Friday Morning: Gypsy Caravan


TIME, you old gipsy man,
Will you not stay,
Put up your caravan
Just for one day?

— excerpt, Time, You Old Gipsy Man by Ralph Hodgson

If last week’s Friday chamber jazz was most like me, this genre is next to it. Gypsy jazz is what my grandfather always hoped I’d learn to play; I learned to love Django Reinhardt with Stephane Grapelli at his knee. This stuff makes a bad day move along briskly, makes heavy hearts light. I don’t mind the added filip some smart ass added to the embedded video of Hot Club of Dublin featured here — seems fitting for the tune’s mood.

Unfortunately I have to be away from my desk this morning on a mission of mercy. If I’m stuck someplace with decent WiFi I will try to share a few things I’ve been reading. Otherwise use this as an open thread and tell me what you’ve got planned this weekend — hope it’s something fun!

Oops, last minute adders:

Facebook gets smacked by court for storing biometric content (Reuters) — I really dislike Facebook. Just thought I’d tack that on.

Athabasca tar sands south of Fort McMurray threatened by fire (CBC Calgary) — something-something karma-something

A few more adders:

Aussie company touting anti-Zika virus condoms and gel – what? (Sydney Melbourne Herald) — Are you kidding me? Just use a damned condom. Think about it: plain old condoms are recommended as protection against viral STDs like HIV.

Maps showing borders India doesn’t like may earn jail time and fines (QZ-India) — Wondering why this issue has bubbled up again, not that the border with Pakistan has ever been resolved to India’s satisfaction.

Carnegie Mellon team turn human skin into touch tech (The Verge) — Um, this was done back seven years ago by MIT, called “Sixth Sense,” and released as open source a year later. Still wondering why that tech wasn’t commercialized.

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.
26 replies
  1. martin says:

    quote”Gypsy jazz is what my grandfather always hoped I’d learn to play; I learned to love Django Reinhardt with Stephane Grapelli at his knee. This stuff makes a bad day move along briskly, makes heavy hearts light.”unquote

    Fantastic!!!! My favorite genre. Although, I also love Western Swing which has Django type feel as one of it’s cornerstones. Here’s an example of a Western Swing band doing Django…
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kTMLfigsyPk
    Also love Bireli LaGrene, as he can carry Django out farther than anyone I’ve ever seen. Anyway, thanks for posting this. And yeah..Hot Club stuff makes a bad day move along briskly, makes heavy hearts light! Especially when it’s kicking ass…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U5E9cZFVRE

    god I’d sell my soul to play like that..hahaha!

  2. bloopie2 says:

    Friday morning word quarrel. This, from a recent article on the breach of Swift/Bangladesh banking system. ““Swift is aware of a number of recent cyber incidents in which malicious insiders or external attackers have managed to submit Swift messages from financial institutions’ back offices, PCs or workstations connected to their local interface to the Swift network,” the group warned customers.”
    .
    Come now. Is cyberbankrobbery really “malicious”? I know, the dictionary defines “malicious” as “intending to do harm”. But isn’t this more like … just … picking up some money that someone left unattended? Taking the opportunity? Seizing the moment? Bank robbers don’t really intend to do harm. They don’t want to hurt anybody, they just want to get themselves some spending money. “Malicious”? Nah–that’s being too hard on them.

  3. lefty665 says:

    Here’s a local group, Gypsy Roots They’re good musicians and been fun to hang with over the years even though I’ve got no Gypsy chops.
    .
    Facebook shows just what’s happening to us. Get id’d by someone in a picture they’ve posted and pretty soon there’s a digital history of your activities. I’m sure nobody mines that…

  4. martin says:

    Hey Rayne..just listened to the Hot Club of Dublin. Holy smokin gypsys! Great stuff.

