Technology, Thoughts & Trinkets

Touring the digital through type

Month: August 2010

Solved: Bluetooth Devices Not Connecting to OSX

Apple Wireless KeyboardI’ve exclusively used Bluetooth devices to connect to my docked MacBook Pro for many, many months. It’s been a blissful period of time…one that came to a crashing halt this morning. After spending an aggravating period of time getting things working, I wanted to share with the Internet broadly (one) solution to getting both an Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard and Magic Mouse (re)paired with OS X. I will note that I first ‘lost’ my Magic Mouse, and after a restart of my computer subsequently was unable to pair my Apple Wireless Bluetooth Keyboard.

Problem:

After months of blissful Bluetooth connectivity, I’ve awoken to discover that neither my Magic Mouse nor my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard are properly pairing. First my Magic Mouse failed to scroll, which led me to remove the Magic Mouse and attempt to pair it to my computer again. This attempt failed. I then rebooted my computer, and was still unable to pair my computer and Magic Mouse. After another restart, my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard was also unable to be be used as an input device with my computer. It is important to note that, while the Bluetooth Device Manager reported this failure to pair, both devices are reported as ‘connected’ under the Bluetooth icon in the OX X menu bar. Neither device, at this point, is responding to any input.

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Call for Cyber-Surveillance Annotated Bibliographies

The New Transparency Project, as part of its international cyber-surveillance workshop, is issuing a call for annotated bibliographies around issues pertinent to their workshop. Again, given that issues concerning cyber-surveillance likely resonate with readers of this space, I wanted to alert you to this call. These bibliographies are meant to serve as a resource for those attending the May 12-15 workshop in 2011 at the University of Toronto. The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2010. Such submissions should be a maximum length of 500 words, and acceptance notifications will be issued by September 30, 2010. The authors (at least three) invited to prepare annotated bibliographies will each be paid $2000 (Cnd.) in two equal instalments. The first upon acceptance of the assignment, and the balance upon the bibliography’s satisfactory completion. The full call follows below:

Digitally Mediated Surveillance: From the Internet to Ubiquitous Computing

Digitally mediated surveillance (cyber-surveillance) is a growing and increasingly controversial aspect of every-day life in ‘advanced’ societies. Governments, corporations and even individuals are deploying digital techniques as diverse as social networking, video analytics, data-mining, wireless packet sniffing, RFID skimming, yet relatively little is known about actual practices and their implications. It is now over 15 years since the advent of the World Wide Web, and of widespread use of the Internet for electronic commerce, electronic government and social networking. The impending emergence of the ‘Internet of things’ promises (or threatens) to further insinuate digital surveillance capabilities into the fabric of daily life. Media alarmists have fueled a general popular understanding that one’s life is an open book when one goes online, making one increasingly subject to unwelcome intrusions. The reality is more complex and contingent on a variety of technological, institutional, legal and cultural factors.

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Cyber-Surveillance in Everyday Life

I wanted to let readers know that the New Transparency Project is hosting an international workshop on the theme of Cyber-surveillance in everyday live May 12-15, 2011 at the University of Toronto. Given that topics to be explored in the workshop include social networking, search engines, behavioural advertising/marketing, internet surveillance somewhat generally, and modes of resistance I thought readers here might be interested. Below is the full call for papers, with abstracts due by Oct 1.:

Digitally mediated surveillance (DMS) is an increasingly prevalent, but still largely invisible, aspect of daily life. As we work, play and negotiate public and private spaces, on-line and off, we produce a growing stream of personal digital data of interest to unseen others. CCTV cameras hosted by private and public actors survey and record our movements in public space, as well as in the workplace. Corporate interests track our behaviour as we navigate both social and transactional cyberspaces, data mining our digital doubles and packaging users as commodities for sale to the highest bidder. Governments continue to collect personal information on-line with unclear guidelines for retention and use, while law enforcement increasingly use internet technology to monitor not only criminals but activists and political dissidents as well, with worrisome implications for democracy.

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Analyzing the Verizon-Google Net Neutrality Framework

Technology is neither good or bad. It’s also not neutral. Network neutrality, a political rallying cry meant to motivate free-speech, free-culture, and innovation advocates, was reportedly betrayed by Google following the release of a Verizon-Google policy document on network management/neutrality. What the document reveals is that the two corporations, facing a (seemingly) impotent FCC, have gotten the ball rolling by suggesting a set of policies that the FCC could use in developing a network neutrality framework. Unfortunately, there has been little even-handed analysis of this document from the advocates of network neutrality; instead we have witnessed vitriol and over-the-top rhetoric. This is disappointing. While sensational headlines attract readers, they do little to actually inform the public about network neutrality in a detailed, granular, reasonable fashion. Verizon-Google have provided advocates with an opportunity to pointedly articulate their views while the public is watching, and this is not an opportunity that should be squandered with bitter and unproductive criticism.

I’m intending this to be the first of a few posts on network neutrality.[1] In this post, I exclusively work through the principles suggested by Verizon-Google. In this first, and probationary, analysis I will draw on existing American regulatory language and lessons that might be drawn from the Canadian experience surrounding network management. My overall feel of the document published by Verizon-Google is that, in many ways, it’s very conservative insofar as it adheres to dominant North American regulatory approaches. My key suggestion is that instead of rejecting the principles laid out in their entirety we should carefully consider each in turn. During my examination, I hope to identify what principles and/or their elements could be usefully taken up into a government-backed regulatory framework that recognizes the technical, social, and economic potentials of America’s broadband networks.

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