that there is a general acceptance that corruption is rife.
The police royal commission, which I helped set in motion, revealed endemic corruption, and 380 officers were charged, sacked or resigned. Crime was facilitated, appointment and promotion of police was fixed at the highest levels. Now corruption has moved into other institutions.
The public service is riddled with political appointees, who can be sacked and replaced without notice or reason. Yes Minister is rife. MPs emerge from a narrow, factionally based and ruthless, centralised preselection system. With less membership than a regional CWA, the NSW Labor Party controls the Parliament, the public service and state resources.
Parliament is merely a tool of the executive, a stage on which they can lie, spin, cheat, cover up, do favours for donors and the well-connected. The public service is a ''political party'' service; economic management is economic mismanagement. Crown land, public assets and heritage have become marketable products. Sale, lease and use rights of real estate feed the corrupt practices, along with flawed processes in planning, tendering, contracting and procurement.
In November I called for a royal commission on corruption of the NSW planning system. Though I'm 15 years retired, and have an unlisted phone number, that was no barrier to the expressions of anger, frustration and outrage about the loss of heritage, trashing of scenic areas, destruction of small business, CBDs and neighbourhoods that poured out.

There is no effective alternative for voters in the main parties. The pursuit of narrow agendas of the Liberal religious right, the misnamed National Party and the mafia-like and ruthless Labor Right do not augur well for the future of government of this state.


NSW is a state without vision, without direction, and closed to the wider public interest and those without money, connection or influence. Major shopping complexes are given exclusive rezoning away from city centres and enjoy instant capital gain and overwhelming market share. Captive small business tenants are locked into repressive leases. Ugly boxes of units create Lego environments, and without transport and adequate services they become social nightmares.
In my experience, political parties seek power, not change. In 22 years as an MP, I saw the Liberal premiers Robert Askin, Tom Lewis, Eric Willis, Nick Greiner and John Fahey and Labor premiers Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth and Bob Carr. The more recent merry-go-round followed.







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Arguably the best administrators were Wran and Greiner, but none facilitated an independent, professional public service, an open, accountable democratic parliament and a truly competitive level playing field for tendering and in planning.
Between 1991 and 1995, Clover Moore, Peter Macdonald and I held the balance of power. Fixed four-year term, constitutional independence of the judiciary, improved parliamentary procedures, changes to laws on defamation, freedom of information and other changes were achieved in a charter of reform. Greiner as premier and Carr as opposition leader were signatories. In the ensuing election with a Labor majority, Carr trashed the agreement.
The lesson is to enshrine in the state constitution the independence of the public service, the right of free speech, and the right of the opposition to free access to the public service at the highest levels. I have been working with the retired NSW auditor-general Tony Harris, and developed a plan to strengthen institutions. These aim to make the government system corruption-proof.
First, establish a Public Service Commission, answerable to the upper house, where the government traditionally is not in control. The commission would be free to appoint public servants on merit.
Second, compel key public servants to be personally responsible for efficiency, openness and accountability, and enshrine protections against their improper influence.
Third, make bipartisan appointments on merit to significant offices, like the Chief Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Independent Commission Against Corruption, the Police Commissioner and public service commissioners, to ensure impartiality as public watchdogs. Public examination of applicants by a bipartisan parliamentary committee (as in the US) is controversial, yet sound.
Fourth, the right of free speech should be enshrined in defamation law reform with a ''public figure'' test, and an emphasis on apology, the public interest and balance. Openness, accountability, freedom of speech and decentralisation of power all severely restrict the opportunity for corruption.
The upper house must play an active role in making structural change happen. Sound management will engender certainty and a level playing field where ethical, competitive business practice can thrive. Reduction in waste coming from sound management will mean stronger services in health, education and public transport.
Independents in both houses of parliament, free to vote on issues as they see fit but united on bedrock principles of honesty, openness, accountability and high standards of personal behaviour, are the answer. They can forge reform hinging on proper process in government, and not on vote-buying lollies for the electorate or promises of personal advancement.


As Good as Gone: All tip, no Bondi iceberg

Don’t worry. You may think you’ll never get over it. But you also thought it would last forever...  

What a glorious sunny Sunday brunch the saladka and pirozky even impressed the Stecwaf ...


