Infected Vending Machines And Light Bulbs DDoS A University — from forbes.com by Lee Mathews; with a shout out to eduwire for this resource

Excerpt:

IoT devices have become a favorite weapon of cybercriminals. Their generally substandard security — and the sheer numbers of connected devices — make them an enticing target. We’ve seen what a massive IoT botnet is capable of doing, but even a relatively small one can cause a significant amount of trouble.

A few thousand infected IoT devices can cut a university off from the Internet, according to an incident that the Verizon RISK (Research, Investigations, Solutions and Knowledge) team was asked to assist with. All the attacker had to do was re-program the devices so they would periodically try to connect to seafood-related websites.

How can that simple act grind Internet access to a halt across an entire university network? By training around 5,000 devices to send DNS queries simultaneously…

 

 

Hackers Use New Tactic at Austrian Hotel: Locking the Doors — from nytimes.com by Dan Bilefskyjan

Excerpt:

The ransom demand arrived one recent morning by email, after about a dozen guests were locked out of their rooms at the lakeside Alpine hotel in Austria.

The electronic key system at the picturesque Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt had been infiltrated, and the hotel was locked out of its own computer system, leaving guests stranded in the lobby, causing confusion and panic.

“Good morning?” the email began, according to the hotel’s managing director, Christoph Brandstaetter. It went on to demand a ransom of two Bitcoins, or about $1,800, and warned that the cost would double if the hotel did not comply with the demand by the end of the day, Jan. 22.

Mr. Brandstaetter said the email included details of a “Bitcoin wallet” — the account in which to deposit the money — and ended with the words, “Have a nice day!”

 

“Ransomware is becoming a pandemic,” said Tony Neate, a former British police officer who investigated cybercrime for 15 years. “With the internet, anything can be switched on and off, from computers to cameras to baby monitors.”

 

To guard against future attacks, however, he said the Romantik Seehotel Jaegerwirt was considering replacing its electronic keys with old-fashioned door locks and real keys of the type used when his great-grandfather founded the hotel. “The securest way not to get hacked,” he said, “is to be offline and to use keys.”

 

 

 

Regulation of the Internet of Things — from schneier.com by Bruce Schneier

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Late last month, popular websites like Twitter, Pinterest, Reddit and PayPal went down for most of a day. The distributed denial-of-service attack that caused the outages, and the vulnerabilities that made the attack possible, was as much a failure of market and policy as it was of technology. If we want to secure our increasingly computerized and connected world, we need more government involvement in the security of the “Internet of Things” and increased regulation of what are now critical and life-threatening technologies. It’s no longer a question of if, it’s a question of when.

The technical reason these devices are insecure is complicated, but there is a market failure at work. The Internet of Things is bringing computerization and connectivity to many tens of millions of devices worldwide. These devices will affect every aspect of our lives, because they’re things like cars, home appliances, thermostats, light bulbs, fitness trackers, medical devices, smart streetlights and sidewalk squares. Many of these devices are low-cost, designed and built offshore, then rebranded and resold. The teams building these devices don’t have the security expertise we’ve come to expect from the major computer and smartphone manufacturers, simply because the market won’t stand for the additional costs that would require. These devices don’t get security updates like our more expensive computers, and many don’t even have a way to be patched. And, unlike our computers and phones, they stay around for years and decades.

An additional market failure illustrated by the Dyn attack is that neither the seller nor the buyer of those devices cares about fixing the vulnerability. The owners of those devices don’t care. They wanted a webcam —­ or thermostat, or refrigerator ­— with nice features at a good price. Even after they were recruited into this botnet, they still work fine ­— you can’t even tell they were used in the attack. The sellers of those devices don’t care: They’ve already moved on to selling newer and better models. There is no market solution because the insecurity primarily affects other people. It’s a form of invisible pollution.

 

 

From DSC:
We have to do something about these security-related issues — now!  If not, you can kiss the Internet of Things goodbye — or at least I sure hope so. Don’t get me wrong. I’d like to the the Internet of Things come to fruition in many areas. However, if governments and law enforcement agencies aren’t going to get involved to fix the problems, I don’t want to see the Internet of Things take off.  The consequences of not getting this right are too huge — with costly ramifications.  As Bruce mentions in his article, it will likely take government regulation before this type of issue goes away.

