Sunday, April 27, 2014

Odd and / or disturbing news of the day April 27 , 2014 -- The Minority Report ( movie ) comes to life ? Twitter allegedly now can predict crime and quick , obvious questions spring to the mind - The big question is, does it work? For Greber, the answer is a firm “sometimes.” “It helps for some, and it hurts for others,” he says .............. JP Morgan decides in 2014 to suddenly decide to close hundreds of porn performers bank accounts by May 11 , 2014 - based on this 2012 FDIC warning ( Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that included adult entertainment on a list of businesses that might have a higher risk of consumer fraud. The warning, however, does not require banks to refuse services to those in the porn industry. ) And is Bank of America following suit ? ? And what is special about May 11 , 2014 ( Eastern Regions of Ukraine Referendums set for May 11 , 2014 come to mind , surely just a coincidence . ) .......... MEET AISIGHT – THE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE SOFTWARE BEING INSTALLED ON CCTV NETWORKS GLOBALLY .......... PHONE COMPANY BID TO KEEP DATA FROM N.S.A. IS REJECTED



April 27, 2014
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Police departments in New York City may soon be using geo-tagged tweets to predict crime. It sounds like a far-fetched sci-fi scenario a la Minority Report, but when I contacted Dr. Matthew Greber, the University of Virginia researcher behind the technology, he explained that the system is far more mathematical than metaphysical. 

The system Greber has devised is an amalgam of both old and new techniques. Currently,many police departments target hot spots for criminal activity based on actual occurrences of crime. This approach, called kernel density estimation (KDE), involves pairing a historical crime record with a geographic location and using a probability function to calculate the possibility of future crimes occurring in that area. While KDE is a serviceable approach to anticipating crime, it pales in comparison to the dynamism of Twitter’s real-time data stream, according to Dr. Gerber’s research paper “Predicting Crime Using Twitter and Kernel Density Estimation”.

Dr. Greber’s approach is similar to KDE, but deals in the ethereal realm of data and language, not paperwork. The system involves mapping the Twitter environment; much like how police currently map the physical environment with KDE. The big difference is that Greber is looking at what people are talking about in real time, as well as what they do after the fact, and seeing how well they match up. The algorithms look for certain language that is likely to indicate the imminent occurrence of a crime in the area, Greber says. “We might observe people talking about going out, getting drunk, going to bars, sporting events, and so on—we know that these sort of events correlate with crime, and that’s what the models are picking up on.”

Once this data is collected, the GPS tags in tweets allows Greber and his team to pin them to a virtual map and outline hot spots for potential crime. However, everyone who tweets about hitting the club later isn’t necessarily going to commit a crime. Greber tests the accuracy of his approach by comparing Twitter-based KDE predictions with traditional KDE predictions based on police data alone. The big question is, does it work? For Greber, the answer is a firm “sometimes.” “It helps for some, and it hurts for others,” he says.




April 26, 2014
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The nation’s largest bank has decided it will no longer take the money of adult entertainment actors.

JPMorgan Chase recently notified customers who work in adult films that they must close all of their accounts with the bank by May 11. Chase gave no reason for the closures in the hundreds of letters they sent out.

Some of those affected, like Dakota Skye, reacted angrily to the notifications. She tweeted: “#Chase has f*cked with people before with other issues. Should not get away with sh*t like this,” according to XBIZ, an industry newsletter.

Others found that taking their banking elsewhere also proved frustrating. Performer Teagan Presley said Bank of America rejected her when she tried to open an account.

JPMorgan Chase was sued last year by Marc Greenberg, founder of the soft porn studio MRG Entertainment, for refusing to refinance a loan due to his work.

“JPMorgan purports to be so ashamed of nudity and human sexuality that it cannot process a refinance of a home loan of plaintiff, secured by plaintiff’s house, because plaintiff’s source of income six years ago included production of television programs that contained nudity and human sexuality,” his lawsuit stated.

The bank also generated news in March when it refused to process transactions by the condom company Lovability, claiming it was too adult-oriented for JPMorgan Chase’s reputation. Officials later reversed their position and went back to handling Lovability’s money.

Banks have been able to take this stand since a 2012 warning by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation that included adult entertainment on a list of businesses that might have a higher risk of consumer fraud. The warning, however, does not require banks to refuse services to those in the porn industry.

-Noel Brinkerhoff
To Learn More:

Look Who's Talking, Porn Mogul Tells Bank (by William Dotinga, Courthouse News Service)



April 27, 2014
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A telephone company asked the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in January to stop requiring it to give records of its customers’ calls to the National Security Agency, in light of a ruling by a Federal District Court judge that the N.S.A. program is likely unconstitutional, according to court papers declassified on Friday.

But Judge Rosemary M. Collyer, another Federal District Court judge who also sits on the secret surveillance court, rejected the request — and her colleague’s legal analysis — in a 31-page ruling on March 20, the newly declassified papers show. The identity of the phone company was censored in the documents that were made public.

The developments heighten the display of legal tensions over the program. Since 2006, a series of judges on the secret surveillance court have repeatedly ordered companies to participate in the program, but none of them produced a judicial opinion explaining why it was legally justified until after it became public in the leaks by the former N.S.A. contractor Edward J. Snowden.

Since then, some outsiders have challenged the legality of the bulk records collection. The critics include Judge Richard J. Leon, who ruled in December that the program was likely to violate the Fourth Amendment. Judges Collyer and Leon were both appointed by President George W. Bush in 2002 for the Federal District Court for the District of Columbia.

On Jan. 22, the unnamed phone company asked the surveillance court to vacate the current order requiring it to turn over customers’ records in light of Judge Leon’s ruling. But Judge Collyer said she found Judge Leon’s analysis to be “unpersuasive.”



April 25, 2014
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If you thought that CCTV cameras tracking your every move in public was bad enough, you’re going to just love AISight (pronounced “eyesight” of course). The invention of a Houston, Texas based company called BRS Labs (which stands for Behavioral Recognition Systems) is headed by former secret service special agent John Frazzini, and this Orwellian surveillance platform brings artificial intelligence to all of those creepy cameras that have been installed everywhere around you.
Apparently, this system is currently being installed in Boston, and has already been implemented in Chicago and Washington. In the event you live in these cities, I bet you’ve never heard of AISight, and more importantly, I bet there’s been little to no public debate.

The most disturbing part about this platform is that this artificial intelligence defines what is “normal” behavior and anything that falls outside of that narrow band can be flagged for “pre crime” potential. Ultimately, if these things are allowed to proliferate, it will condition humans to behave like zombie automatons fearful that anything interesting or creative might be viewed as criminal.


What’s more, AISight permanently learns and registers when changes in normal behavior occur, so no ongoing programing is required from human operators. In order to do this, it employs a technology known as “artificial neural networks”, which mimics the function of the human brain.

What’s more, BRS Labs’ system is extremely easy to implement even across huge, disparate networks of outdated camera equipment. The company claims that it needs maximum of only a few days for the complete hardware and software installation.

Read the full article at: