All posts by Eric J. Sinrod

DOJ Reviewing Paramount Consent Decrees

What are known as the “Paramount Consent Decrees” have governed the manner in which film studios have distributed films to movie theaters for 70 years. But that might change as part of a further deregulatory effort by the current administration. Indeed, the Department of Justice reportedly is reviewing the decrees.

The Paramount Consent Decrees emerged from a significant antitrust cased brought by the DOJ against Paramount Pictures, Warner Brothers, MGM, RKO Pictures, 20th Century Fox, and some other film studios. When the DOJ pursued this case in the 1940s, the film studios controlled many aspects of filmmaking. This included not only film production itself, but also long-term contracts with actors and the owning of movie theaters. The DOJ argued at the time that this made it extremely difficult for independent companies to compete.  Continue reading DOJ Reviewing Paramount Consent Decrees

‘Blinking Red’ Cyber Threats

Over the past couple years, we have heard a lot about Russian efforts on the internet to influence the 2016 presidential election. We also keep getting news about major hacks of businesses and the wrongful accessing of personal customer information.

And now, if that were not enough, Dan Coats, the National Intelligence Director, reportedly has stated that cyber threats to US national security are “blinking red” warning lights. Indeed, according to AP, Director Coats has revealed that online efforts to undercut the fabric of the United States are happening on a daily basis.  Continue reading ‘Blinking Red’ Cyber Threats

New California Law Seeks to Lead the U.S. in Online Privacy Protection

Privacy is like oxygen. It generally is not noticed by a consumer until it is gone. California lawmakers, however, are quite aware of privacy and have recently passed perhaps the most strict privacy law in the United States.

Only days ago, the California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (“the Act”) was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown after it had been approved on a unanimous basis by the California State Assembly and the California Senate. The Act does not become operative until 2020, but when it goes it to effect, it will pack a punch. Indeed, the Act will provide great control to consumers with respect to their own personal data.  Continue reading New California Law Seeks to Lead the U.S. in Online Privacy Protection

Uber: Not Just Cars — All Transportation All the Time

Unless you are living on another planet, you are quite familiar with how to summon an Uber car on an app on your phone so that an Uber driver can pick you up and drive you to the destination of your choice. But Uber is not content with just this form of transportation. Indeed, Uber has grand dreams of being an all-encompassing hub for many types of transportation. Let’s take a look at some of these transportation offerings.  Continue reading Uber: Not Just Cars — All Transportation All the Time

Fighting Skyscraper Emergencies With Jetpacks

Some of us are old enough to remember the Jetsons cartoon show from the 1960s in which George Jetson and his family darted around in the sky using jetpacks and futuristic spacecrafts. Well, the future is here and now when it comes to using jetpacks to fighting skyscraper emergencies.

According to Popular Science, the city of Dubai, within the United Arab Emirates, entered into a contract with Martin Aircraft Company to buy 20 jetpacks for use by first responders in 2015. There are also more recent reports of Dubai firefighters using water-powered jetpacks and Dubai police using Star Wars-style hoverbikesContinue reading Fighting Skyscraper Emergencies With Jetpacks

Law Firms Are Potentially Vulnerable To Phishing Attacks

recent study just published by 250ok, an email analytics company, provides some apparent disturbing news — a whopping 62% of the top 100 global law firms currently fail to achieve the minimum level of email authentication to safeguard law firm staff and clients from phishing attacks.

In its study, 250ok discusses Domain-based Message Authentication and Reporting Conformance (DMARC). According to 250ok: (a) a DMARC reject policy safeguards recipients by requesting that malicious email be blocked from arriving in an inbox, and (b) a quarantine policy requests that such malicious email be placed in a spam-type folder, while (c) no policy at all allows malicious email to go into an inbox. (The study does not explain how an email is determined to be a malicious phishing email on the front end).  Continue reading Law Firms Are Potentially Vulnerable To Phishing Attacks

Email Is Not Dead; Gmail Rolls Out New Features

Long ago in internet time, email was hip and was the next big thing. No longer did we have to shove paper into fax machines to send relatively quick communications, nor did we have to wait for the paper to spit out from such noisy machines when receiving fast-breaking information. Instead, in paperless fashion, we could send and receive emails right from our own computers, and then laptops, tablets, and phones.

But technology continues to evolve. And as internet time went by, email no longer was cool, and by some was considered to be a dinosaur. Why? Because along came texts and the vast assortment of social media means of communication, like instant messaging, Snapchat, WhatsApp messages, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets, and the list goes on and on. And there were concerns about email hacks and lack of security.  Continue reading Email Is Not Dead; Gmail Rolls Out New Features

Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow

What is “real” and what is “fake” in terms of online content we review? This has become a major, if not dominant, concern with respect to the reliability of what we see on the internet. Are suggested “facts” really true? Do we really know the actual source of material posted on the internet?

And now our worry in this area should be heightened by the development of face-swapping videos. For example, FakeApp can be utilized to create altered videos by inserting faces of people into these videos, as reported in detail by Business Insider. This face-swapping technique has been used by many people just for fun. As an example, Nicholas Cage’s image was inserted to have him becoming Lois Lane in a Superman movie (perhaps Nicholas Cage was not amused).  Continue reading Stealing Your Online Face – Online Truth Suffers Another Blow

The Potential Location of Amazon’s Second Headquarters

Amazon truly has developed into a beast of the Northwest. Indeed, Amazon is a major presence in Seattle, occupying tremendous amounts of office space, employing many people, and generally boosting the economy in that region.

Amazon announced some months back that it will establish a second headquarters within the United States. Not surprisingly, many cities came courting, trying to woo Amazon into their backyards. There has been quite a bit of buzz about where Amazon ultimately will locate its second headquarters. And now, according to a recent article by the Business Insider, Amazon may be on the brink of reaching a decision. But where? Drumroll please!  Continue reading The Potential Location of Amazon’s Second Headquarters

The Internet of Things Aids of Food Production

When it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), what might come to mind are “things” like the automatic regulation of settings in the home and routine ordering of household products when supplies are low. But IoT applications are more diverse than that and can be of greater societal importance, for example, when seeking to increase food production for our heavily populated planet.

In a recent article in TheAtlantic.com, a company is profiled called Sid Wainer & Son. Wainer has sold specialty foods using heirloom tomatoes, green eggplants and fig-infused balsamic vinegar in the New England area for more than a century. But more recently, the Wainer farm has gone high-tech.  Continue reading The Internet of Things Aids of Food Production