Saturday, June 23, 2012

A little problem with “push” updates...
Firefox Promises Privacy Patch Against Tab Spying
June 23, 2012 by Dissent
Mathew J. Schwartz reports:
When Firefox version 13 debuted earlier this month, it included a new tab-restoration feature–but at what privacy cost?
“When opening a new tab, users are now presented with their most visited pages,” according to Mozilla’s Firefox 13 release notes.
But as one Firefox user discovered, that tab-restoration feature was also “taking snapshots of the user’s HTTPS session content,” reported The Register, after one of its readers opened a new tab and was “greeted by my earlier online banking and webmail sessions complete with account numbers, balances, subject lines, etc.”
Read more on InformationWeek.

“Hey we're teachers. We don't need no stinking laws!”
NC: Clinton third-grader strip-searched after being accused of stealing
June 22, 2012 by Dissent
Okay, it’s bad enough that students get strip-searched in schools without seemingly having any right to refuse or to demand a parent or lawyer.
But for the building administrator to then issue a statement on the incident that names the student and reveals additional details about the student and his record, well, DOES ANYONE UNDERSTAND FERPA?
Yes, I’m screaming.
From a 2002 letter from the Director of the Family Policy Compliance Office:
FERPA prohibits a recipient of U.S. Department of Education funds from having a policy or practice of nonconsensually disclosing personally identifiable information derived from education records, except in certain statutorily specified circumstances. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b); 34 CFR § 99.31. While there are specific statutory exceptions to the prohibition that personally identifiable information from education records may not be released without consent, the FERPA statute does not include a general exception for the public disclosure of student disciplinary records. Accordingly, these records may not be disclosed without the prior written consent of the student or students about whom the records relate. 20 U.S.C. § 1232g(b)(1) and (d). See also 34 CFR § 99.30.
Did Mrs. Cox give the District explicit consent to discuss the case in the media or for the administrator to disclose that her son had been involved in incidents of lying during the school year? If not…..

“Well yeah it's private. That's why we can sell it for so much money!”
Private Facebook Data Powering Ads Outside Of Facebook — Is The World Ready?
Because investors sure are. Facebook’s share price jumped up 3.8% to $33.05 today on news that it’s now showing its ads on in a revenue sharing partnership. Most amazingly, neither the press nor users seem to be freaking out that their private, personal data is now being used to target them with ads outside of Facebook.

Not being a lawyer, does this suggest problems for the RIAA and MPAA?
Judges tosses Apple v. Motorola
Judge Richard Posner of the U.S. District of Northern Illinois said neither Apple nor Motorola has been able to prove damages and that neither company would be permitted to refile a claim, according to All Things Digital.
… Earlier this month, Posner canceled Apple's patent infringement jury trial against Google's Motorola Mobility unit, then granted Apple's request for an injunction hearing.
On Wednesday, Posner strongly questioned Apple's bid for an injunction against Motorola smartphones, saying, according to Reuters, that a ban on sales could have "catastrophic effects" and would be "contrary to the public interest."
Apple has been waging a patent war over its iOS mobile operating system and Google's competing Android OS. Motorola sued Apple in 2010, in what some saw as a preemptive strike, but over the course of the legal proceedings, many of Motorola's claims had been tossed out, leaving the company with little ammunition.
The one claim Motorola had left was based on a patent it had agreed to let other companies use in exchange for the covered-technology becoming an industry standard (a so-called frand patent). At the time of his "catastrophic effects" comment to Apple, Posner had also told Motorola's lawyers, according to Reuters, "I don't see how you can have injunction against the use of a standard-essential patent."
… During the legal proceedings, the judge also pointed to serious problems with the U.S. patent system and questioned the worth of many software patents, saying, Reuters reported, "You can't just assume that because someone has a patent, he has some deep moral right to exclude everyone else."

