Friday Morning: It’s Five Somewhere

This week has been really long. Painfully dragged out. Mid-week snowstorm probably didn’t help. But here we are, survivors with another week and yet another Presidential campaign debate under our belts.

I’ll keep it short and snappy given how much ugly we’ve been through.

Your information security is only as good as the stupidest person on staff
“Hello, FBI? I’m new here and I don’t have my code. Can you help a girl out?” No joke, that’s about all it took for one unnamed hacktivist to get inside the FBI. And yet the FBI demands backdoors into all mobile devices. I can’t even…

Meet your new immortal overlord: Your self-driving car
This first graf scares the crap out of me:

The computer algorithms that pilot self-driving cars may soon be considered the functional equivalents of human drivers. That’s the early opinion of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—and so begins our slow-burn acquiescence in the battle of man versus machine.

And not even for the reasons that PC World’s editor-in-chief Jon Phillips outlines in his editorial. If a governmental agency recognizes an algorithm as equal to a human, how long before humans are actually subordinate to artificial intelligence?  It’s bad enough corporations — legal constructs — have nearly the same rights as humans and can live forever. This needs to die on the vine right now — especially since Google is ramping up hiring for its line of self-driving cars.

Speaking of Google…

Busy week on Zika front

Media commentator Douglas Rushkoff interviewed on digital society

You left Facebook in 2013. How is that working out for you?

Professionally, I’m thinking it may be good for one’s career and business to be off social media altogether. Chris Anderson was wrong. “Free” doesn’t lead to anything but more free. Working for free isn’t leverage to do a talk for loads of money; now they even want you to talk for free. What am I supposed to do? Join YouTube and get three cents for every 100,000 views of my video? That is crap; that is insane! …

A worthwhile read, give it a whirl when the dust begins to settle.

Here’s hoping the weekend moves as slowly as this week did. Huli pau!

Blogger since 2002, political activist since 2003, geek since birth. Opinions informed by mixed-race, multi-ethnic, cis-female condition, further shaped by kind friends of all persuasions. Sci-tech frenemy, wannabe artist, decent cook, determined author, successful troublemaker. Mother of invention and two excessively smart-assed young adult kids. Attended School of Hard Knocks; Rather Unfortunate Smallish Private Business School in Midwest; Affordable Mid-State Community College w/evening classes. Self-employed at Tiny Consulting Business; previously at Large-ish Chemical Company with HQ in Midwest in multiple marginalizing corporate drone roles, and at Rather Big IT Service Provider as a project manager, preceded by a motley assortment of gigs before the gig economy was a thing. Blogging experience includes a personal blog at the original blogs.salon.com, managing editor for a state-based news site, and a stint at Firedoglake before landing here at emptywheel as technology’s less-virginal-but-still-accursed Cassandra.
5 replies
  1. haarmeyer says:

    Well good for Douglas Rushkoff. Bout time someone realized that when you do free for a profit, the money got taken from somebody else.

  2. earlofhuntingdon says:

    An algorithm as human? Given how far the establishment has gone toward degrading the human condition, that might be an improvement. On the other hand, it’s nonsense on stilts, a centipede on roller skates. If the idea is to issue regulatory approval for a machine algorithm that can perform limited functions in a manner that mimics human behavior, the govt should say so. It’s not that hard to distinguish real people from other animals, from vegetables, minerals, s/w and corporations. Unless you’re a Republican appointee to the Supreme Court.

  3. James says:

    Drivers having been, up to now, human does not mean that being a driver means being human. Replacing the horse pulling a buggy with an engine didn’t make the engine a horse but we still talk about the equivalence when we rate engines by horse power.

  4. lefty665 says:

    How hard is it to write software that drives like a human? Is it that hard to teach one to speed, follow too close, fail to pay attention… Dunno I think that’s a feature.
    .
    Thanks for another good week Rayne.

  5. Rayne says:

    earlofhuntingdon — The weasely move a hundred-plus years ago establishing corporate personhood is an example of how wrong government can be about incorporeal concepts. I don’t even know if the ability to bestow a patent on an algorithmic product would be an adequate boundary given how often patents are pursued on genetic material including entire animals. You’re generous to think AI cannot be mistaken for humans; we are already crossing the Uncanny Valley now with Siri and Cortana based on their increasing acceptance.

    And as long as GOP has enough power to seat justices prone to mistaking legal fictions as natural persons, we’re screwed.

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