US police seized $4.5 billion through civil asset forfeiture (through which police can take money and valuables away from citizens without charging anyone with any crimes) in 2014; in the same period, the FBI estimates that burglars accounted for $3.9B in property losses.
Civil forfeiture rose by 19.4% per year between 1989 and 2009. It grew by 52.8% in 2010.
The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham parses out the numbers in this analysis -- they're not quite as bad as they seem (some civil forfeiture comes from assets seized from actual crooks, e.g. Bernie Madoff), but they're nearly that bad.
The police have been violating the laws to confiscate assets all over the country. A scathing report on California warns of pervasive abuse by police to rob the people without proving that any crime occurred. Even Eric Holder came out in January suggesting reform because of the widespread abuse of the civil asset forfeiture laws by police.
Police Civil Asset Forfeitures Exceed All Burglaries in 2014
[Martin Armstrong/Armstrong Economics]
(via Mitch Wagner)
The highly secretive Silicon Valley-based data company Palantir is reported to be considering an initial public offering.
Helm is a startup making a $500 home gadget that replaces Gmail and Google Calendar, letting you control your own email and coordination; its founders have deep information security backgrounds, and plan to make money by charging an annual $100 management fee.
Pete Warden (previously) writes persuasively that machine learning companies could make a ton of money by turning to data-compression: for example, ML systems could convert your speech to text, then back into speech using a high-fidelity facsimile of your voice at the other end, saving enormous amounts of bandwidth in between.
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