  5. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Forcebook illegally collects and stores customers’ biometric data? Who could possibly have imagined it, eh Condi? Shoshana Zuboff at HBS has a lot to say about this:

    http://shoshanazuboff.com/
    http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/the-digital-debate/shoshana-zuboff-secrets-of-surveillance-capitalism-14103616.html?printPagedArticle=true#pageIndex_2

    Funny how that second article of hers (about giggle, but equally applicable to forcebook) was published in Germany’s version of the Wall Street Journal (albeit in English). I wonder if the English language press passed on it, given the subject: Surveillance Capitalism.

    According to Zuboff, many of the capabilities of such companies are “diverted into a fundamentally parasitic form of profit.” The economic existence of this industry is built around capturing our personal data, which she labels “behavioral surplus”. This data is captured at no cost from the source (customers), saved perpetually, subjected to a string of the latest analytical, pattern predicting s/w. The predictions are then sold to the highest bidder (advertisers, governments) for many billions. All of this is outside the awareness of customers and beyond meaningful oversight or regulation.

    The market valuation of these companies and of their industry, and the wealth of their executives, is driven by this process. This is an artful variation on enclosing the commons.

    Asking the likes of forcebook or giggle to capture less data, or to subject it to a privacy protecting legal regime, would not compute. Their economic existence depends upon free, unknowing access to this commons of “behavioral surplus”. Asking these companies to self-regulate or to cease capturing behavioral surplus data voluntarily, to paraphrase Zuboff, would be like asking them to commit business suicide.

    So perhaps their customers should insist upon it, even if they have to use harsh language.

    • Ian says:

