Follow by Email

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ariel Garten: Know thyself, with a brain scanner

TEDxYouth@Manchester 2011 - Julian Baggini - Is There A Real You?

How should one approach an effective social media strategy? * Sherilynn Macale

January 30, 2012 in Entrepreneur, Social Media

I can’t help the twinge of irritation I feel when I’m told, “Social media is so easy, a monkey could do it.”

Well, sure it is, in the sense that you can basically be anywhere and have a “presence” regardless of what sort of content you post. But to make that content profitable or return some sort of positive result — that’s where actual business strategy comes in. Encyclopedic research, constant testing, and aggressive networking through these channels, not to mention the ability to quickly and easily adjust to organic change in the social market — it’s all relevant.

On a phone call the other night with an old colleague of mine who remains within the small group of individuals I’ve grown to respect, I was describing a brief and tiny segment of social strategy that I know, through experience, to be both highly profitable and extremely effective. And while I normally respect his opinions on most things — including the odd bit of relationship advice — I found his response to my explanation to be somewhat ignorant.

How should one approach an effective social media strategy? * Sherilynn Macale

E-books: A taxing situation

By Lynn Moore, THE GAZETTE January 30, 2012

MONTREAL - As a book lover, Carole Ramsahoye numbers among the millions of North Americans who own an electronic reader.

As an accountant, she is among the few Quebecers who have noticed that e-book purchases can include 9.5 per cent provincial sales tax while traditional print books do not.

“It’s illogical,” Ramsahoye said. “I’m having a difficult time to accept that e-books should be subject to QST and the paper print version should not be.”

While the federal government charges sales tax on all books, the Quebec government treats traditional books – as in pages inked with characters and bound together – as “zero-rated” for tax purposes.

Another Canadian who realizes that e-books are subject to provincial tax in many, if not all provinces, is Robert Hayashi, head of eBOUND Canada, the recently created digital arm of the Association of Canadian Publishers.

And he shares Ramsahoye’s frustration.

E-books: A taxing situation

Anonymous And The War Over The Internet

Posted: 1/30/12 12:20 PM ET
This article is the first in a two-part series tracing the development of the amorphous online community known as Anonymous, pranksters who have become a force in global affairs.

Late in the afternoon of Jan. 19, the U.S. Department of Justice website vanished from the Internet. Anyone attempting to visit it to report a crime or submit a complaint received a message saying the site was unable to load. More websites disappeared in rapid succession. The Recording Industry Association of America. The Motion Picture Association of America. Universal Music. Warner Brothers. The FBI.

By nightfall, most of the sites had come back online, but the people responsible for the outages had made their point. They'd landed what they hailed as the biggest blow yet in an escalating war for control of the Internet, and in one of their online command centers, "Phoenix" and his associates were celebrating.

Anonymous And The War Over The Internet

Pro-government hactivists deface Al Jazeera coverage of Syrian violence

The Al Jazeera English website was attacked and defaced on January 29 by hackers supporting Syrian president Bashar al-Assad. Targeting the news organization's "Syria Live Blog," which has been providing ongoing coverage of the Arab League's observer mission to Syria and developments in the ongoing unrest in the country, the hacker group calling itself the Syrian Electronic Army posted pro-Assad and pro-Syrian government images to the site.

The relationship of the Syrian Electronic Army to the government itself is unclear. However, the group's domain was registered in May of 2011 in Tartous, Syria, and its site is hosted on servers maintained by the Syrian Computer Society—a group Assad was the head of before assuming Syria's presidency, and which introduced the Internet to Syria in 2001.

Pro-government hactivists deface Al Jazeera coverage of Syrian violence

Reinventing Textbooks: A Hard Course -

Apple has announced ambitious plans to reinvent the textbook market -- something that Amazon tried to do three years ago. While Apple may have better luck, it wants total control over the how the books are sold. The two goals may be difficult to reconcile.

Reinventing Textbooks: A Hard Course -

Skittle Pool by Aurora Don Adams 1973 Commercial

1968 Hot Wheels Commercials

Major Matt Mason commercial ( Mattel 1968 )

Finding Our Way

Recently, I had dinner at a seafood restaurant. Like most seafood restaurants in New England (indeed, most probably around the world), the decoration had a nautical theme. In this case; light houses. A young girl and her grandmother, at another table, was admiring them, with the girl being partially curious about why light houses were painted so:

It took me some effort to be a "know it all" and explain about the role light houses played in coastal navigation. How at night, their lights were often timed to identify each of them, and alert sailing ships of the reefs and sand bars. How, if you could identify one, you knew approximately where you were, and could figure how far from the coast you were by geometry and taking sightings from both the fore and aft of the ship you were on...
I also had learned a bit about the problems of navigating the open sea from both history lessons about the search for a time keeping piece that would function well aboard a ship (the first wind up clocks with free wheels instead of pendulums), and from reading James Clavell's Shogun, in which the "Pilot's log" of a captured Portuguese navigator figured prominently. Latitude, I knew, was calculated by use of a sextant to measure the angle of elevation of charted stars and planets, listed in a celestial log called an Ephemeris. Knowing the latitude of position, knowing direction of travel (via compass) and knowing time elapsed in travel allowed a navigator to plot the Cartesian coordinates on a Mercator map system of charts. This system of navigation was never very precise, and prone to error (failure to account for deviation of magnetic from true north, failure to account for changes in distance scale along latitudes, etc.) but was reliable enough to function for 3 centuries or so...
Of course, orienteering lessons while in the Boy Scouts taught me about magnetic deviation and map reading, but never taught me much about how to use other methods to determine true north, nor what to do when lost amid a forest, concealing land marks. This inadequacy cost me some when I became separated from a hiking group on the Presidential Range in N.H. without a map. Fortunately, following a stream down hill lead me back to one of the main trails...
I knew about geographic survey maps that gave topographic details, but didn't know how to find them until I had a job with the Yankee Atomic Labs that required my fetching them. They are usually available at sporting goods stores, along with state atlases that contain regional topographic maps.
Somewhere along the way, I became interested in private sailing craft, and the skill sets required for solo voyaging. That's when I began to learn about LORAN Sets that used land based radio broadcast signals to triangulate position for both sea and air craft.
This brings us up to the "now" of GPS, and smart phone guidance, using cell tower signal locations to track relative position. We have Mapquest and Google maps, as well as satellite images, to show us the terrain and give us reasonable directions. I have a hand held GPS unit that cost about $40, a Blackberry that cost me $99, but is now about $50, and has a Verizon navigator app. I can down load maps on line..But, i haven't thrown out my compasses, nor my maps, yet...

