Thursday, August 15, 2013

I doubt any country is completely unaware that spying is an ongoing fact. More likely, this is an attempt to calm their citezens who otherwise will be asking, “do you do that to us?”
Brazil warned US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday that failure to resolve the row over Washington’s electronic spying could sow mistrust between the two countries, AFP reports.
Brazil was outraged by media reports of widespread US phone and Internet eavesdropping based on information leaked by fugitive intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.
Read more on Tengri News.

(Related) Don't mention it in public. Send lower ranking 'officials' out to deny it. All of that works just fine until the cat is let out of the bag.
Jennifer Stisa Granick and Christopher Jon Sprigman write:
It seems that every day brings a new revelation about the scope of the NSA’s heretofore secret warrantless mass surveillance programs. And as we learn more, the picture becomes increasingly alarming. Last week we discovered that the NSA shares information with a division of the Drug Enforcement Agency called the Special Operations Division (SOD). The DEA uses the information in drug investigations. But it also gives NSA data out to other agencies – in particular, the Internal Revenue Service, which, as you might imagine, is always looking for information on tax cheats.
The Obama Administration repeatedly has assured us that the NSA does not collect the private information of ordinary Americans. Those statements simply are not true.
Read more on Forbes.

Amusing. Try the mindmap!
An Educated Guess About How the NSA Is Structured

Just because the President is watched like a hawk does not mean he understands the concerns of us “second class” citizens.
Anita Kumar and Jonathan S. Landay report:
In pledging to make changes that could curtail the federal government’s ability to spy on Americans, President Barack Obama failed to address calls by lawmakers and experts to overhaul a law that allows the National Security Agency to search vast databases of individual Americans’ emails without court warrants.
Read more on McClatchy.
I’m sure that was just an oversight on his part. I mean, how many surveillance programs can we expect him to keep in mind at any one time, right?

I'm surprised they know what Privacy is...
Where Teens Seek Online Privacy Advice
Many teens ages 12-17 report that they usually figure out how to manage content sharing and privacy settings on their own.
… At the same time, though, a nationally representative survey of teen internet users shows that, at some point, 70% of them have sought advice from someone else about how to manage their privacy online. When they do seek outside help, teens most often turn to friends, parents or other close family members.

Can a mere MD be expected to understand HIPAA (HIA) and contract law?
Kevin Vink rerports:
A local physician reported the loss of control over more than 1,500 patient records when she was unable to retrieve them upon leaving the Didsbury Medical Clinic to start a clinic of her own, according to officials.
Following an investigation by the Information and Privacy Commissioner (OIPC) of Alberta, Rachel Hayward, portfolio officer for the OIPC, wrote in her investigation report — H2013-IR-01 – that Dr. Dianne Smith did not follow the Health Information Act (HIA), because she did not have a direct contract with the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) provider for the clinic, as outlined in the HIA.
“When custodians do not directly sign agreements with their EMR vendors, they may find themselves in the unfortunate position of not being able to exercise control over health information they need to provide health services,” stated Hayward.
Read more on Carstairs Courier. This really is a teachable moment, and I appreciate the OPIC’s decision to publish it so that others may learn from it.

Do they offer regional franchises? (In Denver this year!)
Aereo CEO: Service will turn a profit before turning in 1M subscribers
Aereo Chief Executive Chet Kanojia is keeping the lid tight on how many people have joined his service to stream local TV broadcasts over the Internet, but he doesn't need millions of them to turn a profit.
Kanojia said that Aereo would have a fabulous business at 1 million registered users and an "extremely fabulous" business at 5 million. But it would be profitable with hundreds of thousands of subscribers, he said, speaking to a group of local entrepreneurs in New York.
… The company, which is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller, uses antenna/DVR technology to let consumers can watch live, local over-the-air television broadcasts. It's a capability that has provoked the ire of from broadcasts giants including CBS, ABC, Fox, NBC Universal, and Telemundo, which are suing Aereo for violating copyrights and skirting retransmission fees. (Disclosure: CBS is the parent of CNET.) Aereo says its practice is legally legit, since each user has their own dedicated antenna.
… In January it said it would move to 22 total cities across the U.S. over the course of this year. It now operates in New York, Boston, and Atlanta, with Chicago, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Houston, and Miami on the way.

