The Firefox Frontier: New Year, New Rights: What to know about California’s new privacy law

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) expands the rights of Californians over their data. Starting in 2020, Californians have the right to know what personal information is being collected, access it, see with whom their data is being shared, and opt-out of the sale of that data.

Source: Mozilla


The Fight Against Government Face Surveillance: 2019 Year in Review

In May of [2019], San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban local government use of face surveillance technology.San Francisco’s ban was enacted with overwhelming support from the City’s Board of Supervisors as part of the city’s Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance banned the use of face surveillance by local government. It also provided the Community Control of Police Surveillance (CCOPS) protections that had already been adopted in neighboring Oakland and Berkeley—and close to a dozen other cities nationwide. By October, Berkeley and Oakland followed suit, amending their existing CCOPS laws to include outright bans on their own city agencies using face surveillance technology. 

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation


Germany Shuts Nuclear Plant as It Phases Out Atomic Energy

AP reports:

BERLIN — Germany is shutting down one of its seven remaining nuclear power plants as part of a planned phase-out of atomic energy production by the end of 2022. Utility company EnBW has said it will take the Philippsburg Nuclear Power Plant off the grid at 7 p.m. (1800 GMT) Tuesday.


On the Value of the Open Web

Anil Dash, the CEO of Glitch, on the importance of the open web:

Every day, millions of people rely on independent websites that are mostly created by regular people, weren’t designed as mobile apps, connect deeply to culture, and aren’t run by the giant tech companies. These are a vision of not just what the web once was, but what it can be again.

If we’re going to build a new web, and a new internet, that respects our privacy and security, that doesn’t amplify abuse and harassment and misinformation, we’re going to need to imagine models of experiences and communities that could provide a better alternative. There’s not going to be a “Facebook killer”. But there could simply be lots of other sites, that focus on a different, more constructive and generative, set of goals.


Five Star Hotel Rooms with a View, 2019

Deutsche Bank researched prices for five star hotel rooms in 54 cities world wide, which it defined as a Hyatt Regency with a view. Where Hyatt Regency did not have a property in a prominent location, Park Hyatt Hotels were used. In some cities, the bank ended up using other brands of hotels.

The results are interesting. New York City is in 22nd place at $415. Boston was in 46th place at $239. In last place was Kuala Lumpur at $164.

RankCity2019 USD
4Buenos Aires714
Source: Deutsche Bank


ProtonMail Releases Calendar in Beta

Protonmail, a Swiss-based, end-to-end encrypted email service, has introduced a calendar in beta:

ProtonCalendar uses end-to-end encryption to keep all your events’ sensitive information private and secure. The event title, description, location, and participants for every event are encrypted on your device before they reach our servers, so that no third party (including ProtonMail) can see the details of your events. Only you will know your plans.

ProtonCalendar is available to all paid ProtonMail accounts using using the ProtonMail Version 4.0 beta.


World's Best Employers, 2019

3Red Hat
6Costco Wholesale
7Contemporary Amperex Technology
8Cisco Systems
Source: Forbes

Alphabet was number one for the third year in a row. Amazon was number ten despite criticism of its employment practices.


Biggest Airlines – A Decade of Change

It is interesting to see the airlines that have grown and declined over the last decade. Measured by scheduled seats, OAG reports that American Airlines is the largest airline in the world beating out Delta, which held the top spot in 2010. Even so, Delta’s scheduled seats grew by 20% from 2010 to 2019.

Other items of interest:

  • There are four US carriers in the top ten: American (AA), Delta (DL), Southwest (WN) and United (UA). US Airways and Continental have been merged and are no longer flying.
  • China holds three spots on the top ten list: China Southern Airlines (CZ), China Eastern Airlines (MU) and Air China (CA).
  • The largest non-US carrier is Ryanair (FR), based in Ireland. Ryanair is now number 5 on the list having risen from number 7 in 2010.
  • Turkish Airways (TK) is now the tenth largest airline and easyJet (U2) based in the UK is number eight.
  • Lufthansa (LH), one of my favorite airlines, is no longer on the list.
Source: OAG

Monsey Stabbing: 5 Wounded at Rabbi’s Home in N.Y. Suburb – NYTimes

MONSEY, N.Y. — An intruder with a large knife burst into the home of a Hasidic rabbi in a New York suburb on Saturday, stabbing and wounding five people just as they were gathering to light candles for Hanukkah, officials and a witness said.

Monsey Stabbing: 5 Wounded at Rabbi’s Home in N.Y. Suburb – The New York Times

Lightroom Tip: Adding Photos Back to a “Smart Publish Collection”

Early in 2019 I was cleaning up my Lightroom library. I ran a Lightroom plugin called Teekesselchen by Michael Bungenstock to identify duplicate files. The plugin seemed to work well. It helped me to identify many duplicates. However, for reasons I don’t understand, some images that had been flagged as “Picks” lost that flag. It’s possible that as a new user of the plugin I had a setting wrong.

In any event, I have many Smart Publish Collections that I use to post to Flickr and SmugMug. The images that became unflagged were marked to be unpublished from Flickr and SmugMug because they were no longer part of the Smart Publish Collection. That wasn’t my intent so I selected all the images in the Smart Publish Collection marked to to be unpublished and hit the “P” key, which is the Lightroom shortcut for the Pick flag. Nothing happened! I reckon the reason was that the photos were no longer in the Smart Publish Collection.

I wasn’t sure what to do and thought I would need to find each image in my library and add the Pick flag one at a time. That would have taken some time as they are from different dates and folders. The beauty of Lightroom Smart Collections is that they gather photos from different dates and folders in one convenient location.

I then tried right clicking on the images and there was an option to set “Set Flag” as Flagged, Unflagged or Rejected. I picked Flagged and my Pick Flags were all restored at once and I was back where I needed to be. I also managed to delete a lot of duplicate files and made a donation to Michael Bungenstock for his helpful donationware plugin.

I am passing this along in case it helps other Lightroom users who face the same issue.