Can Tech Companies and Local Governments Mitigate Abuses of Government Secrecy?

The 2020 election brought into sharp relief the critical role that technology companies and local governments play in securing elections and minimizing disinformation about voting. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA’s) #Protect2020 Strategic Plan recognized that state and local election officials “are on the front lines” of election security, and it identified media and social media companies as key partners. Representatives from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter met with officials from the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security before the election season to coordinate how best to secure the 2020 elections. Facebook set up an election “war room” at its headquarters. Everywhere you look you can find stories about how CISA worked extensively with state and local election officials to secure the 2020 vote.

One way that the federal government works with these two groups is by sharing

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Education Notebook: Science fairs awarded $30K grant from AEP Foundation | Local News

The regional fair partnered with Appalachian Power Co. in 2019, which provided the ability to send a third regional project to the international fair.

“In looking for a little bit more of a long-term partner, they suggested that we work together to put in a grant application with the American Electric Power Foundation,” said Levy, who credits the Appalachian Power with making the connection.

“This is really going to help secure that in the future, for us to continue to send three projects to that international fair locally, and it’s also going to help support students going to international fair from the state fair as well,” he said.

Expenses sometimes limit the state fair from sending a full slate of five projects, Levy said, so “the donation from the AEP Foundation helps ensure that we can send a full group.”

The AEP Foundation is funded by AEP and its operating

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Madison City Council bans city agencies from using facial recognition technology | Local Government

City-County Building file stock photo

The Madison City Council banned late Tuesday city agencies, including the Madison Police Department, from using facial recognition technology and also pushed back a decision on Edgewood High School’s latest effort to install lights at its athletics field.

On a 17-2 vote, the council approved a new ordinance that prohibits city agencies, departments and divisions from using facial recognition technology or “information derived from a face surveillance system” with a handful of exceptions.

Following a national reckoning this year on over-policing in communities of color, Madison and other governments have scrutinized and limited the use of face surveillance systems by law enforcement.

“The technology has proven to be unreliable and faulty,” Ald. Rebecca Kemble, 18th District, said of facial recognition, describing the ban more as a moratorium. “We also don’t want this technology to be used to further worsen the racial

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AWS updates its edge computing solutions with new hardware and Local Zones

AWS today closed out its first re:Invent keynote with a focus on edge computing. The company launched two smaller appliances for its Outpost service, which originally brought AWS as a managed service and appliance right into its customers’ existing data centers in the form of a large rack. Now, the company is launching these smaller versions so that its users can also deploy them in their stores or office locations. These appliances are fully managed by AWS and offer 64 cores of compute, 128GB of memory and 4TB of local NVMe storage.

In addition, the company expanded its set of Local Zones, which are basically small extensions of existing AWS regions that are more expensive to use but offer low-latency access in metro areas. This service launched in Los Angeles in 2019 and starting today, it’s also available in preview in Boston, Houston and Miami. Soon, it’ll expand to

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Tech Antitrust During Biden, ADR for Copyright Small Claims and Cybersecurity in State and Local Governments

This week in Washington IP news, Senate committees will convene a series of business meetings, including one by the Senate Judiciary Committee to look at a proposed bill that would create an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) pathway for resolving copyright small claims. The Senate Environment Committee will also discuss a proposed legislative draft designed to restore American dominance in nuclear energy in part by supporting the licensing of advanced nuclear energy technologies. Elsewhere, the Brookings Institution will host a pair of events exploring the impacts of smart machines on the American labor force as well as the future of antitrust policy in the tech sector during the Biden Administration.

Tuesday, December 1 

Brookings Institution 

The Future of Tech Antitrust in the Biden Administration

At 11:00 AM on Tuesday, online video webinar.

