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Unwrapping the Mystery of Jandek

Shortly after the passing of author JD Salinger, I asked my coworkers in the office if they could think of any modern day artist that went out of their way to shun media attention while continuing to release material. One of my coworkers quickly piped up with the name Jandek. He replied so quickly that I thought that he was joking so I asked him to spell it out for me — it was not a joke at all.

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Now We Really Know Who You Are

Blackboard teamed up with Acxiom Identify-X to verify students in an online course:

Acxiom Identify-X
periodically and randomly presents challenge questions to students
before launching a course assessment. Questions are based only on
public information and institutions choose the courses and assessments
where identity verification is required. This fully hosted, Web-based
solution prompts a student to enter only their name and address.
Institutions set randomization and pass/fail thresholds, and
instructors receive notifications when student identity cannot be

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Careless Government vs. Malicious Agents

Jamie Grace wrote this article.

The e-governance initiatives that Anderson et al deplored in their Database State report are not, as I’ve argued previously here in Panopticonic, malicious works of a totalitarian state – they are about deploying information in a timely and accurate manner, about citizens in need of healthcare or social care. The true risk to information security and privacy comes from individuals working to intrude illegitimately into these databases and caches of personal data. I term these individuals, rather abstractly, ‘malicious agents.’

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We Know Who You Are

There really isn’t any hiding on the internets anymore.  There never was any ability to hide, really, but many people tried anyway to hide behind fake names, forged email accounts and IP-spoofing surf sites.  Why would someone try to hard to so fruitlessly hide their identity?  The simple answer is:  They’re up to no good.  The more complex question is:  Why Are You Hiding When We Already Know Who You Are?

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Term Life for Murder

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from watching the Investigation Discovery network’s programming it’s that you should never buy term life insurance unless you want to end up dead!

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Playing Microsoft Tag

You can see the new, tiled, background image for my Twitter account.  The multicolored bonanza of triangles and primary colors is mesmerizing and aesthetically pleasing, right?  Or is the image effect sort of eye numbing and hard on the retinas?  Did you notice the twitter logo shares the same color blue as my background image?  There’s nothing to that shared hue of blue except that “it is the color that it is” — which is a complicated way of saying, “it’s a popular primary blue.”

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