Monday, May 07, 2012

This is more likely to be the inevitable advance of technology rather than any pressing need to read over your shoulder. Unfortunately, this leads (also inevitably) to “We can, therefore we must!”
Surveillance cameras so strong they can zoom in to read text messages
May 7, 2012 by Dissent
Surveillance cameras are now so powerful they are able to zoom in and read your text messages – leading to fears of further privacy intrusion by a ‘Big Brother’ style state.
As well as being advanced enough to close in on an individual’s phone screen, security cameras will soon be able to pick up on raised voices and sniff out drugs too.
The revelations were made at a privacy conference in Wellington, New Zealand, where it was also disclosed that the average person is digitally recorded about a dozen times a day.
So, do we have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” from this now that some courts have acknowledge that there really is some expectation of privacy in public spaces? If law enforcement can not use long-term warrantless GPS surveillance, what about this? And of course, what stops private investigators hired by your angry ex-spouse?
Read more on Daily Mail.

I'm already on 'double secret probation,' what more can they do?
"Drew Wilson of ZeroPaid has an interesting look at file-sharing. It all started with a review of a Phoenix study that was used to promote SOPA. Wilson says that the study was long on wild claims and short on fact. While most writers would simply criticize the study and move on, Wilson took it a step further and looked in to what file-sharing studies have really been saying throughout the years. What he found was an impressive 19 of 20 studies not getting any coverage. He launched a large series detailing what these studies have to say on file-sharing. The first study suggests that file-sharing litigation was a failure. The second study said that p2p has no effect on music sales. The third study found that the RIAA suppresses innovation. The fourth study says that the MPAA has simply been trying to preserve its oligopoly. The fifth study says that even when one uses the methodology of one download means one lost sale, the losses amount to less than $2 per album. The studies, so far, are being posted on a daily basis and are certainly worth the read."

(Related) The Streisand Effect with minor hurdles?
"Now that The Pirate Bay is being blocked by ISPs in the UK, millions of people have a new interest in accessing the site, even if they didn't before. The reasons for this are simple. Not only do people hate being told what they can and can't do, people – especially geeks – love solving problems and puzzles. Unlocking The Pirate Bay with a straightforward proxy is just too boring, so just for fun let's go the hard way round."

Business opportunity: a roll up keyboard.
Piano Apprentice: An App-cessory to Foster Musical Interests
Piano Apprentice is an app-cessory. It turns your iPad into a small electronic piano with the ability to play video tutorials and sells itself as a piano teaching tool.

Is it because of where people search?
May 06, 2012
The verdict: is blogging or tweeting about research papers worth it?
London School of Economics: "Eager to find out what impact blogging and social media could have on the dissemination of her work, Melissa Terras took all of her academic research, including papers that have been available online for years, to the web and found that her audience responded with a huge leap in interest in her work."

More thoughts on e-conomics?
Minting the Digital Currency of the Future
A few weeks ago the Royal Canadian Mint rolled out MintChip, a digital currency that is “better than cash.” It isn’t an alternative currency in that it’s a digital representation of the sovereign currency — the Canadian dollar.
Nevertheless, digital money geeks are atwitter, especially with comparisons to Bitcoin. The MintChip business model is yet to be defined, however; the RCM has issued a challenge — prize money and all — to software developers to come up with apps for using the currency. In the meantime, we decided to pester Marc Brule, the RCM’s chief financial officer, to try and make some cents of it all.

Put that in your iPad and stream it!
AudioLiterate lets you search for audio files by author and genre. The simple homepage shows the recently added book, genre categories, as well as feature audiobooks. Clicking on an entry will allow you to download the whole audio file from, although you can also choose to stream each chapter with their embedded audio player.
Similar Tools: Audiobooks App,, and Librophile.

There must be money in this – it sure ain't in teaching. (Why limit the article to Minorities?)
7 New Educational Startups Founded By Minorities in Tech
One of today’s most challenging yet promising markets is the educational system. If you want to see startups hungry to disrupt an industry, look no further. Founders are trying to solve the problems plaguing our education system: including reconciling student debt, providing students with the skills required to land a job both before and after graduation, and offering the best course material online regardless of age, location and educational level.

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