What We Read Today 05 May 2014

May 5th, 2014
in econ_news, syndication

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number included.

  • No Amount of Alcohol Is Safe (Laura A. Stokowski, Medscape) For some cancers the correlation between the amount of alcohol consumed and incidence of disease is now well established. For other types of cancers the data is conflicting.

Follow up:

The vision is to use a system that works similarly to how we conduct the most sensitive forms of online transactions, like applying for a mortgage. It will utilize two-step authentication, say, some combination of an encrypted chip in your phone, a biometric ID, and question about the name of your first cat.

It is easy to anticipate that this will be extended to replacing all existing sign-ons, from Facebook to your personal blog page. But this also raises a number of questions. Since this is essentially a "one password" scheme it exposes all of your internet activity and information to a single breach point. Just how secure can such a system be? It will have to be the "Fort Knox" of security systems - it will be the ultimate motherlode for hackers.

It also raises the question of abuse of power by central control, be that private sector or government. You essentially relinquish the ability to access a wide range of internet content to the possibility of central censorship. The facilities would exist to classify categories of users (via their cyber ID) as restricted from any list of resources that might be designated. Think government censorship, think unfair blockage of competition. Unless you have government authorization you might not be able to access Chinese government news services. If you do business with Amazon you might be blocked from online access to other retailers.

And, of course, this creates a central repository of all your online activity. Whatever slim veil of privacy still remains in cyberspace would be gone with very little additional government effort.

As you might guess Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge has this on his radar screen with a post from Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog.

  • 10 top spots for foreclosures (Chris Kahn, Bankrate.com, MSN Real Estate) Nationally, foreclosures rose by 4% from February to march. The top ten states for foreclosures contain four surprises: Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana and Maryland. But the biggest surprise for Econintersect? Arizona is not on the list.

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