Saturday, November 09, 2013

Is this a reasonable extension of the Mark I Eyeball and the Police Officer's memory? It parallels the license plate recognition systems in broad use. Unfortunately, it seems rather clunky if they need to carry a Smartphone (not to mention a Tablet) but I suppose they don't want to integrate it into an “always on” Cop-Cam either...
Jennifer Lynch writes:
The San Diego regional planning agency, SANDAG, has been quietly rolling out a new mobile face recognition system that will sharply change how police conduct simple stops on Americans. The system, which allows officers to use mobile devices to collect face images out in the field, already has a database of 1.4 million images and serves nearly 25 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies in the region.
Over the summer, EFF sent a California Public Records Act request to SANDAG for more information on the program. From the records we received, we’ve learned that the program, called “TACIDS” (Tactical Identification System), serves law enforcement agencies as diverse as the San Diego Sheriff’s Department, the DEA, ICE, the California Highway Patrol and even the San Diego Unified School District.
Read more on EFF.
[From the article:
The officers use a Samsung tablet or Android mobile phone to take a picture of a person “in the field” and run that picture against databases of mugshot photos and DMV images from across several states to learn his or her identity. According to users, the system returns high-accuracy results in about eight seconds.

It is likely too much to ask Congress to remember who NSA's customers are or what the original strategy was.
Walter Pincus writes:
Whatever the National Security Agency was doing with Angela Merkel’s cellphone number for the past 10 years may have been poorly conceived — even reckless — but it didn’t violate U.S. law.
No violation of U.S. law is associated with the collection by the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate (SID) — as disclosed by the Guardian newspaper last month — of phone numbers of foreign government officials and politicians. Nor is it illegal for the NSA to receive from French and Spanish security agencies for storage and possible analysis millions of numbers of their citizens.
As Congress considers reforms in the NSA’s collection of electronic intelligence, the focus should be on legislation protecting the privacy of U.S. citizens, not foreigners overseas, no matter who the foreigners are or what positions they hold.
Read more on the Washington Post.

I must admit I had to Google 'lenity.' It's probably Okay, as long as it doesn't devolve into “It's not fair!”
Steven Vladeck writes:
I was on the same panel as Orin at Monday’s day-long hearing before the Privacy & Civil Liberties Oversight Board, and think there’s a lot to commend his proposal for a statutory rule of lenity as a tool to regulate national security surveillance–to scale back the government’s ability to push for expansive interpretations of the specific authorities that Congress has provided. Indeed, Orin’s post from Tuesday expounding upon this idea is a must-read, regardless of where one comes down on the current scope of FISA and the need for / merits of reform proposals.
Read more on Lawfare.

I have been saying (and pointing to news articles to illustrate) that teachers think they know more than parents, school boards know more than teachers, and the further up the governmental food chain you go the greater the know-it-alls you find.
Gary Stern reports on the situation in New York
With a rare level of urgency, school officials are scrambling to keep extensive student records out of a privately run database that is a key part of the state’s reform agenda.
Local officials, once again at odds with the state Education Department, have grave concerns about what will happen to more than 400 categories of student data once they are uploaded to a Web cloud run by inBloom, a non-profit group funded by the Gates Foundation and supported by Amazon.
More than 20 districts in the Lower Hudson Valley have pulled out of New York’s participation in the federal Race to the Top initiative, hoping that doing so will allow them to withhold certain data. Since the state has said that this strategy will not work, districts are now writing to inBloom directly and requesting that their student records be deleted.
Read more on LoHud. The districts’ request will not be honored, though, because inBloom has no direct contract with districts and the state education department has already indicated it will not honor districts’ requests on this.
Any lawyers think there are grounds for a federal lawsuit by districts against the state? [It will likely be defended by anyone who sees the database as a way to shape their advertising... Bob]

Granted this one is a bit extreme. Would this question apply to anyone who happened to have the skills to do what the police thought needed doing? (a clip from a longer article)
… By now, I expect that most people are aware of a disturbing case in New Mexico first reported by KOB. David Eckert is suing the police, a deputy district attorney, a medical center, and two doctors for subjecting him to repeated digital rectal examinations, multiple enemas, stomach and chest x-rays, for making him defecate in front of the police and medical personnel so they could search his stool for drugs, and for then performing a colonoscopy under general anesthesia.
David Eckert did not request those medical procedures. Nor did he consent to them. So how did this happen? Why did he have to go through such degrading and invasive procedures and why did the two doctors cooperate?

Useful as “background”
If you haven’t seen Alessandro Acquisti’s TED talk, “Why Privacy Matters,” wouldn’t this be a good weekend to watch it:

Another alternative to PowerPoint and a tool for my website students.
EWC Presenter - Create Animated Infographics
EWC Presenter is a new tool from Easy Web Content (a website creation and hosting service). EWC Presenter makes it easy to create slideshows, banner graphics, and interactive infographics. The slideshow creator and banner graphic creator don't stand-out from other tools like them. The EWC Presenter's infographic animation option is worth noting.
EWC Presenter's infographic tool allows you to animate elements within your infographic. The video below demonstrates how that is done.

My students are already in Jeopardy
eQuizShow Makes It Easy to Create Jeopardy-style Games
Last winter I reviewed eQuizShow, a service built by a high school student in New York. This week I revisited the site and found that it has been redesigned yet still offers an easy way for teachers to create Jeopardy-style review games. Unlike similar tools you do not have to download or upload any PowerPoint files to use eQuizShow. On eQuizShow you can build and display your quiz completely online. To build your quiz just enter a title, an administrative password, and your question categories. eQuizShow will then generate a grid on which you can enter questions and answers.
If you don't have time to build a quiz or you just need some inspiration, browse the eQuizShow gallery. When you play the games you have the option to assign points to up to six teams playing the game. You can also play without awarding points.
eQuizShow works well on interactive whiteboards. If you have an interactive whiteboard, using eQuizShow could be a good way to display questions and answers to students during a review session.

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