      EARL OF HUNTINGDON said:[May 6,2016 4.36pm]
      Asking these companies to self-regulate or to cease capturing behavioral surplus data voluntarily, to paraphrase Zuboff, would be like asking them to commit business suicide.
      So perhaps their customers should insist upon it, even if they have to use harsh language.
      .
      Prof SHOSHANA ZUBOFF in her earlier work, also carried by the FRANFURTER ALLEMEIGNE ZEITUNG in its Feuilleton/FEATURES section dated 30 April 2014 “
      Response to Mathias Döpfner: DARK GOOGLE” had said:
      .
      “Things are moving fast. This is why the world now looks to the E.U. – not to Google – to reverse the growing menace of absolutism and the monopoly of rights. The EU can stand for the double movement. It can represent the future and assert the dominion of democratic rights and the principles of a fair marketplace. These are the precious victories of a centuries-long struggle, and we dare not abandon them now”
      .
      I SAY:
      Thank you EARL OF HUNTINGDON for highlighting Prof. Zuboff’s cautions regarding some of the implications of allowing the B2C companies [Business-to-Consumers] Google and Facebook –and their equivalents capturing/stealing data about their users personality and selling the resulting data & the resulting computations/algorithms based on knowledge of their users personality as evidenced through their websites.
      .
      Prof Zuboff was correct [in 2014] in looking towards the Institutions & the 510m peoples of the EU with their attitudes to Data Privacy and also correct in hoping that the other countries that align their Data Privacy attitudes, laws & practices with the EU will be able to “tame the evil beast”.
      .
      Since 2014 we have seen the following be reported through the pages of the FRANFURTER ALLEMEIGNE ZEITUNG and other media:
      .
      In fairness to the readers of the FRANFURTER ALLEMEIGNE ZEITUNG they will be aware that Frankfurt has been the Commercial Capital and also the Financing Capital of the German-speaking countries for at least 400 years now.
      .
      They will be very well aware that it was the German Constitutional Court that pioneered the way for ALL EU National Supreme Courts to allow the EU Court System to decide what EU-wide “Rights & Privileges” might be—- by “referring” the question—in the deciding German case concerning the Bundesbank’s argument about the powers of the ECB[European Central Bank] in creating financing instruments in Euro’s that competent German authorities felt was “ultra vires”[beyond the powers of]the ECB as explained here.
      .
      .
      They will have been very well aware that the legal technique of “referral” was cited by the Irish Supreme Court in the Case Schrem vs Facebook [with the Republic of Eire being the legal home of the EU Division of both Facebook & also Apple (both US -originated B2C companies having an attitude that “lying to your users/customers” is perfectly acceptable conduct because you will never be punished—“cheating is for winners, honesty is for losers.”)].
      .
      Max Schrems is from Wien/Vienna & speaks German & you can see his continuing efforts [in English] to punish Facebook here
      .
      They will have been very well aware that the President of the EU Parliament Martin Schulz [USA= Speaker of the US House of Representatives+ Majority Leader,US Senate, combined position] in his keynote speech setting out the mission of the newly appointed EUROPEAN DATA SUPERVISOR [created to unify all 26-27 EU nations Data Privacy laws & Practices into one single EU-wide law & practice] insisted that “technological determinism” ought to have NO PLACE in the lives of the EU’s people’s—and with the laws of the EU routinely including a provision for “encouraging” other nations to “come up to” EU standards & practices—these philosophies will likely go easily to other European-heritage countries [e.g.non-USA countries in the America’s, Australia has already insisted in the proposed TPP agreement that it will follow European Data Privacy laws].His official speech is here and The Guardian’s version is here
      .
      They will have been aware that the [newly empowered] European Data Supervisor has started by insisting on the need for a philosophical framework to what Data Privacy Rights & Privileges might be need by creating a DATA ETHICS Group as explained here. [.pdf] The argument is bigger than Prof Zuboff’s argument—-it is more akin to the arguments in the 1960’s & 1970s about advances in medical & biological knowledge—how to decide what should or not be prohibited—if I can grow a human child outside the womb of its natural mother & “give the child the gift” of three[3] arms on its right side and 0/zero arms on its left [always “its” never “her” or “his”]—I should be allowed to—right?. I’m “advancing medical knowledge” aren’t I? It is my democratic right—no?
      .
      Because Frankfurt is the Financing Capital of Germany and the City of London is the EU’s Financing Capital—they will likely have been aware that the British Parliament has suggested , and the Cameron Administration has agreed , that Britain also should have a [National] Data Ethics Group with suggestion that Britain will gain if they create their “Code of Conduct” and such, faster than Brussels could do.
      .
      Many American companies settle their EU Divisions Head Offices in English speaking countries, with so much of the World’s Financing Needs & Software [“FinTech”] already coming out of Britain & Ireland, with the Commercial Court in London settling so much of the world’s cross-border Business litigation– the belief at Westminster and in Whitehall is that Britain would gain more if it was “firstest with the mostest” when it comes to the direction of Data Privacy laws & practices.
      .
      They MAY have been aware of the example of “technological determinism” reported on by the World News section of the BBC [itself a 2015 winner of yet another Peabody Award for Excellence in Journalism *] when they analyzed Apple’s latest Global Transparency report showing that while American police forces “receive assistance” from Apple in extracting data from Apple’s devices & accounts in as much 80% of the time—the Rest-of-the-World’s police forces “received assistance” less than 60% of the time”—& the senior management of Apple have explained to Europol & will have explained to various German police forces—“There is nothing we can do—it is all in the software you know”
      .
      Finally, any English speaking readers of the FRANKFURTER ALLEMEIGNE ZEITUNG who are also readers of [English-language only] THE ECONOMIST will know that in the March 26,2016 edition [www.economist.com] after analyzing 900 different sectors of the profit-seeking section of the USA’s economy noted with some alarm that:
      i)the “concentration” [very few competitors actually competing] level of numerous industries has increased significantly in the last 20 years
      ii)that has produced historically very high levels of profits for corporations &
      iii)that historically high level of profits has occurred ONLY in the USA divisions of such industries—NOT in the European or Asian divisions &
      iv)the companies that dominated their industries 20 years ago –in the USA— are exactly the same companies that dominated those industries/sectors 20 years ago.
      .
      Inevitably THE ECONOMIST advised that: a) this country should look towards the EU for guidance on how to organize a “New Approach” to Anti-Trust [aka Mandatory Competition]—-something the good folks at Google will tell you all about here .
      The Economist Editorial can be seen here and the detailed analysis can be seen here
      .
      * [snip] The BBC reminded us why it’s the gold standard of electronic-media news with its wide-ranging, richly detailed, deeply humane television and radio reporting …………………

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        “Cheating is for winners, honesty is for losers.” Sounds like a quote from Allen Dulles.

