Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts
Showing posts with label technology. Show all posts

Friday, September 23, 2022

“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel (audio)

Sharing from a Mark Hurst email:

"A quick note today: I wanted to share with you a song that I helped put together with friends from WFMU, the amazing radio station that broadcasts Techtonic. A few weeks back, I was speaking with Scott Williams (himself a DJ on Thursday afternoons) about an idea we’ve batted around for a few years, of changing a well-known song into a tech-themed dystopian version. Almost immediately Scott said he knew just what song to work with: “It practically writes itself!” And thus was born “Sounds of Surveillance.”

Once Scott and I worked the lyrics into shape, he put the band together: Greg Harrison on drums, Matt Fiveash on bass, Lily Wen as audio engineer, and Scott himself on guitar and organ. Soon after the live recording session with the band, he and I went into the studio to sing the vocals, after which he added some more post-production magic to make the track shine.

If you like the song, you can pitch in to WFMU, which is about to start its annual October fundraiser. (New t-shirts are available for the fall, and WFMU has the best t-shirts.)

And now, the track."

- - -

Listen to “Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel

LYRICS:
Sounds of Surveillance
by Si-mark and Scott-funkel

Hello Siri, my old friend
You’ve come to spy on me again
Because the websites that I’ve been browsing
Give you insight into my thinking
Paranoia that you planted in my brain
Still remains
Within the sounds of surveillance

And in the metaverse I saw
Three billion people, maybe more
People texting without speaking
People swiping without reading
People monitored by devices that never cared
No one dared
Disturb the sounds of surveillance

And the people bowed and prayed
To the neon god they made
And the screen flashed out its warning
In the words that it was forming
And the screen said, “The billions in profits are written in the smartphone apps
Like Google Maps”
And whispered in the sounds of surveillance

- - -

Here’s the link again: Listen to “Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel.

“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel
“Sounds Of Surveillance” by Si-Mark And Scott-Funkel


Friday, July 1, 2022

The Hill: "No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it"

"The world is experiencing unprecedented fuel price increases, energy blackmail between countries, up to 7 million air pollution deaths per year worldwide and one climate-related disaster after another. Critics contend that a switch to renewable energy to solve these problems will create unstable electricity grids and drive prices up further. However, a new study from my research group at Stanford University concludes that these problems can be solved in each of the 145 countries we examined — without blackouts and at low cost using almost all existing technologies."
Continue reading the article on the report released

From the Opening of the report:

"Global warming, air pollution, and energy insecurity are three of the greatest problems facing humanity. Roadmaps are developed and grid analyses are performed here for 145 countries to address these problems. The roadmaps call for a 100% transition of all-purpose business-as-usual (BAU) energy to wind-water-solar (WWS) energy, efficiency, and storage, ideally by 2035, but by no later than 2050, with at least 80% by 2030. Grid stability analyses find that the countries, grouped into 24 regions, can exactly match demand with 100% WWS supply and storage, from 2050–2052. Worldwide, WWS reduces enduse energy by 56.4%, private annual energy costs by 62.7% (from $17.8 to $6.6 trillion per year), and social (private plus health plus climate) annual energy costs by 92.0% (from $83.2 to $6.6 trillion per year) at a present-value cost of B$61.5 trillion. The mean payback times of the capital cost due to energy- and social-cost savings are 5.5 and 0.8 years, respectively. "
Download and read the full report ->

No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it
No miracle tech needed: How to switch to renewables now and lower costs doing it

Monday, May 9, 2022

One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff

Dear Registry users and citizens,

We recently posted on our website www.norfolkdeeds.org  a video of a recent April interview outlining why the Norfolk Registry of Deeds should keep its 2 person on-site direct report Registry IT Department.  Sometimes “a picture is worth a 1,000 words” given all that has been written about this matter.  State Law has provided funds to pay for all Registry IT positions in an IT Department that has been in existence for over 35 years at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  The on-site Registry IT staff must be kept.

