Thursday, September 19, 2013

Would this apply to Alfred E. Neuman?
Court grants First Amendment protection to Facebook 'Like'
… The likable ruling was included in a decision published by the Fourth US Circuit Court of Appeals in Bland v. Roberts.
In the case, which is still ongoing, Bobby Bland and five of his co-workers in the Sheriff's Department in Hampton, Va., are suing their former employer, Sheriff B.J. Roberts, for wrongful termination. Part of the suit hinged around the question of whether liking a campaign's Facebook Page is protected speech. One of the plaintiffs, Daniel Carter, said that he was fired for liking the Page of a candidate running against Roberts in the 2009 election.

Is this the opposite of “Cool?”
Windows Phone 8 gets security thumbs-up from US government
Robert Hoover, a Windows Phone project manager, wrote on the official Windows Phone blog that Win Phone 8 has reached an "important new security milestone," which could make the platform a prospect for governments and organizations that require high security and encryption on their networks and communications platforms.
The U.S. government has granted Win Phone 8 the FIPS 140-2 (PDF) security accreditation. FIPS 140-2 is used to scrutinize and assign a level of security to devices, including tablets and smartphones, that use cryptographic algorithms to protect sensitive data stored within.

Remember the old “Practice safe hex!” campaigns? (Only $10)
USB Condoms Protect Your Data While You Charge
A company by the name of has just introduced what they are calling USB Condoms, a small device that goes on the end of your USB plug to protect your data from “juice jacking”, which is when someone is able to steal your data through a public charging station.
Since most phones are set up to allow data transfer just by connecting to a USB port, the USB Condoms work by blocking the data transmitters and receivers of a USB port without blocking the charging components.
… The USB Condoms are currently sold out on’s website, but they state that they should be getting more inventory soon.

Sort of a Big Data, Social Networking, target identifying, 'now we can squash them like a bug' kind of thing. Also useful for spreading disinformation?
US Military Scientists Solve the Fundamental Problem of Viral Marketing
Viral messages begin life by infecting a few individuals and then start to spread across a network. The most infectious end up contaminating more or less everybody.
Just how and why this happens is the subject of much study and debate. Network scientists know that key factors are the rate at which people become infected, the “connectedness” of the network and how the seed group of individuals, who first become infected, are linked to the rest.
It is this seed group that fascinates everybody from marketers wanting to sell Viagra to epidemiologists wanting to study the spread of HIV.
So a way of finding seed groups in a given social network would surely be a useful trick, not to mention a valuable one. Step forward Paulo Shakarian, Sean Eyre and Damon Paulo from the West Point Network Science Center at the US Military Academy in West Point.
These guys have found a way to identify a seed group that, when infected, can spread a message across an entire network. And they say it can be done quickly and easily, even on relatively large networks.
Ref: :A Scalable Heuristic for Viral Marketing Under the Tipping Model

Do we (here in the US) have a four-step “Get out of jail free!” procedure? (If not, could we?)
Case Note 248601 [2013] NZ PrivCmr 4 : Medical practice mitigates future harm after data breach
A doctor working in a suburban medical practice had his car broken into and bag stolen. The bag contained a USB stick holding the personal information of a number of patients, including the complainant. The data detailed the complainant’s first and last names. Also included were details of their prescribed drugs and medical diagnosis.
One of the doctor’s patients complained to us.
The medical practice acted quickly and fulfilled all four key steps an agency should follow in response to a privacy breach. These steps aim to contain the breach and reduce harm to the subjects of the breach.
Breach containment and preliminary assessment
Following a data breach, an agency must take immediate steps to contain or limit it. This includes designating an appropriate individual to lead the initial investigation and determine who needs to be notified.
The medical practice received news of the theft the following day and the manager immediately made plans to contact the affected individuals. Our complainant was informed of the breach by his general practitioner and offered a meeting with the manager to discuss the situation.
Evaluation of the risks associated with the breach
An appropriate evaluation includes considering what personal information was involved, establishing the cause and extent of the breach, considering who was affected by the breach and whether those affected might be harmed.
The manager noted that the only identifying details in this case were the complainant’s first and last name. He had frequently changed address in recent years and did not have a listed telephone number. The manager believed the main harm was that the complainant may lose trust in the medical practice. However, the complainant had continued to use the agency’s services since the breach.
The patients were notified as soon as reasonably possible. The manager of the medical practice met the complainant to discuss the theft and apologised for the loss of his personal information.
As a result of the breach, the medical practice took steps to increase the security of any data that was to leave the premises. A review was conducted of their patient information security policy. Immediate changes were drafted for sign off by the practice’s Board.
The medical practice purchased new encrypted USB sticks immediately after the data breach, to be used where data is to leave the premises. [Never before? Bob] An active register containing a list of the staff who are to use these keys was implemented and an agreement drawn up for staff to sign, acknowledging that they are responsible for the safety of the information.
Staff were advised both verbally and electronically of the new process and the medical practice ensured there was a transparent communication process with the staff about this incident.
The complainant sought damages as a result of the breach. However we were not satisfied that he suffered harm that warranted damages.
We also considered the medical practice had taken appropriate steps in the circumstances.

(Related) Is this also possible only in New Zealand?
Stuff reports:
An insurance company has been forced to reach a settlement and change its policies after breaching a man’s privacy by accessing his full medical history without permission.
The unidentified man brought a complaint to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner after the company he applied to for trauma insurance accessed his full medical records for the previous five years.
Read more on Stuff.

