Outrun Change

We need to learn quickly to keep up with the massive change around us so we don't get run over. We need to outrun change.

Archive for the tag “downside of the new economy”

Downside of cool modern tech: Massive breach of federal personnel systems

The public now knows of two rounds of massive breaches at the federal agency that handles all personnel records. First round looks like it was essentially the basic personnel file of all current and many former federal employees.

Second round is the long forms used to process security clearances. Looks like it was military and spy agency records. Great. Those files list all relatives, making them vulnerable to coercion. Provides lots of ideas on how to turn or compromise employees.

 

Hackers meandered around the systems for a year.

If you want to build a deep profile of military, diplomatic, and spy agency staff for use over the next several decades, this would be a fantastic starting point. Will take a while to process all the files and synthesize with social media and published news reports, but those countries who wish us harm will have a superb database to track and compromise federal employees.

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More weird stories from worlds far away I’ll never visit

One thread of discussions on this blog are worlds far away that I’ll never approach within distance of a light year. The only way I can get a glimpse of those places is with the super long distance telescope of the Internet.

Oh yeah, in case you were wondering what direction to aim your spaceship so you can see for yourself what is in those worlds, keep in mind that being a player on those distant planets can earn you a life sentence in federal prison. More on that at the end of this post.

5/28 – Wired – Inside a Giant Dark-Web Scheme to Sell Counterfeit Coupons – Yet another world I had no idea even existed: creating counterfeit discount coupons to use at the store.

A guy whom I will not name has been indicted for wire fraud and trademark counterfeiting for selling packages of counterfeit coupons good to get discount on a variety of consumer products. Send him $25, in Bitcoins of course, and you get a bunch of coupons.

He also offers a $200 course teaching you how to counterfeit your own coupons.

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Be careful on the ‘net. It is cruel and unforgiving. Draw wrong attention and you get dissected, then shamed.

If you are in any social media platform at all, you need to be really careful about what you say. You need to be cautious in saying things that are flippant or can be misunderstood.

There are severe dangers that go along with all the supercool technology available today.  This article is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.

The twitter shame mob

A PR manager from a company sent smart mouth tweets to her 170 followers. Sent a few before travelling to London. Checked her phone there, found no reaction, and sent a few more smarty-pants comments.

While on the 11 hour flight to Johannesburg, another person saw her tweet, and sent it to his 15,000 followers hinting the person was a bigoted racist.

You know where this is going. Oh, her extended family she was on her way to visit? They are all ANC supporters.

The attack tweet went viral.  By the time this person landed in South Africa, there was someone waiting to take pictures of her as she turned on her phone and saw the deluge. Huge numbers of people around the world were trashing her and visiting Orwell’s two minute hate on her.

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More on the downside of oil production in North Dakota

There are bad things that go along with any boom time or rapid growth. For that matter, there are bad things that go along with any good thing.

Here are a few articles on the downside from the huge increase in oil production in North Dakota: drugs, corruption, and human trafficking.

12/4 – Forum News Service in Bismarck Tribune – Trafficking in North Dakota is on the rise, and often the victims can’t escape – Seven part series on human trafficking in the state coauthored by Amy Dalrymple and Katherine Lymn.

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More good stuff on the downside of the open frontiers – 7/30

The wide open frontiers of publishing, technology, energy and space do have a down side. Not everything is rosy. Here’s a few of the articles on the unpleasant side of this amazing world we live in.

The closed energy frontier and a great quote on the role of faith in environmental issues

7/8 – The Feed – Germany Bows to Green Folly, Backs Off Fracking (link broken) – Germany closed down its nuclear reactions and increased coal-burning to offset. It relies on Russia for most of its natural gas. To those two dangerous issues, a proposal on the table will ban fracking for 7 years, locking in their hostage status with Russia as they increase their carbon output.

7/8 – Wall Street Journal – Germany’s Fracking RetreatRead more…

Don’t complain about disappearing mom-and-pop record stores as you download an MP3 of your favorite song

Keep an eye out for the idea of creative destruction. That’s the idea that a new way of doing business will replace the old way and consumers reap huge benefits.

Many people bemoan Wal-Mart destroying lots of small shops. I understand the damage since that phenomenon affected friends of mine.

Before Wal-Mart, the large chain grocery stores wiped out lots of small neighborhood markets.

