Again, “We don't know...” is the main theme.
Hackers gain access to U of M-Flint computers
A security alert on the University of Michigan-Flint campus has been issued after someone hacked several servers, perhaps putting personal information at risk.
... The university told the campus community that it's working to determine the scope of the breach, but for now, can't say what type of information may have been jeopardized.
"It's difficult at this point to really know what's on there, or what may or may not have been accessed," said university spokeswoman Jennifer Hogan.
Source - ABC
Oh look! Someone found a copy of the Bill of Rights! (Not the ideal case for establishing this precedent. Sounds like the government didn't control the laptop and files were encrypted after his arrest.)
Judge: Man can't be forced to divulge encryption passphrase
A federal judge in Vermont has ruled that prosecutors can't force a criminal defendant accused of having illegal images on his hard drive to divulge his PGP (Pretty Good Privacy) passphrase.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jerome Niedermeier ruled that a man charged with transporting child pornography on his laptop across the Canadian border has a Fifth Amendment right not to turn over the passphrase to prosecutors. The Fifth Amendment protects the right to avoid self-incrimination.
It seems studies are cheap, but fixes are impossible?
Ohio Study Confirms Voting Systems Vulnerabilities
Posted by Zonk on Saturday December 15, @06:22AM from the never-thought-i'd-be-longing-for-paper dept. Security Politics
bratgitarre writes "A comprehensive study of electronic voting systems (PDF) by vendors ES&S, Hart InterCivic and Premier (formerly Diebold) found that 'all of the studied systems possess critical security failures that render their technical controls insufficient to guarantee a trustworthy election'. In particular, they note all systems provide insufficiently protection against threats from election insiders, do not follow well-known security practices, and have 'deeply flawed software maintenance' practices."
Some of these machines are the ones California testers found fault with last week.
[From the paper:
All of the systems exhibited a visible lack of trustworthy auditing capability.
Now that's interesting!
Piracy as a leading indicator of sales
One great way to determine whether your digital product is destined for greatness is how many people want to steal it. As the television industry is starting to realize, there's a great deal of positive information that can be gleaned from illegal torrents of the shows. If no one wants to watch it, no one is going to steal it.
The open-source analog, of course, is the download. If you aren't getting free downloads then it's probably futile to try selling a product. Downloads, in other words, tell us a lot about future purchases, assuming there's a compelling business and revenue model behind the download:
Tech-savvy consumers have been boldly declaring that piracy can help and not hinder industry for years (especially when it comes to music downloads), but I was shocked the first time I heard the same claim from some very knowledgeable marketing types one day over a year ago in a boardroom. One of them simply asked, "Is the show on BitTorrent? How many people are downloading it??" The rest of the group looked genuinely interested in the answer from a demand point of view, not from an outraged one. I've since heard the same thing again several times, from different companies.
An even more interesting thing has started to happen: unofficial, but sanctioned television show leaks on BitTorrent. Broadcasters aren't posting their shows directly on PirateBay yet, but they are talking informally and giving copies of shows to a friend of a friend who is unaffiliated with the company to make a torrent. Why? Well, it's partially an experiment, but the hope is that distribution of content this way will lead to new viewers who wouldn't have been reached through traditional marketing means. Early signs indicate that these experiments are working.
The TV industry needs to explore ways to take advantage of piracy. While people will gladly take a free product if offered it, they'll also likely pay for a complement to that product. Hence, TV watchers have long "paid" for free TV with taxes (U.K.) and advertising (U.S.). In a world of TiVo, there may need to be new means of monetization devised, but the value of the piracy for indicating a potential market should not be underestimated.
...this looked highly experimental, but based on the previous article perhaps it was simply smart?
More Bands Experimenting With Free As A Part Of The Business Model
from the good-for-them dept
Eric the Grey writes in to let us know about yet another band understanding the economics facing the music industry. Apparently the band Big Head Todd and the Monsters isn't just giving away free downloads of their new album, but are also giving away 500,000 CDs. They're actually doing it in an interesting way. Somewhat similar to Prince's recent offering to give away CDs with newspapers, BHTM is giving the CDs away via radio stations. Fans could sign up on the band's website for the CDs or get them from radio stations who are being given the CDs in batches to be given away. While giving away physical CDs doesn't make as much sense as just offering the downloads (it's a lot costlier...), it appears that the folks involved with this project understand the basics: "This sort of thing might very well be the future of music distribution. Give away the music, build a bigger fan base [and] generate revenue through live shows, merchandising and other platforms." That, of course, is what plenty of folks have been suggesting for years, while having record label execs insist it would never fly. Where are they now that it's flying? Oh, right, playing dumb.
A prescription for the computer industry?
When Your Product Becomes a Commodity
Published: December 14, 2007 Author: John Quelch
Like death and taxes, commoditization of your products is a given. Marketing professor John Quelch offers tips for delaying the inevitable and dealing with it once it arrives. Key concepts include:
* The speed from product launch to maturity is faster than ever before.
* Innovate, bundle, and segment are 3 things marketers can do to delay commoditization.
* Managers already in a commoditized market must rethink salesforce compensation and pricing, trim costs, acquire competitors, and fire unprofitable customers.
Could be a simple way to copy data for my students. (A bit pricey though...)
Kanguru's USB Duplicator: Your Own, Personal Data Multiplication Factory
- Obtain up to 24 drives in a single shot
By: Alex Vochin, Technology Editor
Although most users don't need to multiply data stored onto USB drives on a daily basis, there are certain situations (back ups, IT work, sales and marketing preparation, PC rollouts, etc.) when a device that can copy the same files over and over again onto several such portable storage solutions could really come in handy.
... The USB Duplicator comes in 2 sizes: 1 Master to 9 Targets and 1 Master to 24 Targets.