 

On May 4, 2022 Commissioners Peter Collins and Joseph Shea in a 2 to 1 vote eliminated all Registry IT positions out of the Registry Budget.  This is reckless.  It is unprecedented not to have on-site Registry IT services.  The Registry, its staff and those that the Registry serves are being targeted by a full scale dismantling of the Registry of Deeds on-site direct report IT support.

 

You can help stop the reckless and poor decisions with too many possible bad outcomes by contacting the Norfolk County Advisory Board members. A list of the members is also posted on our website. Please let these representatives know to keep the direct report Registry IT staff when they vote on May 11, 2022.  Also, please contact members of the Finance Committee of the Advisory Board from Avon, Plainville, Randolph, Milton and Brookline who will be voting a recommendation to the whole Advisory Board.

 

Professional Registry staff, Registry users and citizens who have supported the need for on-site Registry IT professionals are NOT being listened to by County Commissioners Collins and Shea.  Why would these Norfolk County Commissioners oppose their paid consultant Mark Abrahams answering deposition questions and their attorney write as one of the reasons that is could cause “embarrassment”?  For who?  The two county commissioners – Collins and Shea – who voted as they did?  For all county decision makers who influenced the IT review, actions and reports with the goal to dismantle the direct report Registry IT Department?  This is what you Registry supporters are up against but we all must keep “fighting the fight.”

 

You will also find posted on our website a letter from Attorney James McKenzie that says it all. It is just a sample of the support the Registry of Deeds has received since the 2 to 1 Norfolk County Commissioner vote going back nearly a year to June 30, 2021 to not have a Registry CIO. Was this the plan all along to not have any Registry IT professionals in the Registry IT Budget? On behalf of myself, the Registry staff and all who depend on the Registry of Deeds including homeowners I want to thank you for your kind words and support that has been given throughout this whole unfortunate matter.

Sincerely yours,

 

William P. O’Donnell,

Register of Deeds

 


To learn more about these and other Registry of Deeds events and initiatives, like us at facebook.com/NorfolkDeeds or follow us on twitter.com/NorfolkDeeds and Instagram.com/NorfolkDeeds.

 

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds is located at 649 High Street in Dedham.  The Registry is a resource for homeowners, title examiners, mortgage lenders, municipalities and others with a need for secure, accurate, accessible land record information.  All land record research information can be found on the Registry’s website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  Residents in need of assistance can contact the Registry of Deeds Customer Service Center via telephone at (781) 461-6101, or email us at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org.



One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff
One Last Try – Registry of Deeds IT staff

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept

I am writing to you today as you are a member of the Norfolk County Advisory Board and there will soon be a vote by the Advisory Board concerning the County budget to keep or abandon a Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Department and its Chief Information Officer.

I have been a practicing attorney in Brookline since 1973 with a concentration in real estate, and have seen great advances in Information Technology at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds from a time when the only way to find out what documents were recorded there was to go there, to instant access from any computer. The most recent technological advance has been the ability to record documents from the office where the closing took place. This is a great advance that needs to be maintained. There has been a system of sequential closings that allowed a seller of a piece of real estate to use their sale proceeds to buy their next home that day, and allowing the seller of the second piece of real estate to buy their new property that same day, and sometimes to a third sequential transaction on that day This, as you would expect, would require a lot of coordination between the Buyers, Sellers, real estate brokers and the attorneys for all the parties. Like I said, you could stack these closings in a row when well coordinated. Sellers can not use the proceeds from their sale until the necessary documents were recorded, which until recently required delivery of the documents to the Registry of Deeds. With the ability to record documents electronically these progressive closings can be extended to four because physically delivering the documents to the Registry is no longer required, and verification of recording is instantly available to all. This is only allowed by the well maintained information technology presently in place at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

In addition to the Recorded documents section of the Registry of Deeds there is the Registered Land, or Land Court, Section of the Registry of Deeds in which property that may have some sticky issue or issues relating to its title goes through the Land Court to have it resolved. Access to the often technical and complicated Registered Land Section documents is also instantaneous because of the advanced system of information technology, including security, the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds employs.

