Monday, September 09, 2013

License plate readers do exactly what the cop on patrol did using a paper list and the Mark 1 eyeball. Except that all the information was kept forever. If we eliminate the “kept forever” bit, have we restored privacy to pre-Big Brother levels?
Associated Press reports:
A Michigan lawmaker is planning to introduce legislation to regulate the use of devices that photograph license plates.
Rep. Sam Singh says his upcoming bill would require police agencies to delete license plate records from data systems within 48 hours unless the record is evidence of specific criminal wrongdoing.
Read more on Detroit Free Press.

Interesting. A good portion of my students are there on the GI Bill. (All ten parts are available now.)
10 Part Series examines rising costs and consequences of higher education
The Tuition is Too Damn High is a 10-part series that will run in Wonkblog over the next two weeks exploring the causes and consequences of — and potential fixes for — the skyrocketing costs of higher education. This is part one.” By Dylan Matthews
“But if the upfront price of college is rising much faster than earnings, how are more and more families managing to pay for it? In large part, by going into debt. The total student loan burden now exceeds $1 trillion, with two-thirds of the class of 2011 taking out loans and over 40 percent of 25-year-olds still in student loan debt. About two-thirds of borrowers have debt loads under $25,000, but that means one-third are looking at more than $25,000 in debt. All in all, 17 percent of borrowers are at least 90 days delinquent on their payments. Maybe that’s smart; college is a good investment, as we’ll see in more detail in later segments, and some have even suggested that there might actually be too little student debt. But that debt is a new and major part of our financial world now.”

For my Math students as we go through factorization: You have it easy! Of course they could have simply generated a huge list of large Primes by multiplying smaller primes... Just saying...
Did the NSA secretly make a major math breakthrough?
In a recent story about the U.S. National Security Agency’s controversial Internet surveillance operations, the New York Times reported that “the agency has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption, or digital scrambling, that guards global commerce and banking systems.”
The bolding is mine, because if in fact the agency did crack the encryption schemes used for bank transactions (the Times is somewhat unclear on that point), then in doing so it may have solved a math problem that has long puzzled cryptographers and number theorists alike.
The problem in question is that of integer factorization.

For all my students: Early warning!
Evernote 5 For Windows Desktop Officially Released
The auto-update for Evernote 5 for Windows should roll out within a week, but users who want to grab it immediately can download it here.

“Are you feeling lucky hungry, punk?” I did find a nearby restaurant I didn't know existed.
– A US-centric website that enables you to find new places to eat, if you are tired of frequenting the same restaurants and are hunting for something new to try. Simply add your address, city, neighborhood or zip code to be provided with a random suggestion. Don’t like the suggestion? Hit the button again. You can specify distance and type of food to make the search easier.

If you are into free Kindle books...
– Huge quantities of new ebooks are being published every year in the Kindle store by new and established authors, and huge backlists of books are being digitised. Publishers and authors find it increasingly difficult to get great books noticed, and readers find it hard to comb through constantly changing lists of books. The solution? BookDip!
Receive one daily email with time-sensitive discounted & free bestselling Amazon Kindle ebooks. Discover your next favorite book for free!

– creates art from the books you’ve read and loved. Their posters, t-shirts, and tote bags are all created entirely from the text of classic books. From a distance, the artwork illustrates a theme, character, or setting from each book. Move closer and the text becomes fully legible. Litographs is committed to promoting literacy, both at home and abroad.

My students might like some of these too.
321 Free Tools for Teachers - Free Educational Technology

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