THE NEW GEOPOLITICS OF CONVERGING RISKS

THE UN AND PREVENTION IN THE ERA OF AI

Eleonore Pauwels

https://i.unu.edu/media/cpr.unu.edu/attachment/3472/PauwelsAIGeopolitics.pdf

 

@LiisaPast  Liisa Past Retweeted Foreign Policy

“To secure itself, the West needs to figure out where all its gadgets are coming from. Here’s why that’s so difficult.” Excellent take on supply chain security, @ForeignPolicy. Also important: transparency, critical infrastructure and how software elements are combined.

Educational CyberPlayGround NetHappenings 5-4-19

Ghidra, a public reverse-engineering tool developed by the National Security Agency

The source code is available for download at ghidra-sre.org along with the 9.0.2 patch.

NSA’s Ghidra Reverse Engineering Framework Stirs Up Malware Researchers

The National Security Agency released a free, public version of Ghidra, a set of tools developed internally for software reverse engineering. The agency will also release Ghidra’s source code, allowing users to improve the framework’s feature set and turn it into a more effective tool.

Ghidra became known in the security community after WikiLeaks published the “Vault 7” documents, which referenced it as a reverse engineering tool created by the NSA’s Research Directorate, among hacking tools used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

If you’re wondering why the NSA made these tools available, senior advisor for the NSA Robert Joyce said the move was powered by the need to improve cybersecurity tools, to build a community, to educate new talent, and to show what the agency uses the tax money for.

Of course, since this is what the agency uses internally for reversing engineering software, opening it to a larger audience means that NSA can have it improved with code from contributors.

NSA rolled out a version of Ghidra for the public, available for macOS, Windows, and Linux on a dedicated website. A GitHub repository is also present, where the code is expected to be published. Joyce spoke (slides here) about how the toolkit can be used and discussed its strong points.

HACKING ETHICS Google: Book 
1 • 2 • 3 • 4 • 5 • 6 • 7 • 8 • 9 • 10 • 11 •

https://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5

This Business Insider article was originally published May 13, 2010
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his company are suddenly facing a big new round of scrutiny and criticism about their cavalier attitude toward user privacy.
An early instant messenger exchange Mark had with a college friend won’t help put these concerns to rest.
According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:
Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks.

An algorithm wipes clean the criminal pasts of thousands

“When we started to do this by hand, we recognised very rapidly that this was going to take a long time.” He enlisted Code For America, a non-profit organisation that works on creating Silicon Valley-esque solutions to problems within the many antiquated systems powering the US government. The group had made Clear My Record, a tool that can analyse text in court files, using character recognition to decipher scanned documents. It discards any record involving a violent crime, as such records do not qualify. For those that remain, the tool automatically fills out the necessary paperwork. In other words, the algorithm replaced the process being done manually at the expungement clinics.

 

REVERSE ENGINEERING AN INSULIN PUMP WITH AN SDR AND DECAPPING

Reverse Engineering An Insulin Pump With An SDR And Decapping

 

 

Facebook Responds to Global Coalition’s Demand That Users Get a Say in Content Removal Decisions

This Business Insider article was originally published May 13, 2010

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his company are suddenly facing a big new round of scrutiny and criticism about their cavalier attitude toward user privacy. An early instant messenger exchange Mark had with a college friend won’t help put these concerns to rest.

According to SAI sources, the following exchange is between a 19-year-old Mark Zuckerberg and a friend shortly after Mark launched The Facebook in his dorm room:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask.
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.

Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks.

#deletefacebook

#DeleteFacebook your info is breached again and again and again and again and again

https://www.businessinsider.com/well-these-new-zuckerberg-ims-wont-help-facebooks-privacy-problems-2010-5

Mercer, Zuckerberg, Sandberg, Page, Brinn, Dorsey Handmaidens to Authoritarism

Esteemed Reporter Carole Cadwalla takes down piece of shit Mark Zuckerberg at TedTalk

Years of Mark Zuckerberg’s old Facebook posts have vanished. The company says it ‘mistakenly deleted’ them.

Zuckerberg reportedly has a secret escape chute beneath his conference room

#Zuckerberg is a liar and the Congress is paid to Ignore this

A withering verdict: MPs report on Zuckerberg, Russia and Cambridge Analytica

 

EFF and more than 100 civil society organizations across the globe wrote directly to Mark Zuckerberg recently demanding greater transparency and accountability for Facebook content moderation practices. A key step, we told Facebook, is implementation of a robust appeals process giving all users the power to challenge and reverse the platform’s content removal decisions.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2018/12/facebook-responds-global-coalitions-demand-users-get-say-content-removal-decisions

 

Media bias “electable”, “authentic”, “likable” against #women on the 2020 campaign

Media bias against women on the 2020 campaign trail is already starting to ramp up, @jess_mc explains

Media bias against women, #electable, #likeable, #authentic

we like #uncorruptable #women

Elizabeth Warren is likable, authentic, and electable plus she is  #uncorruptable look at her policy plans.

Trump Signals & Space Monthly Briefing

Signals & Space Monthly Briefing

A look at the President’s Budget for military space operations.

Space Force continues to take shape

And the Space Development Agency has been established.

Moon missions and a new space race.

#@NetHappenings

Hitler became Chancellor and Trump President with a minority of the vote.

Hitler became Chancellor and Trump President with a minority of the vote.

by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

Trump’s electoral college victory, with a loss of about 3 millions votes, occurred because of a disastrous “perfect storm.”

  1. The Electoral College itself
    In two presidential elections since 2000, including the most recent one in which Hillary Clinton won 2.8 million more votes than her opponent, the winner of the popular vote did not win the election because of the distorting effect of the outdated Electoral College.
  2. Voter suppression with suspected miscounting and Jill Stein’s run (with echoes of Nader effect in Florida – Clinton lost by approximately the same number of votes in Wisconsin that Stein received.)
  3. Russian meddling with the internet and possibly with election boards. (4) Comey’s inexcusable unprecedented announcement “reopening Clinton investigation” a few days before the election
  4. Misogyny with some failures in Clinton campaign such as not visiting “battleground” States.

Trump himself is a malignant narcissist paranoid pathological liar racist misogynist insecure bully/coward reactive ignorant idiot. Hitler did not possess all these defects. He was a madman. So is Trump.

Trump has also surrounded himself with incompetent corrupt people (who are opposed to the objectives of their departments’ goals) and nepotism.

The deep connections between his business enterprises and governments is unique.

His foreign policy antagonizes allies and embraces autocrats
(as Hitler did but only with Stalin, Mussolini, and Japan) rejecting direct territorial expansions. Hitler’s henchmen, unlike Trump’s, although saturated with evil, were mainly quite able and effective in their execution of projects. So, it would be wrong to analogize one to the other for these and possibly other reasons. On the other hand, the difference in their actions is often one of degree not nature, primarily because of the resistance of longstanding institutions, now tattered and being undermined. A few selected illustrations follow.

(1) The Creation of a “Crisis” for a Campaign and Reign.
Hitler used the Reichstag fire, which most historians think, the Nazis set to galvanize support. Trump rants and raves (from the beginning of his announcement of his run) about the “crisis” of immigrants with “caravans” of violent criminals, drug dealers, and bad people “invading” our country requiring a massive wall, expulsions without any due process hearings, widespread arrests, etc, the constant subject of slogans, chants, and “tweets”.

(2) Concentration Camps
Hitler diverted resources from his military as the war ended just to execute and incarcerate Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, etc., particularly noted, the Jews as an obsession. Trump has erected many concentration camps (many run for profit by private prison companies) on the border to keep those classified as “illegal aliens” separating babies from families. He happily continues Guantanamo. These concentration camps than those disgracefully established for the Japanese in World War II.

(3) Racism and Religious Bigotry
Hitler had his Jews. Trump, as referenced above, started his campaigns by railing against “Mexicans” and now continues against Latinos from Guatemala, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Consider (and compare with mainland American natural disasters) his treatment of Americans in hurricane ravaged Puerto Rico.

Hitler hated Jews as a race. Undoubtedly, he would have wanted those who identify with the religion or culture to disappear in the Final Solution.

Trump has the one billion or so Muslims. He tried to ban any Muslim immigration and mainly succeeded when the retrograde Supreme Court (after granting a Christian baker the right to discriminate against homosexual’s ordering a wedding cake) allowed a ban which did not mention the adherents of Islam by name although clearly directed at them. (A 19th Century case struck down a law designed against Chinese laundries.) In a debate, among his other lies, he claimed he saw a multitude in New Jersey celebrating the toppling of the World Trade Towers. He continues unabated to demonize them.

