RSF explains why Singapore’s anti-fake news bill is terrible

first_imgThis semblance of legislative process suggests that the adoption of a draconian law on the pretext of combatting fake news was planned well in advance. Last December, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong surprised everyone by suddenly announcing that early elections could be held before the end of 2019. Follow the news on Singapore News The bill’s extremely vague formulations provide government ministers with an almost absolute power of interpretation. In particular, the procedure for challenging a minister’s decision to censor online content borders on the absurd. As a first step, a request can be sent to the minister’s office asking the minister to reconsider, although political practice suggests that chances of ministers disowning their own decisions are low. News Self-regulation Loose wording Help by sharing this information By giving the government’s members an almost entirely free hand to control content circulating online, this proposed anti-fake news law would in reality be a horrifying tool for censoring and intimidating online media outlets and Internet users. News sites or citizen-journalists who fail to comply with a censorship order are exposed to penalties that are, to say the least, dissuasive: up to a year in prison and 20,000 Singaporean dollars (13,000 euros) for an individual and 500,000 Singaporean dollars (330,000 euros) for a website. “It is not up to the government to arbitrarily determine what is and is not true,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “In its current form, this Orwellian law establishes nothing less than a ‘ministry of truth’ that would be free to silence independent voices and impose the ruling party’s line. We condemn this bill in the strongest possible terms because, in both form and substance, it poses unacceptable obstacles to the free flow of journalistically verified information.” Among those who appeared before the commission was freelance journalist Kirsten Han. She participated in a stormy hearing together with Terry Xu, the editor of The Online Citizen news website, who has been harassed by the police. Afterwards, she said she was “horrified” to see her views “so drastically misrepresented” in an official summary of the hearing. Receive email alerts Government ministers are given even more discretionary powers in article 61, which says: “the minister may, by order in the Gazette, exempt any person or class of person from any provision of this act.” In other words, the government can allow any pro-government entity to disseminate fake news with complete impunity. Singapore is ranked 151st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index. The bill combines loose wording with catch-all formulations that extend the range of applicability of the penalties to absolutely all content circulating online. Right from the start, in the preliminary section on definitions, article 2 says: “a statement is false when it is false or misleading.” On the basis of this tautology, the bill grants every government minister the right to issue a directive censoring, correcting or blocking access to online content that threatens what the minister considers to be “in the public interest” without satisfactorily explaining this concept (article 4). Similarly articles 4, 7, 8 and 9 allow ministers to take measures against any entity in order to “prevent a diminution of public confidence in […] the government [or] an organ of state.” Government’s discretionary power Biased legislative process to go further RSF_en SingaporeAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetCitizen-journalistsWhistleblowersFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment Coronavirus: State measures must not allow surveillance of journalists and their sources RSF’s denounces Singapore’s disregard of press freedom ahead of its Universal Periodic Review The problem of online fake news is a real one, but the Singaporean government’s response, in the form of the Protection From Online Falsehoods and Manipulation Bill that was presented to parliament on 1 April, is completely inappropriate.center_img The blogger Han Hui Hui told RSF that, after initially receiving an invitation to appear before the committee, she was led up the garden path by parliamentary officials. “They regularly changed the date and time of my hearing, and then finally cancelled it,” she said. Although the hearings were supposed to be public, she was arbitrarily expelled from the room where they were taking place on 29 March and was held for several hours. An anti-fake news bill that the Singaporean government submitted to the city-state’s parliament a week ago would, if adopted in its current form, pose a major obstacle to the freedom to inform in Singapore and beyond, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) explains in the following analysis. SingaporeAsia – Pacific Protecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independence InternetCitizen-journalistsWhistleblowersFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment April 10, 2020 Find out more The intention to draft an anti-fake news law was announced in June 2017 by law and home affairs minister K. Shanmugam, who called it “a no-brainer.” A special committee consisting of government ministers and parliamentarians was set up in March 2018 to hear representatives from the media and new technology sectors and take account of their recommendations. In this regard, one of the bill’s provisions seems made to measure. As ministers cannot exercise their functions in the usual manner during an election period because parliament has been dissolved, article 52 says that the minister’s powers can be exercised by an “alternate authority appointed by the (…) minister.” In other words, ministers can appoint close aides to issue the censorship orders. Hidden agenda Given that 2018 was marked by a corruption scandal and a family dispute over his father’s will, one can understand the prime minister’s interest in suppressing all unwanted reporting during the election campaign. Singaporean website prosecuted over election coverage “Internet intermediaries,” meaning online platforms such as Facebook or Twitter, face a similar penalty under article 34. In other words, everything possible is done to encourage intermediaries to exercise prior censorship and encourage self-censorship on the part of those who might otherwise disseminate content at variance with the government line. RSF has long been concerned about the possibility that governments could adopt laws that use combatting fake news as a pretext for imposing censorship. In response, RSF launched an innovative self-regulatory initiative a year ago called the Journalism Trust Initiative (JTI), which aims to promote trustworthy journalism by giving concrete advantages to media outlets that adhere to journalistic standards. October 2, 2020 Find out more Organisation October 15, 2020 Find out more News But the report that the committee handed to the government last September concealed many of the comments made by the persons who had appeared before it. And the deep reserves expressed by tech giant representatives were carefully excluded. The anti-fake news law proposed by Prime minister Lee Hsien Loong’s government is a horrifying tool for censoring and intimidating online media outlets and Internet users (photo: Lillian Suwanrumpha / AFP – design: D. Bastard / RSF). Disproportionate penalties RSF was itself invited to appear before the committee, but declined on the grounds that it preferred to get a better idea of what was being proposed and then give its recommendations. Although private, the exchange of emails on this subject were published in the pro-government Singaporean media. April 8, 2019 RSF explains why Singapore’s anti-fake news bill is terrible News Internet access providers can be fined up to 20,000 Singaporean dollars a day until they comply with a ministerial directive to remove content or “correct” it in line with the government’s version. As a second step, an appeal against a ministerial directive can be made to the high court under article 35. But few independent news websites and even fewer citizen-journalists will have the time, energy and resources to prepare and submit an appeal which, on the basis of previous court decisions, will have very little chance of prospering. And, even if the court does finally rule in favour of the appeal, the minister’s censorship order remains in effect until the court’s decision.last_img read more

