Saturday, July 20, 2013

I kind of agree. Is there a real concern (that the government won't tell us about) or are they simply spreading FUD?
Huawei to U.S.: 'Put up or shut up'
… William Plummer, the company's vice president of external affairs, demanded the two governments "shut up" if they are unable to produce any concrete evidence to back up ongoing claims that Huawei is spying on behalf of the Chinese government, according to a Sina news report Friday. He called the allegations discriminatory and defamatory.
Plummer was referring to a fresh round of comments from former CIA head Michael Hayden, alleging Huawei provided information to the Chinese government. In an interview with the Australian Financial Review newspaper published Thursday, Hayden said the telecom equipment maker shared "intimate and extensive knowledge" of foreign telecommunications systems it was involved with, according to a transcript on Bloomberg.

(Related) “ order to counter Chinese spying.”
FISA court renews authority to collect phone records
A top-secret federal court has renewed the authority of the U.S. government to collect telephone records as part of its surveillance program. In other words: Let the federal spying keep on rolling.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Friday said that it had decided to declassify more information, including the renewal, of the surveillance program that was revealed last month by former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden. The renewal of the program occurs regularly but is normally not publicized.

Perhaps the Cencus Bureau could use a computer to finish their reports a bit faster?
Computer and Internet Use in the United States: Population Characteristics
“In 2011, more Americans connected to the Internet than ever before, although differences continued to exist between those with use and those without. Just as with differences in use, variation in the ways that people were connecting online and the frequency of their use remained prevalent as well. This report provides household and individual level analysis of computer usage and Internet use. The findings are based on data collected in a July 2011 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS), which includes questions about computer ownership, Internet use both inside and outside the home, and the additional devices that people use to go online. The U.S. Census Bureau has asked questions in the CPS about computer use since 1984 and Internet use since 1997 This narrative report is complemented by a detailed table package that allows users to explore the data in more detail.”

“Hey, it worked for us!”
The Economic Value of a Law Degree
The Economic Value of a Law Degree. Michael Simkovic,Seton Hall Law School; Harvard Law School, John M. Olin Center for Law and Economics; Frank McIntyre, Rutgers Business School Newark and New Brunswick. April 13, 2013. A powerpoint presentation version of this article is available.
Legal academics and journalists have marshaled statistics purporting to show that enrolling in law school is irrational. We investigate the economic value of a law degree and find the opposite: given current tuition levels, the median and even 25th percentile annual earnings premiums justify enrollment. For most law school graduates, the net present value of a law degree typically exceeds its cost by hundreds of thousands of dollars. We improve upon previous studies by tracking lifetime earnings of a large sample of law degree holders. Previous studies focused on starting salaries, generic professional degree holders, or the subset of law degree holders who practice law. We also include unemployment and disability risk rather than assume continuous full time employment. After controlling for observable ability sorting, we find that a law degree is associated with a 60 percent median increase in monthly earnings and 50 percent increase in median hourly wages. The mean annual earnings premium of a law degree is approximately $53,300 in 2012 dollars. The law degree earnings premium is cyclical and recent years are within historic norms.
We estimate the mean pre-tax lifetime value of a law degree as approximately $1,000,000.”

Social Networking changes the world? (Only if people listen)
The Digital Landscape in 2013 and its Impact on Communities
Personal. Portable. Participatory. Pervasive. The Digital Landscape in 2013 and its Impact on Communities by Lee Rainie July 18, 2013 at Community Foundations, brought together by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
“Pew Internet Director Lee Rainie discussed the new media ecosystem with leaders of community foundations from Western states and several other locales. He will describe how three technology revolutions have made the media world personal, portable, participatory, and pervasive in people’s lives and how those changes have affected communities.”

My weekly entertainment...
… Speaking at the Microsoft Research Faculty Summit, Bill Gates said that MOOC providers should learn some lessons from the for-profit college sector in order to better support students’ success. “Because they are profit driven, the way they track students and see what’s going on” could be seen by MOOCs and public universities as a “best practice,” Gates argued, according to ECampusNews.
… Ed-tech blog and listicle champ Edudemic is launching a video lesson site, which according to its partner Education Dive, will be a “Khan Academy for real-world skills."
Oakland city officials are moving forward with their plans to build a Domain Awareness Center, “a federally funded project to link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified ‘situational awareness’ tool for law enforcement.” Included in the project, data from the Oakland Unified School District.
Northside ISD, a San Antonio school district, says it will no longer require students to carry IDs with RFID chips implanted in them. Last year, a student unsuccessfully sued the district over the tracking, claiming it violated her religious views. The chips were meant to track attendance, but the district now says that the program didn’t increase attendance enough to justify costs.