(4) Free press and journalism
Hitler destroyed it while creating a propaganda machine. (Compare the interepenetration of Fox News and the White House). To the shame of the press corps, they allowed themselves to be separated by fences from the rest of the audience during his rallies. He ceaselessly attacks news coverage as “fake news”, advocates for defamation suits against the media, and even government action against the major network NBC because of a Saturday Night Live rerun, etc. (while the press still features his unhinged “tweets” as news rather than confining the reporting to official public acts and pronouncements).

(5) Antisemitism
It is necessary to distinguish the government of Israel and Israel; Israel and Jews. One can oppose the government and support Israel. One can oppose how Israel is constituted, attitudes, and some actions while still being a Jew. Trump embraces Netanayu as a far right leader while in his ghosted books he disparages them as beanie wearing bookkeepers. Some worry Jews might be blamed because of his inclusion of Miller and Kuchner (and converted wife) in his inner circle – though no more have been added – but the former is such a raving racist reactionary he can not be connected to any sane version of Judaism and the Kuchner’s represent just nepotism.

(6) Military Buildup
Hitler used great sums of money to build an army and, ironically Keynsian, the economy. In Trump’s budget he proposes to cut domestic programs radically while expanding the military (and continuing its presence in Yemen…and almost 70 other areas, Afganistan, Iraq, and Syria.)

(7) Demagoging and Violence
The “big lie”. best repeated often, played, and plays, a central role in both of their rhetorical appeals to audiences. Hitler, many believe, was a mesmerizing orator, His speeches were more inflammatory than his sometimes ally Mussolini. Trump leads rallies with chants, slogans (e.g. “Lock her up!”) designed to engineer mass consent from his devoted followers, inflammatory claims, and well documented many dangerous lies, etc.. It appears that the tone he has set (including the failure to condemn right wing violence) has created an atmosphere where deranged individuals (and even mobs) feel entitled to commit acts against schools, assemblies (including 0religious and public), and individuals while vigilante groups “patrol” the border. Both offer racist tropes to which Trump adds Misogyny.

(8) The Judiciary
Hitler destroyed his. With McConnel’s aiding and abetting, Trumps has done his utmost to stuff the Federal Judiciary (thus far his only main restraint) with rigid reactionaries from the Federalist Society pipeline.

Other illustrations are available ( e.g. permitting – facilitating in Trump’s case – the destruction of countryside and cities) But, sufficient unto this article is the evil therein.

Abraham Lincoln famously said: “You can fool some the people all of the time. You can fool some of the people some of the time. But you can not fool all the people all of the time.”

The question for our time is
whether you can fool enough.

“You should never underestimate human stupidity.” Yuval Noah Harari

——————————————————–

FURTHER RESOURCES

Changes in technology, politics, and business are all transforming espionage. Intelligence agencies must adapt—or risk irrelevance.
https://foreignpolicy.com/2019/04/27/the-spycraft-revolution-espionage-technology/

TED TALKS

Why fascism is so tempting — and how your data could power it Yuval Noah Harari

Handmaidens to Authoritarism
#Mercer, #Zuckerberg, #Sandberg, #Page, #Brinn, #Dorsey

In an unmissable talk, journalist Carole Cadwalladr digs into one of the most perplexing events in recent times: the UK’s super-close 2016 vote to leave the European Union. Tracking the result to a barrage of misleading Facebook ads targeted at vulnerable Brexit swing voters — and linking the same players and tactics to the 2016 US presidential election — Cadwalladr calls out the “gods of Silicon Valley” for being on the wrong side of history and asks: Are free and fair elections a thing of the past?

MORE:

A CURRENT ACCEPTABLE PREJUDICE by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

9/11 CRIMINALS by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq. 

REPEAL AND REPLACE THE WAR ON DRUGS by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

REPARATIONS by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

WOMEN ENJOY MAKING LOVE by Jonathan A. Weiss Esq.

#JonathanWeiss #Hitler #Trump #Facism #PropagandaMachine #fakeNews #foxNews #whitehouse #electoral College

[ECP] NetHappeinings 3/12/19 #K12 #CPO

#NetHappenings @Nethappenings

3/12/19 #Web30 The World Wide Web turns 30 today!