Francis Spufford, True Stories & Other Essays.  I have browsed this only selectively, but the essay on C.S. Lewis and the dangers of apologetics is superb.  He quotes Lewis:

…nothing is more dangerous to one’s own faith than the work of an apologist.  No doctrine of the Faith seems to me as spectral, so unreal as the one that I have just described in a public debate.  For a moment, you see it, it has seemed to rest on oneself; as a result, when you go away from that debate, it seems no stronger than that weak pillar…



White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Resigns



Trump Says He Has 'Complete Power' to Pardon


Average Americans Can No Longer Afford Average New Cars Gas2


An alarming number of Americans are worse off than their parents and we’re not talking about it enough Business Insider


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines World Economic Forum. Seems legit.


I also can recommend Spufford’s essay on what science fiction call tell us about God, and on Francis Bacon and the idolatry of the market.  I look forward to the rest


Fall Down 7 Times Get Up 8: A Young Man’s Voice from the Silence of Autism, by Naoki Higashida, is a good autism memoir from Japan.



Indiana Jones v. Hobby Lobby. JUSTICE ALITO delivered the opinion of the court. [Held] As applied to closely held corporations, regulations prohibiting the purchase of stolen antiquities violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which clearly states the Christian companies like Hobby Lobby can indirectly fund ISIS should the black market or stolen artifacts have relevance to their deeply held beliefs. Petitioners' claim that it belongs in a museum is denied. [NBC News]

Penn State football is being counter-sued by a coach who claims that there were "intolerable" working conditions. I know nothing about the veracity of the coach's claims, but I'm pretty sure they could have forced him to diagram plays in his own blood and that wouldn't make the top ten "intolerable things that have happened in the Penn State locker room." [Deadspin]

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What will the future workplace look like by 2036?
Futures Centre, 21/6/17. We created scenarios to specifically to explore how global trends may change our world and our workplaces in 2036. We conducted extensive research and interviews with experts on workplace trends around the world, and also created a timeline for each scenario, showing the pathway from 2017 to each of the four future worlds, using ‘signals of change’: innovations and glimpses of the future that are here today.

Denmark’s happy workforce highlights work-life balance
Raconteur, 29/6/17. The Danes consistently rank as one of the world’s happiest workforces, but what makes this country unique?

From Research to Results: The Substance Behind Smart Cities
GovTech, 12/7/17. A recent study concluded that the more participants used smart city services, the higher quality of life they achieved. The authors suggest that governments develop a “smartness blueprint” that outlines scopes, goals, and stages of development in order to ensure that the diverse set of ICT providers work harmoniously 




Smarter Cities? That means smarter infrastructure
Deloitte, 6/7/17. This years’ AFR National Infrastructure Summit in association with Deloitte focused on driving growth through smarter, more efficient cities, and drew some 300 of the nation’s top investors, planners, contractors, advisers and policy-makers from around the country.


Death is one thing everyone has in common. Of course, we are all going to inevitably face death ... Who would ever want to live forever and ever?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Food Glorious Food Maria Imrichova Tree lover Jozo

Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters in our lives won’t have a title until much later.
 ~Big Goff

There are a lot of good reasons to retire early from journalism. Traveling the country might be the best.

Black pudding, chipped beef on toast, jellied bouillon salad, protein powder stirred into diet orange soda: “Every life has a food story, and every food story is unique”... Maria Imrichova 

Lidka's cooking brought back memories of mamas pirozky at the big Milestone of my brother From another Mother ... 



From a kitchen in Tato's Pilhov you could spy the ways trees dotted the landscape in a random pattern, save for the seven apple trees in the mid distance which, by happenstance, formed a circle.

Tree Identification Field Guide (this app has a small fee): “Our illustrated, step-by-step process makes it easy to identify a tree simply by the kinds of leaves it produces. Begin identifying your tree by choosing the appropriate region…”





The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about empowering people, not the rise of the machines World Economic Forum



Fear is a universal experience. Even the smallest insect feels it. We wade in the tidal pools and put our finger near the soft, open bodies of sea anemones and they close up. Everything spontaneously does that. It’s not a terrible thing that we feel fear when faced with the unknown. It is part of being alive, something we all share. We react against the possibility of loneliness, of death, of not having anything to hold on to. Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth.