Friday, July 19, 2013

God I love living in Colorado! Now, where did I leave my collection of drone recipes?
Town considers licenses for 'drone hunting'
… The town of Deer Trail, Colo., is looking to begin offering "drone hunting licenses" and actually paying rewards to anyone who presents proof that they were able to bring down an unmanned aerial vehicle belonging to the United States federal government, according to reporting by Denver TV station KMGH.
Phillip Steel, the man who drafted the ordinance, as well as other supporters, say it will provide a new source of revenue for the town, but Steel concedes that it's not exactly like Deer Trail has a drone problem. In fact, he's never seen one over the town.
"This is a very symbolic ordinance," he told KMGH. "Basically, I do not believe in the idea of a surveillance society, and I believe we are heading that way."

This is not the New Jersey I remember.
New Jersey’s constitution provides its citizens with more protections than the Fourth Amendment when it comes to an expectation of privacy. Today, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued an opinion in New Jersey v. Earls that creates a new rule of law in New Jersey going forward: except in certain exigent circumstances, law enforcement obtain a warrant based on probable cause to obtain cell location information.
From the opinion:
Instead, our focus belongs on the obvious: cell phones are not meant to serve as tracking devices to locate their owners wherever they may be. People buy cell phones to communicate with others, to use the Internet, and for a growing number of other reasons. But no one buys a cell phone to share detailed information about their whereabouts with the police. That was true in 2006 and is equally true today. Citizens have a legitimate privacy interest in such information. Although individuals may be generally aware that their phones can be tracked, most people do not realize the extent of modern tracking capabilities and reasonably do not expect law enforcement to convert their phones into precise, possibly continuous tracking tools.
… we conclude that Article I, Paragraph 7 of the New Jersey Constitution protects an individual’s privacy interest in the location of his or her cell phone. Users are reasonably entitled to expect confidentiality in the ever-increasing level of detail that cell phones can reveal about their lives. Because of the nature of the intrusion, and the corresponding, legitimate privacy interest at stake, we hold today that police must obtain a warrant based on a showing of probable cause, or qualify for an exception to the warrant requirement, to obtain tracking information through the use of a cell phone.

Read here or download...
Perkins Coie has compiled an updated resource (141 pages) of state data breach notification laws:

What? You thought this was a 'don't tell the second class citizens' Top Secret? It was done quite openly, but no one really cared.
Ali Winston of the Center for Investigative Reporting writes:
As Oakland is rocked by renewed street protests and national attention focuses on government monitoring of phone and e-mail records, city officials are considering a federally funded project to funnel information from surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors and other devices into a law enforcement-run center.
The Domain Awareness Center, a joint project between the Port of Oakland and the city, started as a nationwide initiative to secure ports [Mission creap! Bob] by connecting motion sensors and cameras in and around the shipping facilities. Since its inception in 2009, however, the project has evolved into a program that would cover much of the city.
Read more on the San Francisco Chronicle.

So, it's not what you do, it's how big your share of the market is?
Google gets off in Korea anticompetition case
Google won't be charged with antitrust violations in Korea over claims that it's breaking competition rules by compelling mobile vendors to include its search engine in their Android-based devices.
South Korea's Fair Trade Commission (FTC) ruled Thursday that Google is in no way violating competition rules by including its search engine with Android, Yonhap News is reporting. The company's chief competitors in the country, NHN and Daum Communications, have charged Google with hurting competition by automatically bundling Google Search in Android. The companies argue that the bundling is part of Google's attempt to increase its presence online in the country.
South Korea's FTC, however, disagrees, and decided to throw out the case. The organization argued that including Google Search in Android is not a competition violation, and pointed to Google's 10 percent market share in the country as proof that Android is doing little to hurt the company's competitors. NHN's search portal, Naver, has more than 70 percent market share.