 

 

Regardless of what you think about regulation vs. market solutions, I believe there is no choice. Governments will get involved in the IoT, because the risks are too great and the stakes are too high. Computers are now able to affect our world in a direct and physical manner.

Bruce Schneier

 

 

 



Addendum on 2/15/17:

I was glad to learn of the following news today:

  • NXP Unveils Secure Platform Solution for the IoT — from finance.yahoo.com
    Excerpt:
    SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 13, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — RSA Conference 2017 – Electronic security and trust are key concerns in the digital era, which are magnified as everything becomes connected in the Internet of Things (IoT). NXP Semiconductors N.V. (NXPI) today disclosed details of a secure platform for building trusted connected products. The QorIQ Layerscape Secure Platform, built on the NXP trust architecture technology, enables developers of IoT equipment to easily build secure and trusted systems. The platform provides a complete set of hardware, software and process capabilities to embed security and trust into every aspect of a product’s life cycle.Recent security breaches show that even mundane devices like web-cameras or set-top boxes can be used to both attack the Internet infrastructure and/or spy on their owners. IoT solutions cannot be secured against such misuse unless they are built on technology that addresses all aspects of a secure and trusted product lifecycle. In offering the Layerscape Secure Platform, NXP leverages decades of experience supplying secure embedded systems for military, aerospace, and industrial markets.

 

 

Equipping people to stay ahead of technological change — from economist.com by
It is easy to say that people need to keep learning throughout their careers. The practicalities are daunting.

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

WHEN education fails to keep pace with technology, the result is inequality. Without the skills to stay useful as innovations arrive, workers suffer—and if enough of them fall behind, society starts to fall apart. That fundamental insight seized reformers in the Industrial Revolution, heralding state-funded universal schooling. Later, automation in factories and offices called forth a surge in college graduates. The combination of education and innovation, spread over decades, led to a remarkable flowering of prosperity.

Today robotics and artificial intelligence call for another education revolution. This time, however, working lives are so lengthy and so fast-changing that simply cramming more schooling in at the start is not enough. People must also be able to acquire new skills throughout their careers.

Unfortunately, as our special report in this issue sets out, the lifelong learning that exists today mainly benefits high achievers—and is therefore more likely to exacerbate inequality than diminish it. If 21st-century economies are not to create a massive underclass, policymakers urgently need to work out how to help all their citizens learn while they earn. So far, their ambition has fallen pitifully short.

At the same time on-the-job training is shrinking. In America and Britain it has fallen by roughly half in the past two decades. Self-employment is spreading, leaving more people to take responsibility for their own skills. Taking time out later in life to pursue a formal qualification is an option, but it costs money and most colleges are geared towards youngsters.

 

The classic model of education—a burst at the start and top-ups through company training—is breaking down. One reason is the need for new, and constantly updated, skills.

 

 

 

Lifelong learning is becoming an economic imperative — from economist.com
Technological change demands stronger and more continuous connections between education and employment, says Andrew Palmer. The faint outlines of such a system are now emerging

Excerpt:

A college degree at the start of a working career does not answer the need for the continuous acquisition of new skills, especially as career spans are lengthening. Vocational training is good at giving people job-specific skills, but those, too, will need to be updated over and over again during a career lasting decades. “Germany is often lauded for its apprenticeships, but the economy has failed to adapt to the knowledge economy,” says Andreas Schleicher, head of the education directorate of the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries. “Vocational training has a role, but training someone early to do one thing all their lives is not the answer to lifelong learning.”

To remain competitive, and to give low- and high-skilled workers alike the best chance of success, economies need to offer training and career-focused education throughout people’s working lives. This special report will chart some of the efforts being made to connect education and employment in new ways, both by smoothing entry into the labour force and by enabling people to learn new skills throughout their careers. Many of these initiatives are still embryonic, but they offer a glimpse into the future and a guide to the problems raised by lifelong reskilling.

 

 

Individuals, too, increasingly seem to accept the need for continuous rebooting.

 

 

 

This is how blockchain will change your life — from medium.com by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

Excerpt:

Enter the blockchain, the first native digital medium for peer to peer value exchange. Its protocol establishes the rules — in the form of globally distributed computations and heavy duty encryption — that ensure the integrity of the data traded among billions of devices without going through a trusted third party. Trust is hard-coded into the platform. That’s why we call it the Trust Protocol. It acts as a ledger of accounts, a database, a notary, a sentry, and clearing house, all by consensus.

