Monday, November 22, 2010

Images that make you think? Perhaps I'll send them to my CongressPeople...

Powerful symbols of what has happened to our country

November 21, 2010 by Dissent

These graphics, by David Vincent Wolf, are used under Creative Commons terms: Attribution, Non-Commercial, Share Alike

You can find other powerful graphics at

(Related) Procedure over logic? Is the “pat down” a national security secret or just extremely embarrassing?

San Diego Harbor involved in yet another ridiculous TSA incident

November 21, 2010 by Dissent

A passenger arrested at San Diego Harbor airport for allegedly refusing to comply with the patdown procedure was also charged with illegally recording. Apparently, Sam Wolanyk “refused” by stripping down to his underwear when they wanted him to keep his clothes on. Police then paraded him through the airport in his underwear. Way to go, TSA –that’ll show the public how you’re there to protect our security and how you are sensitive to privacy concerns (NOT!)

But he wasn’t the only one charged with a misdemeanor for recording what goes on:

The incident was confirmed by Harbor Police Sergeant Rakos who said Wolanyk was arrested on two misdemeanors, “failing to complete the security process; violation code 7.01 and illegally recording the San Diego Airport Authority (they confiscated his iPhone); violation number 714 (2).”

Another confirmation came from Ronald Powell, director of communications, who said Wolanyk wasn’t charged with any federal crimes, just the two misdemeanors. “The bottom line is that all our police officers did was enforce the law.”

Powell also stated that there was another arrest of a woman who was allegedly illegally filming the x-ray, and TSA screening process with a video camera. The young woman’s camera was confiscated and she was given a citation and released from Harbor Police custody.

Read more in the Examiner.

Recording public employees in public spaces performing their public duties should is not a crime and any law that suggests that it is needs to be challenged and overturned. Paging the ACLU to Aisle 4….

[From the article:

“It was obvious that my underwear left nothing to the imagination,” he explained. “But that wasn’t enough for the TSA supervisor who was called to the scene and asked me to put my clothes on so I could be properly patted down.”

Well, they must be doing more important things, like having lunch with RIAA lobbyists.

New Report on US Department of Commerce Privacy Track Record

November 22, 2010 by Dissent

The World Privacy Forum published a new report today that evaluates the US Department of Commerce’s work on privacy protection for consumers, given its role overseeing such critical programs as the US/EU Safe Harbor data agreement. The report, The US Department of Commerce and International Privacy Activities: Indifference and Neglect, identifies a number of issues of concern regarding the Department’s privacy programs, most particularly, the current Safe Harbor framework. The report’s analysis find that three separate studies consistently show that many and perhaps most Safe Harbor participants are not in compliance with their obligations under Safe Harbor.

Download the report (PDF, 22 pages)

Source: World Privacy Forum

For my Computer Security students.

The US-Soviet Cyber Cold War

Posted by samzenpus on Sunday November 21, @01:08PM

"A security expert with the NSA says a cyber cold war is being waged that has significant parallels to the Cold War between the US and Soviet Union. Dickie George says the way to fight the cyber cold war is by building security into technology, making it transparent to the end user, continually monitoring networks and updating their security software."

[From the article:

The "threat adversary model" between today’s cyber war and the Cold War that raged from the end of World War II until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 share six common characteristics, George said: Capabilties; resources; intent; motivation; access; and risk aversion.

Are “Profits” becoming part of the New neutrality debate? If so, should we not abandon the “monopoly” of Cable TV companies?

FCC Commissioner Blasts Verizon On Net Neutrality

Posted by samzenpus on Monday November 22, @04:43AM

"FCC chairman Julius Genachowski says that net neutrality rules 'will happen,' promising the FCC 'will make sure that we get the rules right... to make sure that what we do maximizes innovation and investment across the ecosystem.' But the same week, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps announced that the public should not stand for deals 'that exchange Internet freedom for bloated profits,' mocking the tiered-data plans of the 'Verizon-Google gaggle' and accusing them of wanting 'gated communities for the affluent.' Speaking at a New Mexico hearing, the commissioner warned the audience against proposals that would 'vastly diminish' the Internet's importance, blasting 'special interests and gatekeepers and toll-booth collectors who will short-circuit what this great new technology can do for our country.' (The text of his speech is available as a PDF file at He concludes by acknowledging that 'you can't blame companies for seeking to protect their own interests. But you can blame policy-makers if we let them get away with it!'"

(Related) Perhaps this is evidence that consumers will pay more OR is it evidence that restrictions are so annoying we will pay to avoid them?

Smartphone users: I want my unlimited data

Have I been assuming skills my students don't have?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ten Steps to Better Web Research

Last fall I published Beyond Google which examines fifteen tools and strategies for getting students to look beyond the first two pages of Google search results. This morning I found through Kevin Jarrett a great presentation that complements my ebook. Teaching the Ten Steps to Better Web Research is a Slideshare presentation created by Mark Moran and Shannon Firth at Dulcinea Media. Dulcinea Media is the producer of Sweet Search a search engine for students. The presentation includes some statistics about students' search strategies (or lack thereof) that all educators should be aware of. It's those statistics that lead into the ten steps for teaching students how to search effectively and how to analyze the results of their searches.

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