Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Food for thought?
Éloïse Gratton writes:
Last spring I was invited to testify and present with Dr. Avner Levin before the Standing Committee on Access to Information, Privacy and Ethics, House of Commons, in the context of their study conducted on the “Growing Problem of Identity Theft and its Economic Impact“.
I discussed why there are no real incentives for Canadian businesses to protect the personal information of their employees and customers. I also elaborated on the fact that we should have, in Canada, mandatory breach notification.

Call it an “e-Sting?”
U.S. Government Creates Fake Facebook Profile
A special agent working for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) allegedly hijacked a woman’s identity online, and the Department of Justice (DoJ) claims he had the right to do so. The story, as reported by BuzzFeed, centers on Sondra Arquiett, who was known at the time as Sondra Prince.
Arquiett was arrested and accused of being part of a drug trafficking ring. While awaiting trial, DEA special agent Timothy Sinnigen created a Facebook account in the name of Sondra Prince, posted pictures of her and members of her family, and communicated with “at least one wanted fugitive.” This was all done without Arquiett’s knowledge, but the U.S. Government claims she “implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cell phone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in an ongoing criminal investigations [sic].
Facebook’s Community Standards make it clear that, “Claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organization, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebook’s terms.” While Facebook refused to comment on this particular case, a spokesperson stated that “there is no exception to this policy for law enforcement.” Arquiett was eventually sentenced to five years of probation which was terminated earlier this year.

A tool for finding “like thinkers” is not a tool for finding “right thinkers.”
Commentary – How Social Media Leads to a Less Stable World
While social media provides myriad benefits, the advances in connectivity and wealth may come at the expense of the state and the world’s stability, writes Curtis Hougland, CEO of Attentionusa.com, a global social marketing agency.
“James Foley. David Haines. Steven Sotloff. The list of people beheaded by followers of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) keeps growing. The filming of these acts on video and distribution via social media platforms such as Twitter represent a geopolitical trend in which social media has become the new frontline for proxy wars across the globe. While social media does indeed advance connectivity and wealth among people, its proliferation at the same time results in a markedly less stable world. That social media benefits mankind is irrefutable. I have been an evangelist for the power of new media for 20 years. However, technology in the form of globalized communication, transportation and supply chains conspires to make today’s world more complex. Events in any corner of the world now impact the rest of the globe quickly and sharply. Nations are being pulled apart along sectarian seams in Iraq, tribal divisions in Afghanistan, national interests in Ukraine and territorial fences in Gaza. These conflicts portend a quickening of global unrest, confirmed by Foreign Policy magazine’s map of civil protest. The ISIS videos are simply the exposed wire. I believe that over the next century, even great nations will Balkanize — break into smaller nations. One of the principal drivers of this Balkanization is social media.”

(Related) An App for protestors that we all my be using soon.
What Firechat's Success in Hong Kong Means for a Global Internet
Look at pictures of any protest and you’ll see a mix of high and low technology.
… And you’ll hear about one thing more—a piece of software protesters are downloading to their phones. It’s helping them communicate digitally across the miles-long protest site, asking for supplies or reinforcements, and it stays useful even when the Internet is blocked or down. It’s called Firechat.
Firechat is a messaging app. It places users in chatrooms—both large and small, either across the Internet or locally—and allows them to talk with each other. Everything its users say inside it is public. And, crucially, it doesn’t need the Internet to work. It connects users directly to each other through their phone’s wi-fi or Bluetooth.
As my colleague Adrienne LaFrance wrote in June, many see mesh networking as a new, more promising kind of Internet. Mesh networks are more secure and resilient. They’re not as easy to dominate. As such, they seem ideal for disaster and protest situations.
… Eventually, Shalunov hopes to use Firechat’s two-pronged nature—as easy as an app, as resilient as a network—to connect the billions of would-be phone owners who, right now, cannot afford an Internet connection.