Newton teacher advertised with babysitting website -

January 24, 2012|By Deirdre Fernandes, Globe Staff

David Ettlinger, the Newton teacher charged last week with possession of child pornography and sexually assaulting a minor and filming it, advertised his babysitting services with a national website.

Ettlinger had an account with, a spokeswoman with the company confirmed Tuesday.

"Sittercity was deeply saddened to learn of this situation," Mary Schwartz, the company's director of public relations, said in an e-mail. "As soon as it was brought to our attention, we terminated Mr. Ettlinger's account and notified anyone who may have had contact with him about the termination."

Ettlinger was arrested as part of a federal investigation into Dreamboard, a Website where subscribers posted and distributed child pornography.

Last week, Ettlinger pleaded not guilty in West Roxbury District Court to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and posing a child in a state of nudity. He also pleaded not guilty in Brighton District Court to related charges of possession of child pornography.

Ettlinger was a teacher at Underwood Elementary School and had been employed by the Newton public schools for 12 years. Newton parents have been stunned by his arrest and the allegations that the popular teacher participated in the child pornography ring.

Newton teacher advertised with babysitting website -

Overhaul of European Data Protection Law backed by powers to impose substantial fines

30 January 2012

The European Commission has published its proposals for the long awaited overhaul of European Data Protection law.

The new General Data Protection Regulation 2012 aims to help businesses by harmonising Data Protection law across the EC and to eliminate the differences in approach currently taken by individual European countries.

However, in introducing these changes, the Commission has taken the opportunity to introduce a more robust data protection regime with a wider scope of application, stricter conditions, additional obligations, and heavier fines and sanctions than has previously applied in the UK.

Overhaul of European Data Protection Law backed by powers to impose substantial fines

Home & Garden | Traditional shower valves may someday be all washed up | Seattle Times Newspaper

Ed the Plumber: Digital tub and shower valves are catching on fast

Scripps Howard News Service

Q: We're remodeling our master bathroom to include a new modern shower stall with all the bells and whistles. My contractor suggested that we go with one of the new type of electronic "digital" shower mixing valves, instead of the traditional manual-type valve. Can you please give me some additional information on these new electronic shower valves?

— Freddy, Florida

A: Digital tub and shower valves are catching on fast. Partly because the products are becoming affordable, and a lot easier to install and operate. Also, because of all the cool things they can do to enhance the bathing experience.

For instance, you can zone off different showerheads and, with the push of a button, change the water direction. Or automatically fill your bathtub to the perfect temperature while you're shaving. Operating controls can also be added outside the shower area, so you can start your shower as soon as you get out of bed, then walk right into a nice hot shower. Bright display screens can show the water temperature and how the water is being controlled.

Bottom line: The gadgetry is wonderful, but just remember that it needs electricity to operate. So in case of a power failure, have a good backup plan so you don't end up "high and dry" in your shower!

Home & Garden | Traditional shower valves may someday be all washed up | Seattle Times Newspaper

Internet cameras to watch presidential elections: Voice of Russia

Jan 12, 2012

Russia’s Central Election Commission is installing web-cameras and computers at all polling stations across the country in a bid to ensure video surveillance at presidential elections to be held on the 4th of March, 2012.

It was Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin who proposed to use cameras to fight against possible falsifications at elections in a response to a wave of protests that followed the December parliamentary elections.

The Ministry of Communications responsible for equipping polling stations with cameras says that right now its representatives are choosing, testing and buying the necessary equipment. The Ministry is expected to spend a total of 12 billion rubles.

Each polling station will be equipped with two cameras and a computer. The pictures will be transmitted from each camera to a dedicated Internet site which can be found through a hyperlink from the Central Elections Commission web site. A total of 200 thousand cameras and 100 thousand computers will be needed for this task. The national telecommunications company Rostelecom will be in charge of installing cameras at the polling stations. The equipment will be tested as early as the 15th of February.

Internet cameras to watch presidential elections: Voice of Russia

English Setter 'Risking Extinction': Top 10 Most Vulnerable British Dog Breeds [SLIDESHOW] - International Business Times

By Ewan Palmer:

January 25, 2012
English Setter 'Risking Extinction': Top 10 Most Vulnerable Breeds [SLIDESHOW]

One of Britain's oldest native dog breeds, the English Setter, has for the first time become at risk of extinction.

The breed only numbered 234 registrations last year, according to Kennel Club registration statistics released today, a 33 percent decline on 2010. There has been a decline of almost two thirds in the number of English Setters today, compared to ten years ago.

A breed is deemed to be at risk of extinction when it numbers less than 300 puppy registrations each year.

Falling significantly below this number, the English Setter is now one of 25 species on the Kennel Club's Native Vulnerable Breeds list.

