Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Who thinks up this stuff? (and why doesn't someone slap them?)
The headline says it all. What could possibly go wrong, right?
Read more on Tech2.

Nothing new, right? Who owns the email system?
From the that’s-not-very-nice-folks dept.:
Matthew Lloyd-Thomas and Adrian Rodrigues report:
Yale students’ email accounts are subject to search without consent or notification by the University, as outlined in a publicly available but little-publicized document.
Under the University’s Information Technology Acceptable Use Policy, the University maintains the right to access not only employee accounts, but students’ accounts as well. While 55 of 73 students interviewed were unsurprised that the University can monitor their correspondences, few were clear on the specifics under which Yale can search their accounts.
Read more on Yale Daily News.
Yeah, students don’t need no stinkin’ privacy or privacy rights.

Think there might be a market for antique cars, like mine?
I’ve covered automobile “black boxes” before and the privacy risks that electronic data recorders, if unregulated, pose. But Amadou Diallo raises some other interesting privacy questions associated with the explosive growth of 4G broadband connectivity and new apps:
But let’s suppose that you’re fine with almost any privacy trade-offs that will allow to check your tire pressure remotely, push navigation directions to your car before leaving the house, or avoid hearing a Celine Dion ballad. When the car is the hotspot, your passengers may be forced to give up anonymity as well. Will they have to weigh privacy concerns against your offer of a ride to the beach? If your riding companion logs in to your car’s hotspot with their phone, the resulting data may make it possible to know not just where you are, but who you’re with.
Read more on Forbes.

Worth reading?
U.S. District Court Judge Opens Door on Fourth Amendment and NSA Metadata Collection
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 16, 2013
Politico: A federal judge ruled Monday, December 16, 2013 that the National Security Agency program which collects information on nearly all telephone calls made to, from or within the United States is likely unconstitutional. U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon found that the program appears to violate the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches and seizures. He also said the Justice Department had failed to demonstrate that collecting the information had helped to head off terrorist attacks… Judge Leon’s 68-page opinion is the first significant legal setback for the NSA’s surveillance program since it was disclosed in June in news stories based on leaks from former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. For seven years, the metadata program has been approved repeatedly by numerous judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and found constitutional by at least one judge sitting in a criminal case.”

Lawyers don't do anything for free, do they? In a perfect world, legal students would gather and catalog laws & cases.
New on LLRX – Give Open a Chance in Law
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 16, 2013
Via - Give Open a Chance in Law - Sarah Glassmeyer’s commentary challenges us to consider a Venn Diagram comprising the current state of legal education; the systematic failures surrounding issues of Access to Justice; and in the third circle is the Reinvent/Innovate/New Law world of individuals attempting to make the practice of law more efficient using technological solutions. Sarah then asks – What lies smack in the center of these circles? The answer – Legal Information. Read on.

(Related) ...and they get to pressure Microsoft.
Google deepens involvement in open-source patent effort
Expanding its involvement in an open-source legal defense effort, Google has joined the board of the Open Invention Network, an organization that cross-licenses patents to try to reduce the risk of lawsuits against those using Linux and another open-source software projects.
Google previously was an OIN associate member but now joins Sony, Red Hat, Novell, IBM, Phillips, and NEC with the higher level of involvement.
"Linux now powers nearly all the world's supercomputers, runs the International Space Station, and forms the core of Android. But as open source has proliferated, so have the threats against it, particularly using patents," said Chris DiBona, director of open source at Google, in a blog post Wednesday. "That's why we're expanding our participation in Open Invention Network, becoming the organization's first new full board member since 2007."

Now that the quarter is over, a free statistics book my students can ignore.
OpenStax College - Free Textbooks for Students
OpenStax College is an initiative whose purpose is to create and distribute free and low-cost college textbooks. The initiative is led by Rice University. Currently, on OpenStax College students can find six free textbooks on the subjects of biology, statistics, sociology, and physics. The books can be downloaded as PDF and ePub files, viewed online, or downloaded through Apple's iBookstore (the iBook version is not free).