CDC keeps N-95 recommendation in H1N1 health worker guidance

first_imgOct 14, 2009 (CIDRAP News) – The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) today issued eagerly awaited recommendations on pandemic H1N1 infection control in healthcare settings, which affirms its earlier guidance on N-95 respirators but spells out other options for when the respirators are in short supply.New features in the 17-page report include criteria for identifying suspected influenza patients, suggested isolation periods, methods for balancing isolation precautions, and a more detailed hierarchy for prevention controls.On Sep 3 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) affirmed the CDC’s original guidance that healthcare workers caring for H1N1 patients wear fit-tested N-95 respirators, not surgical masks, as protection against the virus. The IOM report also called for more research on flu transmission and the efficacy of different respiratory protection methods.Today’s CDC guidance came with a caveat that the recommendations will be updated if new information becomes available.N-95 use in pandemic H1N1 settings has been somewhat controversial; some professional groups oppose routine use of N-95s in flu settings because research on their efficacy has been inconclusive, and many workers find them uncomfortable to wear for long periods.Recent research has not exactly settled the score. One unpublished study conducted at a hospital in Beijing found that N-95 respirators greatly outperformed surgical masks in protecting workers from flu viruses.Another study published earlier this month in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed mask protection as rivaling that of N-95s. Some experts, though, have pointed to shortcomings of that study, such as a lack of a control group to account for health workers becoming infected outside the workplaceHierarchy of preventive stepsIn today’s guidance the CDC advised facilities to use a hierarchy of controls to prevent flu transmission, starting with eliminating potential exposures such as postponing elective visits by patients who have influenza-like symptoms.Engineering controls were next, which might involve installing partitions in triage areas or other public spaces. Administrative controls included employee vaccination and enforcing rules about working when sick and implementing respiratory or cough hygiene strategies.Personal protective equipment (PPE) was ranked lowest on the hierarchy list, because it is the last line of defense when other measures can’t be controlled.The CDC emphasized that focusing on the three other prevention levels could reduce the reliance on PPE. “This is an especially important consideration during the current year, when shortages of respirators have already been reported by many healthcare facilities,” the guidance states.Specifics on N-95s, isolationThe CDC based its N-95 recommendation on several factors, including low levels of population immunity to the new virus, the rise of virus activity before the vaccine is available, and the increased risk of complications in some healthcare personnel, such as pregnant women.Given that the respirators are likely to be in short supply, the CDC recommends reserving them for situations when protection is most important, such as during aerosol-generating procedures.When shortages exist, the CDC urges facilities to consider prioritizing respirator use, keeping in mind workers’ intensity and duration of exposure, personal risk factors for complications, and vaccination status. Workers who don’t receive N-95s should receive surgical masks.Because patients with more severe illnesses are likely to shed the virus longer than those with milder infections, the CDC recommends a longer isolation period for hospitalized patients.It says isolation precautions for those with flu symptoms should continue for 7 days after illness onset or 24 hours after fever and respiratory symptoms subside, whichever is longer. Longer periods may be needed for certain patients, such as those with severe immune system compromise or those who may be shedding antiviral-resistant viruses.Some opposing viewsToday’s release of the CDC guidelines drew a mixed reaction from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA).Though SHEA praised the CDC’s call for a multipronged approach for preventing flu transmission in healthcare settings, it knocked the N-95 respirator recommendation. SHEA said in a press release that it had urged the CDC, based on clinical and scientific evidence, to replace its N-95 recommendation with surgical masks for routine care of flu patients.Mark Rupp, MD, president of SHEA and an infectious disease specialist at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said in the statement that N-95s aren’t necessary or practical for protecting healthcare workers and their patients against the H1N1 virus. “The best science available leaves no doubt that the best way to protect people is by vaccinating them,” he said.When the IOM