Sunday, June 08, 2014

Politicians, lawyers and marketing executives study semantics so they can do this well. (P. T. Barnum once sold a load of white fleshed salmon by advertising that they were guaranteed not to turn pink.)
I posted something about this previously, but Tim Cushing’s article is still worth reading:
James Clapper’s defense of leaked NSA programs have fallen into the “strictly legal + oversight” framework so often it’s become a cliche that can be ably wielded by lower level staffers. Occasionally, Clapper fires off something longer, like his defense of the NSA’s collection of French phone metadata. During this longer “debunking,” Clapper denied accusations that were never made by attacking a lousy translation of the original French article. This provided for some plausible deniability (“NSA does not collect recordings”), even if the underlying claims — correctly translated — pointed to something the agency was actually doing (bulk phone metadata collection).
The new head of the NSA, Michael Rogers, is doing the same thing.
Read more on TechDirt.
[From the article:
… no one suggested in the article that the NSA targeted US citizens. In fact, one of the biggest complaints about the NSA's programs is the fact that they're clearly untargeted. The NSA doesn't select a person and start the surveillance from that point. The surveillance is pervasive and ongoing and any selection tends to occur long after tons of data/communications have been collected. It's the after-the-fact nature of the programs that makes them so dangerous.

"Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it." (probably) George Santayana
From Washington’s Blog:
Spying has been around since the dawn of civilization.
Keith Laidler – a PhD anthropologist, Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a past member of the Scientific Exploration Society – explains:
Spying and surveillance are at least as old as civilization itself.
University of Tennessee history professor Vejas Gabriel Liulevicius agrees:
Espionage and intelligence have been around since human beings first began organizing themselves into distinct societies, cities, states, nations, and civilizations.
Unfortunately, spying hasn’t been limited to defense against external enemies. As documented below, tyrants have long spied on their own people in order to maintain power and control … and crush dissent.
Read more on Washington’s Blog.

About time someone revisited this...
Via Public Citizen: Chris Jay Hoofnagle and Jennifer M. Urban, both of Berkeley, have written Alan Westin’s Privacy Homo Economicus, 49 Wake Forest Law Review 261 (2014). Here’s the abstract:
Homo economicus reliably makes an appearance in regulatory debates concerning information privacy. Under the still-dominant U.S. “notice and choice” approach to consumer information privacy, the rational consumer is expected to negotiate for privacy protection by reading privacy policies and selecting services consistent with her preferences. A longstanding model for predicting these preferences is Professor Alan Westin’s well-known segmentation of consumers into “privacy pragmatists,” “privacy fundamentalists,” and “privacy unconcerned.”
… This Article contributes to the ongoing debate about notice and choice in two main ways. First, we consider the legacy Westin’s privacy segmentation model itself, which as greatly influenced the development of the notice-and-choice regime. Second, we report on original survey research, collected over four years, exploring Americans’ knowledge, preferences, and attitudes about a wide variety of data practices in online and mobile markets. Using these methods, we engage in considered textual analysis, empirical testing, and critique of Westin’s segmentation model.

Interesting. Is there much demand for lawyers in positions like this?
Last month, a report based on documents obtained by Edward Snowden uncovered an elaborate National Security Agency surveillance program that monitors every call made in the Bahamas. The island nation appears to have responded to those charges by retaining attorneys to work on “surveillance and privacy” issues.
According to disclosure documents obtained by The Hill, the government of the Bahamas has hired American law firm Hogan Lovells to represent it in a variety of cases. While the Bahamas has worked with the firm before, it added new responsibilities to their agreement. The firm will represent the nation on issues “that may affect or relate to [its] activities and interests … including but not limited to surveillance and privacy matters.”

Another interesting concept. Could the owners of “private” systems charge for this access? Retain copyright? Have any rights at all?
Stacy Lange reports:
Authorities in Scranton are looking to increase surveillance all over the city. Not by adding more cameras, but by adding more eyes looking at the cameras already in place.
Scranton City Council announced this week that it is applying for a grant that would create community-wide surveillance for Scranton Police.
But the grant money wouldn’t pay for any cameras. It would pay for software that would allow Scranton Police to tap into private surveillance systems.
Read more on WNEP.

