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Creating a better inquiry

By Kim Covert
August 28, 2014 at 10:48AM Le 28 August 2014 à 10:48AM

I hate maggots. Seeing a heaving pile of them is enough to make me physically ill. I would hate to be a garbage collector in the hot summer, where every green bin and garbage can is a potential maggot heaven. Couldn’t do it.

Still, it took two in-house infestations in three years to make me get serious about preventing another. I have screens at the doors to keep out flies; no meat products in the countertop compost bin, and none in the outdoor green bin until garbage day. I don’t just swat at flies, I make sure they’re dead. If you don’t have flies in the house, they can’t lay eggs; and if you don’t give flies a place to lay eggs, you don’t get maggots. Full stop.

Identify the source of the problem, find the solution, apply the solution. Seems simple enough, and works well the majority of the time in most areas of life.

I like figuring out why things happen the way they do, and, if the way things happen is problematic, I like finding solutions to those problems. But once a solution has been identified, I want it to be applied, not – to borrow a word from my favourite Scottish author – blethered about for the next five years until a new group of people decide to study the problem again.

That’s why I’m torn when it comes to the idea of an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

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How much will PRISM cost the U.S. cloud computing industry?

By Yves Faguy
August 28, 2014 at 10:32AM Le 28 August 2014 à 10:32AM

Possibly a lot. The Information Technology & Innovation Foundation (ITIF) published a report and tried to put a figure on the potential damages:

On the high end, U.S. cloud computing providers might lose $35.0 billion by 2016. This assumes the U.S. eventually loses 20 percent of the foreign market to competitors and retains its current domestic market share.

Obviously, U.S. companies are hurting in the wake of the NSA revelations. But the report attempts to set the record straight.

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We need a consent model that works for data use

By Yves Faguy
August 27, 2014 at 11:23AM Le 27 August 2014 à 11:23AM

It has quickly become the largest privacy class action in Europe. Over 60,000 people have joined the  lawsuit against Facebook launched by privacy advocate Maximilian Schrems.

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Gillian Bennett – An unquiet passing

By Kim Covert
August 26, 2014 at 13:04PM Le 26 August 2014 à 13:04PM

People who have lived fulfilling and productive lives die all the time without making a splash past the obituary pages of their local newspaper. If they’ve acquired some fame, they might reach the obits of a national paper, and if they’re quite well-known their passing might be noted in the news section. But for the most part death of the elderly is a quiet affair, attended to by close family and a circle of acquaintances.

When Gillian Bennett died last week, the 84-year-old woman made sure that didn’t happen to her.

Bennett, who had dementia, decided to take her own life while she still had the brain matter to form the intention and carry it out. She didn’t want to be a “vegetable” or a burden on her family or the health system, sucking it dry to keep her “husk” of a body alive once her mind was gone.

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Work to support the good life

By Yves Faguy
August 25, 2014 at 16:07PM Le 25 August 2014 à 16:07PM

Adam Gurri wants to ditch the term “work-life balance”:

My observation of people who have a bad “work-life balance” is that work is not the problem. It’s some conception of how their life as a whole should be lived—or the lack of such a conception. Rather than asking what a good life looks like, and trying to have one, they throw themselves into their work. Because the one certainty in this life is that most of us are expected to work. It is not even about making a living (note the phrase)—I’ve witnessed this in plenty of people who don’t need the money or could live a perfectly acceptable life in a lower salaried position, or a less competitive field. It isn’t driven by need; it’s driven by a fear borne of a modern life with many choices but little certainty.

Easier said than done, obviously, for lawyers who are still selling their time.  But you get the point.

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