Sunday, July 15, 2012

Looks like we need to improve our education message.
July 13, 2012
Congressional Connection - Privacy Trumps Cybersecurity, Poll Shows
Via EFF: Josh Smith: "Proposals to increase cybersecurity by allowing businesses and government to share information may enjoy bipartisan support in Washington, but Americans aren’t sold on the idea, the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll finds. Almost two-thirds of respondents—63 percent—said government and businesses should not be allowed to share information because it would hurt privacy and civil liberties. But 29 percent of those surveyed said information-sharing should be allowed to better protect computer networks. The United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, surveyed 1,004 adults from July 5-8. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points."

(Related) Here's an idea.
"An article in the NY Times argues that the devices we call 'cell phones' should instead be called 'trackers.' It would help remind the average user that whole industries have sprung up around the mining and selling of their personal data — not to mention the huge amount of data requested by governments. Law professor Eben Moglen goes a step further, saying our cell phones are effectively robots that use us for mobility. 'They see everything, they're aware of our position, our relationship to other human beings and other robots, they mediate an information stream around us.' It's interesting to see such a mainstream publication focus on privacy like this; the authors say that since an objects name influences how people think about the object, renaming 'cell phones' could be an simple way to raise privacy awareness."

The problem with “We gotta do something quick!” laws...
Do your child’s FERPA rights depend on what state you live in? It seems like it…
July 14, 2012 by Dissent
I really think that SCOTUS is going to need to hear at least one FERPA case and rule on whether the federal law protecting the privacy of education records trumps states’ open records laws if the state accepts federal education dollars.
In Oklahoma, we saw the state’s education department deciding that they could accept federal funding with FERPA strings attached but still disclose personally identifiable info under their open records law. Now in Iowa, that state’s supreme court has reached an almost opposite conclusion. The Associated Press reports:
The University of Iowa can conceal hundreds of pages of records related to its widely criticized handling of a 2007 sexual assault incident involving two football players, the Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday.
In a 4-3 decision that took nearly two years to reach, the court agreed with the university that it can withhold the records requested by the Iowa City Press-Citizen newspaper. Otherwise, the school would face the possibility of violating the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act and, if sanctioned, could lose millions in federal funds, Justice Edward Mansfield wrote for the majority, in a first-of-its-kind ruling in Iowa.
Read more on The Washington Post.
If you’re a free press advocate, you probably loved Oklahoma and hated Iowa. If you’re a privacy advocate, you probably hated Oklahoma and felt a sense of dismay over Iowa because of the nature of the requested records that were a matter of public concern, while feeling some relief that a court issued a strong statement on protecting education records.
Given that FERPA was just amended in 2009, I doubt Congress is willing to go back to the drawing board on this law, but it really needs re-visiting to remove ambiguities that are leading to wildly varying understanding and decisions.

Would this apply to Facebook as well?
LinkedIn can’t be sued under Stored Communications Act – court
July 14, 2012 by Dissent points us to a ruling that because LinkedIn is neither a remote computing service (RCS) nor does it provide electronic communication services (ECS), it can’t be sued under the SCA for disclosing search histories to third parties. Low v. LinkedIn Corp., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97012 (N.D. Cal. July 12, 2012).
Mali Friedman discusses the decision on Covington & Burling’s InsidePrivacy. Covington & Burling represented LinkedIn in the case.

“Got lungs?” Perhaps you can reach your target audience online...
By Dissent, July 14, 2012
Phil Galewitz
When the University of Pennsylvania Health System sought new patients for its lung transplant service last year, it turned to Facebook and Google.
The results of the $20,000 advertising campaign on the websites exceeded administrators’ expectations.
During a few weeks in August and September, more than 4,600 people clicked on the ads and 36 people made appointments for consultations. One of those is now on the hospital’s lung transplant waiting list, and several others are being evaluated, hospital officials say. While the response may seem small, each transplant brings in about $100,000 in revenue.
Read more of this collaborative report between Kaiser Health news and the Philadelphia Inquirer here.

I try to believe as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Is this one of them? Napster as a case study...
July 14, 2012
Paper - Copyright and Innovation: The Untold Story
Copyright and Innovation: The Untold Story by Michael A. Carrier via SSRN
  • "Copyright has an innovation problem. Judicial decisions, private enforcement, and public dialogue ignore innovation and overemphasize the harms of copyright infringement. Just to pick one example, “piracy,” “theft,” and “rogue websites” were the focus of debate in connection with the PROTECT IP Act (PIPA) and Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). But such a debate ignores the effect of copyright law and enforcement on innovation. Even though innovation is the most important factor in economic growth, it is difficult to observe, especially in comparison to copyright infringement. This article addresses this problem. It presents the results of a groundbreaking study of 31 CEOs, company founders, and vice-presidents from technology companies, the recording industry, and venture capital firms. Based on in-depth interviews, the article offers original insights on the relationship between copyright law and innovation. It also analyzes the behavior of the record labels when confronted with the digital music revolution. And it traces innovators’ and investors’ reactions to the district court’s injunction in the case involving peer-to-peer (p2p) service Napster."

