MA High School Forces All Students To Buy MacBooks
Posted by Soulskill on Friday June 11, @04:31PM
An anonymous reader sends in this excerpt from the Salem News:
"A new program at Beverly High will equip every student with a new laptop computer to prepare kids for a high-tech future. But there's a catch. The money for the $900 Apple MacBooks will come out of parents' pockets. 'You're kidding me,' parent Jenn Parisella said when she found out she'd have to buy her sophomore daughter, Sky, a new computer. 'She has a laptop. Why would I buy her another laptop?' Sky has a Dell. Come September 2011, every student will need an Apple. They'll bring it to class and use it for homework. Superintendent James Hayes sees the technology as an essential move to prepare kids for the future. The School Committee approved the move last year, and Hayes said he's getting the news out now so families can prepare. 'We have one platform,' Hayes said. 'And that's going to be the Mac.'"
Inevitable. Will we need a way to bring in all those non-US parties (e.g. countries like Germany)?
Google Seeks Consolidation of Wi-Fi Snooping Cases
… In a motion this week with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation, Google requests that the eight "Wi-Fi" lawsuits, as well as any future ones, be rolled into one at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
… So far, two lawsuits have been filed in California, two in Washington, D.C., and one each in Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs in all the cases are requesting certification of class status, so that others similarly affected are included.
Have we finally driven the stake through their heart, doused them with holy water, shot them with a silver bullet and then burned the corpse?
SCO/Novell Lawsuit Is Over, SCO Loses
Something to think (obsess?) about.
The Future of Privacy: Facial Recognition, Public Facts, and 300 Million Little Brothers
June 12, 2010 by Dissent
David Thompson, co-author of Wild West 2.0 (Amazon) and general counsel of ReputationDefender, blogged on The Volokh Conspiracy:
… facial recognition is quickly becoming available on a wide scale. For just one example, an application called Face.com allows Facebook users to use photo recognition to find their friends in photos (even if they have not been tagged, or if they have removed their tag). Using the tool, it’s often possible to find hundreds of untagged photos of your friends (or yourself) posted by other people.
The Face.com developers just released an API (programming interface) to allow other websites to use the same technology. So far, Face.com has restricted use of the technology to known faces, but nothing technological prevents them from using their database of hundreds of millions of Facebook photos to identify millions of people in public photos.
The results of just one company unleashing photo recognition on the Internet could be huge. There are more than 3 billion photos on the site Flickr.com , and billions more in the unstructured Web, on sites like Facebook, and in automated surveillance systems (every time you walk past a security camera, imagine your name being logged).
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.
For your organizations Security Newsletter (or however you notify your employees about new security threats).
Tabnabbing: Like phishing within browser (podcast)
... Unlike traditional phishing attacks which trick people into clicking on links that take them to bogus sites that look legitimate, tabnabbing doesn't require a user to click on a link. But it too can trick people into disclosing their usernames and passwords.
While you're visiting a Web page infected with malicious tabnabbing code, a tab in the background morphs into what appears to be a legitimate site like Gmail or a banking site. To the user it looks quite familiar and since it's not uncommon for people to have multiple tabs open at the same time, it's easy to assume that it really is the site you want to visit. When you click on it, you're not logged in, but that too can seem quite normal since many sites log you out automatically after a period of time. However, if you're a tabnabbing victim and try to log in to the site, you wind up giving your log-in credentials to the tabnabber.
This could solve only SOME of the problems of Cloud Computing – and I still wouldn't bet the company on it.
The Beginnings of Encrypted Computing In the Cloud
Posted by Soulskill on Friday June 11, @05:17PM
"A method of computing from a 2009 paper allows the computing of data without ever decrypting it. With cloud computing on the rise, this may be the holy grail of keeping private data private in the cloud. It's called Fully Homomorphic Encryption, and if you've got the computer science/mathematics chops you can read the thesis (PDF). After reworking it and simplifying it, researchers have moved it away from being true, fully homomorphic encryption, but it is now a little closer to being ready for cloud usage. The problem is that the more operations performed on your encrypted data, the more likely it has become 'dirty' or corrupted. To combat this, Gentry developed a way to periodically clean the data by making it self-correcting. The article notes that although this isn't prepared for use in reliable systems, it is a quick jump to implementation just one year after the paper was published — earlier encryption papers would take as much as half a decade until they were implemented at all."
Adjusting the law to reflect reality.
Finland To Legalize Use of Unsecured Wi-Fi
Posted by Soulskill on Friday June 11, @03:04PM
"The Finnish Ministry of Justice has started preparing changes to a current law that criminalizes using unsecured wireless hot spots (Google translation; Finnish original). The reasoning includes the impossibility of tracking unlawful use, the ease of securing networks, and the lack of real damage done by this activity. It is also hard for a user to know if an unsecured network is intended for public use or not. The increased ubiquity of legal, open networks in parks, airports, and other public places has also influenced this move by the Ministry of Justice."
I find these amusing... (Notice the volume of data!)
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: “Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Felman Production, Inc.”
This essay is about a new case on keyword search and sampling that I recommend you read. It is from West Virginia of all places, which shows that subtle e-discovery arguments and important rulings can now pop up in any jurisdiction, not just N.Y. and D.C. . Mt. Hawley Ins. Co. v. Felman Production, Inc., 2010 WL 1990555 (S.D. W. Va. May 18, 2010).