Just this past year I had an unusual problem with access to some documents concerning my office condominium unit. I called the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and received a prompt call back. The entire issue was resolved in twenty minutes.

That type of service for all the various users of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds is invaluable, and can not be abandoned. Failure of the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds to function as it does would result in personal and/or financial chaos for your Norfolk County neighbors who are coming, going, or relocating within the county.

I sincerely urge you to vote to keep the funding for a Chief Information Officer and Registry IT  Technology Department in the budget. Thank you. 

Very truly yours,

Ludwig Alban


For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept
For Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT Dept

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Letter from Register O'Donnell: Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT

April 25, 2022

Dear Registry Stakeholders and Citizens,

AN APPEAL FOR COMMONSENSE ACTION ON REGISTRY IT

Please listen to the professional staff that runs the Norfolk Registry of Deeds as to why the Registry needs its Information (IT) Technology Department. (click here to listen to the Registry staff at a Norfolk County Commissioners Meeting). The Registry staff who did a compelling job in arguing on behalf of all Registry users in this video have over 149 years of legal and land document recording experience.  Shouldn't the words of a professional Registry staff that takes care of the land records to your house count more than some consultant who come in like "a hired gun" to say whatever they get paid to say?  Doesn't the words in this video of staff that has given reliable service mean something when assessed against consultants who have never visited a Registry of Deeds or knew anything about Registry operations until they got paid as a consultant?

On May 4, 2022 there will be a vote by the Finance Committee of the Norfolk County Advisory Board made up of Avon, Randolph, Plainville, Brookline and Milton from the attached list of Advisory Board members (click here for a list of members). Please tell these Finance Committee representatives and the Advisory Board representative from your community who will be voting on May 11, 2022 to vote to keep the on-site direct report high level Registry IT staff in place.

Commonsense in this day and age would mean the Norfolk Registry of Deeds would keep its on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry IT staff.  This Registry IT Department has been in existence at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds for well over 35 years paid for by the Registry of Deeds.

Commonsense would say why jeopardize the land records that authenticate the legal title to your home.  Commonsense would take note of all the fraud and cybersecurity risks in today's world and keep the Registry IT Department as is.  Commonsense would say we use the Registry of Deeds dedicated revenues to pay for this IT technology staff which has played a key role in the modernization initiatives implemented at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds. 

The Norfolk County Commissioners chose Plymouth and Bristol counties as the "benchmarks" to compare Norfolk County.  The Registries of Deeds in these counties do have on-site direct report IT Departments.  This should logically mean that Norfolk Registry should keep its on-site direct report IT Department. It did not.  Why not?  If this was a fair and impartial process the fact that the Registries in Plymouth and Bristol have on-site Registry IT staff should have ended all debate about the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds not keeping its on-site IT Department.  Why should residents and taxpayers of Norfolk County get less service than what the people of Plymouth County and Bristol County get?

Thank you for your attention to this very important issue.  Any action you take is appreciated by all who use and rely on the operations and services of your Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

Sincerely yours,

William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk Register of Deeds

Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT
Appealing for Commonsense Action on Registry IT

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

"a village is going to help them stay in their homes"

"For many older Americans and their families, the devastating COVID-19 outbreak — which caused more than 200,000 deaths in nursing homes nationally — was a persuasive argument for living at home as long as possible.

Now, as the pandemic grinds into its third year, a loose-knit band of tech gurus, gerontology researchers, and volunteer-powered elder support groups, called “villages,” is seeking to overcome the obstacles to aging in place. Among the toughest: a worsening shortage of home care workers, who can assist the oldest residents with walking, dressing, or showering.

Coronavirus sped up the deployment of “age-tech,” technology that helps older people age in place, by seven to 10 years, said Joe Coughlin, director of MIT AgeLab in Cambridge. "

Continue reading the article (subscription may be required)

Dale Orzalli, a Seaglass Village volunteer, arrived at Maureen Neumann's front door to take her to a doctors appointment at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody.MATTHEW J LEE/GLOBE STAFF
Dale Orzalli, a Seaglass Village volunteer, arrived at Maureen Neumann's front door to take her to a doctors appointment at Lahey Medical Center in Peabody.MATTHEW J LEE/GLOBE STAFF

Monday, April 18, 2022

Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department

The Norfolk County Registry of Deeds has been a soundly managed agency that delivers quality services to the residents of Norfolk County.  This quality delivery of services to homeowners and registry users has been a team approach that utilizes an on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry Information (IT) Technology Department.  Two Norfolk County Commissioners, Peter Collins and Joseph Shea, voted to not appoint the Registry Chief Information Officer (CIO) designee who was replacing the retiring Registry CIO on June 30, 2021.

Now the Registry of Deeds and those that use the Registry of Deeds services are fighting to keep the two person on-site funded Registry Department.  The Registry CIO position still has not been filled due to votes by the Norfolk County Commissioners the most recent one being another vote earlier this month.  These decisions are reckless given the possible bad outcomes that could take place from cybersecurity breaches and ransomware. 

The college basketball tournaments just ended so with that in mind let’s look at the top 20 reasons you should want the Norfolk Registry of Deeds to keep its Registry IT Department as it has had for over 35 years.  If after reading these reasons and you agree with them please contact the Norfolk County Advisory Board members (click here) who will be voting on this in the budget process. Ask these representatives to support the Norfolk Registry of Deeds by keeping its on-site Registry IT staff under the leadership of a high level direct report Registry Technology expert.

REASON 1
The legal title to your home is authenticated by the land records recorded at the Registry of Deeds.  When you go to sell your home and for that matter when you as buyers purchase a home do you want title issues on that property?

REASON 2
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (F.B.I.) says that the fastest growing white collar crime is property and deed fraud.  Do you think that property records that affect your home or business are not an inviting target for hackers and cybersecurity incidents?

REASON 3
The Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts which represents thousands of attorneys wrote “Technology has been the foundation of the modernization initiatives that have been implemented over the years at the Norfolk Registry.  Technology overseen by the Registry CIO is essential and critical for services to the users and stakeholders of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.”

REASON 4
The White House has issued documentation that outlines several ways to protect against cyberattacks including checking with your IT professionals.  Does it make sense not to have an on-site Information Technology (IT) professional staff at the Registry of Deeds in this day and age?

REASON 5
An arm of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts from its Information Technology Division wrote in March of this year “In light of the ongoing geopolitical situation between Russia and Ukraine, attempted cyberattacks towards state and municipal IT systems are expected to increase over the coming weeks and months.”

REASON 6
Over 205,000 land records were recorded between January 1 and December 31, 2021 at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  Technology allows those recordings to take place and protects the over 45 million pages of images in the Registry internet land recording library.

REASON 7
There is internet land record research at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds via its website www.norfolkdeeds.org.  There are land records on line that can be viewed and researched back to 1793 available to any and everyone who has access to a computer, tablet or mobile device.

REASON 8
Modernization Initiatives driven by technology have allowed real estate professionals as well as those interested in historical and genealogical research to use indexes and documents dating back to 1793 at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

REASON 9
This on-site direct report 2 person IT Department at the Registry has developed a disaster recovery office to keep the Registry operational should there be a fire, flood or some other business continuity interruption.

REASON 10
Besides a dedicated staff it was the tremendous work of the Registry IT Department that kept the Norfolk Registry of Deeds open and operational every work day since Governor Baker declared a COVID-19 emergency on March 10, 2020.

REASON 11
As the Town of Millis Selectboard wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “We stand with the Register of Deeds in his fervent request that the Registry be able to maintain professional, expert and full-time oversight over the county’s land records system.  The funds collected by the Registry provide vital revenues to the county as well as the many municipalities that participate in the Community Preservation Act program.”

REASON 12
Over 82 million dollars of revenues were collected by the Norfolk Registry of Deeds between January 1 to December 31, 2021.  Isn’t this a target for hackers, cybersecurity incidents and ransomware? 

