Almost exactly three years ago, we wrote about the launch of an ambitious project by Harvard Law School to scan all federal and state court cases and get them online (for free) in a machine readable format (not just PDFs!), with open APIs for anyone to use. And, earlier this week, case.law officially launched, with 6.4 million cases, some going back as far as 1658. There are still some limitations — some placed on the project by its funding partner, Ravel, which was acquired by LexisNexis last year (though, the structure of the deal will mean some of these restrictions will likely decrease over time).
Also, the focus right now is really on providing this setup as a tool for others to build on, rather than as a straight up interface for anyone to use. As it stands, you can either access data via the site’s API, or by doing bulk downloads. Of course, the bulk downloads are, unfortunately, part of what’s limited by the Ravel/LexisNexis data. Bulk downloads are available for cases in Illinois and Arkansas, but that’s only because both of those states already make cases available online. Still, even with the Ravel/LexisNexis limitation, individual users can download up to 500 cases per day.
The real question is what will others build with the API. The site has launched with four sample applications that are all pretty cool.
H2O is a tool that law professors can use to easily create casebooks for students in various areas of law. Anything published on H2O gets a Creative Commons license and can then be shared widely. I wonder if professors like Eric Goldman, who offers an Internet Law Casebook, or James Grimmelmann, who has a different Internet Law Casebook, will eventually port them over to a platform like H2O.
A wordcloud app that currently shows the "most used words" in California cases in various years. Here, for example, are the word clouds in California cases from 1871… and 2012. See if you can tell which one’s which.
Caselaw Limericks that appears to randomly generate what it believes is a rhyming limerick from the case law. Here’s what I got:
Her son Julius is a confirmed thief.
He did not turn over a new leaf.
The vessel, not.
the parking lot.
Respondent concedes this in its brief.
The quality overall is… a bit mixed. But it’s fun.
And, finally, in time for Halloween, Witchcraft in Law, which totals up cases that cite "witchcraft" by state.
Hopefully this inspires a lot more on the development side as well.
In 2017, the globally known company Deloitte faced a cybersecurity crisis. That is, a cyber attack led to their blue-chip client data being compromised. The reason? The admin account that had access to their global email server did not have two-factor authentication.
Another catastrophic data breach took place at American Superconductor Corp (AMSC). That incident was caused by a former employee who brought the company’s intellectual property to his new employer, Sinovel. To make matters worse, Sinovel and AMSC are competitors. As a result of this former employee’s treachery, AMSC’s losses exceeded $1 billion. Plus, they almost went out of business.
These stories may seem like it-will-never-happen-in-my-company narratives. But let’s agree on this: your partners, your suppliers, your third-party vendors, and your current employees all represent a significant threat to your cybersecurity. Nonetheless, studies reveal that companies often miss this fact. When they do, they end up suffering sometimes ruinous losses.
A report from Shred-it shows that employee negligence—for example, an accidental loss of a device—caused 47 percent of organizations’ data breaches. Moreover, these data breaches cost organizations an average of $3,6 million globally in 2017. The report also revealed that more than 25 percent of respondents leave their computers unlocked and unattended. These numbers prove that even small mistakes can backfire and cause significant harm.
So, what actions could you implement to minimize the risks of a data breach in your company?
Communicate the Idea of Cybersecurity to Your Employees Clearly, Consistently, and Often
First of all, before you start, take the time to analyze the weakest points in your company’s cybersecurity. Then, define your company’s cybersecurity policy based on those weak points.
However, don’t forget to add basic information about how to read URL links. You want your employees to be able to recognize malicious emails or phishing attacks. What’s more, if your company has remote workers, ensure that those employees apply good cybersecurity practices outside of the office.
If you already have a good cybersecurity policy in hand, start a cybersecurity onboarding program for your employees based on that. However, remember that new vulnerabilities arise every day. Therefore, your IT department should continuously work to inform employees about possible types of attacks. Communication is key. Moreover, leaving your cybersecurity policy in a drawer is not an option.
