I need a mode for my iPhone where I can leave an app running on the screen and ”turn off touch” so that I can watch what’s happening but not cause anything to happen if I accidentally touch the screen.
I have decided to call this ”fingerprint only” mode because you can touch the screen, but nothing happens.
I particularly need this for mapping and travel apps, where I want to keep the app open while I’m walking or hiking and holding the phone in my hand, but touching the screen could cause the app to fly off to different coordinates, or even to change mode or shut down. Great example is Everytrail where it tracks my movement and I frequently have it in my hand so I can watch as I walk along. Fascinating, but way too easy to touch the wrong thing and completely screw up the trip map.
Digital nomads, you can finally and really be the system administrator for your cloud (and other) servers from your iPad. Since December, each time I’ve left town, I have intentionally left my MacBook Pro at home in favor of my iPad. I found that just having a few specific apps allowed me to fully administer my cloud servers from the pad. Please note that a bluetooth (or other) keyboard is required for some of these apps to function fully. But generally I can do everything I need to when I’m on the road. (continue reading…)
When the web was new, the goal was to get as many “eyeballs” as possible looking at your site content—to aggregate readership with your site being the aggregation point. This pretty much followed the old rules of advertising and promotion—you needed people to see your advertising in order to succeed financially1. The phrases “visit us often” or “bookmark this site” or “come back frequently” were the conventional wisdom, and web surfers used bookmarks to remember what sites they wanted to go back to and read later. But they mostly never did except for the big news or entertainment portals.
RSS feeds and news readers began to change that. (Thanks Dave2.) I use NetNewsWire’s standalone software on my Mac, and online services like Google Reader let you integrate feeds into your iGoogle home page. You can also sync your Google Reader settings across multiple programs and devices. But in the last couple of months, the scene is greatly changing is subtle ways I think people haven’t spotted yet… (continue reading…)
The Washington Post reported last week that the Obama administration is seeking to modify the 1993 Electronic Communications Privacy Act so that Internet service providers must turn over transaction records on email communications and possibly web browsing records, upon receipt of a “national security letter” from the FBI. This particular legal process doesn’t require review by a judge—unlike search warrants.
The law does not allow access to the contents of those emails without judicial oversight…only the more externally-visible addressing information, and that does tend to be what email systems log and archive. On the other hand, the term “electronic communication transactional records” which is what the government could require ISPs to divulge, is not defined in federal statutes, according to the Washington Post. And so it could conceivably be extended to include other person-to-person communications, such as social media contacts
This is the same process the Bush administration used, in the early 2000s, to ask libraries to turn over the records of books checked out by patrons, which was strongly resisted by librarians at that time.
Phone companies keep records of all of the numbers you call, and these are subject to the same access rules. This has never been a question, and most people in the US are probably at least marginally aware of this.
The real question isn’t whether someone is reading your email addresses and headers—it’s how they are interpreting the titles, subjects, and names of the people you are corresponding with. In the McCarthy era here in the US, you could be blacklisted for associating with the wrong people.
If you have an inquiring mind, would you want someone to judge you based on the titles of the books or publications you’re reading? Or the subjects and addressees of your email?
 The Washington Post — original article 29 July 2010
 The New York Times 30 July, 2010 — secondary report and opinion
A whole nother ancillary question is whether your ISP actually keeps these records or not. If they do not, are they then exempt from having to turn over any records, or will the government require that they keep such records in the future? Some ISPs intentionally do not keep certain kinds of records, which helps keep your use of certain services anonymous. And, for instance, I’d guess that very few ISPs, if any, keep records of your browsing history, and this makes it prohibitively difficult to document all of the web sites you’ve visited.