REASON 13
The Norfolk Registry of Deeds works with your community’s Board of Assessors and Assessor Departments to transmit critical records and data.  Don Clarke Chief Assessor of the Town of Norfolk wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “The coordination between the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds IT and our IT personnel has been outstanding in regards to the safe and secure e-delivery of deeds and plans which has allowed this office to stay current in its ownership date and therefore in compliance with DOR regulations.”

REASON 14
The on-site direct report Registry IT staff with its acquired knowledge of Registry operations and technology gives timely responses to the needs and requests of the Registry staff, Registry users and stakeholders as well as the general public.
 
REASON 15
In Norfolk County you can sign up for the Consumer Notification Service for free.  Through the efforts of the Registry IT staff you get notified of any transactions in your name.  This will allow you to detect any fraudulent activity involving your property.

REASON 16
The work of the Registry IT staff has allowed the Registry of Deeds to bring the Registry land records out into the community as part of the Registry of Deeds outreach program.

REASON 17
There is a remote electronic recording of land records. A real estate closing that takes place in any location can transmit the required land records to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds via electronic recording.  The Norfolk Registry can conduct remote recording for Recorded Land as well as Land Court (registered) land.  Not all registries in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can do this.

REASON 18
The Customer Service Center at the Registry of Deeds where you can walk in for help or call the staff for help at (781) 461-6101 depend on the technology as well as the work of the on-site 2 person IT Department.

REASON 19
Krysta Hendrix of Reliable Research Solutions, a title examination company, wrote to the Norfolk County Commissioners “I have experience working in every Registry of Deeds in Massachusetts and can say without hesitation that Norfolk County is the gold standard, most certainly in the Technology Department.”

REASON 20
There are too many possible bad out comes that can happen not allowing the Registry of Deeds to keep its on-site direct report in the Registry budget Registry IT staff.  In addition, the Registry of Deeds has dedicated revenues from state law to pay for the positions.

You may have come up with some of your own reasons.  Please forward these to me at registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org. In any event sometimes those in government make decisions and you just can not help but wonder why.  Through your efforts we can work to have a transformative effect with a positive impact on this technology decision. 

Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department
Good Deeds: Top 20 Reasons for an on-site Registry IT Department

Monday, March 7, 2022

Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council

FM #746 = This is the Franklin Matters radio show, number 746 in the series. 

This shares the Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting that was held on Thursday, March 3, 2022.


The meeting was held in the 3rd floor training room. It started late as they were waiting for a quorum (their 3rd member to arrive); the fourth subcommittee member arrived shortly after the third. 


Links to the meeting agenda and my notes are in the show notes. 


This recording runs about 1 hour 17 minutes.  Let’s listen to the Capital Budget Subcommittee meeting for Mar 3, 2022. Audio file -> https://franklin-ma-matters.captivate.fm/episode/fm-746-capital-budget-subcommittee-mtg-03-03-22



-----------


Meeting agenda 

https://www.franklinma.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif6896/f/agendas/3-3-22_cap_budget_agenda.pdf 


My notes captured via Twitter and shared here in summary form

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-q6EIGdJW0yAddrzh0AFsAn7b8FJcLzS/view?usp=sharing 


--------------

We are now producing this in collaboration with Franklin.TV and Franklin Public Radio (wfpr.fm) or 102.9 on the Franklin area radio dial


This podcast is my public service effort for Franklin but we can't do it alone. We can always use your help.

 

How can you help?

  • If you can use the information that you find here, please tell your friends and neighbors

  • If you don't like something here, please let me know


Through this feedback loop we can continue to make improvements. I thank you for listening.

 

For additional information, please visit www.Franklinmatters.org/   or www.franklin.news 


If you have questions or comments you can reach me directly at shersteve @ gmail dot com


The music for the intro and exit was provided by Michael Clark and the group "East of Shirley". The piece is titled "Ernesto, manana"  c. Michael Clark & Tintype Tunes, 2008 and used with their permission.


I hope you enjoy!