Ensure Passwords Are Strong Enough
Remember Deloitte’s case mentioned earlier? A weak password cost them a lot. Make sure your employees understand the difference between strong and weak passwords. Two-factor authentication (also known as multi-factor authentication) is a way to ensure additional protection. Implementing two-factor authentication in your employees’ daily practices can be a huge step forward.
Communicate the Importance of Encryption
A study by Zug revealed that 70 percent of professionals work remotely at least once a week. Around 53 percent do so for at least half of the week. However, according to the study, more than half of small business owners admit they don’t have a cybersecurity policy for their remote workers.
If you are in a similar situation, you need to make sure your remote employees’ Internet connections are as secure as those for your in house employees. This can be tricky, as unsecured WiFi at various coffee shops can cause a serious threat to employees working remotely.
One of the solutions for upgrading security to the next level is a third-party VPN (virtual private network) service. A VPN can encrypt traffic and establish a secure and private user’s connection to the Internet. By rerouting all traffic that travels between the device and the web’s servers, a VPN creates a secure tunnel that is virtually impenetrable.
Help Employees Understand the Importance of Backups
Your employees don’t necessarily know how important backups are. They also might not understand that sometimes backups don’t work.
In some cases, when a cyber-criminal takes over access to a computer, the victim panics and even thinks about paying a ransom to get their files unlocked. Various companies are the primary target for criminals working on this kind of attack. And this comes as no surprise, as firms are often ready to pay much more than individual users are for getting their important data back.
Therefore, take the time to teach the employees the 3-2-1 backup rule. This rule suggests keeping three copies of all data. They should be stored on two different media, and one backup copy should be stored offsite. If something terrible happens, you can quickly restore data and avoid the possible stress and losses.
Strong Cybersecurity Is an Ongoing Concern
Creating a strong cybersecurity culture in your company won’t be a one-day job. On the contrary, it’s a never-ending process with a single primary goal. This goal—changing your employees’ mindset —is not an easy goal to reach. However, work diligently toward helping employees understand that small habits are of enormous importance. What’s more, all of those small habits will pay off in the long run.
U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Saturday, in Pittsburgh, a Sabbath celebration at the Tree of Life synagogue became the site of the largest mass murder of Jews in U.S. history. Eleven worshippers were killed by a racist gunman.
Friday, we learned the identity of the crazed criminal who mailed pipe bombs to a dozen leaders of the Democratic Party, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden.
From restaurants to Capitol corridors, this campaign season we have seen ugly face-offs between leftist radicals and Republican senators.
Are we more divided than we have ever been? Are our politics more poisoned? Are we living in what Charles Dickens called “the worst of times” in America? Is today worse than 1968?
Certainly, the hatred and hostility, the bile and bitterness of our discourse, seem greater now than 50 years ago. But are the times really worse?
1968 began with one of the greatest humiliations in the history of the American Navy. The U.S. spy ship Pueblo was hijacked in international waters and its crew interned by North Korea.
A week later came the Tet Offensive, where every provincial capital in South Vietnam was attacked. A thousand U.S. troops died in February, 10,000 more through 1968.
On March 14, anti-war Senator Gene McCarthy captured 42 percent of the vote in New Hampshire against President Johnson.
With LBJ wounded, Robert Kennedy leapt into the race, accusing the president who had enacted civil rights of “dividing the country” and removing himself from “the enduring and generous impulses that are the soul of this nation.” Lyndon Johnson, said Kennedy, is “calling upon the darker impulses of the American spirit.”
Today, RFK is remembered as a “uniter.”
With Gov. George Wallace tearing at Johnson from the right and Kennedy and McCarthy attacking from the left — and Nixon having cleared the Republican field with a landslide in New Hampshire — LBJ announced on March 31 he would not run again.
Four days later, Martin Luther King, leading a strike of garbage workers, was assassinated in Memphis. One hundred U.S. cities exploded in looting, arson and riots. The National Guard was called up everywhere and federal troops rushed to protect Washington, D.C., long corridors of which were gutted, not to be rebuilt for a generation.
Before April’s end, Columbia University had exploded in the worst student uprising of the decade. It was put down only after the NYPD was unleashed on the campus.
