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CSG Government Solutions’ Landis Rossi Appointed to National Child…

CSG Government Solutions, a national leader in government program modernization, today announced that Landis Rossi was appointed to the National Child Support Enforcement Association (NCSEA)... (PRWeb October 16, 2018) Read the full story at https://www.prweb.com/releases/csg_government_solutions_landis_rossi_appointed_to_national_child_support_enforcement_association_legislative_education_committee/prweb15841143.htm

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FCC resorts to the usual malarkey defending itself against Mozilla lawsuit

Mozilla filed a lawsuit in August alleging the FCC had unlawfully overturned 2015’s net neutrality rules, by among other things “fundamentally mischaracterizing how internet access works.” The FCC has filed its official response, and as you might expect it has doubled down on those fundamental mischaracterizations. The Mozilla suit, which you can read here or embedded at the bottom of this post, was sort of a cluster bomb of allegations striking at the FCC order on technical, legal, and procedural grounds. They aren’t new, revelatory arguments — they’re what net neutrality advocates have been saying for years. There are at least a dozen separate allegations, but most fall under two general categories. That the FCC wrongly classifies broadband as an “information service” rather than a “telecommunications service.” There’s a long story behind this that I documented in the Commission Impossible series. The logic on which this determination is based has been refuted by practically every technical authority and really is just plain wrong . This pulls the rug out from numerous justifications for undoing the previous rules and instating new ones. That by failing to consider consumer complaints or perform adequate studies on the state of the industry, federal protections, and effects of the rules, the FCC’s order is “arbitrary and capricious” and thus cannot be considered to have been lawfully enacted. The FCC’s responses to these allegations are likewise unsurprising. The bulk of big rulemaking documents like Restoring Internet Freedom isn’t composed of the actual rules but in the justification of those rules. So the FCC took preventative measures in its proposal identifying potential objections (like Mozilla’s) and dismissing them by various means. These are the arguments against net neutrality and why they’re wrong That their counter-arguments on the broadband classification are nothing new is in itself a little surprising, though. These very same arguments were rejected by a panel of judges in the DC circuit back in 2015

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Take ten seconds now to make sure you’re registered to vote

Fellow citizens! An important election is approaching, and you should vote in it. But are you registered? Are you sure ? Why don’t you take ten seconds now to check? Maybe you moved recently and the notices are going to your old place. Maybe your county had a records snafu. Maybe you’re one of thousands of voters being purged from the rolls in order to tip a close race. Who knows? It’s very simple to do this online. You don’t need any documents and you don’t need to send anything in or call anyone. The nonpartisan Vote.org will query your state’s registration database for you , or you can scroll down a bit at that page and go directly to the state site to do it yourself. If you’re not registered, don’t worry. Many states allow you to register right up until election day, and if you haven’t registered before or it’s been a while, all you really need is to be a citizen with a valid ID. Special welcome to all new citizens! Some states have already closed registration: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Texas. Some states have deadlines that have already passed for mail-in registration, in-person registration, and so on

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DARPA wants to teach and test ‘common sense’ for AI

It’s a funny thing, AI. It can identify objects in a fraction of a second, imitate the human voice and recommend new music, but most machine “intelligence” lacks the most basic understanding of everyday objects and actions — in other words, common sense. DARPA is teaming up with the Seattle-based Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence to see about changing that. The Machine Common Sense program aims to both define the problem and engender progress on it, though no one is expecting this to be “solved” in a year or two. But if AI is to escape the prison of the hyper-specific niches where it works well, it’s going to need to grow a brain that does more than execute a classification task at great speed. “The absence of common sense prevents an intelligent system from understanding its world, communicating naturally with people, behaving reasonably in unforeseen situations, and learning from new experiences. This absence is perhaps the most significant barrier between the narrowly focused AI applications we have today and the more general AI applications we would like to create in the future,” explained DARPA’s Dave Gunning in a press release. Not only is common sense lacking in AIs, but it’s remarkably difficult to define and test, given how broad the concept is. Common sense could be anything from understanding that solid objects can’t intersect to the idea that the kitchen is where people generally go when they’re thirsty. As obvious as those things are to any human more than a few months old, they’re actually quite sophisticated constructs involving multiple concepts and intuitive connections. WTF is AI? It’s not just a set of facts (like that you must peel an orange before you eat it, or that a drawer can hold small items) but identifying connections between them based on what you’ve observed elsewhere. That’s why DARPA’s proposal involves building “computational models that learn from experience and mimic the core domains of cognition as defined by developmental psychology. This includes the domains of objects (intuitive physics), places (spatial navigation) and agents (intentional actors).” But how do you test these things? Fortunately, great minds have been at work on this problem for decades, and one research group has proposed an initial method for testing common sense that should work as a stepping stone to more sophisticated ones.

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How this Kazakhstan internet giant built success on ideas from Russia and China

Eva Yoo Contributor Eva Yoo is a Shanghai-based tech writer for TechNode. The advantage of entering an emerging market is that the market still has a lot of empty space to fill, and as a startup you can be the first player. Kazakhstan might not be the first country that comes to mind when you think of overseas expansion. However, it is the world’s largest landlocked country, and shares borders with Russia and China, which are important consumer markets as well as technology hubs. In fact, companies in Russia and China provided good benchmarks for Chocofamily, now the biggest e-commerce holding in Kazakhstan. The 2011-founded startup’s current capitalization is $50 million, and they’ve hired 350 employees in their office in Almaty, the country’s largest city and previous capital. The company claims it has 2 million registered users on its platform, and expects $170 million gross billings in 2018 with 7,000 purchases per day. Chocofamily launched their payment app, Rakmet, in 2017, following in the steps of WeChat Pay. 2011: Copying from Russia   Looking at how Groupon was exploding in Russia, and how Delivery Club, a Russia-based food delivery service, was growing at a fast pace, the founder of Chocofamily, Ramil Mukhoryapov , decided the success could be replicated in Kazakhstan. So he quit his studies in Russia and went to Kazakhstan. “Russia is three years above Kazakhstan. Check out what is happening in Russia and do the same in Kazakhstan, it is going to work in three years. That’s what we did, how we started the Chocofamily itself,” Nikolay Shcherbak, CEO at Chocofood says. “We just copied. If this works in Russia, it will work in Kazakhstan as well, because the markets are really close to each other.” Ramil started with a daily deal service, Chocodaily, in Kazakhstan

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Copyright compromise: Music Modernization Act signed into law

Musicians are celebrating as the Music Modernization Act, an attempt to drag copyright and royalty rules into the 21st century, is signed into law after unanimous passage through Congress. The act aims to centralize and simplify the process by which artists are tracked and paid on digital services like Spotify and Pandora, and also extends the royalty treatment to songs recorded before 1972. The problems in this space have affected pretty much every party. Copyright law and music industry practices were, as you might remember, totally unprepared for the music piracy wave at the turn of the century, and also for the shift to streaming over the last few years. Predictably, it isn’t the labels, distributors or new services that got hosed — it’s artists, who often saw comically small royalty payments from streams if they saw anything at all. Even so, the MMA has enjoyed rather across-the-board support from all parties, because existing law is so obscure and inadequate. And it will remain that way to a certain extent — this isn’t layman territory and things will remain obscure. But the act will address some of the glaring issues current in the media landscape. The biggest change is probably the creation of the Mechanical Licensing Collective. This new organization centralizes the bookkeeping and royalty payment process, replacing a patchwork of agreements that required lots of paperwork from all sides (and as usual, artists were often the ones left out in the cold as a result). The MLC will be funded by companies like Pandora or Google that want to enter into digital licensing agreements, meaning there will be no additional commission or fee for the MLC, but the entity will actually be run by music creators and publishers. Previously digital services and music publishers would enter into separately negotiated agreements, a complex and costly process if you want to offer a comprehensive library of music — one that stifled new entrants to the market. Nothing in the new law prevents companies from making these agreements now, as some companies will surely prefer to do, but the MLC offers a simple, straightforward solution and also a blanket license option where you can just pay for all the music in its registry

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SEC sues Elon Musk, accusing him of misleading investors when he tweeted that he had funding lined up to take Tesla private; stock drops 11%+ after…

Bloomberg : SEC sues Elon Musk, accusing him of misleading investors when he tweeted that he had funding lined up to take Tesla private; stock drops 11%+ after hours   —  The Securities and Exchange Commission has opened a case against Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk, according to a docket entry …

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UK’s mass surveillance regime violated human rights law, finds ECHR

