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Why We Have An Open Wireless Movement
EFF believes open networks are crucial in hurricane-affected areas
Oct 30, 2012
In troubled times, it’s important to help each other out. Right now, we’re witnessing an unprecedented hurricane hitting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States, and the ensuing damage and power outages are crippling rescue efforts, businesses large and small, and personal communications.
Communication is critical in time of crisis, and the Internet allows for the most effective way of getting information in and out. With readily available networks, government officials could use tools like Twitter to quickly spread information, citizen reports could help focus assistance where it is needed most, and social media updates could help reassure friends and loved ones—keeping mobile phone lines open for emergencies.
To take advantage of the Internet, people should not have to attempt to skirt restrictive Terms of Service to attempt to tether their smartphones. And tethering would not be necessary if there were ubiquitous open wireless, so that anyone with a connection and power can share their network with the neigborhood.
Last year, we wrote a post titled “Why We Need An Open Wireless Movement.” Today, EFF is proud to announce the launch of the Open Wireless Movement—located at—a coalition effort put forth in conjunction with nine other organizations: Fight for the Future, Free Press, Internet Archive, NYCwireless, the Open Garden Foundation, OpenITP, the Open Spectrum Alliance, the Open Technology Institute, and the Personal Telco Project.
Aimed at residences, businesses, Internet service providers (ISPs), and developers, the Open Wireless Movement helps foster a world where the dozens of wireless networks that criss-cross any urban area are now open for us and our devices to use.
Imagine a future with ubiquitous open Internet
XFINITY WiFi hotspots in the affected markets to anyone who needs them ­ including non-Comcast subscribers in PA, NJ, DE, MD, DC, VA, WV, MA, NH and ME. Non-XFINITY Internet customers should search for the ³xfinitywifi² network name and click on the ³
Not a Comcast subscriber? ² link at the bottom of the Sign In page. Then select
the ³ Complimentary Trial Session² option from the drop down list. Users
will be able to renew their complimentary sessions every 2 hours through
Wednesday November 7th.
For a map of XFINITY WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in malls, shopping districts, parks, and train platforms, please visit (Note: Complimentary XFINITY WiFi service may not be available in Partner WiFi Hotspot locations).”

Do High School Students Understand that Facebook is Public? Bristol Palin, Levi Johnson, Govenor Sarah Palin 2008

Bristol Palin, Levi Johnson, Govenor Sarah Palin 2008

Do High School Students Understand that Facebook is Public? The problems with web 2.0 and social networks. Parents: Teach Your Children Well!
Video of Govenor Paylin’s husband in bed filmed by Bristol when she was much younger that is placed on Youtube.
Social Networks Explained.

“I’m a whore!”
Female 17 years old WASILLA, Alaska United States
Last Login: 9/2/2008
Levi Johnson

“I’m a fucking redneck!”
Male 18 years old WASILLA, Alaska United States
Last Login: 9/2/2008
View My: Pics
Levi Johnson’s Blurbs About me:
I recently impregnated the Republican Vice Presidential candidate’s whore daughter Bristol. We had a kid earlier, but it got Down Syndrome so we threw it away. Bristol’s mom said she’d take it and tell everyone it was hers. We’re going to name our new mutant, Steve Buscemi Johnson. Who I’d like to meet:Steve Buscemi

Levi Johnson’s Details
Status: Married
Here for: Networking, Dating, Serious Relationships, Friends
Orientation: Gay
Hometown: Wasilla
Body type: 6′ 2″ / Athletic
Ethnicity: White / Caucasian
Religion: Christian – other
Zodiac Sign: Pisces
Smoke / Drink: Yes / Yes
Children: I don’t want kids
Education: High school
Occupation: Hockey
Income: Less than $30,000