No indication of the cost, but four regional centers suggests a rather large investment of taxpayer dollars.
Brittany M. Hughes reports:
The Department of Homeland Security flew drones equipped with video cameras over the United States–away from border and coastal areas–for 1,726 hours from fiscal 2011 through this April, according to the Government Accountability Office.
Read more on CNSNews.

“We're teachers so you should do whatever we say without question. Except for what that teacher says.”
Christopher Placek and Susan Sarkauskas report:
A Batavia High School teacher who advised his students that they had a constitutional right not to fill out a school survey on risky behavior is retiring from his position, officials said.
Social studies teacher John Dryden submitted his letter of resignation to Batavia School District 101 officials Friday, said Superintendent Lisa Hichens.
Read more on Daily Herald. (via @funnymonkey)
I had blogged about this case in May 2013, and feel even more strongly today that we need more teachers like John Dryden who educate students about their constitutional rights and privacy rights. And parents need more teachers like John Dryden in a day and age where tremendous amounts of personal and sensitive information are being collected and possibly shared – and where parents do not know enough to opt their children out where they can. The district may have had good intentions, but the survey in question is extremely problematic and should have had broader discussion with parents and children’s rights advocates before it was distributed.
[From the article:
Then-Superintendent Jack Barshinger said the Fifth Amendment didn't apply because the surveys would have become student records and subject to student privacy laws, and police wouldn't have been able to prosecute based on a survey alone.

For my App programming students! Great idea that can be translated for any venue.
AP reports:
Levi’s Stadium is home to the first mobile app designed to enhance every aspect of a fan’s stadium experience, from steering fans to their parking spots to identifying the least-crowded restrooms. No more waiting in line for a $10 beer and $6 hot dog. During the game, fans can order food and drinks that can be delivered directly to their seats or picked up at express windows. Don’t agree with that call? Use the app to watch instant replays from four camera angles.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he saw the app’s potential as soon as he downloaded it for the 49ers’ Sept. 14 regular-season opener.
“Everybody’s connection to the outside world now really is their phone, so that has to become part of the (game-day) experience,” he said.
Mike Roberts of Martinez, California, appreciated being able to order popcorn from his seat for pickup at an express window with no lines.
“Everyone living around here is pretty tech savvy,” notes Roberts, “so this is the perfect place to try something like this.”
The app will ask fans if they want to order food and drinks at certain times during the game, depending on past behavior patterns. [Behavioral information is kept and analyzed. Bob]
Read more on AP.

Smarter researching.
Use LOC Subject Headings In Google Books Searches
Google Books is one of the under-utilized search tools that I like to share with teachers and students. I offer an overview of how to use it here. Last week I read Daniel Russell's search challenge of the week and learned to use Library of Congress subject headings in my Google Books searches.
In his post Dr. Russell explains that by using LOC subject headings in your Google Books searches you can use fairly generic terms and get results in the context of the subject heading. He gave the example of using the subject heading "World War, 1939-1945" in his search for book content addressing armor in World War II. Once you have your Google Books search results you can use the built-in search refinement tools to identify content published during a range of dates and to find content that is freely available online (not everything returned in a Google Books search is freely available online). Click here for Dr. Russell's full explanation and visuals of the ins and outs of using LOC subject headings in Google Books searches.

Some very interesting numbers. Infographic.
How The Internet Is Making The Whole World Richer
The Internet has revolutionized many businesses. Rather than jumping in the car and driving to a store, we can simply order what we need online. Because of that, a lot more money is changing hands.
The image below breaks down how the Internet is making the world richer. We often think of the web as a place to kill time and learn something new, but it’s quite fascinating to see how it has actually changed the financial state of the world in which we live!

A 20 minute TED talk (easier than his TL;DR book)
Thomas Piketty: New thoughts on capital in the twenty-first century
French economist Thomas Piketty caused a sensation in early 2014 with his book on a simple, brutal formula explaining economic inequality: r > g (meaning that return on capital is generally higher than economic growth). Here, he talks through the massive data set that led him to conclude: Economic inequality is not new, but it is getting worse, with radical possible impacts.

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