Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Interesting legal (and privacy) questions.
"'I think it's going to be horrendous,' said Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak when asked about the shift away from hard disks towards uploading data into the cloud in a post-performance dialogue with audience members after a performance in Washington of The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, monologist Mike Daisey's controversial two-hour expose of Apple's labor conditions in China. 'I think there are going to be a lot of horrible problems in the next five years.' The engineering wizard behind the progenitor of today's personal computer, the Apple II, expanded on what really worried him about the cloud. 'With the cloud, you don't own anything. You already signed it away through the legalistic terms of service with a cloud provider that computer users must agree to. I want to feel that I own things,' Wozniak said. 'A lot of people feel, 'Oh, everything is really on my computer," but I say the more we transfer everything onto the web, onto the cloud, the less we're going to have control over it.'"

(Related) Another tool with a few legal implications.
"Siri can send texts and emails, set alarms and reminders, surf the Web, ask questions, place calls, play music, and get directions. But would you trust Siri, or any of her similar rivals out there for Android, to pay your bank bill? Or report a lost card? Or set up an auto-payments for your bills? Even if you wanted to do these things, how does Siri even know you are who you say you are? Nuance has clearly thought about what's missing from the voice recognition department, and unveiled its own solution on Monday, called 'Nina.' The Nuance Interactive Natural Assistant, or NINA, is a cloud-based AI that can be enabled in most business and enterprise applications thanks to a set of APIs and an open SDK for iOS and Android. Nuance calls Nina 'a watershed of firsts for virtual assistants,' mainly because she is the 'first [VA] to understand what is said and who said it' using voice-ID authentication software. Unlike Siri, Nina can help users manage their bank accounts, book flights and hotels, oversee and manage their investments, and more."

Lone Ranger (or running this year?)
Lone Senator Is Fighting Widespread And Illegal Government Surveillance Of US Citizens
August 6, 2012 by Dissent
WhoWhatWhy writes:
During the Bush administration, it seemed that nary a Republican—and just a handful of Democrats in Congress—spoke out about the government’s crackdown on civil liberties. Since a Democrat took power, the silence has spread.
One notable exception is Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee. Wyden continues a lonely battle to generate discussion and accountability where there is virtually none.
Read more on BusinessInsider.
[From the article:
Wyden discussed his views on the subject at a forum held at the Libertarian-oriented Cato Institute in Washington in mid-July. Because neither the event nor Wyden’s crusade have received much media attention, we thought we’d provide it. (You may also watch a video of the session here.)

But not in the future?
Bad News On Warrantless GPS Tracking
August 6, 2012 by Dissent
Catherine Crump writes:
Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a disappointing but fortunately narrow decision in a case involving warrantless tracking of a vehicle with a GPS device. The three-judge panel refused to exclude GPS tracking evidence under what’s known as the “good faith” exception, ruling that when the tracking took place, law enforcement agents reasonably relied on binding circuit court precedent in concluding that no warrant was necessary. The tracking happened before the Supreme Court issued its decision in United States v. Jones that GPS device tracking triggers Fourth Amendment protections.
In the case, United States v. Pineda-Moreno, law enforcement agents attached GPS tracking devices to Mr. Pineda-Moreno’s vehicle.
Read more on ACLU’s blog.

For my Data Analysis students. How does this predict drop outs?
Invasion of Privacy: Arizona State to Use ID Cards to Track Students
August 6, 2012 by Dissent
Amy Stoller writes:
Colleges are intensifying their search for new ways to identify struggling students, because 42% of American college students drop out before finishing their degree. Arizona State university professor Matt Pittinsky believes that tracking students’ movements and purchases on campus through their student ID card could show which students are disengaging from college. However, this data-gathering raises major concerns about privacy and the role of college administrators in students’ lives.
Read more on PolicyMic.
I suppose this was predictable. The road to Hell and all…. but equally troubling to me is that under FERPA, the university can decide that their data will be used in the study and does not need to seek or obtain opt-in consent.

August 06, 2012
Office of Director of National Intelligence Launches New Website
"The Office of the Director of National Intelligence debuted the redesign of DNI.gov — enhancing the U.S. Intelligence Community’s web presence, increasing transparency and providing accurate, up-to-date information to the public. Through a complete overhaul of its front-end design, the new DNI.gov site provides a look and feel that better enables the ODNI to deliver well-organized information in a timely manner to the public. With content reorganized to better reflect ODNI’s mission to lead intelligence integration and role as the leader of the Intelligence Community, the revamped DNI.gov site includes a number of new features including links to all IC members, intelligence-related news stories, video, photographs, podcasts and subscription content from throughout the IC. The website also reflects the ODNI’s increased emphasis on web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, which allow greater reach and transparency as well as broader opportunities to highlight the efforts of our federal, state, local, territorial, tribal, private sector, and international partners."

Perspective Significant? Ego (We're not a commodity)
LinkedIn? Not for us, CEOs say in survey
The world's largest online professional network LinkedIn may claim to have over 160 million members globally, but it has yet to convince the majority of chief executives to get on its bandwagon -- with 93 percent of them absent from the platform.
Recruitment firm CTPartners Executive Search released a study today stating that 93 percent of CEOs from the world's largest companies choose not to post their profiles on LinkedIn. In Asia, only 3 percent are on the network, it noted.

"Book lovers are increasingly turning to e-books, and in the UK Amazon has announced it now sells more e-books than physical copies on Amazon.co.uk. Kindle books surpassed sales of hardbacks in the UK back in May 2011 at a rate of two to one and now they have leapfrogged the combined totals of both hardbacks and paperbacks."

For my students. Does this also suggest how to write e-books?
Monday, August 6, 2012
Wes Fryer just published a blog post about a Google Search tips presentation given by Lucy Gray. Included in Wes's post he included this seven minute video of a conversation between Dan Russell (Google's Search Anthropologist) and Udi Manbar (VP of Engineering at Google) about strategies for formulating better Google searches.

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