Nixon called the Columbia takeover by black and white radicals “the first major skirmish in a revolutionary struggle to seize the universities of this country and transform them into sanctuaries for radicals and vehicles for revolutionary political and social goals.” Which many have since become.
In June, Kennedy, after defeating McCarthy in the crucial primary of California, was mortally wounded in the kitchen of the hotel where he had declared victory. He was buried in Arlington beside JFK.
Nixon, who had swept every primary, was nominated on the first ballot in Miami Beach, and the Democratic Convention was set for late August.
Between the conventions, Soviet Premier Leonid Brezhnev sent his Warsaw Pact armies and hundreds of tanks into Czechoslovakia to crush the peaceful uprising known as “Prague Spring.”
With this bloodiest of military crackdowns since the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, Moscow sent a message to the West: There will be no going back in Europe. Once a Communist state, always a Communist state!
At the Democratic convention in Chicago, the thousands of radicals who had come to raise hell congregated nightly in Grant Park, across from the Hilton where the candidates and this writer were staying.
Baited day and night, the Chicago cops defending the hotel, by late in the week, had had enough. Early one evening, platoons of fresh police arrived and charged into the park clubbing and arresting scores of radicals as the TV cameras rolled. It would be called a “police riot.”
When Sen. Abe Ribicoff took the podium that night, he directed his glare at Mayor Richard J. Daley, accusing him of using “Gestapo tactics in the streets of Chicago.” Daley’s reply from the floor was unprintable.
Through September, Democratic candidate Hubert Humphrey could not speak at a rally without being cursed and shouted down.
Describing the radicals disrupting his every event, Humphrey said, these people “aren’t just hecklers,” but “highly disciplined, well-organized agitators. … Some are anarchists and some of these groups are dedicated to destroying the Democratic Party and destroying the country.”
After his slim victory, Nixon declared that his government would take as its theme the words on a girl’s placard that he had seen in the Ohio town of Deshler: “Bring us together.”
Nixon tried in his first months, but it was not to be.
According to Bryan Burrough, author of “Days of Rage, America’s Radical Underground, the FBI, and the Forgotten Age of Revolutionary Violence,” “During an eighteen month period in 1971 and 1972, the FBI reported more than 2,500 bombings on U.S. soil, nearly 5 a day.”
When it comes to building interactive props, you have always had two main areas where there is going to be tons of work and problem solving. There’s the physical structure and look, then there’s the interactive electronics. For many, learning the techniques for shaping foam or 3d printing came naturally, but the electronics were still a hurdle. There’s a lot to learn!
Adafruit has been listening and has just released the Prop-Maker FeatherWing. This is an add-on board to their feather microcontrollers that has some easy to use features specifically for adding lights and sound to your prop. Check out this quick video of a light saber built using the system.
As I’ve mentioned each time I talk about the feather ecosystem, I love that this uses Circuit Python, which means you don’t need a compiler installed. You just plug this into any computer (or phone!) and open it like a storage device, then edit the text file that is there. That’s all. As for sound, you just drop .wav files onto it.
from the product description:
We looked at hundreds of prop builds, and thought about what would make for a great low-cost (but well-designed) add-on for our Feather boards. Here’s what we came up with:
Low power mode! The power system for the RGB LED, NeoPixels and speaker amplifier can be controlled by a pin to cut power to them, so you have lower power usage when the prop is in sleep or off mode (but can wake up fast by listening to the button press or accelerometer data). When the power pin is set low, the current draw for just the wing is under 1mA and no there’s current draw from any attached NeoPixels – normally they’re about 1mA even when not lit.
Breakouts plus strain-relief hole for the enable pin and ground (for a mechanical switch that will power down the whole board)
Breakouts plus strain-relief holes for an external switch pin and ground (for a mechanical mode button)
Dilbert: Can I go with you to the customer meeting? I’m worried you might promise something we can’t deliver.
The Boss: Don’t be ridiculous! I’ve been having customer meetings without engineers for years.
Dilbert: I know and they all turn into disasters.
The Boss: You worry too much! Everything will be fine!
Man: Can you replace our data centers with blockchain?
The Boss: Give us two days.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Science:
The Food & Drug Administration just announced that they had approved the aptly-named Xofluza, the first new antiviral drug in two decades, to help alleviate the symptoms of a flu infection. The reason Xofluza got a priority review from the FDA is that it works through a different mechanism than Tamiflu. Both are antivirals, meaning they prevent the replication of the virus, but they work at different stages in that process. First, a quick primer on how viruses infect you: a virus is basically a packet of genetic material that injects itself into a cell and hijacks the cell’s normal replication machinery, forcing it to produce millions of copies of the virus. A protein called viral neuraminidase allows those copies to exit the cell and go infect new parts of your body. Most of our effective antivirals are neuraminidase inhibitors — the virus can still replicate, but it’s prevented from escaping.
Xofluza works by preventing the viral replication in the first place. It blocks viral polymerase, an enzyme that helps make copies of the invading genetic material. This doesn’t necessarily make it better or more effective — the FDA notes that early trials suggest it’s about as effective as Tamiflu — but as the FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb pointed out in a press release, “Having more treatment options that work in different ways to attack the virus is important because flu viruses can become resistant to antiviral drugs.”
David Hogg needs to come to understand that just because some people he went to school with were shot, he’s not really an expert on anything relating to guns, gun control, the Second Amendment, or anything else. Tragic as Parkland was, it didn’t mystically convey wisdom to either him or any of his cohorts.
Pavlich mimics a Paveway smart bomb by lowering the boom on Hogg’s pretentions of moral superiority on the issue of guns. More importantly, her point is 100 percent correct.
The Founding Fathers didn’t want gun control. They wanted unfettered access to military-grade arms, if not better. Remember that the British were shooting smoothbore muskets during the Revolution while many colonists were armed with rifled weapons. They were all muzzleloaders, but the colonists’ weapons had superior range. Civilian weapons were generally better than the military’s arms.
Our founders liked that. They knew that a government with the ability to restrict arms would soon use that ability to restrict other civil rights.
Pavlich clearly understands this.
Hogg, however, believes he is somehow more enlightened than the brilliant men who created our system of government. Based on what I’ve seen of the twit, that’s not hard to believe. I’ve seen a lot of arrogance come from the other side before, but it pales in comparison to Hogg’s.
In case the young Mr. Hogg sees this, let me lay a few things out very clearly.
The Founding Fathers wanted an armed populace. They didn’t want guns to be the exclusive domain of the government. More importantly, though, they wanted military-grade or better weapons in our hands because the purpose of the Second Amendment is, in part, to keep the government in check. While I’m sure they’d have found shootings like Parkland tragic, they’d have also pointed out that all of those shootings were carried out by damaged individuals and there was no reason to undo the Constitution because of what are really just isolated, though horrific, events.
When the Revolution was over and decided something better than the Articles of Confederation were needed, the Constitution was crafted and then, almost immediately, the Bill of Rights was created and ratified. It encoded precisely what our Founding Fathers intended when it came to guns. Their own writings make their intentions clear. They wanted us to be heavily armed and ready to shoot on a moment’s notice.
So yeah, they did take care of this stuff centuries ago. The fact that you don’t care for their solution doesn’t change that reality. Be a tinpot twit if you want–because you’ll never amass the power to become a tinpot dictator despite any lofty pretensions you may have–but the truth is what it is. No amount of rhetoric or hysterics will ever change that.
Spatulas are workhorses in the kitchen. They need to be able to lift and support heavy items while maneuvering around delicate foods in tight spaces. Tracey Seaman, test kitchen director for Every Day with Rachael Ray Magazine, said cooks should think about “what kind of pan you’re using and what you’re going to use as your tool.” While the thin, sharp edges of a fish spatula are perfect on cast iron or stainless steel, they can do damage to the coating on a nonstick pan. However, some of the plastic spatulas that work well on nonstick aren’t thin enough to slip easily under cookies. And neither of these can scrape down the walls of a saucepan with thickening pastry cream.
