This falls squarely in the “parental responsibility” category and school officials should have no authority to make this kind of demand. (Not to mention the fact that EULAs clearly state not to divulge passwords.) If the issue is serious enough to require access to the student’s account then go through the proper channels and get a warrant.
via Motherboard – Illinois Says Rule-Breaking Students Must Give Teachers Their Facebook Passwords.
“School districts in Illinois are telling parents that a new law may require school officials to demand the social media passwords of students if they are suspected in cyberbullying cases or are otherwise suspected of breaking school rules.”
Morality: Don’t be afraid – science can make us better – via NewScientist.com – While I don’t agree with the insinuation made by the author that “economic prosperity” is a suitable moral guide, I do enjoy a good debate on the subject. “Economic prosperity”, or as it’s better known, “Making a shit-ton of money” is one of the primary causes (if not the main cause) that people abandon morals that would otherwise preclude them from doing something. I’d like to see more research on the “morality as an evolutionary response” theme mentioned in this article. Better living through technology, I say!
Popular Facebook apps found to be collecting, selling user info – via ArsTechnica.com – Surprise, surprise! Most of those “FREE!” apps and games you’ve been using on Facebook have been mining and selling off your personal data. Unfortunately most people would sell their soul for a free cheeseburger, so I don’t expect many people to care.
Surviving the Apocalypse Hollywood Style – via Wired.com – Everything I know about surviving the end of the world I learned from movies. This one breaks it down by sub-genre: Virus/Nuclear, Natural Disaster, Alien Invasion, Authoritarian Distopia. For anyone concerned, the Zombie Apocalypse falls under the Virus/Nuclear category.
Interview: Trent Reznor discusses The Social Network soundtrack – via DrownedInSound.com – Interviews with Trent Reznor are always interesting. If you can get past the (very) many spelling and grammar mistakes in the transcript you won’t be disappointed with this one. Among other things, the interview touches on the creative process of scoring the movie, the philosophy behind free (and pirated) music, and my personal favourite, the concept and implementation of Facebook itself. It’s a bit out of context but here’s a quote – “I don’t think it’s actually executed that well. The layout’s kind of foolish and the processing is terrible…he [Zuckerburg] was in the right place, at the right time, with a functional tool.” Hit the link for the whole transcribed interview.
Outrageous School Punishments – 10 Examples of Punishment Gone Too Far – via DegreeScout.com – I’ve commented here before about disciplinary actions taken by school officials. Here’s a list of 10 that are notable for how far overboard they went. To reiterate what I’ve said before – Schools have no business interfering with what their students do outside of class time and off school property. School officials have no right to physically repremand or punish a child. Strip searches? Nope. Last but not least, this “Zero Tolerance” bullshit has to stop…see number 3 where a six-year old boy was suspended for making a gun shape with his thumb and index finger.
Race China to the Moon, Stop ‘1000 Pearl Harbors,’ Says Controversial Candidate – via Wired.com – Yup, another interview but a completely different topic. Here a political candidate argues the extremely alarmist idea that China could use Cuba to stage a second “Cuban Missile Crisis” resulting in the “1000 Pearl Harbors” from the title. He also states that a new moon race is necessary to maintain technological superiority over China. The bit about “1000 Pearl Harbors” goes too far, but I’m with him on the moon race part. Diverting the money that would be necessary for such an undertaking into the branches of science involved would be hugely beneficial to everybody. Think about it – A Second Space Age. Why does it have to be a “race”, though? The benefits of sharing the research burden with China seems to be a better plan. Draw your researchers from the best and brightest of a larger candidate pool and split the costs between the two countries. Even better, let any country that wants to shoulder some of the cost participate. Science doesn’t care about borders.
Voodoo Software Removes Objects From Video In Real Time – via PopSci.com – Take a look at this video. I’m still skeptical. If it’s real you can never believe anything you see on TV ever again. The changes to the video shown wouldn’t be that impressive, except this apparently works in real time. I need to see this for myself. Maybe they can use it on the “footage” from the new moon landings…
New Class of Malware Will Steal Behavioral Patterns – via TechnologyReview.com – Great. Not only are there assholes out there trying to steal your credit card and bank account numbers, but now they’re trying mine your activities online to create a model of your behavior. This is data that could be useful for all sorts of things, and changing your behavior isn’t exactly as easy as cancelling a credit card. Just another reason to be careful how much data you put out there…
Why Your Company Needs Paid Sick Days – via Focus.com – I’ve argued this point with every employer I’ve had since high school. The only problems are the inconsiderate fucks who use up all their sick days playing golf then still come to work when they’re sick. If you’re lucky enough to work somewhere that gives you paid time off when you’re sick and somebody still comes to work spewing phlegm everywhere you should be allowed to put them out of their misery…with the cleansing beauty of fire.