Does this mean I have no hope of controlling the “.BOB” top level domain? Seems confusing...
Amazon scores victory against Pinterest over control of .pin, which earlier this week lost its bid to control the domain extension .amazon, has been handed a victory over another top-level domain: .pin.
The loser in this battle: social-networking site Pinterest, which, not surprisingly, didn't want Amazon controlling .pin. In March, Pinterest filed an objection with the World Intellectual Property Organization, arguing in part that domain names on .pin --, say, or whatever Amazon has in mind -- would cause confusion around the term "pin."
… The domain extension doesn't automatically go to Amazon. This is the biggest expansion of the domain name system ever, after all, so it's not quick.
The .pin domain extension is one of scores that Amazon has applied to control as part of the ICANN expansion of the domain name system.
The big question -- as Andrew Allemann, who writes about the topic for Domain Name Wire pointed out -- is what does Amazon really want to do with .pin anyway?

Monopolies are not “natural”
In Case You Don't Appreciate How Fast The 'Windows Monopoly' Is Getting Destroyed...
… Three charts really bring home the challenges that Microsoft and other PC-powered giants like Intel, Dell, and Hewlett-Packard face in adapting to this new Internet-driven world.

For my Students: Clean up your Internet footprints.
Are you trying to figure out how to delete your Facebook account? Or perhaps you no longer use your Yahoo account and want to deactivate? Whichever website it is that you want to remove your account from, you will find Delentis to be immensely helpful.
Delentis is a free to use web service that helps you delete accounts from numerous web services. Currently the website includes account removal guides for more than 800 websites – a number that is increasing. All you have to do is get started is type in the name of the website from which you want the account removal information for. You do not need to create any new account on the Delentis website to get started with using its features.

For my Ethical Hackers: How to get comped in Vegas! One small hack and you get treated like a Rock Star! (Also useful for warnings about a variety of auditors, inspectors, reviewers, etc.)
Are you a VIP? This facial recognition tech knows it
What retailer wouldn't be thrilled to have a big spender walk through the door itching to drop a few hundred thousand dollars?
A new facial recognition technology from NEC identifies VIPs so shopping clerks can ditch regular folk like you and me and swarm to the potentially big-ticket buyers.
The company's VIP Identification software monitors data from real-time closed-circuit TVs or surveillance cameras, matching images against a business' VIP guest database. If it spots a match, an alert, mobile or otherwise, can be sent to retail or hospitality personnel.
The matching process can take less than a second, meaning Donald Trump will barely have a chance to get past a store's humanoid robot greeter before receiving immediate doting service.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

We can, therefore we must! Does this surprise anyone? Wait until you see what your cable box knows about you. (Can I get this information to prove I was somewhere else when a crime happened?)
ACLU – Police Documents on License Plate Scanners Reveal Mass Tracking
By Catherine Crump, Staff Attorney, ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology Project: “Automatic license plate readers are the most widespread location tracking technology you’ve probably never heard of. Mounted on patrol cars or stationary objects like bridges, they snap photos of every passing car, recording their plate numbers, times, and locations. At first the captured plate data was used just to check against lists of cars law enforcement hoped to locate for various reasons (to act on arrest warrants, find stolen cars, etc.). But increasingly, all of this data is being fed into massive databases that contain the location information of many millions of innocent Americans stretching back for months or even years.”

A lengthy piece by Hamden Rice on Daily Kos will be unpopular with those who don’t want to hear that the NSA programs disclosed by Edward Snowden are constitutional, but is well worth reading.

