Big Data Ethics: racially biased training data versus machine learning

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Writing in Slate, Cathy "Weapons of Math Destruction" O'Neill, a skeptical data-scientist, describes the ways that Big Data intersects with ethical considerations. Read the rest

Kickstarting a tool to block robocalls and tie up scammers

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Roger Anderson, a telephony expert, developed the Jolly Roger Telephone Company to block and madden robocallers. Read the rest

Maryland's Attorney General: you consent to surveillance by turning on your phone

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Maryland attorney general Brian E Frosh has filed a brief appealing a decision in the case of Kerron Andrews, who was tracked by a Stingray cell-phone surveillance device. Read the rest

Error 53: Apple remotely bricks phones to punish customers for getting independent repairs

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Iphone 6s that have been repaired by independent service centers are bricking themselves, seemingly permanently, with a cryptic message about "Error 53." Read the rest

Toronto City Council defies mayor, demands open, neutral municipal broadband

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After years of fumbling, deference and mismanagement, Canada's telcoms regulator, the CRTC, laid down a landmark net neutrality rule and demanded that Bell, the nationally founded telcoms giant, would have to share its infrastructure with new entrants to the market. Read the rest

Listen: Chelsea Manning speaks to Amnesty International's podcast

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Chelsea Manning appears in the current episode of Amnesty International's "In Their Own Words" podcast, voiced by actor Michelle Hendley.

Chelsea tells us, "The awesome thing about this podcast is that Michelle Hendley speaks in my own voice, telling my story and memories in my own words and in my own style. It's the closest thing to actually interviewing me as we could possibly get, given the rules of the prison. I was able to listen to it on the phone by having it played from laptop speakers into a friend's cell phone, and I think she sounds like me." Read the rest

To do in Toronto: Create a Rey doll hackathon

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Many people have noticed that the female lead character Rey is notably underrepresented in the tsunami of Star Wars: The Force Awakens toys. Read the rest

Who funds the "Millennials Rising" Super PAC? Rich old men.

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They started as "Millennials for Jeb" and now they're called "Millennials Rising," but since the beginning, the dark-money-spouting Super PAC has been 95% funded by rich white guys over the age of 60. Read the rest

They promised us a debate over TPP, then they signed it without any debate

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The Trans Pacific Partnership is a secretly negotiated agreement between 12 countries, including the US, Canada and Japan, which establishes punishing regimes for censoring and controlling the Internet, as well as allowing corporations to nullify safety, environmental and labor laws that limit their profits. Read the rest

Promising new podcast recording tool

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Podcasters have largely mastered the art of setting up a great home recording setup, something that's gotten steadily easier over the years, but then they interview someone over Skype and suddenly they sound like Doctor Who conversing with a Dalek at the bottom of a well. Read the rest

Watch: how to make security tools for normal humans

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Another amazing Shmoocon talk is "Users Are People Too: How to Make Your Tools Not Suck for Humans," presented by two key people from Simply Secure, a nonprofit devoted to improving security tool usability (I am a volunteer advisor to Simply Secure). Read the rest

Ikea for 2x4s: Building gorgeous furniture out of unfinished lumber

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The design idea of "counter-constraint" is to create things in such a way as to get around some constraint -- for example, open source hardware works without patents or copyrights. Read the rest

Julian Assange had promised to turn himself if the UN ruled his detention lawful

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When a UN panel from the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention upheld Julian Assange's claim that he was being unlawfully detained in London's Ecuadorean embassy, they also stopped Assange from turning himself in to the London police. Read the rest

Laura Poitras's Astro Noise: indispensable book and gallery show about mass surveillance

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Laura Poitras is the Macarthur-winning, Oscar-winning documentarian who made Citizenfour. Her life has been dogged by government surveillance and harassment, and she has had to become a paranoid OPSEC ninja just to survive. Read the rest

How to prepare to join the Internet of the dead

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In January 2015, security researcher and beloved, prolific geek Michael "Hackerjoe" Hamelin died in a head-on collision that also hospitalized his widow, Beth Hamelin. Read the rest

Videos of this year's Shmoocon talks, starting with Gershenfeld's talk on nonbinary computing

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Shmoocon is a security conference that ranks with other top-tier events like Defcon, CCC, HOPE, Black Hat, etc: this year's talks are all on the Internet Archive for streaming or download. Read the rest

Alternatives to "Resting Bitch Face"

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On McSweeney's, Susan Harlan rounds up some less-objectionable alternatives we can use to describe so-called "Resting Bitch Face," such as "Yes I Really Do Just Want to Sit Here and Read My Book Unmolested Face." Read the rest

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