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On this Memorial Day here in the US, I thought it’d be nice to post something that reminds us what our brave men & women fought and died for. Or something.

On the website SAM.gov (great name, isn’t it?), there’s this new contract opportunity for those who might be interested.

I’m certainly interested! Not as someone who can do the work, but as someone who is concerned about the work to be done. This includes:
  • Validate cybersecurity research in cryptographic wallets exploitation
  • Identify new methods to gain access to cryptographic wallets
  • Identify successful cryptographic models exploits can be accomplished
  • Document the processes, hardware, and skillsets needed for reproduction in an
    advance digital forensic laboratory
  • Create hands-on training for the identified techniques in support of IRS-CI Digital
    Forensics Laboratory.

So…yeah. The Internal Revenue Service is exploring how to hack into crypto wallets, a power that would extend beyond our borders and our citizens. Wonder why they’d ever want to do that?

Does this make you as proud as it makes me? Or as nauseous?

Tell us all about it in the comments below.

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Tough conversations are…well, tough. But not having them usually leads to even tougher consequences.

Project details are…well, detailed. But not diving into them over the course of a project usually leads to very detailed problems arising upon delivery.

Time spent learning takes…well, that takes time away from doing work (or anything else). If it is effective as learning, then it will not be directly productive and inevitably slows down immediate output. But the indirect benefits of time spent learning are necessary for any person or organization to evolve and attain better outputs for the time they spend doing anything thereafter.

Have the conversations.
Discuss the details.
Take the time to learn.

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Do you wear glasses/contacts? Do you feel less human because they help you better see what’s around you?

Do you use sometimes use automated transcription or translation tools? Let algorithms decide what to play next? Search on the internet much?

We tend to think of Artificial Intelligence as something that replaces existing functions. But that’s not what it’s for any more than glasses replace your eyes.

AI is for enhancing what we are capable of, and distributing access to the point that it becomes invisible to us. Like glasses, AI can help us see with clarity what would have been fuzzy otherwise. It doesn’t tell us where we should be looking, any more than Netflix tells us what we must watch. Transcriptions & translations leveraging AI can’t tell us what things mean, only approximate what was said in a more accessible way.

We still infer the meaning. We still decide what’s worth doing. People still need to do this kind of thing for entirely human reasons. And while doing this, we still make entirely human mistakes.

AI does not exist to replace you, unless that is what humans designed it to do.
It’s not here to spy on you, unless that is the human goal.
AI is here to enhance what we can see and do…and it’s already doing this for us today, mostly invisibly.

Your have thoughts. I have a comment box. Perhaps they should meet?

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This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s really real and it has been for some time now.

But in case you didn’t realize what’s going on, here’s one good example:
Vizio makes nearly as much money from ads and data as it does from TVs

It’s not just Vizio, it’s pretty much all TVs produced in the last 5 or so years that do this. Five years from now, it will likely be impossible to find a television that doesn’t do this. If we’re even watching televisions by then.

Chances are some people (like my mother-in-law) still will be. She’s got two Vizio TVs now, and one of them is almost always on. I was first alerted to the fact that these devices were sending about as much information as they receive when I first looked at the logs from my Pi-hole. Since then I’ve had to exempt her devices from the ad-blocking because…she likes ads, I guess?

In any case, you can follow the process detailed here to remove most of the spy features on your Visio “Smart” TV, and most manufacturers have a similar kind of opt-out — though you often have to hunt for it! Check their Privacy Policy if you can’t find it, they have to list it in there.

Here’s the quickie version for your Visio TV. As you can see it’s not that hard to turn off.
  1. Press the MENU button on your TV’s remote.
  2. Select System.
  3. Select Reset & Admin.
  4. Highlight Viewing Data.
  5. Press RIGHT arrow to change setting to Off.

I think turning this stuff off is a really smart thing to do for EVERY smart device. Don’t you?

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I’m often accused of trying to disrupt things. In my L&D work, this is usually by someone who I think is trying to flatter me or something. I don’t take it as compliment though, and I never really know how to respond.

I don’t seek to disrupt anything. I just want things to work is all.

When the things we make objectively fail to create the desired change more often than not, and there is no communal or industry standard by which to gauge the quality of what we produce, I am not the disruption here. Learning & Development is disrupting itself. And far too slowly for my taste.

There are ways of doing learning at scale now that weren’t widely available previously. Ways I guess they still don’t teach yet? I don’t know, I didn’t learn that way. I learned in what I think is a better way than that.

I’m not an academic, and I don’t have academic credentials. While I do play very nicely with academics, I am also a Doer to the core. People tend to think I’m smart and creative, which feels good to hear, but…I just try stuff, really that’s it. No special tricks. Just some odd talents and a lot of experiences over a broad array of disciplines, and a never-ending stream of little failures that occasionally lead to massive success. Not as often or as massive as I’d like, mind you. But I’m doing alright.

I keep asking the awkward questions that people really wish I would quit asking because I believe in our ability to improve, and our duty to do so. To carry on repeating the same fallacies of thought and reinforcing our all-too-predictable biases when we could make better choices has always seemed…well, sad to me. I am ignited by the opportunity to do better, to BE better, than that!

And, personally, I’m unwilling to do less.

If I can reasonably be accursed of seeking disruption, it is only of myself. Yes, that I am actually trying for, it’s true.

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