Thursday, August 29, 2013

“Because we don't like foreigners.”
A court in Paris has opened a formal investigation into the PRISM program of electronic surveillance run by the US National Security Agency, and revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, it was revealed on Wednesday.
The court will investigate possible “fraudulent access and maintenance of and automated data processing system,” the “illicit collection of data of a personal nature,” an “attack on privacy,” and “violations of the secrecy of correspondences,” according to BFMTV.
Read more on The Local (FR).

Not a large percentage of Facebook's 1.1 billion monthly users.
Hayley Tsukayama reports:
Facebook fielded requests from 74 countries for data on at least 38,000 users in the first half of 2013, the company said in its first report detailing the scale and scope of data requests it receives from governments around the world.
The report, released Tuesday, covers every request the company has received from every government from January through June 30. Facebook said the report includes requests made for security reasons and for criminal cases.
Read more on Washington Post.

Where will this technology take us? For my Security students. If you can force a connection to smartphones, you can identify people who carry them.
Honda tech warns drivers of pedestrian presence
… Honda released a video today demonstrating a vehicle-to-pedestrian communication system, relying on the increasingly ubiquitous smartphone.

I am curious to see how he will turn it around. This just seems to show how poorly the industry is doing.
Pew – What’s Behind The Washington Post Sale
By Amy Mitchell, Mark Jurkowitz, and Emily Guskin: “The stunning announcement [on August 5, 2013] of the sale of The Washington Post to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos caught many off guard. The Post has been owned by the Graham family for 80 years. But recent years brought steep revenue and circulation declines and as chief executive Donald Graham put it in a letter to the staff, “the newspaper business continued to bring up questions to which we had no answers.” In Bezos, The Post—and a handful of smaller papers owned by the company—get an owner who is considered one of the most successful business and technology entrepreneurs in the country. Bezos is considered to have a strong understanding of audience needs and the financial wherewithal to tolerate sluggish revenue numbers, at least for a while. Still, the challenges are large and not unique to The Post. Pew Research Center’s Journalism Project, which has been tracking the industry for over a decade, puts the sale in context.”

On the other hand, if my students tell me my instructions are gibberish and I plop them into this tool and there is no simpler language...
– is a free website that converts advanced written language into less complex language. It’s perfect for assisting students with understanding complex written language. Paste or type the text that needs to be simplified into the box on the Rewordify web page, and within seconds a simplified version will appear.

Also for my students. Always try the free Apps first.
… Everyone’s favorite smartphones and tablets can be used for more than just fueling your addiction to Candy Crush and Angry Birds.
Quick Graph (Free)
Duolingo (Free)
iTranslate (Free)

This Quarter I have been blessed with a student who speaks in T-shirt-ready phrases. He should make a fortune selling shirts (and ensure his old professor has an endless supply of catchy T-shirts)
… Merchandising is a great way to express your artistry and make money while doing it. Here are some of the best merchandising sites where you can set up your own storefront for your designs.

For my students who program...
For Taking a Guided Tour: Codeacademy’s JavaScript Track
For Experimenting: Chrome’s Console and jsFiddle
And Finally, One Optional Book Code Simplicity,

This is very interesting. Works well for “War and Peace” but not yet ready for my Math textbooks (but I can see some serious applications!)
Small Demons is an amazing tool that lets users enter the name of a book and the site pulls out any references to people, things, places, media, etc. that are mentioned in the book. If a book mentions a song, the song is available for the user to sample, along with the text that the reference was in. It is really a great way to explore and enjoy the world of the written world beyond the page.

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