Saturday, December 22, 2012

“Getting to know you.
getting to know all about you.”
Originally from “The King and I” but now from “Google & Me”
Google starts watching what you do off the Internet too
December 21, 2012 by Dissent
The most powerful company on the Internet just got a whole lot creepier: a new service from Google merges offline consumer info with online intelligence, allowing advertisers to target users based on what they do at the keyboard and at the mall.
Without much fanfare, Google announced news this week of a new advertising project, Conversions API, that will let businesses build all-encompassing user profiles based off of not just what users search for on the Web, but what they purchase outside of the home.

Are we overreacting? Let's hope there is some follow-up here. Nothing in the article makes this any clearer, but there must be more to this than has been reported, right?
"'The Superintendent of the Greater Egg Harbor Regional High School District said around 2 pm Tuesday, a 16 year old student demonstrated behavior that caused concern. A teacher noticed drawings of what appeared to be weapons in his notebook. [Did he do the drawings? Bob] School officials made the decision to contact authorities. Police removed the 16-year-old boy from Cedar Creek High School in Galloway Township Tuesday afternoon after school officials became concerned about his behavior. [No indication what that “behavior” was. The drawings? Bob] The student was taken to the Galloway Township Police Department. Police then searched the boy's home on the 300 block of East Spencer Lane and found several electronic parts and several types of chemicals that when mixed together, could cause an explosion, police say. The unidentified teen was charged with possession of a weapon an [sic] explosive device [Not exactly a “device” was it? Bob] and the juvenile was placed in Harbor Fields.' If 'chemicals that when mixed together, could cause an explosion' is a crime, I'm pretty sure everyone's cleaning cabinets are evidence just waiting to be found. Bottle of Coke and Mentos... BRB, someone knocking at the door."

Cedar Creek student had chemicals at home that could be used for bomb, police charge
… Ciccariello said that the student was not in conflict with anyone, but could not discuss his disciplinary record.
"I wouldn't expect this type of behavior," he said.
Police Chief Pat Moran stressed Tuesday night no threats were made by the student and there was no indication there was any danger posed to anyone or property at the school.
“There was no indication he was making a bomb, or using a bomb or detonating a bomb,” he said.
… "I'll say that, regardless of the incident last week, we would have handled this exactly the same way," he said.
It is clear that the area is taking all threats seriously. Ciccariello said there was an increased police presence at Absegami High School Wednesday morning after police got a report of a rumor of a hit list circulating on Facebook.
He said that no such list has been found and that there is no threat to anyone in the Absegami community.
A 15-year-old girl was arrested at Mainland Regional High School and charged with false public alarm after she allegedly sent a text message to a friend stating that she had heard a rumor that there would be a shooting at the school on Friday.

(Related) New Jersey must be much more dangerous than I remember...
Cedar Creek Student's Drawings Prompted Investigation, Led to Arrest
Some security measures that the three Galloway Township schools already employ include:
  • cameras inside and outside each school;
  • one armed school resource officer in each building;
  • a lobby guard that runs the identification of each visitor to each school;
  • proximity card readers for staff members, who must swipe their cards before gaining access to the building; and
  • security officers at each school 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

First On Fox. Teen's Mom Speaks Out On Her Son and 'Explosive' Chemicals
"It's ridiculously blown out of proportion."
… The teenager was taken from his class at Cedar Creek High in Egg Harbor City after a teacher said he demonstrated behavior that caused concern. She saw him doodling in a notebook during class.
"He drew a glove with flames coming out of it," his mother said.
… The 16-year-old was charged as a juvenile with possession of an explosive device.

Perhaps a crowdsourced review of the “take?”
"The Air Force has a problem: Its drones generate thousands of hours of video (I almost said 'footage.') And most of it is miles of endless desert. USAF needs to distill the highlights, if you will, and nobody does it better than ESPN, the TV sports network. Air Force officials have asked ESPN for help in analyzing the 327,384 hours collected just this year. [There are 8760 hours in a year, so that in 37+ years of tape Bob] What we really need in times like these is sportscaster Warner Wolf. 'Let's go to the videotape, pick it up right here, Taliban in the home black.'"

Been there, blogged that, working on the T-shirt
If You're Serious About Ideas, Get Serious About Blogging
Indeed, if you want to shape public opinion, you need to be the one creating the narrative. A fascinating study last year by Yahoo Research showed that only 20,000 Twitter users (a mere .05% of the user base at the time) generated 50% of all tweets consumed. A small number of "elite users" sets the conversational tenor, just as in the general world of blogging.

Because it amuses me...
… The FTC unveiled the latest version of COPPA (the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act) this week. I covered this news a bit in my recent look at the “politics of ed-tech” because certainly some of the wording here is a result of lobbying from the Internet tech industry. The FTC says it’s updated the language to strengthen privacy protections, but it looks like Facebook, Google, and Apple are winners here.
Inside Higher Ed reports on a new program from New Charter University that will “provide an online education at no out-of-pocket cost to workers in three California cities whose employers provide them with tuition assistance reimbursement funds.” That means that workers in San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento might be eligible for a free college education.
edX unveiled several new classes in its catalog this week, including: The Challenges of Global Poverty, Justice, The Ancient Greek Hero, Copyright, Human Health and Global Environmental Change, Introduction to Statisticsl, and Quantum Mechanics and Quantum Computation. I’m really interested in the Copyright class (taught by the director of the Harvard Berkman Center Professor William Fisher), but I have to apply as the class is capped at 500 students. (I’m not sure I’m a good enough MOOC student to apply.)
Google says it’s partnering with several universities in Spain to offer UniMOOC, “an online course intended to educate citizens in Spain and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world about entrepreneurship. It was built with Course Builder, Google’s new open source toolkit for constructing online courses.”

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