English Setter 'Risking Extinction': Top 10 Most Vulnerable British Dog Breeds [SLIDESHOW] - International Business Times

Michael Yaremchuk, M.D.: The PIP Affair and Trust in Health Care

Posted: 01/27/2012 5:59 pm

There has been a great deal written recently about the now-banned silicone breast implants made by Poly Implant Prothèse (PIP), a French company which has since closed down. In 2008, French plastic surgeons reported an unusually high rate of rupture -- over five times the expected rate -- for breast implants manufactured by PIP. The high rupture rate prompted French authorities to inspect the PIP manufacturing facility. It was found that PIP substituted industrial grade silicone for medical grade silicone, which led to the closing of PIP's manufacturing facility in the spring of 2010.

Michael Yaremchuk, M.D.: The PIP Affair and Trust in Health Care

Transmedia set to get more credit - Entertainment News, Consumer Electronics Show, Media - Variety

Posted: Tue., Jan. 10, 2012,
It took two years for the Producers Guild of America to approve a transmedia credit. Two years later, it's finally expected to become a fixture on film credits.

For the creative community, that means an official title to recognize storytelling that spans film, TV, videogames, comicbooks, toys, the Internet, mobile -- and new interactive platforms all on display at CES.

Since the PGA started recognizing the role in April 2010, the first credits have already started to appear, with George Stayton getting a transmedia producer title on Paramount and Hasbro's "Transformers" franchise. The credit's also appeared on THQ's "Red Faction" videogame.

But 2012 should prove a watershed year, according to veteran transmedia producer Jeff Gomez, who's been championing the concept for more than a decade. The Canadian Media Fund will add the credit to its projects. And "there will be (another) major studio getting on board very soon," Gomez said.

Transmedia set to get more credit - Entertainment News, Consumer Electronics Show, Media - Variety

-30- "The Best Buy for Your Money In the World"

Doug Engelbart & Ted Nelson come to dinner | HowardRheingold on Blip

Doug Engelbart & Ted Nelson come to dinner | HowardRheingold on Blip

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bill Geist on Gunfight re-enactments

6 challenges for organisations in a non-linear world | SMLXL - Business and Communication Innovation from Alan Moore

January 18th, 2012

We have arrived at the edge of the adaptive range of our industrial world. At the edge, because that world, our world is being overwhelmed by a trilemma of social, organisational and economic complexity. We are in transit from a linear world to a non-linear one. Non-linear because it is for all of us socially, organisationally and economically ambiguous, confusing and worrying. Consequently we are faced with an increasingly pressing and urgent problem, WHAT COMES NEXT? And also we are therefore presented with a design challenge: HOW do we create better societies, more able organisations and, more vibrant and equitable economies relevant to the world we live in today? No Straight Lines presents a new logic/literacy and inspiring plea for a more human centric world that describes an entirely new way for true social, economic and organisational innovation to happen.

In NO Straight Lines: I argue that we now have the possibility to truly transform our world, to be more resilient, to be more relevant to us both personally and collectively, socially cohesive, sustainable, economically vibrant and humane, through the tools, capabilities, language and processes at our fingertips.

The key to unlocking this opportunity, so we can design for transformation is through understanding the interlocking concepts of the six key principles of No Straight Lines, which our research shows are the 6 big challenges that organizations have to navigate to thrive in a non-linear world.

6 challenges for organisations in a non-linear world | SMLXL - Business and Communication Innovation from Alan Moore

Hey, You! Yes, You!

Telstar - The Satellite and the Music

Telstar Satellite

Telstar, Kennedy, and World Gold & Currency Markets

Tomorrow's World - Satellite Television - First Broadcast from Astra - 1989

Network - The Mao Tse Tung Hour Negotiations

Network - We're In A Lot Of Trouble!

The world is a business, Mr. Beale!

It's the Individual that's finished.


The War for the Commonwealth of Information

Author's confession: I am a pirate.. I steal content all the time. Did it before there was an internet to speak of.. Back in the day, I'd make mix tapes by borrowing friend's cassettes, and copying songs via tape to tape boomboxes. Before that, the very first (mono) cassette tape recorder I had, I'd try to record music from the TV, tried to find cords at Radio Shack that would allow me to record from the stereo to the tape machine...
When I worked at Service Merchandise, selling stereos, TVs, VCRs, etc. I would use the equipment to record from LPs to cassette. When I got my first CD player, I made sure I had the leads to plug into my stereo and record to cassette. Then I'd raid the CD collections at the local libraries for music I wanted... After I bought my Compaq Presario, I would burn CDs with playlists from the same sources. I would buy songs off of Napster (after they started charging 99 cents a song) and burn to CD, to have them even after the expiration of the rights to own.. I'd make copies for friends of my CDs. I've taped to VHS TV shows to share with friends...

But, I've never profited by any of this. Never sold anything I've copied, taped or uploaded for money. I won't claim anything is my own product, when it isn't. And I never will...
So, now that that's out of the way.....
Wednesday, Jan. 18th was a landmark day, right? The Internet corporations and it's denizens alike all stood up and said; "Hell, No! We're not going to take it anymore!" when it came to SOPA & PIPA. And that was fine and dandy... But, along comes a tamer version: OPEN. And OPEN may just be tame enough for the public to accept. So, the question is now: What was the 18th of January, anyhow? Was it "mission accomplished"? Or was it just the Boston Tea Party moment, the Lexington and Concord of a larger, longer struggle?
There is something you must fundamentally understand about all media conglomerates. Despite all their talk of supporting capitalism, and fighting for the rights of artists, they are just Venture Capitalists looking to maximize their profits. If they do not own the rights to something, their media will not distribute it for you. The reason they buy the distribution rights to a content property is to turn a profit from it, any way they can.-

There is talk of how it used to be, under the "patronage" system, but even then it was disguised venture capitalism, seeking a non-monetary form of profit; prestige and attention.
What the Media conglomerates truly seek is a form of Andrew Galambos wet dream, that all content is "pay for play", requiring pay walls to access content, but without ability to record and store it. Ask yourself: if your child had to write a report for class, using sources from magazines and books, how expensive would it become if each time he or she had to pay to look up a reference? Who would pay for it, when it became time for the teacher to review the entire classes' reports? With e-books and pay walls, that is possible.
What would it be like, if your credit card was automatically charged for every song you heard on the radio? Every show you watched on TV, above and beyond the cable access fees? This is the world of the Digital Marketplace of Ideas, where every thought becomes a commodity you pay to use.
Of course advertisers have long subsidized programming content. Their 'patronage' allowed you watch and hear content for the price of having to listen to their sales pitches. And their patronage supports web sites, which competes more effectively for your attention with the old Media sources. Which means that the Media conglomerates aren't getting their "fair share" of revenues...
Gold and silver, like other commodities, have an intrinsic value, which is not arbitrary, but is dependent on their scarcity, the quantity of labour bestowed in procuring them, and the value of the capital employed in the mines which produce them.
David Ricardo
What is the intrinsic value of a commodity like information, which can be easily passed from place to place, without loss of the original product? I can share an idea without having to lose it, because it is replicated and transmitted. It's intrinsic value is only increased if an arbitrary barrier is placed upon it. to regulate it. This is the tragedy of Intellectual Property rights.
As Francis Fukuyama noted in his book, The Origins of Political Order, there is no clear demarcation or explanation agreed to as how the concept of individual property rights came about. All we know is that it made economic sense if individuals had the ability to amass property to trade. But, that was physical property. The concept of intellectual property did not arise until the rule of England's Queen Anne, in 1710. At that. it was only intended to apply temporarily...
The other choice is a communal sense of intellectual property, that one may own the concepts that are shared, that one may share them without thought of profit. That an artist is paid for the performance or creation of art, but not for what someone else does with the idea of it. That an egalitarian system of distribution, using media openly and freely as a tool to communicate and educate, is in place...


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Defend our freedom to share (or why SOPA is a bad idea)

Mikko Hypponen: Three types of online attack

Hitler reacts to SOPA.

The Day The LOLcats Died - #SOPA #PIPA Protest Song

Secret Global Internet Copyright Agreement

Thing of it is...: What does the internet mean to you?

by Kat N. Nerdvana


Thing of it is... I joke that I live on the internet. Everyday, I am in awe of it. In awe of the impacts it has, both tiny and huge, on the lives of people everywhere. The internet has changed the world.

I don't have a social life, to speak of. Don't have any phobias about going outside, or anything like that. I like people, get along with most people and can function just fine, in social situations. It doesn't interest me. I don't go to clubs, casinos and stuff like that. Did that when I was younger and am kinda burned out it.

My spare time - when my grandkids aren't around and I'm not on the internet - is spent tinkering with how things work, doing goofy stuff like jumping off balconies for the hell of it... and thinking. I have many interests and think about things a lot. Sometimes, I think about thinking. Kinda weird, I guess... So other than the internet, you could say, I live mostly in my head. Only person in my head though, is me. Just me gets boring. People interest me too and interaction with others enriches our lives.

On the internet, I've 'met' people who share some of the same interests. I don't have to go to a special place, at a particular time or even get dressed, to talk with you. But, let's say I were to go out - everyday - and introduce myself to everyone I met. The chances are very low I'd meet as many people who "get me" on some level, as do here, on the web.

To me, the internet is a fountain of free knowledge, a tool for people to listen and be heard - connect with others from all over the world. Seems corny maybe, but we do touch each others' lives - some more than others and sometimes... And sometimes, in very profound ways.

Thing of it is...: What does the internet mean to you?

SOPA, PIPA Stalled: Meet the OPEN Act | PCWorld

SOPA and PIPA may have been put on hold -- thanks to possibly the most contentious uproar seen on Capitol Hill and in the tech world ever -- but other legislation was introduced this week to combat online piracy.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-California) introduced H.R. 3782, the Online Protection and Enforcement of Digital Trade Act in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, the same day as an Internet protest when a number of high-profile websites such as Wikipedia went dark. Issa says the new bill delivers stronger intellectual property rights for American artists and innovators while protecting the openness of the Internet. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) has introduced the OPEN Act in the U.S. Senate.

OPEN would give oversight to the International Trade Commission (ITC) instead of the Justice Department, focuses on foreign-based websites, includes an appeals process, and would apply only to websites that "willfully" promote copyright violation. SOPA and PIPA, in contrast, would enable content owners to take down an entire website, even if just one page on it carried infringing content, and imposed sanctions after accusations -- not requiring a conviction.

SOPA, PIPA Stalled: Meet the OPEN Act | PCWorld

Kodak was never going to be the Kodak of digital photography | Challengers - CNET News


First, an important point: The fact that Eastman Kodak has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy is no reason to begin talking about this iconic American company in the past tense.

Kodak isn't going out of business. In fact, the whole point of chapter 11 is to help an ailing business avoid death and move forward. I'm still hoping that Kodak will find a way to be viable--even successful--for years to come.

Kodak EasyShare Sport

A current Kodak camera, the EasyShare sport.

(Credit: Kodak)

But will it restore the unique place it held in America's collective consciousness? No, of course not. In 1976, it had 90 percent of the film market and 85 percent of the camera market, according to a Harvard Business School case study cited by Wikipedia. Few companies have every dominated an aspect of everyday life as utterly as Kodak dominated photography--and it did it for decades.

When a venerable, successful company flounders as times change, it's tempting to look back for moments in time when one decision, made differently, would have led to a better outcome. It's obvious that the great shift from film photography to digital photography changed everything for Kodak. Given that the company invented the digital camera, one might leap to the conclusion that it foolishly failed to understand what it had wrought, thereby blowing the chance to be the Kodak of digital photography.

Except it's not that simple. Kodak did comprehend that digital photography was going to be huge. It jumped on the digital-camera bandwagon early. It was one of the top-selling brands in the late 1990s and early this century, when consumers first started to replace their 35mm point-and-shoots with digital models. In a market dominated by Canon, Nikon, Sony and other Japanese brands, it was the only U.S. camera company that managed any real success at all. (HP made digital cameras for a time, but exited the business in 2007.)

Kodak was never going to be the Kodak of digital photography | Challengers - CNET News

Kodak's (EK) Fall Offers A Lesson About The Benefits Of A Free Market -

Posted 01/05/2012 07:02 PM ET

Bankruptcy: News that Eastman Kodak may file for bankruptcy brought a flood of nostalgia for the venerable company. But Kodak's demise underscores the unique strength of our free-market economy — its constant renewal.

Sixty-two years after Kodak was founded, economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized the term "creative destruction" to describe a key function of free market economies.

"New consumers, goods, the new methods of production or transportation, the new markets, the new forms of industrial organization" were, he said, constantly creating new industries and new companies, while destroying old ones.

Now, 70 years after Schumpeter put his finger on this phenomenon, Kodak looks like it will finally surrender to it. At its peak, Kodak employed 145,000 people, dominated the film and photographic paper market, and was deeply embedded in the culture. People talked about "Kodak moments" and sang songs about its film.

But the rapid rise of digital photography destroyed Kodak's market. As a result, the once mighty blue chip company now employs just 19,000, and few growing up today have ever heard of it, much less used one of its products.

Kodak is hardly the first to suffer the consequences of Schumpeter's "perennial gale of creative destruction."

Edison's light bulb and the electric industry it spawned, for example, quickly and completely wiped out what had been a vast and lucrative gas lamp industry.

Kodak's (EK) Fall Offers A Lesson About The Benefits Of A Free Market -

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - - High court avoids online cases

Students vs. schools at stake


PHILADELPHIA — The U.S. Supreme Court has passed up a set of cases for the online age — whether schools may censor students who are off-campus when they create online attacks against school officials and other students.

The court let stand the suspension of a West Virginia high school’s “Queen of Charm,” who created a Web page that suggested another student had a sexually transmitted disease, and invited classmates to comment.

The court also left alone rulings that said schools could not discipline two Pennsylvania students for MySpace parodies of their principals that the students created at home. An appeals court, following 40-year-old case law on student speech, said the posts did not create substantial disruptions at school.

Worcester Telegram & Gazette - - High court avoids online cases

The Son of a 'Kodak Man' Remembers the Good Times and Bad - DailyFinance

Posted 7:15AM 01/21/12

The tent pole of Rochester, N.Y.'s economy for a hundred years -- Eastman Kodak -- has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Once, it was one of the world's most recognized brands, the Kodak yellow film box gracing shelves at every little roadside kiosk where you might stop to gas up on a family vacation or a finding-yourself college trek.

No longer. The film expired long ago, and now it's like the turntable and vinyl -- something for a micro-niche of specialists and fans of retro technology.

But for me and many others, Kodak's mindshare hasn't faded. It's personal. I was born and raised in Rochester; Kodak fed, clothed, housed, and educated me and my three siblings. Great Yellow Mother, indeed.

I lived the kid's Kodak dream. My dad, a 30-plus-year employee, surprised me with a Brownie (actual flashbulbs!) and then the first Instamatic (drop-in cartridges!). We had a Carousel slide projector and Super 8 movie gear. And all our film was developed at Kodak itself -- in just a couple of days! Can you imagine?

As a kid, I'd call my father at work sometimes, and he'd answer, "This is Jacobs." It sounded so professional, and he looked it, too... not a hair out of place, and always with two new suits a year from Bruce Macfarlane at The National's men's department. His picture was on his business card. Printed on Kodak shiny photo paper, of course.

The Son of a 'Kodak Man' Remembers the Good Times and Bad - DailyFinance

Newly Fallen Meteorites Offer Fresh Look At Mars : NPR

January 20, 2012

Scientists have confirmed that rocks collected recently in the Moroccan desert came from the Red Planet. University of Alberta meteorite expert Chris Herd, who has acquired one of the chunks, talks about how scientists analyze space rocks, and whether organic compounds might be found inside.

Newly Fallen Meteorites Offer Fresh Look At Mars : NPR

Spanish judge who charged Pinochet stands trial -

Updated 10:29 a.m., Tuesday, January 17, 2012

MADRID (AP) — The Spanish judge who became an international human rights hero by indicting former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet denied any wrongdoing as he went on trial Tuesday over his handling of a domestic corruption probe in a case that could end his career.

The once high-flying Baltasar Garzon, taking the stand as a criminal defendant at Spain's Supreme Court, is charged with knowingly overstepping his jurisdiction by ordering wiretaps of jailhouse conversations between detainees and their lawyers. Such bugging is allowed specifically in terrorism cases, but in non-terror affairs Spanish law is fuzzier.

"Obviously, the interpretation that I make," Garzon testified, "is that wiretaps can be authorized with a court order and not just in cases of terrorism."

Garzon said that throughout his more than 20-year career as an investigating magistrate at the National Court he has tried to protect detainees' right to a fair defense and "I think that was done" in this case.

The trial launched a grueling judicial ordeal for Garzon, who enjoys superstar status among rights groups for championing cross-border justice but has many political enemies at home.

