This post will be short. Did you watch the State of the Union last night? I spent the 9 o’clock hour tuned intoĀ Alaska: The Last Frontier, a very interesting show on the Discovery Channel about how families survive living in the wilderness.

If you want a quick summary of the SOTU or even a good laugh, watch the 15-minute clip below. šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚šŸ˜‚Ā (more on the women in white later šŸ˜‰)


Feds & Technology

In the last few days, several reports have emerged outlining steps the United States Federal Government is taking in realm of (personal) technology. These accounts are in line with what I recently told you in a post about Smart Speakers. When it comes to technology,Ā privacy/security trumps EVERYTHING and the three (3) reports below are proof that theĀ contentious convergence of government and technology is here to stay.

Here’s what you need to know:

Amazon, Google, Microsoft… Selling face-snooping tech to the Feds (The Register)

  • Why should you care?Ā More than 85 advocacy groups focused on a diverse set of social issues, including racial justice, religious liberty, civil rights, human rights, and immigrant rights have raised concerns about this practice, including the ACLU.
  • You can read the full text of their letterĀ here.

“History has clearly taught us that the government will exploit technologies like face surveillance to target communities of color, religious minorities, and immigrants.”

Feds Can’t Force You To Unlock Your iPhone…. With Finger Or Face (Forbes)

  • Why should you care? The judge says all logins are equal. In the past, they couldn’t force you to give up your pass code, now fingerprints, facial recognition (or other future innovations… i.e. voice) are also included. Forcing you to do this could be the equivalent of forcing you to self incriminate.

ā€œIf a person cannot be compelled to provide a pass code because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide oneā€™s finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device,ā€ the judge wrote.

Feds to allow drones toĀ to fly over crowds at night… andĀ make routine night flightsĀ (ABC)

  • Why should you care? Rogue drones have been used to carry bombs on battlefields, to deliver contraband to prisoners, to interfere with firefighters and, last month, to cripple the operations of a major airport.
  • Last year, Congress approved a measure that will let the government develop a system to identify and hack or shoot down drones that authorities deem threatening.
  • Do these statements make you feel safe?

“Drones can collect massive amounts of sensitive data from people and can be equipped with facial recognition technology as well as license plate reading software”

Suzette Kemp is the Federal Government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO) appointed by President Donald Trump.Ā The federal CIO is charged with driving government wide technology policy, leading the federal CIO Council and often putting out unexpected IT fires. She has recently said her office is crafting legislation to provide the government with ā€œguardrailsā€ for how to incorporate the technologies and ensure they donā€™t possess bias that runs counter to the mission of agencies (FedScoop).

The 13th

The 13th… as in the 13th Amendment. Have you ever read the exact text? I admit that I have not. Sure, I link to think that I generally know what it is about – it’s what freed slaves. Ava DuBernay, directorĀ of Selma, is bringing a history lesson to us all in the form of a Netflix documentary:

via Netlix: The title of Ava DuVernayā€™s extraordinary and galvanizing documentary 13TH refers to the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which reads:

ā€œNeither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States.ā€

Netflix further writes: The progression from that second qualifying clause to the horrors of mass criminalization and the sprawling American prison industry is laid out by DuVernay with bracing lucidity. With a potent mixture of archival footage and testimony from a dazzling array of activists, politicians, historians, and formerly incarcerated women and men, DuVernay creates a work of grand historical synthesis. On Netflix October 7.

Pay very close attention to the text in bold. Slavery is indeed LEGAL, IF it is being used asĀ punishment for a crime. Did you know that? I certainly did not. One thing is for sureĀ –Ā on Friday, October 7th I will be glued to my iPad watching this documentary! You can check out the trailer below.

Stay woke people!


How to Vote in Every State

Voting can be tough because each state has different requirements. Some require ID’s, some don’t. Some state’s deadlines to register are in October; others are not. So how do you keep track? YouTube via the channel “How to Vote in Every State”. Simply pick your state and that’s it! Find your state’s video here. Also, below each video there is a link that takes you directly to the site where you can sign up. #vote ā€¼ļø


Google now shows campaign financing in search results

Google is making it easier to access the 2016 presidential candidates financial information. Announced today, you can now find results for the following directly in theĀ search results:Ā how their campaigns are funded (aka who owns them).

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If you’re wondering where this financial data comes from (you always should), Google shared it’s partner in the announcement itself,Ā the Center for Responsive Politics. The upfrontĀ information provided is great!

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But what if you want more details? If you click on More Information (directly below the charts), you can get a breakdown of every dollar by industry, like the graphic below forĀ Hillary Clinton.

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