[ECP] Educational CyberPlayGround K-12 Newsletter


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ECS: James Bryant Conant Award
The Education Commission of the States James Bryant Conant Award is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to improving education across the country in significant ways such as: providing leadership on groundbreaking task forces or committees; publishing works and/or conducting research that profoundly influenced thinking on public education in the United States and/or had a substantial impact on policy; shepherding groundbreaking education reform through the legislative process; and/or demonstrating exemplary service as a public figure or elected official deeply involved in improving education for all. Maximum award: recognition. Deadline: November 21, 2012.
Architecture for Humanity: Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown
The Guerrilla Green Sustainable Showdown invites teams of middle and high school students across the U.S. to bring innovative solutions to their school buildings, outdoor spaces, and activities. Maximum award: $10,000. Eligibility: middle or high school teams of one to four people. Deadline: December 3, 2012.
Coalition for Community Schools: Individual Community Schools Awards
The Coalition for Community Schools is now accepting nominations for its Community Schools of Excellence Awards. The Individual Community Schools Awards will go to schools that have been operating as community schools for at least three years and have demonstrated success. Three individual schools will be recognized. Maximum award: $2,500. Eligibility: schools that have been operating as community schools for at least three years. Deadline: December 15, 2012.
Coalition for Community Schools: Community School Initiative Awards
The Community School Initiative Awards will go to initiatives with joint efforts between schools and community stakeholders that have organized multiple community school sites with a strong commitment to scaling up across the community or school systems. Up to two initiatives will be recognized. Maximum award: $5,000. Eligibility: school systems operating more than one community school for more than three years, which has both community leadership and an intermediary organization (e.g., a CBO, institution of higher education, United Way, consortium of organizations, local education fund, local government, etc.) Deadline: December 15, 2012.
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2 free apps to help you through # Hurricane Sandy TuneIn Radio and Flashlight

TuneIn Radio (Free, iPhone, Android, Blackberry): Listen to local radio for weather news or distraction from the rain. TuneIn plays more than 70,000 stations, from WTOP to the BBC.
Flashlight (Free, iPhone): Turn your phone’s camera flash into a flashlight, just in case you left candles out of your storm stockpile. Similar apps exist for Android phones.

#Hurricane Sandy #Disaster Plan Good luck to everyone

Hurricane Disaster Plan

Almost every cell phone available today is able to send and receive SMS text messages.

SMS infrastructure generally holds up better in times of crisis than email, and it automatically appears on your phone’s screen when you receive one.
Satellite phones work in emergencies, transmit calls through networks of low-earth-orbiting satellites technically capable of transmitting calls anywhere on earth, BUT they have the drawback of not working inside buildings and being much heavier and more expensive than cell phones. Trusting cell phones to work in many emergency situations can be dangerous or fatal.
Two firms — Iridium and Globalstar — dominate the satellite-phone market. Cell phones become useless from call traffic overloading, power cutoffs, microcell batteries running down within a couple of days, power failures can turn regional cellular networks into largely useless hardware in short order. Organizations should not depend on inexpensive cell phones rather than the expensive dedicated radio equipment. Newer satellite phones commonly sell for $1,000 to $1,500 dollars. Monthly calling plans aren’t cheap either. Iridium subscribers typically pay between $1 and $1.50 a minute for air time.
The main problem is no communication connectivity and telecommunications will breakdown
Ham Radio’s work no matter what – Do you know a ham radio operator?

  • flashlights
  • fill up your gas tank in the car
  • call your family and invite them to your hurricane party sleep over!
  • get the bucket and fill up the bathtub with water so you can still flush the toilet
  • batteries batteries batteries batteries 
  • candles + matches
  • water
  • P&J + bread
  • magazines – books books books

#Hurricane Sandy Disaster Plan Educational CyberPlayGround

Connectivity and telecommunications will breakdown.

Hurricane, Typoon, Earthquake Weather Disaster Emergency Communication
The main problem is no communication.

Connectivity and telecommunications will breakdown.


Typhoon, Earthquake Weather Disaster Emergency Communication Check List

Learn to use a Ham Radio, become an operator and own the airwaves.