issued its report last month, the Association of Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) also criticized the recommendation to wear N-95s, saying that the guidance fails to take into account many practical and logistical problems linked to their use, such as discomfort, costs, shortages, and the difficulty of fit testing.The World Health Organization recommends only standard and droplet precautions for healthcare workers who have routine contact with flu patients. Canada recently called for N-95 use only during aerosol-generating procedures.SHEA suspects that the CDC was pressured by labor unions to recommend N-95 respirators, despite evidence that they don’t offer any extra protection in droplet transmission diseases such as pandemic H1N1.Continuing to recommend N-95s for routine care of flu patients might have unintended consequences, Rupp said in the statement. “We could actually put healthcare workers at greater risk by further reducing an already short supply of a device that is needed for high-risk procedures such as bronchoscopy by using it for routine care.”He said the N-95 debate has distracted hospitals and clinics from attention toward investing in other measures for controlling the spread of the virus, such as rigorous application of basic infection control tactics and rapid identification and separation of patients who have the virus.”We understand the role of the CDC in providing reassurance during a period of evolving evidence, and we urge the CDC to continue to revisit its recommendations as new data becomes available,” Rupp said.See also:Oct 14 CDC interim guidance on infection control measures for pandemic H1N1 in the healthcare settingOct 14 CDC Q&A document on above guidanceSep 3 CIDRAP News story “IOM affirms CDC guidance on N95 use in H1N1 setting”Sep 17 CIDRAP News story “Study on respirators versus masks hailed as landmark”Oct 2 CIDRAP News story “Study suggests masks rival respirators for flu protection”last_img read more

Other Sports India announces 18-member squad for Australia Series

first_imgRupinder is returning to the squad after a long injury lay-off.Manpreet Singh will lead the hockey team. The tour will feature four matches. highlights For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps. P R Sreejesh and Krishan B Pathak are the two goalkeepers, while the backline, which also features Surender, Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Gurinder Singh and Kothajit Singh, will be bolstered by the return of Rupinder. The 25-year-old Jalandhar-born Jaskaran will make his debut in the Indian midfield along side Hardik Singh, Manpreet, Vivek Sagar Prasad and Nilakanta Sharma.The forward-line will consist of Akashdeep Singh — who was rested for the season opener in Ipoh — along with Armaan Qureshi, Mandeep Singh, Sumit Kumar Jr and Gursahibjit Singh.”This tour will provide me with a great chance to get to know this group of players. It comprises a well-balanced mix, including some younger players, a debutant and a player coming back from long-term injury,” new chief coach Reid said. “To be able to play four matches against a world class opposition including a match against club side Western Australia Thundersticks will be a great opportunity to test our players under pressure. It provides the ideal preparation for FIH Men’s Hockey Series Final in June,” he added.The tour will feature four matches — two against Australia national side, one against Australia ‘A’ and one against Western Australia.Squad:Goalkeepers: Krishan B Pathak, P R SreejeshDefenders: Rupinder Pal Singh, Surender Kumar (Vice-Captain), Harmanpreet Singh, Birendra Lakra, Gurinder Singh, Kothajit SinghMidfielders: Hardik Singh, Manpreet Singh (Captain), Jaskaran Singh, Vivek Sagar Prasad, Nilakanta SharmaForwards: Mandeep Singh, Gursahibjit Singh, Akashdeep Singh, Sumit Kumar Jr, Armaan Qureshi. New Delhi: Experienced drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh Tuesday returned to the Indian men’s hockey team, which also features debutant Jaskaran Singh for the tour of Australia, starting May 10. Rupinder is returning to the squad after a long injury lay-off. He last played for India at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta last year.The 18-member squad, announced Tuesday by Hockey India, will be led by mid-fielder Manpreet Singh while Surender Kumar has been named as the vice-captain. The tour, marked as a preparation for next month’s Hockey Series Final in Bhubaneswar, will be newly-appointed chief Graham Reid’s maiden assignment with the Indian team.India began the season with a silver medal at the 28th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup in Ipoh, Malaysia, where a young team with a select few seasoned players were tested against sides like Korea, Japan, Canada, Poland and Malaysia. In the Australia tour too, India will try youngsters besides testing experienced players ahead of handpicking team for the Hockey Series Final, to be held from June 6 to 15.last_img read more