Do you remember what life was like 30 years ago, pre-www,  when cyber-utopians heralded the new era of human collaboration and communication to  the underworld of social media posts called  ‘e-bile’?

Who Invented the Internet?
Who Controls The Internet?
Seven people control the system at the heart of the web: the domain name system, or DNS.

NetHappenings Where Internet Pioneer Gleason Sackmann got things started.

► @NetHappenings 

► K12PlayGround TM 
1st and oldest online K12 School directory in the World ©1993 History:
Be a part of Internet History!
Find, Edit, and Submit your K12 school information.
Join a #STEAM Project link to video project  find with #hashtags
@K12PlayGround

EduTech of ND @EduTechND History: Where Internet Pioneer Gleason Sackmann got things started.
EduTech provides information technology services and education technology professional development to K-12 educators in ND.

https://twitter.com/edutechnd

Girls Go CyberStart. The 2019 Girls Go CyberStart program is a series of online challenges that allow students to act as cyber protection agents to solve cybersecurity-related puzzles and explore related topics such as cryptography and digital forensics.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

NetBSD is a free, fast, secure, and highly portable Unix-like Open Source operating system. It is available for a wide range of platforms, from large-scale servers and powerful desktop systems to handheld and embedded devices.

Marcus J. Ranum, #Computer and #NetworkSecurity Researcher is now discussing our assumptions about #ComputerSecurity at #govsatcom 2019 #CyberSecurity #Luxembourg

2011 “The Internet will remain as insecure as it is possible to be and still function. ” -Marcus Ranum

► Amnesty Demands Israel Revoke NSO’s License After Haaretz Report on Firm’s Negotiations With Saudis Israeli Firm’s Spyware Was Used to Track Khashoggi

► Coinbase’s Newest Team Members Helped Authoritarians Worldwide Monitor Journalists and Dissidents H — king team
https://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/26/fear-this-man-cyber-warfare-hacking-team-david-vincenzetti/

Never underestimate power, never underestimate fame. And our nation is run on loyalty, whether it be in Congress or your own little home, we’re positively tribal. Being rich and famous does not entitle you to break society’s rules. From time immemorial the wealthy have paid for silence, look at banks and offshore tax accounts.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

How much less California spends on each public school student than other states.
$25.4k per student in NYC, $16.7k in PA and $10.4k here in California.
How do young families keep moving  to CA?

Rankings of the States 2017 and Estimates of School Statistics 2018

California is 41st in the nation in per pupil K-12 spending

California is “No. 1 in per prisoner” spending.

Mostly True: You are shocked because the stats are bunk. Look at how much California teachers make (2nd highest in US) and then ask how overall spending could rank 41st? Answer: the 41st stat, like the $10.4k per student stat, has been helpfully “adjusted” to eliminate salary differences.

FALL ENROLLMENT 49,800,148 children
Average Daily Attendance 46,457,525 children

2017 High School Graduates 3,238,440 page 18

AVERAGE SALARY OF INSTRUCTIONAL STAFF 60,206 page 25
AVERAGE SALARY OF TEACHERS  58,479 page 26

How Much Federal Money follows the child out of the public school system into for profit charter follows no rules companies.

PUBLIC SCHOOL REVENUE PER STUDENT IN FALL ENROLLMENT page 29
PERCENTAGE OF COMBINED STATE & LOCAL REVENUE 49.8 page 34

The exceptions start on page 83
example: Enrollment figures only include students attending public schools and do not include those students attending private schools at public expense.

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE MONEY FROM THE LOTTERY?

Is The Lottery Shortchanging Schools?

Powerball Windfall? Schools Don’t Always Benefit From Lottery Sales

“Revenues generated from lottery have very little or no impact on overall education spending,” said Lucy Dadayan, a senior policy analyst at the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government, an Albany, New York, think tank. The reason: State legislatures often use the millions of dollars that come in from the lottery as an opportunity to reallocate other funds intended for schools from the state’s general revenue, making the overall education budget barely higher than it was before lottery money was added. “The state legislators added the funding in to the budget, and then they take it out,” said John O’Neil, communications director for the Virginia Education Association, an organization of more than 50,000 teachers and school professionals.

