Sunday, June 24, 2012

Don't worry. Be happy! Once this program turns itself off you will never need to worry again. (and these are not the 'droids you are looking for.)
Stuxnet cyberweapon set to stop operating
At one second past midnight Sunday, the world's most powerful known cyber weapon, reportedly created by the US with Israeli support to clandestinely infiltrate and then wreck Iran's nuclear fuel enrichment program, will cease to operate.
… But the final deactivation of that powerful destructive digital code isn't likely to give much enduring relief to anyone. Not to Iran, which on June 21 announced it was still worried about another imminent "massive" cyber attack against it should negotiations with the US and other nations over its controversial nuclear program fail.
… There's no relief either for worried cyber security experts, some of whom have called Stuxnet the digital equivalent of the first nuclear attack on Hiroshima. They warn that Stuxnet's code provides a template and conceptual model for a far more destructive "son of Stuxnet" cyber weapon that could be deployed by other nation states or hacktivists for cyber attacks against power grids and other civilian infrastructure.
… "It can be argued that the time was ripe for history's first cyber weapon, and having it come from China or Russia would have created another unpleasant Sputnik experience," wrote Ralph Langner, the Hamburg, Germany-based cyber security expert in a recent opinion article in the New York Times. "On the other hand it is evident that the United States is not prepared to defend against such sophisticated cyber-physical attacks that they chose to experiment with in the open, with the actual weapon eventually being downloadable from the Internet."

'cause sometimes you have to get your hands dirty...

Interesting concept. What tools could they add that would make a “premium” version of the service worth purchasing?
Spotflux Guards Your Privacy for Free
June 23, 2012 by Dissent
Alex Wawro writes:
Keeping your data private while you’re browsing the Web can be time-consuming if you want to stop malware, IP-address snoopers, and malicious ads. Spotflux, a New York startup, is aiming to change that with a no-cost, easy-to-use program that encrypts your Internet connection, anonymizes your IP address, and reduces your risk of infection while you surf. Did I mention that it’s free?
Spotflux works sort of like a faster, simpler version of the Tor Network, though it’s not nearly as stringent about ensuring your anonymity. You download the application for Windows or Mac OS X from the Spotflux website (iOS and Android apps are in development), and run it. Installation is easy, and you can set the app to access a proxy server for added safety (or to ensure that you can reach region-restricted sites after your IP address becomes anonymous). When you access the Net while the app is running, all data moving into or out of your PC shuttles through Spotflux servers by way of a 128-bit SSL encrypted connection; software on the servers scans the data for malware (including malicious ads), and eliminates it.
Read more on CSO. Note that I am not recommending the service as I haven’t even tried it – I’m just making readers aware of a resource they may wish to explore.
Spotflux is NY-based, and you should check their privacy policy before using it if you have concerns about your details being turned over.

My concern is that it may become mandatory to look for “evidence” of “future crimes” or face lawsuits if “preventable” things happen.
Ca: Baumgartner case sharpens debate over online privacy and the workplace
June 24, 2012 by Dissent
The Canadian Press reports that a case in Canada is highlighting the controversy over whether employers can – and perhaps, should – keep track of employees’ online postings or activity.
Days before three armed guards were killed and a fourth wounded as they delivered cash to the University of Alberta, a controversial posting appeared on the Facebook page of a man whose name matches that of the primary suspect in the case.
“I wonder if I’d make the six o’clock news if I just starting popping people off,” read the quote on the page of a Travis Baumgartner.
The post came June 1, less than two weeks before the shootings of the G4S Cash Solutions guards.
Read more about the case and the debate it’s engendered on CTV Edmonton.

Are they tossing out the baby with the bathwater? What about “know associates” or even suspects?
UK police must change photograph policy following court ruling
June 23, 2012 by Dissent
Paul Bernal points us to this post from the Equality and Human Rights Commission about a welcome ruling:
The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in a test case in which the High Court has ruled that the police cannot keep photographs of people without criminal records or those not found guilty.
The judges agreed with the Commission’s submission that unless someone has been charged with, or convicted of, a crime it is an unjustifiable breach of their right to a private life for the police to hold on to a photograph of them.
The court did not agree with the Metropolitan Police’s argument that keeping these photographs of those not convicted was necessary for preventing crime and disorder.
Read more on EHRC.

“How the Supremes Google?” I read it as a strong suggestion that lawyers incorporate relevant facts from the start. Why isn't that a recommendation?
June 22, 2012
Law review article - Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding
Larsen, Alli Orr, Confronting Supreme Court Fact Finding (February 23, 2012). Virginia Law Review, Forthcoming; William & Mary Law School Research Paper No. 09-206.
  • "Supreme Court justices routinely answer factual questions about the world – such as whether violent video games have a harmful effect on child brain development or whether a partial birth abortion is ever medically necessary. The traditional view is that these findings are informed through the adversary system: by reviewing evidence on the record and briefs on appeal. Routinely, however, the justices also engage in what I call “in house” fact-finding. They independently look beyond the briefs and record to answer general questions of fact, and they rely on their discoveries as authorities. To be sure, judges have always done this, and the Federal Rules of Evidence contain no rule restricting it. But times have changed. The world has recently undergone a massive revolution in the way it receives and evaluates information. No longer do justices need to trek to the library to look up factual questions. Instead they can access virtually infinite amounts of factual information at the click of a mouse. This article discusses how that change in technology has and will affect the Court’s fact-finding practice. It collects over 100 examples of factual authorities relied on in recent decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court that were found “in house” – i.e. that cannot be found in any of the party briefs, amici briefs, or the joint record. These are not insignificant rarities: almost 60% of the most important Court opinions in the last ten years rely on in house research at least once. The article then examines the potential dangers of in house fact finding in the digital age – specifically the possibility of mistake, the systematic introduction of bias, and notice/legitimacy concerns. It concludes that these concerns require an update to our approach to Supreme Court fact finding. It then offers two independent and contrasting solutions: new procedural rules that restrict reliance on factual authorities found in house, or alterations to the adversary method to allow for more public participation."

Why not use ALL the free resources available?
June 23, 2012
Pew - Libraries, patrons, and e-books
Libraries, patrons, and e-books, by Kathryn Zickuhr, Lee Rainie, Kristen Purcell, Mary Madden and Joanna Brenner. Summary of findings:
  • 12% of readers of e-books borrowed an e-book from the library in the past year. But a majority of Americans do not know that this service is provided by their local library.
  • Some 12% of Americans ages 16 and older who read e-books say they have borrowed an e-book from a library in the past year.
  • Most e-book borrowers say libraries are very important to them and their families and they are heavy readers in all formats, including books they bought and books lent to them. E-book borrowers say they read an average (the mean number) of 29 books in the past year, compared with 23 books for readers who do not borrow e-books from a library. Perhaps more striking, the median (midpoint) figures for books reportedly read are 20 in the past year by e-book borrowers and 12 by non-borrowers.

It's the typical rant, except...
Is the record business headed for oblivion?
… I polled 2012 New Music Seminar attendees at random to find out how they listen to music, and out of 25 people, a few listened to CDs, four play LPs, two or three mentioned YouTube, one liked FM radio, and few more were into Internet radio, but the overwhelming majority listen to streaming music services. That's cool, but it also means they don't buy physical or downloaded music. Remember, these folks were attending the 2012 New Music Seminar Festival, so they're either musicians or in the music business, and they don't buy recorded music. That's weird.

“Oh! Dis is cool!” Bob said dat
Pin A Quote is a free to use web service that pins quotations from the Internet to unique webpages. You start by dragging the service’s bookmarklet to your browser’s bookmarks toolbar. Next you highlight a piece of text from a webpage and click on the bookmarklet. You can optionally type in the name of the author of the quote; the online source is automatically copied.
Your quote is published as a JPG image on a unique webpage that can be shared with your friends.

Global Warming! Global Warming! Is it like the old “B” movies said: “There are some things man was not meant to know?” or like Politics, where there are some things we don't talk about?
Arctic has undergone unexpectedly warm periods, core data shows
New data from a core drilled into a Russian lake provide the longest continuous record of Arctic conditions and show that the pole had periods of unexpectedly high temperatures and rainfall, much higher than researchers thought possible. The warm periods may have melted most of the Arctic ice sheet and coincide with periods when parts of the Antarctic were also ice-free and warm, researchers said Thursday.
… Researchers know that there have been recurring periods of higher temperatures and increased rainfall in the Arctic, called interglacials, [Translation: not an “ice age” Bob] but those have been relatively modest, involving temperature increases of a couple of degrees Fahrenheit. The team reported in the journal Science that they found periods with much more extreme changes, which they called super interglacials.

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