Thursday, October 18, 2012

(Yet another plug) What an interesting resource. I searched for UAV and DRONE and now I'm ready to ask questions at the Privacy Foundation ( seminar, “Domestic Privacy and Drones.” The seminar is TOMORROW.
October 17, 2012
Military Policy Awareness Links on Cybersecurity
MiPAL: Cybersecurity - Compiled by the National Defense University Library [MERLN - the Military Education Research Library Network - is a comprehensive website devoted to international military education outreach. It represents a consortium of military education research libraries that work together to provide access to a variety of unique electronic resources for the use of researchers and scholars.] Via Ian Burke.

"NASA today said it wants to gauge industry interest in the agency holding one of its patented Centennial Challenges to build the next cool unmanned aircraft. NASA said it is planning this Challenge in collaboration with the Federal Aviation Administration and the Air Force Research Lab, with NASA providing the prize purse of up to $1.5 million."

(Related) And look at all of the really useful stuff you can do with your UAV! (A pime example of a “Money from Morons” scam?)
The Search for Sasquatch Continues — With a Silent Airship

Could this be preparation for CyberWar? Would terrorists have anything to gain by disrupting hospitals? Would hospital (or manufacturers) have a defense if (when?) a patient is harmed?
Dupple sends this quote from MIT's Technology Review:
"Computerized hospital equipment is increasingly vulnerable to malware infections, according to participants in a recent government panel. These infections can clog patient-monitoring equipment and other software systems, at times rendering the devices temporarily inoperable. While no injuries have been reported, the malware problem at hospitals is clearly rising nationwide, says Kevin Fu, a leading expert on medical-device security and a computer scientist at the University of Michigan and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, who took part in the panel discussion. [He said], 'Conventional malware is rampant in hospitals because of medical devices using unpatched operating systems. There's little recourse for hospitals when a manufacturer refuses to allow OS updates or security patches.' ... Despite FDA guidance issued in 2009 to hospitals and manufacturers—encouraging them to work together and stressing that eliminating security risks does not always require regulatory review—many manufacturers interpret the fine print in other ways and don't offer updates, Fu says. And such reporting is not required unless a patient is harmed."

Am I reading this correctly? Someone reported a breach and they charged him with a crime?
By Dissent, October 18, 2012
Thirty-four charges have been laid against an individual under the Health Information Act, along with six additional charges under the Criminal Code. The charges have not yet been proven in Court.
As a result of a self-reported breach to the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the Commissioner opened an offence investigation into suspicious accesses to health information. Upon completion of the investigation, the matter was referred to Crown prosecutors at Alberta Justice. Thirty-one charges under the Health Information Act were then laid for improperly accessing other individuals’ health information, one charge was laid for inappropriate use of health information, one charge was laid for inappropriate disclosure of health information and one charge was laid for knowingly falsifying a record. Six additional charges were laid under the Criminal Code.
This is the third time charges have been laid under provisions of the Health Information Act. The maximum penalty for a first offence under the Health Information Act is $50,000 for each charge.

If I come up with a better patent system, can I patent it?
concealment writes with news that Amazon's Jeff Bezos has called for new legislation from governments to end abuse of the patent system. He said, 'Patents are supposed to encourage innovation and we're starting to be in a world where they might start to stifle innovation. Governments may need to look at the patent system and see if those laws need to be modified because I don't think some of these battles are healthy for society.' His comments are from an interview with the UK's Metro. Bezos was also optimistic about the future of the private space industry: "If private companies can start to generate profits from this kind of activity then you’ll start to see the flywheel spin more rapidly and we’ll make more progress, because I really do think we want to live in a civilization where millions of people are living and working in space"

People who have never heard of the “Streisand Effect” are doomed to repeat it...
Hulk Hogan Sues Gawker for $100M Over Sex Tape
October 18, 2012 by Dissent
Annie Youderian reports:
Hulk Hogan sued Gawker and its founder for $100 million, claiming the “loathsome defendants” posted a secretly recorded video of him having sex on and refuse to remove it.
Read more on Courthouse News.

My wife trains dogs. One thing I've observed (other than that many “dog people” are certifyable) is what is called the “Clever Hans effect.” ( People who train their dogs to do just what they want without even knowing they are doing it. Perhaps somewhere a lawyer has trained his dog to testify?
Two Supreme Court Cases About Dogs May Profoundly Impact Americans’ Privacy
October 18, 2012 by Dissent
Michael Kelley reports:
On Oct. 31, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two cases from Florida about drug-sniffing dogs that will either affirm or weaken the constitutional privacy rights of Americans.
Rulings favorable to the government would allow law enforcement to conduct warrantless searches and surveillance on an even more routine basis.
The first case will ask the court to clarify how accurate a drug dog must be to establish probable cause for the search of a vehicle.
The second case asks if police may take a drug dog to the front porch of a home to sniff for evidence of marijuana inside.
Read more on Business Insider.