 

 

 

 

Blockchain technology: Redefining makerspaces — from worlds-of-learning.com by Laura Fleming

Excerpt:

My own personal fascination with blockchain technology lies in its potential for makerspaces and its role in the Maker Movement.  The blockchain by nature is decentralized (peer-to-peer), distributed and open-source…the blueprint for makerspaces.  Makerspaces both in and out of schools are about decentralizing and widening-access. This includes not only access to the spaces themselves, but also to equipment and resources.  I have written before about he potential of Open Educational Resources (OER) in a makerspace.  Blockchain technology could further open up access and use of resources, making our educational system that much more open and flexible.

Within schools, giving students credit for the skills they gain in a makerspace is always a challenge.  The blockchain offers a real possiblity for managing and processing these types of credentials. Outside of school, no standard exists for certification or credentialing in a makerspace.  You might be certified to use a tool in one makerspace, but walk into another and not be able to use that same tool there. Blockchain technology can help streamline and create a new standard for these types of certifications.

 

 

 

New platform aims to make it easier to develop for blockchain — from adigaskell.org

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

Blockchain is undoubtedly one of the hottest technologies around at the moment. Whilst it has gained most of its notoriety for the Bitcoin financial technology, it also has a number of other possible applications.

For instance, John Holden and Greg Irving from the University of Cambridge use blockchain technology as a means of making clinical trial documents immutable. The pair wanted to tackle the thorny issue of ensuring that research data is untampered with, so that external people can have confidence in the results from the trials.

They highlighted the use of blockchain in cardiovascular diabetes and ethanol research via a report published on the F1000 website.

 

 

 

Bitcoin transaction initiated from fed offices, for the first time — from fee.org
Blockchain technology is maturing very quickly

Excerpt:

Some remarkable things are happening in the bitcoin/blockchain space. It’s hard to believe that just seven years ago, this technology was first revealed on an email list followed by just a handful of cypherpunks, who should be remembered by history as brilliant and dedicated innovators of a revolutionary technology. Today what they did has grabbed the attention of the world’s largest financial institutions and central banks.

And why? It’s clear this innovation is not going away. It’s simply a better method for exchanging value globally. It is a technology that will influence—if not define—the future of payments and money. It is already disrupting the status quo in more ways than even the best experts can track, especially in emerging markets.

 

Four of us blockchainers actually visited Janet Yellen [Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System] in her office.

 

 

 

 

BlockchainEcosystem-July2016

 

 

 

 

Can IBM really make a business out of blockchain? — from fortune.com by Jeff Roberts

Excerpt:

One of the loudest evangelists is IBM, which has been touting the potential of blockchain—a technology that can allow companies to create quick, tamper-proof ledgers—to transform everything from finance to trading to insurance.

On Tuesday, IBM announced the formal launch of a so-called “Bluemix Garage” in New York, where developers can experiment with financial-tech software and explore new forms of blockchain innovation.

It’s a fine idea and one that could serve IBM’s long-term strategic interests. Namely, if developers flock to IBM’s platform, the company will be well-positioned to grab a big share of the “blockchain-as-a-service” market—a still nascent industry dedicated to helping firms navigate the world of ledgers, smart contracts, and all that other good stuff.

 

 

 

 

MusicOnBlockchain-July2016

Excerpt:

Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), or ‘blockchain’, has started to receive increasing media attention and investment from several sectors including governments, financial services and the creative industries. The potential application in relation to music is of particular interest, as it appears to offer solutions to problems artists have highlighted for decades – around transparency, the sharing of value and the relationships with intermediaries that sit between the artist and fan, the central and most important relationship in music.

If blockchain technology can help the commercial and contractual relationships in music keep pace with technology and the communication between artists and fans then it could be truly revolutionary.

 

 

 

Pink Floyd: Blockchain technology in music could be ‘truly revolutionary’ — from ibtimes.co.uk by Ian Allison
A research team at Middlesex University has released their ‘Music on the blockchain’ report.

Excerpt:

According to the report, there are four main areas where blockchain could transform the music industries:

  • A single, networked database for music copyright information, rather than the many, not-quite-complete databases maintained at present;
  • fast, frictionless royalty payments, whereas payments can currently take years;
  • transparency through the value chain, allowing musicians and their managers to see exactly how much money they are owed, as opposed to a culture of non-disclosure agreements and “black boxes”; and
  • access to alternative sources of capital, with smart contracts – contracts implemented via software – potentially transforming crowdfunding and leading to the establishment of ‘artist accelerators’ on the model of tech start-ups.

