Monday, September 06, 2010

The exception that proves the rule?

Eastern Michigan University investigating computer security breach, employee banking information may be compromised

September 6, 2010 by admin

Stefanie Murray reports:

An Eastern Michigan University computer server was hacked into late Friday, potentially exposing employees’ direct deposit banking information, some university passwords and personal identification numbers, according to an e-mail sent to the EMU community tonight.

The security breach occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday, according to the e-mail, and was discovered Saturday by the school’s IT staff during routine system monitoring. It happened on a server that controls my.emich passwords and Banner Self-Service PIN codes for students and employees.

Read more on Although much has yet to be revealed, kudos to EMU’s IT staff for catching the intrusion quickly. [Amen! Bob]

We wouldn't miss the news, but we would object to the loss of entertainment.

Article: Dying for Privacy: Pitting Public Access Against Familial Interests In the Era of the Internet

September 5, 2010 by Dissent

Clay Calvert, Professor & Brechner Eminent Scholar in Mass Communication and Director of the Marion B. Brechner First Amendment Project at the University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, has an article in the Northwestern University Law Review Colloquy. Here’s how the article begins:

“I just killed my two kids. . . . I drowned them. . . . They are 2 and 4. . . . I just shot myself. . . . with a gun. . . . Please hurry.”

That was the dying declaration of 21-year-old Julia Murray on February 16, 2010, preserved for all of posterity on a 911 emergency telephone recording and available to anyone and everyone in Florida—from journalists and police to even voyeurs and perverts—under that state’s open records laws. Murray and one of her three children are gone (the second child survived the drowning attempt), but her words remain. Should the public have a right to hear them?

In 2010, multiple events magnified public focus on the escalating tension between family members’ privacy rights with respect to the death-scene images and dying words of their loved ones, on the one hand, and the public’s right to access those documents, on the other.

You can read the full article on Northwestern University Law Review‘s web site. Many of the cases Calvert discusses have been reported on this site and/or, and it is an issue that warrants serious consideration by privacy advocates, legal scholars, and journalists.

Via Concurring Opinions.

The war of partisan politics escalates! Another tool to harass your opponent – rather than talk about the issues or address anything factual, but don't forget to cover yourself... (I wonder why the newspaper agreed to sell their rights?)

Senate Candidate Sued By Copyright Troll

Posted by samzenpus on Monday September 06, @02:48AM

"Las Vegas based company Righthaven found two articles from the Las Vegas Review-Journal about Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle reprinted on her web site without permission, so it did what it always does: bought the rights to the articles from the Review-Journal and sued the alleged infringer, seeking unspecified damages."

Nevada knows how to market “sin” I assume part of the $25 will go to buying insurance for the non-speeders killed?

Gubernatorial Candidate Wants to Sell Speeding Passes for $25

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday September 05, @02:51PM

If Nevada gubernatorial candidate Eugene "Gino" DiSimone gets his way $25 will buy you the right to drive up to 90mph for a day. DiSimone estimates his "free limit plan" will raise $1 billion a year for Nevada. From the article: "First, vehicles would have to pass a safety inspection. Then vehicle information would be loaded into a database, and motorists would purchase a transponder. After setting up an account, anyone in a hurry could dial in, and for $25 charged to a credit card, be free to speed for 24 hours."

Arthur C Clarke wrote about developing countries bypassing the infrastructure of the developed countries (India launching a satellite rather than build a nationwide TV network, Sri Lanka using microwave towers rather than try to string copper wire through jungles with no roads) Perhaps Somaliland can bypass a national currency?

Guest Post: Could Tiny Somaliland Become the First Cashless Society?

For every dollar there are almost 17,000 Somaliland Shillings and the highest-denomination note is 500 Shillings, which is by no means the most common note in circulation. Money-changers sit within self-built stacks of money (picture left, video below) and children take wheelbarrows of it from one place to another, reminiscent of 1930s Weimar Germany when the Deutsch Mark became worthless.

By all criteria, cash doesn’t work here. Could tiny, unknown Somaliland become the first nation to become a cashless society? It is not only possible, it is almost certain.

Some value as examples for research?

September 05, 2010

Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore

"The Google Public Data Explorer makes large datasets easy to explore, visualize and communicate. As the charts and maps animate over time, the changes in the world become easier to understand. You don't have to be a data expert to navigate between different views, make your own comparisons, and share your findings. Students, journalists, policy makers and everyone else can play with the tool to create visualizations of public data, link to them, or embed them in their own webpages. Embedded charts and links can update automatically so you’re always sharing the latest available data..." [examples of datasets]

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