Sneak peek: This is Kim Dotcom’s new Megabox service
MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom may have had most of his assets seized as part of his indictment for criminal copyright infringement in January, but that apparently hasn’t stopped him from working on his next venture. Dotcom gave a first peak at Megabox, which is supposed to become a kind of cloud music service, on Twitter Wednesday, sharing a photo of what looks like a mobile app.

For my statistics students. Match these against cost of living and average income and numbers of college graduates... Is there a correlation?

Odds & Ends...
The Minnesota Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that says that students can be punished for their Facebook posts. In the unanimous decision, it said that it wasn’t saying that public universities can regulate students’ personal expression, but it found in this case that the student in question had violated “academic program rules that are narrowly tailored and directly related to established professional conduct standards.” The student in question was part of the University of Minnesota’s mortuary program and had posted to Facebook statements about her playing with cadavers. (Um, isn’t that the problem more than Facebook status updates? I’m no lawyer, but still…) The Chronicle has more details.
… In order to save money, Michigan State University will be closing thousands of alumni email accounts. The school will no longer maintain the email accounts of students who graduated over 2 years ago, which means the end to the .edu domain for about 117,000 people.
… After news that several of its teen users had been approached by child predators, sexually assaulted and raped, the flirting app Skout has shut down its teen community. Only those 18+ will be able to use the app. The Wall Street Journal takes a closer look at what happened at Skout, despite the startup having lots of precautions in place to prevent this sort of thing.
… The Pew Center has released its latest report, this one on libraries and e-books. It found, among other things, that 58% of all library card holders say they do not know if their library provides e-book lending services. There’s a lot more in this report than this one statistic, but it certainly seems to indicate that the publishers’ claims that e-book lending at libraries is going to destroy their businesses is a wee bit of an exaggeration.

This could be real handy. I've gotta play with this! Should every law school student use this?
June 21, 2012
Free Congressional Tracking Tool Launched by Sunlight Foundation
Via Daniel Schuman, The Sunlight Foundation: "SCOUT is a new free alert service that allows you search and create email or text alerts on legislation shaping issues you care about in Congress and across all fifty states. Scout also makes it easy to search federal regulations and what is actually said by lawmakers in the Congressional Record.
  • Set up alerts and subscribe to receive updates from Congress, state legislatures and more via email or SMS text.
  • Search through every bill and regulation in the federal government.
  • Be notified when Congress plans to vote on a bill.
  • Follow and search bills in all 50 states; powered by the Open States project.
  • Import an RSS feed to complement issue alerts."

I use the LightShot add-on at home, but this could be handy when you are using computers that don't have add-ons (like at school)
Windows has a built-in feature that lets you take a screenshot of your entire screen. But to take screenshots of specific portions of your screen, you need a desktop app that specializes in this. In case you do not want to install a new app for this purpose, you will find the desktop app Snaggy to be very helpful.
Snaggy is a free to use web app that lets you easily modify images. All you have to do to get started is press the Print Screen button on your keyboard. This will copy the screen’s image on the computer’s virtual clipboard. Then head on over to the Snaggy homepage and paste in the image using the CTRL+V hotkey shortcut.
Your image will be uploaded and a URL provided. You will also have the option of cropping your image, adding text to it, and adding a pencil drawing or colored rectangles to it. Changes to the image can be saved as you work on it.

After all, the Russian version of “War and Peace” runs for 8 hours...
Often while streaming videos online, you will stumble upon an interesting long video that you do not have the time to watch completely. You could return to the video but you would not have any marker of where you left off watching the video. Here to help you with that is a service called Pause for Later.
Similar site: Wacchen.

Might be useful – no examples on the home page and you need to register...
Presentista is a wonderful new tool that is easy to use and create visually strong presentations in 2D or 3D. It allows users to shape their story easily with a clear WYSIWYG interface. It is available on mobile devies and the site is web based. Creating a presentation on any computer that can be seen on any other computer. It also allows users to upload their own images and videos. A great new presentation tool.

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