It's not as abstract as you might think...
From the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner:
Since the recent revelations of the NSA’s sweeping surveillance of the public’s metadata, the term “metadata” has been regularly used in the media, frequently without any explanation of its meaning. Metadata’s reach can be extensive – including information that reveals the time and duration of a communication, the particular devices used, email addresses, or numbers contacted, which kinds of communications services were used, and at what geolocations. And since virtually every device we use has a unique identifying number, our communications and Internet activities may be linked and traced with relative ease – ultimately back to the individuals involved.
All this metadata is collected and retained by communications service providers for varying periods of time and, for legitimate business purposes. Key questions arise, however, including who else has access to all this information, and for what purposes? Senior U.S. government officials have been defending their sweeping and systemic seizure of the public’s personal communications on the basis that it is “only metadata.” They say it is neither sensitive nor privacy-invasive since it does not access any of the content contained in the associated communications.
A Primer on Metadata: Separating Fact from Fiction, explains that metadata can actually be more revealing than accessing the content of our communications. The paper aims to provide a clear understanding of metadata and disputes popular claims that the information being captured is neither sensitive, nor privacy-invasive, since it does not access any content. Given the implications for privacy and freedom, it is critical that we all question the dated, but ever-so prevalent either/or, zero-sum mindset to privacy vs. security. Instead, what is needed are proactive measures designed to provide for both security and privacy, in an accountable and transparent manner.
So Canada gets it. Now why can’t our Congress do something to protect our privacy from this bulk collection?

I've been tracking 'do not track'
EPIC: Working Group Rejects Industry Do Not Track Proposal
“The World Wide Web Consortium has rejected a Do Not Track standard proposed by the online advertising industry. The industry proposal would have allowed advertising companies to continue to collect data about the browsing activities of consumers, but would have limited the way companies could characterize users based on that data. The group stated that industry’s proposal was “less protective of privacy and user choice than their earlier initiatives.” Senator Rockefeller, the Commerce Committee Chairman, has introduced legislation to regulate the commercial surveillance of consumers online. EPIC has previously recommended to Congress that an effective Do Not Track initiative would need to ensure that a consumer’s decision is “enforceable, persistent, transparent, and simple.” For more information, see EPIC: Online Tracking and Behavioral Profiling.”

Only 63?
Group of tech giants to demand greater NSA transparency
… Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft are part of an alliance signing a letter to be published Thursday that calls on President Barack Obama and Congress to allow Internet and telecommunications companies to offer more details about U.S. government requests for user information, according to an AllThingsD report. The alliance, which reportedly includes 63 companies, investors, and trade groups, will request greater latitude in regularly reporting information about the number of requests they receive; the number of individuals, accounts, or devices; and the number of requests received for communications content or subscriber information, according to the report.

Speaking of the NSA... (8 will get you 10 this will be retracted)
The NSA Admits It Analyzes More People's Data Than Previously Revealed
As an aside during testimony on Capitol Hill today, a National Security Agency representative rather casually indicated that the government looks at data from a universe of far, far more people than previously indicated.
Chris Inglis, the agency's deputy director...
… Analysts look "two or three hops" from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops.
… For a sense of scale, researchers at the University of Milan found in 2011 that everyone on the Internet was, on average, 4.74 steps away from anyone else.
… Inglis' admission didn't register among the members of Congress present, [Only people with 'above room tempreture IQs' Bob] but immediately resonated with privacy advocates online.

Even Maxwell Smart could have caught these guys. Maybe they should watch a few more of those banned spy movies. Read the article to see what passes for being sneaky in North Korea.
How Panama found a missile and a couple of fighter jets in a North Korean freighter
This may be the most important tweet in the history of arms control:
Panamá capturo barco de bandera Norcoreana proveniente de cuba con cargamento bélico no declarado
That’s Panama’s President Ricardo Martinelli revealing missile parts concealed beneath a cargo of Cuban sugar. The compartment was discovered in the North Korean freighter Chong Chon Gang, homeward bound from Cuba. Law enforcement seized the vessel as it traversed the Panama Canal, subdued a rambunctious crew and a captain who reportedly preferred suicide to capture, and discovered a load of what Cuba calls “obsolete weapons“—two anti-aircraft batteries, nine disassembled rockets, and two MiG-21 aircraft,” apparently heading to North Korea for repair. The sugar, some theorized, was a payment for the work.

For my Computer Security students
Cyber-crime, securities markets and systemic risk
Cyber-crime, securities markets and systemic risk. Joint Staff Working Paper of the IOSCO Research Department and World Federation of Exchanges. Author: Rohini Tendulkar (IOSCO Research Department). Survey: Grégoire Naacke (World Federation of Exchanges Office) and Rohini Tendulkar.
“This report and survey is intended as part of a series exploring perspectives and experiences with cyber-crime across different groups of securitiesmarket actors. The purpose of the series is predominantly to : (1) deepen understanding around the extent of the cyber-crime threat in securities markets; (2) highlight potential systemic risk concerns that could be considered by securities market regulators and market participants; and (3) capture and synthesize into one document some of the key issues in terms of cyber-crime and securities markets in order to increase general understanding and awareness.”

