An archivist sifting through boxes of former President Bill Clinton’s papers and memorabilia from his time as Arkansas governor found a missing moon rock given to the state 35 years ago.
“It’s sort of a mystery solved,” said Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System.
Roberts said the small rock, along with a plaque and a small Arkansas flag, were found in one of about 2,000 boxes containing the former governor’s papers and memorabilia at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
“Amazon will use its EC2 back end to pre-cache user web browsing, using its fat back-end pipes to grab all the web content at once so the lightweight Fire-based browser has to only download one simple stream from Amazon’s servers. But what this means is that Amazon will capture and control every Web transaction performed by Fire users. Every page they see, every link they follow, every click they make, every ad they see is going to be intermediated by one of the largest server farms on the planet. People who cringe at the privacy and data-mining implications of the Facebook Timeline ought to be just floored by the magnitude of Amazon’s opportunity here.”—
But does Amazon have reason to sell your data, or to sell you stuff?
“There is a fundamental desire in popular government to ensure fair play and equal access, and this requires regulation. There nevertheless remains a perpetual genius for a.) extending the scope of what will count as fair play and equal access (the gradual extension of rights) and b.) discovering ways to cut off persons from a fair share and equal access (new modes of fraud, monopoly, or impinging on the ever expanding notion of right). Both give rise to diverse sorts of regulation to ensure justice and punish crime, and the perpetual genius to extend equality or outwit the system lead to more and more regulation. At some point, the good intentions of the regulators amass to the point that no reasonable person can be expected to make his way through the labyrinth of regulation, and at this point the government is no longer a popular government. Thus the very regulations made to ensure the equal ability of everyone to compete amass to where they become an impediment to the ability of persons to compete.”—
“Facebook has finally done it. It’s just a few updates away now from euthanizing the concept of privacy, already ailing on its network. Timelines and Open Graph, introduced at this week’s f8 conference, sit on either edge of the sword that’s just been run through privacy’s heart. It is finished. It is done.”—
Linked with the last piece. I don’t want this. It will not convince me that sharing this information with Facebook is worth what I’m getting out of it. The bargain isn’t good enough for what I’m giving up.
Why I use(d) social networks
I used Facebook initially to keep track of people from my freshman dorm the next year. I’d avoided getting one all of year long, but it dawned on me that I might lose track of people over the summer. That’s it. That’s the entire reason I got into using Facebook.
Now I also got swept up in a couple Facebook games/apps. But I since removed everything but the tumblr cross posting application. Nothing else. I even started this tumblr blog due to not wanting all my links to articles to be stuck inside Facebook. At this point the you might say that tumblr also is a social platform that tracks my every move. However, there are no ads for other products on it yet. I think that I’ll eventually try to change over to a personally hosted blog at the point where I have more money. That’s a big reason why I’m still on tumblr right now. It’s free. If that changes, or the bargains I make with tumblr change too much I will leave.
I’m worried as well about twitter, but it hasn’t done as much to force a lack of privacy beyond the initial bargain, yet. I tend to use third-party mobile apps to interact with it (tweetbot) and avoid the web interface at nearly any cost. I don’t have location turned on for nearly anything. My cell phone already tells on me, and IP addresses take care of the rest, so theres no reason to make things any easier than they already are.
This Facebook is not what I ever wanted. If I knew then what I do now, I doubt I’d ever have joined Facebook to begin with.
PS. I think this also precludes me from moving over to G+ as well.
“He [Cory Doctorow] also thinks that the way we approach educating children about privacy is flawed. “We have this weird contradiction in our school system where all the grown-ups in the school spend all their time wagging their fingers at kids saying ‘Get off the Facebook, every disclosure you make is something precious that you lose forever ‘ but ‘I’m spying on every click you do, spying on every IM you send, spying on all your Facebook conversations’ just like a parent who has 3 fags in his mouth and says ‘You shouldn’t smoke because it’s bad for you,’” he says.”—
Not good news - though it isn’t news at all. There’s a reason why my Facebook page is so sparse, and why I’ve mostly been shifting away from using it. I’m even thinking I might make a new, private tumblr so that it’s not indexed as easily by google and others.
However, then my friends say they won’t be able to see as much of what I do as they’re immersed in the Facebook regime with no clear way out or strong desire to do so.
Kids are expensive, hitting you up for 18 years or more of food, clothing and healthcare, to say nothing of potential college expenses. As the years go by, they’re only getting more costly. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, each youngster you raise will sap $226,920 out of you by age 18. The figure is up $60,000 from 10 years ago — a 40 percent increase.
The enrollment of new students in graduate programs fell 1.1 percent in 2010, the first such drop since 2003, according to a study being released today by the Council of Graduate Schools.
The total change reflects a modest increase (up 1.5 percent) in new doctoral enrollments, but a drop (down 1.6 percent) in new enrollments in master’s degree and graduate certificate programs.
The traditional pattern in an economic downturn is that poor job prospects send many people back for more education, particularly master’s and graduate certificate programs that may — in a relatively short time frame — provide credentials for better positions. Until this year, that pattern held. The new data from the Council of Graduate Schools, however, point to another impact of a bad economy: In certain fields, people may no longer feel that there is an economic payoff (or a job for that matter) from a master’s degree.
“By winning 8.9 percent of the vote in Sunday’s election in this city-state, these political pirates surpassed — blew away, really — every expectation for what was supposed to be a fringe, one-issue party promoting Internet freedom. The Pirates so outstripped expectations that all 15 candidates on their list won seats — seats are doled out based in part on votes for a party rather than for an individual.”—
This is amazing. You could never get something like this happening in the US these days. But I wish it could in many ways in order to provide a focused political eye on digital issues like intellectual property and privacy.
It was bound to happen. The University of Southern California has introduced a program that studies computer code—not for what it produces, but instead actually examining code through the lens of critical theory. It’s called Critical Code Studies, and it’s one of the most exciting nascent…
So yeah, I was thinking about usernames just now. With the rate of adoption of new technologies being driven mostly by the youth, I just realized that as long as those youths are picking usernames based off of their last name, (i.e. @lastname, or last firstname.lastname@example.org, etc) their parents who will eventually (or not) be dragged along into this bright future will find their most memorable or searchable username/identifiers claimed by their children/cousins/stalkers/comedians. Just a random thought that occurred to me as I glanced at twitter.
Also that thing where young people have multiple accounts to quarantine their friends/parts of themselves, that takes up even more variants than the normal way, also dooming the older generations, or just normal adopters. Not that that’s something I’ve had to deal with much…
Seems like a chance for more lighter fiction, maybe even a bit of the “Light Novel” style that exists and flourishes in Japan for a long while. I find myself interested, but I like to own my stuff. Maybe that’s a part of why I’m attracted to Apple stuff. You just own it (except for maybe the OS).
A 50% failure to reproduce rate? Bias by another name…
The unspoken rule is that at least 50% of the studies published even in top tier academic journals – Science, Nature, Cell, PNAS, etc… – can’t be repeated with the same conclusions by an industrial lab. In particular, key animal models often don’t reproduce. This 50% failure rate isn’t a data free assertion: it’s backed up by dozens of experienced R&D professionals who’ve participated in the (re)testing of academic findings. This is a huge problem for translational research and one that won’t go away until we address it head on.
Well now, that’s not very good — but not surprising. If you follow the reference link once further to the Get Schooled blog, one of the comments by “Disgusted” highlights another reason to be worried about this issue:
At Georgia Perimeter College, it was common knowledge that many students in the Learning Support program were there “just for the check,” a phrase I heard from a number of students to explain their classmates’ sudden disappearance from class meetings. Students enroll, secure financial aid, and attend classes until the financial aid check arrives. They then stop attending and spend the check as they please. Some who receive financial aid, which is to be spent on tuition, fees, and books, never bother to buy books. This abuse is apparently allowed to continue because it inflates the school’s enrollment numbers, which looks great to the Regents. If proprietary schools can raise their admission standards and work to end financial aid abuse, why can’t a state school like GPC do the same? Learning Support remains a huge cash cow for GPC and many other state institutions, with some students taking the same Learning Support class as many as four times. At some point, it has to be obvious that some people would be better off in technical schools or training programs to provide them with the skills to earn a good living. Taxpayers would certainly be better off if schools like GPC stopped admitting students who score so low on entrance exams that they cannot be admitted to regular college classes. Students are duped and taxpayers are cheated. That’s higher education?
So now it’s not just that people are graduating with high student debt and the defaulting, but that some “students” are gaming the system to get their loan checks, and then not attending! Small wonder that they don’t have employable skills at the end of their time at school and have to default.
According to the latest numbers from the Dept. of Education, there was a sizable increase in the percentage of college students who defaulted on their student loans in 2009.
Over all, the student loan default rate went from 7% in FY 2008 to 8.8% in FY 2009. Defaults from students at private colleges jumped from 4% in 2008 to 4.6% a year later, while the default rate for students at public schools increased from 6% to 7.2%. For-profit schools had the highest rate of default and the most dramatic increase, soaring from an already high 11.6% to 15% in a single year.
This is awesome. Fiction really can offer lessons that the creators never really intended. However, in this case it’s because even the creator shared a perspective with this new author, and the franchise has cultural power well above most fiction for its audience.
Two researchers who set up doppelganger domains to mimic legitimate domains belonging to Fortune 500 companies say they managed to vacuum up 20 gigabytes of misaddressed e-mail over six months.
The intercepted correspondence included employee usernames and passwords, sensitive security information about the configuration of corporate network architecture that would be useful to hackers, affidavits and other documents related to litigation in which the companies were embroiled, and trade secrets, such as contracts for business transactions.
“Twenty gigs of data is a lot of data in six months of really doing nothing,” said researcher Peter Kim from the Godai Group. “And nobody knows this is happening.”
There was a recent ruling in a copyright dispute between Swatch (the watchmakers) and Bloomberg that could have troubling implications concerning wiretapping issues. Effectively, it presents a blueprint for how to use copyright law to block otherwise perfectly legal recordings. At issue was that Swatch held an analysts call, as most public companies do regularly. It’s pretty standard for various financial firms to push out transcripts of such calls and to report/analyze them. In this case, Bloomberg recorded the call and offered a transcript to its subscribers. Pretty standard stuff. But… here, Swatch claimed copyright on the call. Why? Because they also recorded it (via a partner company), and since that recording was “fixed,” they could claim that it was covered by copyright, and then sued Bloomberg.
This ruling was on a motion to dismiss from Bloomberg, which the judge rejected, claiming that Swatch properly established that it had a valid copyright in the recording. It also declined to rule on the fair use claim at this point, though one hopes that, at a later stage, the fair use argument gets a stronger hearing.
“The current generation of college students has grown up with the internet and plenty of technology, but surprisingly, that doesn’t mean they know how find the information they need for research papers. A two-year study by the Ethnographic Research in Illinois Academic Libraries Project concludes that students are so used to conducting simple searches on Google that they have a hard time doing more sophisticated research either online or in the library.”—
Interesting. He argues that curation could be a good measure of success, and points out that Groupon, Progressive Insurance and Apple both use this method to keep customers satisfied.
This is interesting as it would then point the way for large service, online and off, corporations to look towards museum curators, or at least those with that experience/background/training for inspiration. And lucky me, that background happens to be Library and Information Science, the archives/curation tracks.
Yeah, about that whole “Real ID” thing for the internet. No thanks. I mean, what are they going to use as proof? Your Social Security number? Yeah, like that will stop hackers from targeting this new database. No thanks.
Three years ago, after the suicide of a popular actress who had been bullied via the Internet, South Korea introduced a radical policy aimed at stamping out online hate. It required contributors to Web portals and other popular sites to use their real names, rather than pseudonyms.
Last month, after a huge security breach, the government said it would abandon the system. Hackers stole 35 million Internet users’ national identification numbers, which they had been required to supply when registering on Web sites to verify their identities.
The South Korean experience shows that “real name” policies are a lousy idea, and privacy threats are only one reason. Online anonymity is essential for political dissidents, whose role has been highlighted in the uprisings in the Arab world, and for corporate whistle-blowers. In the United States, the Supreme Court has found a constitutional basis for protecting anonymity.
Why, then, are the calls for restrictions on Internet anonymity growing?
I almost follow his advice. When it comes to apple news, I do follow one or two big sites, and slashdot. Slashdot produces the most articles, but I just look in there as I feel like it and don’t feel beholden to clear them all out.
I guess the difference in my desktop usage is that I also use Reeder, and just open it when I want to. It doesn’t stay open and I don’t keep a badge of unread articles sitting there in my dock. Most of the feeds I follow are low-volume so that’s not an issue for me. However, if you do find yourself trying to keep clearing out your RSS feeds, then you might want to heed his advice.