If we commit ourselves to staying right where we are, then our experience becomes very vivid. Things become very clear when there is nowhere to escape.  When Things Fall Apart: Tibetan Buddhist Nun and Teacher Pema Chödrön on Transformation Through Difficult Times



Years  before Vladimir Nabokov proclaimed that “there is no science without fancy, and no art without facts,”marine biologist and writer Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907–April 14, 1964) arrived at the immensely fertile intersection of science and wonder, through which she would later catalyze the modern environmental movementwith her groundbreaking 1962 book Silent Spring.

Uncertainty is interwoven into human existence. It is a powerful incentive in the search for knowledge and an inherent component of scientific research. We have developed many ways of coping with uncertainty. We make promises, manage risks and make predictions to try to clear the mists and predict ahead. But the future is inherently uncertain - and the mist that shrouds our path an inherent part of our journey. The burning question is whether our societies can face up to   


SO SINCE THE FORTIES THE GLACIER HAS GROWN, NOW IT’S RECEDED SOME… IT’S ALMOST LIKE THIS IS CYCLICAL OR SOMETHING: Bodies of couple missing since 1942 likely found in glacier.


The updated ‘Bloomberg Way’ style guide focuses on best practices for data and multiplatform journalism


Enterprise Knowledge


How to choose an approach that resolves conflict

Community groups call for greater freedom to speak out
Australian governments must act now to safeguard and encourage vibrant debate on matters of public interest, 15 non-government organisations have said in a new report
Defending Democracy, to be released today (05 July 2017). More...


Mosaic tables gallery Sydney Opera House mosaic table for outdoors
Sydney Opera House table

Friday, July 21, 2017

Column 86

Column 8

So, who are this column's inveter8 contributors? Allan Gibson, of Cherrybrook, who earlier this week suggested Eric Shackle, of Castle Hill, at 97, may have been C8's oldest contributor, says his first published item was in the mid '70s. "I reported the Australian flag on the GPO was flying at half mast."
Pam Doherty, of Gladesville, recalls getting an item published 27 years ago about her then five-year-old son, Mike, getting his first haircut. "How would you like it, Mike?" asked the barber. "Just like my dad's," said Mike, "with a hole on top."
Peter Riley, of Penrith, says his first item was published a decade earlier on July 4, 1980. How times have changed. "On page 2 there was a Dick Smith ad calling on everyone to send a telegram or telex to the Tasmanian premier to protest the proposed damming of the Franklin River."
John Fry, of Lillian Rock, can go back further. He recalls his carpet snake got a mention in 1979 when he took it to work. "That snake repaid me that evening by biting the hand that feeds it. I had it on the bench at work while eating a chicken drumstick. It struck at the drumstick and missed, biting my hand instead."
So many veteran contributors wrote in – Roger Anderson, of Dundas, Jan Carroll, of Potts Point, Doug Wormald, of Armidale, and Kersi Meher-Homji, of St Ives, to name a few. Thank you all for stirring the memories.
On to the weather (C8). Greg Rutter, of Musk in Victoria, reports seeing the first blowfly in the house while the frost was still thick on the ground. And Richard Stewart, of Pearl Beach, says the nursery at West Gosford is promoting "early summer tomatoes".
More plaudits for the post service. Penelope Donaldson says when she was living in New York in the 1990s her young daughters posted a letter addressed to 'Grandma, Illabo, NSW, Australia'. "Some clever local at the Illabo post office realised Alison Lehmann had a daughter in New York." Alan Smith, of Toowoomba, recalls Mark Twain received a letter addressed: Mark Twain, God Knows Where. "It found him after travelling halfway around the world. In his answer, he replied, 'He did.'"
Lastly, Andrew Thompson, of Dulwich Hill, says the renowned Dr Spooner was once a beadle in the Church of England. "He was often commended for minding his keys and pews."
This story was found at: Column 8

Via Russell Cope 

Darknet and Trusts

US law enforcement takes down site hosting Medicare data sale



The US Justice Department has announced it has shut down the dark net marketplace AlphaBay, working with international partners to knock down the dark net  ...










Australia's multibillion-dollar legal tax avoidance loophole Exclusive by James Massola


AI Trusts and Tax Avoidance

Social Media Success: Imro's Emo-JI of a Fine Line

What matters in literature in the end is surely the idiosyncratic, the individual, the flavor or the color of a particular human suffering.

