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Comment If this deal doesn't collapse... (Score 5, Insightful) 71

....we know our privacy is non-existent. That Verizon could continue to talk of a deal after the last Yahoo! breach was amazing. If Verizon continues with an additional *billion* it shows that neither the market nor the establishment can penalise egregious data loss. It's pathetic that they claim bank account information is likely safe, but the combination of personal data _plus security questions and answers_ opens a whole new field. Wow.

Submission + - US releases memo justifying drone strike on American citizen (theverge.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Under orders from a US appeals court, the Obama administration has released a memo justifying the killing of American citizens with a targeted "drone strike." The memo presents a case for killing Anwar al-Awlaki, an al-Qaeda propagandist who was killed in Yemen in 2011. The strike on al-Awlaki has been widely debated since then, especially after a separate attack inadvertently killed al-Awlaki's 16-year-old son Abdulrahman. Now, thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request made by the ACLU and others, it's possible to read both the court's reasoning and the 30-page legal debate on whether he and others could be killed without due process under the CIA's drone program.

Submission + - 9 Signs You Should Jump Ship To A New Job

snydeq writes: Poor teamwork, little experimentation, no clear career path — your employer may be sending unmistakable signals of career stagnation just as many tech workers are enjoying high demand for their services, InfoWorld reports. 'Earning a stable income to endure ongoing tedium isn't everyone's ultimate goal for a career in IT. Unfortunately, that's all some employers have to offer — even if it didn't seem that way when you took the job years ago. Stagnation can mean career death in a competitive field, and if your company isn't offering unique, forward-looking projects, it might be time to hit the road.'

Comment This was me...five years ago (Score 5, Informative) 161

Five years ago my local area ("Parish" in the UK) asked for my help. I realise the question is about a 'platform' but really do have to side with the process people here. I developed a site on Textpattern, and editable at the back-end. Three main things happened:
  1. 1. The design was critiqued by committee...move this picture here; have links this colour; can we have this scrolling etc. Indeed I was asked by separate members of the committee to do contradictory things!
  2. 2. The content became my responsibility: I was handed paper photos; old documents and asked to get them online. The few things I was emailed were in Word documents and when I tidied them up I was challenged about why my fonts had been lost
  3. 3. Whenever someone saw something on another website, they wanted it on ours: picture scrollers, Flash animations, user accounts, personalisation, weather forecasts you name it!

Since, in a gig like this, you can never enforce your own conditions (like saying you won't amend the design on every whim) you have to let the tools enforce this for you.

If I was ever to try this again I would opt for an easily user-editable, hosted solution. Wordpress will be ideal: http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2012/11/14/wordpress-for-cities/ You can cast your role as advising them on how to run it: information architecture; doing the limited number of graphics and showing people how to use the editor. Your role is not to continually re-design (just customise the template), nor to populate the whole thing. You'll also not have to put up with a 2am phone call from the Mayor to say your site is flagged as having malware and is littered with anti-city comments. Wordpress will deal with that for you.

I have used Drupal (and CiviCRM) for other sites and they are phenomenal tools...I just think for a 6,000 grouping they are overkill. And remember if the city wants personalisation, user accounts, billing, consultations etc. online then they really should be paying for someone to develop it for them (perhaps using those tools).

Hosted Wordpress will also help you see whether they are ready to run their own online affairs.


Smartphones Patented — Just About Everyone Sued 1 Minute Later 407

This week the US Patent and Trademark Office issued a surprisingly (although I guess it shouldn't be) broad patent for a "mobile entertainment and communication device". Upon closer inspection you may notice that it pretty much outlines the ubiquitous smartphone concept. "It's a patent for a mobile phone with removable storage, an internet connection, a camera and the ability to download audio or video files. The patent holding firm who has the rights to this patent wasted no time at all. At 12:01am Tuesday morning, it filed three separate lawsuits against just about everyone you can think of, including Apple, Nokia, RIM, Sprint, ATT, HP, Motorola, Helio, HTC, Sony Ericsson, UTStarcomm, Samsung and a bunch of others. Amusingly, the company actually first filed the lawsuits on Monday, but realized it was jumping the gun and pulled them, only to refile just past the stroke of midnight. "
The Courts

Submission + - All people in UK should have DNA recorded: Judge (bbc.co.uk) 1

ChiefGeneralManager writes: Lord Justice Sedley, a UK appeal court Judge has proposed that the all people in the UK (inlcuding visitors) should have their DNA recorded on the national database. Sedley's argument is that the current database is 'indefensible' because it contains a hotch-potch mix of people, including children and those who've been in contact with the police. His view is we should make it compulsory for all DNA to be recorded to remove this anomaly. The UK Information Commissioner has expressed some concerns, but not dismissed the idea outright. Yet.

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