Lawsuits put Texas school finance system on trial

Lawsuits put Texas school finance system on trial
Published: October 22, 2012 Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — Attorneys representing around 600 school districts argued Monday that Texas’ school financing system is so “hopelessly broken” that it violates the state Constitution while keeping students from being prepared for the well-paying jobs of tomorrow.
The state countered that, even though the system is flawed, it’s nowhere near a crisis point.
Six lawsuits have been filed on behalf of about two-thirds of school districts, which educate about 75 percent of the state’s roughly 5 million students. They have been rolled into a single case which opened before state District Judge John Dietz in Austin. The trial is expected to last into January.
The Texas Constitution guarantees an “efficient system of public free schools,” but the plaintiffs say many schools can’t provide an adequate education because the way they are funded is inefficient and unfair. Districts in rich and poor parts of the state are on the same side in the matter because Texas relies on a “Robin Hood” scheme in which districts with high property values or abundant revenue from oil or natural gas taxes turn over part of what they collect in property taxes to poorer districts.
“The system of school finance, as we see it, is hopelessly broken,” said Rick Gray, who represents more than 400 districts mostly in poorer areas of the state. All the plaintiffs “are a united front in our belief that the system is unconstitutional,” he said in his opening statement, adding that “the stakes are simply too high to ignore anymore.”
The lawsuits were filed after the Legislature cut $4 billion in state funding to schools and another $1.4 billion for grant programs in 2011. The plaintiffs note the money was cut even though Texas’ population has boomed and the number of low-income students has skyrocketed. Students from low-income families generally cost more to educate because many require instruction to learn English or participate in costly remedial programs outside the classroom.
Meanwhile, Texas has imposed increasingly more-difficult standardized tests that high school students must pass to graduate. The districts claim that funding cuts have forced them to layoff teachers, increase class sizes and cut back on education programs – all steps that ultimately leave their students less prepared for tougher exams.
“The bar has been raised and yet one hand has been tied behind school administrators’ backs,” Gray said.
He said experts will testify in coming days that, if current educational trends continue, the earning power of Texas residents forced to settle for low-wage jobs will decline so much that it will cost the state $11 billion in lost tax revenue by 2050.
The state Attorney General’s office says that because Texas places great emphasis on local control of its school districts, shortcomings are the fault of individual districts.
Texas funded schools beyond the rate of inflation and enrollment growth between 2006 and 2010, and even with the 2011 cuts, districts still need “to show they are spending their money efficiently,” Assistant Attorney General Shelly Dahlberg said.
“Superintendents’ wish lists” include items like iPads for students, and districts offer programs, such as sports and extracurricular activities, that aren’t required by the state, she said. Dahlberg also noted that districts pay teachers based on seniority, not student performance.
Standardized testing requirements that began last year are being phased in gradually and won’t fully be required to graduate at least until 2015, Dahlberg said. She also predicted that “almost every single” superintendent eventually called to testify in the case will concede that they expect their students’ test scores to continue improving over time – regardless of funding levels.
“I would suggest that we might have an impending crisis, but today it is not a crisis,” Dahlberg said. “And we do not believe the plaintiffs can meet their burden of proof to show that it is.”
Legal battles over school finance are nothing new in Texas; the case that began Monday is the sixth of its kind since 1984.
In 1993, the Texas Supreme Court ruled that it took $3,500 per student for schools to meet state standards, a figure which Gray said now equals around $6,600 when adjusted for inflation. But he said only 233 of Texas’ 1,024 school districts can raise that amount because of state-imposed caps on how much they can collect in property taxes.
Also, districts considered property-wealthy collect on average about $2,000 more per student per year than those in poorer districts – even though they charge on average 8 cents less per dollar paid by area residents in property taxes. Gray said that works out to a discrepancy of about $64,000 per classroom each year.
Attorneys for other plaintiffs told the judge that it costs more to educate the growing number of students who are poor or don’t speak English as a native language.
David Hinojosa, who represents the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said that 60 percent of Texas students now receive free or reduced-price lunches at school, and as Texas enrollment grows by 80,000 students per year, as many as 95 percent of those new students are from low-income families.
Mark Trachtenberg, arguing on behalf of mostly property-wealthy districts, noted the state’s growing Hispanic population now means roughly one in five students requires extra instruction in English.
“This is not a future crisis,” he said, “it is a present crisis.”

