Latex on Google Docs

I just discovered, a plugin that integrates LaTEX with Google Docs. It even renders the LaTEX for you and shows you the results online. Its created by Bobby Soares.

Rental computers spying on users

A Wyoming couple is suing Aaron’s Inc. for using a rented computer to spy on them without their knowledge. Apparently they rented a computer form Aaron’s and later an Aaron’s employee showed the couple a photograph of them using the computer in their own living room. The computer apparently came pre-installed with software that can log key strokes and remotely activate the web cam.

This is similar to an earlier law suit by the family of a Pennsylvania high school student against the high school. In that case the school had issued laptops to students and had pre-installed software that could remotely activate the web cam. The issue came to light when a principle caught a student eating “pill looking objects” at home and accused the student of doing drugs. The student claims that the “pills” were candy. But the larger issue was the fact that school staff were observing the student in the privacy of his own home without even informing the parents that the laptops could be remotely activated.

Hotels use RFID in bath towels

Interesting use of RFID. Hotels are placing washable RFID in towels to prevent theft.

Experimental Design

Excellent Communications of the ACM article on statistics and experimental design. In particular the use of likert scales and what that means for statistical testing choices.

IE9 privacy features

Lorrie Cranor has a nice blog post on the new privacy features of IE9.

Who is responsible for securing confidential information?

Interesting article

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found out last year that, in 2007, someone had hacked into a server holding personal information of 180,000 mammography patients from around the state. . . . . The university tried to fire — and is still trying to punish — the researcher who was in charge of the information.

Basically the school is trying to punish the researcher for failing to keep the data secure and the researcher is claiming that security isn’t her expertise. She did everything she knew to do but the university could have done a better job of providing her with support for keeping confidential information secure.

A resolution has been reached. The Professor in question is being reinstated as a full professor provided that she voluntarily retires.

Fun security ideas

Can you spot all the security issues with this messy desk?

Its an interesting way to make security more “fun” by challenging people to think and find the problems instead of lecturing them about what to do right.

Security Conference Rankings

Guofei Gu at Texas A&M University has a nice list of security conferences and what he believes their rankings are.

Google employee fired for looking at private data

Another incident of an employee being fired for looking at customer’s private data, this time at Google.

Online shopping, privacy, tracking and me on tv

KDKA news, in Pittsburgh, did an article on the FTC’s new ‘Do Not Track’ List proposal.

The exciting news is that I have a silent role in the video as a “shopper” and I’m using Ghostery.