------------------


You can also subscribe and listen to Franklin Matters audio on iTunes or your favorite podcast app; search in "podcasts" for "Franklin Matters"


Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council
Capital Budget Subcmte Mtg: completes review, approves to refer to Town Council

Saturday, January 29, 2022

Franklin DLI - January 2022 Newsletter available

Check out the Franklin Public Schools January DLI newsletter. 
#FPSDigitalLearning @FranklinPSNews #franklin
https://t.co/oeqhG1NcuH

Shared from Twitter: https://twitter.com/DliFranklin/status/1487098034055954439

Franklin DLI - January 2022 Newsletter available
Franklin DLI - January 2022 Newsletter available


Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds - Update on CIO Status

January 18, 2022

Dear Friends of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and Registry Users,

Many of you have asked for an update on the efforts to keep the on-site Registry Chief Information Officer (CIO) that has been funded and in existence at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds for over 20 years. The Norfolk Registry of Deeds also needs to keep the on-site direct-report IT technology staff that makes up the Registry IT Technology Department which has been in place for well over 35 years.

The three Norfolk County Commissioners held a hearing on December 8, 2021 on recommendations if implemented that will negatively impact the functioning of an independent and modern Registry of Deeds as a result of not keeping as is an on-site Registry CIO and on-site Registry IT Technology Department. Attached is a document that was submitted to the Norfolk County Commissioners that you can review if you so choose click document here. This document advocates why the Registry IT Technology Department is needed and should be kept in this era of technology, cybersecurity and ransomware.

Also here is the link to the Norfolk County Commissioners Meeting of December 8, 2021:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdzTgUHXUHc

The words and reasons written by so many of you in letters and emails articulating why the Norfolk Registry of Deeds should keep its on-site direct report Registry IT Technology Department are so compelling. I wish I could now report that the advocated position of keeping the Registry CIO and keeping the on-site Registry IT Technology Department has finally won and prevailed. I can not. This critical issue is now being put into the Norfolk County Budget process as stated by the Norfolk County Commissioners.

Thank you so much for your support which must continue in order to make sure this unsound public policy decision is NOT implemented during this budget process.

I wish you and yours a happy and healthy new year in 2022.

Sincerely yours,

Register William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds 

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds - Update on CIO Status
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds - Update on CIO Status


Saturday, December 11, 2021

What it will take to unleash the potential of geothermal power?

"Untapped potential: There's enough heat inside the earth to meet total global energy demand twice over. But harnessing it requires drilling deep underground and transforming that heat into a usable form of energy. That's difficult and expensive, which is why geothermal power only makes up only about 0.3% of electricity generation worldwide, despite the fact it's more consistent than virtually every other form of renewable energy. However, it's now getting a boost, thanks to a $84 million Department of Energy project to build four demonstration plants. They'll test enhanced geothermal systems, an experimental form of the technology.

Exhausted supplies: The most accessible geothermal resources in the US have been tapped, and it's hard to figure out how many more potential sites may be out there, and where they might be. Some researchers and startups are trying to expand into new places by pumping fluid into impermeable rock to force cracks open. This creates space where water is free to move around and heat up, producing the steam needed for power.

Barriers: Despite geothermal's vast potential, reaching these resources won't be easy. The process has been shown to trigger earthquakes, and despite the injection of government cash, financing geothermal projects can also be a challenge. "

Read the full story from The MIT Technology Review  =>   https://www.technologyreview.com/2021/12/08/1041511/potential-geothermal-power-infrastructure-bill/

What it will take to unleash the potential of geothermal power
What it will take to unleash the potential of geothermal power

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Norfolk County Registry of Deeds: Norfolk County Commissioners meeting Dec 8



December 6, 2021

Dear Friend of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and Registry User,

The Abrahams study recommendation that would eliminate the on-site Registry of Deeds IT Technology Department is scheduled for a hearing by the Norfolk County Commissioners this Wednesday, December 8, 2021 at 1:00 p.m.

Here is a meeting notice link http://files2.norfolkcounty.org/file/AGENDA-12-8-21.pdf for those that would like to view this meeting as well as speak on and/or monitor this issue.