Something for my Statistics students? Maybe my Data Analytics students too?
Plugging data into a spreadsheet is simple. It might be a little tedious, and it is certainly not fun, but it’s a job anyone can figure out how to do in a relatively short amount of time. However, generating meaningful insights from that data is a much more difficult thing to do. There is always plenty of information that can be extrapolated from data, but just looking at it and trying to find correlations is tough.
That’s where the website Statwing comes into play. It looks at data uploaded and find useful correlations from it.
To use Statwing, all you need to do is upload a spreadsheet or csv, and it will scan the data for you.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Could this be the old double think, written in Chinese?
Man in Black: All right. Where is the poison? The battle of wits has begun. It ends when you decide and we both drink, and find out who is right... and who is dead.
Vizzini: But it's so simple. All I have to do is divine from what I know of you: are you the sort of man who would put the poison into his own goblet or his enemy's? Now, a clever man would put the poison into his own goblet, because he would know that only a great fool would reach for what he was given. I am not a great fool, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But you must have known I was not a great fool, you would have counted on it, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me.
Man in Black: You've made your decision then?
Vizzini: Not remotely. Because iocane comes from Australia, as everyone knows, and Australia is entirely peopled with criminals, and criminals are used to having people not trust them, as you are not trusted by me, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you.
Man in Black: Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
Vizzini: Wait till I get going! Now, where was I?
Cyberattack aims at government agencies in Asia, Europe
Officials at agencies across Europe and Asia have been receiving an e-mail that lists the Chinese Ministry of National Defense as the source, Trend Micro revealed on Monday. But in fact, the message seems to comes from a Gmail account and uses no Chinese name.
The e-mail itself is packed with a malicious attachment designed to exploit a weakness in all versions of Microsoft Office from 2003 through 2010. Microsoft actually patched this specific hole more than a year ago, so users with updated security should be safe.

Why do these need to be mobile rather than at fixed locations in each classroom?
Carroll ISD is Outfitting Teachers With GPS Tracking Devices
San Antonio's Northside ISD, which became the focus of national controversy when an intensely evangelical high school sophomore refused to wear her RFID-equipped student ID because it was the Mark of the Beast, is not the first school district to track students' whereabouts using geolocation technology, nor will it be the last. Despite the inevitable outcry, it's seen as a relatively effective way to boost attendance and, as a result, state funding.
… Southlake's Carroll ISD which, as CBS 11 reports, is buying 100 wearable tracking devices from a Dallas company, eTrak, as part of a pilot program aimed at improving safety.
The idea is that teachers and others can use the devices -- small black boxes that attach to a lanyard or key chain -- to call for help in an emergency. [Help! I've fallen and I can't get up! Bob]
… It does more than that, of course. It constantly tracks the user's location using GPS and Wi-Fi signals, whether they're in the classroom or sitting on a toilet. That Carroll ISD is testing the program on adult teachers, not students, makes the endeavor a bit less unsettling, but it's still raises difficult questions about privacy and the relationship between employer and employee. A position paper signed by the ACLU, the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, and more than a dozen other civil liberties groups, worries that using tracking devices in schools violates civil liberties and dehumanizes wearers, pointing out that the same technology is used to track livestock.

NOT for my Ethical Hackers... Learn the value of the “Dark Side”
Brian Prince reports on what your health insurance plan numbers are worth when packaged with other details about you. Medical ID theft is a growing – and lucrative – market.

