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NYIAS19fNYIAS19eThis year’s New York International Auto Show (through April 28) presents countless vehicles that go fast, all while distracting, disrupting and disabling drivers to the point where they want/need to be driven by robots.

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StreetArt2018America’s leaders are loath to protect against, or even acknowledge, the ill-effects of wireless radiation on the unborn (and born).

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NYAutoShow18cNYAutoShow18bNYIAS18dHyundai execs at the New York International Auto Show, which runs through 4/8 at the Javits Center. Their KIA K900 (bottom photo), designed to compete with BMW and Audi, was unveiled today.

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HangOnObsessive/compulsive use of digital devices, by the fairer sex, continues to be a danger to persons and society.

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eatsa1Cleaning the robots, 43rd & 3rd – February 16, 2017

The future of humanity will require undoing some of the so-called progress of the present.

StreetArt2016ggWould that NYC officials included and reported on EMF risks in their Air Flow Study.

DevOps

MummiesAtTheMet1Metropolitan Museum of Art, August 6, 2015

Photograph: Stephen Wise

Wheels2Photograph: Stephen Wise

Footsie

ServiceDogThis is a Service Dog (not to be confused with a Compassion Dog or an Emotional Support Dog) at the Chambers Street subway station this week—looking a bit run down, perhaps from Wi-Fi exposure.

WiFiThe decision by New York officials to make NYC, including subways, a big WiFi hot spot is misguided, and will lead to negative health consequences for New Yorkers of all persuasions.

The day is coming when “Wi-Fi Free” will be more desirable than “Free Wi-Fi.”

MarsRoverSiemensSiemens, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, joined with Industry Week to host a recent conference in New York: Manufacturing in America. The focus of the conference was Additive Manufacturing (3D-Printing), a high growth area in which Siemens is a leader.

Additive Manufacturing has been around for 25 years, but has really taken off in the last couple of years, as new usages are found not just for modeling and prototyping but final manufacturing as well. Industry analyst Terry Wohlers projects 3D-Printing revenues will to be $3 billion this year, and $6 billion in 2014 — with 28% coming from parts considered to be final manufacturing.

BeHappyJuly9-2013“Look over your ranks watch them with care.” Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago, 1973

A camera on a pole in Jackson Heights (Queens), NY — put up on July 9, 2013. In the background is a McDonald’s “Be :)” sign.

BicyclistOnFifth“The culture of American business is enveloping everything in its path by appealing to individualistic instincts while it reinforces its messages with the imagery of technological gadgetry and consumer delights.” Herbert I. Schiller, The Mind Managers (Beacon Press, 1973)

Photograph: Stephen Wise

LegalTech2013dAccording to Kroll Ontrack the challenges facing e-Discovery over the next five years are “monstrous,” as Big Data becomes ‘bigger data’ and exabytes grow to zetabytes.

In the document review process that means more of the work done by attorneys is now being done by TAR — Technology Assisted Review (also known as predictive coding, intelligent review and computer assisted review).

Discovery has always been expensive. Yet in the digital age, the costs of discovery are spiraling out of control. Unfortunately, true to Moore’s law, discovery will likely become more costly as electronically stored information (ESI) continues on the path of exponential growth. As a result, the trend of data growth will likely increase the weighty discovery burdens that litigants–especially organizations–already bear. Consider the following example. In 2008, the average end-user may have owned 100 gigabytes of information. Just four years later, that number is now closer to 1,000 all of which could be subject to review for discovery purposes in a given action. This calculus is weighty for individual parties, but crushing for enterprises with thousands of employees, each of whom may respectively have a terabyte of potentially discoverable information.

LegalTech2013eThis trend of growth figures to continue given the proliferation of new communication and storage media. Indeed, it appears that there is or will be a discoverable recordable digital format for everything conceivable: from email, voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and social media, to short message service (SMS) and instant messages (IM). Even the GPS in your car could be subject to discovery. ESI is not just limited to text or audio data either– it even encompasses data about that data. Meanwhile, all of this electronic detail is archived and stored in an increasing number of smart phones, tablet computers, servers, clouds, and databases, often with multiple redundancies and no central index. With an average cost of at least $18,000 per gigabyte for document review–not to mention the costs of processing and collection–discovery of all matters relevant to a claim or defense can quickly surpass the value of the controversy. In summary, the information explosion has generated and will continue to generate extremely complex and expensive litigation conundrums for organizations. Philip J. Favro & The Honorable Derek P. Pullan, Michigan Law Review, 2012

Commentary: Technology is being allowed to overrun society and along with it the legal profession. The costs associated with productivity gains can be seen in fewer workers, inflated costs, and ‘review’ by robots rather than humans. The lawyers who remain are trying to stem the tide through ‘proportionality’ in the hope of finding balance and fairness, at least in discovery costs.

More Guts. More Glory. More RAM. 2013 RAM 1500

New trucks come loaded with safety and security features, but also best-in-class ways to be unsafe — including WiFi, multimedia, and the need for technology.

The Porsche 911 and Volkswagen Up were among the winners at the New York International Auto Show.

The Porsche 911 won World Performance Car and the Volkswagen Up received World Car of the Year.

The Nissan NV200 (selected as the exclusive taxi for New York City beginning in 2013) was unveiled at the 2012 New York International Auto Show.

Carlos Ghosn, CEO of Renauult and Nissan, was on hand.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

Detroit is unwilling or unable to produce a basic car that retails for around $10,000. Ford is closest with the Fiesta starting at $13,200. The average price of a new car in the U.S. is $30,000.

At the NADA/IHS Automotive Forum 2012 we asked some industry “car guys”, including “Mack” McLarty (advisor to three U.S. presidents), if they were troubled by the fact that there are no new cars available in the U.S. for $10,000? To their credit most said “yes”, they are bothered by it, but blamed material and regulatory costs.

Commentary: Most consumer product innovation in the U.S. is geared toward high-end luxury (see $20/pound lettuce). What’s needed is innovation that leads to price reductions, especially in critical areas such as transportation and health care. With OEM margins in the 25+% range, there is room to maneuver. Nissan, which sells the Versa in the U.S. starting at $10,900, operates on all ends of the economic spectrum. Something comparible from Detroit would be good for Detroit and America.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

“How To Be A Con Man & Not Look Like One.” Social media and web robots are taking the ‘con’ to a whole new level — for those who seek to artificially increase the ‘yield’ of their social media marketing.

A recent Search Engine Strategies conference in New York had a session that addressed: “Making Your Bot Look Real” and “How To Create Fake Profiles.”

It brings to mind a hoax by Tom MacMasters, an American heterosexual Ph.D. student, who created a blog called “Gay Girl in Damascus.” From Feb 2011 to June 2011 MacMasters stirred things up in Syria with his fake lesbian, Amina Arraf.

“Verve” — A do it yourself e-Discovery software.

“Powered by Kroll Ontrack — Driven by You”

Don Tapscott, Canadian ‘thought leader’, author and tech evangelist spoke at this week’s LegalTech conference in New York. His book Wikinomics: How Mass Culture Changes Everything (2006) was an international bestseller. Other books include: Grown up Digital: How The Net Generation is Changing Your World (2008) and The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Transparency will Revolutionize Business.

Mr. Tapscott’s talk focused on how technology is transforming the legal profession — not just the practice of law but law itself. He described this as an “age of networked intelligence,” with revolutions taking place that are economic, technological and social. He sees the changes “not as cyclical but rather secular.” With transparency a new force in society, “everyone is naked.” The way to add value and build trust is with “values”. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant; open up and get rid of corruption.”

A ‘murmuration of starlings’ is the way Mr. Tapscott described the ‘age of networked intelligence’ playing out with infinite knowledge and collaboration, both inside and outside of organizations.

Commentary: Some people see a tech-utopia, others a networked-tyranny in our future.

Photographs: Stephen Wise

This year has seen numerous high profile attacks against high profile targets in the information and cyber spaces of government and industry.

The SC Magazine 2011 Data Security Conference featured a panel led by SC Editor Illena Armstrong that included: Jeffrey Brown of GE Capital, Pedro Cordero of the FBI, and Gene Fredriksen CISO of Tyco International.

‘Hacktivists’ were described by Mr. Cordero as a “respected  adversary,” commiting network intrusions from outside and inside of organizations, for the purpose of theft and disruption. Ms. Armstrong said hackivists want “messages about their political and social ideologies to be heard.”

LE asked Mr. Fredriksen if the U.S. government and industry were at war in cyberspace? He said: “Yes, with no end in sight.” He characterized it as “a war of attrition with the last man standing.”

Commentary: With growing injustice and revolution in many parts of the world — and anyone with a computer an actor, the point of no return may have been reached for depleted Western societies. Teddy Roosevelt’s description of Europe before World War I seems an apt description for this moment: “The storm that is raging is terrible and evil but it is also grand and noble.”

The ‘tech-continuum’ in the energy industry is said to be driving ‘holistic efficiency’ — that will make energy: affordable, reliable and environmentally friendly — all while achieving energy independence.

“We are not expecting consumers to do anything in this new future we are thinking about.” John Kelly, Galvin Electricity Initiative

Should government and utility officials be trusted/allowed to pursue their dreams of a ‘tech-utopia’ (smart grid)?

The for-profit-education sector has helped spawn a cottage industry for companies like Datamark that deliver actionable information — “leads” — to education marketers looking for students. Needless to say, with some schools paying $100/lead there is money to be made, but also plenty of possible misrepresentation.

The U.S. government has come out with regulations that target misrepresentation in this area by ‘lead generating’ organizations, including so called “trigger terms” like: “easy enrollment,” “earn up to,” and “free scholarship.”

It would be nice if the government regulated its own use of misleading “trigger terms” — especially in its Lottery advertising.

“At Last The Stakes Are In Your Favor.”

Lower Photograph (subway sign): Stephen Wise

“Alpha children wear grey.” Brave New World

Robots are becoming more like humans, and humans are becoming more like robots.

In American society, the spirit of ‘true freedom and love’ is vanishing — leaving algorithms, security guards and ’emotionally disturbed persons’ (EDPs).

Photograph: Stephen Wise

CityTime — As seen 7/22/11 in a Manhattan subway station:

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According to Simon Bond of BBDO Worldwide — 88% of survey respondents from around the world touch their ‘mobile phone’ first thing in the morning (ahead of their significant other or self).

Photograph: Stephen Wise

“If you see something say something.”

A Google Maps car is seen “blocking the box” today, during a red light on Madison Avenue.

Having all the data in the world doesn’t guarantee that people will do the right thing.

Photograph: Stephen Wise

In a data driven world, machines like the Netezza (photo) are observing, analyzing and acting for humans.

Its brochure says: “With Netezza on board, your organization is armed with the most accurate intelligence to react more quickly and accurately to any opportunities or threats the market may present.”

The result on Wall Street, as one supplier put it, is “no traders anymore, just machines fighting machines.”

People overloaded with data and entertainment are turning more and more to “Intelligent Search” and “Streaming Media.”

Today’s digital revolution is becoming a “networked tyranny,” that tracks, targets, data mines and eventually crushes the spirit of individuals and society. Even Lenin might question this revolution.

“I am perplexed by my own data; my conclusion is in direct contradiction of the original idea with which I started. Starting with unlimited freedom, I end up with unlimited despotism.” Dostoyevsky, The Possessed

Photograph: Stephen Wise

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