Over the years, we've covered a bunch of stories about Amazon cutting off affiliates in various states. The issue was mainly that states are desperate for sales tax revenue -- and there's something of an ongoing dispute about who's responsible for paying…
The following Israeli Defense Force spokesman Tweet is misunderstood and causes oil prices to spike, "Oct. 10 #YomKippur73: Israel Air Force bombards airports in Syria to prevent Soviet weapons reaching the Syrian Army." It is not clear whether this was algorithmic trading or traders misreading the Tweet, either way, oil prices increased by $2.68 in 3 hours after the Tweet, about 2.5% increase. The Tweet was about an Israeli airstrike that happening during the Yom Kippur War, i.e., 40 years ago - either the traders or the algorithmic program goofed.
Interesting article on technology and job creation.
Luddites Are Almost Always Wrong: Technology Rarely Destroys Jobs (via Techdirt)
Two years ago, I wrote a long post about the "paradox of job creation" about politicians trying to take credit for creating jobs. As I noted, there's something of a paradox, because job creation often involves what looks like job destruction in the…
A study published in PLOS One by University of Pennsylvania researchers analyzes Facebook status updates of 75,000 volunteers and finds a new way to to analyze human personality. Volunteers completed personality questionnaires through a Facebook app and made their Facebook updates available to researchers.
The researchers found linguistic patterns in the posts and built predictive computer models based on language to predict the individuals’ age, gender, and personality questionnaires responses with surprising accuracy. See the images below illustrating age, gender and personality words distinguishing the groups. The study is part of the World Well-Being Project.
FTC Settles First Case Alleging Text Messages Were Used in Illegal Debt Collection Scheme - $1 Million Fine.
The FTC, in its first case against a debt collector who used text message to collect debts in an unlawful manner, settles for $1,000,000.
In text messages, phone calls, and mailings, the collection agency defendants falsely portrayed themselves as law firms, by using the names National Attorney Services, National Attorney Service, National Attorney, and Abogados Nacionales. Building on their deceptive company name, the defendants falsely threatened to sue consumers for not paying their debts or to garnish their wages and illegally revealed debts to the consumers’ family members, friends and co-workers. Among other tactics, the defendants used envelopes picturing a large arm shaking money from a consumer --> strung upside down. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act does not allow debt collectors to disclose publicly someone’s private debts. Mailing envelopes can include only the name and address of the company, and cannot indicate that the consumer may owe a debt. In addition to the $1 million civil penalty, the settlement requires the defendants to stop sending text messages that do not include the disclosures required by law, and to obtain a consumer’s express consent before contacting them by text message.
The Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals finds that “Liking” something on Facebook is protected First Amendment speech. In this case a former deputy sheriff alleges that he was fired for “liking” the Facebook page of his boss' opponent in the election for city sheriff. The court stated that "Liking" the campaign was the “Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one’s front yard, which the Supreme Court has held is substantive speech.” “On the most basic level, clicking on the ‘like’ button literally causes to be published the statement that the User ‘likes’ something, which is itself a substantive statement.”
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Kevin Spacey discussing the new distribution model and his series "House of Cards". Spacey says, give the viewers what they want, "Binge Viewing." Interesting that a recent CNET article reporting that 14% of US households use streaming media devices, and that Roku is more popular than Apple TV. In the survey of 10,000 U.S. broadband households with streaming media devices, the study found that 37 percent primarily use a Roku, while 24 percent use Apple TV.
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On August 14, 2013, HHS and Affinity Health agree to $1.2M fine for potential violations of HIPAA's Privacy and Security Rules in a photocopier breach case. Affinity Health estimated that up to 344,579 individuals may have been affected by this breach. The investigation indicated that Affinity Health disclosed the electronic protected health information (ePHI) when it returned photocopiers to leasing agents without erasing the ePHI contained on the photocopier hard drives. The investigation also revealed that Affinity Health failed to incorporate the ePHI stored on photocopier hard drives in its analysis of risks and vulnerabilities as required by the HIPAA Security Rule, and failed to implement policies and procedures at the end of the lease when returning the photocopiers.
“HIPAA covered entities are required to undertake a careful risk analysis to understand the threats and vulnerabilities to individuals’ data, and have appropriate safeguards in place to protect this information.”
In addition to the fine, the settlement requires Affinity Health to retrieve all hard drives that were contained on photocopiers previously leased by the plan that remain in the possession of the leasing agent, and to take certain measures to safeguard all ePHI.
For more information on HIPAA, HITECH, COPPA, Privacy and Technology best practices and requirements such as safeguarding ePHI stored on the hard drives please contact me. Connect with me on Linkedin http://www.linkedin.com/in/techlawyer