Monday, October 15, 2007

If you haven't read about this earlier, take a look now. This is likely to grow. At least it looks that way to me. I suspect a school could easily step on a legal land mine by doing this... Think of all the ways a student could construct text messages that caused the school to overreact. (“Dear Principal X, Wow! I never knew you could do that with Mazolla Oil!”)

Student privacy murky in tech world

Sunday, October 14 2007 @ 11:42 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews News Section: Minors & Students

Public-school students can have their lockers searched, be sent home for wearing a shirt that promotes drugs and have an article in a school-sponsored newspaper or yearbook censored, but constitutional limits when it comes to the privacy of technology — such as cell phones — are murkier.

Source - DailyCamera

...because it only seems like I know everything!

Data “Dysprotection:” breaches reported last week

Monday, October 15 2007 @ 06:42 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews News Section: Breaches

A recap of incidents or privacy breaches reported last week for those who enjoy shaking their head and muttering to themselves with their morning coffee.

Source - Chronicles of Dissent

Consider: Businesses will locate where they believe the laws best allow them to prosper.

SWIFT to stop processing EU banking data in the US

Monday, October 15 2007 @ 06:30 AM EDT Contributed by: PrivacyNews News Section: Non-U.S. News

Payments processing body SWIFT will stop processing European banking transactions in the US in 2009. It is planning a restructuring of its network and the building of a new operations centre in Switzerland.

SWIFT has been heavily criticised for allowing US authorities access to records of banking transactions involving European citizens. It was revealed by The New York Times last year that US intelligence agencies were allowed to view Europeans' transactions.

Source - The Register

Related -

This is an interesting legal blog, with some useful information on a narrow topic (e-Discovery)

Sherlock Holmes in the Twenty-First Century: Definitions and Limits of Computer Forensics, Forensic Copies and Forensic Examinations

... The National Institute of Standards and Technology special publication (SP) 800-86 Guide to Integrating Forensic Techniques into Incident Responses provides an authoritative definition of computer forensics:

... John Patzakis has written a very comprehensive treatise on electronic discovery law related to his company’s software tools and forensic related issues called the EnCase Legal Journal (April 2007). At 143 pages and 446 legal citations, this is not your typical vendor white paper, and is well worth reading and using as a reference.

Where my tax dollars go...

October 14, 2007

Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid Account for Half of Federal Spending

Press release, October 9, 2007: "Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid accounted for more than $1 trillion of the $2.3 trillion the federal government spent in 2005, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, which publishes the only consolidated source of data on the geographic distribution of federal expenditures. The Consolidated Federal Funds Report for Fiscal Year 2005 [116 pages, PDF] is a presentation of data on most domestic spending by the federal government for state and county areas of the United States, including the District of Columbia and U.S. outlying areas. The data include expenditures for the Defense Department and the Department of Homeland Security. The report covers direct payments, grants, procurement awards, and salaries and wages by federal agency and program. The report does not include expenditures for selected intelligence agencies, international payments, foreign aid and interest on the federal debt. A companion report, Federal Aid to States for Fiscal Year 2005 [56 pages, PDF], contains federal agency and program-level data on grants to state and local governments."

Free is good! (Are we seeing the start of a “race to be free?”)

Intuit vs. Web 2.0: Entry-level QuickBooks software is now free

Posted by Rafe Needleman October 15, 2007 3:00 AM PDT

Intuit is making the 2008 version of its entry-level small-business accounting product, QuickBooks Simple Start Edition, free. Previous full versions of the program sold for $99.95, and "more than 300,000 businesses" use the product. So why give it away?

... Whether or not Simple Start is good software (I haven't used it and have no opinion), Intuit's move to make it free is defensive. Microsoft offers a competing stripped-down small-business accounting product, and there are new small business-focused Web 2.0 services coming online all the time. Most of the free and low-cost business apps are fairly basic, and that's all mom-and-pop startups need. What the accounting vendors really want is the more grown-up small business customers that are willing to pay for robust accounting solutions.

Now this is an interesting use of a social networking web site... - Find Solutions to Computer Error Messages

Have you been plagued by error messages from your computer that have left you without hope? If you have it is time you visit to find the solution to these annoying error messages. is a site where users go to find solutions to their computer error problems. Copy the error message you receive and go to Type your email address into the email address box, then paste the error message into the error box directly below where you write your email address. Then click search, will search for solutions to your error message that other users have submitted. A list will appear of solutions and you can choose the option that closest resembles your error. Click on the full solution details and read about what you should do to fix your problem. You can add a comment on the solution, and rate the solution by clicking on the green bug if you liked it or the red bug if you thought it was a bad solution. If for some reason on one has found a solution for your error message, you are on your own. You will be contacted in 48 hours to see how you dealt with the situation, and if you solved you will be asked to submit details on how you did. Don’t let these error messages destroy your life visit

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