My first letter back on October 15, 2021 outlining why the Registry and its users oppose this recommendation is also attached. If you are as concerned as so many others are about this issue or have had good services from the Registry of Deeds please feel free to make your feelings known and/or sign the attached sign the attached petition https://chng.it/YY9MvxNqcq.

Thank you.

Sincerely yours,

William P. O'Donnell


Register William P. O'Donnell
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds
________________________________
email: registerodonnell@norfolkdeeds.org
phone: 781-461-6116
Norfolk County Registry of Deeds | 649 High Street, Dedham, MA 02026-1831

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

"Whoever controls big data technologies will control the resources for development"

"The Most Powerful Data Broker in the World Is Winning the War Against the U.S."

"President Biden came away from his summit with China’s President Xi Jinping on Nov. 15 committed to prosecuting what he called “simple, straightforward competition” with China. Yet Beijing is already beating the United States and its allies in one crucial domain: data.

Data is the oil of the 21st century, the indispensable resource that will fuel artificial-intelligence algorithms, economic strength and national power. The wellspring of this data is all of us: our health records and genetic sequences, our online habits, the supply chain flows of our businesses, the terabytes of imagery guzzled by phones, drones and autonomous cars.

The competition for global influence in the 21st century will require protecting and harnessing this data to achieve commercial, technological and military advantages. So far, China is winning, and the West is barely even engaged."
Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/30/opinion/xi-jinping-china-us-data-war.html

Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez; Photographs by Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis, MEHAU KULYK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, and Peter Dazeley via Getty Images
Illustration by Alvaro Dominguez; Photographs by Alessandra Benedetti - Corbis, MEHAU KULYK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY, and Peter Dazeley via Getty Images

Monday, November 1, 2021

Good Deeds: IT Technology Report

GOOD DEEDS: IT TECHNOLOGY REPORT  A FLAWED PROCESS

By William P. O'Donnell – Norfolk Register of Deeds

The much-heralded by some individuals Abrahams Study was delivered to the Norfolk County Commissioners recently.  This paid consultant who has been working on this study since September 2020 never studied ANY Registry of Deeds in Massachusetts or anywhere else.  Mark Abrahams never visited the Norfolk Registry of Deeds yet he delivered a disastrous recommendation as it relates to the Registry operations and to all who rely and use Registry services.  Mark Abrahams recommended that the on-site permanent Registry Chief Information Officer (CIO) be eliminated. Furthermore, Mr. Abrahams is also recommending that the on-site Registry IT Technology Department that for decades has worked with and for Registry staff, Registry users, Norfolk county municipalities and the general public also be eliminated from the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.

As Register of Deeds, I strongly believe I have a fiduciary and statutory duty to protect each and every document recorded by and on behalf of the residents of Norfolk County, especially those land records evidencing the fundamental and constitutional right of property ownership.  In this digital age, access and protection of your land records are inextricably tied to a strong, secure and vigilantly maintained Registry IT Technology Infrastructure.

The Abrahams study concluded "We feel from a management perspective, the IT operations are being well run considering the limited staff."  That sentence alone should end any consideration of the paid consultant Mark Abrahams' recommendation to eliminate the permanent on-site Registry CIO and Registry IT Technology Department.  This essay will focus on some of the flaws in the process committed by Mark Abrahams as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and its IT Technology Department.

One flagrant flaw is that Mark Abrahams nor anyone from his team came to visit the Norfolk Registry of Deeds as part of this study.  There was a report in a local newspaper, that this paid consultant engaged and hired by the Norfolk County Commissioners since September of 2020 was paid $175,000.00.  For that type of money I would expect some "due diligence" that would have included observing operations of the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  There was no such observation nor visit.  What kind of consultant who recommends the total elimination of the on-site Registry IT Technology Department does not come by the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and the Registry IT Technology Department as part of that consultant's paid study?

