Thursday, August 01, 2013

Even twits should be paranoid.
During the second half of 2012, Twitter received 1,009 requests for user information on 1,433 accounts. 815 of those requests (81%) were from the U.S. and related to information on 1,145 user accounts. Sixty percent of the U.S. requests were by subpoena, 11% involved a court order, 19% involved a search warrant, and 10% were reported as “other.”
You can read more of their report here. Do follow the link to additional info on the U.S. requests, where Twitter also provides stats on the breakdown of cases where users were notified or not notified.

Not sure there is much new here.
From the Office of the Director of National Intelligence:
In the interest of increased transparency, the Director of National Intelligence has authorized the declassification and public release of the attached documents pertaining to the collection of telephone metadata pursuant to Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. DNI Clapper has determined that the release of these documents is in the public interest.
For questions related to information contained in these documents, please contact the Public Affairs office at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence at (703) 275-3700.

For my CJ students.
CREW – U.S. Code now available for bulk download
News release: “Earlier today, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced that the US Code is now available for bulk download in XML. This seemingly technical announcement must be understood as a bigger win for transparency than it would initially appear. What the House leadership is doing (in a bipartisan fashion, no less) is empowering the American people to better understand the law. Congress is publishing the law online, in real time, and in formats that web developers can refashion into tools that empower everyone to understand the rules that govern our country. This is a milestone in a multi-year effort signaled by a 2011 policy shift announced by the Speaker and Majority Leader that called for “all House stakeholders to work together on publicly releasing the House’s legislative data in machine-readable formats.” Reps. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Mike Honda (D-CA) led earlier efforts (and lent their support to these efforts) to release legislative data online, and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has been a consistent advocate as well. (Also see this statement on today’s release by Committee on House Administration Chair Candice Miller (R-MI), whose committee has been an ally in these transparency efforts.)”

Perspective: Has AT&T just become irrelevant? Google takes ove all 10 billion Starbucks!
At Starbucks, AT&T is out and Google is in for Wi-Fi
… Starbucks said that Google, in conjunction with Level 3 Communications, will now be providing Wi-Fi service in Starbucks' U.S. locations that's up to 10 times faster than the current service powered by AT&T.

Delicious! (Perhaps you could run a Denver page?)
New Zagat website is free
Google Official Blog: “[July 29, 2013 we launched] a new Zagat website and mobile app for Android and iPhone that puts the very best restaurants and nightspots right at your fingertips. And for the first time, our trusted Zagat ratings and reviews are available for free with no registration required. The new Zagat features the latest news and video content from our expert local editors, curated lists (think “10 Hidden Restaurant Gardens Around DC”), powerful search and map-based browsing to help you find the local gems.”

For my programming students.
  • Just follow the simple steps to compile and execute any of your favorites programming languages online using your favorite browser and without having any setup on your local machine. Select the programming language you want to write, write it in the text editor provided, then click the button to see your output. It’s neat, tidy and free.

(Related) This might be useful in some of my math classes.
Lessons in Computational Thinking
Google offers dozens of lessons for exploring computational thinking through the use of Python programming. Now if you're wondering, "what the heck is Python programming?" don't worry, I wondered the same thing. Part of the Computational Thinking resources provided by Google are lessons for teachers who don't have any programming experience and or don't teach in a 1:1 setting.
Google's Computational Thinking Lessons place a heavy emphasis on math and science, but there lessons appropriate for use in the humanities too.
Applications for Education
As Google states in their Teacher's Guide Introduction to Python, the reason for using Python programming in these lessons is, "A computer program gives students the opportunity to directly apply the algorithms they learn in class and provides them with a tangible reason for using variables rather than specific numbers in math."

Better late than never..
The USA Today reports that members of the House Education Committee are on the receiving end of a upswing in campaign donations from for-profit universities. (And in related news, committee members have put forward the “Supporting Academic Freedom through Regulatory Relief Act,” which will stop the Obama Administration from cutting off federal aid to schools with high graduate debt and low repayment ratios.) [So that's what the fuss was about? Campaign contributions? Bob]
Google announced it has partnered with Pearson, Wiley, Macmillian Higher Education, McGraw-Hill and Cengage Learning and will be bringing textbooks to its Google Play store next month. Wheeee. [The announcement says, “ students will be able to purchase and rent their textbooks for their Android devices and for reading on the web.” Bob]
7 Indian Institutes of Technology and a number of IT firms, including Infosys and Cognizant, are teaming up to offer MOOCs.
… Digital textbook provider Coursesmart has released its annual survey on digital textbooks and devices is out. Among the findings: 99% of students surveyed own at least one digital device, with 68% saying they use 3 or more devices every day. 79% of those surveyed say they’re using a digital textbook, up from 63% in 2011. More thoughts on the survey via The Digital Reader’s Nate Hoffelder.

Dilbert explains how to deal with a poor satisfaction survey.

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