►Public school districts large systems that serve close to or more than 100,000 students have No Chief Privacy Officers.

Who is senior-level official who is responsible for the organization’s privacy policies and data governance in your school district?

Big Education Ape: Oakland, CA: Billionaires Will Convene to Discuss New Plans for Privatizing Public Schools | Diane Ravitch’s blog

Stats already show that Charter Schools do not graduate their students from high school.

Billionaires want all the K12 Department of Education money meant for the common good, the commons, our common wealth for their own pocket. These billionaires want the tax payers money for their own private  gain just to enrich themselves.

This has NOTHING to do with the quality of K12 Education.

The big business of selling student information and they do not protect their rights to privacy.

This is the art of the Steal.

https://www.newschools.org/about-us/team/donors/

Buying and selling the Data!

Anonymous at the top of the list
Chan Zuckerberg Foundation
Charles & Helen Schwab Foundation
The Walton Family Foundation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Perkins Hunter Foundation (Perkins family wealth started by opium drug running pirates)
The College Board
Michael & Susan Dell Foundation
John & Ann Doerr
Omidyar Network

► THERE ARE NO CHIEF PRIVACY OFFICERS IN K-12 EDUCATION

Children’s Rights K12 School Rights vs. Students Online privacy rights.

#StudentPrivacyRights

#ChiefPrivacyOfficer #CPO #K12CPO

STUDENT RIGHTS TO PRIVACY AND K12 SCHOOL RIGHTS VS. STUDENTS ONLINE PRIVACY RIGHTS.
and

DO YOU KNOW WHAT YOUR STATE IS COLLECTING ABOUT YOUR CHILD?There isn’t a single school district with a K-12 CPO. In fact, it is still extremely rare for districts to hire even one full-time employee dedicated to privacy.

Student Privacy Bill Protection : No Parental Consent Needed for Data Mining

Anyone who tells you they don’t need privacy because they “have nothing to hide” is a sheep that will enable a total surveillance state. Just don’t do it. Privacies protect our basic human rights.

► This story on IBM hoovering up millions of Flickr photos to power its facial recognition machine learning is fascinating and a nightmare

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

: “Screen-grabbed from Facebook: a teacher had her students turn their phone volume up and create a collective record

Alex Stamos on Twitter: “This explains how Facebook plans to monetize a unified, 2 billion user end-to-end encrypted messaging service. I can’t think of a tech project with a more important privacy/safety balancing act than this one. I hope my friends working on it start public discussions on that.

Bob Lefsetz Zuckerberg’s Blog Post
A Privacy-Focused Vision for Social Networking
This isn’t about privacy, this is about MONOPOLY!

 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

COLLEGE ADMISSIONS IS BRIBED

A few months ago I was interviewing a college admissions coach who told me the following about how big of a donation it takes to get a child into an Ivy no questions asked: “There’s a certain magic number. It’s way higher than people think: $10 million.”

“what it takes to break into the 1% in various countries

$25 million nationwide college admissions cheating scam

“This case is about the widening corruption of elite college admissions through the steady application of wealth combined with fraud,” Andrew Lelling, the U.S. attorney for the District of Massachusetts, said at a news conference. According to Lelling, the ringleader of the scam is William Singer, owner of a college counseling service called Key Worldwide Foundation, who accepted bribes totaling $25 million from parents between 2011 and 2018 “to guarantee their children’s admission to elite schools.”
“The parents are a catalog of wealth and privilege,” Lelling said. “They include, for example, the CEOs of private and public companies, successful securities and real estate investors, two well-known actresses, a famous fashion designer and the co-chairman of a global law firm.”
Also named as defendants in the indictment are Robert Zangrillo, founder and CEO of the private investment firm Dragon Global; Bill Glashan, a businessman and international private equity investor; and Gordon Caplan, a New York attorney.

► Former PIMCO CEO Doug Hodge Named In Fraud Complaint Alongside Aunt Becky From “Full House”
Imagine surviving years of working with Bill Gross only to be taken down by bribing your kid into college. Um, Doug? You do have to talk in code. You’re doing a fraud.
JFC, you’d think a guy who spent that much time with Bill Gross would know how to bullshit properly.

