Saturday, February 18, 2012

Google's Safari Tracking Debacle: Reality Check; PC World, 2/17/12

Ian Paul, PC World; Google's Safari Tracking Debacle: Reality Check:

"Google reportedly breached the privacy of millions of Apple Safari users by fooling the web browser into accepting tracking cookies it normally wouldn't take. Google, however, says this is an unhappy accident and that Google never intended to track its users in this manner.

It's a classic case of he said, she said. Here's what's going on."

Despite Safety Worries, Work on Deadly Flu to Be Released; New York Times, 2/17/12

Denise Grady, New York Times; Despite Safety Worries, Work on Deadly Flu to Be Released:

"The full details of recent experiments that made a deadly flu virus more contagious will be published, probably within a few months, despite recommendations by the United States that some information be kept secret for fear that terrorists could use it to start epidemics."

Friday, February 17, 2012

Split Board Backs Kean University’s Leader, Under Fire for Résumé; New York Times, 2/15/12

Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times; Split Board Backs Kean University’s Leader, Under Fire for Résumé:

"Resisting mounting pressure from professors to fire the president of Kean University, Dawood Farahi, the deeply divided board of trustees voted on Wednesday night to keep him, dismissing allegations that he had falsified his academic credentials as no more than evidence of “carelessness.”"

Saturday, February 4, 2012

[Editorial] Congress Moves on Ethics; New York Times, 2/3/12

[Editorial] New York Times; Congress Moves on Ethics:

"The measure, passed by a 96-to-3 vote, seemed imperiled even the day before by a barrage of extraneous amendments to the bill. Perhaps realizing that their feeble standing with the public would only grow worse by blocking an ethics bill, senators went all-out in a bipartisan competition to go beyond the ban. They voted to open lawmakers’ market transactions to monthly online reporting; to disclose their personal home mortgage details; and to include thousands of ranking executive branch workers in this overdue transparency."

[Op-Ed] Don’t Censor Influenza Research; New York Times, 2/1/12

[Op-Ed] Howard Markel, New York Times; Don’t Censor Influenza Research:

"The censorship of influenza research will do little to prevent its misuse by evildoers — and it may well hinder our ability to stop influenza outbreaks, whether natural or otherwise, when they do occur.

In this case, censorship is too little, too late. The data generated by one of the research teams was already presented at a conference in Malta in September, where copies of the paper were distributed. But even if the data weren’t already available, the key details could likely be inferred from other information that is already available."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Senate Approves Ban on Insider Trading by Congress; New York Times, 2/2/12

Robert Pear, New York Times; Senate Approves Ban on Insider Trading by Congress:

"The Senate passed a sweeping new ethics bill on Thursday that would ban insider trading by members of Congress and require prompt disclosure of stock transactions by lawmakers and by thousands of officials in the executive branch of government.

The 96-to-3 vote followed three days of impassioned debate in which senators tried to outdo one another in proclaiming their support for ethics in government."

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Gaming the College Rankings; New York Times, 1/31/12

Richard Perez-Pena and Daniel E. Slotnik, New York Times; Gaming the College Rankings:

"[S]everal colleges in recent years have been caught gaming the system — in particular, the avidly watched U.S. News & World Report rankings — by twisting the meanings of rules, cherry-picking data or just lying.

In one recent example, Iona College in New Rochelle, north of New York City, acknowledged last fall that its employees had lied for years not only about test scores, but also about graduation rates, freshman retention, student-faculty ratio, acceptance rates and alumni giving."

College Says It Exaggerated SAT Figures for Ratings; New York Times, 1/30/12

Daniel E. Slotnik and Richard Perez-Pena, New York Times; College Says It Exaggerated SAT Figures for Ratings:

"Claremont McKenna College, a small, prestigious California school, said Monday that for the past six years, it has submitted false SAT scores to publications like U.S. News & World Report that use the data in widely followed college rankings."