Mark Abrahams was hired back in September 2020 so there was plenty of time to gather facts, visit the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and make certain assessments.  Mark Abrahams never spoke with me prior to his recommendation not to fill the Registry CIO which was conveyed to and influenced county decision makers.  I wrote a letter to Mark Abrahams on July 14, 2021 seeking to discuss at the time his recommendation not to fill the Registry CIO budgeted position even though he had not spoken to me about any Registry of Deeds operations. Also, in this letter is the following sentence.  "This lack of communication, poor process and lack of insight into Registry operations make the decision not to fill the Registry CIO position more perplexing, troubling and frustrating."  Nothing that has taken place since July of 2021 as to the process used by Mark Abrahams has changed since that sentence was written. I wrote still another letter dated July 29, 2021 to Mark Abrahams that again expressed my frustration with the flawed process and lack of transparency of the study by Mr. Abrahams that was taking place as it related to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds.  Do you know when I got my next telephone call from Mark Abrahams?  It was on Tuesday, October 5, 2021 at 3:00 p.m. less than 24 hours before Mr. Abrahams delivered his report on the Norfolk Registry of Deeds to the Norfolk County Commissioners on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

The lack of transparency, flaws in process and mistaken methodology did not get better between the summer of 2021 and when the Abrahams study reports were recently delivered.  I specifically wrote to Mr. Abrahams on September 20, 2021 pointing out once again the many operational reasons as well as concerns about cybersecurity risks of not having an on-site Registry CIO.  I specifically asked for any reports, preliminary or otherwise, involving or affecting the Registry IT Department and/or the Registry CIO position.  I am still waiting for Mark Abrahams to send me that report.  Certainly, it would have been courteous and should be part of any process to have a copy of this report sent because it means so much to the Registry of Deeds and its users.  This paid consultant and his team had never studied a Registry of Deeds in Massachusetts or anywhere else.  To not visit the Norfolk Registry of Deeds since being hired in September of 2020 is inexcusable.  The above flaws in this study are matched by Mr. Abrahams not specifically listing within his scope of analysis Massachusetts State Law M.G.L. Chapter 36.  This is a failure of Mark Abrahams that should call into question his recommendations as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and the Registry IT Technology Department.  This state law deals with Registries of Deeds and the laws that govern their operations.  This lack of familiarity and knowledge with recording law and Registry of Deeds operations by the paid consultant is due to a terrible process, lack of transparency, little or no communication and poor methodology on the part of the recommending consultant.

Most individuals who have dealt with the Norfolk Registry of Deeds would find it incredibly shortsighted for Mark Abrahams nor his team not to speak to former First Assistant Register of Deeds Richard Kennedy.  This long time 36 year employee who graduated from Boston University Law School started working at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds in 1985 and retired during this study but still works part time at the Registry of Deeds today.  His tenure as First Assistant Register of Deeds begin in 1991 long before I became Norfolk Register of Deeds.  It is incredibly arrogant for the well paid consultant not to seek information, advice and perspectives on Registry operations especially when that consultant does not know anything about Registry operations.

The Norfolk Registry of Deeds has had 2 persons working on its IT infrastructure for 20 years.  There has been a Registry IT Technical Assistance Administrator at the Norfolk Registry of Deeds for 11 years.  Dan Caparrotta who is the Registry IT Technical Assistance Administrator and he was not spoken to by Mark Abrahams.  Neither Mr. Abrahams nor his assistant spoke to Dan Caparrotta of the Registry IT Technology Department prior to making this reckless decision to "consolidate" which is code to eliminate the on-site Registry CIO position and the on-site Registry IT Technology Department that plays such a key role in delivering innovative and modern services to Registry users.

A faulty or flawed process leads to poor conclusions and outcomes.  Mark Abrahams and his team as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and the Registry IT Technology Department in the Abrahams study oversaw a flawed process.  Out of this flawed process and poor methodology comes at best a sloppy report and at worst an unprofessional report as it relates to the Norfolk Registry of Deeds and the Registry IT Technology Department.  The recommendations to eliminate the on-site CIO and eliminate the on-site Registry IT Technology Department will be an absolute disaster.

If you are as concerned about this matter as I am or have received good service from the Norfolk Registry of Deeds, please feel free to sign the on-line petition linked here https://chng.it/YY9MvxNqcq .  This IT recommendation should not be and cannot be implemented.

Thank you.