How a Bicoin Evangelist Made Himself Vanish, in 15 (Not So Easy) Steps
#10 Buy a decoy house to fool the D.M.V.
Dozens of companies leaked sensitive data thanks to misconfigured Box accounts
Hospitals have ‘holy grail of personal data, ‘ yet their spending lags on 
digital security
Car alarms with security flaws put 3 million vehicles at risk of hijack
Drop Huawei or See Intelligence Sharing Pared Back, U.S. Tells Germany
Defense tech founded by Trump’s most prominent Silicon Valley supporters wins secretive military AI contract
Dreamers and Dropouts: Stories From Stanford, Cradle of Unicorns: The Good and the Bad of Stanford’s Massively Successful Startup Scene
Yes: a flying, jet-powered motorcycle As spec’ed out, the commercial speeder will weigh 231 lbs and be powered by four jet engines fueled with kerosene, diesel or Jet-A fuel. An ultralight version of the speeder will fly 60mph and won’t require a pilot’s license; alternatively, an experimental version of the craft will be able to fly over 150mph, but will require a formal license to fly. That aircraft should also have 30 minutes of flight time with 1200lbs of max thrust and a flight ceiling of 15,000 feet, though JetPack fully admits that most of its customers won’t need that…
Cyberization means it’s not your daddy’s war anymore: Kurdish rebels are exploiting an app to befriend and get information from Turkish soldiers. Reminiscent of the dating apps used by Hamas recently to spy on Israeli soldiers.

 NYC Media Lab newletter – https://nycmedialab.org/data/
How AI Will Rewire Us
Nicholas A. Christakis, Sterling Professor of Social and Natural Science at Yale and author of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society, believes AI is the only general purpose technology (GPT) that will fundamentally change our relations towards each other. If you look at any other GPT – the steam engine, electricity, the internet – these have changed everything around us except our “love, friendship, cooperation, and teaching” – what Christakis calls our evolutionary social suite. In this Atlantic piece, he explores how AI will be the first GPT to affect our social suite. Christakis noticed some peculiar things at his Yale lab. For one, when you include a cheerful bot who admits to occasional mistakes in a group assignment, the humans in the group work better together, vs. groups with bland robots. This holds true in larger experiments, with thousands of participants: “groups with mistake-prone bots consistently outperformed groups containing bots that did not make mistakes”. ~ Joly MacFie

John Gilmore  **Copyright seizure approaching** SpaCCS 2019 CFP (10+SIs): The 12th International Conference on Security, Privacy and Anonymity in Computation, Communication and Storage

Don’t submit your paper to this conference!  When researchers refuse to
supply their papers to the publishers who extort monopoly fees from
academic librarians, they have found the easiest way to tear down these
monopolies.

If you submit any paper to this conference, you will be forced
to assign your entire copyright in the paper to “Springer Nature
Switzerland AG”, now and forever, for their profit and your loss
and the public’s loss (see below).

Jun Feng is a program chair.  He should know to warn authors that
the whole conference is a scam on academic authors, which steals their
copyrights in order to extract large fees from academic libraries.  But
perhaps he did not mention this because he’s helping to run the scam.

I recommend publishing your work in Open Access conferences and journals in which (1) you are free to retain your copyright and control your
rights, and (2) the public is free to read your paper without paying
exhorbitant fees to a walled-garden publisher that prevents public
access to your scholarship.  See
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_access

For example, the USENIX
Association runs many respected conferences and does Open Access
publication of their proceedings (https://www.usenix.org/).  The Public
Library of Science journals are also Open Access
(https://www.plos.org/).  Open access publishing increases your impact,
because all potential readers can actually read your paper.  Many
funders and academic institutions *require* that your work be published
with open access, because they have seen how the academic publishing
monopoly has damaged academic libraries (and science in general).

