Friday, September 27, 2013

Is this “correctable?”
Google's reading of Gmail e-mail can be challenged, judge rules
A class-action suit targeting Google's scanning of Gmail messages to deliver targeted advertising can go ahead, based on a federal anti-wiretapping law, a judge ruled Thursday.
Google had filed a motion to dismiss the suit, saying that in regard to the Wiretap Act, its scanning of e-mail content was, first, part of the ordinary course of its business as an e-mail provider and, second, something consented to by Gmail users and the people with whom they e-mail.
US District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, Calif., bought neither of those arguments, however. In her ruling, she writes in regard to the first point that "Google's alleged interception of e-mail content is primarily used to create user profiles and to provide targeted advertising -- neither of which is related to the transmission of e-mails." On the second point she found that Google's various user agreements and privacy policies were not explicit about the company's scanning of e-mail content to serve up tailored ads.

An article for my Android students...
Android Is Watching: 8 Ways A Typical Smartphone Is Monitoring You
Android automatically backs up your Wi-Fi passwords to your Google account, where they’re synced to your future Android devices. This is a convenient feature that saves you from entering Wi-Fi passwords over and over, but it means that Google likely knows all your Wi-Fi passwords. And, given recent revelations about PRISM and the NSA’s ability to demand data from Google without a warrant, the NSA likely has access to all of them. But Wi-Fi passwords aren’t the only thing that Google — and therefore the US government and other governments around the world — can get from your phone.
… We could write similar articles about how the iPhone, Windows Phone, and other platforms collect and store data.

(Related) Of course your phone will never be stolen, but still...
Lock Your Android Device Remotely With The Android Device Manager
The Android Device Manager was launched last month. Now in a recent update, Google has added remote lock and password reset features to further add to your peace of mind. The Android Device Manager has location tracking features and also allows you to securely wipe of your data in case the phone or tablet is irretrievable.

Some Apps for my iPhone packing students...
How To Automate Your iPhone To Adapt To Your Routine

This looks like a “freemium” model that starts with a minimal option rational people will want to upgrade from.
How the U.S. Airline Industry Found Its Edge
… Between 2001 and the end of 2008, for example, no less than 15 U.S. airlines filed for bankruptcy. Around 2008, however, something unexpected occurred. Airlines suddenly leveled off. In the past few years, profits have become positive across the industry, and market caps are soaring from prior lows.
So what happened? The turnaround can’t be attributed to a bold, Da Vinci-esque initiative such as new carbon fiber aircraft, the pioneering of new markets or even low-cost innovation. Rather, it was the result of something far more modest: the slicing of airlines’ base offerings into customizable “options and extras.”

A simple illustration of Arbitrage.
A step-by-step guide to profiting off a 3-cent hike on US postage stamps
Yesterday, the US Postal Service (USPS) made a strange announcement: anybody who wants to turn a quick profit at its expense will have an opportunity to do so come January.
What it actually said is that on January 26 next year, it wants to hike the price of a first-class stamp from $0.46 to $0.49. Stamp prices are normally increased by about 1 or 2 cents a year to match inflation. This 3-cent increase, which has to be approved by the US Postal Regulatory Commission, is large enough that it creates an opportunity for arbitrage in so-called “forever” stamps, which hold their value regardless of changes in postage price.

Sometimes I have to remind students that we didn't always have Google...
Easter egg lets you Google like it's 1998
… Searching for "Google in 1998" brings you to a retro version of Google, complete with the old logo.
One big caveat: you can't actually do a new search
[and this is how we did it before online Google:

For the next time I teach spreadsheets...
7 Ways To Make A Google Map Using Google Spreadsheet Data

The problem is (as always) finding the time to learn the tools that are supposed to save me time.
How To Use Learnist To Effectively Organize Your Learning & Teaching
Learnist is a learning board for the digital age. The web application itself describes a “learn board” as a “set of learnings organized as a series of steps for people to learn.” You can also look at a learning board as a container for any content that helps you understand things you are interested in.
… The smallest unit on Learnist is a “Learn board”. You can create learn boards by adding the URL of a webpage, uploading your own content, or using the Learnist bookmarklet to collect resources while browsing the web. Learn boards can be curated with images, videos, maps, Wikipedia articles or simple plain text. A sequence of content curated on a learn board and stepped in the right order takes a learner through any topic, just like the chapters of a book.
To demonstrate the working of learn boards, let me point you to Learnist’s own Help section which tells you all about how the web application works. The sequence of nine learn boards tell you everything you need to know to create learning capsules for yourself here.

(Related) This has been installed for months. All I need is 26 hours in a day...
Evernote’s New Web Clipper Is The Ultimate Content Saving Tool

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