Tuesday, June 05, 2012

I want one! Of course, their first reply may be “I can't open the pod bay door Dave.”
Siri, Kill That Guy’: Drones Might Get Voice Controls

No doubt someone has to figure out how those X-ray scanner work... OPT is “optional practical training ”
"In mid-May, the Department of Homeland Security quietly expanded a program that allows foreign science, technology, engineering and math grads to work in the U.S. for 29 months without a work visa. 'Attracting the best and brightest international talent to our colleges and universities and enabling them to contribute to their professional growth is an important part of our nation's economic, scientific and technological competitiveness,' explained DHS Chief Janet Napolitano. But last week, Senator Chuck Grassley called on the GAO to 'fully investigate' the student visa program, citing reports of abuse and other concerns in his letter. Now, Computerworld reports that the DHS STEM Visa Extension Program continues to be dominated by Stratford University and the University of Bridgeport (as it was in 2010), prompting some tongues to wag. It is 'obvious to any reasonable person that the schools producing most of the OPT students are not prestigious research universities,' quipped policy analyst Daniel Costa, 'which means that many of the OPT students across the country are not in fact the "best and brightest."' While conceding that top students can come from lesser-known schools, 'those will be the exception to the rule,' argued Costa, who suggested the government should include performance metrics in the OPT program, such as grades and university rankings."

Let's see if they get beyond the tip of the iceberg...
By Dissent, June 4, 2012
Patient Privacy Rights and Georgetown University Law Center’sO’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law Host Event
Psychiatry Patient’s Story Highlights Growing Threat to Privacy
WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– When a lawyer named “Julie” sought psychiatric treatment in Boston, she never imagined that the notes of sessions with her therapist would be digitized and made available to thousands of doctors and nurses—even dermatologists and podiatrists with no conceivable need for such private records. But that is precisely what happened. “Personal details that took me years to disclose during therapy are being shared throughout my medical network, against my will,” Julie says. “It’s destroyed my trust with my doctors.”
Julie will tell her story for the first time at the 2nd International Summit on the Future of Health Privacy, to be held in Washington, DC, on June 6-7. Sponsored by Patient Privacy Rights, the nation’s leading health privacy watchdog, and Georgetown University Law Center’s O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law, the Summit will explore the often-alarming privacy implications of the nation’s race to digitize patient medical records.
Read more about what promises to be an exciting conference on PatientPrivacyRights.org.

Nothing special. Looking for that “Let's do anything to get these guys” email.
BP Demands Scientist Emails in Gulf Oil Spill Lawsuit

'cause we want to move all those Saturday morning cartoon ads onto Facebook...
Facebook may be working to bring in users under 13
Speculation is flying that Facebook executives may be developing technology that would enable kids under the age of 13 to join the site with parental supervision.
Interest by Facebook in lowering the minimum age to under 13 years old to join the world's most popular social network was first reported in the Wall Street Journal. The network is reportedly testing ways to link a child's Facebook page to his or her parents', along with tools that would enable parents to decide who their children can "friend" and what apps they can use.

I hope this kind of article educates my students who want to start their own “record label.” They are not yet technophobic nor are the Luddites. Might be interesting to see what they come up with...
E-Publishing May Be Doing Everything Right, But We Can’t Ignore The Spectre Of Piracy
I’m a full supporter of e-books, e-book devices, and agree (mostly) with this excellent WSJ assessment by Rob Reid of the the e-book business. In short, Reid points out that 10 years ago this month the music industry began prosecuting its users and implementing draconian DRM to stave off an impending piracy revolution. That was the year Napster closed shop and pirates, however briefly, lived in a hostile environment. Since then, the music industry has lost $7 billion in music sales. Their war is lost and that sum, however paltry it looks, is pretty much the new normal.
The e-book industry, on the other hand, has been quick to embrace all things digital, creating a number of great distribution channels thanks to strong partnerships with major booksellers. As Reid notes, publishers embraced the Kindle while music distributors saw everything as a threat.

(Related) Local
As an undergrad at the University of Colorado in 2002, Nathan Seidle blew some stuff up. When he searched the internet for replacement parts for the electronic things he was working on, he found himself frustrated at both the lack of parts available and by the lack of pictures of the parts that were available.

Not normal. Releasing classified technology gives analysts an accurate benchmark at a point in time. Assuming a growth formula of 0.047% per year (completely arbitrary you understand) it then becomes trivial to determine what current surveillance satellite tech can do. Exceptions: 1) We found a way to “jump up the curve” or 2) We don't care...
"The U.S. government's secret space program has decided to give NASA two telescopes as big as, and even more powerful than, the Hubble Space Telescope. Designed for surveillance, the telescopes from the National Reconnaissance Office were no longer needed for spy missions and can now be used to study the heavens."

The latest from “Mr. Everything you ever wanted to know about _____” OR What happens when you look through ALL the results of a Google search.
June 04, 2012
New on LLRX.com - Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources - An Annotated Link Compilation
via LLRX.com - Academic and Scholar Search Engines and Sources - An Annotated Link Compilation - This new guide by research guru Marcus P. Zillman focuses on the latest and most significant academic and scholar search engines and sources. With the addition of new and pertinent information released online from every sector continually, it is very easy to experience information overload. A real asset in responding to the challenges of so much data is to apply techniques to identify and locate significant, reliable academic and scholarly information that resides in both the visible and invisible web. The following selected academic and scholar search engines and sources offer a wide range of actionable information retrieval and extraction sources to help you accomplish your research goals.

I want my students to write their own textbook. Something like this may be the tool to use.
Widbook is a new service that is part multimedia book authoring tool and part social network. On Widbook you can create a digital book that contains text, images, and videos. Widbook is collaborative because you can invite others to make contributions to your books. To use Widbook you have to create a profile on the service. The books that you create become a part of your profile. If you allow it, other Widbook users can add content and or comments to your books. Likewise, you can search for others' books and make contributions to their books.
Widbook allows you to create a virtual bookshelf of books that you create and or find on Widbook.
One drawback to Widbook in its beta current version is that your books can only be viewed on Widbook right now. Hopefully, in the future they will allow embeds on other sites.
Applications for Education
Widbook has the potential to be a good web-based platform for students to use to construct multimedia research papers. Widbook could also be a good platform for teachers to use to create their own multimedia textbooks to use in their classrooms.

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