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Submission + - Another Computer Outage Grounds Delta flights worldwide (ajc.com)

McGruber writes: Another computer systems outage has hit Delta airlines. At 7:15 PM EST, the airline tweeted: "We’re experiencing technical issues impacting the operation. Our technical teams are working to resolve this as quickly as possible to minimize the impact to our customers. We apologize for any inconvenience our customers may experience.” (http://www.ajc.com/news/local/delta-flights-delayed-due-computer-outage/qne9X06ckFMYVV8XZe8HEI/)

In September, the airline reported that an August 2016 computer outage caused the cancellation of more than 2,300 flights took a $150 million toll on the company’s financial performance. (http://www.ajc.com/business/delta-outage-took-150-million-toll-airline/q5sM5cxMtcnIHYcEP6hdgM/)

Submission + - Ask /. Should I sign permission slip so my kid can use Google Apps at school? (google.com)

McGruber writes: My childrens' public elementary school recently acquired 100 Chromebooks and is using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) [https://www.google.com/edu/products/productivity-tools/]. As part of the rollout, the school emailed this to parents:

[School] now has over 100 ChromeBooks that teachers can use in their classrooms for a variety of purposes. Teachers and students will have access to Google Apps for Education (GAFE) as a tool for learning, creativity, and critical thinking. In preparation for the roll-out of this great resource, we ask all parents to give permission for classroom instructional use. Please take a moment and complete the form sent home last week in the Friday Folder and return it to your child's teacher.

The permission slip asks us to sign-away some of the protections provided by the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). It says:
---------------------------
COPPA applies to commercial companies and limits their ability to collect personal information from children under 13. This permission form allows the school to act as an agent for parents in the collection of information within the school context. The school's use of student information is solely for education purposes.

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) FERPA protects the privacy of student education records and gives parents the rights to review student records. Signing this form acknowledges that some student records, such as portfolios of student work with teacher feedback, may be stored in a student’s GAFE accounts on Google servers.
---------------------------

Should we, the parents, sign this form? If not, how do we explain to the school leadership why we declined to grant permission?

Comment Re:Uber + Autonomous vehicles = Dumb (Score 2) 151

Uber getting involved in autonomous cars makes absolutely zero business sense. Their entire business model is based on an asset-light utilization of vehicles owned by the people that drive for them. They are basically a middle-man matching and scheduling taxi service.

Uber is a software middleman dependent on utilizing vehicles and smartphones owned by others. Once the smartphone and (autonomous) vehicles start being produced by the same companies (Alphabet, Apple, etc), then there is no more need for Uber -- ridesharing is trivial compared to autonomous vehicies

So Uber eneeds to look like its developing autonomous vehicles in order to keep the hype up prior to its IPO.

Submission + - Facebook admits that it miscalculated advertising metrics (wsj.com)

McGruber writes: Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that a comprehensive internal metrics audit found that discrepancies, or “bugs,” led to the undercounting or overcounting of four measurements, including the weekly and monthly reach of marketers’ posts, the number of full video views and time spent with publishers’ Instant Articles. None of the metrics in question impact Facebook’s billing, said Mark Rabkin, vice president of Facebook’s core ads team.

The unveiling of the additional errors may trouble some advertisers and web publishers that rely on Facebook for distribution and monetization. Several had already called for additional third-party validation of Facebook’s data.

Submission + - Federal Prosecutors actually prosecuting H1-B Fraud (ap.org)

McGruber writes: The Associated Press is reporting (http://bigstory.ap.org/article/8fb0819e3b6543788237f32070f73974/business-owner-2-firms-face-visa-fraud-charges) that Federal Prosecutors have filed conspiracy charges against a part-owner of two information technology firms and an employee for fraudulently using the H-1B program.

Prosecutors said the conspirators falsely represented that the foreign workers had full-time positions and were paid an annual salary. They said the workers were only paid when placed at a third-party client and the defendants sometimes generated false payroll records. The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and obstruct justice and conspiracy to harbor aliens. They face up to 15 years in prison if convicted on all counts.

Submission + - ITT Tech Shuts Down (washingtonpost.com)

McGruber writes: The Washington Post is reporting that the IIT Educational Services ended operations at all of its ITT Technical Institutes on Tuesday, citing government action to curtail the company’s access to millions of dollars in federal loans and grants, a critical source of revenue. The shutdown occurred two weeks after the federal Education Department said ITT would no longer be allowed to enroll new students who rely on federal loans and grants, award raises, pay bonuses or make severance payments to its executives without government approval.

The shutdown of ITT campuses puts hundreds of millions of dollars in federal financial aid on the line because the government is obligated to forgive the federal loans of students affected by the closure. ITT reported almost $850 million in total revenue in 2015, roughly $580 million of which was sourced from federal aid, according to the department.

Earlier this year, Slashdot covered the Massachusetts Attorney General suing ITT Tech for exploiting computer network students (https://news.slashdot.org/story/16/04/04/2241230/massachusetts-ag-sues-itt-tech-for-exploiting-computer-network-students) and how the SEC charged the company for fraud over its student loan programs (https://yro.slashdot.org/story/15/05/13/029215/sec-charges-itt-educational-services-with-fraud).

Submission + - WaPo Media Columnist defends online comments attached to articles (washingtonpost.com)

McGruber writes: While NPR and other media outlets are no featuring comments from readers on their website, the Washington Post's Media Columnist Margaret Sullivan says that "reader comments an irreplaceable guide to my constituency." Sullivan also explains the importance of online comments attached to articles: "I find value in reader comments that can’t be adequately reproduced elsewhere. The argument that the conversation has migrated to Facebook and Twitter is flawed. Those are good places for discussion, but they are no substitute for having discussion take place where the story itself lives. I’m convinced that many smart readers with something to contribute will not follow a story onto social media to talk about it. News organizations should fix online comments rather than ditch them."

Sullivan concludes her article by describing how open-source tools from the Coral Project (https://coralproject.net/) can improve online commenting.

Submission + - Delta Airlines seeking a "Operations Manager IT - Crisis Management" (greatjob.net)

McGruber writes: Delta Air Lines, grounded around the world after an unexplained computer glitch (https://it.slashdot.org/story/16/08/08/1251252/delta-air-lines-grounded-around-the-world-after-computer-outage), has an opening for an "Operations Manager IT — Crisis Management" (https://delta.greatjob.net/jobs/JobDescRequestAction.action?PSUID=66c3ea1e-88b3-4ad4-b1e6-7b79cec74147) The job responsibilities include "Help to resolve identify, troubleshoot and resolve Crisis Situations within the IT organization; Ensure the availability, performance and operational integrity of the Information Systems and Networks serving the Delta enterprise; and Communicate the business impact and ensure the right resources are available and engaged to quickly resolve any technology issue."

Comment Report: Fire destroyed generators (Score 4, Informative) 239

A fire at the datacenter caused the outage, according to a post on post from "walterD" in Flyertalk.com's "Delta computers down ..." thread:

According to the flight captain of JFK-SLC this morning, a routine scheduled switch to the backup generator this morning at 2:30am caused a fire that destroyed both the backup and the primary. Firefighters took a while to extinguish the fire. Power is now back up and 400 out of the 500 servers rebooted, still waiting for the last 100 to have the whole system fully functional.

Comment uMatrix (Score 2) 195

I love uMatrix, an extension for Firefox. It's like noscript, but much more powerful: "uMatrix puts you in full control of where your browser is allowed to connect, what type of data it is allowed to download, and what it is allowed to execute. Nobody else decides for you: You choose. You are in full control of your privacy."

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