For general info about the highly profitable scams around academic
publishing, see:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academic_publishing#Publishers_and_business_aspects

Jun Feng <junfeng989@gmail.com> wrote:

Papers must be clearly presented in English, must not exceed 14 pages (or
up to 20 pages with the pages over length charge) in Springer LNCS format (
https://www.springer.com/gp/computer-science/lncs/conference-proceedings-guidelines),

Lawsuits put Texas school finance system on trial

Lawsuits put Texas school finance system on trial
Published: October 22, 2012 Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Attorneys representing around 600 school districts argued Monday that Texas’ school financing system is so “hopelessly broken” that it violates the state Constitution while keeping students from being prepared for the well-paying jobs of tomorrow.
The state countered that, even though the system is flawed, it’s nowhere near a crisis point.
Six lawsuits have been filed on behalf of about two-thirds of school districts, which educate about 75 percent of the state’s roughly 5 million students. They have been rolled into a single case which opened before state District Judge John Dietz in Austin. The trial is expected to last into January.
The Texas Constitution guarantees an “efficient system of public free schools,” but the plaintiffs say many schools can’t provide an adequate education because the way they are funded is inefficient and unfair. Districts in rich and poor parts of the state are on the same side in the matter because Texas relies on a “Robin Hood” scheme in which districts with high property values or abundant revenue from oil or natural gas taxes turn over part of what they collect in property taxes to poorer districts.
“The system of school finance, as we see it, is hopelessly broken,” said Rick Gray, who represents more than 400 districts mostly in poorer areas of the state. All the plaintiffs “are a united front in our belief that the system is unconstitutional,” he said in his opening statement, adding that “the stakes are simply too high to ignore anymore.”
The lawsuits were filed after the Legislature cut $4 billion in state funding to schools and another $1.4 billion for grant programs in 2011. The plaintiffs note the money was cut even though Texas’ population has boomed and the number of low-income students has skyrocketed. Students from low-income families generally cost more to educate because many require instruction to learn English or participate in costly remedial programs outside the classroom.
Meanwhile, Texas has imposed increasingly more-difficult standardized tests that high school students must pass to graduate. The districts claim that funding cuts have forced them to layoff teachers, increase class sizes and cut back on education programs – all steps that ultimately leave their students less prepared for tougher exams.
“The bar has been raised and yet one hand has been tied behind school administrators’ backs,” Gray said.
He said experts will testify in coming days that, if current educational trends continue, the earning power of Texas residents forced to settle for low-wage jobs will decline so much that it will cost the state $11 billion in lost tax revenue by 2050.
The state Attorney General’s office says that because Texas places great emphasis on local control of its school districts, shortcomings are the fault of individual districts.
Texas funded schools beyond the rate of inflation and enrollment growth between 2006 and 2010, and even with the 2011 cuts, districts still need “to show they are spending their money efficiently,” Assistant Attorney General Shelly Dahlberg said.
“Superintendents’ wish lists” include items like iPads for students, and districts offer programs, such as sports and extracurricular activities, that aren’t required by the state, she said. Dahlberg also noted that districts pay teachers based on seniority, not student performance.
Standardized testing requirements that began last year are being phased in gradually and won’t fully be required to graduate at least until 2015, Dahlberg said. She also predicted that “almost every single” superintendent eventually called to testify in the case will concede that they expect their students’ test scores to continue improving over time – regardless of funding levels.
“I would suggest that we might have an impending crisis, but today it is not a crisis,” Dahlberg said. “And we do not believe the plaintiffs can meet their burden of proof to show that it is.”
Legal battles over school finance are nothing new in Texas; the case that began Monday is the sixth of its kind since 1984.
In 1993, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that it took $3,500 per student for schools to meet state standards, a figure which Gray said now equals around $6,600 when adjusted for inflation. But he said only 233 of Texas’ 1,024 school districts can raise that amount because of state-imposed caps on how much they can collect in property taxes.
Also, districts considered property-wealthy collect on average about $2,000 more per student per year than those in poorer districts – even though they charge on average 8 cents less per dollar paid by area residents in property taxes. Gray said that works out to a discrepancy of about $64,000 per classroom each year.
Attorneys for other plaintiffs told the judge that it costs more to educate the growing number of students who are poor or don’t speak English as a native language.
David Hinojosa, who represents the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that 60 percent of Texas students now receive free or reduced-price lunches at school, and as Texas enrollment grows by 80,000 students per year, as many as 95 percent of those new students are from low-income families.
Mark Trachtenberg, arguing on behalf of mostly property-wealthy districts, noted the state’s growing Hispanic population now means roughly one in five students requires extra instruction in English.
“This is not a future crisis,” he said, “it is a present crisis.”
http://www.bradenton.com/2012/10/22/4247997/texas-schools-head-to-trial-over.html