Apps as tools for Big Brother. Interesting. I'll have this printed for my Intro to Computer Security students.
Sneaky Apps & Your Personal Information
October 17, 2012 by Dissent
Here’s another interesting infographic from Muhammad Saleem of

GAO report: Wireless consumers don’t know how location data are shared
October 17, 2012 by Dissent
Catching up on some news I missed or neglected to post….
Hayley Tsukayama reports:
A study released Thursday by the Government Accountability Office suggests that the government could do more to protect consumer privacy when it comes to mobile device location data.
The report, which was requested by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), concludes wireless companies are not fully explaining how they use location data culled from mobile phones.
Read more on Washington Post.

There must be studies (legal or psychological) that would help explain what laws get enforced and what laws are ignored...
"A former police officer in the Australian state of Victoria has called on law enforcement to prosecute creators of hate pages on social media following Facebook's decision to close down a page mocking Jill Meagher, the 29-year-old Melbourne woman abducted and killed last month. Susan McLean, who spent 27 years with Victoria Police before launching her cyber safety consultancy three years ago, said police have the ability to prosecute the creators of pages that are in breach of Australian laws but appear to be unwilling to use it. 'There have been many cases in the UK where these people have been hunted down and charged and jailed. We need to do that in Australia.' Under section 474.17 of the Commonwealth Crimes Act, it is an offense to use 'a carriage service to menace, harass or cause offense,' punishable by three years in jail."

It's sad to see so many otherwise bright people opting for a career in politics, but I suppose I should point them to useful information, no matter how much they resist...
October 17, 2012
My District Data
"Data matters. It helps us learn about where we live and the challenges we face. It should be handy, simple to understand and relevant. Elected officials -- and you and I -- ought to have access to good data. Over the next three months, we'll release a series of online, interactive reports that allow you to learn more about jobs, money, education and housing in your congressional district. Just click Go on this page, find your district by entering your zip code or typing in your address. Get a summary of statistics for your district or explore a full interactive report with maps and tables comparing your district to the nation. It is simple and it is all right here." [via Andrew F. Young]

“Sure, go ahead. Just don't tell anyone.”
Iron fertilization project in Pacific known to government
Government bodies knew about a controversial experimental project in which 100 tonnes of a dust-like material enriched with iron was dumped into the ocean off B.C.'s north coast, the project's leader says.
… In a written statement, Environment Canada says it told the company that carried out the plan that ocean dumping was not allowed and that it could be violating the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. The agency says it never received an application for ocean fertilization.
… The dumping created a bloom of phyto-plankton — plants at the base of the food chain that are eaten by other creatures. But the bloom grew to cover 10,000 square kilometres and was visible from space.
Disney says the bloom ate up carbon from the atmosphere and sequestered it in the ocean depths. [Has been proposed as a respons to Global Warming! Bob]
"What that does is create what's called a carbon offset credit, and that is a saleable commodity," Disney said. "We've determined that we can raise enough money to make this project sustainable and pay off the loan."

It would be funny, if it wasn't my tax dollars!
October 17, 2012
Sen. Tom Coburn's Wastebook 2012
Wastebook 2012: "100 entries highlighted by this report"

Well IP Lawyers, is this enough?
Megaupload Is Dead. Long Live Mega!
They’ve been indicted by the U.S. government for conspiracy and briefly thrown in jail, but Kim Dotcom and his partners in the digital storage locker Megaupload have no intention of quitting the online marketplace.
Instead the co-defendants plan to introduce a much-anticipated new technology later this year that will allow users to once again upload, store, and share large data files, albeit by different rules. They revealed details of the new service exclusively to Wired.
They call it Mega and describe it as a unique tool that will solve the liability problems faced by cloud storage services, enhance the privacy rights of internet users, and provide themselves with a simple new business. Meanwhile, critics fear that Mega is simply a revamped version of Megaupload, cleverly designed to skirt the old business’s legal issues without addressing the concerns of Internet piracy.
(Dotcom and three of his partners remain in New Zealand, where they were arrested in January 2012. They face extradition to the U.S. on charges of “engaging in a racketeering conspiracy, conspiring to commit copyright infringement, conspiring to commit money laundering, and two substantive counts of criminal copyright infringement,” according to the Department of Justice.)
… And because the decryption key is not stored with Mega, the company would have no means to view the uploaded file on its server. It would, Ortmann explains, be impossible for Mega to know, or be responsible for, its users’ uploaded content — a state of affairs engineered to create an ironclad “safe harbor” from liability for Mega, and added piece of mind for the user.
… Dotcom’s belief is that even the broad interpretation of internet law that brought down Megaupload would be insufficient to thwart the new Mega, because what users share, how they share it, and how many people they share it with will be their responsibility and under their control, not Mega’s.

