Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Another example of Russian hacking?  Hey, it sounds better than admitting the government is unable to keep their technology running. 
US Customs computer collapse leaves travellers waiting
A nationwide collapse of the US customs service computer system has left thousands of passengers lined up at airports awaiting clearance to officially enter the country, the authorities and US media said.
   A Customs and Border Protection department spokesman told NBC News that there had been a disruption at several airports and was "taking immediate action to address the technology disruption."

Because it’s important to Facebook! 
Know What Facebook Can See Inside Your Photographs
When you upload any photograph to your Facebook account, they look at the actual content of the photograph and try to determine what objects and scenes are inside the image.  You may not have added any description, yet Facebook can determine what that picture is all about.

Would this scare anyone familiar with guns and teenagers or just those who considered video games the gateway to mass murder? 
Is the take-home message that students should never criticize school personnel if they’ve ever worn a Soviet trench coat, or that they shouldn’t criticize gun control advocates?  Is this what we get when DHS issues lists of “warning signs” or “red flags” that could apply to so many people?  Or was the school right to want a psychiatric evaluation before letting the student back in school?  Would this have been better handled without police involvement? 
Eugene Volokh writes:
From M.V. v. Bd. of Ed. of the Borough of Manville, 2016 WL 7433235, a New Jersey administrative decision that stems from an incident that hit the news in September:
A teacher found a flash drive after school hours in a classroom, which she turned into the main office.  A staff person in the main office reviewed the flash drive.  It revealed satirical cartoon materials entitled Gun Control for Dummies.  It depicts alleged absurdities of gun control bans, specifically, various nationwide school incidents involving school attacks, with the perpetrators considering that the locations of the incidents had gun bans, providing the perpetrators with a degree of security that, “No one here can shoot back.”  The other cartoons had similar messages….
The staff person turned the material over to Ilana Kurtin, one of the school’s guidance counselors.  The staff at the main office or Ms. Kurtin, discovered that the flash drive belonged to [Frank Harvey].  She had previous experience with [Harvey].  She certified she knew him to be a loner, occasionally wore a Soviet trench coat and hat, and had a fascination with war and violent video games.  She related an incident from the previous year where [Harvey] critically commented on the staff’s inability to perform their jobs.
Read more on The Volokh Conspiracy.

Interesting.  Is this a response to all those nice Trump tweets?  (See Saturday’s blog)
With No Warning, House Republicans Vote to Gut Independent Ethics Office
House Republicans, overriding their top leaders, voted on Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail.
The move to effectively kill the Office of Congressional Ethics was not made public until late Monday, when Representative Robert W. Goodlatte, Republican of Virginia and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, announced that the House Republican Conference had approved the change.  There was no advance notice or debate on the measure.

Don’t we have enough trouble keeping our infrastructure maintained?
States Wire Up Roads as Cars Get Smarter
   Transit planners say these so-called smart roads will unlock bigger benefits from self-driving cars, including fewer accidents, faster trips and fuel savings.
So far, the technology is being built into just a few miles of highway in a handful of states, even as smartcars hit the roads.

Is Amazon taking on eBay and Craigslist?  Why start in India? 
You can now sell your old products on Amazon India
   Amazon has launched its "Sell as Individual" service in India, allowing users to sell their used goods.  The pilot program is currently operational in Bangalore.
Though still in the early phase, the move should worry Ebay, Quikr and Olx, some popular platforms in the space that allow individuals to sell their used products.
On its website, Amazon explains that people in Bangalore can list the products they want to sell and the company would handle the packaging and delivery of the product.
The products will be listed on the website, and when someone places an order for it, a representative from Amazon India would visit the seller and collect the product from their doorstep at their preferred time.

My students probably know all of these devices and Apps.  I sure don’t.
   As the popularity of cutting the cord continues to grow, so too do the number of apps and channels that offer a more “traditional” TV experience.
In this article, we’re going to introduce you to eight streaming apps that do all the hard work for you, allowing you to just sit back and relax while some televisual content washes over you.

Useful for programmers?
Whether you are an experienced Python developer, or you are just getting started, learning how to setup a virtual environment is essential for any Python project.  Join me as I cover everything you need to know about the Python virtual environment.

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