Friday, August 02, 2013

We can, therefore we must!
FBI said to be taking a hacker approach to spying
… According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, the FBI has been allegedly developing surveillance tools that work much like what hackers use to collect information on suspects -- including Trojans, spyware, and malware. Supposedly, the FBI created some of these tools internally, while others were purchased.
… The most alarming technology mentioned by the Wall Street Journal is a tool that allegedly lets the FBI remotely activate the microphones in Android devices. Once activated, the bureau can record conversations without the device's owner knowing. Apparently this tool can do the same thing with laptop microphones. [Similar to the “harmonica bug” used on landlines Bob]
[From the WSJ article:
Earlier this year, a federal warrant application in a Texas identity-theft case sought to use software to extract files and covertly take photos using a computer's camera, according to court documents. The judge denied the application, saying, among other things, that he wanted more information on how data collected from the computer would be minimized to remove information on innocent people.

At least it's something...
FTC Advises Consumers on Preventing, Identifying, and Dealing With Hacked Email or Social Networking Accounts
“The Federal Trade Commission has new tips to help people deal with email and social networking hacks, whether it’s lessening the chances of a hack in the first place, or recovering from a hack once it happens. Hacked Email, new guidance from the FTC, identifies signs an account may have been hacked such as friends and family members receiving messages the user didn’t send, a sent folder emptied, social media posts the user didn’t create, or email or other accounts the user can’t open.”

My Math students will be thrilled! (Insert sarcastic emoticon here.)
50,000 new words added to Wolfram|Alpha’s dictionary
“We just added over 50,000 new words to Wolfram|Alpha’s dictionary, including archaic words such as pythonist (a conjurer or diviner) and technical terms like cosmochronometer, which refers to processes that are used to determine the age of stars (like radioactive decay). Wolfram|Alpha provides word definitions and, when available, other features such as etymologies and anagrams—pythonist, appropriately enough, is an anagram of hypnotist.

For my website students...
… allows you to create beautiful HTML5 graphs & charts for your website for free. With the unique charts creator wizard you’ll be able to create charts on-the-fly without any prior knowledge. Compatible with all major browsers, you can publish to your website using just a few lines of code.

I used a crossword puzzle as a quiz in one of my “Intro to” classes. Results were mixed.
Read Write Think Makes It Easy to Create Crossword Puzzles
… If you would like to create your own crossword puzzles for your students or you want them to create crossword puzzles, take a look at Read Write Think's Crossword Puzzle Tool.
Read Write Think's Crossword Puzzle Generator makes it easy to create your own crossword puzzles. To create your puzzle simply enter a list of words, a set of clues for your words, and then let the generator make a puzzle for you. You can test the puzzle before printing it. You can print blank puzzles and answer sheets from the puzzle generator.

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