Writing about (in no particular order)

Privacy, Music, Elephants & Cybersecurity


When people think about privacy on the Internet, they come to question the concept of TRUST. Although the number-crunchers and propeller-heads want to think that commerce is “just business”, in fact it only succeeds because there is an element of trust. Well, Ed Snowden changed that. Trust began to erode, and that made b-to-c commerce much more challenging.

If you have the time, and care about this, then listen to this (above) one-hour panel on the subject of trust, from Bloomberg at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, featuring:

Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer for Yahoo! Inc.

Marc Benioff, chief executive officer for Salesforce.com

Mike Fries, chief executive officer for Liberty Global Plc

Tim Berners-Lee, computer scientist at MIT

and EU’s digital economy chief Guenther Oettinger

They talk about the outlook for cloud computing, securing personal data on the Internet and steps web-based businesses must take to gain user trust.

If you don’t have the time, then here are my quick notes on the panel discussion:

privacy + “beneficent” applications + transparency = TRUST

In a world where trust is being eroded, transparency becomes the word that is coupled to trust. Hand in glove. Consent to use data becomes critical.
Tim Berners-Lee says developers should be asking if their actions are “beneficent” to the end user.
There are those who think privacy should include the “right to be forgotten” from Internet history, See Tradeoffs in the Right to be Forgotten, by Andrew Mamo.
And the flip-side of this point of view is that there is a large population of people who like personalization of data, they like the choices made for them by algorithms.
A note from last week’s blog: Thanks to Bill Stamatis for raising the question: “how do I live a modern life and remain off the information grid?” See Bill’s spectacular photography.


iPhone6 195

For jazz after 11pm in NYC, I recommend the late night session at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.iPhone6 209

What a blast — every Tuesday-Saturday at 11:30PM, the Late Night Session features some of jazz’s most talented up-and-comers.

Late Night Session curator and vocalist Michael Mwenso hosts special sets on Thursday and Saturday nights showcasing select invited guests.

No reservations necessary. Just swing by!

$5 cover Tuesdays & Wednesdays




See how technology is helping out on farms and preserves in Africa


Hint: I use this as a key device in THE FACES IN THE RAIN.



Ivory smuggling tied to cybercrime?

The assumption that I make in THE FACES IN THE RAIN about the African ivory trade being a supply chain facilitated by cyber criminals, is not so far fetched.

This week Reuters reports that, Kenya weighs Chinese request for extradition of 76 held for cyber crime.

Couple this story from the Huffington Post that Chinese officials are using their embassy to smuggle ivory,

And this report, that some staff members of the Chinese Embassy in Tanzania were major buyers of illegal ivory.

Kingpin arrested in Mombasa:


…and the conclusion is that where there is gold there’ll be crooks.

But, because of the transparency that Internet scrutiny brings, and because Kenya and Tanzania have no intention of being colonized again (this time by China), they will prosecute those who trade in ivory. And I wish them every success! Good news.


Cybersecurity news continues to slam us across the networks. Here’s a sampling of clips:

 dig·it·al na·tive
noun — a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.
  1. “the digital tools that are reshaping our economy make more sense to young digital natives than to members of older generations”

 Other things:

I have a growing selection of video on my YouTube channel.

Please check it out and subscribe.

 Safety tip of the week:

When you register at any Internet service, try to NOT use your email address.

If they allow it, use a different user name. It makes hacking a lot harder.

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Robert K Volk
8 years ago

Blog is very interesting with good insight into cyber security, ivory trade and future 2015 issues we should be cognizant of.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x


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