Wednesday, October 05, 2016

I’ve reported on ShotSpotter before, but Joe Cadillic wants you to look at the involvement of GE and its implications for everyone’s privacy.  Joe writes:
Soon, spying street lights equipped with ShotSpotter microphones will be in every city and town, that’s because GE lighting and ShotSpotter (SST) are working together to spy on everyone.
Last year, GE and SST announced they’re combining forces to put SST surveillance devices into street lights.
A memorandum of understanding between GE Lighting and SST, Inc., developer of the ShotSpotter crime detection and location suite, lays ground to embedding sophisticated SST technology into GE’s intelligent LED street lights.
Read more on MassPrivateI.

Encryption, the new “gotta have?”
You Can All Finally Encrypt Facebook Messenger, So Do It
Last spring WhatsApp pushed out code adding a new layer of security to a billion users’ apps, creating the largest end-to-end encrypted messaging network in history.  Now WhatsApp’s parent company Facebook has finally given people who use its other massively popular chat app the chance to catch up.

New insulin pump flaws highlight security risks from medical devices
Medical device manufacturer Animas, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, is warning diabetic patients who use its OneTouch Ping insulin pumps about security issues that could allow hackers to deliver unauthorized doses of insulin.
The vulnerabilities were discovered by Jay Radcliffe, a security researcher at Rapid7 who is a Type I diabetic and user of the pump.  The flaws primarily stem from a lack of encryption in the communication between the device's two parts: the insulin pump itself and the meter-remote that monitors blood sugar levels and remotely tells the pump how much insulin to administer.

Strange on many levels.  This was last year, not a decade ago.  The government was looking for “specific information?”  How did they “demand” this support? 
Yahoo secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence, sources say
Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers’ incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter.
The company complied with a classified U.S. government demand, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said three former employees and a fourth person apprised of the events.
Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to an intelligence agency’s request by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time.

I wonder if this would improve my feedback to students?  Can it filter all those words I’d rather not have in writing?
New on LLRX – Yes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has been worth the trouble for faster writing
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Oct 4, 2016
Via LLRX.comYes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking has been worth the trouble for faster writing David H. Rothman writes about the multiple uses of voice recognition software from the perspective of an expert writer, speaker and typist.  Rothman also advises readers on the requisite microphone and boom to enhance the use of voice recognition technology.

Could be a good way to group videos for my students.
How to Make YouTube Playlists with a Google Spreadsheet
A couple of YouTube videos, some simple Google formulas and a Google Spreadsheet – that’s all you need to quickly create a YouTube playlist.  It will be an anonymous playlist, not connected to your YouTube channel, and may be a good way to bunch together multiple videos for easy sharing on WhatsApp, Twitter or an email newsletter.

Reminder to self:
When I read a piece of business writing, whether it’s a proposal, a report, or a simple email, I’m turned off by people who have invested more energy trying to sound smart than in trying to be smart.  Ideally, I’d like to read communications where I don’t notice the writing at all.  The best writing is so transparent that it doesn’t obscure the underlying message.  You can achieve that in your writing by investing in great content and then stripping away anything that detracts from it.
How do you make your content great? Before crafting a single sentence, you determine the purpose and desired outcome of your communication.  You go beyond the facts and information you’re transmitting and push yourself to clarify what you want your audience to think, to feel, and to do after they’ve read your message.

I might have a few students who should enter this contest!
Ladies and gentlemen: it’s time to start your spreadsheets, fine-tune those formulas, and ready yourself for the inaugural Excel World Championship!  That’s right — the world’s favorite spreadsheet software now has a Microsoft-sponsored competition, complete with a grand prize for the overall winner.
Excel World Championship entrants will be tested in several key Excel areas.  They’ll be competing for “a trip to Seattle, USA and a meeting with Excel Product Leads to provide feedback on the next features added to Excel.”  And of course, the title of “Excel World Champion” will be bestowed upon the eventual winner.  Add that to your letterhead!
   Competition Dates and Entry Requirements
If your interest has been sufficiently piqued, take note of the competition start and end dates.
Round 1 “Trials” — October 3 00:00 UTC to October 9 23:59 UTC
Round 2 “Qualifying Heat” — October 12 00:00 UTC to October 21 23:59 UTC
Round 3 “Semi-Finals” — October 26 00:00 UTC to November 2 23:59 UTC
Round 4 “Finals” — November 18 00:00 UTC to November 18 23:59 UTC
The first two rounds are open to everyone.  After round two, all entries will be graded on the criteria detailed in the following section.

Anything to get rid of get jobs for my students.

No comments: