Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish our privacy and security, often without our situational awareness. Four highlights from this week: Stop Using Public USB Ports to Charge Your Phone; Upgrading Your Phone? 4 Things You Should Do First; Who Stole My Face? The Risks Of Law Enforcement Use Of Facial Recognition Software; and How to Lock Down Your Health and Fitness Data.
Jason Voiovich’s article focuses on a subject of recent attention by Congress, privacy groups and journalists, both in the U.S. and abroad. Tech Giants distribute services and applications that are free, but nevertheless track and monitor your mobile activities – collecting, aggregating and monetizing information about many facets of your daily life. In this case, Voiovich discusses Google Maps with the understanding that his evaluation is applicable to many other services and companies – all of whom are providing you with their “services” at no “cost” until such time as you understand the price you are really paying to use them.
How to turn phone-aholics and others into library book readers and gung-ho patrons, if they aren’t already? One answer is greater visibility for libraries on the Web and elsewhere. David Rothman explains that’s what Koios, Troy Gordner’s company, is about. Rothman, a national digital library evangelist, also shares innovative ideas that many libraries can implement to raise their visibility, accessibility and viability now and into the future.
Alan Rothman discusses and documents a method of testing used in the private sector that also has significant in public sector applications – the process called “A/B testing.” Users are shown two nearly identical versions of something with one of them containing some slight variation. They are then asked to choose which one they prefer between the two. Rothman references how Google makes extensive use of this testing and design methodology, and also provides insight into how the federal government is implementing the tactics and strategies of this testing to provide more agile and actionable citizen and business related services.
Alan Rothman attended a demo of IBM’s Watson Technology, and the shares insights about the core components of this high profile new analytical tool. The technology holds potential value for multiple sectors and cross functional work streams, and as Alan notes, is still under development with additional applications forthcoming.
Brad Edmondson searched for the right task management app throughout much of his time attending law school. He finally found and recommends in this article one that he chose for individual use: Todoist. The app – it’s really more of a service – operates on the “freemium” model, and Brad signed up for the premium version three months ago. He compares and contrasts this app to others for Mac and Android platforms in this best practices guide.
From an emerging poet, LLRX is delighted to publish a new collection by Brooke Grasberger.
Attorney and FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes discusses how requestors’ experience in obtaining results from the FOIA process can in large measure be mitigated by two key factors – FOIA Offices must have the ability to follow the law, and top agency management must allow the professionals within the agency to do this.
David Rothman follows up on his review of the Voice Dream TTS e-book reader which can also read Web pages aloud, by highlighting the High Contrast add-on for Google’s Chrome Web browser. It doesn’t just add contrast to Web pages – it also turns black-on-white text into the reverse. Significantly, it works with the Kindle Cloud app within Chrome.
Via the American Society of Access Professionals, of which he is President, attorney and FOIA expert Scott A. Hodes informs us about the new guidance to all federal agencies that acknowledges the need for federal employees to attend mission-related conferences and provides some best practices for approving travel and conference expenses. This new guidance adopts many of the best practices suggested in a meetings protocol that the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) provided to OMB at their request.