        UCLA coach Henry Russell got it partly right when he said c. 1950,

        “Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing.” That was in the context of NCAA basketball, whose finals still attract the most active sports betting in America. The comment gutted the traditional Anglo-American myth of “sportsmanlike”. What he got wrong is that basketballers follow rules. They travel, push and bounce at will, but they don’t normally break arms and legs, stick shivs into their opponents or bribe officials. They have rules, no matter how bent they are or how they’re bent. Big bidnesses today, along with their big four accountants and Wall Street lawyers, follow the combat martial arts philosophy, “There are no rules”. If there are, they rig them, a pattern familiar to robber barons like Huntington, Vanderbilt, Morgan, and JP’s lawyer William Cromwell.

        Banksters are still among the most noteworthy practitioners of this art. Private equity is in hot pursuit; it owns a big chunk of American business, and it’s getting bigger. Yves Smith at nakedcapitalism covers it brilliantly. Private equity’s secrecy parallels the intelligence industry (a “community” only in the sense that Stepford, CT, is a quaint, New England village). Its snark, self-dealing and “rules don’t apply to me” attitude would make a Jersey private banker swoon.

        My take is that the City wants to take the lead in setting standards for a European data “ethics” Code of Conduct for the same reason the IC wants to regulate the internet: to prevent the setting of real, transparent, enforceable rules. Rules with sharp teeth. The City wants to control the process and contort the rules in its exclusive favor. The City would accept a prudent, transparent, enforceable data ethics code as willingly as it would voluntarily prohibit tax evasion and money laundering.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        We could be in for a global fight. EU and US positions on data protection are poles apart. The different expectations about what happens to data are comparable to the different EU and US positions on health care, and just as viciously fought over.

        Take the so-called US Safe Harbor, jargon for the supposed rules that allow transmission of personal data about EU persons from the EU to the US. It is a fig leaf to allow big business to function globally while paying lip service to different standards. Think big US bank noncompliance with varying state and local title registration and title transfer rules in the context of mortgage fraud. US banks simply pixie-dusted those variations away and told state courts (and state treasuries) to stuff it.

        Under the “Safe Harbor”, US holders of EU data must certify that they provide EU-comparable virtual and physical protection for EU data. The reality is that data will receive the handling US data gets, which is retained, analyzed and used globally, often with US managers having little clue as to “where” the data is at any given time, who is handling it on the ground (or in the cloud), or how effective their promises are relating to virtual and physical security. The plethora of data hacks in the last year alone, from Target, banks, the USG, suggests that the “as built” protections on the ground are lax and not in compliance. Let the battle begin, Data Protection Commissioner.

  6. earlofhuntingdon says:

    From the cited Reuters article, Mr. Zuckerberg is reportedly having his company issue new, non-voting shares in a maneuver apparently designed to allow him to give away billions (tax deductible, of course), without having to give up a scintilla of control. I assume that the many millions typically spent on such a maneuver – commercial and investment bankers, accountants, Wall Street lawyers, analysts, tax advisers, ad nauseum – will all come out of the company’s pockets, as a deductible business expense. Perhaps that should all be captured and disclosed as part of Mr. Z’s “total compensation” in the company’s next 10-K. Nice work if you can get it.

  7. bloopie2 says:

    Just as surveillance techniques are getting more sophisticated, so are other detection technologies. Witness this, about drug testing in athletes now turning up banned substances that were once used by the East German sports machine. The smart, “in the know”, athletes will stay away from this drug; others, no. The interface between transportation (whether it’s moving your own body or moving a baseball) and technology surfaces again when we examine world class athletes and we study how their bodies work so well.

