The 2012 Technology Multiple Choice Test
Hey, why not give a quiz to prep for 2012? Makes sense to me. And since a *ton* of technology-related shenanigans have transpired thus far, this seems to be the best way to get (me) up to speed. So here we go…
 What is SOPA/PIPA and what’s it got to do with me and my Interwebs?
- a) A kind of flaky, crumbly dessert one can only order online
- b) The latest round of US legislation aimed at protecting copyright holders/owners at the expense of users (like us).
- c) The new Cirque du Soleil show, where they block your domain name for watching it.
- d) None of the below.
- e) A good thing to shelve and/or majorly revamp.
 What’s all this talk about Drone use in the US?
- a) Wait, like the bee?
- b) It was only in N. Dakota and over some cattle, get over it.
- c) Marks the beginning of what could become a very disturbing trend.
- d) Well what else can you do with $37 billion?
 I remember hearing something about Carrier IQ… Do you?
- a) Basically if you own a cell phone your carrier can gather and track all sorts of personal data from your smartphone.
- b) Yes, I do remember hearing something about it in-between Thanksgiving and Xmas meals…
- c) It’s almost the latest “to do” on Congress’ investigatory checklist.
- d) I don’t own a cell phone.
 Why does Google want to include “My World” into its searches?
- a) Because social media is awesomer then just plain searching.
- b) Because social media is the new SEO.
- c) Because we are Google’s best products.
- d) Because organizing the world’s information just isn’t fulfilling anymore.
 Really? Only 5 questions…
- a) Well, yeah.
- b) So much to cover, in such little time.
- c) Looking to start really pushing Cyberspaces and Global Affairs, actually.
- d) More to come… Obviously.
- e) all of the above.
Answers:  - b, d, & e, - c,  - a, b & c,  a-d,  e
Text lasts. It’s not platform-dependant, you don’t just get it from one source, read it in one place, understand it in one way. It is not dependent on technology: it is what we make technology out of. Code is text, it is the fundamental nature of technology.
(via New Scientist)
It turns out that unfriending the least discreet friend increases your security by an average of more than 5 per cent—worth it for a casual acquaintance, but perhaps not so easy if your best buddy is a blabbermouth.
Ever since Google launched its new Google+ social network, we and others have pointed out that the search giant clearly has more in mind than just providing a nice place for people to share photos of their pets. For one thing, Google needs to tap into the “social signals” that people provide through networks like Facebook so it can improve its search results. But there’s a larger motive as well: as chairman and former CEO Eric Schmidt admitted in an interview in Edinburgh over the weekend, Google is taking a hard line on the real-name issue because it sees Google+ as an “identity service” or platform on which it can build other products.
» via GigaOM
These days, big technology companies — particularly those in the hypercompetitive smartphone and tablet industries — are starting to resemble Hollywood film studios. Every release needs to be a blockbuster, and the only measure of success is the opening-weekend gross. There is little to no room for the sleeper indie hit that builds good word of mouth to become a solid performer over time.
» via The New York Times (Subscription may be required for some content)
Steve Jobs has resigned as CEO of Apple. In a letter to the board, he writes, “I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.” Above, we’ve pulled three Newsweek covers of the visionary Apple co-founder from over the years.
In recent years, the courts have struggled to decide whether the government needs a warrant to access historical records about a cell phone user’s location. Some courts have found that when users turn on their cell phones, they “voluntarily” transmit their location to their cell phone providers and thereby waive any expectation of privacy.
On Monday, Judge Nicholas Garaufis of the Eastern District of New York soundly rejected this line of reasoning. The federal government had asked the courts to order Verizon Wireless to turn over 113 days of location data about a suspect’s cell phone. It did so under a provision of the Stored Communications Act that only requires law enforcement to show that the records are “relevant and material to an ongoing criminal investigation.”
Does the government violate the Constitution when it obtains location data without meeting the Fourth Amendment’s “probable cause” standard? Some courts have found that it does not. But in a 22-page opinion, Judge Garaufis analyzed and rejected these other courts’ arguments, holding that law enforcement needs a warrant to obtain months of location data.
» via ars technica