Federal Court Rules No Warrant Is Needed To Obtain Cell Phone Records

Today’s bad news on the privacy front:

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned an order by a Houston federal judge who had said cellphone data is constitutionally protected from intrusion and can only be acquired with a search warrant.

The appeals court in New Orleans said such data is a business record that belongs to the cellphone provider. The court said that, under the Stored Communications Act, authorities have the option of obtaining a court order — which has a lower legal standard than a search warrant. With a court order, authorities only have to demonstrate there are “reasonable grounds” to believe the information would be relevant to an investigation.

Federal Court Rules No Warrant Is Needed To Obtain Cell Phone Records.

The Financial Crisis Cost More Than $14 Trillion: Dallas Fed Study

A new study by economists at the Dallas Federal Reserve, entitled “How Bad Was It?” says a “conservative” estimate of the damage from the 2007–09 financial crisis is $14 trillion, or roughly one year’s U.S. gross domestic product. This is based on how much output was lost during the crisis and Great Recession, along with all the damage done to potential future economic growth.

Keep this in mind the next time bank lobbyists and flacks warn, as they habitually do, that new rules and regulations could slow the U.S. economy. Will rules to safeguard the economy vaporize $14 trillion in GDP? No? Then they’re probably worth doing.

via The Financial Crisis Cost More Than $14 Trillion: Dallas Fed Study.

Nate Silver’s Times colleagues hated that he disagreed with them

The Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan compared statistical guru Nate Silver to Brad Pitt’s character in Moneyball, writing that Silver’s “entire probability-based way of looking at politics ran against the kind of political journalism that The Times specializes in: polling, the horse race, campaign coverage, analysis based on campaign-trail observation, and opinion writing, or ‘punditry,’ as he put it, famously describing it as ‘fundamentally useless.'”

Hehe. Apparently the Times establishment got all pissy when Silver showed that he could call elections better than the rest of them.

via Nate Silver ‘disruptive’ at Times, public editor says – POLITICO.com.

Fire Department chief not fooling anyone with latest claptrap

New York City Fire Commissioner Sal Cassano defended the repeated failure of the city’s 911 “Computer Aided Dispatch” system, saying “This is the eighth time the system has gone down since 2005. In the last eight years, it’s gone down for a total of eight hours.” But the system only went on line on May 29, 2013.

And the system’s vendor is looking for help to get it working again:

Jobing Description

Computer Aided Dispatch Systems Engineer

Location: Brooklyn, NY
Job Code: 634


As a Computer Aided Dispatch Systems Engineeryou will become an integral part of our growing organization. As a member of the KeyLogic Team, you will be able to expand your knowledge, work with top industry experts and be a valued and recognized employee. The position requires an ability to take initiative and a willingness to work in a flexible, fast-paced environment.

KeyLogic has new opportunities for operational communications systems and emergency maintenance/911 system software professionals!

Location: Brooklyn, NY

Job Description:

KeyLogic is supporting NASA in performing the IV&V of New York City’s upgrade to the 911 Call Centers in the Emergency Communications Transformation Program. This position is for the Fire Department Computer Aided Dispatch and ECTP Triage projects and is on-site with the client. Specific duties include:

* Identify issues and risks during development and testing of the CAD system for the fire department.
* Identify issues and risks during development of the call taker Triage system.
* Identify issues and risks during requirements allocation, system integration, transition and operation for both the police and fire department.
* Analyze “as-is” system configuration and “to-be” system.
* Key IV&V interface to client, developer, and police/fire stakeholders of the radio and ECS projects.

The position will work within a team of other engineers and systems architects to perform the IV&V of the New York City’s ECTP consolidated 911 system.

Required Skills:

Candidate should be well versed in Computer Aided Dispatch for an Emergency Management System, including knowledge of databases, GIS, and emergency management. Specific engineering skills and domain knowledge needed includes:

* Radio Frequency communications and software controls and consoles.
* System architectures and interdependencies among subsystems within systems.
* State of the art public safety technology.
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills and ability to work in customer environment.