‘This is not for any aul eejit’ – RTÉ presenter takes on terrifying climb at Sliabh Liag

first_imgYou can almost feel Carl Mullan’s fear as he braves the heights of Sliabh Liag for his new RTE series.The 2FM presenter recently visited Donegal to film an episode of Go Outside and Play, the new non-traditional travel series launching this week.Carl couldn’t contain his nerves, and his amazement, as he took on the One Man’s Path at Sliabh Liag. With nothing but staggering drops at either side, he soon realised it’s not for the faint-hearted. Watch a preview below:This incredible Donegal adventure will be featured in episode two of Go Outside and Play. The show will be streamed on the RTE Player from Monday 8th July. The series promises to take viewers to some of the most stunning and instagrammable spots in Ireland. Viewers will be able to follow Carl’s adventures to some of the most stunning parts of Ireland, from the ultimate sea cliff experience at Sliabh Liag to the Stairway to Heaven at the Cuilcagh Mountain Boardwalk in Co Fermanagh. Commenting on his new series, Carl said: “The whole idea for the series came about from scrolling through Instagram and coming across an image of a lake in Waterford. It’s called Coumshingaun Lake, and to be honest with you, I couldn’t believe that a place so spectacular was in Ireland. If you had said it was in Canada or Iceland I would have believed you, but Ireland? No way! “I started doing some research about places to go see in Ireland that aren’t necessarily on the front page of a tourism magazine. “We featured 6 of them, but there’s so many of them you wouldn’t believe it. “We live on an incredible little island and I hope this series will give you a sense of that. Once you’ve watched it you’ll want to call your mates, hop in the car with them and go on an adventure.” ‘This is not for any aul eejit’ – RTÉ presenter takes on terrifying climb at Sliabh Liag was last modified: July 5th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:carl mullanGo Outside and PlayRTEsliabh liagtourismlast_img read more

Coega ‘taking off in a big way’

