Online Education Run Amok?

from Politico Massive open online courses, first envisioned as a way to democratize higher education, have made their way into high schools, but Washington is powerless to stop the flood of personal data about teenage students from flowing to private companies, thanks to loopholes in federal privacy laws. Universities and private companies this fall unveiled a slew of free, open-access online courses to high school students, marketing them as a way for kids to supplement their Advanced Placement coursework or earn a certificate of completion for a college-level class. But when middle and high school students participate in classes with […]

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Hacked vs. Hackers: Game On

from NYTs Paul Kocher, one of the country’s leading cryptographers, says he thinks the explanation for the world’s dismal state of digital security may lie in two charts. One shows the number of airplane deaths per miles flown, which decreased to one-thousandth of what it was in 1945 with the advent of the Federal Aviation Administration in 1958 and stricter security and maintenance protocols. The other, which details the number of new computer security threats, shows the opposite. There has been more than a 10,000-fold increase in the number of new digital threats over the last 12 years. The problem, […]

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We Need To Be Pragmatic About The Principle Of Net Neutrality

from the guardian The composer and aesthete Lord Berners was a famous eccentric who hated sharing railway compartments with strangers and developed a sure-fire way of ensuring that he travelled alone. He would stand at the door of his chosen compartment, maniacally beckoning people in. This being England, no one ever entered. Nowadays, the same effect may be achieved by telling people that you wish to engage them in a discussion about net neutrality. You get the glassy smile, the sideways glance checking the location of the nearest exit, the sudden remembering of things that have to be done at that very […]

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Google’s New Self-driving Cars Won’t Pave The Road To Freedom

from Daily Dot I spend a lot of my life driving. Splitting time between Fort Bragg and the East Bay means that I often spend at least one day a week making the drive from one place to the other, in addition to the driving I do to get around when I’m at Home 1.0 or Home 2.0. I don’t put ridiculous amounts of mileage on my car, but I put on a fair amount—and more than that, I like driving. I like the curvy, beautiful roads that lead me from one home to another, the sense of peace I […]

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Click Here to See If You’re Under Surveillance

from BusinessWeek For more than two years, researchers and rights activists have tracked the proliferation and abuse of computer spyware that can watch people in their homes and intercept their e-mails. Now they’ve built a tool that can help the targets protect themselves. The free, downloadable software, called Detekt, searches computers for the presence of malicious programs that have been built to evade detection. The spyware ranges from government-grade products used by intelligence and police agencies to hacker staples known as RATs—remote administration tools. Detekt, which was developed by security researcher Claudio Guarnieri, is being released in a partnership with advocacy groups Amnesty […]

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