Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Heads up!
Internet Explorer exploit release could trigger a surge in attacks
… Known as CVE-2013-3893, the exploit was integrated Monday into Rapid7's open-source Metasploit penetration testing tool. By putting the exploit into Metasploit, the attack code was made accessible not only to security professionals but also cybercriminals, according to PCWorld.
… Microsoft has not yet released a permanent patch for this exploit. It announced the CVE-2013-3893 flaw and released a downloadable "Fix It" tool in mid-September.

What's that buzzing noise?
Guardian – Selected excerpts – NSA drone document
The Guardian: “Top-secret NSA drone document – selected excerpts. Documents list various dangers to American drones, including ‘air defense threats’, ‘jamming of UAV sensor systems’, ‘terrestrial weather’, and ‘electronic warfare’”

...and we're going to need these soon.
Some good pointers on what should be included in your contract with vendors, from

Just a thought. Would there be a market for an un-interruptable source of government data? Dover Publishing reprints government publications like the SeaBee's small building design guide. Why couldn't my students do the work Congress is incapable of funding?
E-gov sites shutdown
“Due to the Federal government shutdown, and most associated web sites are unavailable. Only web sites necessary to protect lives and property will be maintained. See for critical weather information or contact for more information about the shutdown. NOAA Federal Employees: For access to the Notice to Federal Employees About Unemployment Insurance (SF-8), please Click Here.

Help stamp out traffic!
Study – Vehicle Sharing Services, Transit Apps and Wi-Fi Contribute to National Driving Decline
“In a first-of-its-kind study, U.S. PIRG compiled nation-wide evidence on transportation apps and vehicle sharing programs, and found that these advanced new tools have made it easier for Americans to drive less. Real-time apps and on-board wi-fi for public transit, as well as carsharing, bikesharing and ridesharing have spread rapidly in recent years while driving has declined. The report examines new evidence on how these practices are changing travel behavior. The report, “A New Way to Go: The Apps, Maps, and New Technologies that are Giving More Americans Freedom to Drive Less” sheds additional light on how Americans have been driving less per-person for eight years in a row and total miles remain below 2005 levels (Federal highway data). Among the findings cited in the report:
  • Public transit enhancements—A majority of U.S. transit systems make scheduling publicly available for developers to produce smartphone apps to help riders navigate systems. Smartphone-based tools enable riders to find the best route and track the progress of trains and buses in real time.
  • Bikesharing – More than 30 cities now have programs where subscribers can access bikes by the minute or by subscription at kiosks located on city streets. Approximately 40 percent of bikeshare members report reducing their driving, according to a survey of members of four bikeshare services.”

Definitely worth a read! Interesting from a language, social media and analytics viewpoint. (and from a Free Online Journal!)
Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach
We analyzed 700 million words, phrases, and topic instances collected from the Facebook messages of 75,000 volunteers, who also took standard personality tests, and found striking variations in language with personality, gender, and age.

For all my students. It always surprises me how many of these I use...
14 Free & Open Source Alternatives For Paid Software
… Not only do free alternatives exist, they most likely offer all the features you need and may be easier and safer to use.
… Did you know that — for personal use — high quality, free, and open source alternatives are available in virtually any software category? Sounds good, doesn’t it? I’ve highlighted 14 different applications that are either free or open source and can keep your wallet from going on an unwanted diet.

For my students who are using W8 already...
6 Amazing Windows 8 Apps For Enjoying Videos and Music, Modern Style

Keeping an eye on the competition. Any environment can teach, the trick is the degree itself.
– is determined to make higher education available for everyone by building the most affordable and accessible universities in the world. They aim to do this by a variety of means, including technology-assisted learning environments, students sharing their knowledge and skills, evaluation systems that measure progress, and significantly cheaper tuition costs.

I've been looking for something our design students could use the 3D Printer for... Could we provide these for local dentists?
3D-printed toothbrush scrubs chompers in 6 seconds
The Blizzident custom 3D-printed toothbrush is a bizarre-looking toothbrush alternative that promises a 6-second scrub of your pearly whites.
There is no one-size-fits-all Blizzident. Each one is custom-made to fit an individual's mouth. The process starts with an impression or 3D-scan of your teeth. If you have a dentist make an impression, it still needs to be scanned into a 3D file. That scan is uploaded to Blizzident, which then manufactures the toothbrush using 3D printing.

Perspective. This is another “Bob, you idiot, free phone service is never going to happen!” stories. Unless it is a “perk” for high speed wireless internet customers.
FreedomPop launches free mobile plan with 200 minutes
FreedomPop has fired a shot over the wireless industry's bow.
To commemorate its one-year anniversary, FreedomPop debuted its free mobile phone service on Tuesday. The free service includes 200 anytime voice minutes and 500 text messages per month, as well as 500MB of data.
… Heavy mobile users can purchase FreedomPop's unlimited voice and texting plan for $11 per month.

Until I can get permission to have my students create their own textbook as they learn, I want them to publish things like: Useful online resources, Apps that work, Stuff I learned this week... Things like this article in fact.
How I Self-Published My Magazine Online And In Print

(Related) Or they could Blog using the notes they already have... Makes It Easy to Blog Through Your Evernote Account is a slick blogging tool that recently won Evernote's Devcup. allows you to blog from your Evernote account.
To blog through you authorize it to access Evernote on your behalf. Once authorization is granted creates a notebook called "" in your Evernote account. Then to write a blog post you simply write a note or send a note to the notebook in your Evernote account. You can style your font, insert pictures, and insert HTML into your notes just like you can with any blogging service. When you apply the "published" tag to your note it will appear as a blog post on your blog.
If you and or your students are already using Evernote to take record notes and save bookmarks, could be the perfect solution for your blogging needs. If you write your lesson outlines in Evernote, you could quickly turn them into blog posts for your students and their parents to read. Evernote supports audio notes so your students could possibly use to publish short podcasts.
If you have the Evernote desktop app or any of the mobile apps you could even draft blog posts while you're offline and have them go live on the next time that you connect to the web.

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