Friday, March 22, 2013

Burn-pit registry for veterans signed into law - Army Times

Burn-pit registry for veterans signed into law - Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq - Army Times

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pentagon Watchdog Doubts Army Needs New Rifle

The Army established its requirements for the improved carbine effort three years ago. The requirements document calls for a weapon that’s almost twice as accurate as the current M4, according to a source familiar with the document. It also emphasized improved reliability, serviceability and a longer-lasting barrel.
The IG also questions why the Army is “seeking to acquire more rifles during a time when their total force structure will be reduced,” Halbrooks states. “In addition, it is unclear what additional capability this new rifle will have over the modified M4.”
The Army is in the process of cutting its active force down to 490,000 -- more than 10 percent from current levels -- by 2017, but senior leaders announced last year that the service plans to replace its current M4s with M4A1s.
The M4A1 is the Special Operations Command version of the M4. It features a heavier barrel and a full-auto trigger. The Army’s decision to dump the current three-round burst trigger will give shooters a more consistent trigger pull and lead to better accuracy, weapons officials said.

Pentagon Watchdog Doubts Army Needs New Carbine |

Ten Year Ago, Invasion of Iraq 2003

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Using Evernote All Wrong? It's Actually Amazing

I've Been Using Evernote All Wrong. Here's Why It's Actually Amazing:
For years, I kept hearing how awesome Evernote was: how it could store everything you possibly needed, make it available everywhere, and how scores of people couldn't live without it. I tried it multiple times, and never saw the appeal until now. Here's what I was missing. More »

Saturday, March 9, 2013

US Ninth Circuit says border laptop searches are unconstitional

US Ninth Circuit says forensic laptop searches at the border without suspicion are unconstitional:
An en banc (all the judges together) decision from the 9th Circuit has affirmed that you have the right to expect that your laptop and other devices will not be forensically examined without suspicion at the US border. It's the first time that a US court has upheld electronic privacy rights at the border, and the court also said that using an encrypted device that can't be casually searched is not grounds for suspicion. The judges also note that the prevalence of cloud computing means that searching at the border gives cops access to servers located all over the world. At TechDirt, Mike Masnick has some great analysis of this welcome turn of events:

The ruling is pretty careful to strike the right balance on the issues. It notes that a cursory review at the border is reasonable:

Officer Alvarado turned on the devices and opened and viewed image files while the Cottermans waited to enter the country. It was, in principle, akin to the search in Seljan, where we concluded that a suspicionless cursory scan of a package in international transit was not unreasonable.

But going deeper raises more questions. Looking stuff over, no problem. Performing a forensic analysis? That goes too far and triggers the 4th Amendment. They note that the location of the search is meaningless to this analysis (the actual search happened 170 miles inside the country after the laptop was sent by border agents to somewhere else for analysis). So it's still a border search, but that border search requires a 4th Amendment analysis, according to the court.

It is the comprehensive and intrusive nature of a forensic examination—not the location of the examination—that is the key factor triggering the requirement of reasonable suspicion here....

Notwithstanding a traveler’s diminished expectation of privacy at the border, the search is still measured against the Fourth Amendment’s reasonableness requirement, which considers the nature and scope of the search. Significantly, the Supreme Court has recognized that the “dignity and privacy interests of the person being searched” at the border will on occasion demand “some level of suspicion in the case of highly intrusive searches of the person.” Flores-Montano, 541 U.S. at 152. Likewise, the Court has explained that “some searches of property are so destructive,” “particularly offensive,” or overly intrusive in the manner in which they are carried out as to require particularized suspicion. Id. at 152, 154 n.2, 155–56; Montoya de Hernandez, 473 U.S. at 541. The Court has never defined the precise dimensions of a reasonable border search, instead pointing to the necessity of a case-by-case analysis....

The court is led by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, who is a fan of my book Little Brother (which features a scene where DHS officials force a suspect to decrypt his devices, on the grounds that his encryption itself is suspicious), and was kind enough to write me a blurb for the new edition of the book. I'm not saying that Little Brother inspired Kozinski to issue this decision, but I'm delighted to discover that something I've been pushing through fiction since 2008 has made it into law in 2013.

9th Circuit Appeals Court: 4th Amendment Applies At The Border; Also: Password Protected Files Shouldn't Arouse Suspicion

Sunday, March 3, 2013

iPhone and iPad App List

Here is a complete list of iPad and iPhone Apps that I am either currently using or intend to purchase. This list was originally compiled by the great Mac Power Users Podcast. That is one great podcast for professionals that want to leverage the power of Apple products. Both hosts are attorneys that use Mac OS and iOS devices in their professional lives. Check the show out here



Nerdy Professionals

Evernote and Skitch, Highly Recommend













Drafts for iPad







Drop Shadow Image Editor

Auto Stitch, for Panoramas

Photoshop Express

Zagg FLEX iPad Case

Apple TV