In another blow to the UK government’s record on bulk data handling for intelligence purposes the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that state surveillance practices violated human rights law. Arguments against the UK intelligence agencies’ bulk collection and data sharing practices were heard by the court in November last year . In today’s ruling the ECHR has ruled that only some aspects of the UK’s surveillance regime violate human rights law. So it’s not all bad news for the government — which has faced a barrage of legal actions (and quite a few black marks against its spying practices in recent years) ever since its love affair with mass surveillance was revealed and denounced by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, back in 2013. The judgement reinforces a sense that the government has been seeking to push as close to the legal line as possible on surveillance, and sometimes stepping over it — reinforcing earlier strikes against legislation for not setting tight enough boundaries to surveillance powers, and likely providing additional fuel for fresh challenges. The complaints before the ECHR focused on three different surveillance regimes: 1) The bulk interception of communications (aka ‘mass surveillance’); 2) Intelligence sharing with foreign governments; and 3) The obtaining of communications data from communications service providers. The challenge actually combines three cases, with the action brought by a coalition of civil and human rights campaigners, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International, Big Brother Watch, Liberty, Privacy International and nine other human rights and journalism groups based in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas. The Chamber judgment from the ECHR found, by a majority of five votes to two, that the UK’s bulk interception regime violates Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (a right to respect for private and family life/communications) — on the grounds that “t here was insufficient oversight both of the selection of Internet bearers for interception and the filtering; search and selection of intercepted communications for examination; and the safeguards governing the selection of ‘related communications data’ for examination were inadequate”. The judges did not find bulk collection itself to be in violation of the convention but noted that such a regime must respect criteria set down in case law. In an even more pronounced majority vote, the Chamber found by six votes to one that the UK government’s regime for obtaining data from communications service providers violated Article 8 as it was “not in accordance with the law”. While both the bulk interception regime and the regime for obtaining communications data from communications service providers were deemed to have violated Article 10 of the Convention (the right to freedom of expression and information,) as the judges found there were insufficient safeguards in respect of confidential journalistic material

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10 critical points from Zuckerberg’s epic security manifesto

Mark Zuckerberg wants you to know he’s trying his damnedest to fix Facebook before it breaks democracy. Tonight he posted a 3,260-word battle plan for fighting election interference. Amidst drilling through Facebook’s strategy and progress, he slips in several notable passages revealing his own philosophy. Zuckerberg has cast off his premature skepticism and is ready to command the troops. He sees Facebook’s real identity policy as a powerful weapon for truth other social networks lack, but that would be weakened if Instagram and WhatsApp were split off by regulators. He’s done with the finger-pointing and wants everyone to work together on solutions. And he’s adopted a touch of cynicism that could open his eyes and help him predict how people will misuse his creation. Here are the most important parts of Zuckerberg’s security manifesto: Zuckerberg embraces his war-time tactician role “While we want to move quickly when we identify a threat, it’s also important to wait until we uncover as much of the network as we can before we take accounts down to avoid tipping off our adversaries, who would otherwise take extra steps to cover their remaining tracks. And ideally, we time these takedowns to cause the maximum disruption to their operations.” The fury he unleashed on Google+, Snapchat, and Facebook’s IPO-killer is now aimed at election attackers “These are incredibly complex and important problems, and this has been an intense year. I am bringing the same focus and rigor to addressing these issues that I’ve brought to previous product challenges like shifting our services to mobile.” Balancing free speech and security is complicated and expensive “These issues are even harder because people don’t agree on what a good outcome looks like, or what tradeoffs are acceptable to make. When it comes to free expression, thoughtful people come to different conclusions about the right balances. When it comes to implementing a solution, certainly some investors disagree with my approach to invest so much in security.” Putting Twitter and YouTube on blast for allowing pseudonymity… “One advantage Facebook has is that we have a principle that you must use your real identity. This means we have a clear notion of what’s an authentic account

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Interview with Google’s Group Product Manager on how Android Pie’s Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness work to optimize battery life and screen…

Emil Protalinski / VentureBeat : Interview with Google's Group Product Manager on how Android Pie's Adaptive Battery and Adaptive Brightness work to optimize battery life and screen brightness   —  Long before Google announced the Android Pie name, the company was talking up AI in the latest version of its mobile operating system.

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Skagen unveils a minimalist Wear-OS-based Falster 2 smartwatch with a heart-rate sensor, GPS, and NFC, available September 12 and priced from $275…

Jon Fingas / Engadget : Skagen unveils a minimalist Wear-OS-based Falster 2 smartwatch with a heart-rate sensor, GPS, and NFC, available September 12 and priced from $275   —  Skagen's Falster has been one of the darlings among Wear OS smartwatches thanks to its posh yet minimalist look, but it was hard to recommend …

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Facebook announces the international rollout of Facebook Watch, which first launched in the US a year ago this month, to be available globally from…

Robert Mitchell / Variety : Facebook announces the international rollout of Facebook Watch, which first launched in the US a year ago this month, to be available globally from Thursday   —  Facebook has announced the international rollout of Facebook Watch, its video destination for episodic content, which first launched in the U.S. a year ago this month.

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