Westworld Season Two Is a Parable About Corporate Data Collection (via @Reason)

“We allowed ourselves to be convinced that imaginary lines between the “real world” and the digital realm were more meaningful and secure than they really were, and convinced ourselves that those guarding our web worlds would always be guided more by their revolutionary roots than the kind of corporatism that steers establishment entities. And as Facebook and other big social networks exploded, the new connectivity, diversions, drama, illusion of anonymity, possibilities to play different roles, promise of (micro) fame, and easy satisfaction of psychological drives that they provided kept us distracted, or deluded, out of applying caution and thinking more criticially.

Recently, this spell has started to break as awareness about how Facebook and other companies have been careless with user data has grown. Yet masses of people are still handing over their DNA to all sorts of ancestry and gene testing companies and inviting “smart” snoops like Amazon’s Alexa into their bedrooms.

So while the central threat in season one of the Westworld was still somewhat far removed from our reality—the state of android technology and artificial intelligence in the real world is still way less advanced than many people think it is—this season’s new menace lurks a lot closer to home. ”  —

The HBO series turns Facebook and Twitter into a theme park filled with sex, violence, and robots.

 

How The Tiny Nation Of Georgia Became A Bitcoin Behemoth

How The Tiny Nation Of Georgia Became A Bitcoin Behemoth

Cryptocurrency mining is the digital equivalent of minting real money, except that anyone with the right hardware and software can do it, by taking part in what amounts to a giant virtual competition. Think of it like a lottery, where computers linked across the Internet compete to solve complex mathematical puzzles, with the number of players constantly rising. The owner of the computer that finds the right solution is rewarded with a “block” of bitcoin or other cryptocurrency, which is then registered and verified on a decentralized database system known as the blockchain.

In practice, it involves a kind of constant digital bombardment to find these solutions, 24 hours a day, consuming huge amounts of electricity. And thanks to its cheap hydropower and low regulation, Georgia is now ranked second in the world for cryptocurrency mining — behind only China.

Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

With anti-establishment politics shaking governments across the west, US and European intelligence chiefs are newly raising the alarm about Russian cyber attacks and information warfare, saying they pose a threat to their democracies. In the US, the warnings have been met with a mix of outrage and outright dubiousness. While a bipartisan group of senators…

via Russia’s election interference should alarm every American: What you need to know — Quartz

Are the Feds Going to Regulate Daily Fantasy Sports on a Nationwide Basis…?

“States have traditionally handled regulation of gambling, supported by federal law in situations where an interstate of foreign element might otherwise frustrate the enforcement of state law,” posited the CRS report. “With respect to federal law, DFS may implicate at least four gambling-related statutes.”

See, espn Chalk Talk report by Ryan Rodenberg

Restitution complaint filed by NYAG against FD and DK re DFS players’ losses in NY.

In a savvy legal maneuver, the NYAG has amended its complaint against FD and DK seeking #DFS players’ full restitution for losses suffered on their sites in NY; this brilliant litigation tactic may not work, but it will almost certainly pit 90 + % of DFS players against the sites. I predict that DFS players today will be no different than iPoker players (or most other Americans for that matter) – give me my $ back…!

Restitution complaint filed by NYAG against FD and DK re DFS players’ losses in NY.

 

By Mistake or By Design: Why Does DraftKings Technology Not Block Proxies To Keep DFS Users From Restricted US States?

Saturday, November 14th 2015Ian J. Imrich, Esq.

Experts in geolocation — the technique of determining a computer’s location — say that blocking proxies is one of the first, and most straightforward, steps that websites take to keep users from restricted areas off the sites.

DraftKings clearly states the importance of complying with the laws of certain US jurisdictions. But as reported by the New York Times (whose investigative journalists probed the matter), some question the sincerity of the site operator’s terms of use.

By stating in the “terms of service” that users in some regions are not allowed, while at the same time doing little to enforce the rule, online gambling companies around the world often try to have it both ways, said Feda Mecan, a senior official at Playing Legal, a site based in Germany that is devoted to legal gambling in the United States. “I think they are playing that card, to be honest,” Mr. Mecan said.

Then, according to a poker web forum the NYT has reported, a DraftKings employee appeared to provide public advice on how to circumvent geographic restrictions in the United States.

“It seems absurd that a daily fantasy sports operator with financial means would not implement the best possible technology,” Professor Marc Edelman of Baruch College said.

Whether by mistake or perhaps by design, the failure to timely, properly, and regularly employ readily available Geo-Blocking technology to comply with jurisdictional rules in certain States throughout the nation could prove disastrous in the ongoing investigations and pending legal proceedings against of one of the top two daily fantasy sports companies currently operating within the US.

Is The NFL Now Distancing Itself from Daily Fantasy Sports; and if so, Why Now…?

Friday, November 13th, 2015 – Ian J. Imrich, Esq. 

The fantasy sports gaming business in the US is almost entirely unregulated. That’s just the way the NFL has always wanted it — until now.

After NFL’s lobbying extensively in late 2006 to get a “carve-out” from the hastily passed Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) — a carve out that the US Department of Justice never supported (and if reports coming out are true) —  the NFL is now quickly attempting to distance itself from the Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) industry.  See, e.g., NFL is reviewing the entire fantasy sports situation, reports the New York Post.

Why now? Well, here are just a few possible reasons that might help to explain the NFL’s Fall of 2015 back-tracking:

-Legal challenges to the nationwide sports betting ban in Federal Courts are pending and the NFL remains vehemently opposed to any sort of legalized sports wagering (while the NBA by contrast favors regulated sports betting);

-Two major NFL owners could be forced to sell their huge equity stakes within the DFS industry;

-NFL policy strictly prohibits NFL employees or team owners from participating in or facilitating any form of gambling  — yet the same prohibitions do not apply to unregulated DFS skill gaming;

Meanwhile, what have Bob Kraft, Jerry Jones, and one major DFS site operator said about these reports?  So far, The Cowboys, Patriots and DraftKings have declined comment.  Will await to see how long their silence is deafening…