For my Data Analysis students...
Open Data GovLab 500
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 17, 2013
“The Open Data 500 is the first comprehensive study of U.S. companies using open government data to develop new products and services. The study will identify, describe, and analyze companies that use open government data in their businesses. The Open Data 500 is designed to provide a basis for assessing the value of government data; help encourage the development of new open data companies; and foster a dialogue between government and business on how government data can be made more useful. The Open Data 500 study is being conducted by the GovLab at New York University with funding from the Knight Foundation. The GovLab works to improve people’s lives by changing how we govern. Toward that end the GovLab brings together thinkers and doers who design, implement, and study technology-enabled solutions that advance a collaborative, networked approach to reinvent institutions of governance. It is an action-research center leading an interdisciplinary and global research network. The GovLab operates on the hypothesis that 21st century citizen engagement can make governance more effective and legitimate. As part of its mission, the GovLab studies how institutions can publish the data they collect as open data so that citizens can analyze and use this information to detect and solve problems. In addition to the Open Data 500, several other efforts are under way to describe and understand how civil society and the private sector can use government open data. The GovLab is coordinating work on the Open Data 500 with the World Wide Web Foundation, the Open Data Institute, the McKinsey Global Institute, and others doing important work in this field.”

Teacher stuff...
Rubrics for Blogging and Multimedia Projects
Assessment is one of the things that I'm often asked about in my blogging and website creation workshops. One of the assessment resources that I like to point out is this collection of rubrics from the University of Wisconsin, Stout. In the collection you will find rubrics for assessing student blogging, student wikis, podcasts, and video projects. Beyond the rubrics for digital projects there are rubrics for activities that aren't necessarily digital in nature. For example, you can find rubrics for writing, research, and oral presentations.
Applications for Education
These rubrics might not fit perfectly with the projects you're students are working on, but they could provide a good starting point for creating your own rubrics. Perhaps you could show the rubric you're considering to your students and ask them for their input as to what they think is important to be evaluated in their projects.

For my students with I-stuff...
Tekiki Helps You Find The Best Deals For Good iOS Apps Every Day
… There are many ways to find discounted iPhone and iPad apps — from following your favorite websites for alerts, to apps such as AppsFire (our review) , AppGratis, and other deal-finding apps. But most of these methods suffer from any of the three catches:
  1. They’re show you a bunch of lousy apps you wouldn’t touch with a stick.
  2. They’re annoying to navigate — making you fish for what you’re actually looking for in a sea of deals.
  3. They get taken down by Apple for violating something or other.
If you’re looking for a new way to discover good iPhone and iPad apps that have recently gone free, without drowning in endless options, and without worrying about Apple taking it down, it might be time to try Tekiki.
… Once you find an app you’re interested in, just click or tap the tile to be taken to the app’s page.

For my students to train their students...
The Complete Teenager’s Guide To Online Privacy [Weekly Facebook Tips]
When it comes to giving teenagers advice about online conduct, many adults have no idea what to suggest in terms of protecting their privacy and making good choices about their public image. And frankly, it’s dangerous to let teenagers figure it out entirely for themselves.
All it takes is exposure to a few important scenarios and most teenagers will understand what they need to do to protect themselves. Today we’ll discuss privacy in terms of Facebook, but the lessons will be equally valuable for any social network or activity online.
If you know a teenager who needs a bit of guidance with online privacy, get them to read this post. From now on, I’ll be addressing the teenagers directly. If you’re a parent, here’s a guide to Facebook privacy for parents.

I don't know if this works, but I'll try anything to get my students to RTFM read the freaking book!
– Are you a slow reader? Do you have trouble remembering what you read? Do you want to get more out of your day? Summarize This helps you to read faster, remember more and boost your overall productivity, by providing “just the facts”. Insert the content of text into the box and press the “summarize” button to get just the facts you need.

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