I could support metadata as a tripwire, but it seems this program was designed to be more intrusive.
Orin Kerr writes:
In his recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, my co-blogger Randy Barnett argues that massive-scale collection of communications metadata by the NSA violates the Fourth Amendment because it is an unreasonable seizure. Randy’s colleague Laura K. Donohue recently argued in the Washington Post that such collection violates the Fourth Amendment as an unreasonable search. Jennifer Granick and Chris Sprigman made a similar argument in the New York Times.
Are they right? Does obtaining all telephony metadata under Section 215 — and then querying the database — violate the Fourth Amendment?
In this post, I’ll start with current law, and I’ll explain why current law supports the conclusion that massive-scale collection of communications meta-data by the NSA does not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of its customers. I’ll then consider alternate views of the Fourth Amendment and explain the prospects and challenges of using the mosaic theory to get to a contrary result.
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

“Here's what I should have said, if I wasn't afraid you'd send me to Guantanimo.”
Microsoft: U.S. Constitution is 'suffering' from NSA secrecy
Microsoft on Tuesday asked the Obama administration to allow it to reveal details about how it responds to orders from the U.S. government for user account data.
Brad Smith, Microsoft's general counsel, sent a strongly worded letter to Attorney General Eric Holder this afternoon saying there is "no longer a compelling government interest" in preventing companies "from sharing more information" about how they respond. That's especially true, the letter said, when this information is likely to help "allay public concerns" about warrantless surveillance.

If I do it myself, no problem. If I contract with Aereo to do it for me, Aereo is the scum of the earth?
In another Aereo win, court refuses to rehear New York case
In another victory for Aereo, the controversial TV-over-the-Web startup, a federal appeals court on Tuesday refused to rehear an earlier decision allowing the service to continue in the New York City area.
The result was widely expected, as success in these kinds of petitions is rare, legal experts and industry watchers told CNET. Attention now turns to the main trial in this case to determine whether Aereo's service oversteps copyright law, as well as other suits elsewhere that the media industry is pitting against Aereo and Aereo-like services.
Aereo, which is backed by IAC Chairman Barry Diller, uses antenna/DVR technology to let consumers watch live, local, over-the-air television broadcasts on some Internet-connected devices, including the iPad and iPhone. That capability provoked a lawsuit from TV broadcast giants including NBC, ABC, Fox, and CBS (the parent of CNET), which allege that the service violates their copyrights and that Aereo must pay them retransmission fees.

No more, “I left my homework on my desktop at home.”
xCloud is an app that lets you sync your files (docs, music, videos etc) between your home PC and your mobile device (iPhone, iPad or Android device) and then access them anywhere anytime. You simply register for an account, install the app on your mobile device (it is available for iPhone and Android), install the server version on your PC, and then log in to the app at the same time.
… It is not necessary to keep your PC open all the time. You simply log in to xCloud from your smartphone and activate the “Wake over Internet” function, which wakes your PC when needed.
The app is available for Windows on the desktop and for iOS and Android platforms on the mobile.
Similar tools – Synx, Syncbox.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Of course it is too late. Once the bureauacracy has expanded, it can not (never, ever, ever) be cut back.
The Case for Abolishing the DHS
… The U.S. Department of Homeland Security was a panicked reaction to the Sept. 11 attacks. It owes its continued existence to a vastly exaggerated assessment of the threat of terrorism. The department is also responsible for some of the least cost-effective spending in the U.S. Government. It’s time to admit that creating it was a mistake.

A ruling “on second thought?”
Yahoo wins motion to declassify court documents in PRISM case
… The U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled Monday that the Justice Department must unseal documents from a classified 2008 case that Yahoo has said will demonstrate the Internet company "objected strenuously" to providing the government with customer data.
… The ruling, first noted by the Daily Dot, gives the Justice Department two weeks to provide estimates on how long it expects the review process to take.
… Monday's order was made by the same court that Yahoo originally petitioned five years ago to review the government's order over concerns it violated its users' Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures.
The court responded at the time that the company's concerns were "overblown" and that "incidentally collected communications of non-targeted United States persons do not violate the Fourth Amendment."

Worth reading. I think they understand what happened to the Music and Book industries, so perhaps their TV predictions are correct also.
Apple May Have Found the Chink in TV’s Armor: Pay-for-Ad-Skipping
Apple has been shopping networks and studios a service that would allow users to skip commercials for a fee. The negotiations represent a new spearhead from Apple to bring a premium TV platform to market, with the company seeing revenue-for-ad-skipping as an opportunity to get its corporate foot in the door.
The report comes from Jessica Lessin, a former Wall Street Journal reporter, who cited unnamed sources that had been "briefed on the negotiations."
… Most TV Suits—like Suits everywhere—would rather ride the gravy train until it wrecks than risk a disruption that could put them ahead of the game or fail.
Contrast that to the music and publishing industries, which were both in disastrous states when Apple approached them with its disruptive iTunes Store and iBooks (respectively). Their need was Apple's opportunity, which is almost always the case with anything disruptive.
The music industry signed up for Apple's (then) Mac-only iTunes Store and was subsequently saved from the folly of its own inept digital strategies. The publishing industry turned to Apple because Amazon was rapidly devaluing the publishing world's products (books). The DOJ rained on that parade, but the point is that the execs signed on because they were desperate.

