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+ - US Ed Dept demanding principals censor more 3 3

Toe, The writes: "Education Department officials are threatening school principals with lawsuits if they fail to monitor and curb students’ lunchtime chat and evening Facebook time for expressing ideas and words that are deemed by Washington special-interest groups to be harassment of some students. Under the new interpretation of civil rights laws, principals and their schools are legally liable if they fail to curb “harassment” of students, even if it takes place outside the school, on Facebook or in private conversation among a few youths. When children are concerned, where is the line between protection and censorship?"

Recording the Police 515 515

Bruce Schneier says "I've written a lot on the 'War on Photography,' where normal people are harassed as potential terrorists for taking pictures of things in public. This article is different; it's about recording the police: Allison's predicament is an extreme example of a growing and disturbing trend. As citizens increase their scrutiny of law enforcement officials through technologies such as cell phones..."

How a Leather Cover Crashes the Kindle 280 280

An anonymous reader writes "Amazon has started offering refunds to Kindle owners who own the unlit leather case who claim that it causes their Kindles to reboot, but are playing dumb on the cause: "our engineering team is looking into this." People have been wondering how a leather cover could possibly crash an electronic device, and why is Amazon offering money back if they don't think there's a problem? It seems that some of the folks over at Connectify have figured it out, and it's a doozy!"

The Smartphone That Spies, and Other Surprises 132 132

GMGruman writes "As smartphones become ubiquitous accessories, unexpected consequences can result. In this blog post, InfoWorld's Galen Gruman looks at some of the unintended consequences of mobile technology's ubiquity, in which very useful technology can also raise issues. For example, the US Army has put out a training video to tell troops how to disable the location detection on iPhones and Androids so they can't be tracked when on deployment. That's just one example of the behavior and awareness that most people haven't yet grokked. Others involve cameras, microphones, and USB drives."

Cablegate, the Game 90 90

An anonymous reader writes "Cablegate: The Game is a game where players can read, tag and summarize the recently released US Embassy Cables. Points are awarded for finding the most tags in a cable." I wish this game were extended to more news sources generally — automated scans are nice, but can't (yet) make all the connections humans can.

JPL Scientists Take NASA To the Supreme Court 238 238

CheshireCatCO writes "Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, concerned about background checks now required of federal employees, sued NASA to suspend the checks back in 2007. The case has now worked its way up to the Supreme Court. At stake: whether all federal employees can be forced to undergo open-ended background checks whether or not the employee has exposure to classified or sensitive information. The background checks, which can include interviewing people from employees' pasts such as landlords and teachers, may seek, among other things, sexual histories."

Comment: Restricting Exports ineffective (Score 2, Informative) 470 470

This shouldn't be called an "embargo". They're not preventing anyone else from trading with Japan, only their own nationals, and only rare earths. It's a very very narrowly targetted export ban. The problem is, it can't be effective. Someone else buys a little more in China, sells it to someone else who sells it to someone else who sells it to someone in Japan. It's fungible.

Adapt. Enjoy. Survive.