What happens when you attract smart people?
Dining hall computer hacked at CSU Stanislaus
It has not been a good week for edu breaches.....
A dining vendor’s server appears to be the source of a data breach at California State University, Stanislaus in which personal credit and bank card information was exposed, the university says Friday.
Personal information on the server includes credit card numbers, cardholder names, and expiration dates. The number of people whose information may have been compromised is still being investigated as are other elements of the case, the Central Valley university says.
Source - Central Valley Business Times
If true, how would managers stop this?
University of Akron warns students of missing data
The University is telling students that it's lost a hard drive containing personal information. The hard drive contains names, addresses and Social Security numbers of more than 800 students and graduates of the College of Education.
The drive was likely inadvertently discarded and destroyed in December.
Source - WKYC
Other than that...
(follow-up) TSA website breach puts travelers at risk; poetic justice for boarding pass hacker
By Chris Soghoian, who originally called attention to the problems with the web site:
A scathing new congressional report reveals that security flaws in a TSA website put thousands of Americans at risk of identity theft. The investigation also reveals the no-bid contract to create the site was awarded to the outside firm by a TSA employee who had previously worked there. Was this just business as usual at TSA?
In October 2006, the Transportation Security Administration launched a website to help travelers whose names were erroneously listed on airline watch lists. This website had a number of security vulnerabilities: it was not hosted on a government domain, its home page was not encrypted, one of its data submission pages was not encrypted, and its encrypted pages were not properly certified.
Source - C|net (blog)
Have we reached the “Outer Limits?” (We control...) I'm will to allow this as long as they pay the bills...
California Utilities to Control Thermostats?
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Saturday January 12, @05:33AM from the bet-those-will-never-get-tampered-with dept. Power United States
TeraBill writes "It seems that the California Energy Commission is looking to give utilities in the state the power to control the thermostats in private homes via a radio signal. The idea is that during times of significant energy crunch, the utilities could force thermostats to higher temperatures rather than having to implement a rolling blackout. The thermostats have been around for a while and new ones were on display at the CES show in Vegas this week. While I can see the argument for it, we just had a kid take over a tram system with a remote control, so how long before our thermostat gets hacked by the neighbors. And I'd almost rather have the power drop than have someone significantly raise the temperature in my home if I had a computer running there. (UPS and a graceful shutdown versus cooking something.)"
Note that they do not use electronic voting machines, but they count and report electronically... When was the last time New Hampshire had a recount in the primary? (answer below)
New Hampshire to Recount Ballots in Light of Controversy
By Kim Zetter Email January 11, 2008 | 4:37:15 PM Categories: E-Voting, Election '08
Both Republican and Democratic candidates have asked the state of New Hampshire to conduct a hand recount of all primary ballots statewide, citing internet rumors about vote discrepancies and voting machine fraud in the primary results.
... The last time New Hampshire conducted a statewide recount of a presidential primary was in 1980.
Each file MUST have a responsible manager (steward) who must certify what the file contains, how it is used, and how it should be protected (e.g. encrypted). Failures like this should result in some serious disciplinary action – not just an apology.
UI College of Engineering notifies former students of technology miscue
The University of Iowa College of Engineering has notified some 216 of its former students that some of their personal information, including Social Security numbers, was inadvertently exposed on the Internet for several months, until the erroneous file location was discovered in early January 2008. The information did not include birth dates, specific grades, or any financial information, such as credit card numbers.
Source - Iowa City Press-Citizen
A fun case to debate?
When Anyone Can Be A Publisher, Defamation And Free Speech Issues Get Trickier
from the old-rules-may-not-apply dept
We've been seeing all sorts of lawsuits lately that show how the rise of technologies like the internet have really caused troubles. Most of these laws were written in a time when it was impossible to imagine a day when anyone and everyone could be their own instant publisher. Take, for example, a divorce case that is suddenly getting a lot of attention, due to legal questions drawn out by the husband's decision to publish a "fictional" account of his marriage on his blog. The wife asked the divorce court to issue an injunction, which it did, claiming that the site is harassment. However, the husband is fighting it, refusing to take down the content, noting that it's a violation of his free speech rights, especially since the order bars him from posting anything at all about his wife. There are a number of complications on top of that. First of all, there's the question of whether or not you can use an injunction to stop speech, even if it's defamatory. Then there's the question of whether or not the speech really is defamatory (made even more confusing by the guy's claim that the story is fictional). We're going to be seeing more and more of these cases, as it's going to take quite some time before people realize that the internet changes the way many people will think about certain types of laws.
