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Michael LaTorra
Works at New Mexico State University
Attended New College, FL
Lives in New Mexico
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Michael LaTorra

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When the replicator's down...
 
William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy having lunch on the set of Star Trek.
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How bad is the potential threat of massively targered cybercrime for the average person? Probably a lot worse than you think, argues Cory Doctorow.
 
Cory Doctorow:

In the USA, virtually every merchant I deal with wants to make a copy of my ID. Not one of them has ever been able to show me their data-handling practices. My daughter's martial art studio wanted a copy of my fingerprints to sign her up for after-school classes. Social Security Numbers are used as identifiers and authentication tokens by phone companies and banks, and can be trivially derived from public data sources. The public school system wants to give your home address to private contractors and the US military. You can't open an account with a public utility or a private mailbox without handing over copies of your ID and your home address.

Most services you authenticate to want to use a "security question" for password recovery. These security questions -- date of birth, mother's maiden name, etc -- are matters of public record and things you can't change when they breach.

All of this is retained indefinitely and secured indifferently. What's more, a savvy fraudster can build from one or two pieces of this information into a takeover of some of your accounts. Once they're inside your phone, they can use that to leverage a takeover of something harder, like your utilities. From there, they can get the paper statements used to interact with the government or the banks.

Schools are another locus of this. When I do author visits, the schools routinely require scans of my identification, and never, ever, ever know what their data-handling practice is. I feel like a dick making a big deal out of this, but I do it anyway, because when you do get the school board's CTO on the phone, find out who the supplier is who stores those scans, and discover what their privacy policy and data-handling practices are, the inevitable outcome is, "We store everything forever, and badly. You indemnify us for all losses arising from our negligence. We can sell this data. We can show it to anyone we want to."

Migrants get all of this and more. We have to deal with private government contractors who routinely require us to transmit all this information, along with things like copies of our passports, long-form birth certificates, biometric identifiers, all using low-to-no-security methods, for retention by yet more third parties whose own data-handling practices are no better than anyone else's, which is to say, fucking awful.

Everyone knows that these procedures are terrible, and no one gives a shit. It's above everyone's paygrade. The major risk analysis undertaken by firms isn't "Will we destroy someone's life?" It's "Are we indemnified or insured?" The UK story is telling: a woman rented her income property to a tenant who then listed it for sale with a fat-commission-taking real estate broker called Foxtons, who stand out in a field known for sleaze and misery as particularly terrible. Foxtons let this person sell someone else's house without any checking even though the sale was so dodgy its badness could be seen from orbit.

There is structural, society-level, existential risk in this calculus, and I think it's probably worse than the risks that led up to the 2007 crash. We are approaching an era of automatable, mass-scale attacks of the sort presently used to gain access to things like your online dating profiles or home security cameras, except these ones will piece together multiple forms of compromise and direct them to automated attacks on your whole bank balance, your home, and your retirement funds.

If you're thinking about getting into a life of crime, you should definitely become an identity thief and steal houses. It has never been easier, and it will get easier still, every day, for the foreseeable future.

http://boingboing.net/2015/12/14/cybercrime-3-0-stealing-whole.html#more-439824
Articles in the UK and US press describe fraudsters who used public document registries to steal entire houses, using forged documents to list the houses for sale, transferring title to them, and d...
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Dungeons & Dragons & Philosophers.
And that was the day that Utilitarians, Objectivists, Communists, and Egoists all united as one: to kill Nietzsche. And also they told him that their group was really hardcore and didn't allow re-rolling characters, so once you died you had to wait outside and not talk. Didn't get the joke?
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Enjoyed having lunch and discussing a tiny fraction of the universe of subjects that David Brin can discuss with erudition and discernment.
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Awwwww, great pic +Michael LaTorra 
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Robots, the new class?
 
Protesters against robots at the SXSW conference.... Wait, these are scenes from my new graphic novel, the Silver Cord !

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1940689015/silvercord-20 
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Have him in circles
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Seven-of-Nine has your number.
 
represent.com/jeri
Hey gang, it’s finally here! My first ever official charity tee. Proceeds from every shirt sold benefit the amazing work of St Jude Children’s Hospital. Available for 2 weeks only and then gone forever! You know you want one ;-) Get yours here: represent.com/jeri
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Making phone calls inside Google Hangouts is easier now.
 
Faster phone calls in Google Hangouts

Calling from desktop just got better. We're excited to announce: 

* Faster call connections right inside of Gmail and Inbox
* Quicker call answering for incoming Google Voice calls

Start a phone call by clicking the phone tab in Gmail, or by searching for a phone number in Hangouts. You can also try this in the Hangouts Chrome App: http://goo.gl/FujGNb

Look for these updates as we roll them out over the next few days!

#hangouts  
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My favorite director. This examination looks at how Kurosawa constructs his scenes. Unlike most directors, Kurosawa also edited his films himself. It shows.
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My 2014 in pictures, according to the whimsical algorithms of Google
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Have him in circles
715 people
Debbi Mihelic's profile photo
Jose Cordeiro's profile photo
RU Sirius's profile photo
Kimbre'Leigh A'JeeKaurSingh's profile photo
Godfree Roberts's profile photo
Christoph Strouse's profile photo
Linda MacDonald Glenn's profile photo
Aleksander Adamczyk's profile photo
Ada Cattaneo's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Assoc. Professor of English
Employment
  • New Mexico State University
    Asst. Professor of English, present
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
New Mexico
Previously
New York - California - Florida
Story
Tagline
Zen Transhumanist
Introduction

Devotee of Adi Da Samraj, Transhumanist, Zen Buddhist, teacher, author.

Awakening is the most important thing.

Bragging rights
I bought Scotty of STAR TREK (actor James Doohan) a drink!
Education
  • New College, FL
  • New Mexico State University
  • Stony Brook University, NY
  • Antioch College, OH
Basic Information
Gender
Male
This is my go-to Starbucks in Las Cruces. It's convenient to home, to shopping (for groceries and the local enclosed mall), and to a movie theater (10 screens). I go there a lot, so they know me. It's my "third place" between work and home -- the place where they know my name.
Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
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