For my Computer Forensics students.
WSJ – In a Single Tweet, as Many Pieces of Metadata as There Are Characters
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 7, 2014
Elizabeth Dwoskin - “To understand big data, look no further than a single tweet. At 140 characters a tweet seems tiny, but it can yield a wealth of information. According to Elasticsearch, a startup that builds software to help companies mine data from social media, there are 150 separate points of so-called metadata in an individual tweet. Metadata loosely refers to information that can be gleaned about a piece of content. For example, in legal terms, the body of an email is considered content, while the time stamp, the sender and the receiver are considered metadata. For a tweet, metadata includes a unique numerical ID attached to each tweet, as well as IDs for all the replies, favorites and retweets that it gets. It also includes a timestamp, a location stamp, the language, the date the account was created, the URL of the author if a website is referenced, the number of followers, and many other technical specifications that engineers can analyze. (A Twitter employee created a map of metadata with explanations in 2010 that you can look at here.)”

It's one more “Thing” for the Internet of Things.
LG LifeBand Touch soon to be available in India
The era of 'smartness' has gripped the world. Begining with the 'smart' phones then to 'smart' TV then to 'smart' eyewear and now 'smart' wristbands have creeped in the market.
LG started selling the Lifeband in the US market last month for USD 150. And it is likely to be available in parts of Asia and Europe in the coming weeks.
Just like a life companion LG LifeBand Touch keeps a track on your workouts and calories burned and syncs it on your devices through an app-LG Fitness app. The figures collected by the band can be sycn on an iPhone, iPad or any Android device.

(Related) How many “Things” are being added to the Internet of Things?
Apple to make 3-5 million iWatch units per month, sales begin October: Nikkei
Apple is preparing to sell its first wearable device this October, aiming to produce 3 million to 5 million smartwatches a month in its initial run, the Nikkei reported on Friday, citing an unidentified parts supplier and sources familiar with the matter.
Specifications are still being finalized for the watch that many believe will be called iWatch, but the devices are likely to sport curved OLED (organic light-emitting diode) displays and sensors that collect health data from blood glucose and calorie consumption to sleep activity, the Japanese news service cited industry sources as saying.

Anyone want to start a car (truck/plane/motorcycle) company?
… Earlier this week, Mr Musk told Tesla shareholders that in order to speed up the pace of adoption of electric cars, Tesla was "playing with doing something fairly significant on this front which would be kind of controversial with respect to Tesla's patents".

Billion is the new million... Is this an indication of a bubble? (Are valuations like these real?)
Uber’s New Eye-popping Valuation
And to think $3.5 billion sounded like a lot.
Uber Inc, the startup known for its fast-growing on-demand car service, said it has raised $1.2 billion in additional capital, driving the company’s new valuation to an eye-popping $18.2 billion.
… Uber’s new net worth is $6.2 billion higher than it was just a month ago, when the company raised money at a roughly $12 billion level. Ten months ago the company was valued at $3.5 billion.
… At $18.2 billion, Uber is worth more than public companies including car-rental services Hertz Global Holdings, Inc. and Avis Budget Group Inc.

Bad move? High risk at best. Is one terabyte enough of a bribe to keep their users? Stay tuned!
Flickr closes doors for Facebook, Google logins
… Yahoo on Thursday announced that logging into Flickr using Facebook and Google accounts will not be possible after June 30. Instead, users will have to login with their Yahoo account or create a Flickr account to continue using the service.
… Flickr gained significance as the most used photo sharing service since it was acquired by Yahoo in 2005 but faded away into the background after the entry of Instagram. However, it started emerging as one of the prominent services last year after Yahoo announced a free storage of 1 TB and unlimited free accounts.

Google Chrome now most popular web browser in the U.S.
Popular internet browser Google Chrome is more popular than most people even realized. According to recently released figures, Google’s search engine has overtaken Microsoft’s Internet Explorer as the most popular internet browser in the United States.
Currently, 31.8 percent of internet users are running Google Chrome which according to a report published by the Adobe Digital Index is up 6 percent on the previous year. Oppositely, Internet Explorer was down 6 percent from the previous year. Despite this drop, Internet Explorer is only narrowly trailing Chrome with a market share of 30.9 percent.
These figures combine both traffic from desktop and mobile devices. This explains why both Chrome and Apple’s very own Safari have grown dramatically over the last few years. With more web browsing occurring on mobile devices through both iOS and Android, it’s no surprise that both web browsers have seen such growth.

For my Website Development students.
Face Your Fears, Become A True SEO Master
… SEO can either make or break a website. We do what we can to teach you, our readers about good SEO practices. However, I’ve always believed that SEO should come secondary to good content. But nevermind me, you should really pay attention to what the industry experts have to say about SEO. Here are 21 tips to help you through the sticky maze that is SEO, face your fears, and become a true SEO master.

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