… This is a case for insurance proceeds where the plaintiff responded to defendants’ requests for production by producing over 346 gigabytes of data. Id. at *12. Defendants were not happy about receiving so much information. Instead they complained and called it a “classic document dump.” Id. At *1. But then they searched though the data and found a “smoking gun.” The plaintiff had produced an email to their attorney dated May 14, 2008, actually two versions of the email. After finding the emails, which the plaintiff had listed on its privilege log, the defense did not tell plaintiff’s counsel about it and ask if they wanted it back.
… Defense counsel did not do that. Instead, they disclosed the email to the judge and made it a public record. They apparently did this by filing a copy of the email with the court as an exhibit to their motion for leave to amend their pleadings to add a claim for fraud. They argued that there was no privilege to the attorney email because of the crime-fraud exception, or alternatively by disclosure to a third-party. Also, they claimed waiver of any privilege by negligent review before production. The court agreed with the last point and that is what puts this decision on the e-discovery-world map.
For my Ethical Hackers and others learning how to remain anonymous...
How To Permanently Delete Your Account on Popular Websites
This looks like the classic “head & shoulder” graph to me...
The Rise And Fall Of The RIAA
Fodder for my Data Mining/Data Analysis class (Save the planet, get an “A”)
DoE Posts Raw Data From Oil Spill, Coast Guard Asks For Tech Help
Posted by Soulskill on Friday June 11, @02:23PM
"The US Department of Energy this week opened an online portal where the public can get all the technical details it can stomach about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf. The DoE site offers online access to schematics, pressure tests, diagnostic results and other data about the malfunctioning blowout preventer and other problems in the ongoing mess. This comes alongside news that the US Coast Guard has issued a call for better specialized technology to help it respond to the ever-widening spill. The Coast Guard is looking for all manner of technology, such as advanced wireless sensors to help it track the movement and amount of oil in the Gulf, or devices that could help to contain and control the underwater leak."
Reader freddled points out a story at the Guardian that illustrates how the location of an oil leak is frequently the primary factor in its perceived importance.
(Related) I see a need for someone to check both the analytical methods and the conclusions of “not quite knowledgeable” citizen-statisticians. But I can also see such fun applications as “Find me the basis for a Class Action lawsuit”
Open Data and a Critical Citizenry
Posted by Soulskill on Friday June 11, @06:04PM
Last week we discussed news that the UK government had released a treasure trove of public spending data. Charles Arthur, the Guardian's technology editor, wrote at the time how crucial it was for citizens to find ways to examine and interpret the data; otherwise it would be useless. Now, an anonymous reader sends in a response from open data activist David Eaves, who takes it a step further. He writes,
"We need a data-literate citizenry, not just a small elite of hackers and policy wonks. And the best way to cultivate that broad-based literacy is not to release in small or measured quantities, but to flood us with data. To provide thousands of niches that will interest people in learning, playing and working with open data. ... It is worth remembering: We didn’t build libraries for an already literate citizenry. We built libraries to help citizens become literate. Today we build open data portals not because we have a data or public policy literate citizenry, we build them so that citizens may become literate in data, visualization, coding and public policy."
Use ISOBuddy To Convert A Disk Image To ISO & Then Burn
… If the image was an ISO you could use IMGBurn to burn an ISO file, but what do you do if it’s not? How do you burn the image onto your thumb drive on a friend’s computer without the software it was created with?
Well you can download a little 2.0MB file called ISO Buddy. ISOBuddy will help you burn your images. What it does is convert some of the most popular disk image extensions to be an ISO image. Once you have the image you can burn the ISO file easily.
The file formats that are supported by ISOBuddy are as follows: GI, NRG, CDI, MDF, IMG, B5I, B6I, DMG, PDI, BIN and CCD to ISO image.
How To Protect Your Email and Still Subscribe To Everything
We’ve all been there. You’re interested in a website or a download, but the site wants your email address before letting you near the goods. You want access, but you’re not quite sure you want it enough to hand over the information.
The site asks you to supply an email address, and follow up with confirmation, and perhaps a login and password. It’s hard to avoid the process or any of the steps, but the part that really annoys me is the need to supply my email address to yet another unknown party.
But what if you could instead supply a temporary email address that was forwarded to your own? And then define either a maximum number of emails to forward, or a maximum period of time for which that would happen? This would stop you from receiving spam email to your regular email account. That’s what the website below do. And do it very nicely.
Looking at this as a way to “nag” my students. “Your paper is due in ___ days! Will you make the deadline?”
Cloud SMS: Send Unlimited SMS Worldwide For Free
… Cloud SMS however, is one website that fulfills its promise and lets you send unlimited sms worldwide for free.
… Cloud SMS is a free to use website supported by the University of Liverpool.
This could be a useful service, since not all of my students have unlimited financial resources.
Web-Based-Software.com - The Best Web Based Software
Something for my website students
Web2Cal.com - Building & Implementing Calendars
Web2Cal is a tool that can be used by anybody in order to come up with event calendars for keeping track of upcoming activities and available resources. These calendars are build and implement, and they are meant to go with most applications you could think of.
Ditto Perhaps I'll update my Blog...
Friday, June 11, 2010
Slick New Blogger Designs for Everyone!
… Yesterday, Google added Blogger Template Designer to all blogs. Now anyone with using Blogger can create aesthetically pleasing Blogger blogs without having to hack into the HTML of their blogs.
Ah! A tool to help me seem less out of touch with my students! (I still won't allow them to use acronyms in their papers.)
Teen Chat Acronym Decoder