Saturday, January 09, 2016

Sony continues to ignore reality. Do they have no lawyers at all or do they just ignore them?
Sony tries to trademark Let’s Play and pisses off the Internet

Another outfit that doesn't want to look bad. (Too late, OPM. Much too late.)
Shaun Nichols reports:
The US Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – which handles sensitive files on millions of government workers and was thoroughly ransacked by hackers – is withholding thousands of documents from Congress, which is probing the cyber-attack.
This is according to members of the House Committee on Oversight, who took OPM to task for what the panel calls an unwillingness on the part of the agency to provide it with information related to last year’s devastating IT security breach.
Read more on The Register.

This may impact some of my students.
Michael Jackson reports:
The Indian Institute of Management – Ahmedabad (IIM-A) conducted the CAT Exam 2015 last year very successfully on 29th November 2015 and according to the latest news received, some hackers have hacked the official website of IIM-A and released the result of 2015 CAT exams of about 2,00,000 students. Every year, lakhs of students appear for one of most prestigious exam – Common Admission Test to get admitted in the top B-school of India, Indian Institute of Management (IIM).
Read more on The Courier Daily.

Inevitable claim, but hasn't this always been the way with stings?
Defense Lawyers Claim FBI Peddled Child Porn in Dark Web Sting
On Tuesday, Motherboard reported that the FBI had carried out an “unprecedented” hacking campaign, in which the agency targeted at least 1,300 computers that were allegedly used to visit a site hosting child pornography.
While it looks like several of those already charged will plead guilty to online child pornography crimes, one defense team has made the extraordinary step of arguing to have their client's case thrown out completely. Their main argument is that the FBI, in briefly running the child pornography site from its own servers in Virginia, itself distributed an “untold” amount of illegal material.

Nothing is as confusing as lawyerspeak.
Keith Paul Bishop of Allen Matkins writes:
Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution provides that “all people” have an inalienable right of privacy. Does this right extent to corporations? Seemingly it would if corporations are considered “people”. Some might cite the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Citizens United v. FEC, 558 U.S. 310, 394 (U.S. 2010) and argue that the corporations are people. However, the Citizens United decision was concerned with a federal statute and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. More significantly, the Court in Citizens United did not hold that corporations are people.
Those troubled by the idea that corporations may be people too might be cheered by a recent decision by a panel of the California Court of Appeal. Noting that Article I, Section 1 of the California Constitution refers only to “people”, the Court held that corporations do not have a constitutional right of privacy. SCC Acquisitions, Inc. v. Superior Court, 2015 Cal. App. LEXIS 1180 (2015). That was not the end of the Court’s analysis, however. The Court went on to conclude that corporations do have a right of privacy, just not a constitutional right.
Read more on National Law Review.

Interesting. Could I use it to see if my students are understanding my lecture?
Rick Martinez of Robins Kaplan LLP has an article on LegalTech News:
Most people know Facebook and Google can “read” a face and identify the person. Next generation software goes much further: uncovering moods and emotions. Courts and trial counsel alike should consider now the implications of possible courtroom use.
Read more on LegalTech News. [Free registration required Bob]
[From the article:
Attorneys could perfect their message by applying the software to determine which case theme is working or what line of questions clearly is not. Lawyers can capture this potential by using the software on jurors in mock trials and focus groups. So long as these mock jurors consent, the software promises a powerful advantage.

Well, it's a start.
Silicon Valley appears open to helping US spy agencies after terrorism summit
Technology giants appeared to be open to helping the US government combat Islamic State during an extraordinary closed-door summit on Friday that brought together America’s most senior counter-terrorism officials with some of Silicon Valley’s most powerful executives.
The remarkable rendezvous between Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and others and a delegation from the White House revealed a willingness on the part of tech firms to work with the government, and indicated that the Obama administration appears to have concluded it can’t combat terrorists online on its own.
Top officials – including National Security Agency director Michael Rogers, White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and FBI director James Comey – appeared to want to know how they could launch a social media campaign to discredit Isis, a person familiar with the conversation said.
A briefing document sent to tech executives Friday morning in advance of the meeting and shared with the Guardian laid out a wish list from the government delegation, which included America’s most senior spy, director of national intelligence James Clapper.
… In Washington earlier, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters “many of these technology companies that are participating in the meeting today are run by patriotic Americans” and would want to cooperate. [Anyone who does not cooperate is unpatriotic? Bob]

(Related) Not how I would have categorized it, but again at least it is something.
White House sees child porn efforts as model for fighting terrorism

“You will want to do it our way, because otherwise the Internet is visibly slower!”
T-Mobile Confirms It Slows Connections to Video Sites
Though T-Mobile still wants to play games with words, the company has admitted it’s slowing down streams as part of its unlimited video service.
T-Mobile customers who activate the company’s controversial Binge On video service will experience downgraded internet connection speeds when viewing videos on YouTube or other sites that don’t take part in Binge On, a T-Mobile spokesperson confirmed today . They’ll also experience slower speeds when trying to download video files for offline use from websites that do not participate in Binge On, at least until the customer deactivates the service.

Perhaps the government will offer cash (i.e. tax dollar) incentives?
The government says Internet service isn’t expanding fast enough
… A new report from the Federal Communications Commission finds that while providers have done a decent job building out high-speed Internet, as many as 10 percent of Americans — roughly 34 million people — lack access to what the government considers broadband.
As a result, the FCC has concluded that the expansion of broadband isn't happening in a "reasonable and timely" fashion, and the agency says the law calls on the FCC to "take immediate action" to speed things up.
… "Advanced telecommunications capability is not being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion to all Americans," according to an FCC factsheet.
[Find the data here:

(Related) ...because they do such a good job with Privacy.
Laura Hautala reports:
Maybe I’m naive to expect a certain savviness about privacy from the FTC, especially just before it convenes a group of experts in privacy and cybersecurity at a conference in Washington, DC, next week. I certainly didn’t expect the agency to accidentally send out a list of every attendee’s email address. But, it did.
The Federal Trade Commission on Friday sent an email advising participants to show up early to get a seat, and left all the recipients on the list visible to each other. A classic email blunder — using the “cc” function instead of the “bcc” function — in any normal situation, this particular mistake smacked of irony.
Read more on CNET.

