Saturday, September 13, 2014

Something to grab the attention of my Intro to Computer Security class.
Glyn Moody writes:
Three years ago, Techdirt wrote about how German politician Malte Spitz obtained six months’ worth of basic geolocation data for his mobile phone. He then gave this to the German newspaper Die Zeit, which produced a great visualization of his travels during this time. That showed clearly how much was revealed from such basic data. Since then, of course, metadata has assumed an even greater importance, as it has emerged that the NSA routinely gathers huge quantities of it about innocent citizens. More chillingly, we also know that people are killed purely because of their metadata. But what exactly does metadata show about us? We now have a better idea thanks to the generosity of Ton Siedsma from Holland. He has allowed researchers to access not just the geolocation data of his mobile phone, but all of its metadata:
Read more on TechDirt.

I admit I did not anticipate this argument. If Big Brother is not watching you, you may not feel his love?
The Rise of Data Poverty in America
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Sep 12, 2014
“Data-driven innovations offer enormous opportunities to advance important societal goals. However, to take advantage of these opportunities, individuals must have access to high-quality data about themselves and their communities. If certain groups routinely do not have data collected about them, their problems may be overlooked and their communities held back in spite of progress elsewhere. Given this risk, policymakers should begin a concerted effort to address the “data divide”—the social and economic inequalities that may result from a lack of collection or use of data about individuals or communities.”

Sort of a “Heads up” from a Supreme. We should probably listen.
Lily Hay Newman reports:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor told law students and faculty at Oklahoma City University on Thursday that Americans should be feeling very concerned about the potential for drones to compromise personal privacy.
According to the Wall Street Journal, she said she thinks that as drones become more ubiquitous, they will encroach on physical spaces that have traditionally been respected as private. And she emphasized that citizens should channel their concern into more active involvement in privacy debates nationwide.
Read more on Slate.

A new article by Joel Reidenberg is available on SSRN: “Privacy in Public.”
As government and private companies rapidly expand the infrastructure of surveillance from cameras on every street corner to facial recognition for photographs on social media sites, privacy doctrines built on seclusion are at odds with technological advances. This essay addresses a key conceptual problem in US privacy law identified by Justice Sotomayor in U.S. v. Jones and by Justice Scalia in Kyllo v. U.S.; namely that technological capabilities undermine the meaning of the third-party doctrine and the 4th Amendment’s ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ standard. The essay argues that the conceptual problem derives from the evolution of three stages of development in the public nature of personal information culminating in the ubiquitous transparency of citizens. This ubiquitous transparency destroys any “reasonable expectation of privacy.” The essay then argues that transparency without privacy protection challenges the democratic values of public safety and fair governance. To restore the balance and relocate privacy away from the no longer workable “reasonable expectation” standard, the essay argues for a new normative approach to privacy that would protect observable activity where such activity is not “governance related,” but rather “private regarding.” The essay concludes by showing that this distinction is consistent with the First Amendment and draws on established doctrines in tort law and First Amendment jurisprudence.
You can download the article here.

Something for Student Privacy Day?
Tanya Roscorla reports:
As the legislative session wraps up, student data privacy bills are headed to the books in 20 states.
State policymakers introduced 110 bills on student data privacy in 36 states this session, with 30 of them passing both houses and 24 being signed into law, according to an analysis by the Data Quality Campaign. Four companion bills were not signed into law because they did the same thing that their counterparts did in the other house, and two bills in California are still on the governor’s desk for review.
Read more on Government Technology.

Social is increasing in importance and Microsoft is becoming a real tool for business. Who knew?
Gartner names Microsoft a leader in social software in the workplace
Gartner is a technology research firm and one of their evaluation techniques are "Magic Quadrants." In a study evaluating Enterprise Social Software, they named Microsoft as a 'Leader.' You can see their quadrant for this study below.
… Gartner favors Microsoft because of their integration of components of Office 365 and easy access to features of Exchange, SharePoint, Yammer, and Lync. Microsoft has also shown off a road map for products such as Office 365 which show deeper integration and enhancements. Lastly, viability - the interest and adoption of Microsoft products, such as Office 365, is very high.
Some cautions Gartner has about Microsoft is the change in architecture, which involve unanticipated migrations; a faster pace of innovation than some customers find easy to keep up with; and lastly, a complexity of product bundles that create confusion in choice.
Other leaders in the quadrant include IBM, Jive, Salesforce, and Tibco Software. However, Microsoft is no doubt pleased that they are the most upper-right in the quadrant.
You can read the full study here.