first_img10 January 2006Coega CEO Pepi Silinga told journalists at a year-end briefing in 2004 that the Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) near Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape would secure its first tenant in 2005.In May 2005, Silinga made good on his promise, announcing that Belgian-owned Sander International Textiles was to become the development’s first tenant, in a deal worth R200-million. A high-end niche textile producer, Sander will invest the R200-million in building a sophisticated weaving mill, taking a 20-year lease on 10 of the 40 hectares allocated for the textile cluster of the IDZ.Local empowerment company Ican Foundation will own 51% of the project, which is expected to turn a profit after two to three years.Gathering momentumSince then, Coega has picked up a second tenant, German industrial group MAN Ferrostaal. Business Day reported in October that Ferrostaal had approved a €80-million (R640-million) investment for the first phase of a stainless steel precision strip mill at Coega, with a further €120-million (R960-million) envisioned in a second phase.A third tenant was announced in November. South African company Straits Chemicals will, with an Asian partner, build a chemical factory worth R1.1-billion at Coega.In addition, Canadian firm Alcan’s long-awaited decision on building an aluminium smelter at Coega is expected in the first quarter of 2006.“Coega has taken off in a big way,” Silinga told Engineering News.“If you look at the total value of investments we have signed up since May, then you can say that we have been averaging an announcement of an investment of R500-million or more in the Coega IDZ each month,” he said.SA’s largest infrastructure projectThe Coega project, comprising an industrial development complex and deepwater port 20 kilometres east of the city of Port Elizabeth, is the single largest infrastructure development project in the country since 1994.Located on the south-eastern coast of the country, in one of the poorest provinces in South Africa, the project is the first industrial development zone – and one of the largest – to be established in South Africa.The project falls in line with South Africa’s vision to be a manufacturing centre for the world; President Thabo Mbeki has officially declared the Coega IDZ a lead project in South Africa.The IDZ is already well serviced by transportation networks, a skilled labour force and utility services. It boasts world-class industrial infrastructure, including inter-modal transport linkages and cost-effective bulk services.Located in the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan Municipality, Coega is being developed by the Coega Development Corporation (CDC) on 12 000 hectares of industrial land. Although the CDC is a private company, national and provincial government are the only shareholders.The government has ploughed about R8-billion into the project, including R3.1-billion for the new port, R2-billion for infrastructure in the IDZ, and R2.1-billion by state electricity company Eskom for to upgrade the power supply. State rail company Spoornet has invested R500-million in upgrading rail facilities.Tax breakAlex Liessens, the chief executive of Sander, told Business Report that because of the size of the investment, the South African government had given the project a tax break under its strategic investment programme, which offers incentives to capital investments worth over R50-million.Construction of the Sander Textiles premises have been completed and should commence full production in the first few months of 2006. The project is expected to create over 500 permanent jobs.Coega spokesperson Vuyelwa Qinga-Vika said that Sander would produce a specialised high-end niche product – fire retardant fabrics – for the automotive and transport industries, including ocean liners and aircraft, and for the hospitality industries.The products are to be exported to North American markets, taking advantage of lower US import tariffs through the United States’ African Growth and Opportunity Act (Agoa), which favours African countries.Strategically placedOn the MAN Ferrostaal deal, Qinga-Vika said the Coega Development Corporation was working in close collaboration with the government and MAN-Ferrostaal to bring the steel mill project to finalisation.“We have the raw materials, a strategically placed location and the newest deepwater port for an easy logistics chain, and government is continually making the country one of the best locations in which to do business,” Qinga-Vika said.“As a result more investors now have Coega on their radar screen when looking at locations for investments around the world.”Construction is due to start on premises for MAN-Ferrostaal and Straits Chemicals later in reporterlast_img read more

Skills for ICT community workers

first_imgThe first phase of the programme was concluded in 2008, with the training of 765 matriculants in the International Computer Driving Licence, a globally recognised ICT literacy certification programme. At the same time, the programme would help address the shortage of skills needed to respond to South Africa’s growing ICT needs. 21 October 2009 Launching the programme in Rustenburg this week, Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda said youngsters would be recruited and trained to provide technical support in various areas, including clinics and police stations. The programme provides people between the ages of 18 and 30 “with an opportunity to contribute towards civic responsibility and reconstruction while acquiring skills to enhance their entrepreneurial capacity,” Nyanda said. “We believe that ICT can create greater access to opportunities, redress inequalities, and improve the quality of teaching and learning,” the minister said. Source: BuaNews The South African government’s e-Cadre Programme, officially launched this week, offers information and communication technology (ICT) training to unemployed youngsters from rural areas – then deploys them to help their communities access government services. The programme has already seen R8-million spent on ICT literacy training for 765 matriculants through 15 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. The programme, a partnership between the Department of Communications, the National Youth Service and 15 Further Education and Training (FET) colleges, has three phases: formal training, service deployment, and an exit strategy. Nyanda said his department had already spent about R8-million since the programme was introduced. This amount covered the tuition and assessment fees for the training, the life orientation module, a stipend and travelling and accommodation fees.last_img read more