Competition from Square isn't bad enough?
July 14, 2012
WSJ - Visa, Mastercard to pay $6 billion to retailers over price-fixing
WSJ: "Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc. and some large banks agreed to pay scores of retailers—from giant Publix Supermarkets Inc. to an interior-design store in Minnesota—more than $6 billion to settle a long-running lawsuit, in a pact that also permits merchants to charge more to customers who pay with credit cards. The settlement is a victory for retailers, which will get more control over how people pay, and removes a legal threat for the major card companies. It could potentially raise prices for some goods and services for consumers who prefer using cards to cash and checks."

Useful, but politicians are exempt. (Funny how laws only apply to us second class citizens)
July 13, 2012
FTC Offers Consumers Tips on How to Respond to Unwanted Robocalls
News release: "Illegal pre-recorded "robocalls" are a growing annoyance for millions of American consumers and the target of an enforcement crackdown by the Federal Trade Commission. What should you do when you get one of these calls? [July 10, 2012] the FTC issued tips for consumers, as well as two new consumer education videos explaining robocalls and describing what consumers should do when they receive one. The agency also is hosting a robocall summit later this year to develop new strategies to stop illegal robocalls... The agency's two new consumer videos, "Robocalls Gone Wrong," and "What To Do if You Get a Robocall," are located on a new FTC robocalls web page, which has more information about robocalls and what the FTC is doing to protect consumers."

July 13, 2012
Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2012
The Reuters Institute Digital Report 2012, edited by Nic Newman "reveals new insights about digital news consumption across Europe and the United States. Based on a representative survey of online news consumers across five countries – UK, US, Germany, France and Denmark – the report is the start of an ambitious project to track changing digital news behaviour over the next decade. Key international findings
  • "There are significant differences in how regularly people keep up with the news across our surveyed countries. More than 9 in 10 Germans access the news at least once a day compared with only 3 in 4 people in the United Kingdom.
  • The rapid switch from print to digital in the United States is not being replicated exactly in European countries. Germany is showing the strongest allegiance to traditional viewing and reading habits and has the lowest levels of internet news use.
  • In the UK, news about politics is perceived to be less important – and celebrity news more important – compared to the other countries surveyed.
  • There is more interest in business and especially economic news in the UK and the US than in the European countries surveyed."

A little entrepreneural thinking, my Ethical Hackers and this is a real business opportunity...
"A top defense and cybersecurity expert says the U.S. should stop trying to take aim at expert hackers and start doing a better job of recruiting them. 'Let's just say that in some places you find guys with body piercings and nonregulation haircuts,' says U.S. Naval Postgraduate School professor John Arquilla . 'But most of these sorts of guys can't be vetted in the traditional way. We need a new institutional culture that allows us to reach out to them.'"

For my Business Continuity students
Guns, Squirrels, and Steel: The Many Ways To Kill a Data Center

For my Website students
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Using a WYSIWYG platform like Blogger or Google Sites to create a blog or website is more than adequate for most teachers and students. But at some point you might want to beyond the limitations of WYSIWYG. It's then that you'll want know how to write and edit HTML yourself. These are three resources that you can use to teach yourself HTML. The instructions in these resources are clear enough that middle school students can use them on their own too.
Codecademy is a place where anyone can learn how to write code. Codecademy offers lessons in basic HTML and CSS. Codecademy's lessons in basic HTML start with the very basics of explaining what HTML is, what it does, and how to write the basics. There are seven progressively more difficult lessons that students can work through on their own.
Thimble is a free Mozilla product designed to help users learn how to write HTML and CSS. Thimble features a split screen on which you can write code and see how it works at the same time. On the left side of the screen you write your code and on the right side of the screen you instantly see what that code renders.  The latest version of Thimble gives you the option to start from scratch or to modify sample projects. The sample projects include directions for writing code. If you write the code correctly, you will know right away. Likewise, if you don't write the code correctly, you will know right away. Some of the sample projects you can work with include webpages, games, and avatars.
w3Schools has long been my go-to place for quick directions when working in HTML. If I get stuck while working on a project, a quick visit to w3Schools usually reveals the help I need to get past a stumbling block. If you're brand new to writing HTML start with the introductory sections of w3Schools to learn the basics.
YouTube is another of my go-to places for tutorials on writing HTML and many other things. Whether you want an introduction to writing HTML or you just need a quick tutorial to get you past one little obstacle in your code, there's probably a video for you. Here's one very popular video for beginners.
Update: I just discovered that David Kapuler has a list of 15 resources for learning to code. His list includes things besides HTML.

Publishers will send us free textbooks for evaluation, think that might extend to a car kit?
"Here's yet another exciting project for DIY geeks. Modi-Corp, a Japanese company, has just unveiled a new electric car that you can actually build yourself. Not to be confused with the Toyota 'Prius,' the DIY electric car from Modi-Corp is called 'PIUS.' It's a single-seat electric car that will be released next spring in Japan. The company hopes that the PIUS kits can be used as educational tools, expecting to sell them to universities and mechanical schools with the opportunity to have customizable parts embedded in the EV for testing."

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