There should be some value for my students, in particular the database of open source tools
Data Analytics For Oversight and Law Enforcement

For my Vets.
Which occupations contribute most to society?
Soldiers -- followed closely by teachers, physicians, scientists, and engineers -- contribute the most to society's well-being, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center.

Monday, July 15, 2013

In Colorado, only Second Class citizens are held accountable.
Guess who doesn't get radar tickets in Colorado? Politicians
… State senators and representatives in Colorado, for example, enjoy a little wheeze that surely saves them pocketfuls of change.
For, should they be caught by a photo radar device, speeding their way merrily down the freeway, they won't get a citation.
"How can this be?" you might mutter. Well, in Colorado, these politicians have special license plates. It's not enough for them to ride around in fancy cars. They have to be identified immediately as men and women of the people.
Yet, as CBS4 in Denver reports, these license plates don't appear in the DMV database.

I wonder how many in Congress have as much information?
Snowden reportedly has 'blueprint' on how NSA operates
Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked classified documents regarding the agency's surveillance programs, has very sensitive "blueprints" describing how the agency operates, a journalist close to the story told The Associated Press.
Snowden has "literally thousands of documents" that constitute "basically the instruction manual for how the NSA is built" that could aid in duplication or evasion of NSA surveillance tactics, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald told the news agency on Sunday.
"In order to take documents with him that proved that what he was saying was true he had to take ones that included very sensitive, detailed blueprints of how the NSA does what they do," Greenwald said, who noted that he had last communicated with Snowden about four hours before the interview.
… Greenwald said the NSA "blueprints" don't represent a threat to U.S. national security but could be embarrassing to the government.
"I think it would be harmful to the U.S. government, as they perceive their own interests, if the details of those programs were revealed," Greenwald told the AP.

...and we already have people going after the Post Office for photographing our mail. What a country! (If this was the basis for a Class Action and they won, could we end the Income Tax as partial settlement?)
Foreign Surveillance and the Future of Standing to Sue Post- Clapper
CRS – Foreign Surveillance and the Future of Standing to Sue Post-Clapper – Andrew Nolan, Legislative Attorney, July 10, 2013
“Recent news accounts (and government responses to those news accounts) have indicated that the government is reportedly engaged in a surveillance program that gathers vast amounts of data, including records regarding the phone calls, emails, and Internet usage of millions of individuals. The disclosures to the media reportedly suggest that specific telecommunication companies have been required to disclose certain data to the government as part of the intelligence community’s surveillance efforts. The recent controversy over the reports of government targeting efforts comes months after the Supreme Court ruled in a case called Clapper v. Amnesty International. In Clapper, the Court dismissed a facial constitutional challenge to section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act on constitutional standing grounds. Specifically, the Clapper court found that the litigants, a group of attorneys and human rights activists who argued that their communications with clients could be the target of foreign intelligence surveillance, could not demonstrate they would suffer a future injury that was “certainly impending,” the requirement the majority of the Court found to be necessary to establish constitutional standing when asking a court to prevent a future injury.”

Coaltion of Good Government Groups Urge US Attorney General to Release Reports on Telephone Surveillance
“[On July 8, 2013] the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), along with 22 other good-government groups, sent a letter to the US Department of Justice urging Attorney General Eric Holder to make public any reports by Inspector General Michael Horowitz regarding the collection of Americans’ telephone records under Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act. If the Office of the Inspector General has not previously conducted a full review of this program, the letter asks it to do so. Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act allows the FBI to apply to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) for an order requiring the production of any tangible thing that is relevant to an authorized investigation to collect foreign intelligence or to protect against international terrorism or clandestine intelligence activities. Serious questions have been raised by lawmakers and legal experts about whether the recently revealed program, under which telephone companies are ordered to produce all of the telephony metadata for all of their subscribers, is consistent with the purpose or even the letter of Section 215.”

