Watch out for this: New bill called CISPA, just like SOPA and PIPA, but worse

A new bill called 'CISPA' is the next version of SOPA/PIPA. It's got much more power behind it though - Internet companies like Facebook, Verizon and Microsoft support it. Photo credit: Digital Trends

A new U.S. centered bill has been proposed that would give law enforcement officials the power to push aside the legal barriers that prevent internet companies from handing your information over to the government.

Sound familiar?

Remember SOPA and PIPA, those failed bills that wanted to give the government the power to police the internet for pirated content?

While they may have failed, another new bill has been proposed that has been flying under the radar in comparison to SOPA and PIPA.

The bill is called CISPA, which stands for the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (PDF) which is also known as H.R. 3523.

But this bill is worse than SOPA and PIPA because it has the approval of 28 companies like Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Verizon, Oracle and Symantec.

Yikes!

So what differentiates CISPA from SOPA and PIPA?

Not much.

The only major difference is that CISPA is about cyber security and SOPA/PIPA were about intellectual property.

But the authors of CISPA, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), and Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), want you to think that CISPA is “nothing like SOPA.”

Don’t believe it!

It’s still an overreach of governmental power just like with SOPA. But since the outcry over SOPA and PIPA has died down, the Congressmen think that people have put their guard down.

CNET does a good job explaining what CISPA is all about in this quote:

CISPA is primarily a surveillance bill. With CISPA, a company like Google, Facebook, Twitter, or AT&T could intercept your e-mails and text messages, send copies to one another and to the government, and keep it from being sent if it fits into a plan to stop “cybersecurity” threats.

There has also been a revision to CISPA, but they didn’t change much and it’s still a scary piece of legislation.

What are your thoughts about bills like CISPA, SOPA and PIPA?

Is it an overreach of government power?

If you’re not sure what to think, the video below from RT America helps to explain in more detail what CISPA is all about.

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Facebook is buying Instagram for $1 billion

Facebook acquired the popular photo sharing app Instagram today for a price of $1 billion. Photo credit: CBS news.com

1 billion dollars – that’s how much Facebook announced today that it’s going to shell out to buy Instagram, the free photo sharing application for mobile devices.

If you’re not familiar, Instagram is a really cool program that allows users to create some awesome looking photos without much effort.

You just launch the app, take a photo, and apply one of the frames/filters to the photo – that’s it. I’ve seen some really great looking photos on Instagram.

Here’s an example of what a photo looks like after applying one of the filters using Instagram:

A photo I took using Instagram of my family's cat, preacher.

Another thing that makes Facebook’s acquisition very interesting is that Instagram recently launched on the Android platform – it was previously only available to Apple device owners.

Instagram has been seeing huge growth lately, gaining around 30 million users this year alone, especially since they launched the Android variant of their app.

According to Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, all 13 employees at Instagram will be joining Facebook, but Instagram will continue to be an independent entity. That puts the employees’ individual value at about $77 million per person, in case you were wondering.

Zuckerberg also mentioned that a much easier way to share photos with Facebook from within Instagram is in the works for the future.

What are your thoughts about Facebook buying Instagram? Will they make it better?

A flying car is on track to be commercially available in 2012

A shot of the Terrafugia Transition, the world's first commercial flying car. It recently completed its first successful test flight, and could be available in 2012. Photo credit: Extreme Tech

Now here’s a piece of weird news I wasn’t expecting to hear today: A flying car completed its first test flight, and could be available for commercial production by the end of 2012.

The name of this flying beast is the The Terrafugia Transition.

Wow. I’m not even sure if I can pronounce that correctly.

The plane/car completed a successful test flight at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York, and the flight lasted eight minutes and reached an altitude of 1,400 feet.

The vehicle is going to make an appearance at the New York Auto Show later this month, and it’s expected to have a retail value of $279,000, according to the Washington Post.

And if you have an extra $10,000 just lying around, Terrafugia is already taking payments!

Aside from the strange name, and being given the strange categorization as a roadable aircraft, the hybrid car/plane looks really funky too.

Here’s a video that shows the vehicle in action! Pretty awesome!

What are your thoughts about a flying car? Is it a good idea, or just a silly concept?

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Apple’s iMessage is a hot mess, for now at least

iMessage is a feature of Apple's mobile operating system, iOS, but it's doing a lackluster job keeping messages synced across devices at the moment. Photo credit: Slash Gear

Apple’s iOS 5 feature called iMessage is a bit broken and buggy at the moment, as I’m sure many users have noticed.

I purchased an iPhone 4S earlier this year, and I remember how stoked I was for the new feature. iMessage offers free messages I could have synced across my Mac and my new iPhone – that’s just a sweet deal.

It still is an awesome deal, but since I got my phone, I have yet to be able to sync all of my iMessages from my phone to my Mac.

I also remember that a lot of iPhone users were really looking forward to the new feature because they would be able to cut down on their use of SMS messages (messages sent over a wireless carrier).

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Discussing career fairs with a Purdue Aviation Technology student

The 2012 Aviation Technology Career Fair at Purdue took place last Thursday in Niswonger Hall. Photo credit: Purdue College of Technology website

As a follow-up to the preview blog that I wrote about the 2012 Aviation Technology (AT) career fair, which took place last Wednesday, I talked with Mark Udolph, who is a graduating senior in Aviation Technology, about the career fair.

Q: Were you happy with the turnout with regard to the companies that participated in the Aviation Tech career fair?

A: I was, but it turned out that Cummins Inc. never showed up. I wanted to talk to them, but I didn’t get a chance to do that, so that was a drag.

I talked to about 12 of the 20 companies that were there, so I was happy with the turnout overall.

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Preview: Purdue’s College of Tech to host Aviation Technology career fair Mar. 29

Photo credit: Purdue Aviation Technology website

Purdue’s College of Technology will host its annual Aviation Technology (AT) career fair this Thursday, March 29.

It looks to be a busy career fair, so be sure to plan ahead for it if you’re going to attend!

Some quick information about the career fair:

Some of the companies that will be in attendance at this year’s career fair are:

These are only a few of the companies that will be in attendance. A full list of the companies that will be in attendance can be found on the department of AT website.

There will also be representatives from the U.S. Marine Corps Officer programs, and the U.S. Navy Officer programs in attendance.

The department of Aviation Technology is urging students to register through Purdue’s Center for Career Opportunities Express website.

From the department of AT website:

First-year students through graduating seniors should register NOW to receive important information relating to internship and permanent job opportunities.

Here is a link to a PDF of the registration form, which can also be found on the department of AT website.

After you’ve filled it out, you’ll want to send it via fax, e-mail, or postal service to:

Email atsec@purdue.edu
Fax (765) 494-2305
Postal Address Aviation Technology
1401 Aviation Drive
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2015

For any additional information, contact Suzanne Coolbaugh-Walker at (765) 494-9967, or scwalker@purdue.edu

It looks like it will be a beautiful day weather wise, but you might want to check the radar and forecast for Lafayette before you head out to the airport in your formal attire!

Good luck to everyone at the career fair!

Tech events to watch for over the next few weeks (including the new iPad)

Apple's latest generation iPad (unveiled today) will be available on March 16. Photo credit: The Wall Street Journal

There are a lot of exciting things going on in tech world over the next few weeks to be on the lookout for!

Purdue will be on spring break next week, so I will not be blogging, but I want to give everyone a heads up about some of those events.

Upcoming events hosted by Purdue, according to their newsroom:

  • March 22: Executives from Google and Twitter will speak about social media and democracy in Loeb Playhouse. The forum is called, “Is Social Media Changing the 2012 Election?”
  • April 16: Purdue will host an event for high school students to explore computer science. The event is targeted for high school aged girls, but ANY high school student is welcome.

Some upcoming events in the wider world of technology:

  • March 9-13: The 19th Annual SXSW Interactive festival – a giant tech festival where some of the brightest minds show off their ideas, takes place in Austin, Texas.
  • March 16: Apple’s new version of the iPad goes on sale. It has 4G LTE data speeds and a retina display. The iPad 2 will still remain on sale, with a starting price of $399.

Will this be a revolutionary change to how many iPads Apple will sell? They already sold more iPads than HP sold PCs last quarter.

Will they sell even more now?

Here’s an audio clip of Purdue professor Dr. Sorin Matei, who is a communication technology scholar, giving his opinion about the features of the new iPad.

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