All of our experts agreed on one thing—if you have one spatula, make it a fish spatula. “I’d say that the majority of our guys use fish spatulas, slotted so it looks like a rake. I think everyone has that in their bag. It’s probably the most used savory spatula,” said chef Brian Huston of Boltwood. And it’s not just for fish, though “We do tend to use it for burgers and protein on the grill if we’re searing,” he admitted. Chef Howie Velie, Associate Dean of Culinary Specializations at the Culinary Institute of America, confirmed the multiuse importance of fish spatulas in pro kitchens. He told us, “The spatula doesn’t know that it’s made for fish. For me and for a lot of other chefs, it’s kind of an all-purpose, light spatula. I use it for everything.”
Aside from metal fish spatulas, we also looked at plastic spatulas for use on nonstick cookware. When cooking with nonstick pans, it’s important to only use plastic, wood, or silicone utensils to avoid scratching the coating on the pan. Like metal spatulas, the best plastic spatulas have a thin edge that can slip under foods. They also maintain flexibility for maneuvering and strength for lifting. Where many plastic spatulas fail is in thickness, as many are just too thick to slide under delicate foods without breaking them. We looked for plastic spatulas that had tapered edges and thin blades.
We also searched for plastic spatulas that were heat resistant. You could argue that plastic spatulas shouldn’t have to resist high heat since they’re generally being used on nonstick pans, which also deteriorate over high heat. But heat resistance is always a nice feature that won’t limit you to low-temperature cooking.
We also tested silicone spatulas, sometimes called “rubber spatulas,” which are best for scraping down bowls and insuring that custards don’t stick to the bottom of a pan. Silicone has become the material of choice because it’s food-safe and can withstand a much higher heat than its rubber predecessor, which means they are great for cooking eggs as well as preparing pastry-cream and ice-cream bases.
A great silicone spatula can scrape down both the straight sides of a saute pan and get into the rounded bottom of a bowl. It should be stiff and thick enough to press dough together, but flexible enough to wipe down a bowl with ease. It should also be wide and thin enough for folding ingredients together. The experts we spoke to suggested all-silicone, one-piece spatulas were easier to keep clean than those with crevices.
While the light, elegant fish spatula really does a great job in almost every situation, when you’re working with metal pans or on a grill, sometimes a heftier metal turner is the best tool for the job. A metal turner surpasses the fish spatula in its ability to cut sharp, even lines through bar cookies and easily lift heavy pieces of food.
Because metal turners are complementary to the fish spatula, we chose ones that offered different desirable attributes— an offset for comfortable lifting and leverage, a comfortable stiffness for strength, a flat, non-slotted blade for evenly smashing down burgers or pressing grilled cheese sandwiches flat. We also found that a shorter handle allows for great control in flipping, lifting, and carrying.
We also looked at wooden “spatulas,” or turners, which have an angled flat edge for removing fond from the bottom of a pan. Wooden spatulas are also the best tool to use with a Dutch oven since they won’t scratch the enamel the way metal can. Some have rounded corners for use on sloped-sided pans. On his website, Michael Ruhlman denounced the traditional round wooden spoon for its inability in covering a wide surface area on the bottom of a pan. Ruhlman says, “if you had a flat-edge wooden spoon, you scrape everything off the pan, you stir it, you get into the corners.” Since bamboo utensils have a tendency to splinter slightly with prolonged use, we looked for other wooden spatulas made from beechwood and olive wood.
Finally, another multitasking spatula worth adding to your arsenal is an offset spatula. These thin, narrow offset palette knives are designed for bakers who want to add polish to cakes and spread thick batters into the corners of pans, but people often use them for handling delicate tasks of all kinds. The Kitchn’s Emma Christensen calls it a favorite kitchen tool: “Whenever we need to handle hot foods gently, this spatula become an extension of our hands and fingers.”
Fine Cooking’s Abigail Johnson Dodge says of her small, narrow offset spatula, “Because the blade is offset from the handle, I can spread the sides evenly and swirl the top beautifully without my hand getting in the way. It’s also great for spreading mustard or mayo on sandwiches, too.”
In 2016, we also looked at offset spatulas. These include mini spatulas with blades about 4½ inches long, which are great for detailed work like icing cookies or cupcakes; and longer offset spatulas with blades around 9 inches long, which cover more surface area and are essential for quickly and evenly frosting a cake.