mine:-pcast

The conceptual problem with notice and consent is that it fundamentally places the burden of privacy protection on the individual. Notice and consent creates a non‐level playing field in the implicit privacy negotiation between provider and user. The provider offers a complex, take‐it‐or‐leave‐it set of terms, while the user, in practice, can allocate only a few seconds to evaluating the offer. This is a kind of market failure.

“PCAST believes that the responsibility for using personal data in accordance with the user’s preferences should rest with the provider rather than with the user. As a practical matter, in the private sector, third parties chosen by the consumer (e.g., consumer‐protection organizations, or large app stores) could intermediate: A consumer might choose one of several “privacy protection profiles” offered by the intermediary, which in turn would vet apps against these profiles. By vetting apps, the intermediaries would create a marketplace for the negotiation of community standards for privacy. The Federal government could encourage the development of standards for electronic interfaces between the intermediaries and the app developers and vendors.”
8

Coursera’s/Stanford’s Daphne Koller justifying residential education–specifically the continuing relevance of residential “elite institutions”–in the wake of MOOCs. (“Those students” referenced in the first panel, by the way, are students who’re judged to need remedial education/assistance, and thus are placed at the “other end of the spectrum” from students at “elite institutions.” I don’t have enough scare quotes for this post.) I find this logic … horrifying? “I think elite institutions are elite. It’s a fact of life.”

??!?!??!?!?!?!!

From a 2012 panel on MOOCs hosted by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

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PCAST: Focus on How Big Data is Used, Not It’s Collection

New technologies that gather, analyze and preserve vast quantities of data have raised concerns about how individual privacy might be protected or compromised. Earlier this month, the United States President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) released a new report called “Big Data: A Technological Perspective.” In today’s world, re-identification technologies often outpace de-identification capabilities that preserve privacy. It is increasingly difficult to identify sensitive information at the time of its collection due, in part, to the collection of too much data. The report speaks to how big data has come to the forefront as technology has advanced, explores the nature of privacy, identifies data sources – including new analytics enabled by data mining and data fusion – and the utility of these data. PCAST also notes that 20th-century privacy laws “have not always kept pace with the technological realities of today’s digital communications.” The report outlines a number of recommendations, including:

  • Policies should focus more on the uses of big data and less on its collection and analysis.
  • Regulation should not prescribe particular technological solutions, but should be stated in terms of intended outcomes.
  • Agencies should strengthen U.S. research in privacy-related technologies and in the relevant areas of social science.
  • Relevant agencies and institutions should encourage privacy-protection education and training.
  • The U.S. should take the lead by using its convening power (e.g. promoting the creation and adoption of standards) and also by its own procurement practices (e.g. its use of privacy-preserving cloud services).

While PCAST believes strongly that “the positive benefits of big data technology are (or can be) greater than any new harms,” it also concludes that “technology alone cannot protect privacy, and policy intended to protect privacy needs to reflect what is (and is not) technologically feasible.” Read the full report

here

.

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Small cells will get a band of their own (when the feds aren’t using it)

#SuryaRay #Surya The Federal Communications Commission plans to designate 100 MHz of spectrum for small use, which would go a long way in encouraging the deployment of a dense layer of mobile broadband capacity for our smartphones to romp around in. But there’s a catch: carriers don’t just get to buy this spectrum and lock it into their networks – they have to share it with the government agencies already occupying it.

The FCC’s plan is part of larger, and quite controversial, proposal first put forth by the President’s Council of Advisors on Policy and Technology (PCAST) to clear 1000 MHz of airwaves for mobile broadband use. That’s far more than Obama administration is aiming for in it broadband plan, but PCAST’s recommendations all coming with the sharing caveat: instead of booting the feds out of their airwaves, the public and private sectors must find a way to coexist.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski

The FCC is chipping away at the recommendation one spectrum band at a time, and it’s choosing to start with the 3.5 GHz band. In his announcement Wednesday, commission chairman Julius Genachowski would take formal steps by the end of the year to open the 3.5 GHz band for small cell use. While Genachowski never mentioned the word “sharing” in his statement, Ars Technica confirmed with FCC officials that the plan was to make 3.5 GHz shared between its current government radar use and wireless carriers.

All of the major carriers in the US have talked up small cells, though Sprint is the only one that has laid out a specific deployment timeline. Sprint plans to deploy tens of thousands of the tiny base stations in 2013 and 2014, starting with malls and big public venues and then moving into high-traffic outdoor areas. At GigaOM’s Mobilize conference next week, Sprint CTO Stephen Bye will share more details on Sprint’s small cell plans.

The 3.5 GHz band would be ideal for small cell deployments. By creating a separate band for the tiny little networks, carriers wouldn’t have to worry about interference with their primary macro networks. Rather than try and wrap big tower-based macro cells around small cells using the same frequencies, a dedicated band means micro-and pico-cells could be placed directly under the macro umbrella. Each of those small cells would have the same capacity of their larger counterparts, so adding dozens of small cells beneath a single macro cell would boost its capacity enormously.

Also, higher frequencies don’t propagate as far as lower ones, which is why carriers have always sought to acquire lower band spectrum whenever possible. Since small cells, by definition, have much tinier coverage areas, they’re ideally suited for such high-frequency spectrum.

Don’t expect carriers to fall over themselves to get this spectrum, though. The operators would rather own their licenses outright than share them with anyone, and the big carrier trade group CTIA has said that spectrum sharing in many cases simply won’t work. There’s two different ways to share the airwaves, divvying them up by time and by geography, and according to CTIA they both present problems.

In the case of small cells, carriers need that capacity most in dense populated areas where there are numerous customers competing for bandwidth within a limited space. So if the government’s radar facilities are geographically distance, say out in the desert, then spectrum sharing could work. If they’re at a busy metropolitan airport, that’s another story altogether.

The same goes for timesharing. If the government only uses those frequencies in the wee hours of the night, then carriers could easily turn their small cells off as traffic on the network is at its lowest point. The problem is if feds need their airwaves during the peak hours of the day, which is when carriers need them most as well.

We’ll see more details emerge as the FCC starts its deliberations, but even if a spectrum sharing compromise can be worked out at 3.5 GHz, don’t expect the carriers to embrace this deal. They don’t want to set a spectrum sharing precedence, so they’re likely to lobby the government to clear out as much of this spectrum as possible for their own exclusive use.

_Photo courtesy of Shutterstock user Everett Collection_

http://dlvr.it/2955XB @suryaray

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The Round Pegs In The Square Holes.
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They’re Not Fond Of Rules And They Have No Respect For The Status Quo. You Can Quote Them. Disagree With Them. Glorify Or Vilify Them. About The Only Thing You Can’t Do Is Ignore Them.

They Change Things.
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They Inspire.
They Push The Human Race Forward.
Maybe They Have To Be Crazy.

How Else Can You Stare At An Empty Canvas And See A Work Of Art? Sit In Silence And Hear A Song That’s Never Been Written?
Gaze At A Red Planet And See A Laboratory On Wheels?

While Some See Them As The Crazy Ones. We See Genius. Because The People Who Are Crazy Enough To Think They Can Change The World Are The Ones Who Do.”

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