Friday, November 21, 2014

FTC Denies AgeCheq's COPPA Rule verifiable parental consent method,

After conducting a public comment period and review of AgeCheq, Inc.’s application for Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule verifiable parental consent method, the FTC has decided deny the company’s application.
Under the COPPA Rule, online sites and services directed at children under 13, and general audience sites or services that knowingly collect, use, or disclose personal information from children under 13, must obtain permission from a child’s parents before collecting personal information from that child. The rule lays out a number of acceptable methods for gaining parental consent, but also includes a provision allowing interested parties to submit new verifiable parental consent methods to the Commission for approval. Approved methods may be used by any company, not just the particular applicant requesting approval of the method.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Flip A Coin With Google App, OK Google!

Among many other things that you can do with the Android devices and Android Lollipop, you can also flip a coin.

Can't decide 49ers or Warriors (it is Warriors, for me) just say OK Google Flip A Coin.

Google App, Gets Material Design - OK Google! | VOIP IP Telephony

Music Manager Asks Youtube To Pull 20,000 Music VIdeos.

Man, after Taylor Swift, everyone one wants a piece of every music. Long time music royalty manager, of Global Music Rights, which holds catalog that includes songs written by John Lennon, the Eagles, Pharrell Williams, Ira Gerswhin and Smokey Robinson, has asked Youtube to pull out as many as 20,000 songs.
GMR has said the YouTube's Music Key does not cover it's client and further more they will go after other music services like Pandora, SoundCloud for the same end, to increase the haul.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

USA Freedom Act Fails In The Senate.

Even as we all watched with fingers crossed type anticipation, The USA Freedom Act or NSA Reform failed to gain 60 votes it needed to succeed. it was 58 to 42.
Given the current situation in the Senate, I guess we will have to hope, with uncrossed fingers next few years.
But in the mean while, horn up you encryption capabilities, encrypt email, and don't call anyone :) for next few years. You will be fine, as any of those senators who voted against would say.

FORM SF 2014 : Design

LetsEncrypt Will Offer Free Encryption Server Certificates, With EFF Support.

I pay a lot for my server certificates else where, but that is because it is enforced to do so. If we had free certificates like Letsencrypt, 5 years ago, world wide web would be a much better place. But it is never too late.

EFF, LetsEncrypt To Offer Free Encryption Server Certificates. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Ultramercial’s Infamous Patent On Advertising On the Internet Invalidated

Patent troll Ultramercial was using absurd patent U.S. Patent 7,346,545 to sue internet companies for showing advertisements before the actual content in 2009. The ensuring years, abstract software patents were challenged in various courts and former Chief Judge Randall Rader, twice found the patent valid. Yes some people take long to learn. It must be pretty easy to pass the bar.
But the Supreme Court was different, it vacated both of these rulings and sent the case back for reconsideration.
Proving common sense is still present, Today, on its third try, the Federal Circuit finally held the patent invalid.
Please read the complete article on FSF, who wrote 4 amicus briefs for the court on the case. 

Chromebook And Google Apps For Education Get Approval For NYC Schools

After getting Google leading the pack in terms of tablets and notebooks sold to K-12 education providers, both domestically some countries like Malayasia, now it is set to expand the ground. Google has been approved to provide Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education to the New York City Department of Education. The NYC CIO has signed on with google, Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education, as part of their approved and supported (from an IT standpoint) tools for this school year. There is  NYC DoE Google Apps for Education Resource Center that helps teachers or anyone in their districts to get started.
This is very good for Google because now it can reach out to another 1 million plus students, in 1,800 schools with approval.
Google also worked hard on their end to ensure that Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education worked, properly by working with OEMs who built Chromebooks to ensure that the devices meet the standard.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Netflix Shutters Public API, And Some Apps WIth It.

Netflix has closed it's public API and a buch of applications with it. But I guess every one knew what was coming as Netflix restricted the access to it's public API, two years ago.

Now only a very few App developers remain as partners and continue to operate their apps with Netflix data. InstantWatcher, CanIStreamIt, Flixster, Fanhattan, Yidio, are some of those.

But apps like A Better Queue, which we wrote up last year as “A way to find movies worth watching on Netflix”, are shutting the doors today. Write’s ABetterQueue’s developer Dave Jachimiak:

Read more at TechCrunch.

Airbnb, Could Get Hosts In Legal Trouble, Learn And Posper

I was reading a post on Engadget that lays out how a Airbnb host could run afoul of laws if not careful. Unknowingly, one could end up owing taxes and get fined in the process.
Read the article "What you need to know about Airbnb's legal challenges".
You can also find out more information by following the Airbnb's website itself, and Airbnb's Public Policy Blog offers updates on initiatives all over the world that impact Airbnb-ers.
But if you are planing to rent out an Airliner like KLM does, you are on your own, go get a bunch of lawyers.


Email Encryption, For Better Or Worse.

EMail Encryption, For Better Or Worse.... For Better of course.

Whether it is avoiding surveillance, keeping the free speech free, or simply keeping the thieves at bay, encryption has helped all of us. Now people are beginning to think how they could encrypt their personal emails, for those same reasons.
Right in time with those thoughts, FSF, Free Software Foundation has published a guide on how to encrypt your email.
 This guide will teach you a basic surveillance self-defense skill: email encryption. Once you've finished, you'll be able to send and receive emails that are coded to make sure a surveillance agent or thief intercepting your email can't read it. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection, an email account, and about half an hour.
 If you think this is for you, please visit and select the preferred language and the platform;
Email Self-Defense

Friday, November 14, 2014

US Navy Testing Laser Weapon System In The Real World.

We always knew that lasers could be used in bringing down the enemy. But now US NAVY is actually using / testing the LaWS, Laser Weapon System in the real world, against small ships, drones and mess up enemy weapons and sensors.
Bloomberg tells us that the amphibious transport ship USS Ponce has been patrolling with a prototype 30-kilowatt-class Laser Weapon System since late August. Perhaps to test the system in the real situation. It is fascinating to watch the video, even if you knew what the LaWS is capable of.

The Laser Weapon System (LaWS) temporarily installed aboard the guided-missile destroyer USS Dewey (DDG 105) (shown here conducting an operational test) in San Diego, Calif., is a technology demonstrator built by the Naval Sea Systems Command from commercial fiber solid state lasers, utilizing combination methods developed at the Naval Research Laboratory.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Philae Lands On Comet But On Uneven Ground, Rosetta Watches.

Philae lander
  • Traveled 6.4 billion km (four billion miles) to reach the comet
  • Journey took 10 years
  • Planning for the journey began 25 years ago
Comet 67P
  • More than four billion years old
  • Mass of 10 billion tonnes
  • Hurtling through space at 18km/s (40,000mph)
  • Shaped like a rubber duck

25 years in the making, and the last 10 years of that in traveling, Rosetta carrying Philae, traveled 4 Billion miles to reach the comet 67P. Yes the feat it self is mind boggling but Philae, did land.
It seems after touching down, Philae rose hundreds of meters above the surface at one stage and remained in flight for nearly two hours. One might say it was airborne, spaceborne as comet has no air.
While Philae was off the surface, the comet will have rotated beneath it. Each rotation takes about 12 hours which means the lander may effectively travelled across one-sixth of the comet's surface. By the time it came down again, the original landing zone - chosen for its relative safety and ideal amount of sunshine - was left far behind. The lander is now in different, undetermined area that may prove far more hazardous.It will receive much less sun than originally expected. But scientists are happy as they already received more data and the mission itself is a huge educational task.