OT: Some Background

I (lamely) just pull a number and post it in my header here — some folks go all the way: Watching the War and Acknowledging the Dead

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are the first with significant United States military casualties to take place in the Internet age. And while there have been debates over how much public attention to give members of the military who have been killed in combat, a string of Web sites has plunged ahead.

Meraki Gets Some Globe Ink

A part of the set of product profiles: Publish beautiful photo bookspdf

A small company with roots in the MIT Roofnet project has created a clever, if communistic, way to share your high-speed Internet connection.

Meraki (meraki.com) of Mountain View, Calif., sells WiFi routers you use to form ad-hoc “mesh networks” of devices all sharing data from a single, Internet-connected node.

Meraki is charging about $50 to $100 for its routers. The software for managing your network is free, and it could help you profit by selling shares of your connection, Meraki says.

Defining “Misuse” For Something Whose Use Is Endlessly Mutable

Lenders Misusing Student Databasepdf

Some lending companies with access to a national database that contains confidential information on tens of millions of student borrowers have repeatedly searched it in ways that violate federal rules, raising alarms about data mining and abuse of privacy, government and university officials said.

The improper searching has grown so pervasive that officials said the Education Department is considering a temporary shutdown of the government-run database to review access policies and tighten security. Some worry that businesses are trolling for marketing data they can use to bombard students with mass mailings or other solicitations.

Students’ Social Security numbers, e-mail addresses, phone numbers, birth dates and sensitive financial information such as loan balances are in the database, which contains 60 million student records and is covered by federal privacy laws. “We are just in shock that student data could be compromised like this,” said Nancy Hoover, director of financial aid at Denison University in Ohio.

Later: U.S. Limits Access to Student Loan Database