Sunday, August 25, 2013

If they had stored encrypted copies on several Cloud platforms they might have achieved the same thing, but governments now seem willing to force disclosure of passwords, encryption keys or access methods.
UK Guardian to share Snowden NSA documents with New York Times
The Guardian has struck a partnership with the New York Times which will give the US paper access to some of the sensitive cache of documents leaked by the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The arrangement was made when the Guardian was faced with demands from the UK government to hand over the GCHQ files it had in its possession.
“In a climate of intense pressure from the UK government, the Guardian decided to bring in a US partner to work on the GCHQ documents provided by Edward Snowden. We are working in partnership with the NYT and others to continue reporting these stories,” the Guardian said in a statement.
Journalists in America are protected by the first amendment which guarantees free speech and in practice prevents the state seeking pre-publication injunctions or “prior restraint”.
It is intended that the collaboration with the New York Times will allow the Guardian to continue exposing mass surveillance by putting the Snowden documents on GCHQ beyond government reach. Snowden is aware of the arrangement.
The collaboration echoes that of the partnership forged in 2010 between the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel in relation to WikiLeaks’s release of US military and diplomatic documents.”

If (when?) the Feds take over, they can consolidate all this data with little effort.
A new report from Citizens Council for Health Freedom was released this week. Here’s their press release on it:
CCHF’s report, “Patient Privacy and Public Trust: How Health Surveillance Systems Are Undermining Both,” includes details about all of the private patient data that states collect and maintain. One alarming fact, says patient advocate and co-founder of CCHF, Twila Brase, is that the information is stored and identified along with the name of each individual American.
… “These are long-term tracking systems without the person’s knowledge or choice. Private data is being analyzed, and if patients have the option to ‘opt out,’ they leave behind a record making them vulnerable to being stamped as ‘anti-government.’
For a full copy of the report, “Patient Privacy and Public Trust: How Health Surveillance Systems Are Undermining Both,” more information and to interview Twila Brase, president and co-founder of Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom, contact Deborah Hamilton, Hamilton Strategies, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096,

Something fishy (or very poorly reported) here. On one hand it seems they took a picture from the yearbook and altered it, on the other hand it seems the altered picture was in the yearbook.
Joe Marusak reports:
A federal judge has ruled that a libel suit by a former Lake Norman High School student against two Internet media companies can proceed to trial.
The former student sued Gawker Media Group and Deep Dive Media in 2012 after she said they posted altered yearbook photos. The websites claimed the photos show the student lifting her gown and exposing herself during the school’s 2011 graduation ceremony.
Read more on WCNC.
[From the article:
The cropped photo makes it appear as if she is standing and posing with her gown lifted, the suit says. The original photo shows the woman seated with fellow graduates and holding a ceremony program on her lap; her hands are resting on her lap, the lawsuit says.
… “Gawker merely reported the controversy, never identified the girl, and the only ‘altered’ photo it posted was a smaller version of the original yearbook photo with a black bar obscuring the girl’s face and thighs that had already been published by (WSOC-TV).”
Dawn Creason, spokeswoman for the Iredell-Statesville Schools, said last year that school system officials met with the student’s parents when the issue surfaced “and together we developed a plan for correcting the 2012 Lake Norman High School yearbook.”
A joint decision was made at the time to send home both a phone message and a letter, “asking parents and students for their cooperation in both repairing the yearbook and being sensitive to this extremely hurtful situation,” Creason said.

Oh goodie. The government will rate colleges (as soon as they figure out how) and provide more aid to students attending the ones they like. What could possibly go wrong.
FACT SHEET on the President’s Plan to Make College More Affordable
“[August 22, 2013], President Obama outlined an ambitious new agenda to combat rising college costs and make college affordable for American families. His plan will measure college performance through a new ratings system so students and families have the information to select schools that provide the best value. And after this ratings system is well established, Congress can tie federal student aid to college performance so that students maximize their federal aid at institutions providing the best value. The President’s plan will also take down barriers that stand in the way of competition and innovation, particularly in the use of new technology, and shine a light on the most cutting-edge college practices for providing high value at low costs. And to help student borrowers struggling with their existing debt, the President is committed to ensuring that all borrowers who need it can have access to the Pay As You Earn plan that caps loan payments at 10 percent of income and is directing the Department of Education to ramp up its efforts to reach out to students struggling with their loans to make sure they know and understand all their repayment options. “

“How do I hate thee, let me count the ways...” The man they love to hate? OR The man they hate for not being Steve Jobs?
Why Steve Ballmer Failed
… What has gone wrong? For starters, Ballmer proved to be the anti-Steve Jobs. He missed every major trend in technology. His innovations alienated people. When he tried something new, like Windows Vista, the public lined up around the block to trade it in. Microsoft missed social networking. It completely misjudged the iPhone and the iPad. It embraced complexity in product design just as everyone was turning toward simplicity. It entered growing markets too late. When was the last time you used Bing? In 2000, Microsoft made most of its money selling Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows. Today, it still makes its money that way. Ballmer’s reign has done more to defang Microsoft than the Justice Department could ever have hoped to do.

For my Ethical Hackers. Perhaps we could improve on that by ensuring that “random” does not include bomb making or child porn websites...
– Advertisers and government agencies attempt to build a profile of you based on your browsing history. Paranoid Browsing confuses that effort by making a background tab which browses the Internet at random. It was inspired by fictional software described in Cory Doctorow’s book “Little Brother”.

For all my students: A tool to translate my gibberish. (Try “define: gibberish” and click on the drop down arrow )
If Google Search has been standing in as your online dictionary of choice, then the search box will now take you deeper into a word. The latest update gives you sample sentences, synonyms, origin, and translations to go with the meaning of the word you put into the query. Google has updated both desktop and mobile search with the more comprehensive definitions.

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