It seems Amazon has teamed with another company to create and issue a credit card that would be issuable to Amazon’s Prime members. It doesn’t matter what the purpose and parameters of the card are—they’re legal under existing law.
But none of that matters. Senator and Progressive-Democratic Party Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders (I, VT) and his trophy BFF, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D, NY), object to the card because it doesn’t suit their requirements. And since they object, they’ve vowed to destroy the card, should Sanders be elected President.
The People’s Republic of China is moving “beyond” the use of smart phones for making on-the-spot retail payments, starting to supplant that with facial recognition—with personal images tied to personal financial accounts.
Ant Financial Services Group and Tencent Holdings Ltd, rivals that operate, respectively, Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s two largest mobile-payments networks, are competing for dominance in the next stage of China’s cashless society. Each is racing to install its own branded facial-recognition screens at retail points-of-sale all over the country, marketing the screens as a way to speed up sales and improve efficiency.
According to internal documents seen Wednesday by local media, German interior ministers are considering a proposal that would allow data from speech assistants to be legally permissible as evidence for the prosecution of crimes.
“Speech assistants”—is that what the kids are calling these things? The speech assistants to which those German interior ministers refer are “smart” home devices like Alexa, Siri, smart TVs, presumably Cortana, and on and on—any device we allow in our naivete into our homes—that listen to our every word, every sound we sigh, and records the most current of them.
Natasha Khan had a piece in Sunday’s Wall Street Journal concerning the implications of the People’s Republic of China’s 30 years ago Tiananmen Square bloody crackdown on today’s Hong Kong, especially in light of the PRC’s increasing and increasingly direct control over Hong Kong. In the course of that piece, Khan asked about the implications of tightening freedoms on Hong Kong’s position as an international finance center.
To which I answer:
The implications of the PRC’s “tightening” of freedoms in Hong Kong are obvious and universal. The “tightening” is not that, it’s a direct attack on those freedoms with a view to converting them from actual freedoms to freedom to do as the PRC and its ruling Communist Party of China require.
There is much commentary, generally negative, over President Donald Trump’s statements, among others, that he likes the idea of Boris Johnson succeeding outgoing British Prime Minister Theresa May. It’s unbecoming. It’s unpresidential. Mostly, though, it’s simply not supposed to be done for one foreign dignitary to comment on the doings of another nation’s political debate.
I’ll ignore the foolishness of “unbecoming” and “unpresidential;” those objecting on these grounds routinely shy away from saying what they mean by “unbecoming” or “unpresidential.” We’re simply supposed to accept their august pronouncements without question.
There’re a couple of larger issues in play here, though.
In a Sunday Wall Street Journalpiece about red flag laws as a means of gun control, Zusha Elinson asked whether there are any (other) measures that could unify gun rights and gun control supporters.
I say there are none. Full stop.
Gun rights supporters want the 2nd Amendment honored as it’s written. That’s it, and it’s that simple.
Gun control supporters, though, don’t care about the 2nd Amendment, except to the extent they’re willing to go to the trouble of repealing it rather than simply ignoring it. This is demonstrated by a couple of things central to their position.
Justice Clarence Thomas, on the matter of judicial precedent, as quoted by Myron Magnet in Thursday’s Wall Street Journal:
“Stare decisis is not an inexorable command,” Justice Thomas observes in [Franchise Tax Board v] Hyatt. He has said elsewhere: “I think that the Constitution itself, the written document, is the ultimate stare decisis.”
Indeed, they are, and the one the People’s Republic of China has been inflicting on us for years is especially so. For the duration of the PRC’s economic war—of which its trade “war” is just one campaign—they’ve been conducting cyber espionage, stealing our intellectual property, extorting technology transfer as a condition of doing business inside the PRC, demanding government-approved backdoors into our companies’ core software as another condition of doing business there, even poisoning the powdered milk, pet food, and plywood they sell to us.
Or, perhaps they’ve been routed by the forces of Government Knows Better.
This incident occurred last January, but there’s no evidence since that the Brits—their government, anyway; there are pockets of concern, as this incident also indicates—have regained their spine.
A man has been fined after refusing to be scanned by controversial facial recognition cameras being trialled by the Metropolitan Police.
The force had put out a statement saying “anyone who declines to be scanned will not necessarily be viewed as suspicious”. However, witnesses said several people were stopped after covering their faces or pulling up hoods.
San Francisco is about to ban the use of facial recognition by city agencies.
I agree with the sentiment.
However, good luck enforcing this sort of ban. There’s also a general ban on lying under oath, but in the end, all perjury laws can do is attach liability to the lie; they can’t prevent the lying. The primary difference is that lying under oath is easier to detect than is using facial recognition, and so the ban on lying under oath is easier to enforce.