In the United States and around the world, especially in Europe, government antitrust regulators have honed their focus onto

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Science & Technology week promotes local food for healthier lifestyle

indigenous vegetables were among the local food promoted during the NSTW 2020. Screen capture from DOST-FNRI’s Live Broadcast

© Provided by Good News Pilipinas
indigenous vegetables were among the local food promoted during the NSTW 2020. Screen capture from DOST-FNRI’s Live Broadcast

As we adapt to the new normal, the 2020 National Science and Technology (2020 NSTW) pushes through with the celebration but this time, in virtual mode. Participating in this annual event is the Department of Science and Technology Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI) with the introduction of Nutriflix — an interactive trivia game on food and nutrition.

It is a fun and exciting way of learning more about food and nutrition by watching audio-visual presentations (AVP). Trivia questions are posted after each AVP and each of the first five people to give a correct answer will receive 100 pesos worth of cellphone load as their reward. This way, the participants are able to learn more about proper nutrition and the different programs of DOST-FNRI that

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American Steel moves into the future with robots, Amazon deal | Local News

It allows American Steel to ground itself in tried-and-true steel fabrication techniques while pulling in technology that’s been tested in larger centers of industry. Lewis calls it a type of cross pollination that allows both realms to share ideas. 

The shop at American Steel is a warehouse-sized space that includes traditional metal fabrication tools like hand welders and metal-cutting saws, and newer technologies like robotic welders and plasma cutters.

American Steel Robots

American Steel President Dave Lewis looks up at his company’s automated plasma coper, nicknamed “Rosie,” on Nov. 18 at American Steel in Lockwood. Rosie’s function is to use plasma — effectively controlled lightning, as Lewis describes it — to cut through large steel beams.

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At the far end of the shop is a small robotic arm they’ve dubbed Ratchet. Lewis calls it the company’s tricycle, a $100,000

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Ladakh LG calls for greater use of science and technology for local development : The Tribune India

Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, November 28

The Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur, on Saturday stressed upon the greater use of science and technology for the socio-economic development of the cold and arid region of the country.

Speaking online at the curtain raiser event of India International Science Festival—2000 (IISF) at the Defence Institute of High Altitude Research (DIHAR) in Leh, he said that the utility of science and technology in Ladakh is extremely relevant and imminent for the population to sustain and adapt to the prevailing harsh environmental conditions.

Briefing the audience about the importance and relevance of observing the science festival, he urged all the stakeholders to promote and enable science and technology to reach every remote location of the country.

Elaborating upon the importance of utilizing science and technology to make a better and sustainable world, DIHAR Director, Dr OP Chaurasia, highlighted the development and dissemination of

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Blue whales return to sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia after near local extinction — ScienceDaily

An international research team led by UK scientists has revealed the return of critically endangered Antarctic blue whales to the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, 50 years after whaling all but wiped them out. The new study follows recent research that humpback whales are also returning to the region.

The discovery, based on analysis of 30 years’ worth of sightings, photographs and underwater sound recordings, is crucial evidence in learning how the species is recovering following a ban on commercial whaling in the 1960s. The findings are published today (19 November) in the journal Endangered Species Research.

Blue whales were abundant off South Georgia before early 20th century industrial whaling between 1904 and 1971 killed 42,698 of them there. Most of these were killed before the mid-1930s.

The species all but vanished from the region — dedicated whale surveys from ships off South Georgia resulted in only a single

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Global and local supply chains must split and technology will play a bigger role, investor says

  • There will need to be “self-contained” local ecosystems and a “highly engaged, interlocked” global supply chain, said Min Wanli of North Summit Capital.
  • He also said the pandemic has accelerated the trend of streamlining supply chains and discussed how technology would play a part in that process.

a man wearing a suit and tie: CEO and Founder of North Summit Capital Min Wanli speaks during Day 2 of CNBC East Tech West on November 18, 2020 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

© Provided by CNBC
CEO and Founder of North Summit Capital Min Wanli speaks during Day 2 of CNBC East Tech West on November 18, 2020 in Nansha, Guangzhou, China.

A split between global and local supply chains will be important in the event of another crisis like the global pandemic, said the chief executive and founder of investment firm North Summit Capital.


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“I believe there’s a bifurcation of the global supply chain into global and local,” said Min Wanli of technology-focused North Summit Capital.

A supply chain is a network between a company and its suppliers to produce and distribute

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