The SDK: 2015.09.11

In Memoriam
Danny Lewin, The First Victim On 9/11 And An Architect Of The Internet, Slate, Sept. 11, 2015

Danny Lewin with Akamai co-founder Tom Leighton in 1999.

“Before any of the horror unfolded that day, a little-known act of heroism is likely to have taken place on Flight 11 when Lewin—an Israeli-American who served in one of the most elite counterterrorism units of the Israel Defense Force (IDF)—rose from his seat and engaged in a struggle with one of the terrorists to try to thwart the hijacking. During the struggle Lewin was killed, making him the very first victim of the 9/11 attacks.. . .

But that act of heroism was not the only way Lewin made his presence felt on that terrible, unique, awful day. In a tragic twist of irony, the algorithms he helped develop, and the company he co-founded—Akamai Technologies—helped the Internet survive that day’s crush of traffic— the Web equivalent of a 100-year flood.”

Note: On the anniversary of Sept. 11, 2015, so many memories well up. I was fortunate to be nowhere near New York City when the towers were hit, but I have a large extended family in the area. I was at school, and for some reason they weren’t putting the television on, but they were willing to let us repeatedly refresh the news websites on Netscape. I hadn’t realized until now that the same man who saved us from additional devastation is also the man who gave so many people answers when they needed those answers the most.
Also of note: The article goes into great detail about how hard Lewin was working right up to 9/11 – how he was stressed about work, how his IPO had only recently happened but he hadn’t had a moment to enjoy it. Keep that in mind, and while it many be difficult to take time to enjoy each day, at least take some time out when something momentous occurs.

Net Cred

Baby I Got Your Number: This Start-Up Wants To Give You A Reputation Score That Follows You Around The Internet, Fusion, Sept. 9, 2015
“While it’s a potentially powerful idea to have people’s reputations follow them from site to site, it requires a critical mass of both sites and participants. Karma is in beta right now, with just 7,000 users whose scores of 1 to 100 are based on scraping a limited number of sites—

including Facebook and LinkedIn, which simply confirm that you’re a real person, and Airbnb, eBay and Etsy, which actually have ratings and reviews that Karma scores with sentiment analysis. Karma hopes one day that sites like Uber and Lyft, whose review systems are private, will give the start-up access to their internal reviews.”
Note: True story though: I have a book to sell on Amazon, and not only am I having a friend do it for me because he has infinitely more experience selling books on Amazon – he also has reviews and therefore Amazon cred, whereas I have zilch.

Three Ways Privacy Pros Can Harness Technology to Strengthen Digital Privacy, IAPP, Sept. 10, 2015
“As you address these questions, and perhaps many others that arise, there are three main technology considerations that could help form the foundation of a successful, strong privacy program[:]

  • Centralized privacy policies that are actionable across engagement channels
  • Collaborate with IT
  • Take advantage of technology’s ability to give customers privacy choices”

“i ❤ u” maybe be easier to say that “I love you”
Love and connection in the Internet age: We’ve got this, Slate, Sept. 10, 2015

Illustration by Robert Neubecker

“Previous scholarship had suggested that “email and other text communications don’t really work very well,” researcher Alan Dennis said. He now believes that his subjects, many of whom were born after AOL brought email to the masses, are evidence that humans have successfully “adapted” to this new romantic environment.”
Note: Maybe it’s easier once the relationship is established, but… well online dating is no picnic. HA

The Celebration – And the Suits
Assembly Passes Digital Privacy Bill with Strong Bipartisan Support, ACLU, Sept. 8, 2015
Senator Mark Leno, one of the joint authors, explains “[w]hile technology has advanced exponentially, California’s communications laws are stuck in the Dark Ages, leaving our personal emails, text messages, photos and smartphones increasingly vulnerable to warrantless searches.. . . CalECPA was carefully crafted to ensure that the personal information of Californians of all ages is adequately protected and our law enforcement has the tools they need to fight crime in the digital age. The bill strikes just the right balance to protect privacy, spur innovation and safeguard public safety.”
Note: Celebrate good times, come on!

Ellen Pao Speaks: ‘I Am Now Moving On’, Re/Code, Sept. 10, 2015
Ellen Pao issued a statement exclusively through Re/Code. The full statement is available here. “I am now moving on, paying Kleiner Perkins’ legal costs and dropping my appeal. My experience shows how difficult it is to address discrimination through the court system.”

California Agency Says Former Uber Driver Was an Employee, NY Times, Sept. 10, 2015

The California agency ruled that a driver who filed for unemployment benefits in 2014 should have the right to receive those benefits.Credit Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

“[T]he California Employment Development Department’s Inglewood office . . . ruled that an unnamed driver who filed for unemployment benefits in April of 2014 should have the right to receiving those benefits. ‘The evidence showed a distinct and strong right to control by the appellant Uber in the manner and means in which these services were provided,’ [thereby evidencing] an ’employer/employee’ relationship.”

Uber is seemingly unfazed. “An Uber spokesperson said in a statement ‘[t]his decision applies to one person — it does not have any wider impact or set any formal or binding precedent . . . [m]any public bodies have found that individual driver partners are independent contractors, including unemployment and labor departments’ in Indiana, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Texas, Illinois, New York and California.”
Note: I wish there was just one day where Uber wasn’t in the news. Alas. It’s kinda like the Kardashians isn’t it? I mean, would they stop doing things to get our attention if we didn’t give them attention? Bullies stop bullying when you stop fighting back, right…?

Medical Tech… Maybe…
Smart Mouthguard Monitors Your Saliva and Your Health, MIT Technology Review, Sept. 9, 2015
The smart mouthguard  “can detect the concentration of uric acid—an elevated concentration of uric acid in the blood and urine has been associated with various metabolic disorders [and] measure lactate—elevated concentrations of which have been associated with muscle fatigue, among other things.”

Why You Shouldn’t Bother with a $699 Cancer Test, MIT Technology Review, Sept. 10, 2015
“A cancer screening test pitched at you and me could cause more problems than it catches.. . . Pathway Genomics doesn’t have data that shows that the test actually works.. . . That’s right. They don’t know how accurate it is or, more importantly, if it’s good medicine. Finding hints of cancer could save lives, but it might also send consumers jumping into MRI machines searching for cancers that don’t exist or that won’t ever hurt them. Wonder what kind of medical mayhem could result? Check out this scene from Woody Allen.”
Note: Read the article for more details, and I’m not a medical expert, but testing “hundreds of samples” doesn’t sound like a large enough sample group. But the real problem is that Pathways is attempting to cut out the the “middle man” (a doctor! gasp!). Pathways is “marketing the test, called CancerIntercept, directly to consumers, having them consult online with a “telemedicine” doctor to order the test.” But don’t worry – “They also offer a subscription plan, the salesperson said, so that I can get my blood tested four times a year. That’s just $1,196, billed to my credit card.” Yes, prey on those who are concerned they might have cancer for one reason or another, then take $1,196 from them annually for a test that you’re not sure whether or not even works.

I Feel Like “Oops” Is A Solid Headline For Many Of These
Lockpickers 3-D Print TSA Master Luggage Keys From Leaked Photos, Wired, Sept. 9, 2015
“The TSA is learning a basic lesson of physical security in the age of 3-D printing: If you have sensitive keys—say, a set of master keys that can open locks you’ve asked millions of Americans to use—don’t post pictures of them on the Internet.”

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