Don’t forget what happened in the music industry.

John Bredehoft, writing at tymshft, reminds us What goes around comes around – the record industry.

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More downsides to the Bakken expansion

Rental prices are sky-high in Williston and elsewhere around the Bakken. When I describe the rent situation in Williston to my friends here in California, I’m not quite sure if they believe me.

Here are five stories over the last few weeks describing the pain that causes.

Amy Dalrymple, writing at The Dickinson Press, describes Faces of the Boom: After return to hometown, 76-year-old struggles to stay

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A long term perspective on the turmoil and change we see around us – The best primer I’ve seen.

The two best articles I’ve read that explain the massive shifts we are seeing in the economy were from Walter Russell Mead back in June 2011. Those articles put much in perspective and give a hint at a way forward. They were foundational to me starting to focus on the radical change taking place all around us.

The Death of the American Dream I compares the painful transition away from family farms to a suburban home funded with a cheap mortgage and paid by working a life-time job. We are now transitioning away from the model that has been in place since everyone reading this was a child. It will be painful, just as the disappearance of the family farm was painful.

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How would you like to have this problem: labor force in your city grows 2.58% per month. Yes, over 2%. Per month. For three years. And no end of growth in sight.

That’s the calculation from Dr. David Flynn, writing at the Say Anything Blog: Williston Labor Force May Soon Be Larger Than Grand Forks.

He calculates a 2.58% growth per month over the last three years in Williston. Here are the raw numbers:

In August 2010 the labor force in Williston was 18,819, and by August 2013 it increased to 47,060.

How do you cope with that kind of growth. You can’t. No community can.

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Tolerance for all the serious disruptions from drilling depend on whether you get a check

backen IMG_0653

Having a well drilled near your house generates a lot of disruption. There is noise from the drilling, with something on the order of 2,000 truck trips and round-the-clock lights. I’ve been told you can feel the rumble in the ground when fracking is going on near you.

An article in the Wall Street Journal explains Energy Boom Puts Wells in America’s Backyards.

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More industries transformed by tech revolution – truck driving, legal field

How about truck driving as a threatened field?

The Wall Street Journal article provides a question you may hear soon: Daddy, What Was a Truck Driver?

Truck driving

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Technology revolution becoming visible in health care

The music and publishing industries have been transformed by the technology revolution. Some signs are appearing that technology might remake health care.

The Wall Street Journal article, Midlevel Health Jobs Shrink, reports that several trends are reducing opportunities for people in health care with midlevel skill sets.

Here’s a great summary in the article:

Automation, outsourcing and other forces have eliminated many formerly secure jobs in manufacturing, clerical work and other fields. Now health care is following the same path with unforeseen speed.

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Williston pulls liquor licenses from two strip clubs

There are downsides to a booming economy. Things can get out of control with an overwhelming increase in men who work long hours for good money: they need something to do when not working.

With a serious imbalance in the proportion of men and women in Williston, guess what, those guys wind up at the city’s two strip clubs.

The two places are next door to each other. Not a good deal – get bounced out of one for being rowdy and you can stumble to the other.

As you would expect there has been a surge in police calls to the two clubs.

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Your smartphone could be a hostile spy in your office

There are a few downsides of the astounding technology we have today.

A team from a Navy research office has announced a malware application that can use your phone to create a 3-D image of your office. Such a program could you be used to steal information from your office. For example, bank account numbers visible on checks, info on broker statements, info on your computer screens or calendars. Could also be used to figure out what nice stuff is in your den or living room. 

This isn’t a concept paper or theoretical discussion.  It is software that is in existence today and has been successfully tested.

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Downside to cameras everywhere and the near-zero cost to record data

We are being recorded and logged and photographed everywhere we go. We need to be aware.

I’m not sure we have all caught on to the extent that we are tracked.  Andy Kessler ponders where we are in his Wall Street Journal article, In the Privacy Wares, It’s iSpy vs. gSpy – Big Brother is watching us. But we are watching back.

Boundaries of monitoring

He reminds us there is a log and probably a photo from every time you interact with a toll booth, cell tower, ATM, or commercial security cameras, of which there may be as many as 30M around the country. 

As cheap as storage is, those records will be retained for years, if not decades.

Ponder the new boundaries of the monitoring:

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