Saturday, December 12, 2015

This does not instill confidence.
Danielle Nerman reports:
The president of the Privacy and Access Council of Canada says it’s not just individuals and small businesses who are shelling out to hackers who infect their computers with viruses.
“Police departments and law firms are very, very attractive targets and they pay quite often,” said Sharon Polsky, a Calgary data protection and privacy expert.
“If it’s worth it to them to regain control of their information, absolutely they’re going to pay it,” she said

Life will be so much simpler when we have eliminated the need for employees.
More than half of in-house legal counsel report that their companies are increasing spending on cybersecurity, while one-third state that their companies have experienced a data breach, according to a new report from the Washington, DC-based Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) Foundation.
The report will cost you $475 (yeah, right, I’ll pass), but you can download the key findings from ACC, here.

(Related) Might be fun for my Grad students to try answering...
Case Study: Should He Be Fired for That Facebook Post?
This fictionalized case study will appear in a forthcoming issue of Harvard Business Review, along with commentary from experts and readers. If you’d like your comment to be considered for publication, please be sure to include your full name, company or university affiliation, and email address.

How to get out of jury duty?
Rafael Olmeda reports:
Jurors who raised concerns about the availability of their personal information prompted a mistrial in a Broward murder case earlier this week.
Jeffrey Chidsey, 30, was about to go on trial Wednesday for second-degree murder in the 2009 shooting death of Cameron Fritzson outside a Davie pool hall. But one of the jurors had a question that would prove to derail the proceedings.
Read more on The Sun Sentinel.
[From the article:
The first juror's concern was rare, according to the State Attorney's Office, the defense, and experts on identity theft. While an enterprising identity thief could conceivably mine all kinds of public records for information, national expert Rob Douglas said he had never heard of juror information being exploited in such a way.
"A very determined person could do it, but does it happen on a regular basis? No, not at all," said Douglas, who runs the Colorado-based website

You can't cave in every time. Where would you draw the line?
Turkey fines Twitter for refusing to take down content
Turkey has fined Twitter for failing to take down a piece of content, Reuters reported on Friday.
A Turkish official told the wire service that the country's communications regulator had fined the social media platform the equivalent of $51,000 for failing to remove content it claims is associated with "terrorist propaganda."
A person briefed on the matter said that the dispute between Turkey and Twitter was over an account of a political protest critical of the Turkish government.

Perhaps there is no sense of urgency. After all, there are 18,762 airports in the US. (See:
Study cites 327 'close encounters' between drones and planes
There were 327 "close encounters" between drones and airplanes between December 2013 and September 2015, according to a new study released on Friday.
The study, conducted by The Center for the Study of the Drone at Bard College, found that 327 of 921 incidents involving drones and commercial flights were close enough to be considered near-collisions, while 594 were better classified as just sightings.
… The FAA has been in the process of developing rules for commercial drones for the better part of three years.

(Related) I suppose there will be all manner of “solutions” to the drone problem.
Tokyo's Answer To Rogue Drones? Its Own Net-Wielding Police Drone
… The issue of drones penetrating government security garnered attention in Japan last April–a small amount of radioactive soil from the Fukushima Prefecture was flown by a drone onto the roof of the prime minister’s office. Needless to say, the Japanese government was not pleased.
The new drone will have six propellers and a 3-by-2-meter net, according to the Asahi Shimbun, and will be used by the unit in the Tokyo Metropolitan Police in charge of patrolling the Imperial Palace, the prime minister’s building, and the Diet building, among other critical locations.

The next big thing?
Elon Musk and Other Tech Titans Create Company to Develop Artificial Intelligence
… In recent years the field of artificial intelligence has shifted from being an obscure, dead-end backwater of computer science to one of the defining technologies of the time. Faster computers, the availability of large data sets, and corporate sponsorship have developed the technology to a point where it powers Google’s web search systems, helps Facebook Inc. understand pictures, lets Tesla’s cars drive themselves autonomously on highways, and allowed IBM to beat expert humans at the game show “Jeopardy!”

I have students who read. One or two. This could become useful as they add a bit more.
CommonLit - Search for Thematic Discussion Questions Paired With Interesting Texts
Almost one year ago I wrote about a new organization called CommonLit that was developing a database of short fiction and nonfiction texts paired with discussion questions. At the time you could only find texts by browsing through the database. Now you can actually search through CommonLit on their search page. Enter a word or term on the search page to find texts with paired questions related to your term. You can then filter your results by grade level, theme, and genre.
The discussion questions on CommonLit aren't your typical "how does the author use foreshadowing?" kind of questions. Rather the discussion questions deal with larger themes like "how do we define the roles of men and women?" and "why do people follow the crowd?"
Applications for Education
Commonlit's thematic questions could be quite helpful in getting students interested in reading. I've always found that if I can get students engrossed in a conversation around a big question, I then have a much easier time getting them to read materials related to the conversation. My students tend to want to read so that they can find more ideas to bring into their arguments in the classroom conversation.

For my student Twits
How To Use Twitter Without Screwing Up
… Whether you’re just looking to better understand the social network, or hoping to avoid embarrassing yourself on social media, keeping these five things in mind can go a long way.

This is the kind of question we should be asking our students every few months.
Which Search Engine Should You Be Using Today?
Though Google is still considered top dog in the search engine world, plenty of alternative search providers vie for your traffic and usage.
Everyone jokes about how Bing is just a Google impostor and that Yahoo! is abandoned, but it’s time to move past the stereotypes and see what these search engines can really do. Let’s compare the features of the biggest ones and see which ones are best for what and for whom.

An incentive to upgrade to Windows 10?
Microsoft gives Windows 10 users 10 free, full music albums for the holidays
Microsoft has a Groove-y gift for music fans rocking Windows 10 in the United States. The company has chosen ten albums from 2015 to offer free of charge via the Windows Store.
… Each album is offered separately, which means if you want all 10 you’ll have to redeem the free offers one-by-one. Any albums you redeem in the Windows Store are immediately downloaded to your PC via the Windows 10 Groove app.

It must be Saturday. Look what came in my RSS reader!
Hack Education Weekly News
… The Senate approved the renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – the Every Student Succeeds Act, which will replace No Child Left Behind. President Obama signed the bill on Thursday. Computer science is now considered part of a “well-rounded education,” according to the new law.
… “More than 100 students involved in a sexting scandal at a southern Colorado high school will not face criminal charges,” says the Fremont County DA.
… According to Phil Hill, the University of Phoenix is ditching its “homegrown” LMS platform and adopting Blackboard Learn Ultra. [We just installed a new one we created. Does nothing the cheap ones don't do. Bob]

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