Next week he faces another, bigger trial for probing right-wing atrocities during the 1936-1939 Spanish civil war.

Spanish judge who charged Pinochet stands trial -

China plans to collect identities of bloggers - World - The Boston Globe

China plans to collect identities of bloggers - World - The Boston Globe

With Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang departed from board, Yahoo seeks a new course - San Jose Mercury News

estimated to be worth $12 billion. For months, the company has been engulfed in rumors that it was interested in cashing out its highly valued stakes in the Asian companies, and Yang was widely perceived as an obstacle because he wanted to keep Yahoo intact.

With Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang departed from board, Yahoo seeks a new course - San Jose Mercury News

Jonathan Powell comes clean over plot to spy on Russians - Home News - UK - The Independent

A former UK government official has admitted Britain was behind a plot to spy on Russians with a device hidden in a fake rock, it emerged today.

Russia made the allegations in January 2006, but they were not publicly accepted by the UK before now.

Jonathan Powell, then prime minister Tony Blair's chief of staff, told a BBC documentary: "The spy rock was embarrassing.

"They had us bang to rights. Clearly they had known about it for some time and had been saving it up for a political purpose."

Six years ago, Russian state television broadcast a film claiming British agents had hidden a sophisticated transmitter inside a fake rock which was left on a Moscow street.

Jonathan Powell comes clean over plot to spy on Russians - Home News - UK - The Independent

BBC News - Leap second decision is postponed

A decision on whether to abolish the leap second - the occasional, extra second added to the world's time - has been deferred.

Experts at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) were unable to reach a consensus, so moved the matter to a meeting in 2015.

The US argued at the meeting that leap seconds were causing problems for communication and navigation systems.

But the UK said that the long-term consequences of losing it were great.

BBC News - Leap second decision is postponed

Indonesian atheist faces jail after Facebook post - Hindustan Times

Agence France-Presse
Jakarta, January 21, 2012
An Indonesian civil servant who declared himself an atheist on Facebook was arrested and is now facing jail for blasphemy after being attacked by an angry mob, police said on Friday. Alexander An, 30, who wrote "God doesn't exist" on his Facebook page, was beaten by a mob of dozens on Wednesday in his hometown in Pulau Punjung, West Sumatra province.

"He is suspected of having blasphemed against Islam," local police chief Chairul Aziz told AFP.

"The man told police investigators that if God really exists and has absolute power, why didn't he prevent bad things from happening in this world."

An said on his Facebook page that he was brought up as a Muslim, like the vast majority in Indonesia, where blasphemy is a punishable crime carrying a maximum five-year prison term.

Indonesian atheist faces jail after Facebook post - Hindustan Times

New numbers on deadly bat disease amplify debate

By ROB CHANEY of the Missoulian | Posted: Saturday, January 21, 2012

New estimates calculate that between 5.7 million and 6.7 million bats have died because of a White Nose Syndrome epidemic in the eastern United States and Canada.

The figure replaces a previous assumption that at least 1 million bats had been killed by the fungal infection. But the new number, and how it was reached, has ratcheted up the debate over how best to protect the flying insectivores.

“Although it’s a really big increase, it wasn’t a surprise to us,” said Ann Froschauer, White Nose Syndrome communications leader with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. “The 1 million number was stated in 2009, and we hadn’t really updated that number for the last three hibernation seasons. We’ve had several years of significant disease spread. So that’s the estimated number of bats killed since winter 2006 to present, not including this winter.”

What that number means is less clear. It was part of congressional testimony that helped justify $4 million for White Nose Syndrome research in the 2012 federal budget. But it hasn’t narrowed the gap between wildlife advocates and cave explorers on the policy question of closing caves to the public.

New numbers on deadly bat disease amplify debate

Megaupload Founder Arrested, Anonymous Retaliates | CIO Today

January 20, 2012 1:39PM
"In the end, Anonymous may be doing us somewhat of a favor, because it is showcasing how vulnerable the country is to this kind of attack," said analyst Rob Enderle after the Megaupload crackdown. "Anonymous is this big scary group we don't know, but its resources are nowhere near the resources of Eastern Europe or China."

New Zealand police on Friday raided homes and businesses tied to the founder of, a file-sharing site U.S. authorities shut down. Police confiscated guns, luxury cars and millions of dollars in cash, according to officials.

Kim Dotcom, also known as Kim Schmitz, along with three Megaupload employees, were busted on Thursday. They are charged with facilitating millions of illegal downloads of music, films and other copyright content. Authorities estimate the theft cost intellectual property holders at least $500 million in revenues.

"What's ironic about this arrest is that it showed how existing laws are adequate to the task -- what the Congress is attempting to do with SOPA they already did before SOPA by shutting down Megaupload," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at Enderle Group. "The shutdown of Megaupload made it look like SOPA was redundant; that all authorities have to do is aggressively enforce the laws that are on the books."

Megaupload Founder Arrested, Anonymous Retaliates | CIO Today

Rocket Radio - an Article by William Gibson

published in 'Rolling Stone' (June 15, 1989)

THE BOY crouches beside a fence in Virginia, listening to Chubby Checker on the Rocket Radio. The fence is iron, very old, unpainted, its uprights shaved down by rain and the steady turning of seasons. The Rocket Radio is red plastic, fastened to the fence with an alligator clip. Chubby Checker sings into the boy's ear through a plastic plug. The wires that connect the plug and the clip to the Rocket Radio are the color his model kits call flesh. The rocket Radio is something he can hide in his palm. His mother says the Rocket Radio is a crystal radio: She says she remebers boys building them before you could buy them, to catch the signals spilling out of the sky. The Rocket radio requires no battery at all. Uses a quarter mile of neighbor's rusting fence for an antenna. Chubby Checker says do the twist. The boy with the Rocket Radio reads a lot of science fiction - very little of which will help to prepare him for the coming realities of the Net. He doesn't even know that Chubby Checker and the Rocket Radio are part of the Net.

