How complex could the contract language be that would require encryption or forbid transporting copies of data? Should take a competent lawyer about 15 minutes, right? (Is that why it isn't done? Too few billable hours?)
MN Agency Data On Computer Stolen In Philadelphia
A laptop computer containing names, Social Security numbers and other personal information for 219 Minnesotans licensed by the state Department of Commerce has been stolen.
Commerce Department officials say the computer belonging to a vendor went missing December sixth in Philadelphia. The vendor, Promissor Corporation, notified police of the apparent theft. But state officials say the company waited until December 21st to tell the Department of Commerce.
Source - WCCO
“Let's implement the technology now, we can worry about security later.”
Passenger Hacks NYC Taxi Computer System
December 28, 2007 By Renee Boucher Ferguson
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission's technology enhancement plan that puts GPS systems, credit card scanners and monitors in the city's 13,000-plus taxis has come under fire again—this time from a passenger who hacked the computer monitor and gained access to its operating system.
On Dec. 1 software engineer Billy Chasen posted a walk-through on his personal blog '[An Error Occurred While Processing This Directive].com' of how he hacked into a computer screen mounted on the back seat of a cab he hailed on New York's Upper West Side. The story was initially reported Dec. 26 on WNBC.com, a local news station.
... Using his cell phone camera Chasen documented how he was able to open Internet Explorer using the touch-sensitive screen. He was then able to use a Sprint card listed on the monitor to get a dial-up connection giving him full administrative access to the monitor's operating system.
"It was not only a security flaw, but people also pay with the screen if they use a credit card," wrote Chasen. "That information could potentially be stored locally."
... "There are extensive contract-required security protocols in place, which have exceeded government and credit card industry standards and have been stringently tested by internal and external security experts, which fully prevent access to anything other than media content residing in the taxicab itself," said Fromberg in an e-mail to eWEEK. "There is no potential for any malicious activity." [“Nothing can go wrong... go wrong... go wrong...” Bob'
I was pretty sure this would be traced to a tiny little third-party firm that would probably go out of business because they irritated Wal-Mart. Guess I was wrong.
Gift Card Verification Glitch Hits Wal-Mart, Others
By Evan Schuman December 28, 2007
Wal-Mart apologizes to customers and blames its third-party vendor.
Shoppers at Wal-Mart and other chains were unable to use their gift cards much of Dec. 26. While Wal-Mart apologized to customers, it laid the blame squarely on the shoulders of its technology partner.
... Wal-Mart did not identify the supplier in its statement, but a South Carolina television journalist reported that Wal-Mart told her it was First Data.
Well, this should solve everything.
Sex Offenders Are Barred From Internet by New Jersey
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS December 28, 2007
EWING, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey enacted legislation on Thursday banning some convicted sex offenders from using the Internet.
... No federal law restricts sex offenders’ use of the Internet, and Florida and Nevada are the only other states to impose such restrictions.
The bill applies to anyone who used a computer to help commit the original sex crime. It also may be applied to paroled sex offenders under lifetime supervision, but it exempts work done as part of a job or search for employment.
... Under the new law, convicted sex offenders will have to let the State Parole Board know about their access to computers; submit to periodic, unannounced examinations of their computer equipment; and install equipment on their computer so its use can be monitored. [“After all, if we can't trust sex offenders to let us know what they're doiing, who could we trust?” Bob]
How to be Green? Might be a model for my web site or small business classes...
Vienna Launches Online Flea Market
Dec 28, 9:30 AM EST
VIENNA, Austria (AP) -- Regift - online.
Viennese city officials have launched a free Web forum for people to trade, sell and give away things they do not need - including unwanted Christmas gifts.
The idea is simple: People post their offerings online and are contacted by those in their area who are interested. Requests can also be submitted.
Ulli Sima, city councilor for environmental issues, said she hopes the online flea market will mean less waste.
"Whoever uses the flea market does something good for the environment and, at best, will save money," Sima said.
Posted items cover a broad spectrum, including clothing, toys, furniture, sports equipment and electronics.
Vienna Flea Market, http://www.webflohmarkt.wien.at
Another potential “small business” Oh, wait, I do this already! Note that the subject has to be narrow but useful. Perhaps I could start a class “Blogging for Dollars?”
Blogging for Dollars
By Candice Choi AP 12/28/07 8:32 AM PT
It doesn't take much technical skill to publish a blog -- just have something to say that a select group of people might find interesting. Even though most blogs don't get giant amounts of traffic, those that manage to attract a regular stream of readers who share the blogger's interest are a prized audience for advertisers looking to target their ads with pinpoint accuracy.
Zach Brooks pocketed US$1,000 this month blogging about the cheap lunches he discovers around midtown Manhattan ($10 or less, preferably greasy, and if he's lucky, served from a truck).
The site, MidtownLunch.com, is just a year and a half old and gets only about 2,000 readers daily, but it's already earning him enough each month for a weekend trip to the Caribbean -- or in his case, more fat-filled culinary escapades in the city.
... Some advertisers have even found better response from smaller sites with more passionate, engaged audiences.