Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Four more years! Dagnabbit
Late last week, the US Senate passed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Amendments Reauthorization Act that would authorize phone surveillance of Americans without a warrant for counter-terrorism purposes for the next five years. The bill then moved onto the Oval Office, where President Obama signed it last night, officially putting the bill into action.

The argument is that NebuAd never shared the infromation. But would they even have the information if Embarq had not made an effort to let them access it? Seems backward to me.
Wendy Davis reports:
The Internet service provider Embarq has prevailed in a long-running lawsuit accusing it of violating wiretap laws by partnering with the controversial behavioral-targeting company NebuAd.
“Although NebuAd acquired various information about Embarq users during the course of the technology test, Embarq cannot be liable as an aider and abettor,” the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in a decision issued on Friday.
Read more on Media Post.
[From the article:
Robinson also ruled that Embarq was entitled to dismissal of the case because its subscribers consented to NebuAd's platform by failing to opt out of the program. But the 10th Circuit said it didn't need to decide that issue because it found that Embarq never intercepted data.
Like most of the ISPs that tested NebuAd's platform, Embarq notified subscribers about the technology by quietly revising its privacy policy shortly before conducting the test. In Embarq's case, the change consisted of adding a "preference advertising" paragraph, which said the company might use information about sites visited in order to "deliver or facilitate the delivery of targeted advertisements." That paragraph had an opt-out link.

Too much hypothetical...
Venkat Balasubramani and Eric Goldman offer some analysis and comments on a lawsuit that challenged Google’s consolidation of dozens of privacy policies into one policy:
The court does not get to the merits, and instead rebuffs plaintiffs on the basis that they do not satisfy the requisite (Article III) standards for standing.
The first argument for standing was that the privacy policy changes would force plaintiffs to replace their Android-powered devices. However, no plaintiff actually alleged that he or she actually was “forced” to replace their phone on the basis of the privacy policy changes.
Second, the court also takes issue that the combining of personal information by Google causes any (compensable) harm at all.

Interesting way to get the message out.
Sheila Kaplan is offering free information for parents and free “Opt-Out/Protect Kids” bracelets as part of her ongoing campaign to inform parents about the need to opt-out when it comes to schools disclosing students’ information.
Some schools have expansive definitions of what they can disclose as “directory information” without consent under FERPA, while other schools may be more privacy protective. Parents who are concerned about protecting their children’s privacy are generally well-advised to opt-out where you can.
To learn more, see Sheila’s site, EducationNY and see the model state law she wrote to protect students’ privacy.
And if you would like your free OPT-OUT/PROTECT KIDS wristband, e-mail Sheila with your address and she’ll send you a free card and bracelet. Limit: five to an address, please, although Sheila – who is totally doing this out of her own pocket — will consider more for groups.
View “It’s 3 PM: Who’s Watching Your Children?”

Drones should be able to watch (and record?) whatever can be seen by anyone driving or flying by a given location. Specifically targeting an individual (or a specific location?) for 24/7 coverage should trigger a “reasonableness” test.
Associated Press reports:
A Missouri lawmaker has proposed legislation to limit surveillance by drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles.
The bill proposed by State Rep. Casey Guernsey, R-Bethany, would require law enforcement officers to get a warrant before using drones to gather evidence or other information about criminal activities. It also would ban people, organizations and state agencies from using unmanned aircraft to conduct surveillance of people, farms or agricultural operations without the owner’s permission.
Read more on CBS St. Louis. I cannot find the text of his “Preserving Freedom from Unwarranted Surveillance Act” up on the Missouri legislature’s web site at this time. The name of his bill is the same as a bill proposed in the U.S. Senate by Senator Rand Paul, and I expect the provisions will be somewhat similar.
I’m not sure how you get to ban surveillance of people in public spaces “without the owner’s permission,” though. Hopefully the text of his bill will clarify that.

Wow. Is this how the UK sees the US or is this the left painting everything “righter than right?” Or, could they be right?
Revealed: how the FBI coordinated the crackdown on Occupy
New documents prove what was once dismissed as paranoid fantasy: totally integrated corporate-state repression of dissent

Is like “Payola” but free... The Music industry makes up the numbers they use to show how harmful piracy is, why would we think they are honest in other ways?
"YouTube has dropped 2 billion fake music industry views and their offending videos. From the article: 'Google made good on its promise to weed out views inflated by artificial means last week, according to Daily Dot. Record company sites impacted included titans like Universal Music Group, which reportedly lost 1 billion of its 7 billion views, and Sony, who lost 850 million views. The cuts affected marquee names like Rhianna, Beyonce and Justin Bieber. YouTube said in a statement that the figures had been deliberately, artificially inflated. "This was not a bug or a security breach. This was an enforcement of our view count policy," the company, which is owned by Google, wrote.'"

I don't understand and that's what interests me...
Legimi Wants To Be The ‘Spotify For Ebooks’ With A Business Model That Relies On You Reading Less
Legimi is definitely a startup I’ll be watching closely in 2013. Put simply, it aims to be the ‘Spotify for ebooks,’ in which for a monthly subscription, users get access to a potentially infinite library of reading material, all accessible via the cloud. But more than that, this Polish startup, whether it succeeds or not, epitomises the collision of old media business models with new technology and new consumer habits.
After years of being told that one day consumers will access all of their media from the cloud, anytime and anywhere, thanks to the likes of Spotify, Deezer and Rdio (music), or Netflix, LOVEFiLM and Hulu (film and television), that day has finally arrived. The subscription, cloud-based model, combined with new consumption devices — tablets, smartphones, and Internet-connected TVs and set-top boxes — and near-ubiquitous broadband, has ushered in an era where consumers no longer feel the need or desire to own the media they consume. So, why not apply that same consumption model to ebooks?
… “Our approach is different; we pay the whole price of an ebook once an end-user exceeds its free sample (approximately 10 percent of the book),” Legimi co-founder and CEO Mikolaj Malaczynski tells me in an email. The premise being that most readers never make it past the free excerpt, but if they do, the company pays the full wholesale price to publishers. “We have statistically calculated the average consumption for tablet users and smartphone users, which is lower than one book per month,” he says.

Why didn't I think of this?
Podcasts to Try in 2013
Robert Wright Dec 31 2012, 9:30 PM ET
… To help you, I offer the Bobbies, awards given annually (for one year in a row now) by me (Bob) to notable podcasts.

I like Cheat Sheets.
The infographic by Flowtown may be designed for small business owners but it’s worthwhile for any teacher, student, parent, or other Edudemic reader looking for the quick bites of the social networks.

I can't help it, I love lists!
For the fifth straight year, I am aggregating every online "best of 2012" book list. As the lists appear online, I will add them to the master list, updating daily.

Short answers are best...
Tuesday, January 1, 2013
Presentation Tube - Record and Share Presentations
Presentation Tube is a service that teachers and students can use to record, share, and watch presentations. Presentation Tube provides a free desktop tool (Windows only) that you can use to record a video of yourself talking over and drawing on slides. The Presentation Tube recorder automatically synchronizes your PowerPoint slides with your voice. The free recording tool allows you to record for up to 15 minutes. Your completed recording can be uploaded directly to Presentation Tube. Watch a sample Presentation Tube presentation here.
Applications for Education
If you're looking for a free tool to use to create short video lessons, Presentation Tube could be the tool for you. You could have students use Presentation Tube to practice speaking on camera about a topic that they're going to present to their classmates.

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