Via GM Dark Web Taken Down

Screaming Emojis are Proving a Hot Topic In and Out of the Courtroom ;) The Fashion 


Via Leura and Bullabarra ...






A Few Things You May Not Know About ‘The Scream




Experts: Social Media Is Dumbing Down Our Communication


Experts who look into such things say that while social networking has its benefits — professionally, personally, politically — it’s also dumbing down the ways people communicate with each other. Having so many channels of communication has overwhelmed our ability to thoughtfully interact online, encouraging cheap and easy forms of communication.



Samantha Bradshaw & Philip N. Howard, Troops, Trolls and Troublemakers: A Global Inventory of Organized Social Media Manipulation. Samuel Woolley and Philip N. Howard, Eds. Working Paper 2017.12. Oxford, UK: Project on Computational Propaganda. comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk http://comprop.oii.ox.ac.uk/. 37 pp.

“Cyber troops are government, military or political party teams committed to manipulating public opinion over social media. In this working paper, we report on specific organizations created, often with public money, to help define and manage what is in the best interest of the public. We compare such organizations across 28 countries, and inventory them according to the kinds of messages, valences and communication strategies used. We catalogue their organizational forms and evaluate their capacities in terms of budgets and staffing. This working paper summarizes the findings of the first comprehensive inventory of the major organizations behind social media manipulation. We find that cyber troops are a pervasive and global phenomenon. Many different countries employ significant numbers of people and resources to manage and manipulate public opinion online, sometimes targeting domestic audiences and sometimes targeting foreign publics. The earliest reports of organized social media manipulation emerged in 2010, and by 2017 there are details on such organizations in 28 countries. Looking across the 28 countries, every authoritarian regime has social media campaigns targeting their own populations, while only a few of them target foreign publics. In contrast, almost every democracy in this sample has organized social media campaigns that target foreign publics, while political-party-supported campaigns target domestic voters. Authoritarian regimes are not the only or even the best at organized social media manipulation. The earliest reports of government involvement in nudging public opinion involve democracies, and new innovations in political communication technologies often come from political parties and arise during high-profile elections. Over time, the primary mode for organizing cyber troops has gone from involving military units that experiment with manipulating public opinion over social media networks to strategic communication firms that take contracts from governments for social media campaigns.”






"It will happen again," Rob Greig warned, just weeks after his 10-strong cybersecurity team thwarted the biggest ever attack on the UK's House of Commons and Lords. The director of the Parliamentary Digital Service, speaking to IBTimes UK about the email breach incident in June, also revealed that a total of 200,000 attempts were made by the hacker(s). But thanks to the fast-thinking of his team, with assistance from GCHQ's new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), fewer than 1% of parliamentary emails (under 90 accounts) were compromised. The NCSC are working with the National Crime Agency (NCA), the nearest thing the UK has to the FBI, to investigate the attack, which came three months after a knife-wielding terrorist launched an assault on the Palace of Westminster in March and a month after the WannaCry ransomware attack on the NHS in May

NetSecurity – “The majority of US-based law firms are not only exposed in a wide variety of areas, but in many cases, unaware of intrusion attempts. These findings were based on Logicforce survey data from over 200 law firms, anonymous system monitoring data and results from their on-site assessments. The degree of preparation and vigilance within the industry at large will continue to place many law firms at unnecessary risk of losing valuable client data such as trade secrets and intellectual property. Such breakdowns in security could result in financial losses for the targeted firms and their clients. Approximately 40% of law firms in the study underwent at least one client data security audit, and Logicforce predicts this will rise to 60% by the end of 2018…” Here are my top 10 cyber security threats for law firms and what you can do about them


Aussie blockchain association launches CIO, 12/7/17. The Blockchain Association of Australia hosts its first event this week

As Elites Switch to Texting, Watchdogs Fear Loss of Transparency, Kevin Roose – “Lawmakers, executives and other leaders are turning to encrypted chat apps to keep their communications under wraps, causing problems in industries where careful record-keeping is standard procedure…Secure messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal and Confide are making inroads among lawmakers, corporate executives and other prominent communicators. Spooked by surveillance and wary of being exposed by hackers, they are switching from phone calls and emails to apps that allow them to send encrypted and self-destructing texts. 

Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology – “Metadata, or “data about data,” is collected and recorded to describe data, identify trends, administer algorithmic solutions, and model potential scenarios. When one understands how to make sense of seemingly random metadata or how to pair the data with other exfiltrated data pools, there are limitless possibilities for social engineering and cyber exploitation in attacks that weaponize psychographic and demographic Big Data algorithms. In this publication, entitled “Metadata:  The Most Potent Weapon in This Cyber War – The New Cyber-Kinetic-Meta War,” ICIT offers a rich analysis of this underreported threat to our National Security through a comprehensive assessment of how meta-exploits are hyper-evolving an already next-generation adversarial landscape











Two exciting opportunities for investigative journalists and researchers interested in looking at the worlds of finance and corruption.


Firstly, Finance Uncovered have launched their call for applications to attend their four-day financial investigative journalism training course in London.


The course will take place between Tuesday 7 November 2017 – Friday 10 November 2017.


Bursaries are available and the deadline for applications is 9AM UK time on Friday 10 August. Find out more information here: http://www.financeuncovered.org/uncategorized/new-finance-uncovered-london-course-dates-call-applications/


Civil Forum for Asset Recovery, an organisation based in Berlin has also put out a call for applications for a training programme aimed at young investigative journalists interested in covering corruption.  

Eligible candidates should come from North Africa (Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco) or Europe (Germany, France, UK, Switzerland, Spain) and be under 35 years old. More details are available here: http://cifar.eu/investigate-the-mediterranean/ The application deadline is the 31st July.








Robert M. Lee thinks we should start taking infrastructure cybersecurity seriously. For a number of people right now, that may mean calming down. The U.S. is coming off two high-profile cyber threats that were less dangerous than many made them out to be. They included malware that was falsely reported to be capable of tearing down the electrical grid and hacks of business computers at power plants falsely reported to be capable of interrupting electricity. At the same time, the founder and CEO of industrial systems security firm Dragos Inc. feels that when the public does not perceive an apocalyptic threat, the issue of cybersecurity seems to slide out of view.  “It’s worse than people think and far better than people want to imagine,” Lee said in a recent interview with The Hill.














“You’re not only allowed to rob people of their life’s savings and steal their houses.  In fact, the more you rob people of their life’s savings and steal their houses, the bigger your year-end bonus, right? And of course if it all goes pear-shaped, you and your chums in your six-thousand-dollar power suits can just get together with your other chums at the Treasury Department in their six-thousand dollar suits and arrange for an eighty-billion-dollar bailout, paid for of course by the very people you’ve spent the last decade robbing and stealing from.  Right, Charlie?” 


Flaubert, who sometimes took days to compose a single sentence and then tossed it out, has been called a martyr of literary style. Now critics are chipping away at his  reputation


It’s like he has no idea how the law or politics or… anything works. [CNBC]
At 23, Charlotte Brontë became a governess. The experience would inform her later fiction: What better way to learn subordination, exploitation, and humiliation? Latitude Mafia no more God Bess I GOT ;-) 

The allegations about Marc Kasowitz's drinking problem might be salacious, but the issue of alcohol abuse by lawyers is serious. [Law.com

Marc Kasowitz has moved to dismiss a sexual harassment suit filed against the president by former "Apprentice" contestant Summer Zervos, claiming that thanks to the SCOTUS ruling in Bill Clinton's sexual harassment case, presidents cannot be sued in state court for personal conduct while in office. If this flies, will it give rise to more federal filings against the president? [The Hill]

For interested readers, here's the "origin story" of Above the Law, which turns 11 next month. [Yale Alumni Association of New York]  Speaking of abuse and how financial institutions never do anything wrong so people shouldn't have the right to sue them, Wells Fargo tentatively set to pay $142 million to settle claims arising from its fake accounts scandal. [Courthouse News Service]


Unfortunately, the internet is forever -- and it’s not particularly forgiving

“Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash”, Eka Kurniawan's third novel, is not for the faint-hearted https://t.co/AsjSc37E26




“Life is such a strange thing, he thinks, once he has stopped laughing. Even after certain things have happened to them, no matter how awful the experience, people still go on eating and drinking, going to the toilet, and washing themselves – living in other words. And sometimes they even laugh out loud.”







