I am all for slipshod work, particularly when delivered by government contractors. Hey, the emphasis is on scope changes and engineering change orders, not on delivering what the wild and crazy statement of work requires.
I was delighted to read the Hacker News thread at http://bit.ly/MW4epC about broken links and missing data sets on Data.gov at www.data.gov. The thread contains a number of interesting comments. These may be evidence that substandard attention to detail suggests digital eczema. Just Bing it.
In the early days of www.firstgov.gov, some effort was expended to minimize the number of dead links on US government servers. In the present incarnation as www.usa.gov, there are some interesting changes.
One of America’s central myths is that we lead the world technologically. Anyone who travels out of the country knows how bogus this is and how, in so many ways — roads, bridges, airports, healthcare, education, childcare, life-expectancy, happiness, high speed trains and, yes, internet — Americans live a second world quality of life. This is an excellent assessment of the internet situation and it explains why it has h! appened. Once again monopolistic corporate interests that control the government have blocked the well-being of the many in order to maintain the profit for the few.
Why Is American Internet So Slow?
JOHN AZIZ , Business and Economics Correspondent – The Week
The country that literally invented the internet is now behind Estonia in terms of download speeds
According to a recent study by Ookla Speedtest, the U.S. ranks a shocking 31st in the world in terms of average download speeds. The leaders in the world are Hong Kong at 72.49 Mbps and Singapore on 58.84 Mbps. And America? Averaging speeds of 20.77 Mbps, it falls behind countries like Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, and Uruguay.
Its upload speeds are even worse. Globally, the U.S. ranks 42nd with an average upload speed of 6.31 Mbps, behind Lesotho, Belarus, Slovenia, and other countries you only hear mentioned on Jeopardy.
Information on the latest developments in Ukraine is of utmost importance for European policy makers. A crucial player in this field is the EU Intelligence Analysis Centre (INTCEN), the EU’s own intelligence hub in Brussels. Director Ilkka Salmi: ‘Our reporting helps the European External Action Service and other European institutions to formulate policies towards crisis hotspots in the world today.’
Every year since 1976, Project Censored, our nation’s oldest news-monitoring group–a university-wide project at Sonoma State University founded by Carl Jensen, directed for many years by Peter Phillips, and now under the leadership of Mickey Huff–has produced a Top-25 list of underreported news stories and a book, Censored, dedicated to the stories that ought to be top features on the nightly news, but that are missing because of media bias and self-censorship.
The Internet is good for many things, especially generating tera-quads of content. News, social media content, videos, etc. pop up every second and people simply do not have the time to read it. The Verge posted the tongue-in-cheek article, “You’re Not Going To Read This” and it talks about the skyrocketing amount of content. The CEO of Chartbeat Tony Haile dropped a bomb for companies that specialize in content, “We’ve found effectively no correlation between social shares and people actually reading [an article].”
What a smack in the face!
People wear tweet and shared numbers like Girl Scout badges. If this has no value, what is the point of having a social media specialist? It’s not that generating content is bad, but people do not have the time to read every article. They usually skim the headlines and tweet without reading what they send. It really is a data overload.
Atom won’t be closed source, but it won’t be open source either. It will be somewhere inbetween, making it easy for us to charge for Atom while still making the source available under a restrictive license so you can see how everything works. We haven’t finalized exactly how this will work yet. We will have full details ready for the official launch.
Several years ago I gave a talk and used this diagram to illustrate the spectrum of open source search software:
Some of my information explaining the diagram turned up in an azure chip consulting firm report. Well, that’s how the semi straight consulting firms work.
A veteran counter-terrorism advisor and Presidential Review Group member on Intelligence gives his executive summary
I’m in San Francisco this week to attend the RSA security conference, and to cover the Cloud Security Alliance summit for security professionals. The CSA is a terrific organization, a non-profit founded with the purpose of promoting best security practices for cloud computing. I’ve watched this summit grow over the years commensurate with the increase in visibility of cloud security concerns, and once again attendees filled up the largest venue yet.
The opening keynote speaker was Richard A. Clarke, chairman and CEO of Good Harbor and former advisor to several presidents on counter-terrorism subjects. His keynote was based on his tenure last fall on the highly select Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology requested by President Obama in the wake of the Snowden revelations. (There were only five men in this group.) Given carte blanche intelligence clearance to every program, this group issued a 300-page unclassified report*, with 46 recommendations on intelligence collection, specifically how the United States should improve privacy and civil liberties while continuing to protect national security. Clarke’s short but very interesting keynote focused on his takeaways and his top 10 observations in the 46 recommendations.
His big-picture takeaway was that “In terms of collecting intelligence, (the NSA and other intelligence agencies) are very good – far better than you can imagine. But they have created the potential for a police surveillance state.” As a result, the task of controlling them is more urgent than it ever was. The group found that the intelligence agencies were full of very talented individuals dedicated to the protection of the United States and its allies. What they did not find “was a bunch of people randomly (reading) your emails.” But the potential is there.
Here are 10 key observations from a Washington veteran who had the opportunity to see everything under the intelligence kimono.
The political theorist Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “banality of evil” to describe her highly controversial thesis that “the great evils in history generally, and the Holocaust in particular, were not executed by fanatics or sociopaths, but by ordinary people who accepted the premises of their state and therefore participated with the view that their actions were normal.” [source: Wikipedia]
Arendt argued that Adolf Eichmann’s crimes resulted “not from a wicked or depraved character but from sheer ‘thoughtlessness’: he was simply an ambitious bureaucrat who failed to reflect on the enormity of what he was doing. His role in the mass extermination of Jews epitomized ‘the fearsome, word-and-thought-defying banality of evil’ that had spread across Europe at the time. Arendt’s refusal to recognize Eichmann as “inwardly” evil prompted fierce denunciations from both Jewish and non-Jewish intellectuals. Her argument, which has been criticized by many, came out of her coverage of the trial of Adolf Eichmann in 1961 for the New Yorker.” [source: Encyclopaedia Britannica]
Whether or not you accept Arendt’s thesis in regard to the perpetration of the Holocaust, it is impossible to deny the thoughtless, faceless, bureaucratic banality implicit in the briefing slides below support her thesis. These official briefing slides, leaked from the Snowden Archive and analyzed by Glen Greenwald, clearly describe in antiseptic, logically-disconnected, powerpoint detail how the employees of NSA and its cohorts plan to use cyber operations as a covert means to coerce the American people, as well as foreigners, into accepting the totalitarian premises of the emerging American State.
The advantage of cyberspace is the large volume of information it holds,” said Esti Peshin, Director of Cyber Services for IAI, at the Israeli Video Analysis Conference organized by iHLS. Peshin was referring to the intelligence gathering potential of open source intelligence (OSNIT), adding that “on the other hand, this forces us to use much more advanced methods of analysis.”
According to Peshin one of the most significant challenges lies in categorizing the mass of information in terms of reliability. The only way to overcome this problem is to cross-reference many sources of data. “We want to create a comprehensive intelligence picture, rather than producing just one single item of information, since that single item can be faked.” IAI experiments, added Peshin, have shown that it takes only 48 hours to create a believable and complex fake identity, with no less than a hundred facebook friends who believe it is a real person. All it takes is opening an e-mail account.