Online searches hit 19.4 billion in the U.S. in July
According to new data released Wednesday by digital analytics company ComScore, people in the U.S. conducted 19.4 billion explicit core searches in the month of July. That's up from 19.2 billion in June and 16.3 billion last September.
Of all of the top search engines, Google remains the king. In July, 67 percent of users' core searches were on Google, which is 0.3 percent higher than June. This equals nearly 13 million searches.
Trailing behind were Microsoft, which got 17.9 percent of the search market with no change from June, and Yahoo, which came in third with 11.3 percent of the market and down 0.1 percent from June.
… The searches counted in this data are from home and work computers, not mobile devices.

Gartner – Smartphone Sales Grew 46.5 Percent in Second Quarter of 2013
News release: “Worldwide mobile phone sales to end users totaled 435 million units in the second quarter of 2013, an increase of 3.6 percent from the same period last year, according to Gartner, Inc. Worldwide smartphone sales to end users reached 225 million units, up 46.5 percent from the second quarter of 2012. Sales of feature phones to end users totaled 210 million units and declined 21 percent year-over-year. “Smartphones accounted for 51.8 percent of mobile phone sales in the second quarter of 2013, resulting in smartphone sales surpassing feature phone sales for the first time,” said Anshul Gupta, principal research analyst at Gartner. Asia/Pacific, Latin America and Eastern Europe exhibited the highest smartphone growth rates of 74.1 percent, 55.7 percent and 31.6 percent respectively, as smartphone sales grew in all regions. Samsung maintained the No. 1 position in the global smartphone market, as its share of smartphone sales reached 31.7 percent, up from 29.7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 . Apple’s smartphone sales reached 32 million units in the second quarter of 2013, up 10.2 percent from a year ago.”

My wife is sold and she hasn't even seen this article yet. I guess it beats milk cartons...
Finding Rover app tracks lost dogs using facial recognition
John Polimeno … is touring the country on a bus promoting Finding Rover, a new smartphone app he's created.
… Polimeno started calling the major players in facial-recognition technology and finally found a willing partner in the Software Development Center at the University of Utah. He funded the research while the center cracked the nut of facial recognition for our furry four-legged friends.
… Watch the video to see exactly how the app works and the clever built-in photo feature that helps you capture your pup's best side.
Finding Rover recently hit the Apple App Store and is free to download. Android and Web versions will be available in a few months, so you can use the technology even if you don't own a smartphone.
… Finding Kitty is in the works.

Better tools make my job easier. The school added some 52 inch TVs to replace the projectors, but they block part of the white board and don't allow me to write on them. But then, no one asked us what we wanted...
Microsoft's 'touch screen' for any surface goes on sale
Turning a wall into a touch-screen computer has many uses -- it could help teachers instruct classes or be used by shops to display product information. It could even be used for fun to play interactive active games.
Once just a prototype created by the startup Ubi with a Microsoft Kinect for Windows sensor, this technology is now out of beta and on sale for consumers.
Microsoft announced on Tuesday that Ubi has worked to develop the software with more than 50 organizations and is now accepting orders for purchase.
… To get the system to work, users need a computer running the Ubi software, a projector, and the Kinect for Windows sensor. The Ubi software comes in four different packages ranging from Basic, which costs $149, to Enterprise, which costs $1499. The Kinect for Windows sensor costs $250.

For the graphic design students. Perhaps they'll let me use their 30” Color Printer?
A Guide to the Web's Growing Set of Free Image Collections

For my website students
– is a plugin for live bi-directional (editor?browser) CSS editing. Currently, it works in Google Chrome, Safari and Sublime Text, more browsers and editors will be available later. Instant updates – see changes as-you-type. No file saving, no page reloading. You can open the same page in different windows and get instant updates in all of them.

For all my Math students. (I don't know why they bother with the grade level links, all the formulas are the same)
eGlossary - A Math Glossary for Middle & High School Students
Back when I was struggling through my high school mathematics courses, I always needed a glossary of mathematics terms. I used to tell my teachers that I needed a "mathematics to English" translation. Today, there are quite a few good "mathematics to English" glossaries online for students like me. One such resource is McGraw Hill's eGlossary.
The McGraw Hill Mathematics eGlossary provides written and verbal definitions and explanations of mathematics terms. The glossary is divided by grade level. Select your grade level then the first letter of the term for which you need an explanation. The explanation is offered in text form as well as verbal (click the speaker icon to listen). The eGlossary is also available in other languages including Spanish, Russian, and Chinese.
Applications for Education
McGraw Hill's Mathematics eGlossary could be an excellent resource for students who need additional or alternate explanations of mathematics terms. For mathematics teachers, eGlossary could be worth linking to your classroom website or blog. Glossary could be particularly valuable if you have mathematics students whose first language is not English.

Dilbert points out one of the benefits of a corporate health program...

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