  8. bloopie2 says:

    I’ll chime in on Johnny Manziel. Indicted for misdemeanor domestic violence. Some are saying “He’ll never play in the NFL again.” Now, that’s a decision that the team owners, in the end, will make. But I don’t think it should be an absolute rule, a moral bar. Because if it is, then why not bar him from ALL employment, condemn him to unemployment and eventual homelessness. Suitable punishment? No second chances ever allowed, no forgiveness? Burn in hell, even Jesus Christ will not redeem you.

  9. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (9:58) — Someone chooses employment within a business consortium which has three basic rules: 1) Play hard; 2) Don’t cheat; 3) Don’t make us look bad.

    And then this someone makes the consortium look bad because their unlawful behavior calls into question their ethics and business model.

    I don’t feel at all bad that someone will no longer be employed by that business consortium, in perpetuity, because the rules are pretty fucking simple compared to other industries. Not being employed by this business consortium doesn’t preclude work in any other consortium or industry.

    I’m tired of being treated like an economic punching bag by businesses which turn a blind eye to women being treated like punching bags, on or off the clock. Folks whose jobs require a form of legitimized violence but can’t shut off the violence off the clock need to consider a different line of work. Don’t care if it’s football, boxing, police officers, any profession where violence in the workplace may be a necessity.

    NFL must find its own redemption with 51% of the population and its target audience with greatest growth potential. Manziel will have to find redemption without them; he’s not owed it on the NFL’s dime.

    • bloopie2 says:

      Well, I think we agree, especially in light of this statement of yours, which I hadn’t really considered before: “Folks whose jobs require a form of legitimized violence but can’t shut off the violence off the clock need to consider a different line of work. Don’t care if it’s football, boxing, police officers, any profession where violence in the workplace may be a necessity.” Thanks for that.
      .
      Oh, and I looked at some maps, it appears that the forest around Fort McMurray is, in fact, boreal.

  10. bloopie2 says:

    I’ve been listening to some of your chamber jazz. It’s good, thanks. My mind keeps trying to make comparisons with other jazz ensembles. For example, the classic piano-drums-bass trio, like Teddy Wilson, that I love. You really see the possibilities in the underlying music. It’s a bit hard for me to get used to the violin, though, as it sounds a bit, well, screechy at times–something I don’t associate with jazz, which to me is cool and suave. (My wife hates it.)

  11. Rayne says:

    bloopie2 (8:19) — In piano/drums/bass trios, the double bass plays a hybrid role placing more emphasis on its ability to provide rhythm. In chamber jazz, the double bass is more heavily relied on for rhythm, and other string instruments pick up the melody/harmony parts the double bass plays in other genres. If your wife doesn’t care for violin, you might look for chamber groups which feature a mandolin instead of violin — they are tuned nearly identically to violins, but the plucking and strumming may be easier on her ears given the description “screechy” (that’s the bowing at work). Your wife’s sensitivity to violin is not uncommon as women typically have greater sensitivity to higher frequencies than men, and more so than men as they age.

