Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is this why some breach victims keep silent?
If There is Credit Card Fraud, There Must Have Been a Breach
May 31, 2012 by admin
Craig Hoffman writes:
As we reported in December 2010, after an online merchant suffered chargeback losses of almost $12,000 on nine fraudulent orders, it sued the bank that issued the nine cards that were fraudulently used alleging that the most likely cause of the fraud was a data security breach at the bank that the bank ignored.
E-Shops Corp. v. U.S. Bank National Association worked its way through the courts, but the merchant found no joy. Read Hoffman’s discussion of the case and ruling on Data Privacy Monitor.
[From the article:
Rather, the court stated that the merchant was required to describe the circumstances surrounding the breach—“the who, what, when, where and how U.S. Bank’s conduct amounted to false, deceptive, or misleading conduct.”

An exploration of the failure of Universities to practice what they teach. Points to a few million student victims to make the point...
New Math, data breaches version

Wait till he finds out they can carry weapons! (Is there such a thing as “manned drones?”
"During a radio interview, Virginia governor Bob McDonnell suggested that using unmanned drones to assist police would be 'great' and 'the right thing to do.' 'Increased safety and reduced manpower are among the reasons the U.S. military and intelligence community use drones on the battlefield, which is why it should be considered in Virginia, he says. ... McDonnell added Tuesday it will prove important to ensure the state maintains Americans' civil liberties, such as privacy, if it adds drones to its law enforcement arsenal.' Is this the next step toward militarizing our law enforcement agencies? How exactly can they ensure our privacy, when even the Air Force can't?"

Amazing what the founding fathers foretold...
Sex offenders battle state courts for Facebook accounts
Tens of thousands of registered sex offenders have been purged from social networks like Facebook and MySpace over the past several years -- banned by state laws prohibiting them from using chat rooms, social networks, or instant messaging.
However, some of these registered sex offenders are now trying to turn the tables in state courts. Legal battles over the right to use social networks have ensued across the U.S., from Indiana to Nebraska to Louisiana, according to the Associated Press.
The position of the registered sex offenders and civil liberties groups is that the state bans violate free speech and the individual right to join in online discussions, according to the Associated Press. Civil liberties advocates argue that the Internet and social networking is now so widespread that using it has become necessary for free speech. [Blogs ain't speech? Bob]

Rather than assume I want no data collection, how about letting me decide how much to collect, how long to keep it, and where I want it stored?
Consumer group says self-driving cars pose privacy risk
May 30, 2012 by Dissent
Jerry Hirsch reports:
A consumer group says a bill that would allow self-driving cars on California’s roads does not do enough to protect privacy.
The bill, SB 1298, sponsored by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima), has passed the California Senate and is awaiting Assembly consideration in June. It establishes guidelines for “autonomous vehicles” to be tested and operated in California.
It has flown through the Legislature, passing the Senate unanimously.
[From the article:
“Without appropriate regulations, Google’s vehicles will be able to gather unprecedented amounts of information about the use of those vehicles. How will it be used? Just as Google tracks us around the Information Superhighway, it will now be looking over our shoulders on every highway and byway,” Court said in a letter to Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles).

“Clearly laws don't work. Let's pass another law.” What's wrong with this logic?
By Dissent, May 30, 2012
Associated Press reports:
U.S. Sen. Al Franken said Wednesday he plans to pursue legislation or federal regulations requiring encryption of all laptops containing private medical information, after presiding over a hearing on aggressive debt collection practices in several Minnesota hospitals.
Read more on Washington Examiner.
Why stop at laptops? What about other mobile devices? Security should be based on the type and sensitivity of the data, not the type of mobile device.

If everyone agrees this is a problem, why don't we have a national law?
Bill banning warrantless cellphone tracking clears California Senate
May 30, 2012 by Dissent
Michelle Maltais reports:
California is one step closer to banning law enforcement from tapping the data from the tracking device in your palm, pocket or purse without a warrant.
The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday that requires a warrant to seek access from wireless carriers to the near-constant data stream coming from our cellphones.
Read more on The Los Angeles Times.

Bringing IP law into the 3D world...
Clive Thompson on 3-D Printing’s Legal Morass
Last winter, Thomas Valenty bought a MakerBot — an inexpensive 3-D printer that lets you quickly create plastic objects. His brother had some Imperial Guards from the tabletop game Warhammer, so Valenty decided to design a couple of his own Warhammer-style figurines: a two-legged war mecha and a tank.
He tweaked the designs for a week until he was happy. “I put a lot of work into them,” he says. Then he posted the files for free downloading on Thingiverse, a site that lets you share instructions for printing 3-D objects. Soon other fans were outputting their own copies.
Until the lawyers showed up.

(Related) Extending IP law into the Outer Limits
"Simply giving your mother an e-book for her birthday could constitute patent infringement now that the USPTO's gone and awarded a patent on the 'Electronic Gifting' of items such as music, movies, television programs, games, or books. BusinessInsider speculates that the patent may be of concern to Facebook, which just dropped a reported $80 million on social gift-giving app maker Karma Science."

For my overwhelmed students. (Worth reading just for the quotable numbers.)
Information Overload Is Not a New Problem
There is a wonderful essay in The Hedgehog Review about the promise and perils of information overload. Titled Why Google Isn’t Making Us Stupid…or Smart, this essay written by Chad Ellmon explores the history of information overload and explores its implications. But Ellmon also spends some time demonstrating that information overload is far from a new problem:
These complaints have their biblical antecedents: Ecclesiastes 12:12, “Of making books there is no end”; their classical ones: Seneca, “the abundance of books is a distraction”; and their early modern ones: Leibniz, the “horrible mass of books keeps growing.”

Why students should bathe... Indication of a new tool for biometrics?
Age can be detected by smell, study finds
Catching a whiff of someone's body odour is enough to tell you whether they are young, middle aged or elderly without having seen them, researchers found.
Elderly people's smell was the most distinctive but contrary but was also judged by volunteers to be less intense and unpleasant than that of younger people.

What to do if your thumbs are in a cast?
Twitter Voice is a handy Android application for Twitter users who want to tweet quickly without having to type anything. A great application for people on the move, for example, people who want to tweet as they drive the car. [“I'm driving” “I'm turning right” “I'm Okay, but the other guy may need an ambulance” Bob]

I wonder what the equivalent was in my day...
… For those of you who don’t know what this is (but it’s pretty obvious from the word itself), it’s when you send a text message to someone with either sexually explicit text, a sexually explicit picture, or both.
… According to today’s infographic, two-thirds of US students have sent sexually suggestive messages via their mobile phone.

Might make an interesting project for my Intro to Computing class...
Windows PCs are notoriously junk-filled out-of-the-box. Buy a Microsoft Signature PC from a Microsoft Store (yes, Microsoft has a handful of stores across the US) and you’ll find it free of the usual junk. Soon, Microsoft will offer to turn any PC into a Microsoft Signature PC with its “Signature Upgrade” service – as long as you pay $99.
A typical PC might come with a pile of additional desktop shortcuts, system tray applications, and other bloatware. Software developers pay computer manufacturers to preload their software, reducing the price of the computer by a few dollars. Microsoft realizes that this makes Windows look bad and their response is Microsoft Signature, a fancy name for PCs without the junk. But there are steps you can take yourself that will save you from paying that $99.

Free is good. Granted the target audience is K-12 students, but there are many useful thingies here. Blank Music sheets, Free e-Books, create your own comics (useful for presentations to the CEO), etc.
One of the common obstacles to using many Web 2.0 tools in elementary school and middle school classrooms is the registration requirement that those tools have. Fortunately, there are many good Web 2.0 tools that do not require registration. Nathan Hall has started to put together a Diigo list of Web 2.0 tools that do not require registration. When I saw the list yesterday it had 60 items. When I looked at the list this morning there were 101 items on the list. Take a look at Nathan's list and I think you'll find some new-to-you tools, I did.

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