Friday, November 23, 2012

Interesting Blog, well worth reading.
Petraeus and Privacy: Did We Overreact?
November 22, 2012 by Dissent
For a different perspective on the Petraeus-Broadwell-Kelley-Allen case, read Derek Bambauer’s blog post on Info/Law. Here’s a snippet:
I’ll be candid: the privacy community has a growing tendency to cry wolf. That is fine for advocates, but it risks conflating real issues and threats (warrantless wiretapping, use of drones domestically, surveillance for national security purposes domestically) with sensational but meaningless media events. The privacy fears in the Petraeus case boil down to two objections. First, many (including Google and others) think that the current federal wiretapping statute (the Electronic Communications Privacy Act) is outdated. Consider its weird 6-month rule for access to e-mail: under 6 months, get a warrant; over 6 months, a subpoena is enough. ECPA reform is entirely sensible, but law enforcement can hardly be accused of violating privacy when they carefully follow the laws as written. If you want the laws changed, that’s an entirely different claim – it’s normative, not descriptive. Distinguish the world you want from the world you live in.

Ireland seems as confused as I am. Must be in my genes...
Ireland Pushes Facebook to Clarify Privacy Changes
November 22, 2012 by Dissent
Stephanie Bodoni reports:
Irish regulators are seeking “urgent” clarifications from Facebook Inc. (FB) after the social media company informed users of changes to its privacy policy overnight.
Facebook, which is overseen by Irish data protection regulators in the European Union, said that it recently proposed changes to its data-use policy and its statement of rights and responsibilities. The changes give users more detailed information about shared data including “reminders about what’s visible to other people on Facebook.”
“We will be seeking urgent further clarification from Facebook Ireland and if we consider that the proposed changes require a specific consent from EU users we will require Facebook to do this,” Gary Davis, Ireland’s deputy data- protection commissioner, said in an e-mail today.
Read more on Bloomberg Businessweek.
Kimber Streams of The Verge provides a description of the changes:
Facebook has proposed another set of updates to the documents that describe how it handles user data, and those changes reveal that it will be sharing data from other services it owns as well as removing the ability to block email messages from certain users outright. As part of the new Data Use Policy, Facebook wants to share user information across other Facebook-owned entities — such as Instagram — in order to “improve our own services and their own services.” The company also slipped in the ability to use that data to improve targeted advertising.
In addition, Facebook is removing the ability to control whether individuals can message you. However, in its proposal the company does state that it will be offering users new options — including filters — to help manage their inbox instead.
But wait, Facebook isn’t done messing with your privacy, as Salvador Rodriguez of the L.A. Times reports:
Facebook has proposed taking away users’ ability to vote on certain privacy policy changes and restructuring the social network’s governance process.
Currently, the Menlo Park-based social network allows users to vote if a proposed change to the policy receives more than 7,000 comments. Once a vote is triggered, if more than 30% of Facebook members participate, the results of the balloting stand.
In a post Wednesday, Facebook said the current system has become outdated because with 1 billion members, getting 7,000 comments is easy, but getting 300 million members to vote is a tough task.
“We’re proposing to end the voting component of the process in favor of a system that leads to more meaningful feedback and engagement,” Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications, public policy and marketing, said in the post.
Nice, huh?

I'm kind of surprised. Is this the reaction when your grab for power becomes too blatent?
"Today, the European Parliament passed a resolution that condemns the upcoming attempt from the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) to assert control over the Internet, and instructed its 27 Member States to act accordingly. This follows an attempt from the ITU to assert itself as the governing body and control the Internet. From the article: 'The resolution, which was passed with a large majority, included Members of European Parliament (MEPs) from all major party groups, and the Pirate Party’s Amelia Andersdotter had been playing a central role in its drafting, together with MEPs Marietje Schaake and Judith Sargentini from the Netherlands, Sabine Verheyen and Petra Kammerevert from Germany, Ivailo Kalfin from Bulgaria, and Catherine Trautmann from France.'"

Similar, but different? When global companies “avoid” taxes, is that automatically “tax evasion?” We're going to have to figure this out or everyone will incorporate is TinyTaxLand... Interesting arguments in the Comments...
"Looks like Google's habit of funneling billions of dollars in revenue through its Irish and Bermuda subsidiaries continues to attract unfavorable government attention globally. France has already announced plans to take on the search giant's tax evasion habits, and the Australian Government, to which Google paid just $74,000 in tax last year despite having Australian revenues close to $1 billion, has now confirmed plans to do the same."

A simple hack...
How To Enable 4G LTE On The Google Nexus 4
Reports surfaced this morning that the Nexus 4, Google’s latest flagship Android smartphone, supports LTE via a relatively easy software hack. After testing, it turns out that’s definitely true, so I’ll show you exactly how to enable it on your device.

For my students. A tool for keeping current.
UsenetStorm is an easy to use site which allows you to connect to any Usenet group that you like. After creating a free account, you can submit your nbz via a URL or by uploading your own from your hard drive and then begin downloading discussions. Downloads up to 500MB are allowed under a free account at speeds of up to 500 kb/s.
[From UsenetStorm's website:
The most simple method of searching for nzb files to download is using a nzb index site. There are many different index sites on the web. We recommend using as it is clean and free to use.
If you're looking for traditional Usenet access through a desktop client, we recommend trying the 10GB FREE trial from our partners at
[What is nzb?

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