An interesting summary
The Dark Side of Big Data
… GE declares in an online video that the Industrial Internet, a.k.a. the Internet of Things, will bring us “a faster, safer, cleaner, more productive world.
… The immediate concern is that there simply are not enough experts—engineers, Big Data analysts and computer scientists — to cope with the huge amount of data that is rapidly accumulating.
… Much of the historic government data that exists, he pointed out, is inconsistent and incompatible with current databases. “Most of these systems were never designed to release data external to government,” he said, “so you need a bridge between the legacy environment and the data environment.”

Think this will ever happen here?
Libraries may digitize books without permission, EU top court rules
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Sep 12, 2014
Loek Essers - PC World: “European libraries may digitize books and make them available at electronic reading points without first gaining consent of the copyright holder, the highest European Union court ruled Thursday. The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled in a case in which the Technical University of Darmstadt digitized a book published by German publishing house Eugen Ulmer in order to make it available at its electronic reading posts, but refused to license the publisher’s electronic textbooks. Eugen Ulmer sought to prevent the university from digitizing the book and also wanted to prevent users of the library from printing out the book or copying it to a USB stick for use outside the library, the CJEU said in a news release.”

A small percentage of a really big number...
Apple to get 0.15 percent cut of purchase value for every payment made with Apple Pay
… According to The Financial Times, the company is eligible to get a 0.15 percent cut of the purchase value every time a customer uses Apple Pay.
“Bank chief executives fawned about the ‘exceptional customer experience’ and the ‘exciting move’.” The Financial Times reports. “They are also paying hard cash for the privilege of being involved
… That is an unprecedented deal, giving Apple a share of the payments’ economics that rivals such as Google do not get for their services.”
Click here for a list of merchants and apps that have signed up for Apple Pay.

(Related) Posturing for a better deal. They would never turn down payment.
Walmart says it will not join Apple Pay system; rallies behind CurrentC method instead
… Walmart - which has a massive customer base - has decided to rally behind the CurrentC mobile payment method instead.
… Though Walmart representatives have not offered any explanation behind the retailer's decision to support CurrentC mobile payment system rather than Apple Pay, the move is apparently rooted in the fact that the financial incentive to join Current C may be higher than that for Apple Pay.
Moreover, if the testing of CurrentC is successful and the system is widely accepted, it could bring about a fundamental change in the credit and debit card mechanism. The system will essentially allow customers to either load cash into the app or allow the app to withdraw funds directly out of a checking or savings account; without any link to a credit card. As such, Walmart and other CurrentC partners will not have to pay 'swipe' charges to banks.

Tiny ant-sized radio developed by Stanford engineers
A tiny, ant-sized radio has been developed by engineers at Stanford University, which is small enough and cheap enough that it could be used for a wide variety of applications, specifically "Internet of Things".
… All the energy required to power the chip is harvested from background electromagnetic fields, so there's no need for a battery or other power source. That said, if a single AAA battery were connected to provide power, the chip would be able to function for more than 100 years.

For my business majors: I didn't think they were all that good 10 years ago.
The real Italian debate on salting pasta water—not if, but when
It took a 300-page hedge fund report to tell Olive Garden that they had a big problem—there’s no salt in the pasta.
… The report, which was filed by activist hedge fund Starboard, says the chain made a business decision to stop salting its pasta. (Apparently, it enabled them to get an extended warranty on pots.)
“The first step in any pasta recipe is to put water in a big pot and salt it,” wrote Starboard analysts in their report.

For my iPhone toting students. (I select a couple)
Free Apps
MyScript Smart Note ($7.99, now free)
It’s a note-taking app with a focus on handwriting, jotting down notes, equations, drawings and more.
This Is Not A Test is a survival challenge like no other. If you enjoyed any of the Fallout games, The Walking Dead comics or pen-and-paper RPGs you might want to check ths out.

I can't believe this is free every week.
Via The LA Times, “L.A. Unified Supt. John Deasy has filed a public records request seeking emails and other documents involving school board members and nearly two dozen companies including those at the center of the controversial iPad project.”
Meanwhile, the LAUSD Board has voted to destroy its emails after 1 year. Nothing to see here. Move along…
edX launches classes (and college counseling) for high school students. Most of the classes are AP ones, which will be offered for free, but there’s a fee for certificates.
… Almost 12% of Harvard students are enrolled in “Introduction to Computer Science 1” this semester – a record-breaking number.
… “Twenty percent of NCAA athletes admit to participating in fantasy sports leagues with entry fees and cash prizes, according to a survey conducted last year by the NCAA.” That’s against the rules.
… The OECD has released its 2014 report “Education at a Glance” – where 570 pages equals “glance.”

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