 

 

 

Using blockchain to re-imagine learning — from medium.com by Ben Blair, co-founder of Teachur

Excerpt:

In her recent blog, KnowledgeWorks Senior Director of Strategic Foresight Katherine Prince lists six challenges that K-12 education faces. I’m not going to go all panacea on you, but let me illustrate how blockchain technology could address at least one of those issues and gesture to how it could play an important — if not central — part in addressing all six.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Reentry Education Tool Kit
…offers guidelines, tools, and resources to help education providers implement the  Reentry Education Framework. The Framework promotes the development of an education continuum spanning facility- and community-based reentry education programs. It has five critical components—program infrastructure, strategic partnerships, education services, transition processes, and sustainability.

 

ReentryEducationToolkit-April2016

 

Also see:

ReentryEdFramework-EdGov-Jan2016

 

 

Supporting Second Chances: Education and Employment Strategies for People Returning from Correctional Facilities — from jff.org

Excerpt:

Jobs for the Future
With more than 2 million people incarcerated on any given day in the United States, and over 700,000 people transitioning out of state and federal correctional facilities each year, there is an urgent need to do more to help reintegrate both youth and adults involved in the criminal justice system back into their communities and become productive members of society. Research indicates that full-time employment is one of the primary predictors of their success. This brief highlights strategies for expanding education and employment pathways and offers specific policy and program priorities to help improve the ability of former inmates to make a smooth transition by connecting them with these pathways. It is part of a series from JFF’s conference Bridging the Gap: Postsecondary Pathways for Underprepared Learners.

 

 

 

Addendum on 4/27/16:

Online Education behind Bars — from blogging.snhu.edu by Michelle R. Weise & Julia Lee

Excerpt:

In early October in New York, three talented and motivated prison inmates from the Bard Prison Initiative inspired the nation by defeating Harvard University’s debate team on the topic of public education for undocumented students. The inmates’ success served as the perfect punctuation mark for the September 30th deadline for institutions to apply for Pell for Prisoners. This experimental sites project enables prison inmates to obtain federal Pell grants to finance their college education while behind bars.

For the adult prison population, the benefits of a college education, combined with supportive re-entry services, are undeniable. Postsecondary education, in particular, appears to have a more powerful effect in reducing recidivism compared to other levels of education. A 2013 RAND meta-analysis that synthesized the findings of 50 studies on recidivism revealed that a person receiving postsecondary education in prison would be about half as likely to recidivate as someone who does not receive postsecondary education in prison.

 

Why can’t the “One Day University” come directly into your living room — 24×7? [Christian]

  • An idea/question from DSC:
    Looking at the article below, I wonder…“Why can’t the ‘One Day University‘ come directly into your living room — 24×7?”

 

The Living [Class] Room -- by Daniel Christian -- July 2012 -- a second device used in conjunction with a Smart/Connected TV

 

This is why I’m so excited about the “The Living [Class] Room” vision. Because it is through that vision that people of all ages — and from all over the world — will be able to constantly learn, grow, and reinvent themselves (if need be) throughout their lifetimes. They’ll be able to access and share content, communicate and discuss/debate with one another, form communities of practice, go through digital learning playlists (like Lynda.com’s Learning Paths) and more.  All from devices that represent the convergence of the television, the telephone, and the computer (and likely converging with the types of devices that are only now coming into view, such as Microsoft’s Hololens).

 

LearningPaths-LyndaDotCom-April2016

 

You won’t just be limited to going back to college for a day — you’ll be able to do that 24×7 for as many days of the year as you want to.

Then when some sophisticated technologies are integrated into this type of platform — such as artificial intelligence, cloud-based learner profiles, algorithms, and the ability to setup exchanges for learning materials — we’ll get some things that will blow our minds in the not too distant future! Heutagogy on steroids!

 

 


 

 

Want to go back to college? You can, for a day. — from washingtonpost.com by Valerie Strauss

Excerpt:

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be if you could go back to college, just for the sake of learning something new, in a field you don’t know much about, with no tests, homework or studying to worry about? And you won’t need to take the SAT or the ACT to be accepted? You can, at least for a day, with something called One Day University, the brainchild of a man named Steve Schragis, who about a decade ago brought his daughter to Bard College as a freshman and thought that he wanted to stay.

One Day University now financially partners with dozens of newspapers — including The Washington Post — and a few other organizations to bring lectures to people around the country. The vast majority of the attendees are over the age 50 and interested in continuing education, and One Day University offers them only those professors identified by college students as fascinating. As Schragis says, it doesn’t matter if you are famous; you have to be a great teacher. For example, Schragis says that since Bill Gates has never shown to be one, he can’t teach at One Day University.

We bring together these professors, usually four at at a time, to cities across the country to create “The Perfect Day of College.” Of course we leave out the homework, exams, and studying! Best if there’s real variety, both male and female profs, four different schools, four different subjects, four different styles, etc. There’s no one single way to be a great professor. We like to show multiple ways to our students.

Most popular classes are history, psychology, music, politics, and film. Least favorite are math and science.

 

 


See also:


 

 

OneDayUniversity-1-April2016

 

OneDayUniversity-2-April2016

 

 

 


Addendum:


 

 

lyndaDotcom-onAppleTV-April2016

 

We know the shelf-life of skills are getting shorter and shorter. So whether it’s to brush up on new skills or it’s to stay on top of evolving ones, Lynda.com can help you stay ahead of the latest technologies.

 

 

From Wikipedia’s page on “Prison Education” (emphasis DSC):

Reductions in recidivism
Recent research on prison education programs presents discouraging statistics on the current recidivism rate. The Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) reported in 2011 that nearly 7 in 10 people who had been incarcerated will commit a new crime, and half will end up back in prison within three years. Given that about 95 out of every 100 incarcerated people eventually rejoin society, it is crucial that there are educational programs in the prison system.[16] Not only is it important to develop programs in prison that are educational but if recidivism is a goal then there also needs to be support programs in the community to support the reentry population where they can either continue their education or get assistance in finding a sustainable job.[17]

Skeptics claim that, in many cases, prison education produces nothing more than “better educated criminals”.[18] However, many studies have shown significant decreases in recidivism. “The more educational programs successfully completed for each six months confined the lower the recidivism rate” according to Harer (1994), in his Federal Bureau of Prisons Office of Research & Evaluation report.[19][20]


Personal development
To those afforded the opportunity to further their education, it “may be the first glimmer of hope that [they] can escape the cycles of poverty and violence that have dominated their lives”.[21] Pursuing an education can also undo some of the damage accrued during their stay in prison; it can awaken senses numbed and release creativity that is both therapeutic and rehabilitative.[22]

With good skills and an education, released prisoners have a better chance at moving on with their lives despite their criminal record. 75% of college-educated ex-prisoners are able to find stable employment.[23] Employment helps ex-prisoners stay out of prison, despite the formidable obstacles, including the social stigma of being an ex-con and state laws that bar them from professions requiring licensure. They will be dealing with these obstacles for the rest of their lives.

 

A College Education for Prisoners — from/by the Editorial Board of the New York Times

Excerpt:

States are finally backing away from the draconian sentencing policies that swept the country at the end of the last century, driving up prison costs and sending too many people to jail for too long, often for nonviolent offenses. Many are now trying to turn around the prison juggernaut by steering drug addicts into treatment instead of jail and retooling parole systems that once sent people back to prison for technical violations.

But the most effective way to keep people out of prison once they leave is to give them jobs skills that make them marketable employees. That, in turn, means restarting prison education programs that were shuttered beginning in the 1990s, when federal and state legislators cut funding to show how tough they were on crime.

 

 

a16z Podcast: Your worst deeds don’t define you — life and redemption in prison — this podcast is produced by Andreessen Horowitz (aka “a16z”), a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm

Description:

Men and women who have spent decades in prison are being released into an iPhone-enabled world that they hardly recognize. Shaka Senghor is one of those people, imprisoned at age 19 for second-degree murder and released almost two decades later in 2010. “It was like Fred Flintstone walking into an episode of the Jetsons,” he tells Ben Horowitz in a conversation about his book, Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison.

Today, Senghor is an activist, advocate, and mentor for young men and women who find themselves on the same troubled path he took. This episode of the a16z Podcast covers Ben and Shaka’s conversation about healing, humanity, and redemption — especially if you believe that it’s how you finish, not just how you start, that matters.

