Wednesday, January 20, 2016

I'd flunk my Computer Security students for doing this.
Kelly Jackson Higgins reports:
Midsized companies do a better job protecting their customer information than that of their own employees or their internal intellectual property, a new study found.
Nearly one-third of companies and organizations with 100- to 2,000 employees in the US, Canada, India, Australia, Japan, and Malaysia, say they don’t regularly encrypt their employees’ bank information, and 43% don’t always encrypt human resources files. Nearly half say they don’t routinely encrypt employee health information, according to the Vanson Bourne survey conducted on behalf of security vendor Sophos.
Read more on Dark Reading.

It never hurts to ask. Signing documents you don't understand could be a bit of a problem. Of course, no signature, no probation.
Dana Littlefield reports:
When San Diego defense lawyers returned to court after the start of the new year, many were shocked to learn that their clients were being asked to sign a newly-drafted waiver, allowing police to search cellphones, computers and other types of electronics without first obtaining a warrant.
The one-page document spells out the types of items that would be subject to search: call logs, emails, text messages and social media accounts accessed through a variety of devices — everything from an iPhone to an Xbox.
By signing the waiver, criminal court defendants would also agree to disclose any and all passwords used to access those devices or accounts. Even a fingerprint that unlocks an electronic device would be fair game.
San Diego Superior Court judges began using the waivers just days after a new law took effect in California, requiring police and probation officers to get a search warrant before examining a person’s emails and other forms of “electronic communication.”
Read more on San Diego Union-Tribune.

Do we call this “Law in the Internet Age” or simply e-Law?
Judge says Facebook tagging violates protective orders
You don't have to physically get close to a person or to call and text them to end up violating a protection order. According to Acting Westchester County Supreme Court Justice Susan Capeci, tagging the victim, which sends them a notification, is enough to breach the order and ultimately land the perpetrator in jail. Capeci made the ruling for a case filed against a woman named Maria Gonzalez who was prohibited by law from contacting her sister-in-law. While she didn't blow up the sister-in-law's phone or show up uninvited to her house, she reportedly created a Facebook account and tagged her on some status updates.
… Gonzalez has been charged with second-degree criminal contempt for the status updates, which could land her in prison. Her side tried to argue that she wasn't explicitly banned from contacting Calderon via Facebook. The judge, however, pointed out that Gonzalez was ordered not to contact Calderon via "electronic or any other means."

So what if that's not what they intended, it's still the law!
Privacy Laws Pose New Threat to Free Speech
It was a powerful tool while it lasted. For years, wealthy people the world over could drag critics – including authors, publishers and media outlets – into London courtrooms and browbeat them with libel lawsuits. No matter if the defendants had no connection to England: the courts opened their doors all the same, and granted often dubious defamation awards to “libel tourists” from Europe, Russia and the Middle East. The winners would then collect by presenting the English judgment in foreign courtrooms, including American ones.
Today, the worst of libel tourism is over. Lawmakers moved to stop it after outcries over free expression. But now a new type of muzzling may be on the march in the form of aggressive privacy rulings, which some fear are breeding a new type of censorship tourist.
Now every letter of action [threatening a lawsuit] comes with a privacy and data claim,” said Stephens, during a recent lecture on free speech at Columbia University. He added that those figures are “the tip of the iceberg” since defendants, in the vast majority of cases, will settle in order to avoid enormous legal fees.

We're not going to admit this is impossible until we spend a lot more taxpayer money.
Lawmakers set to unveil bill for encryption commission
A bipartisan pair of lawmakers is set to introduce legislation that would establish a national commission to figure out how police can get at encrypted data without endangering Americans’ privacy.

Of course they did, how could they not? And will someone ask if any State Department emails are ever marked “Classified?” I never marked my telex conversations. They probably don't “Mark” their phone calls either.
Clinton emails contained 'need-to-know' classified info
The secret information on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s personal email was more highly classified than previously understood, according to the intelligence community’s internal watchdog.
In a letter to Capitol Hill obtained by The Hill, Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III wrote that Clinton had highly classified information known as “special access programs” (SAP) on her private server.