Something for my Risk Management students to ponder...
Global Risks Report 2013
“The Global Risks Report 2013 analyses 50 global risks in terms of impact, likelihood and interconnections, based on a survey of over 1000 experts from industry, government and academia. This year’s findings show that the world is more at risk as persistent economic weakness saps our ability to tackle environmental challenges. The report highlights wealth gaps (severe income disparity) followed by unsustainable government debt (chronic fiscal imbalances) as the top two most prevalent global risks. Following a year scarred by extreme weather, from Hurricane Sandy to flooding in China, respondents rated rising greenhouse gas emissions as the third most likely global risk overall. The findings of the survey fed into an analysis of three major risk cases: Testing Economic and Environmental Resilience, Digital Wildfires in a Hyperconnected World and The Dangers of Hubris on Human Health. In a special report on national resilience, the groundwork is laid for a new country resilience rating, which would allow leaders to benchmark their progress. The report also highlights “X Factors” – emerging concerns which warrant more research, including the rogue deployment of geoengineering and brain-altering technologies.”

My math students have a love/hate relationship with my puzzles...
Plus Magazine - Math Puzzles and More
Plus Magazine is a free online publication dedicated to introducing readers to practical applications of mathematics. Plus Magazine strives to reach that goal through the publication of mathematics-related news articles, podcasts, and mathematics puzzles designed around "real-life" scenarios.
Applications for Education
Plus Magazine's mathematics puzzles provide students with challenges of varying difficulty. Most of the puzzles include some type of real-world scenario as a framework for the challenge. The puzzles could make excellent extra credit problems at the end of a mathematics test.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Sony revenues were £45 Billion ($68 Billion) last year, so the fine was 0.0005% of revenue.
Dan Worth reports:
Sony has given up its appeal over a fine of £250,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) having originally vowed to fight the case. The firm claimed it has done so in order to avoid revealing information on its security procedures [Or lack thereof? Bob] rather than because it now agrees with the fine.
Read more on V3.

“After hearing from politicians who were upset that journalists were writing bad things (or no things) about them, we have decided to become more journalist=friendly.”
Department of Justice Report on Review of News Media Policies
Statement of Attorney General Eric Holder on the Justice Department Report on Revised Media Guidelines: After conducting a rigorous review of internal Justice Department guidelines governing investigations and other law enforcement matters that involve journalists, Attorney General Eric Holder today released a report outlining several key reforms to the department’s protocols, as well as the following statement:
“The Department of Justice is firmly committed to ensuring our nation’s security, and protecting the American people, while at the same time safeguarding the freedom of the press. These revised guidelines will help ensure the proper balance is struck when pursuing investigations into unauthorized disclosures. While these reforms will make a meaningful difference, there are additional protections that only Congress can provide. [Translation: “The law still allows us to do whatever we want.” Bob] For that reason, we continue to support the passage of media shield legislation. I look forward to working with leaders from both parties to achieve this goal, and am grateful to all of the journalists, free speech advocates, experts, and Administration leaders who have come together in recent weeks – in good faith, and with mutual respect – to guide and inform the changes we announce today.”

It appears that this parallels my research, blending technology and education. Still no push-button learning tool.
Developing an E-Curriculum in Law and Technology
Legal practice and legal education are both at challenging inflection points, where much of how and what we do as lawyers and how and what we have taught as legal educators comes under scrutiny. Legal technology is an important factor in driving the challenges we face. As we reform our curriculums in this moment of change, we should be guided by considerations of value added, values added, and economic sustainability. Law and technology is an area that is ripe for expansion in our teaching, with the possibility of satisfying all of these criteria. It also provides ample room for scholarly examination. Creating opportunities for learning how technology is shaping legal practice should be a priority for any school looking to provide a useful education for the lawyers of the present, let alone the future.”

I look forward to more geo-gastronomic maps!
… The Pizza Belt is defined as "the area of the United States where the chance of obtaining an adequate-to-good slice of pizza from a randomly chosen pizzeria is greater than 50 percent."