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Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

AP report – Spy used AI-generated face to connect with targets

AP – “Katie Jones sure seemed plugged into Washington’s political scene. The 30-something redhead boasted a job at a top think tank and a who’s-who network of pundits and experts, from the centrist Brookings Institution to the right-wing Heritage Foundation. She was connected to a deputy assistant secretary of state, a senior aide to a senator and the economist Paul Winfree, who is being considered for a seat on the Federal Reserve. But Katie Jones doesn’t exist, The Associated Press has determined. Instead, the persona was part of a vast army of phantom profiles lurking on the professional networking site LinkedIn. And several experts contacted by the AP said Jones’ profile picture appeared to have been created by a computer program…”

See also – Test your ability to tell a real face from a fake one at: http://www.whichfaceisreal.com/ and Generate your own deepfake faces at: https://thispersondoesnotexist.com

FOIA to DOJ Seeking Legal Analysis Used By Treasury to Withhold Tax Return Info from Congress

American Oversight – Trump’s Tax Returns: “According to the Treasury Department, Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s refusal to comply with a House committee’s request for the president’s tax returns is based on a Justice Department legal analysis — even though the IRS issued a memorandum concluding that such documents must be produced unless there is a claim of… Continue Reading

How librarians, pirates, and funders are liberating the world’s academic research from paywalls

Vox – The war to free science. “The 27,500 scientists who work for the University of California generate 10 percent of all the academic research papers published in the United States. …The University of California decided it doesn’t want scientific knowledge locked behind paywalls, and thinks the cost of academic publishing has gotten out of… Continue Reading

How to Read an Aircraft Seat Map

the Points Guy: “If you’ve checked in online for a flight or selected your seat in advance, you may have been presented with a visual seat map — either allowing you to choose which available seat you would like or showing you where on the plane you will be sitting. Some seat maps are very… Continue Reading

Killer Apps: Vanishing Messages, Encrypted Communications, and Challenges to FOIA Laws

Daxton R. Stewart, Killer Apps: Vanishing Messages, Encrypted Communications, and Challenges to Freedom of Information Laws When Public Officials “Go Dark”, 10 Case W. Res. J.L. Tech. & Internet [1] (first article) (2019) “Government officials such as White House staffers and the Missouri governor have been communicating among themselves and leaking to journalists using apps… Continue Reading

Fewer kids are riding and buying bicycles, and the industry is worried

Washington Post: Children’s bicycle manufactures and retailers are bracing for rough times ahead as market research shows fewer kids are riding bikes, while prices for cycling equipment are almost certain to increase because of the Trump Administration’s tariffs on Chinese-made goods. The number of children ages 6 to 17 who rode bicycles regularly — more… Continue Reading

In Court, Facebook Blames Users for Destroying Their Own Right to Privacy

The Intercept: “In April 2018, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat before members of both houses of Congress and told them his company respected the privacy of the roughly two billion people who use it. “Privacy” remained largely undefined throughout Zuckerberg’s televised flagellations, but he mentioned the concept more than two dozen times, including when he… Continue Reading

Transparency Caucus features tools to track legislative information

Alex Howell [includes video of the forum]: “On June 7, the Transparency Caucus of the U.S. House of Representatives hosted a remarkable forum inside of the United States Capitol that featured ten presentations from government officials and members of civil society on innovative tools and technologies. Following is a run down of who spoke and… Continue Reading

How to combat health misinformation online: A research roundup

Journalist’s Resources: “Many Americans are turning to the internet with their health questions. And their use of the internet to seek answers isn’t limited to search engines and established health resources. Researchers at Microsoft analyzed survey and search data to find that “a surprising amount of sensitive health information is also sought and shared via… Continue Reading