Reuters



Russia is causing cyberspace mayhem and should face retaliation if it continues to undermine democratic institutions in the West, the former head of Britain's GCHQ spy agency said on Monday. Russia denies allegations from governments and intelligence services that it is behind a growing number of cyber attacks on commercial and political targets around the world, including the hackings of recent U.S. and French presidential election campaigns. Asked if the Russian authorities were a threat to the democratic process, Robert Hannigan, who stepped down as head of the UK's intelligence service in March, said: "Yes ... There is a disproportionate amount of mayhem in cyberspace coming from Russia from state activity." In his first interview since leaving GCHQ, Hannigan told BBC radio that it was positive that French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had publicly "called this out recently".





Computer Weekly



In a poll of Infosecurity Europe 2017 attendees, almost half said the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is stifling innovation by making companies nervous about cloud services. This could be due to the lack of expertise, with more than a quarter of respondents describing their organisations’ level of cloud security expertise as either “novice” or “not very competent”, according to the survey report.



Fast Company – This New Site Sells Food And Household Essentials–All For $3 Or Less “Brandless wants to do away with corporate markups on everyday products, from corkscrews to organic maple syrup…Sharkey and Leffler set out to create a new landing point for a consumer who’s looking for quality and transparency, and eschews brand loyalty and the resulting choice overload familiar to anyone who’s ever stepped into a grocery store aisle. Their resulting venture is appropriately called Brandless, and it launched on July 11 with a curated selection of around 115 essential products (which will balloon to 300 by December)–from condiments to kitchen appliances to cleaning products–all for $3 or less..” Note – the site sells products that are Certified Organic, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Vegan, No Added Sugar, Certified Kosher. The company is “Partnering with Feeding America the nation’s leading domestic hunger relief organization, the monetary equivalent of a meal is donated every time you shop on Brandless…”



Information existed before Claude Shannon, but there was little sense of it as an idea, an object of hard science. His insight made our world possible Information 




Robots can already rig selection criteria in government jobs. Joining the junior ranks of the public service can be a painful exercise in repetitious selection criteria writing ... for humans anyway. Bots, however, can write better applications, faster, and also sound more human. Researcher Joshua Krook explores how some jobseekers have automated their applications.



New challenge for public servants who take on their employer. It's David and Goliath in the Fair Work Commission. The new Gibbens decision gives the government an unfair advantage against its employees, writes employment lawyer John Wilson.










Guests at 14 Trump properties, including hotels in Washington, New York and Vancouver, have had their credit card information exposed, marking the third time in as many years that a months-long security breach has affected customers of the chain of luxury hotels. The latest instance occurred between August 2016 and March 2017, according to a notice on the company’s website, and included guest names, addresses and phone numbers, as well as credit card numbers and expiration dates. The breach took place on the systems of Sabre Hospitality Solutions, a reservation booking service used by Trump Hotels, but did not compromise the Trump Hotels’ systems. “The privacy and protection of our guests’ information is a matter we take very seriously,” the notice said, adding that Trump Hotels was notified of the breach on June 5. Trump Hotels declined to comment beyond what was posted in the notice.























On Tuesday morning, a hacker going by the name Johnnie Walker sent a group email to an unknown number of recipients claiming to have a trove of emails from the private account of a U.S. intelligence official. “The U.S. State Department officer’s email has been hacked,” the email announced, and included at least two years’ worth of personal emails from the private Gmail account of a State Department official working in the secretive intelligence arm of the State Department focusing on Russia. The sender said the archive included exchanges between the official and “CIA officers and other intelligence agencies, mainstream media, NGOs, and international funds” that would “give you evidence of who is responsible for agenda formation in many countries worldwide, especially where the situation is insecure.” The official involved is in a senior position in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, according to a 2017 department directory. Even though the official’s name is public, Foreign Policy is not identifying him at the department’s request, citing security concerns.




The future is here and is a little scary




Researchers have revived an extinct horsepox virus using synthetic DNA strands ordered for about $100,000. This opens up new possibilities for researchers looking to make better vaccines, but also the potential for these viruses to become bioweapons.

 


If that was a bit scary here is some light relief from YouTube with robots coming along in leaps and bounds