Interview With Tim O’Reilly on Reasons to Give up Some Privacy

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market When Bad Things HappenI asked Tim what this inevitable march away from anonymity means to monks in Burma or student protesters in Iran, whose safety and ability to use technology to effect social change depends on anonymity.“I don’t really have a good answer to that,” he said. “Flickr and Youtube killed people in those places. We have to acknowledge that. People have to be aware and we could build more technology for places where you do need to be anonymous. If you’re dealing with those kinds of dangerous situations, if you’re risking your life, then you act differently than a normal person. Ultimately it is hard to remain anonymous. There are pro-privacy projects, like Tor, and it’s worth putting in place as much as possible the infrastructure for anonymity before it’s needed.”Across technology innovation and tech-facilitated social change, O’Reilly thinks there’s a big picture: the human condition is a social one and our technologies should help us build a response to oncoming crisis that’s based in that humanity.“In open source, the government space, and social media for good: we are building mechanisms for us to save ourselves, for us to work together, to remember what society is. Institutions are things we build to save ourselves. There is some bad shit coming down in our future: global warming, peak oil, wars, pandemics. It’s not always going to be happy-happy. All the stuff we’re building is going to be stuff that can help us be more adaptable, that will help us respond as a society. As Harlan Ellison wrote, ‘why else did we come all this way? To be alone?’”“We do all of this to do it together, to be together, society is a coping mechanism. Everything we do that’s good is to make easy things easier and hard things possible. That was the original Perl slogan, to make easy things easier and hard things possible, and this was originally the Perl conference.“We need to adopt that strategy in government. Right now we make easy things hard and hard things impossible.”Privacy is Up For DebateO’Reilly’s is certainly a compelling position on the relationship between privacy and innovation, but it’s not the only one. For general counterpoints, see our article Why Facebook is Wrong: Privacy is Still Important and danah boyd’s SXSW 2010 talk, Making Sense of Privacy and Publicity.What do you think? Is privacy something that technologists ought to push against the boundaries of and try to change the consequences of, for the sake of innovation and the betterment of society? Or is it realistic to expect tech companies to prioritize the protection of personal control over information, even while building out innovative services, including those built on top of personal information?Photo by Franz Patzig Tags:#Interviews#privacy#web Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… This Spring, Tim O’Reilly was surprised to find himself defending Facebook’s changes to its privacy policy. “There’s enormous advantage for users in giving up some privacy online and [so] we need to be exploring the boundary conditions,” the founder of O’Reilly Media and international technology thought leader wrote. “It’s easy to say that this should always be the user’s choice, but entrepreneurs from Steve Jobs to Mark Zuckerberg are in the business of discovering things that users don’t already know that they will want, and sometimes we only find the right balance by pushing too far, and then recovering.”That’s an interesting argument when it comes to consumer products and innovation, but I got to sit down with O’Reilly on the first day of his big OSCON conference yesterday and talk about privacy in a different context: health care, government, global cultural change and a crisis of crises.Health Data as a Resource in a Changing WorldO’Reilly told me he was recently at the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHS), talking about the kinds of things that could be done “if we could use medicare data like Google uses clickstream data.” Such organizations have a lot of fear concerning consumer privacy. “The old model of privacy isn’t taking into account any of the trade offs, and clearly people are willing to make those trade offs,” he says. “Google maps on your phone sends your location to someone else’s server every time you look something up, for example.”What kinds of services could be built using the kind of data that public and other large institutions hold? O’Reilly offered a related example of innovation built on top of previously unutilized data. Passur Aerospace is a company that wanted to do predictive analytics on air traffic data. “The airlines had the data, but they were throwing it away,” O’Reilly says. “So they set up their own network of radar stations. Now they sell predictive services to airports. Continental Airlines flights into New York that were running late went from 25 flights a day to none, because of these complex models the company was able to construct. If we had open data today, the FAA wouldn’t be throwing it away and somebody would have figured that out faster and cheaper.”A lot of that data that developers will analyze and build on top of in the future will be data about us, collectively and as individuals, O’Reilly says. “Technology is taking us a direction where more and more is known about us. I refer a lot to Jeff Jonas on this. It’s hard to be completely anonymized. I think we need a complete fresh look at what trade offs we’re making and why. A good example is health care privacy. It’s true that there are some diseases that still have stigmas around them, but our need for privacy is mostly about adverse selection from insurance companies. The problem we need to solve is adverse selection due to pre-existing conditions, not to treat the info like it’s toxic waste. If we look at the benefits of using the information – they are incredible.“One thing we can do is look at places where people have given up a fair amount of privacy and feel ok about it. The financial arena is one of those places – it’s ok to do data mining for fraud prevention.“It’s clear we’re in the middle of an incredible revolution in what technology enables. In the private sector we’re getting further and further ahead of government. We collaborate, get information on demand, our augmented reality is the military’s wet dream from a few years ago – and it’s fricking free. It’s all about access to massive cloud data at any time, when and where we need it. “In the face of that world, our policies are so hopelessly outdated. I don’t know what the right policies are going to be, but I do know they won’t be the same policies as 10 years ago, 50 years ago. They need a deep rethinking. We need to ask, what kind of outcomes do we want and how do we get there? And assume that you’re not going to stop that more and more is known about us.”O’Reilly’s Gov 2.0 conference in September will put an emphasis on bringing together leaders of industry, including finance, and government, in order to share lessons learned from working with data.last_img read more