ONCE PERFECTED, communication technologies rarely die out entirely; rather, they shrink to fit particular niches in the global info-structure. Crystal radios have been proposed as a means of conveying optimal seedplanting times to isolated agrarian tribes. The mimeograph, one of many recent dinosaurs of the urban office place, still shines with undiminished samizdat potential in the century's backwaters, the late-Victorian answer to desk-top publishing. Banks in uncounted third-world villages still crank the day's totals on black Burroughs adding machines, spooling out yards of faint indigo figures on long, oddly festive curls of paper, while the Soviet Union, not yet sold on throwaway new-tech fun, has become the last reliable source of vacuum tubes. The eight-track-tape format survives in the truck stops of the Deep South, as a medium for country music and spoken-word pornography. The Street finds its own uses for things - uses the manufacturers never imagined. The microcassette recorder, originally intended for on-the-jump executive dictation, becomes the revolutionary medium of magnizdat, allowing the covert spread of suppressed political speeches in Poland and China. The beeper and the cellular telephone become tools in an increasingly competitive market in illicit drugs. Other technological artifacts unexpectedly become means of communication, either through opportunity or necessity. The aerosol can gives birth to the urban graffiti matrix. Soviet rockers press homemade flexi-discs out of used chest X-rays.

THE KID WITH THE ROCKET RADIO gets older. One day he discovers sixty feet of wierdly skinny magnetic tape snarled in a roadside Omtario brush. This is toward the end of the Eight-Track Era. He deduces the existence of the new and exotic cassette formate: this semialien substance, jettisoned in frustration from the smooth hull of some hurtling Vette, settling like newtech angel hair.

Rocket Radio - an Article by William Gibson

Clicking Links Can Auto-Opt You in to Anonymous's Latest DDoS Attacks

Oh, the Places You'll Go at Burning Man!

Monday, January 16, 2012

2011- A year in photos..

The New York Times today published its Year in Pictures. Above, one image from each of its six categories.
Arab Spring: The body of Ahmed Farhan, 30, was cleansed before burial. Security forces in Sitra, Bahrain, killed the man on March 15; 5,000 people attended his funeral. — Andrea Bruce/New York Times.
Nature: A cloud of ash billowed from the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile. The June eruption, its first in decades, prompted the evacuation of 3,500 people. — Claudio Santana/Agence France-Presse
Nation (US): Julie Holzhauer stood among her family’s possessions after they were evicted from their home in Centennial, Colo., on Sept. 15 after falling behind on the rent. Her husband, John Holzhauer, a home building contractor, said he had lost up to 40 percent of his business because of the weak economy. — John Moore/Getty Images
Milestones: The space shuttle Atlantis touched down at Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 21, ending NASA’s 30-year shuttle program. — Sandra Joseph and Kevin O’Connell/NASA
Occupy Wall Street: Police officers led Brandon Watts out of Zuccotti Park in November after they said he threw a battery at officers and took a deputy inspector’s hat. His forehead was bloody after a scuffle with the police. — Change W. Lee
World: Residents looked on at the body of a man killed by gunfire in Abidjan, Ivory Coast. Security forces loyal to the country’s incumbent leader, Laurent Gbagbo, who refused to cede power, fired volleys of gunshots in January, leaving at least four people dead after they cordoned off a section of a neighborhood known to be a stronghold of Mr. Gbagbo’s rival. — Rebecca Blackwell/Associated Press
Select an image to embiggen.

Contrary Brin: Politics Redux: Blue New Hampshire, Transparency and the latest episode of WikiLeaks Mania

Contrary Brin: Politics Redux: Blue New Hampshire, Transparency and the latest episode of WikiLeaks Mania

Telephone History - Switchboards, Exchanges, and Rotary Dialing

Service Lines and Switchboards

In 1877, construction of the first regular telephone line from Boston to Somerville, Massachusetts was completed. By the end of 1880, there were 47,900 telephones in the United States. The following year telephone service between Boston and Providence had been established. Service between New York and Chicago started in 1892, and between New York and Boston in 1894. Transcontinental service by overhead wire was not inaugurated until 1915. The first switchboard was set up in Boston in 1877. On January 17, 1882, Leroy Firman received the first patent for a telephone switchboard.

Telephone History - Switchboards, Exchanges, and Rotary Dialing

PAX's & PABX's - Part 1

Automatic Electric 32A21 PAX telephone switching system.

A Brief History of Communication

The Alternate History of the Telephone

AT&T Archives : Mr. Digit and the Battle of Bubbling Brook

We Learn About The Telephone Pt. 1

State Police DNA techniques unlock Mediterranean secrets - Business - The Boston Globe

By Adrianne Appel


JANUARY 16, 2012

Crime-solving method helps researchers learn about cargo carried on ancient shipwrecks

A Massachusetts archeologist has borrowed crime-solving DNA methods from the State Police to reveal what the ancient Greeks carried in the pointy-bottomed clay pots they stacked in the hulls of ships that sailed the Mediterranean Sea.

Mostly, it wasn’t wine, said Brendan P. Foley of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Foley’s tests of nine jugs, or amphorae, that date back more than 2,200 years found traces of DNA from olive oil on six and from grapes on five, in addition to DNA from herbs, nuts, ginger, and legumes. The amphorae were reused continually by the ancient civilizations, Foley said.

