September 19, 2008

The Story of Unigo [3:37 pm]

The College Issue - The Tell-All Campus Tour

On Unigo, the information is all free — “free,” of course, understood as a synonym for “accompanied by advertisements” — and with the exception of brief editorial overviews of each of the 267 colleges featured at start-up, all of it is voluntarily provided by current students at those colleges. “For so long, the colleges have been able to have this stranglehold on the P.R. image of their school,” Goldman said recently in his office, decorated boy-workaholic-style with nothing but an open box of Frosted Flakes and a toy robotic dinosaur. “It’s just harder to look at them as the main source of information. If you’re a college student, you are as much of an expert on being a student at that college as anyone.”

The beauty part is that Unigo has not only declined to enlist the colleges’ help with this “national grass-roots movement,” as Goldman likes to refer to it, but the company has also kept it a secret from them. [...]

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Uses of New Technologies [8:11 am]

Picture Taken by Cellphone Leads to Sex-Crime Arrest

She sensed the presence of someone too close to her on the stairs. She turned and saw a man peering into his cellphone. A passer-by confirmed her suspicion: The man had taken photographs under her skirt.

“I said I had to do something,” the woman said on Thursday. “Since he is taking pictures of me, I am going to take pictures of him.”

She said she followed the man onto the southbound No. 1 train, walked through several cars and found him on a seat. She prepared her cellphone camera. He looked at her and mumbled something. “And I told him ‘smile’ because I am going to the police,” she said.

She took a picture, e-mailed it to the police and filed a report. On Tuesday, an officer at the 110th Street subway station at Central Park West approached a man matching the photograph, the police said. [...]

On Sept. 9, the police started tapping into the ubiquitous technology by inviting people who witness crimes to take pictures with their cellphone cameras, if safety permits, and to send them along when they make 911 calls.

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Sneaking Around [7:51 am]

“If I told you how big the problem was, I’d have to kill you.” Excellent — another excuse to duck oversight. I look forward to finding out what the next one will be: Cyber Attack Data-Sharing Is Lacking, Congress Told (pdf)

U.S. intelligence agencies are unable to share information about foreign cyber attacks against companies for fear of jeopardizing intelligence-gathering sources and methods, cyber security expert Paul B. Kurtz told lawmakers yesterday.

Kurtz, who served on the National Security Council in the Clinton and Bush administrations, spoke at the first open hearing on cyber security held by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. [...]

Some testimony has been posted:

  • Paul Kurtz
    Former Senior Director, Critical Infrastructure Protection
    White House Homeland Security Council

  • Amit Yoran
    Former Director, National Cyber Security Division
    Department of Homeland Security

  • John Nagengast
    Former Assistant Deputy Director
    National Security Agency

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