Jailbreaking now legal under DMCA for smartphones, but not tablets

Jailbreaking now legal under DMCA for smartphones, but not tablets
Arbitrary rulings illustrate fundamental brokenness of the DMCA.
by Timothy B. Lee – Oct 25 2012, 6:45pm EDT
The Digital Millennium Copyright makes it illegal to “circumvent” digital rights management schemes. But when Congress passed the DMCA in 1998, it gave the Librarian of Congress the power to grant exemptions. The latest batch of exemptions, which will be in force for three years, were announced on Thursday.
Between now and late 2015, there will be five categories of circumvention that will be allowed under the Librarian’s rules, one fewer than the current batch of exemptions, which was announced in July 2010. The new exemptions take effect October 28.
The new batch of exemptions illustrate the fundamentally arbitrary nature of the DMCA’s exemption process. For the next three years, you’ll be allowed to jailbreak smartphones but not tablet computers. You’ll be able to unlock phones purchased before January 2013 but not phones purchased after that. It will be legal to rip DVDs to use an excerpt in a documentary, but not to play it on your iPad. None of these distinctions makes very much sense. But Congress probably deserves more blame for this than the Librarian of Congress.
Disability access to e-books
The first exemption applies to “literary works, distributed electronically, that are protected by technological measures which either prevent the enabling of read-aloud functionality or interfere with screen readers or other applications or assistive technologies.” The work must have been purchased legitimately through “customary channels,” such that “the rights owner is remunerated.”
A similar version of the exemption was offered in 2010, but that one allowed circumvention only if “all existing e-book editions of the work contain access controls” that inhibit disabled access. Disability groups urged the Librarian to drop this restriction, arguing that “despite the rapid growth of the e-book market, most e-book titles remain inaccessible due to fragmentation within the industry and differing technical standards and accessibility capabilities across platforms.” That meant that the rule effectively required disabled users to own multiple devices—a Kindle, a Nook, and an iPad, for example—in order to gain access to a full range of e-books. The Librarian accepted this argument and allowed circumvention by disabled users even if a work is available in an open format on another platform.
Jailbreaking for iPhones but not iPads
The new rules allow circumvention of “computer programs that enable wireless telephone handsets to execute lawfully obtained software applications, where circumvention is accomplished for the sole purpose of enabling interoperability of such applications with computer programs on the telephone handset.” In other words, jailbreaking is permitted for “telephone handsets,” as it was under the 2010 rules.
What about tablets? No dice. The Librarian “found significant merit to the opposition’s concerns that this aspect of the proposed class was broad and ill-defined, as a wide range of devices might be considered ‘tablets,’ notwithstanding the significant distinctions among them in terms of the way they operate, their intended purposes, and the nature of the applications they can accommodate. For example, an e-book reading device might be considered a ‘tablet,’ as might a handheld video game device or a laptop computer.”
The Librarian ruled that “the record lacked a sufficient basis to develop an appropriate definition for the ‘tablet’ category of devices, a necessary predicate to extending the exemption beyond smartphones.”
No more unlocking
In 2006 and 2010, the Librarian of Congress had permitted users to unlock their phones to take them to a new carrier. Now that’s coming to an end. While the new rules do contain a provision allowing phone unlocking, it comes with a crippling caveat: the phone must have been “originally acquired from the operator of a wireless telecommunications network or retailer no later than ninety days after the effective date of this exemption.”
In other words, phones you already have, as well as those purchased between now and next January, can be unlocked. But phones purchased after January 2013 can only be unlocked with the carrier’s permission.
Why the change? The Librarian cited two key factors. One is a 2010 ruling that held that when you purchase software, you don’t actually own it. Rather, you merely license it according to the terms of the End User License Agreement. The Librarian argued that this undermined the claim that unlocking your own phone was fair use.
Also, the Librarian found that there are more unlocked phones on the market than there were three years ago, and that most wireless carriers have liberal policies for unlocking their handsets. As a result, the Librarian of Congress decided that it should no longer be legal to unlock your cell phone without the carrier’s permission.