State Police DNA techniques unlock Mediterranean secrets - Business - The Boston Globe

Hulu to launch first original scripted show –

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Hulu will broadcast its first original scripted series next month, a political comedy that will debut during the real-life Republican presidential primary.

The online video service is ramping up its rivalry with Netflix Inc.

Aimed squarely at an audience loyal to cutting edge comedy such as "The Office" and "The Colbert Report," Hulu's new show "Battleground" is a look at the inner workings of a Democratic primary campaign for a U.S. Senate seat in Wisconsin. It was created by J.D. Walsh, an actor who worked for John Kerry during a political campaign.

"We see what J.D. sees in it and we know the audience is there," said Hulu's senior vice president of content, Andy Forsell.

Hulu to launch first original scripted show –

Occupy Foreclosure protestors respond to article

January 16, 2012 06:00PM

The owner of a foreclosed upon Brooklyn home and the Occupy Wall Street protestors who helped relocate a homeless family into it, as part of the Occupy Foreclosure movement, have fired back at the New York Post, which claimed in a story this weekend that the homeless family OWS moved into the home did not stay there often and that the foreclosed upon owner was angry about protesters’ actions. Now, Gothamist reported, the homeless family living in the home, at 702 Vermont Street in East New York, has shot back, explaining that they live in the home and are in contact with the foreclosed upon owner, Wise Azadhi.

“On Dec. 6, I moved into a vacant, Bank of America-foreclosed property with the support of neighbors on Vermont Street because my family — victims of [Mayor] Michael Bloomberg’s housing policies and the big banks’ callous disregard for people — had been homeless for years,” Alfred Carrasquillo told Gothamist in a statement. Carrasquillo added that he has the support of the local community and has spoken with Azadhi and community leaders many times about keeping his own family and Azadhi’s from living on the street. “We all want the same thing: families who need housing living in these vacant houses.”

Occupy Foreclosure protestors respond to article

Single Dad Trying To Take Back Home From Occupy Wall Street Protesters | Fox News

Published January 15, 2012

| New York Post

They’re occupying his home.

Occupy Wall Street protesters announced with great fanfare last month that they moved a homeless family into a “foreclosed” Brooklyn, N.Y., home — even though they knew the house belonged to a struggling single father desperately trying to renegotiate his mortgage, The Post has learned.

“They’re trying to take a house and say the bank is robbing the people because the mortgage is too high — so contact the owner!” fumed Wise Ahadzi, 28, who owns the home at 702 Vermont St. in East New York.

Occupiers “reclaimed” the row house on Dec. 6 and ceremoniously put out the welcome mat for a homeless family.

But Bank of America, which has been in and out of foreclosure proceedings against Ahadzi since 2009, confirmed to The Post that he is still the rightful owner.

Meanwhile, the family that OWS claimed to be putting into the vacant house has not yet permanently moved in. And it turns out the family is not a random victim of the foreclosure crisis, but cast for the part, thanks to their connection to the OWS movement.

Read more:

Single Dad Trying To Take Back Home From Occupy Wall Street Protesters | Fox News

SENIOR POWER… The crime of the 21st century. Category: Columns from The Berkeley Daily Planet

By Helen Rippier Wheeler
Thursday January 12, 2012 - 07:32:00 PM

Many of the nation's fast-growing, elderly population are prime targets for abuse — physical, financial, sexual or emotional. Concern among the elderly and their advocates mounts as the number of seniors soars and more of them live longer. The Cedar Village Retirement Community in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason has opened a long-term care facility to victims of abuse. It is the first elder abuse shelter in Ohio and one of only a half-dozen in the country. All are funded by non-profit groups.

Elder abuse crimes usually fall into 4 main categories:

  • Physical abuse, including assaults, batteries, sexual assaults, false imprisonment and endangerment;
  • Physical neglect by a caregiver, including withholding medical services or hygiene that exposes the elderly person to the risk of serious harm;
  • Psychological (mental) abuse, including making threats or the infliction of emotional harm; and
  • Financial (fiduciary) abuse, which includes theft of such personal items as cash, investments, real property and jewelry.
In slanguage, a fraudulent business scheme or swindle is a scam, often an example of elder abuse. Financial scams targeting seniors have become so prevalent that they are considered "the crime of the 21st century." Financial scams often go unreported; they can be difficult to prosecute and are considered “low-risk” crime.

Wealthy seniors and low-income older adults are at risk of financial abuse, not always by strangers. Seniors are assumed by many to have significant amounts of money sitting in their accounts. Over 90% of all reported elder abuse is committed by a person’s own family members, most often adult children, followed by grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and others. The National Council on Aging and the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement have identified the top scams targeting seniors and ways to protect yourself from them.


SENIOR POWER… The crime of the 21st century. Category: Columns from The Berkeley Daily Planet

Borrowing E-Books, With No Late Fees - WNYC

Monday, December 26, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Did you find that electronic book reader you always wanted under the Christmas tree? Well, if you did, or if you've already been reading with a device like the Kindle or iPad, the New York Public Library wants to show you how you can borrow e-books from its collection.

“Every year, right after the holidays, our staff is inundated with calls from people who need help with their brand new e-readers,” said Lauren Lampasone, digital producer from the Library’s Reference and Research Services. “We also saw a spike earlier this year, when our e-books became compatible with Kindles, and people needed help downloading them.”

Anticipating this demand, the NYPL has launched a new online guide with details on how to download its electronic collection, including e-books, music and videos, to most devices.

Electronic library borrowing works much like the traditional way, where users can reserve and renew items online with their library accounts. But the main difference — and perhaps the biggest draw — is that an e-book simply expires at the end of the borrowing period, and there are no returns needed.

That’s right. No late fees.

Borrowing E-Books, With No Late Fees - WNYC