Former Qwest CEO Nacchio Awarded $14M in Court Victory
Former Qwest Communications CEO Joseph Nacchio was awarded $14 million in a civil case he brought against a former financial advisor whose testimony years ago helped land Nacchio in jail on insider trading charges.
Although the two cases were unrelated, Nacchio said in an interview with that the jury’s decision in the recent trial in New Jersey left him feeling “vindicated” because the jury believed his testimony despite efforts by defense attorneys to impugn his character.

This will change the view at the beach.
How L’Oreal Built a UV-Measuring Temporary Tattoo
… The beauty company has its own tech incubator, run by L’Oreal tech guru Guive Balooch. His team partnered with sensor-maker MC10 and design firm PCH to create a wearable called the My UV Patch. It attaches directly to your skin and measures UV exposure, relaying the information back to an app. You access the app by scanning the sticker (using NFC or your phone’s camera), which you obviously want to put somewhere the sun will indeed shine. The app gives you information about your UV exposure, using a pattern of blocks of color made of photosensitive dyes that measure your baseline skin tone and change colors when you’re out in the sun, depending on its strength.
You apply it like any other sticker, except this one hangs around a little longer—three to five days, usually.

Charge for free stuff. What a country!
LiberGov Search – US Govt Reports, Documents, News, & Social Media
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 8, 2016
Via James R. Jacobs – “There have been several new subscription databases popping up in the last couple of years which scrape freely available public domain govt information (inc Congressional member & committee sites, members’ social media, news etc) index it and then sell (IMHO exorbitant) subscriptions to libraries and others. [James R. Jacobs] created a google custom search engine that does *almost* the same thing (google doesn’t — or isn’t allowed to — index Facebook so he has not included). Check out the spreadsheet of urls being indexed and let me know if there are any you’d like to add. Also, if you’d like to embed the search in a web page or lib guide, email James off list and he will send you the javascript.”

Just the Science Fiction bits make this interesting to me. – Periodicals, Books, and Authors
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Jan 8, 2016
“The website is intended to provide convenient access to a large quantity of high-quality content material, mostly published over the last 150 years in America and England, including both articles and books, encompassing over one million readable items and titles of another million items not readable due to copyright. Much of this material has never previously been available anywhere on the Internet and should be useful for researchers and intellectual historians.
Q: Why do you include non-readable articles and books?
A: The inclusion of the copyright-excluded material allows users to examine a more nearly complete collection of a given author’s writings, even if many of the particular items themselves are currently unavailable due to copyright. If necessary, many of these other items can often be accessed and read on other websites or content systems, especially in the case of extent publications. Furthermore, there is a chance that at some future point these publications will be released for reading on this website as well.”

For my next Statistics class. Improbable things do happen.
The $800 Million Powerball Jackpot Is A Stat Nerd Dream Come True
… I’ve developed a model that estimates turnout for the Powerball lottery based on the advertised jackpot. Right now, by plugging $800 million into the model, we’d estimate 428 million tickets sold. Based on that data and the probability of a given ticket winning, there’s a 77 percent chance that, based on historical turnout, there’s at least one winner.

For my Data Management class.
Application Data Management's Role in Post-Modern ERP
… In the past, it was difficult to maintain a hybrid architecture due to limitations in integration and master data management (MDM) applications. Inclusion of Big Data sources and data lakes further complicate hybrid implementation strategies.
Fortunately, the ability to connect financial, HR, supply chain, CRM and other systems is far superior and more flexible today than ever before. This innovation allows businesses to source from best-in-class vendors based on customer-specific business requirements. Service-centric industries will center-weight application selection based on finance, HCM and service management, for example, whereas product-centric industries will also need manufacturing, supply chain and PLM systems.

Disk Storage Falling out of Favor in the Data Center: Survey
… Currently, just 1 percent of data centers have gone all-flash, according to the report. Six percent of data centers are using flash for more than half of their storage needs.

Party online with all my relatives? Scary. Now Offers Free Video Conference Calls
Last summer I wrote about how pleased I was with the performance of We continue to use it at MindRocket Media Group for all of our conference call needs. This morning I learned that now offers free video conference calls.
The video conference call feature of allows you to have up to 25 people in your call. You can use your computer's audio or your phone to connect to the call. An attendee list shows you who is in the call and allows you to instantly chat by text with anyone in the call.
… you do have to install the desktop client in order to use the video conference calling feature. The desktop client is available for Mac and Windows users.

Saturday funnies.
Hack Education Weekly News
… Also looking to have his case picked up by the Supreme Court: Taylor Bell, a high school student who claims his first amendment rights were violated when he was suspended for writing a rap song about his school’s coaches.
… “Penn State World Campus is partnering with the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) to offer union members the opportunity to finish their degrees online,” Campus Technology reports.
… Wheaton College announced that it is taking steps to fire tenured professor Larycia Hawkins because of statements she made about Christians and Muslims worshiping the same god.
… Fortune has a special report on business interests behind the Common Core State Standards.
Via The New York Times: “Putting the Heat on Yik Yak After a Killing on Campus.”
… Bill Fitzgerald looks at school directory information and how much can be gleaned from this data, despite the privacy protections that FERPA purports to provide.

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