  12. Ian says:

    EARL OF HUNTINGDON said:
    “ My take is that the City wants to take the lead in setting standards for a European data “ethics” Code of Conduct for the same reason the IC wants to regulate the internet: to prevent the setting of real, transparent, enforceable rules”
    .
    & also
    .
    Take the so-called US Safe Harbor, jargon for the supposed rules that allow transmission of personal data about EU persons from the EU to the US.
    .
    I SAY:
    i)While I’m sure the City ( & “Big Data” in Britain) will want to have substantial influence over the National rules for DATA ETHICS I had assumed two[2] additional factors were ALSO at play here:
    .
    a)Britain (& Ireland) are “English Common Law countries” –just as the USA & Canada & Australia & New Zealand are—the rest of the EU are Civil Law countries (for northern Europe) and as for those ex-Warsaw Pact, ex-Adolf Hitler supporting countries-in-WWII countries of South-Eastern Europe without even the rudiments of a working, independent-in-mind judiciary let alone an ability to comply with “Directives from Brussels” I wouldn’t want to categorize their system of law at all.
    .
    The general public of Great Britain have noticed the tremendous difficulty some of the EU countries politicians and lawyers have with even the most basic and oldest of concepts of a Common Law jurisdiction (what is a trust, what is a conspiracy[in criminal law],what is a de minimus exception/(USA 2016= a misdemeanor),what is “the-law-since-time-immemorial” aka “Tradition”) with high profile legal disputes in Extradition Law, & in Taxation Law. Many in Parliament may want to force Brussels to “take note of an existing (Common Law) practice by getting the “existing practice” “grandfathered” [possession is nine points of the law” as they say]
    .
    b)They may be preparing for BREXIT on Thursday 23 June,2016
    .
    ii) The US Safe Harbor agreements was declared invalid by the EU judiciary in Oct 2015 with the Court’s opinion seen here and Reuters explanation seen here.
    .
    It was replaced—according to Press releases-on 2 Feb 2016 with the
    EU-US Privacy Shield with Brussels & Washington praising the effort.
    .
    THAT was denounced by competent Data Privacy Commissioners on Feb 3,2016 and again on 13 April 2016 as NOT meeting the requirements of the EU’s Court of Justice ruling of Oct 2015.
    .
    The Data Privacy Commissioners opinion was ALSO the opinion of Microsoft’s EU government affairs VP John Frank who agreed that the US Government has a whole series of measures beyond Privacy Shield still to undertake including necessary measures to restrict the US Judiciary from ordering the search and seizure of any computing device that any individual US citizen has knowledge anywhere on the face of the Earth as Frank explained here.
    .
    The only question that remains then,as of 8 May 2016, is the name of the litigant before the EU’s Judiciary to shut the EU-US Privacy Shield [Safe Harbor 2.0]down.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      It was utterly predictable that the so-called data privacy “shield” would provide the same, gossamer-like protection as the older Safe Harbor. The question is whether and how urgently the EU and its largest member states will demand better.

      As for CEO pay packets, the issue is not whether competent CEO-candidates exist who would take a fraction of the exuberant pay demanded by CEOs and the industry of pro-higher pay advisers they employ. The “uniqueness” of current CEO’s is a myth. What’s more a stumbling block is the pliability of most boards. A good CEO’s first job is always to ensure that she has a pliant board that will back her unless and until she runs the company into the ground. Even when that happens, the CEO is paid handsomely to go away quietly and shut up forever. Getting stronger, more demanding boards, whose members are willing to demand more of their peers than an invitation to the club, is the tough challenge.

  13. Ian says:

    RAYNE HAD ASKED ON THURSDAY MAY 5,2016:
    Has the revolution begun? Shareholders protest Reckitt Benckiser’s CEO compensation (Bloomberg) — Is this the beginning of a trend?
    .
    UPDATE TO MY ANSWER OF MAY 5,2016:
    The TELEGRAPH[www.telegraph.co.uk] is publishing in its Business Section Friday May 6,2016 under the following headline:
    .
    Shareholder Spring II: which CEO pay packets have sparked investor revolts?
    .
    The page [link below] includes the images & interactive hyperlinks of 16[sixteen] BRITISH plc’s INCLUDING THE BP plc AND RECKITT’s CEO’s mentioned in the Bloomberg story Rayne had highlighted–ALL OF WHOM ARE FACING QUESTIONS FROM THEIR SHAREHOLDERS ABOUT THEIR CEO’s COMPENSATION SCALES.
    .
    Again I would emphasize [with the exception of a caption marked Michael Corbat of Citigroup] all these corporations are British plc’s–some of them VERY British companies.
    .
    My original caution where British investors are choosing to REJECT the American invented idea that ALL CEO’s must be assumed to be required to be paid extraordinary large sums still applies.
    The link is:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2016/05/04/shareholder-spring-ii-which-ceo-pay-packets-have-sparked-investo/

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