Wednesday, October 05, 2011

“We can control Big brother.” When all you have is a hammer, every problem starts looking like a nail. What happens when you have modern computer technology?
Hayden Urges Congress to Let NSA Monitor Public Networks for Threats
Former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden revived a controversial meme on Tuesday when he urged Congress to allow his former agency to monitor public networks in order to defend against malicious activity coming from nation states and others.
“We’ve got capability on the sidelines wanting policy guidance,” he told the House Intelligence Committee, referring to the NSA. “And when we can enrich that guidance and get them in the field, the better — the safer — we are.”

(Related) We're already moving to ensure NSA can monitor everything...
FCC Wants GPS In Every Phone By 2018
… The FCC has ruled that all telephone service providers — including VOiP services — must offer only GPS-capable handsets by 2018 to better aid in pin-pointing the location of 911 calls.

With some companies (Facebook) wanting to track users after they leave the site, I can see them wanting to keep information after they quit the service. (Or perhaps even if they never join)
October 04, 2011
Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users
Account Deactivation and Content Removal: Guiding Principles and Practices for Companies and Users, Erica Newland, Caroline Nolan, Cynthia Wong, and Jillian York. The Berkman Center for Internet & Society and. The Center for Democracy & Technology, September 2011
  • "This report explores these dilemmas, and recommends principles, strategies, and tools that both user-generated content (UGC) platforms and users can adopt to mitigate the negative effects of account deactivation and content removal. We use select examples to highlight good company practices, including efforts to balance complex and often competing considerations—the enforcement of site guidelines, responses to government pressure, the free expression and privacy rights of users, and the potential risks faced by activists—in consistent, transparent, and accountable ways. Importantly, this report does not put forth a one-size-fits-all solution for the complex set of challenges raised by Terms of Use (ToU) enforcement. Platforms vary in terms of history, mission, content hosted, size, and user base, and no single set of practices will be an appropriate fit in every case. Moreover, while the examples in this report focus on platforms that host social media, the recommendations are broadly applicable to companies that host different types of user-generated content."

(Related) We need to collect tools like these...
CyberGhost: Surf Anonymously With A Free VPN Connection
If you are worried about privacy and feel uncomfortable browsing some websites because you may compromise your information, CyberGhost is an excellent tool to fix that problem. It is a free VPN that lets you surf the web anonymously so you don’t have to worry about websites spying on you or hackers getting your information.
With the free version, you can browse up to 1GB of traffic for up to 6 hours at any given time. The tool not only works for browsers but also for messengers and download clients such as Torrents and FTP. It completely eliminates the need for searching for new proxy servers every day.

No comment (that isn't insulting)
"Proposed legislation under debate in Italy has Wikipedia warning of a shutdown for the Italian version of the site. They say the law would create 'a requirement to all websites to publish, within 48 hours of the request and without any comment, a correction of any content that the applicant deems detrimental to his/her image.' They further explain. 'Unfortunately, the law does not require an evaluation of the claim by an impartial third judge — the opinion of the person allegedly injured is all that is required, in order to impose such correction to any website. Hence, anyone who feels offended by any content published on a blog, an online newspaper and, most likely, even on Wikipedia can directly request the removal of such contents and its permanent replacement with a "corrected" version, aimed to contradict and disprove the allegedly harmful contents, regardless of the truthfulness of the information deemed as offensive, and its sources.'"

For my Statistics students...
October 04, 2011
Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012
  • "This annual factbook contains more than 1,400 tables of social, political and economic facts about our nation and the world. Among the broad topics covered are marriage and divorce, health, education, law enforcement, national security, social insurance, business, science and technology, agriculture, natural resources, energy, information and communications, banking and international statistics. The source of the data is not limited to the Census Bureau -- statistics are also derived from other federal agencies and private sources. Data in this edition are generally for the most recent year or period available by spring 2011."

For all my students
October 04, 2011’s new publications web site,
" offers publications from across government, on topics including: Cars | Consumer | Protection | Education | Employment | Federal Programs | Food | Health | Housing | Money
  • "You’ll find hundreds of free publications to read online, download in PDF format, or order in print. We also offer a small but growing number of e-books to download to your e-reader, tablet, or smart phone. Many publications are offered in both Spanish and English."

For all my students...
3 Excellent Tools To Track And Recover Your Stolen Laptop

The 10 Best Sites To Rent Or Buy College TextBooks Cheaply

What they can't say is, “Global Warming is good!”
Climate Shifts Sparked 17th-Century Conflicts
… Advances in paleoclimatology have enabled researchers to look back further in time than they ever could before. One of these scientists, geographer David Zhang of the University of Hong Kong, was particularly interested in how hot and cold spells affect human civilization.
Climate shifts were a statistically significant cause of social disturbance, war, migration, epidemics, famine, and nutritional status, the researchers report online today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Another feature I didn't know was there...
Let Wolfram Alpha Create Your Password For You

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