A place to look. Are we as advanced as New Zealand?
I wish they had published these before I spent days revising my privacy practices notice and having them printed, but if you still need them, HHS has provided customizable templates for your notices here. Remember the new law goes into effect September 23.

(Related) Or, can we relax and let the government handle everything?
Jesse Holland and Kelli Kennedy report:
The Obama administration is planning a high-level effort to reassure Americans about the privacy and security of the information submitted under the new health care law, hoping to blunt complaints from Republican opponents that enough isn’t being done to protect consumer data.
Attorney General Eric Holder, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Federal Trade Commission chairwoman Edith Ramirez and other federal and state officials are set to meet Wednesday at the White House to discuss security measures designed to keep scammers and identity thieves from taking advantage of what could be millions of Americans attempting to enroll for health coverage under the Affordable Care Act starting in October.
Read more on Huffington Post.
Is this an issue of just better informing/reassuring the public, or is it the case that more security and privacy protections will be introduced? It sounds like the White House will be emphasizing the former.

Another “Privacy in the Age of Big Data” article.
Patrick Ouellette reports:
Health privacy and security are often mentioned in tandem, but Deborah Peel, Founder and Chair of Patient Privacy Rights and Adrian Gropper, Chief Technology Officer of Patient Privacy Rights, took a different view in a recent Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT2) webcast.
The presentation, titled “Competing for Patient Trust and Data Privacy in the Age of Big Data” detailed a few of the nuances between patient data privacy and security and why privacy is so significant as healthcare organizations pull together huge data sets for health information exchange (HIE) and accountable care.

(Related) Is this a valid use of social media?
Your Deadbeat Facebook Friends Could Cost You a Loan
It's already well known that Facebook and other social media networks harvest user data and sell it to companies that use that info to peddle their products to consumers. But some lenders have begun to find a new use for this information, scrutinizing Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn data to determine the credit-worthiness of loan applicants. It's an unprecedented practice that consumer advocates say can be unfair or discriminatory—and one that is poised to only become more prevalent in the years ahead.
Among the US-based online lenders that factor in social media to their lending decisions is San Francisco-based LendUp, which checks out the Facebook and Twitter profiles of potential borrowers to see how many friends they have and how often they interact; the company views an active social media life as an indicator of stability.

No discrimination against the new guys...
Pandora scores legal victory against music publishers
… A federal court in New York has ruled in favor of Pandora's motion that it can play all of the songs covered in the ASCAP library, the online music service announced Wednesday. Pandora had argued that a consent decree with ASCAP gave it a blanket license to play all such music despite attempts by some publishers to negotiate their own separate deals.
The case arose when ASCAP members EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing, and Universal Music Publishing Group tried to remove their licensing rights from ASCAP as a way to negotiate directly with online radio services such as Pandora, according to Reuters. Pandora claims these withdrawals shouldn't affect its overall license with ASCAP.

The future of the education bid-ness?
The Next Step on the Path to an Online-Only Education?
MIT will soon offer a free, two-year online course sequence. (Then you pay to take a test.)

Compare and contrast the previous business with this one...
Grand Theft Auto V Makes $800 Million On First Day

Apple expected to sell 5-6M iPhone 5S, 5Cs this weekend

Even the one based on the Zombie TV show?
11 Cutting-Edge Free Online Courses Worth Taking This Fall

Just in case all my math students want to download all those math videos...
3 Ways to Download All Videos in a YouTube Channel
YouTube is great to check out videos on the fly. It’s fast, dynamic and incredibly easy to find other related videos. However, if you have to go offline, that won’t do you much good. Why not download those videos to your computer instead? Not only does this let your enjoy your videos offline, you can also use them in presentations or your own projects.
Downloading a single YouTube video is simple, but it’s a bit harder to download all the videos from a particular YouTube channel in one go. Today we’ll be offering you three ways to tackle this problem.

For my Criminal Justice students
A Smartphone Case Delivers a Defensive Jolt
The Yellow Jacket smartphone case is meant to protect more than a phone.
The $140 smartphone cover conceals a stun gun.

For all my students. Remember, you only need to find one that you like...
CherryTree: A Wiki-Style Notebook That’s Polished and Functional
Which organization tool is best for you? Evernote seems to be a wide favorite for our readers, but less conventional alternatives outside the mainstream exist. Take for example personal wiki-style notebook apps like the awesome personal wikis I wrote up recently. In that article, I praised TiddlyWiki for its speed and features, but there may be a contender on the horizon: CherryTree.
[Others: Zim (our review), wikidPad

Hey! It can't hurt!
– Entrepreneurs often lack time and money to make basic branding materials – logo, website, business cards, etc – all with the same look and feel. Yet when everything matches, your business looks more professional. And potential customers recognize you more easily. Logo Garden has invented do-it-yourself (DIY) logos, then DIY websites. The result is dazzling looks, instant launch, and zero cost.

For all my students
Four Helpful Web Search Strategy Tutorials
Vaughn Memorial Library at Acadia University hosts four free animated tutorials designed to teach lessons on web research strategies. The four tutorials are Credible Sources Count, Research It Right, Searching With Success, and You Quote It, You Note It.
In Credible Sources Count students learn how to recognize the validity of information on the Internet. It's a good tutorial except for a strong emphasis on using domain names for determining validity.
Research It Right walks students through the process of forming a research question through the actual research steps.
Searching With Success shows students how search engines function. The tutorial gives clear examples and directions for altering search terms.
You Quote It, You Note It shows students what plagiarism is and how to avoid accidentally plagiarizing someone's work.

A freebie for all my students...
ALLCapture 3.0for PC
Simple and Powerful Screen Recording / Video Creating Software!

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