Sunday, February 22, 2015

Significant? Perhaps if more courts adopt it.
John Wesley Hall writes:
There must be a search protocol for cell phone searches to prevent general searches. In re Cellular Telephones, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 182165 (D.Kan. December 30, 2014). This is an important opinion, and it’s free online
[From the article:
As the practices of syncing devices and using the cloud become more prevalent, the ability of courts to limit the scope of proposed warrants to places and things for which the government has probable cause to search becomes far more difficult. A warrant for the search of an individual’s cell phone may, in some cases, be practically equivalent to a warrant for the search of the individual’s entire digital presence wherever found. The question then becomes: does a warrant authorizing the search of a cell phone also authorize the search of data, accessible via the cell phone, but not actually stored there?
… The second point to note is that the Court is not requesting a search protocol in order to dictate how the warrant is executed. This Court readily acknowledges that not every search is created equal and not every warrant must include search protocol to comply with the Fourth Amendment. The government is free to determine the best procedures and techniques to use, so long as the government provides notice as to what the procedures are. This notice, in the form of an enumerated search protocol, helps the court to determine if the proposed warrant satisfies the requirements of the Fourth Amendment, that is, whether the search and seizure requested will be governed by sufficient boundaries and limits to ensure the protection of the Fourth Amendment rights of the individual whose property is subject to the warrant.

“You figure it out. We have no clue.”
Fer O’Neil did some comparisons of state laws on the content of notices. His write-up of what he found is well worth reading. Here’s a snippet from it:
The first metric I looked at was the number of states and territories that had some required content of notice. I was a little surprised that 63% (31 of 49 reported) had None. The remaining 8 had an average of 2 between 1 and 11 (the majority had 4-5).
This means that for most states, they have no requirements or recommendations for what content is included in a data breach notification. The content itself is entirely left up to the company sending the notification.
Read more about what his research uncovered on

I wonder if their lawyers said “This is legal” or “This is unethical?”
The Great K-Cup Backlash: What Every Tech Company Should Learn
When it comes to modern technological conveniences, there are a number of things that irritate people above all others: unhelpful error messages, dead batteries, and cumbersome digital rights management (DRM).
A company that puts DRM in place on their products is very clearly telling consumers that their freedoms will be sacrificed so that corporate execs can make more money — and consumers don’t tend to react very well to this message.
Keurig is the most recent company to learn this lesson the hard way.
… with the introduction of the Keurig 2.0, a new step was added: before the machine brews your coffee, it scans the K-cup to make sure that a special code has been printed on it—if it doesn’t see the code, it won’t brew. And who’s the only company who can put that code on the cup? Keurig.
… If you’re familiar with the story of the Keurig DRM, you’ll know that a workaround was found very quickly. Not only is it incredibly easy, but it also makes the DRM guys at Keurig look pretty stupid. All you have to do is tape a used K-cup cover over the sensor so it reads the 2.0-compatible code no matter which cup is in the brewer. Which means you can use the Keurig 2.0 with any cup you want, as long as you’ve used one 2.0 cup and saved the lid.

Clever. (and handy)
LucyBot Eliminates Cross-Language Programming Necessity
Startup LucyBot recently launched with the goal to ease API adoption.
… Through quickly created cookbooks, the LucyBot tool teaches developers how to integrate and utilize APIs. The cookbooks do not replace traditional API documentation; rather, the cookbooks work alongside such documentation. The cookbooks translate API requests into several different languages; therefore, developers can code in a preferred language and the tool translates into the needed language. A number of partner companies are already working towards including LucyBot into developer portals and hope to go live in the next 3 to 6 months.
LucyBot has launched two APIs, one open and one closed. The Request Generator is in open beta and allows a user to embed sample code to execute HTTP requests in many programming languages. The beta is free up to 1000 requests per month. The Single Page App Generator is in closed beta and generates sample code that expands into a fully functional demo. To learn more, visit the API site, or contact the team.

Giggle time!
Hack Education Weekly News
… The Jefferson County School Board, where students protested last year after it said it was going to review the AP US History curriculum to make sure it sufficiently promoted patriotism, now says it that plans no such review.
… An Oklahoma legislative committee voted this week to ban the teaching of AP US History in the state, arguing that the curriculum was un-patriotic. More via NPR. [How are these related? Bob]
… Looks like LAUSD cannot afford one iPad (or computer) for every student and staff after all. Instead, the Superintendent Ramon Cortines said “the L.A. Unified School District will try to provide computers to students when needed for instruction and testing.” [It's a shame that stupidity isn't a crime. Bob]
… The University of Illinois Urbana Champaign issued DMCA takedowns over students’ computer science homework that had been posted to GitHub. The university later backed down, apparently recognizing the importance of open source and open collaboration. More on the story in Inside Higher Ed. [Many (most?) universities don't understand how students use the Internet. Bob]
… “It’ll Be A Lot Harder To Cut Class With This Classroom Facial-Recognition App” says Fast Company in an article that raises zero questions about privacy or ethics but notes the app is “unobtrusive.”
A report finds that “about 80 percent of Michigan charter schools perform below the state average in reading and 84 percent below average in math.” [Strange statistics? Bob]

For all my students, but programmers in particular.
6 Modern Note-Taking Apps to Keep Your Thoughts Organized
Ever have a thought slip away and wish you had written it down? Grab one of these modern note-taking apps, and you’ll be able to jot down a promising idea at the drop of a hat.
For some people, there’s no replacement for pen and paper when it comes to taking notes. However, if you’re open to a more high-tech way to record your thoughts, you might get more mileage from one of the many note-taking apps that are available to download for free from the Windows Store.
Whether you’re taking down shopping lists or writing HTML code, there’s a notepad app out there that will suit your needs perfectly.
Code Writer [Just one example Bob]
As its name suggests, the primary focus of Code Writer is on coding; this is an app firmly in the spirit of the Notepad application, rather than a pen-and-paper notepad. However, it’s perfectly capable as a distraction-free workspace that will let you record your thoughts as simple text on the page, without any embellishments.
However, there are plenty of little touches intended to make writing in computer code as easy as possible. More than twenty templates are available to users, for languages including Python, Java and Ruby. From there, a range of advanced editing tools tailored to individual languages are available to help save a little time and effort on the user’s part.

For my Security students.
10 Best Tools & Resources For Researching Information Security Jobs
Whether you’re trying to make a change to your life as part of a New Year’s resolution, or you’ve come home from your summer break to the fear of returning to work, or you’re just looking to get into an interesting field of employment for the first time, making the step into a new career can be intimidating and difficult.
Naturally, you’ll need to start with research, and that’s where we come in.

For my students. I'm trying to get each class using tools like this. Consider these just a few examples.
9 ways to automate your life with IFTTT
IFTTT's new Do apps -- Do Button, Do Note and Do Camera -- are simple, yet versatile tools to help you automate and simplify the tasks you do everyday. While the apps are well designed and fun to use, they can be a bit overwhelming at first, because there are hundreds of ways to use them.
… Before you use the Do apps, you'll need an IFTTT account, which you can get for free either within the apps or at
Next, activate the channels you want to use by signing into your accounts on each. Channels are the services that are connected to IFTTT and they include Dropbox, Twitter, Google Drive, Instagram, SMS, WeMo, Phillips Hue, Pocket and Fitbit. All told, IFTTT has 169 channels that you can use.

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