Desired skills:

* Knowledge of radio systems and call distribution/call takers for emergency management, specifically CAD interfaces to these systems.
* Call Taker Triage systems.

Required Experience:

BS Engineering + 10 years experience required. Candidate is required to have experience in development, or IV&V, of a complex operational software system. Specific domain experience needed includes:

* Two or more years of experience with CAD for an Emergency Communication System.
* Knowledge of databases and GIS systems.
* System architectures and interdependencies among subsystems within systems.
* Demonstrated teamwork and innovation in a development environment.
* Experience working with customers and user stakeholders.
* Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

About KeyLogic:

KeyLogic Systems specializes in Knowledge Management, Program Management, and Portfolio and Performance Management solutions that enable our customers to make better business decisions for their organization. KeyLogic’s performance has earned the company a solid reputation for high standards, proactive solutions and an outstanding commitment to the customer, best exemplified by our 97% customer satisfaction rating and our record of never having a one-time customer. All of our customers have provided repeat business.

KeyLogic has achieved fourteen consecutive years of growth since its founding in 1999. KeyLogic serves as the prime contractor on nearly 75% of its contracts, with work split almost evenly between the defense and civilian sectors. Our client list includes the Department of Defense (DoD), where we provide services for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and the U.S. Army and Navy, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Departments of Labor (DOL), Energy (DOE), Transportation (DOT) and Treasury (including the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)), General Services Administration (GSA), and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

KeyLogic has successfully attained a Capability Maturity Model Integration for Development (CMMI-DEV) Maturity Level 3 Rating. CMMI-DEV is a process improvement approach for software engineering and organizational development that provides organizations with the essential best practices needed to meet business goals. Only three-percent of small and medium federal contractors have achieved CMMI Maturity Level 3. KeyLogic joins this distinguished group.

As a result of the company’s rapid growth and success, KeyLogic has been recognized by Washington Technology and Inc. magazines as one of the fastest growing private companies working in today’s government contracting market.

911 call takers overwhelmed by overtime and adverse work conditions amid glitch crisis – NYPOST.com.

The Detroit Bankruptcy

I was just reading a discussion of the bankruptcy of Detroit: greedy unions, bad government decisions, jobs fleeing overseas, that sort of thing. One interesting theory is that cars are relatively easy to make and will end up being manufactured wherever it’s cheapest.

Anyway, I can’t see Detroit being bailed out — I’m not even sure it would be a good idea. But I foresee a dystopian future for the motor city: half the population will decamp for New York City, where they will promptly go on welfare and drive around in limousines. The other half will head south to Florida, buy guns and soon be riding around in limousines.


Union City is the anti-Bloomberg model for success in education

“Union City is the anti-Bloomberg model for transforming public education: It hasn’t closed a single school, fired teachers en masse, introduced perform-or-perish accountability or encouraged charter schools. And yet it has seen its schools thrive.”

via Union City: Anti-Bloomberg Model for Success, Suspensions Down and StudentsFirstNY Failing/Falling Apart – NY-GPS.

and NY Daily News

Humor: NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails

When the National Security Agency, as part of a freedom of information request, was asked to do a simple search of its own employees’ email, they claimed not to have the ability: “There’s no central method to search an email at this time with the way our records are set up, unfortunately,” NSA Freedom of Information Act officer Cindy Blacker said with a wink.

NSA Says It Can’t Search Its Own Emails – ProPublica.

5 NYC mayoral candidates take on Rev. Al Sharpton’s challenge, spent last night in public housing

Actually, I’m glad they did. Keeping the pols in touch with the lives of the constituents is a good thing. Kind of like Bloomberg riding the subway.

Come to think of it, it would have been nice if Hizzoner had spent the night in public housing, too.

5 NYC mayoral candidates take on Rev. Al Sharpton’s challenge, spent last night in public housing – NYPOST.com.

On the other hand, there are no easy answers when it comes to poverty. According to the Post, NY food stamp recipients are shipping welfare-funded groceries to relatives in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Haiti.