Red Hat CEO: Go Ahead, Copy Our Software

first_imgMassive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo… 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Matt Asay Related Posts Tags:#CentOS#cloud#Competition#Linux#Open Source#Red Hat#Red Hat Enterprise Linux#VMware center_img Imagine your company spent more than $100 million developing a product. Now imagine that a competitor came along and cloned your product and distributed a near-perfect replica of it. Not good, right? If you’re Apple, you spend years and tens of millions of dollars fighting it, determined to be the one and only source of your product.If you’re Red Hat, however, you embrace it—as Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst told ReadWrite in an interview.After UnixFor years the enterprise data center was defined by expensive hardware running varieties of the Unix operating system. Over time, both Windows and Linux chewed into Unix’s market share, with Red Hat winning the bulk of the Linux spoils. The key to victory? Both Windows and Linux offered low-cost, high-value alternatives to Unix’s sky-high pricing. With Unix cowering in a corner, one would think that the battle would shift to Linux versus Windows. The reality, however, is somewhat different.As Whitehurst tells it, Red Hat “certainly competes” with Microsoft, but “generally those IT decisions are made at the architecture level before you get into a specific Linux versus Windows bake-off.” Today enterprise architecture tends to be Linux-based, while 10 years ago it was Windows, which means that more often than not, Red Hat Enterprise Linux is baked into enterprise IT decisions.“Going forward with new workloads, they are heavily Linux-based,” notes Whitehurst. As such, Whitehurst doesn’t “worry about Microsoft long-term, because it’s Red Hat and VMware that are defining future data center strategy.”Taking On VMwareAh, yes, VMware. Sun Microsystems, in its day the leading Unix vendor but now swallowed up by Oracle, once provided Red Hat with a handy villain to target. Today data-center software maker VMware is Red Hat’s Enemy Number One.The reason is simple: No other company more closely matches Red Hat’s ambitions, albeit with a very different approach. As Whitehurst emphasizes, “When you start thinking about where the future of the data center is going, VMware has a similar view to ours, but they’re doing it with a proprietary innovation model and we’re open.”How open? So open that not only is Red Hat fighting VMware with its own open-source products, but it’s also embracing clones like CentOS.While open source is increasingly established within the technology world, few understand its implications for an open-source software business. In the case of Red Hat, it develops the popular Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) operating system. But because Linux is a community-developed OS, Red Hat must release all of its Linux code to others. (Instead of charging for a software license per se, Red Hat has customers pay for a subscription that covers services and support.)This paves the way for an organization like CentOS to develop a “a Linux distribution derived from … a prominent North American Enterprise Linux vendor” which “aims to be 100% binary compatible” with that Linux vendor.It’s the imitator that dare not speak its name, but everyone knows CentOS is a like-for-like Red Hat clone. How can this possibly be good for Red Hat?Embracing The ParasiteWhile some like Microsoft have threatened Red Hat with the specter of even greater competition from CentOS, Whitehurst argues that CentOS “plays a very valuable role in our ecosystem.” How? By ensuring that Red Hat remains the Linux default:CentOS is one of the reasons that the RHEL ecosystem is the default. It helps to give us an ubiquity that RHEL might otherwise not have if we forced everyone to pay to use Linux. So, in a micro sense we lose some revenue, but in a broader sense, CentOS plays a very valuable role in helping to make Red Hat the de facto Linux.But couldn’t another Linux vendor like SuSE or Canonical, the primary backer of Ubuntu, undercut Red Hat with an equally free OS? If $0 is the magic price point, other Linux vendors can easily match that, right?Whitehurst responds: “SuSE often comes in at a lower price point than RHEL, but most people would prefer to have a common code base like RHEL plus CentOS than a cheaper but always fee-based enterprise SuSE.”In other words, only Red Hat can offer the industry’s leading Linux server OS and also offer—albeit indirectly—that same product for free.Microsoft has tacitly acknowledged a similar phenomenon: While the company spends heavily to fight piracy, founder Bill Gates noted in 1998 that illegal copies of its Windows operating system in China helped seed demand for the paid version.While I’m sure Red Hat’s salesforce doesn’t love competing with its copycat, the reality is that sales are almost certainly helped in accounts that only want RHEL for production servers and can shave costs by using CentOS for development and test servers. CentOS, in other words, gives Red Hat a lot of pricing leverage, without having to lower its prices.Embracing DevelopersArguably one critical area that CentOS hasn’t helped Red Hat is with developers. While developers want the latest and greatest technology, Red Hat’s bread-and-butter audience over the years has been operations departments, which want stable and predictable software. (Read: boring.) CentOS, by cloning RHEL’s slow-and-steady approach to Linux development, is ill-suited to attracting developers.So Red Hat is trying something different, dubbed Red Hat Software Collections. Collections includes “a collection of refreshed and supported web/dynamic languages and databases for Red Hat Enterprise Linux.” Basically, Collections give developers a more fast-moving development track within slower-moving RHEL. Or, as Whitehurst tells it, “Collections is Red Hat’s way of embracing developers while keeping its appeal for operations.”It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Red Hat has a long way to go in its goal to define the open data center, but with its embrace of CentOS to give it licensing leverage and of Collections to give it developer credibility, Red Hat is on the right track. IT + Project Management: A Love Affair Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of…last_img read more

