NIST computer scientist stresses importance of safety, security in software programming | Intelligent Aerospace

We can create software with 100 times fewer vulnerabilities than we do today,

say NIST computer scientists, who recommend coders adopt the approaches they have compiled in the 60-page NIST Interagency Report (NISTIR) 8151: Dramatically Reducing Software Vulnerabilities.

The report is a collection of strategies gathered from across industry and other sources for reducing bugs in software. While the report is officially a response to a request for methods from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy, NIST Computer Scientist and co-author of the report Paul E. Black says its contents will help any organization that seeks to author high-quality, low-defect computer code.

Black and his NIST colleagues compiled these ideas while working with software assurance experts from many private companies in the computer industry as well as several government agencies that generate a good deal of code, including the Department of Defense and NASA.

Source: NIST computer scientist stresses importance of safety, security in software programming – Intelligent Aerospace

The false argument against higher education funding | TheHill


Many of the tax benefits help students who otherwise would not qualify for federal assistance because of their family’s income.The current tax debate prompts a deeper look at the entire annual federal support for higher education.

The higher education community is now engaged in a heated debate about whether the current tax benefits for college students should be eliminated as part of tax reform. The House Republican plan says they should. Many in higher education disagree.

But one thing becomes very clear in this debate. Middle and upper income students enrolled — and graduating — from traditional colleges and universities have long benefited from significant financial support through tax laws, outside of federal student financial aid. Many of the tax benefits help students who otherwise would not qualify for federal assistance because of their family’s income.

The current tax debate prompts a deeper look at the entire annual federal support for higher education.

Source: The false argument against higher education funding | TheHill

Analysts flee Wall Street with gallows humor as research changes loom


“It certainly seemed that the difficulty of being paid for research was going to increase, not decrease,” said David Hilder, who is now trying to reinvent himself as an investment banker.

Many share Hilder’s grim outlook. Reuters spoke to dozens of current and former analysts who moved to independent research shops or investment firms, joined companies in industries they covered, or have launched new careers or are considering doing so, after nearly a decade of cost-cutting that is likely to accelerate under MiFID.

Source: Analysts flee Wall Street with gallows humor as research changes loom

Route Fifty | Cities Warn That Rising Inequity Will Threaten Long-Term Social Stability of Urban Economies


The NLC report, entitled “The Future of Equity in Cities,” points to increasing segregation despite increasing diversity in cities.

“If this trend is brought to its ultimate conclusion, cities will become increasingly segregated, with entirely different economies found within a few miles of each other,” the report states.

“This will have profound implications for economic access, as opportunities are increasingly only available in the most expensive cities, which debt-burdened students or lower-income families will not be able to afford.”

Source: Route Fifty – Cities Warn That Rising Inequity Will Threaten Long-Term Social Stability of Urban Economies

Why the U.S. Fails at Worker Training | Nextgov.com


The U.S. has never gotten job training and retraining right.

Under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations, the federal government invested billions of dollars in programs aimed at helping Americans adjust to a changing economy, such as the automation of the steel industry in the late 20th century and foreign competition in places like Japan and China.

Successful apprenticeship programs aren’t impossible.

The apprenticeship model thrives in European countries such as Germany, partly because wages vary less across industries than they do in the U.S. In the U.S., apprenticeship programs are difficult to institutionalize because employees are more likely than their European counterparts to leave a job for a different one that offers better wages. Investing thousands of dollars in someone who may leave for a better wage opportunity is a risk few employers are willing to take.

Source: Why the U.S. Fails at Worker Training – Nextgov.com

Colleges Are Ignoring Food Insecurity, Which Affects Half of Students


.. when it comes to housing, things don’t look so good. When colleges and universities think about housing, they see dollar signs to be gained from residence halls catering to wealthy and international students, rather than opportunities to facilitate affordable living.

Given massive state disinvestment throughout the country, it is hard to blame the public institutions. But it means that a growing number of students are being left out in the cold.

Source: Colleges Are Ignoring Food Insecurity, Which Affects Half of Students

Why We Need to Confront the Billionaires’ Paradise


The Swiss bank UBS and the American accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers weren’t looking to write an exposé when they prepared their annual “Billionaires Insights” report for 2017.  On the contrary. So-called “very high net worth individuals” are the financial industry’s most sought-after clients.  The report is entitled, without any apparent irony, “New value creators gain momentum.”

And gain momentum these billionaires did.  As the report notes, “Globally, the total wealth of billionaires rose by +17% in 2016, up from USD $5.1 trillion to USD6.0 trillion.”

Did your net worth grow by 17 percent last year?  Unless you’re one of the world’s 1,542 billionaires, chances are it didn’t.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve reports that millions of Americans continue to struggle.

30 percent of adults, roughly 73 million people, are finding it difficult to make ends meet or are barely getting by. Just under one fourth of all adults said they could not pay all their bills for the current month.

44 percent said they could not cover an emergency expense of $400, and one fourth of all adults reported that they had to forgo medical treatment during the past year because of the cost.

Source: Why We Need to Confront the Billionaires’ Paradise

Technology invading nearly all U.S. jobs, even lower skilled: study


The study found the digital score for roofers jumped from zero to 22, while for parking lot attendants it rose from 3 to 26.

“What we found is that the more digital a job is, on balance the better the pay—and also the less chance there is for total displacement of your job,” said Mark Muro, a senior fellow at Brookings and coauthor of the report.

Software developers, the top-ranked occupation for digital skills in both 2002 and 2016, saw their rating slip to 94 from 97. Muro speculates that as that field has matured, there are more rolls for software developers to work as managers of other software developers, which mean doing less direct programming work.

Source: Technology invading nearly all U.S. jobs, even lower skilled: study

GOP Tax Plan Would Cut Precious Resources for College Students | Pacific Standard


The American Dream of bootstrapping oneself into the middle class looks increasingly more like a pipe dream.

And the most recent assault is in the Republican Party’s proposed tax plan, released last week. If passed, the plan would raise taxes on our nation’s graduate students, making it even harder for education to act as a great equalizer in terms of access to opportunity.

Source: GOP Tax Plan Would Cut Precious Resources for College Students – Pacific Standard

A year after Trump’s election, coal’s future remains bleak


”We’re not planning to build any additional coal facilities,“ said Melissa McHenry, a spokeswoman for American Electric Power, one of the largest U.S. utilities.

“The future for coal is dictated by economics … and you can’t make those kinds of investments based on one administration’s politics.”

Coal plants now make up 47 percent of AEP’s capacity for power generation, a figure it plans to shrink to 33 percent by 2030.

Source: A year after Trump’s election, coal’s future remains bleak