Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I dare say they don't like it... But then a dumb idea by any name is still just as dumb...
April 16, 2012
EFF FAQ on CISPA Cybersecurity Bill
Follow up to posting on SOPA’s Evil Twin Sister – CISPA, via Electronic Frontier Foundation, Cybersecurity Bill FAQ: The Disturbing Privacy Dangers in CISPA and How To Stop It, by Trevor Timm
This week, EFF—along with a host of other civil liberties groups—are protesting the dangerous new cybersecurity bill known as CISPA that will be voted on in the House on April 23. Here is everything you need to know about the bill and why we are protesting:

Well, it's not like judges actually understand the law...
Contradicting a Federal Judge, FCC Clears Google in Wi-Fi Sniffing Debacle
The Federal Communications Commission is clearing Google of wrongdoing in connection to it secretly intercepting Americans’ data on unencrypted Wi-Fi routers.
The commission concluded Friday, in an order unveiled Monday, that no wiretapping laws were violated when the search giant’s Street View mapping cars eavesdropped on open Wi-Fi networks across America.
… Last year, a federal judge ruled that the search-and-advertising giant could be held liable for violating federal wiretapping law, giving the greenlight to lawsuits seeking damages over Google’s objections.
But the commission, which fined Google $25,000 for stonewalling the investigation, found that legal precedent — and an unnamed Google engineer’s refusal to speak to FCC investigators — meant Google was off the hook for wiretapping.
“Based on careful review of the existing record and applicable law, the bureau will not take enforcement action,” the FCC’s enforcement bureau wrote (.pdf) in a heavily redacted 25-page order. The agency commenced an investigation after the Electronic Privacy Information Center demanded that the government review Google’s behavior

How can you show tremendous improvements in education if you don't start with low-scoring students?
"Robert Krampf, who runs the web site 'The Happy Scientist,' recently wrote in his blog about problems with Florida's Science FCAT. The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is an attempt to measure how smart the students are. [So, how well they are educated has nothing to do with it? Bob] Where other states have teachers cheating to help students, Florida decided to grade correct answers as wrong. Mr. Krampf examined the state's science answers and found several that clearly listed right answers as wrong. One question had 3 out of 4 answers that were scientifically true. He wrote to the Florida Department of Education's Test Development center. They admitted he was right about the answers, but said they don't expect 5th graders to realize they were right. For this reason they marked them wrong. As such, they were not changing the tests. Note: they wouldn't let him examine real tests, just the practice tests given out. So we have no idea if FCAT is simply too lazy to provide good practice questions, or too stupid to be allowed to test our children."

Canada has a “tax” on blank CDs and DVDs that pays the music industry for “piracy” – couldn't you argue that this is music they already paid for?
"A number of Canadian media companies have joined forces to try to shut down a free music website recently launched by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., claiming it threatens to ruin the music business for all of them. The group, which includes Quebecor Inc., Stingray Digital, Cogeco Cable Inc., the Jim Pattison Group and Golden West Radio, believes that CBCmusic.ca will siphon away listeners from their own services, including private radio stations and competing websites that sell streaming music for a fee. The coalition is expected to expand soon to include Rogers Communications Inc. and Corus Entertainment Inc., two of the largest owners of radio stations in Canada. It intends to file a formal complaint with the CRTC, arguing that the broadcaster has no right under its mandate to compete with the private broadcasters in the online music space. ... 'The only music that you can hear for free is when the birds sing,' said Stingray CEO Eric Boyko, whose company runs the Galaxie music app that charges users $4.99 a month for unlimited listening. 'There is a cost to everything, yet CBC does not seem to think that is true.' ... The companies argue they must charge customers to offset royalty costs which are triggered every time a song is played, while the CBC gets around the pay-per-click problem because it is considered a non-profit corporation. ... Media executives aren't the only ones who have expressed concern. When the CBC service was launched in February, the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers said that when it set a flat fees for the more than 100,000 music publishers it represents, it never envisioned a constant stream of free music flooding the Internet."

Think about this one. Does it foreshadow the death of the telephone industry? (Can they compete with unlimited free video chat?)
Microsoft Wants to Put Skype in Your Web Browser
Mozilla recently showed off a demo of a video chat app built entirely from web standards. Now Microsoft’s Skype video calling service appears to be headed to the web browser as well.
Liveside.net points out a number of new Microsoft job ads that describe “Skype for Browsers” and say the company is looking for developers with experience building HTML5-based apps.

How else can I know what's cool?
Google Trends is the simplest and most obvious solution to see what’s trending now.
Clicking on or searching for a trend will allow you to see an analytical profile for those keywords. It will scale the “hotness,” give you related searches, show a graph of the search activity, and give you some relevant search and blog results for the term.
What the Trend uses the internet’s most trendy social network, Twitter, to graph out and explain what is trending right now.
My favorite thing about WtT is that it goes in great depth to not only present trends, but to explain why they are trending and show you a history of the trend.
While it doesn’t monitor “topics” in the same way as our previous two websites do, BF does a great job of sharing viral content that will make you say LOL, OMG, or WTF.
Check out these other articles:

More for my Math students...
Monday, April 16, 2012
… here is my short list of YouTube channels not named Khan Academy that offer mathematics lessons.
WowMath.org is developed by high school mathematics teacher Bradley Robb. His YouTube channel has more than six hundred videos covering topics in Algebra and Calculus. You can access the videos on a mobile version of WowMath too.
Numberphile is a neat YouTube channel about fun number facts. There are currently thirty-three videos in the Numberphile collection.
Bright Storm is an online tutoring service. On their YouTube channel Bright Storm provides hundreds of videos for Algebra I, Algebra II, Trigonometry, Precalculus, and Calculus.
Ten Marks is another online tutoring service that offers mathematics tutorial videos on their site as well as on their YouTube channel. Some of the lessons in their playlists include lessons on units of measurement, decimals, fractions, probability, area and perimeter, and factoring.
Math Class With Mr. V features seven playlists made by a mathematics teacher teaching lessons on basic mathematics, geometry, and algebra. In all there are more than 300 video lessons. Like most mathematics tutorials on YouTube, Math Class With Mr. V uses a whiteboard to demonstrate how to solve problems.
The Open University is one of my go-to YouTube channel for all things academic. A quick search on The Open University reveals seven playlists that include lessons in mathematics. The lessons that you will find in these playlists are more theoretical than they are "how to" lessons.
Yay Math! features an excited teacher teaching mathematics lessons to his students. The videos capture just the teacher and his whiteboard with some feedback from students. The videos cover topics in Algebra and Geometry. You can check out the Yay Math! companion website to learn more about Robert Ahdoot, the teacher featured in the videos.

Global Warming! Global Warming! Is really Global Climate Change. To say we don't yet have the full picture is a gross understatement.
Some Asian glaciers 'putting on mass'
A French team used satellite data to show that glaciers in part of the Karakoram range, to the west of the Himalayan region, are putting on mass.
The reason is unclear, as glaciers in other parts of the Himalayas are losing mass - which also is the global trend.

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