Friday, July 14, 2017

What is on your phone; what is in the cloud?
Border Patrol Says It’s Barred From Searching Cloud Data on Phones
U.S. border officers aren't allowed to look at any data stored only in the "cloud" — including social media data — when they search U.S. travelers' phones, Customs and Border Protection acknowledged in a letter obtained Wednesday by NBC News.
The letter (PDF), sent in response to inquiries by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and verified by Wyden's office, not only states that CBP doesn't search data stored only with remote cloud services, but also — apparently for the first time — declares that it doesn't have that authority in the first place.  
   Travelers don't even have to unlock their devices or hand over their passwords when asked — but if they refuse, officers can "detain" the phone, McAleenan wrote.
Homeland Security has published numerous documents (PDF) detailing what it touts as its progress in decoding password and PIN protection on most devices.  

Because they ain’t like us? 
Exclusive: U.S. asks nations to provide more traveler data or face sanctions
The U.S. State Department will require all nations to provide extensive data to help it vet visa applicants and determine whether a traveler poses a terrorist threat, according to a cable obtained by Reuters.
Countries that fail to comply with the new protocols or take steps to do so within 50 days could face travel sanctions.
   The memo lays out a series of standards the United States will require of other countries, including that they issue, or have active plans to issue, electronic passports and regularly report lost and stolen passports to INTERPOL.
It also directs nations to provide "any other identity information" requested by Washington for U.S. visa applicants, including biometric or biographic details.
The cable sets out requirements for countries to provide data on individuals it knows or has grounds to believe are terrorists as well as criminal record information.
Further, countries are asked not to block the transfer of information about U.S.-bound travelers to the U.S. government and not to designate people for travel watchlists based solely on their political or religious beliefs.
   The cable can be read here: (

Clearly, the legal profession is doomed! 
Free robot lawyer helps low-income people tackle more than 1,000 legal issues
Noted legal aid chatbot DoNotPay just announced a massive expansion, which will help users tackle issues in 1,000 legal areas entirely for free.  The new features, which launched on Wednesday, cover consumer and workplace rights, and will be available in all 50 states and the UK. 
While the bot will still help drivers contest parking tickets and refugees apply for asylum, the service will now also help those who want to report harassment in the workplace or who simply want a refund on a busted toaster.
Through DoNotPay, a user has a simple, instant message-like conversation with a bot by typing their issue in their own words.  Even colorful complaints like, "My airline screwed me" will be registered by the system.
Then, a virtual lawyer decides how to best help a user based on their answers to a series of questions.
   DoNotPay can also connect users to outside aid, like a nonprofit that provides pro bono representation or avenues for action in more serious cases.

More Than 40 Examples of Classroom & School Blogs
One of the best ways to learn about using blogs in school is to see how others are doing it.  That's why a few years ago I put together a survey and asked for teachers to share examples from their own blogs.  The slides below feature more than 40 examples of classroom blogs.

This may allow me to put all my handouts into a single book!  Chrome only, so far.
Try Book Creator In Chrome to Create Multimedia Books
Book Creator is a one of the most popular iPad apps in schools.  It's a fantastic app for creating multimedia stories.  Now that platform is available in a web version too.
The Book Creator web version is currently in beta and open for teachers to use.  Book Creator's web version supports creating multimedia books containing videos, images, drawings, and text.  To create a book on Book Creator's web app just sign and choose a layout for your book.  There are comic book layouts as well as traditional book layouts.  After you have selected a layout for your book's pages you can add pictures and videos by either uploading them or by using your webcam.  You can add text and drawings by using the drawing and typing tools built into Book Creator.  Your completed book can be saved as a ePub or published online with a private Book Creator link.
Learn more about Book Creator's web app in the video below.

Speeding up research for my students.  Chrome only for now, Firefox soon.
Browser extension locates books and ebooks from your local library
by on
Library Extension – “The #1 Browser Extension that lets you instantly see book and e-book availability from your local library.  Easily see what titles are available at your local library as you browse for books!  As you browse books and e-books, the Library Extension can check your library’s online catalog and display the availability of that item on the same page.  If the book is available at your library, you’ll know instantly – and have a quick, convenient link to reserve the title.”

A slight misunderstanding.

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