DVDs: Excerpts, but no space-shifting
The most complicated exemption focuses on DVDs. Between now and 2015, it will be legal to rip a DVD “in order to make use of short portions of the motion pictures for the purpose of criticism or comment in the following instances: (i) in noncommercial videos; (ii) in documentary films; (iii) in nonfiction multimedia e-books offering film analysis; and (iv) for educational purposes in film studies or other courses requiring close analysis of film and media excerpts, by college and university faculty, college and university students, and kindergarten through twelfth grade educators.” A similar exemption applies for “online distribution services.”
The Librarian also allowed DVDs to be decrypted to facilitate disability access. Specifically, it’s now legal “to access the playhead and/or related time code information embedded in copies of such works and solely for the purpose of conducting research and development for the purpose of creating players capable of rendering visual representations of the audible portions of such works and/or audible representations or descriptions of the visual portions of such works to enable an individual who is blind, visually impaired, deaf, or hard of hearing, and who has lawfully obtained a copy of such a work, to perceive the work.”
But the Librarian did not allow circumvention for space-shifting purposes. While public interest groups had argued that consumers should be allowed to rip a DVD in order to watch it on an iPad that lacks a built-in DVD drive, the Librarian concluded that no court has found that such “space shifting” is a fair use under copyright law.
Public Knowledge, one of the groups that had advocated the exception, argued that the Librarian’s ruling “flies in the face of reality.” PK’s Michael Weinberg noted that this reasoning implies that “every person who has ever ripped a CD to put on her iPod is a copyright infringer. Even the RIAA has recognized that such activity is, in their words, ‘perfectly lawful.'”
A broken system
The space-shifting ruling is a good illustration of the fundamental brokenness of the DMCA. In order to convince the Librarian to allow DVD ripping in order to watch it on an iPad, a court would first need to rule that doing so falls under copyright’s fair use defense. To get such a ruling, someone would have to rip a DVD (or sell a DVD-ripping tool), get sued in court, and then convince a judge that DVD ripping is fair use. But in such a case, the courts would probably never reach the fair use question, because—absent an exemption from the Librarian of Congress—circumvention is illegal whether or not the underlying use of the work would be a fair use. So no fair use ruling without an exemption, and no exemption without a fair use ruling. A classic catch-22.
This “triennial review” process is broken in other ways as well. Exemptions apply to the act of circumvention, but not to the separate provisions prohibiting “trafficking” in circumvention tools. So blind people who happen to be programmers are now free to write their own software to strip the DRM off their Kindle e-books in order to have them read aloud. But most blind people are not programmers. And anyone who supplies a blind person with the software needed to strip DRM from e-books is violating the “trafficking” provisions of the law even if the customer’s use of the software is otherwise legal.
Finally, the case-by-case nature of the exemption process makes it inevitable that we’ll get arbitrary results. For example, there’s no logical reason why it should be legal to jailbreak an iPhone but illegal to jailbreak an iPad. But because no one presented the Librarian of Congress with a sufficiently precise definition of “tablet,” this illogical result will be the law of the land for the next three years.
Here’s a better approach: circumventing copy protection schemes shouldn’t be against the law in the first place. DRM schemes harm legitimate users more than they deter piracy. Indeed, as the phone unlocking example illustrates, many uses of DRM have nothing to do with copyright infringement in the first place. Rather, they’re a convenient legal pretext for limiting competition and locking consumers into proprietary products. We shouldn’t be using copyright law as a backdoor means to give such anti-competitive practices the force of law.



151 West Street, Suite 200
P. O. Box 6486
Annapolis, MD 21401-0486
Administrator: Linda H. Lamone, Esq. ………….. 410-269-284
Deputy Administrator: Ross Goldstein …………………… 410-269-2840
Fair Practices Officer: Jackie Bryley ……………………… 410-269-2866
EEO Officer: Jared Demarinis ………………….. 410-269-2853
ADA Coordinator: Roger Stitt ……………………….. 410-269-2850
Personnel Officer: Jackie Bryley .. …………………410-269-2866
Fax: ……………………………………. 410-974-2019
Toll Free Line: …………………………………. 1-800-222-8683