Monday, December 02, 2013

Saves me the time and effort. Thanks, EFF.
EFF Introducing a Compendium of the Released NSA Spying Documents
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 1, 2013
EFF – “The ongoing NSA leaks, Freedom of Information Act lawsuits and government declassification continue to bring vital information to the public about the the ongoing efforts of the NSA and its allies to spy on millions of innocent people. What started out as news detailing the agency’s collections of users’ calling records, phone calls, and emails now includes NSA’s attack on international encryption standards and breaking into the data center links of companies like Yahoo! and Google. The news reports will continue to come and are often grounded in documents like PowerPoint slides, pictures, and internal government reports. Because of the flood of information, we’ve decided to compile the documents in a chart that will serve as part of our NSA Spying resource. The chart attempts to compile all of the documents released by the newspapers and the government, with the exception of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court orders. It lists the date of publication, the original source and a short description of the contents. The key documents will also be toggled on our timeline of NSA spying. Our NSA Spying resource was created last year and is intended to serve as a comprehensive public resource. It links to EFF’s lawsuits challenging the spying, includes an understanding of the NSA’s domestic surveillance programs, provides an interactive timeline, and discusses word games the intelligence community uses. As EFF’s litigation and public advocacy continues, we will keep these pages updated and expand the information included. Our compilation will complement similar efforts by the ACLU and Cryptome.”

This complies with their policies? Does it comply with law? Logic?
Nancy Townsley report:
Last Friday’s arrest of a Brown Middle School eighth-grader sparked a right-to-privacy furor after cell phones belonging to students who recorded the teenager’s outburst were confiscated by district staff.
Read more on Hillsboro Tribune.
[From the article:
Five or six students used their cell phones as recording devices “despite being asked [by staff] to put their phones away, disregarding behavior expectations” at Brown, said Graser. District policy states that students are allowed to have personal communication devices at school as long as their use does not disrupt the learning environment.
In this case, Graser said, Principal Koreen Barreras-Brown and her staff were concerned about the “glorification” of the arrested student’s behavior if video snippets started showing up on Facebook or other social media — while at the same time wishing to preserve the student’s dignity.
“Any kind of student discipline is a private matter,” said Graser.
Students complied when asked by staff for passwords to unlock their phones so their phone activity could be reviewed, she added, and none of them were disciplined.

Do you have to be honest? If so,it will never work.
New on LLRX – UsBook: Toward a family-friendly Facebook alternative to preserve your memories and help future historians
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 1, 2013
David Rothman’s commentary focuses on how the Digital Public Library of America is still on track to be a mostly academic creature despite the P word in its name. But David supports innovative, creative and value-added goals that with proper focus, can bolster the DPLA onto the level of a world-class academic digital library system, as opposed to siphoning off badly needed resources and other forms of support from public librarians who should be forming their own e-system.

Does I write right?
A Few Tools That Make It Easy To Analyze Your Writing
One of the traps that many student writers fall into is overusing favorite phrases and adjectives. I've edited and graded enough essays over the years to confirm this. There are a couple of tools that can help students avoid overusing the same phrases and adjectives.
WordCounter is a simple tool that writers can use to identify the words that they use most frequently in their text. To use WordCounter simply copy and paste text into Wordcounter then select how many words should appear in your "frequently used" list. To improve the utility of your "frequently used words" list you can tell Wordcounter to ignore small words (like it or the) and to use only root words.
StoryToolz offers a few tools to help you edit your work. The Cliché Buster analyzes your work to find clichés that you have used in your writing. The Readability tool analyzes your text to estimate a reading level on several scales.
Last spring at the Massachusetts School Library Association's conference Pam Berger presented the idea of using word clouds to help students analyze documents. Wordle is the "old reliable" of word cloud creation tools. Some other options for creating word clouds are Tagul, Tagxedo, and ABCya's Word Cloud Generator.

This could be very useful.
MathDisk - Create and Share Interactive Math Worksheets
MathDisk is a service that teachers can use to develop interactive mathematics worksheets. Through MathDisk's "Math Builder" tool you can design mathematics models that your students can use online. The models and worksheets you develop online can also be downloaded to use offline if you also install the MiBook software on your desktop or on your Android device.
If you don't have time to create new materials, the MathDisk gallery has pages of models and worksheets that you can choose from. Everything in the gallery, like everything you create through MathDisk, can be downloaded and or embedded into your own website or blog.
The video below offers an overview of the MathDisk's features.
MathDisk offers an extensive playlist of tutorial videos for new users. That playlist is embedded below.

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