Microsoft’s selfie Windows Phone breaks cover

first_imgAfter Microsoft acquired Nokia’s smart devices division, not much has happened on its phone side of the business. There have been a few new Lumia phones but they belong to the category of affordable phones and do not bring anything new to the table in terms of technology. Looks like this is starting to change. On Thursday, WPCentral leaked images of a phone codenamed “Superman” which is believed to be a mid-range Windows Phone with a focus on selfies.The rumour is that this phone will be the successor to the Lumia 720 and could be called the Lumia 730. It is expected to have a 5-megapixel front facing camera. This will make the Lumia 730 a Windows phone with biggest front-facing image sensor. That said, we have seen 5-megapixel front-facing cameras on many Android smartphones. In fact, a few phones even sport 8-megapixel camera.Besides  the big front camera, the phone is expected to have a 4.7-inch display. Going by the leaked images it is expected to run on the Windows Phone 8.1 Debian Red update. No details are known about this update.A phone internally known as the Tesla is also being tested by Microsoft and it will be in the same price bracket as the Superman. This phone could have a PureView camera on the back. If this happens, it will mark the first time the PureView moniker to be used for a mid-range smartphone. So far, PureView has been reserved for Nokia’s flagship products.Follow writer on Twitter @DigitallyBoneslast_img read more

P V Sindhu only Indian among Forbes list of world’s highest-paid female athletes

first_imgIndia’s badminton star P V Sindhu is the only athlete from the country to be named among the world’s highest-paid female athletes by Forbes, a list topped by tennis great Serena Willams.With total earnings of 5.5 million dollars, Sindhu is tied for the 13th place in The Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2019 list released by Forbes on Tuesday.”Sindhu remains India’s most marketable female athlete. She became the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour finals in 2018, Forbes said.The list of the world’s top 15 female athletes is topped by Williams, with total earnings of USD 29.2 million. Forbes said Williams, 37, plans to play through at least next year but is already planning her next act with a clothing line, ‘S by Serena’, and designs to launch jewellery and beauty products lines by the end of 2020. She also has built a venture portfolio worth more than USD 10 million.On the second spot is Naomi Osaka, who won the 2018 US Open, defeating 23-time Grand Slam champ Williams. She has total earnings of USD 24.3 million.Forbes said its earnings tally looks at prize money, salaries, bonuses, endorsements and appearance fees between June 2018 and 2019. There are 15 female athletes who made at least USD 5 million during that time period; for comparison roughly 1,300 male athletes will hit that mark this year.The top 15 earned a cumulative USD 146 million, compared with USD 130 million last year.Williams and Osaka both earned more than twice as much as the third-highest-paid female athlete in the world, Angelique Kerber, who pulled in USD 11.8 million from tennis.advertisementForbes added that tennis remains the most surefire way for female athletes to make millions of dollars. Female athletes in soccer, basketball and softball earn salaries of pennies on the dollar compared with their male counterparts.Despite the playing salary gap in team sports, marketing opportunities have opened up in recent years for female athletes thanks to the growth of social media platforms, according to Dan Levy, who heads up the Olympics and female athletes divisions at Wasserman.Pro athletes now have a way to connect with their fans that doesn’t rely on network TV to build a fan base and connectivity to the consumers that brands want to reach, Levy says. That change alone has helped women become much more powerful in the sports marketing world.Also Read | Hoping to carry momentum into world championships after Thailand Open win: Chirag ShettyAlso See:last_img read more