 

WritingMyWrongsMarch2016

 

 

Prison ministry degree program reflects restorative justice — from calvin.edu by Jon Gorter; from 2/26/15

Excerpt:

At Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia, MI, select inmates will  have the opportunity to earn an AA or BA degree in Ministry Leadership through Calvin College this fall.

The Ministry Leadership program, initiated by the Calvin Theological Seminary (CTS) in partnership with Calvin College, has gained the interest of the college; and though it is still waiting for final accreditation, was approved by faculty senate at the beginning of this month.

Each year, around 18 to 20 selected inmates will be transferred from various Michigan prisons to the Handlon Correctional Facility to take courses in required core disciplines and in Ministry Leadership.

After completing at least 124 semester hours over a period of 5 years, students will receive a BA degree, which will enable them to lead worship, disciple fellow inmates, and mentor short-term prisoners.

 

Related:
Calvin programs designed to educate inmates — from calvin.edu by Anneke Kapteyn

 

 

Also relevant/see:

  • Traveling the World in Search of a New Vision of Justice — from takepart.com by Rebecca McCray
    Baz Dreisinger traverses the continents in her new book, visiting prisons worldwide and bringing their lessons back to the U.S.
    Excerpt:
    As a longtime teacher in U.S. prisons, journalist, and professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Baz Dreisinger has spent many hours considering incarceration in the United States. In her new book, Incarceration Nations: A Journey to Justice in Prisons Around the World, she takes her expertise and looks out to the rest of the world. Traveling from South Africa, to Uganda, to Brazil, to Thailand, and Australia, Dreisinger takes her teaching skills into far-flung modern prison complexes and gives her readers a glimpse into the lives of the men and women incarcerated there.TakePart talked to Dreisinger about what she learned while working on the book and how it changed the way she thinks about justice in the U.S. (The conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
    .
  • The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI)
    The Bard Prison Initiative (BPI) creates the opportunity for incarcerated men and women to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. The academic standards and workload are rigorous, based on an unusual mix of attention to developmental skills and ambitious college study. The rate of post-release employment among the program’s participants is high and recidivism is stunningly low. By challenging incarcerated men and women with a liberal education, BPI works to redefine the relationship between educational opportunity and criminal justice.
    .
  • Divine Hope Seminary
    Excerpts from website:
    Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary is a dedicated prison seminary  that operates within the Danville Correctional Center (Illinois) and the Indiana State Prison in Michigan City, the Westville (Indiana) Correctional Center and the Rockville (Indiana) Correctional Center.

    The school is called Divine Hope Reformed Bible Seminary because it provides an opportunity for hope-giving and life-changing studies that prepare our students for useful service within and outside of prison.

 

 

Addendums on 4/4/16:

Hebrews 13:3 New International Version (NIV)

Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.

 

Why Tribeca Film Institute is doing screenings in prison — from fastcompany.com by David Zax
The Community Screening Series helps prisoners connect to each other, the world outside, and new educational opportunities.

Excerpt:

The evening’s screening—Tribeca does two every month—would also serve as an on-ramp to other educational initiatives in the prison; several men in the audience had come to early screenings where they learned about a higher education program in the prison offered through John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

But Bravo had a longstanding interest in mass incarceration and prison education. Growing up in Far Rockaway, Queens, people in his community kept getting locked up, so often on simple drug possession. “I realized there was a direct relationship between the prison industrial complex and poor communities of color,” he recalls today. In the ’90s, he became a hip-hop journalist, editing a column for a magazine about prisons, and he began to visit them. Meanwhile, the U.S. prison population soared (it now stands at 2.4 million, giving the U.S. one of the highest incarceration rates in the world).

Bravo kept wanting to work to connect prisoners to the outside world. When he started making documentaries for PBS, he made sure to screen them in prison. When he worked for the famed documentarian Albert Maysles, he did the same. “I thought of prison audiences as a vital stakeholder group in the community,” he recalls.

At Otisville, the screening winds to its conclusion. Ransom, White, and Rodriguez break the men into three groups, leading them in discussion. In Rodriguez’s group, conversation about the film turns heady immediately, as the men pick apart Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” laws, which so wildly lower the bar for self-defense claims. “Citizens are killing people because they thought he had a gun? That has to be addressed,” says one. “My mother told me you have to teach young black males how to deal with police authority,” says another. “These are not things young white men have to learn…”

As the evening unfolds, the conversation winds more generally to the topic of justice.

“What does it take to have justice?” White asks the men, as Bravo looks on.

One of the incarcerated men responds immediately: “Education.”

 

 

Topic: Big data meets job finding; targeted training programs brought to you by LinkedIn.com

See:

How LinkedIn is helping create economic opportunity in Colorado and Phoenix

Excerpts:

LinkedIn’s vision is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce. Notice that I said every member, not just white collar workers with four-year college degrees. Everyone.

To achieve our vision, we’re building the world’s first Economic Graph — a digital map of the global economy that includes every member of the global workforce and their skills, all open jobs, all employers, and all educational institutions. We’ve been sharing labor market insights from the Economic Graph with dozens of policymakers across the globe to help create greater economic opportunity.

For example, we’ve been sharing Economic Graph insights with policymakers in Colorado and Phoenix. We realized the combination of our Economic Graph insights and the LinkedIn platform can have an even greater economic impact. So last June we joined Skillful (formerly Rework America Connected) — a Markle Foundation initiative to help workers in Colorado and Phoenix with high school diplomas and some or no college education acquire new skills to advance their careers.

That’s why we developed Training Finder — a new product that helps job seekers acquire new skills and advance their careers. It shows them relevant training programs in their area; which programs are affiliated with employers; whether or not they’re accredited; the program’s employment rate, cost, and duration; the skills the program will teach them; the jobs they’ll be qualified for when they complete the program; and the estimated salary. These insights will help them choose the training program that will teach them the skills they need to get the job they want.

 

 

TrainingFinder-LinkedInDotCom-March2016

 

 

From DSC:
This is the kind of thing I was trying to get at in this earlier posting.

 

 

From DSC:
Hmm…I wonder how job seekers and job providers could benefit if IBM Watson were to team up with LinkedIn.com/Lynda.com? And/or for those freelancers who are seeking to work on new projects with those organizations who have projects to be completed…?

I’m thinking Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based job exchanges/marketplaces, with the engines constantly churning away through — and making sense of — enormous amounts of data in order to find people just the right job for them.

For example, someone in Texas wants to work part time in special education and their LinkedIn.com profile shows that they have x, y, and z as their credentials and that they have taken a, b, c, d, and e courses (which the person could also find on the “marketplace section” as having been necessary in that state).  They are looking for 20 hours a week and, as they live in San Antonio, they need something in or near that city.

Would this collaboration bring something that other current job exchanges don’t?  I’m not sure, as I don’t know how much data mining is occurring with them. But the scale of the two companies — along with the technologies and the strategies that they are pursuing — could present some interesting affordances.

 

 

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economicgraph-linkedin-feb2016

 

 

This idea of the need for such a marketplace/mechanism takes on all the more importance if it’s true that we are living in a post-jobs economy and that getting new project-related work is key in putting bread and butter on the table.

Without having looked at this very much, it appears that LinkedIn.com has already been pursuing this type of goal/vision, as seen with the work they are doing involving The Economic Graph.

See:

 

 

 

 

Questions for students studying economics

Questions:

  1. In the article, Goldman Sachs says it may be forced to fundamentally question how capitalism is working,” Goldman lays out the case for the bull and bear sides of the profit margin debate. The profit margins debate could lead to an unsettling conclusion they say. What are your thoughts on this issue and what does data from the last 50 years say?
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  2. How important is China to what occurs in and to the global markets?  How about the impact of oil on the world’s markets?  Do recent events point to their power/influence in the markets? Please be ready to display several graphs that back up your perspective.  Are there ways to temper the impact of those 2 forces on the markets?
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Virtual reality shines light on illiteracy at World Economic Forum — from fortune.com by John Gaudiosi

Excerpt:

A trio of virtual reality experiences, Project Literacy: A Life Unseen, debuted at the World Economic Forum in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, today.

Each virtual reality scenario is a frozen moment in the life of an illiterate person. They explore the global nature of illiteracy and its correlation with gender inequality and malnutrition. According to UNESCO, these two global challenges incur economic costs estimated at $3.5 trillion and $12 trillion, respectively.

“As others have aptly called it, virtual reality is the ultimate empathy machine,” Shamlin says. “Nothing else gives you the same sense of immersion and presence. The international struggle to fight illiteracy has raged on for a long time and we were asked to bring fresh perspective. Now, with the advent of this technology, we can bring a renewed and more intimate awareness of how people struggle with illiteracy.”

 
© 2016 Learning Ecosystems