Saturday, June 30, 2012

Another good “Bad Example” for my Business Continuity class. That's what you get for relying on a Cloud.
There Goes The Weekend! Pinterest, Instagram And Netflix Down Due To AWS Outage
… Because of storms in North Virginia, power outages have impaired Amazon Web Services data centers in the region tonight, which means no Pinterest, Instagram, Netflix, Heroku and other sundry AWS-dependent services for you.
According to the AWS outage dashboard the company is ONIT, yet, as of 12:31AM PST, it is only at 50% recovery.

What do you bet someone will forget to change their clocks and the NYSE will crash on Monday...
How Will You Spend Today's 'Leap Second'?
Today's the day when we officially add another second to our calendar -- to compensate for the fact that it's taking the planet longer and longer to complete a full rotation around its axis.

A sound byte is a sound byte...
Kucinich: US Drone Program Is ‘Vigilantism Conducted by Robots’
The U.S. drone assassination program is "vigilantism conducted by robots" and has caused us to "journey into moral depravity," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) in an interview with The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.
In the June 21 interview with the London-based Bureau, Kucinich gives a scathing review of the U.S. wars in Yemen and Pakistan and states that the nation's justice values have been "radically altered" and that we now have a system of trial by execution.
"We have ventured into a world since 9/11 where international law is set aside and where the implements of war are becoming so ubiquitous that all the rules are being ignored and conflict zones are expanding. Where suspected terrorists – and we do not know what they are really suspected of doing, you know – they can be suspects now, and they can be executed. Or they can just be perceived to be a male of combat age and be executed."

(Related) A more practical concern, but easily avoided – think Best Practices.
Drones can be hijacked via GPS spoofing attack
Last year a U.S. military drone doing reconnaissance in Iran disappeared. Iranian government officials there said they had steered the device off course by interfering with its GPS signals.
Such an attack, called GPS spoofing, had previously been considered theoretical. A research team at the University of Texas at Austin has demonstrated that the GPS signals of an unmanned aerial vehicle can be commandeered remotely. This demonstration highlights security concerns with plans to allow thousands of military and civilian drones in U.S. airspace by 2015.

How do I surveil thee? Let me count the ways.
I surveil thee to the depth and breadth and height
My evil-little-mind can reach, you are never out of sight
June 29, 2012
WSJ - E-book publishers and retailers collecting data on readers
WSJ: "In the past, publishers and authors had no way of knowing what happens when a reader sits down with a book. Does the reader quit after three pages, or finish it in a single sitting? Do most readers skip over the introduction, or read it closely, underlining passages and scrawling notes in the margins? Now, e-books are providing a glimpse into the story behind the sales figures, revealing not only how many people buy particular books, but how intensely they read them."
[From the article:
The major new players in e-book publishing—Amazon, Apple and Google—can easily track how far readers are getting in books, how long they spend reading them and which search terms they use to find books. Book apps for tablets like the iPad, Kindle Fire and Nook record how many times readers open the app and how much time they spend reading. Retailers and some publishers are beginning to sift through the data, gaining unprecedented insight into how people engage with books.

If I can spoof an IP address to fool the BBC into believing I live in the UK, how hard will it be to live (temporarily) in Delaware?
"Delaware became the first state to enter the realm of legal online casino gambling Thursday with the governor's approval of legislation that allows for full-service betting websites offering slots play and games like roulette, poker and blackjack. Federal law limits online gambling to players within the state's borders, which will be verified using geolocation software. The state hopes to launch online gambling in 2013 and intends to make betting available on a variety of digital devices including smart phones and tablets."

Another techno tchotchke, because when you need one you really need one.
OnlineConvert is a helpful online website that allows users to convert various types of files from one format to another. Currently, the website supports audio, video, documents, e-books, hash, image and archive conversion.

Because we don't waste enough time online?
While physically setting up dominos takes a lot of time, you can now do it virtually thanks to a site called Drawminos.
… You can select any one of the domino patterns present on the site and then watch them fall. The names of each pattern usually define the pattern’s shape.
You can create your own domino patterns as well. Click on the Create button and you will be able to set up dominos yourself and move them around; balls can be added too. A sharing link for your pattern is generated so you can share your patterns with friends. [I see a university wide competition in my future! Bob]

I'm looking forward to teaching “Tablet 101”
A Portrait of Today’s Tablet User
Source: Online Publishers Association
Summary Findings:
1. Tablet usage is exploding.
2. Tablets have become embedded in people’s lives.
3. Content consumption continues to dominate tablet usage.
4. Tablet users have an appetite for paid content.
5. After seeing tablet ads, tablet users are driven to actions.
6. Tablet content purchasers and cross-platform tablet users are more positive about tablet ads and are more likely to purchase products from their tablets.

Mini-Linux Coming soon to a computer lab near you! Note that the demand for these exceeds their ability to manufacture even this simple cheap device.
Allied Electronics Is Now Accepting Orders For The Bite-Sized Raspberry Pi
The Raspberry Pi is a tasty little Linux computing device but it’s so far been rather hard to buy. I’ve wanted to order one since it officially started to ship in April. However, due to the limited quantities, retailers sold out nearly immediately.
Enter Allied Electronics. The Texas-based electronic distributor is now taking orders for the Raspberry Pi at the list price of $35 each with the only caveat being shipping is not for 10-12 weeks. But I’ll take it!

Just a reminder...
"If you don't recall, then Broadband/DSL Reports is here to remind us that ISPs around the U.S. will begin adhering to the RIAA/MPAA-fueled 'Six Strikes' agreement on July 1st. Or is it July 12th? Comcast, AT&T, Verizon and Cablevision are all counted among the participants. They will each introduce 'mitigation measures' against suspected pirates, including: throttling down connection speeds and suspending Web access."

A Virtual Trip: New Grateful Dead Digital Archive Launches
No band deserves an online archive more than the Grateful Dead. As much lifestyle as musical outfit, the Dead influenced millions through their concerts and songs. A few years ago, the band selected the University of California Santa Cruz [home of the Banana Slugs Bob] as the host for its history, and now the first fruits of that decision are available for consumption. The Grateful Dead Online Archive is now live.

Dilbert continues my legal education with “everything you ever wanted to know about patent trolls”

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