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Submission + - The backlash against self-driving cars officially begins (

Paul Fernhout writes: "An organization that advocates for professional drivers has urged New York to ban self-driving cars from the state's roads for 50 years. The Upstate Transportation Association fears that self-driving cars will eliminate thousands of jobs and damage the local economy."

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

McGruber writes: My childrens' public elementary school recently acquired 100 Chromebooks and is using Google Apps for Education (GAFE) []. 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:Snowden (Score 1) 601

You're more or less arguing my point. Just like I said, there was very little debate, even fewer laws (mainly the patriot act, which was passed with huge support). The federal government's power grab was basically carte blanche - do what is needed to make us safe, and by reelecting Bush (although to my own recollection Kerry didn't really offer much opposition to it or really bring it up for debate) the public threw more support behind it, and yes, a lot of the reason for that was because no one really knew what was going on. In short, its a mess, but its a mess we, the people, let happen, and now its very firmly entrenched and its going to take a lot for it to be removed.

Comment Re:Snowden (Score 1) 601

If it's not the will of the people, then why do so many people still cling to the idea of "I don't have anything to hide, so I don't care of the government watches!"? That attitude and the creation of the monitoring that we now enjoy are practically chicken-and-egg.

Comment Re:Snowden (Score 3, Insightful) 601

The changes were not agreed to by the people, or by the states, they just happened because time passed.

I'm gonna get blasted for this, but its my view. I'd like to state beforehand that I do not agree with what I believe happened, this is just how I see it. We, the people (that's an important distinction, meaning the body politic), essentially asked for all this after 9/11. We didn't tell our government to surveil us, we didn't directly request the erosion of our rights and privacy, we simply said "we're scared, protect us from the evil people who want to crash all the things into our buildings", and the government did (whether or not they've been successful is a debate for another day). Now that we're starting to realize (through the actions of Snowden et al) exactly how this protection was put in place, and we're puffing out our collective chests and declaring how wrong it is, and it is, but that doesn't change the fact that we demanded it happen. That being said, yes, what Snowden did was morally correct, but that doesn't change the fact that if Uncle Sam manages to get their mitts on him he wont see the outside of a prison again until he is a very old man, if at all.

Comment Re:Snowden (Score 1) 601

You said it yourself: this is a democracy with the rule of law. What he did was against the law. You can debate the status of whether or not it was civil disobedience, whether or not it was morally right, or whether or not he was a hero, but you cannot debate whether or not it was against the law. The Boston Tea Party was very much against British law.

Comment Re:Snowden (Score 1) 601

I said there was a chance, not that I thought that was what he did. There's absolutely a chance (even if it is a small one, which I believe it is) he did this until he comes out and says it isn't true, which, unless I missed it, he hasn't done. Treating the guy like Saint Snowden of Privacy does service to no one.

Comment Snowden (Score 0, Troll) 601

He certainly thinks hes a hero, I'm not sure if I agree. I think Bill Maher said it best (this isnt a direct quote): Just like the founding fathers couldn't have foreseen a world with automatic weapons/assault rifles when they wrote the second amendment, they couldn't have foreseen a world with religious fanatics with potential access to access to nuclear weapons that can destroy a whole city in the blink of an eye when they wrote the fourth amendment. Both gun control and privacy are tough topics, and there needs be some sort of balance between rights and protection, and currently we've maybe gone a bit more towards protection when it comes to our privacy. Is Snowden a hero? Maybe. Was he trying to impress his ex-gf. I would say there was a chance. Was what he did wrong? Yes, whether or not you agree he was a hero, he was wrong.

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