Monday, June 25, 2012

How “polluted” must some user data be before all user data is corrupt? Or at least highly suspect? Lots of other questions occur...
Apple gets privacy-protecting data pollution patent
June 25, 2012 by Dissent
Geoff Duncan reports:
One remarkable thing about Apple is that it has generally made decisions in favor of preserving its customers privacy rather than collecting data about their preferences or activities — or making it easy for third parties to do so without Apple users’ explicit permission. However, now the company has a patent on technology that could take an activerole in preserving users’ privacy. Titled “Techniques to pollute electronic profiling,” the patent essentially describes methods that can be used to disseminate false information about individuals, making it more difficult for marketers, analytics companies, and even governments to collate accurate profiles of Internet users’ activities, preferences, and attitudes.
Read more on Digital Trends

I think it depends on what you see as a revenue stream...
"Dane Jasper's tiny Internet service provider briefly took the national spotlight last October, when it contested a Department of Justice order that it secretly hand over the data of privacy activist and WikiLeaks associate Jacob Appelbaum. But has actually been quietly implementing a much more fundamental privacy measure: For the past eighteen months it's only kept logs of user data for two weeks before deletion, compared with 18 to 36 months at Verizon, AT&T, Comcast, Time Warner and other ISPs. In a lengthy Q&A, he explains how he came to the decision to limit logging after a series of shakedowns by copyright lawyers attempting to embarrass users who had downloaded porn films, and he argues that it's time all ISPs adopt the two-week rule."

Are we looking at a major legal screw-up or cleverly orchestrated “defense theater?”
MegaUpload scoreboard: Momentum is with Kim DotCom
In January, MegaUpload founder Kim DotCom was little more than antipiracy road kill. [Steamrollered by the MPAA? Bob]
Six months later, DotCom is making a comeback.
… A month after his arrested, DotCom was still locked up in jail. His assets had all been seized. His family had been booted out of his home. Since then, however, DotCom and some of the other MegaUpload defendants have won a string of favorable court decisions in New Zealand that have led to their release on bail, the return of some of their assets and a court order that requires the FBI to show the evidence it has against the company.
On Friday, when MegaUpload's lawyers are due to appear in a Virginia federal court to argue that the charges should be tossed out, all the momentum will be with them.
… His biggest public-relations coup was posting a photo of himself with Steve Wozniak, the bearded and beloved co-founder of Apple. For the skeptics who don't believe a photo necessarily signifies an endorsement, Wozniak, in an exclusive e-mail interview with CNET, made clear what he thinks of DotCom.
"When crimes occur through the mail, you don't shut the post office down," Wozniak wrote on Sunday. "When governments dream up charges of 'racketeering' for a typical IT guy who is just operating a file-sharing service, or accuse him of mail fraud because he said he had removed files [to alleged infringing content] when he'd just removed the links to them, this is evidence of how poorly thought out the attempt to extradite him is. Prosecutors are attempting to take advantage of loopholes."
… DotCom's extradition hearing in New Zealand is scheduled for August 6. But come Friday, Ira Rothken, MegaUpload's lead attorney, is expected to argue that the U.S. government hasn't properly served the defendants with a summons. The company's lawyers also say the U.S. Department of Justice has no jurisdiction over the Hong Kong-based company.
Over in New Zealand MegaUpload's legal team has recently made an issue of the removal of some of Kim DotCom's personal data from New Zealand. The court is trying to determine whether the United States and New Zealand had the authorization to transfer the data.
In April, District Judge Liam O'Grady wondered aloud in court whether the case against DotCom would ever go to trial. The way things are going, the judge's statement looks prophetic.

Perhaps I should stop bringing cookies to class?
Your sweet tooth might be making you stupid
Prepping for a big presentation but can't seem to remember any of the content? Blame your sweet tooth.
A diet high in sugar may hamper your memory and ability to learn, says a study published in the Journal of Physiology.
Researchers had two groups of rats drink water mixed with fructose, a type of sugar. One of the groups also received omega-3 fatty acids as a part of their diet. After 6 weeks, the rats who drank only sugar water completed a maze slower than the omega-3-fed mice. (We know you're not a mouse -- but you can still take steps to navigate the maze of life. Check out these 27 Ways to Power Up Your Brain.)

Something for my students...
How a Tech Non-Profit Became the Hottest Ticket in Silicon Valley
After five years at Facebook, where she was one of three engineers who launched the company’s advertising platform, Yun-Fang Juan could write her own ticket. That might have meant joining an early-stage startup in the mold of, say, Instagram (sold to Facebook for $1 billion), or starting her own venture (ex Facebook engineer Dave Morin has one valued at $250 million), or angling for one of Google’s legendary compensation packages.
Instead, after taking some time off for soul searching, the long-ago winner of a Yahoo “superstar” award decided to go work for a small online education non-profit known as Khan Academy, where she’d have no shot at any sort of jackpot.
… Juan is hardly alone. Khan Academy, an educational non-profit, is becoming one of the sexiest workplaces for programmers in Silicon Valley, where stock options, IPOs and big-money acquisitions have long been considered key to luring talent. It’s attracted star coders from companies like Google and Microsoft and, as it grows, has its pick of some of the tech sector’s top engineers.
Khan’s recruiting success underlines something often forgotten as investment dollars pour in to the Valley: Money isn’t everything.

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