Sunday, April 13, 2014

Is this the excuse Putin is waiting for? May depend on how hard the Ukraine crushes them? May depend on what Putin had for breakfast.
Ukraine launches ‘anti-terrorist’ campaign against pro-Russian gunmen
… To Ukrainian officials, it looked like the beginning of a replay of the Crimea takeover by Russia, which began with men in unmarked uniforms storming the regional parliament, then spreading their control throughout the peninsula. But on Sunday it was clear that, in this case, Ukraine was preparing to fight back.
Ukrainian special forces and pro-Russian militia exchanged gunfire in the small city of Slavyansk, the Associated Press reported, citing Ukraine’s interior minister, Arsen Avakov.
… Thousands of Russian troops — American and NATO officials put the number at 40,000 — are nearby, conducting a long-running exercise on their side of the border.

Avoid potential problems? Probably too late for that, but still a good idea.
Heartbleed Update: Sites That Tell You Which Passwords You Should Bother to Change
… In addition to some of the other test sites already mentioned (at LastPass,, Qualys,, check out the very convenient guide provided by the security firm IVPN.
Update: xkcd has a wonderful visual explanation of how the bug actually works.

At least one magistrate takes his job seriously. I think the government frequently bases their legal arguments on what their enforcement types have already done, rather than the law. But is the EFF the best resource to clarify the law?
Nice. Jack Bouboushian of Courthouse News reports that a federal magistrate judge in the District of Columbia has asked EFF to file an amicus brief on the technology and constitutional issues implicated in government requests for historical cell site location information:
There are 87 opinions publicly available that address cell site information, but these decisions “are impossible to reconcile,” U.S. Magistrate Judge John Facciola wrote.
The judge’s call for input by the digital rights group comes on the government’s renewed petition for disclosure of a particular telephone number’s historical cell site information (CSLI).
Facciola had rejected the government’s petition last year.
Read more on Courthouse News. The court’s opinion is here (pdf).

How does this happen? Some US Attorney, trying to make a name for himself, charges ahead in the best tradition of George Custer?
Feds try hacker in wrong state, conviction tossed
… The U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia said Friday that Auernheimer’s crimes, violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and identity theft, had no connection to the Garden State and thus tossed the conviction, according to Bloomberg.
… Auernheimer was sentenced to 41 months in prison in 2012. Since that time, he’s been chilling his heels at the Allenwood Federal “Club Fed” Correctional Complex in White Deer, Penn. Auernheimer’s attorney,Tor Ekeland, said his client was being held in solitary confinement almost 24 hours a day.

Their conclusion seems to be that good writers can write in any media. (So can us bad writers.)
Pew – The Growth in Digital Reporting
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 12, 2014
What it Means for Journalism and News Consumers by Mark Jurkowitz: ”At a time when print newsrooms continue to shed jobs, thousands of journalists are now working in the growing world of native digital news—at small non-profits like Charlottesville Tomorrow, big commercial sites like The Huffington Post and other content outlets, like BuzzFeed, that have moved into original news reporting. In a significant shift in the editorial ecosystem, most of these jobs have been created in the past half dozen years, and many have materialized within the last year alone, according to this new report on shifts in reporting power. Since the fall of 2013, there has been a dramatic and conspicuous migration of high-profile journalists to digital news ventures.
… The pace picked up again in January 2014, when the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein took his Project X journalism concept (now known as to Vox Media. And in February, former New York Times executive editor Bill Keller announced that he would become editor of The Marshall Project, a new nonprofit focusing on criminal justice issues.”

“So, you don't like it when we close a few lanes? Try a whole bridge!”
Pulaski Skyway closure: No access to NYC for 2 years, commuters scramble for options
… Tomorrow is the start of the first workweek without the Pulaski Skyway as an option to get to Jersey City or Manhattan.
The two northbound lanes of the iconic but decrepit 3½-mile-long bridge between Newark and Jersey City will be closed for two years while the Skyway undergoes a major rehabilitation. A study by a Stevens Institute of Technology professor in nearby Hoboken predicts the commute time for an average person will increase by 30 to 40 percent.

I'd call this a design failure. Perhaps they should have considered circuit breakers?
Squirrel causes $300,000 damage at US building
… The squirrel got into the electrical equipment of the building, causing a massive power surge that damaged the heating and air conditioning systems and some parts of the boiler system, Fort Wayne Parks Department officials said.
Officials said the squirrel did not make it out alive, 'The Journal Gazette' reported.

So simple, you could pass them off as wisdom. Perhaps I'll baffle my students with buzzwords...
– are brain gems for decision-makers, and a free resource by ribot to help you make better products. They distill the latest behavioural economics & consumer psychology research down into helpful little brain gems, such as the Cognitive Miser, Hedonic Adaptation, Anchoring Bias, IKEA Effect, Hyperbolic Discounting, Negativity Bias, and many more.

I still find it funny...
… I’m happy that I escaped academia without much of a Rate My Professors record. I’m even happier now that there’s Draw Your Professor. [Too cruel. Bob]
Quora, the Q&A site founded by Facebook’s first CTO Adam D’Angelo has raised $80 million in funding from Tiger Globa, Benchmark, Matrix, Northbridge and Peter Thiel. This brings to $141 million the total raised by this free website. [Free does not come cheap. Bob]
… Looking to put your college degree to work? Grade standardized tests for Pearson and others. [Business must be good if they are turning to “Kelly Temps” for help. Bob]
… “What’s The Evidence on School Devices and Software Improving Student Learning?” asks Stanford prof Larry Cuban. Guess the answer. Go ahead. Guess.

Might be a way to handle handouts for my students. (Or try some things for the website class.)
– is a service where you can make quick and easy webpages. The template is already prepared and ready. All you need to do is enter the text, the colors, and the images. If you don’t register for free, then the page will expire one week later. But if you register for free, you can keep the page forever.

Something to entice my Math students...
WolframAlpha – a little fun!

Yeah, but where and why would this work better than regular doors?
Geometry + Doors
There is nothing too simple to rethink. Thank you, geometry!

No comments: