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Daily Archives: November 14, 2023

Virtual Cloud Portals

Dark Clouds: Can Government Agencies Evade Public-Records Laws by Storing Documents in Privately Owned Digital Portals? Frank D. LoMonte, Adjunct Instructor, University of Georgia School of Law. Newsroom Legal Counsel, Cable News Network, Inc. J.D., University of Georgia School of Law, 2000. B.A., Georgia State University, 1992.

“Laws enabling the public to inspect government records are regarded as foundational to a well-functioning democracy. However, reminiscent of a playground game of “keep away,” government agencies increasingly are taking advantage of technology to withhold records from inquisitive requesters by claiming – in sophistry reminiscent of Clinton’s – that they do not actually possess particular documents, because the records are stored in a digital “cloud” operated by a third party. Indeed, government decision-makers have taken to using virtual storage methods for the express purpose of evading laws that require agencies to disclose documents in their custody. No custody, the argument goes, no disclosure…This Article looks at the issue of whether government agencies may legitimately ignore requests for public records on the basis that the records never came into the physical possession of agency employees. It concludes that interpreting open-records laws in such a narrowly literal way would undermine the purpose of these disclosure statutes, which are supposed to be generously interpreted in favor of access to give effect to their remedial good-government intent…”

ChatGPT is no longer as clueless about recent events

ZDNet: “ChatGPT users frustrated with the chatbot’s ignorance about recent events will now find it more informative and accommodating. At its first Dev Day conference for developers on Monday, ChatGPT creator OpenAI revealed that the knowledge cutoff dates for both GPT-3.5 and GPT-4.0 have been extended. For GPT-3.5, the cutoff date has been increased to… Continue Reading

Oil and Gas Companies Spill Millions of Gallons of Wastewater in Texas

“An exclusive Inside Climate News analysis found companies have spilled nearly 150 million gallons of toxic, highly saline wastewater in Texas over the last decade… Inside Climate News has conducted the first-ever public analysis of produced water spills in Texas, working from data provided in response to open records requests to the Railroad Commission.  Over… Continue Reading

Open Planet Lets You Download & Use 4,500 Free Videos That Document Nature & Climate Change

Open Culture: “A melting glacier in Iceland…Trees scorched by a wildfire in AustraliaAs the effects of climate change become increasingly dire, we’ve grown accustomed to such grimly sobering visions.Some look away. Others work to heighten awareness of these clear and present environmental dangers. And some strive to implement innovative solutions before it’s too late: Solar… Continue Reading

The best ebook reader to buy right now

The Verge: “…I’ve been using ebook readers for nearly a decade, and I’ve gone hands-on with dozens, from the Kindle Paperwhite to lesser-known rivals like the Pocketbook Era. Whether you want something your kid can throw against the wall or a waterproof, warm-glow Kindle that won’t ruin your spa ambiance, these are the best ebook… Continue Reading

Microsoft lays hands on login data: Beware of the new Outlook

“The free new Outlook replaces Mail in Windows, and later also the classic Outlook. It sends secret credentials to Microsoft servers. (This is a translation of this german article.) The new Outlook is not what it seems at first glance: a replacement for Microsoft Office Outlook – at least not yet. What it definitely is,… Continue Reading

The Fifth National Climate Assessment

“The Fifth National Climate Assessment is the US Government’s preeminent report on climate change impacts, risks, and responses. It is a congressionally mandated interagency effort that provides the scientific foundation to support informed decision-making across the United States. The more the planet warms, the greater the impacts. Without rapid and deep reductions in global greenhouse… Continue Reading