Will the addition of Social Media ratings change the rules for TV?
Nielsen Wants to Watch You Talk to Your Facebook Friends About What You Watch on TV
It is a little hard to remember now, but not very long ago, smart people spent a lot of time talking about “social TV” — TV shows that people talked about on Twitter, Facebook and other networks.
More on Twitter, really, because it was relatively easy for Twitter and other companies to see what people were talking about on Twitter, since Twitter is (nearly) completely public. But on Facebook, outsiders can’t see what you’re talking about unless you decide to let them see what you’re talking about.
So the TV industry has spent less time trying to track TV on Facebook, even though it’s much bigger than Twitter.
Now that’s going to change: Nielsen is going to start tracking discussions that people have about TV on Facebook with their family and friends, even if that discussion isn’t marked as “public.” Nielsen still won’t be able to peer into Facebook messages you send directly to your friends, but it will see if you post a message on someone’s feed declaring your love for “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” or “Jessica Jones.”
… At one point a few years ago, the theory was that social media chatter could actually boost TV ratings. And even if it couldn’t, the argument went/evolved, it would be valuable for programmers and advertisers to know which shows generated a lot of online conversation, because … engagement.

Learn to love the machine. Unfortunately, that includes automated lawyers… (Worth reading)
The Automation Paradox
When computers start doing the work of people, the need for people often increases.

I'm showing my ignorance. I've never heard of these guys.
Deezer Raises Big Funding After Icing IPO Plans
Pulling the plug rather quickly on its initial public offering a few months ago doesn’t mean Paris-based music streaming service Deezer has given up raising new cash.
On Wednesday, the company said it has closed a $109 million (€100 million) round led by Access Industries, with additional participation from French telecom Orange.
… Founded in 2007, Deezer has been competing with Swedish rival Spotify for years
… While the latter recently revealed it has more than 20 million paying customers, Deezer only has about 6 million, according to its website and IPO prospectus. Moreover, because of some of Deezer’s bundling deals with telecom carriers, only 3.8 million of them are generating recurring revenue—the rest prepaid upfront but might not have actually used the service.
… Still, in the U.S. at least, it seems the race it narrowing down to two main competitors, with Apple Music and Spotify duking it out following the shutdown of Rdio (Pandora bought its assets) and Tidal’s instability. Just three months after its debut, Apple Music already had 15 million users with 6.5 million of them paying for the service (the others were still in their free trial). Now, six months later, it has 10 million paying subscribers—something Spotify took six years to achieve.

'Tis the season. (Maybe I just like to point out that all politicians preach nonsense.)
Economic Myths
Hillary Clinton: “Of course we want to raise the minimum wage!”
Donald Trump: If we trade with China, “they suck us dry … take everything. We get nothing!”
Bernie Sanders: “Ordinary Americans are working longer hours for lower wages.”

Is this as bad an idea as I think it is?
Read Shakespeare Side-by-Side in a Modern Translation
No Fear Shakespeare (NFS) comes from SparkNotes, a site that offers summaries of classic books (often used by busy high school students). NFS is not a summary, though — it’s a complete re-writing of Shakespeare’s plays in modern language.
These updated versions run side-by-side with the original plays, allowing you to easily switch back and forth and see what an old work translates to modern times.

Shouldn't you be able to do this yourself? (Or have we stopped teaching people how to write?)
Plugin Detects “Weak” Language in Emails – Avoid These Words
… a new Gmail plugin called “Just Not Sorry” identifies the words in your emails before you send them so you can remove them before you send that next communication to a colleague, partner or customer.

Free and useful? (I selected some for my students)
15 Excellent No-Sign Up Websites for Everyday Use

This might help my ESL students.
Quill - Packs of Interactive Writing Lessons
Quill is a free service that puts a new spin on the old writing worksheets that most of us used in middle school. The service offers more than just the writing practice activities, but that is its core feature. There are three activity categories within Quill. Those activities are Quill Proofreader, Quill Grammar, and Quill Writer.
In Quill Proofreader students are shown students passages that have grammatical errors placed in them. Students have to identify and correct the errors in the passages that they read.
Quill Grammar requires students to complete short exercises in which they finish the construction of sentences by inserting the correct words and or punctuation marks.
In Quill Writer activities students work together to construct sentences from a shared word bank.
Applications for Education
You can assign Quill activities to your students through your teacher dashboard. Once you create an account on Quill you can create a class and distribute assignments. Your class will have a code that your students enter when they sign in to use Quill. After creating your class you can start to browse through the pre-made Activity Packs. Each Activity Pack is labeled according to skill type, grade level, and Common Core standards.

Another resource for my website students.
Learn HTML & CSS Through a Free 12 Part Guide
Learn to Code HTML & CSS is a free resource developed by Shay Howe whose resume reveals that he has worked on the user interface for Groupon among other projects. There are twelve text-based lessons for beginners in Learn to Code HTML & CSS. Once you've mastered the beginner lessons you can try your hand at the advanced lessons. The lessons cover everything from building your first web page to building forms and organizing data in tables.

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