Geeky stuff The reality Apple ignores...
Learning to jailbreak is a rite of passage for most iOS device owners. After purchasing a new iPod touch, iPhone or iPad; one of the first things you’ll learn to do is to jailbreak it in order to break free from Apple’s tight grasp, install custom tweaks and hacks, as well as cracked apps (let’s be honest, we all do it). So what should you install after you’ve jailbroken your device? That’s what our Best Of Cydia Tweaks page is here to answer!
We’ve published several informative resources on the subject so if you’re unsure about what jailbreaking actually means, please read my evergreen article A Newbie’s Guide to Jailbreaking. Once you’ve managed to muster up the confidence to actually perform the jailbreak, download our handy How To Jailbreak Your iPhone, iPod Touch, Or iPad manual in PDF, ePub or Kindle formats to assist you along the way.
Now that your device is free from Apple’s restrictions, let’s dive into the good stuff! Would you like to control your iOS device with your voice and extend Siri’s capabilities? Would you like to use Google Chrome as the default browser? You can do so much more with a jailbroken device and our Best Of Cydia Tweaks page will assist you in selecting the best tweaks and hacks.

Now I can illustrate Statistics using Dancing Gerbils!
… Rekapi is an animation library for JavaScript that depends on Underscore.js and Shifty.js. It can be used to make some really cool animations very easily.
The library can be used to make and DOM animations. To give the API a try, you can play with it in a live sandbox online and create some animations. The DOM animations you make in Rekapi can also be exported to CSS3 @keyframes to improve performance. The site’s homepage has some sample animations made from Rekapi.

I have good news: “Every day there are hundreds of new free Kindle books on” And I have bad news: “A lot of them suck.” But you should still look, because Free is Good!, with FKB standing for Free Kindle Books, is a web service that picks out good books from the list of books daily uploaded onto Amazon for Kindle devices. The books are hand-picked by real people and not a result of a computer algorithm. These books are sorted into categories of nonfiction, fiction, language learning, food, and children / young adults.

Just cool...
… The application is called Gpredict, and it is about as close as you can get to having a satellite-monitoring ground station right on your own computer screen for free. I usually don’t even bother installing most of the satellite tracking apps out there because they’re usually extremely simple and not very exciting. Many of the Android apps out there that are meant to track satellites are fun and interesting, but limited in what they can do.
That is not the case with Gpredict. It’s very well written, very functional, and it looks really cool maximized up on my second screen while I get work done on my primary monitor. Watching and tracking the path of satellites is a fun way to occupy a screen that you may not be using at any given moment.

For the first time ever, a Forrester survey on Internet usage found that users report spending less time online than they did in 2011, nearly back to the average duration reported in 2009. According to Forrester, this data likely doesn’t demonstrate a true drop in Internet usage, however, instead representing a change in the notion of what it means to be online. The information comes from a survey of 58,000 US adults.
… Not only does the data show a decline in reported Internet usage, it also demonstrates a decline in the number of (US-based) consumers who own a laptop, netbook, or desktop. The data shows that smartphones and tablets are primarily used (in relation to the Internet) to access social networking websites, while consumers still prefer either a laptop or a desktop for performing other, more “serious” tasks. This delineation between PC and mobile device usage may indicate that Internet users don’t consider the times they pull out a smartphone or tablet as “being online,” but rather only when they sit down and perform a specific Internet-related activity on the computer.

Stuff for students?
Ten Terrific Mind Mapping and Brainstorming Tools
Today, I am running a workshop about using mind mapping and brainstorming tools to help students meet some of the Common Core standards in English Language Arts. Below are some of the tools that we will be using today.

A new source of videos for my Math classes (and other subjects)
Check Out These YouTube EDU Gurus
Last month YouTube launched a Star Search of sorts to find the next ten YouTube EDU Gurus. This week those new gurus were revealed and I'm very happy to say that three of them have been featured here on Free Technology for Teachers in the past. Those three are Keith Hughes, Kristen Williams, and Paul Anderson. Their new introductory videos are posted below. Congratulations to all of the new YouTube EDU Gurus. I look forward to all of the new content that you produce.
[Like this one...
Introducing Math Apptician - YouTube Next EDU Guru

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