On the other hand... (Rodney King! Rodney King!)
China blogger beaten to death
(CNN) -- Authorities have fired an official in central China after city inspectors beat to death a man who filmed their confrontation with villagers, China's Xinhua news agency reports.
The killing has sparked outrage in China, with thousands expressing outrage in Chinese Internet chat rooms, often the only outlet for public criticism of the government.
... The swift action by officials reflects concerns that the incident could spark larger protests against authorities, whose heavy-handed approach often arouses resentment.
... "He was beaten to death for doing something which is becoming more and more common and which was a way to expose law-enforcement officers who keep on overstepping their limits."
Remember, there was an article about hacking the latest Boeing aircraft...
Dozens injured as boy wreaks havoc by playing trains with city's trams
By ALLAN HALL Published Date: 11 January 2008 Source: The Scotsman
A POLISH schoolboy who turned a city's tram network into a giant toy by manoeuvring rolling stock using a TV-style remote control has been arrested after he caused chaos on the public transport system.
Adam Dabrowski, 14, described by teachers as a model pupil and an electronics genius, hacked into the public transport network in Lodz to change the track points derailing at least four trams and leaving dozens injured.
Transport employees said they knew immediately that someone outside their staff had caused the accident. [Clearly impossible (But I bet they hire the kid.) Bob]
Golly gee wilikers, RIAA. Maybe giving away music IS smart.
Radiohead Finds Sales, Even After Downloads
By JEFF LEEDS Published: January 10, 2008
LOS ANGELES — In a twist for the music industry’s digital revolution, “In Rainbows,” the new Radiohead album that attracted wide attention when it was made available three months ago as a digital download for whatever price fans chose to pay, ranked as the top-selling album in the country this week after the CD version hit record shops and other retailers.
EMI Threatens To Leave IFPI
from the change-your-strategy dept
Last November, we noted that the "under new management" major record label EMI was discussing the possibility of scaling back its support for the RIAA and the IFPI, after realizing that many of the group's actions were counter-productive and had helped lead EMI and the other record labels down the wrong path. The moment of awakening for EMI appears to have been Radiohead's experiment. Apparently, EMI is quite serious about this. Reader Jon notifies us that EMI has told the IFPI that it will leave the group at the end of March, if it doesn't shift its strategies towards helping the recording industry, rather than its current strategy, which has clearly not been working. Part of the proposal is that the IFPI merges with the RIAA, rather than having the two act as separate groups -- though, the two often do seem to work together. Either way, this could represent a huge step forward, as it appears that at least one of the major labels has finally realized what plenty of people have realized for nearly a decade: the strategy of focusing on protecting an obsolete business model while suing your biggest fans is more damaging than helpful. Getting EMI to pressure the industry to realign and rethink its strategies is a huge step forward -- even if it's happening about seven or eight years late.
Showdown Looms Over Pirated-Media Directory
Swedish Prosecutors Target Organizers of Pirate Bay, A Huge File-Sharing Guide
By AARON O. PATRICK and SARAH MCBRIDE January 11, 2008; Page B1
One of Hollywood's biggest foes is about to be called on the carpet. After years of steering Web surfers to free entertainment, the organizers of a massive directory of pirated movies, music and software in Sweden could finally face serious legal repercussions.
Based on evidence collected in a 2006 raid on the offices of The Pirate Bay, Swedish prosecutors say that by the end of January they expect to charge the individuals who operate the file-sharing service with conspiracy to breach copyrights.
... A pro-piracy political party has more members than the Greens.
... Sweden, which enjoys some of the world's fastest Internet speeds, strengthened its laws in 2005 to make online theft of movies a crime. But its efforts to crack down have had little success so far. In 2006, shortly after Swedish Justice Department representatives visiting Washington received a stern lecture from U.S. officials about the alleged damage being caused by Pirate Bay, Swedish police raided the site's offices and shut it down.
Although the site was back up within days, the raid inspired hundreds of pro-piracy citizens to take to the streets in protest and led to allegations that the U.S. was interfering in Swedish affairs. Pirate Bay won cult status among file sharers globally, and many Swedes continue to revere its founders as plucky upstarts who dared to take on Hollywood.
... For all the resources the entertainment industry, the U.S. and Sweden have put into the case, the outcome is far from certain. Even if Sweden wins convictions and jail time, the site won't be shut down immediately. Separate legal action would be required to accomplish that, and it might be beyond the reach of Swedish authorities because Pirate Bay says its computer servers have been moved to other countries. "The suspects hide their information all around the world, and I am pretty sure even if they are convicted that wouldn't stop the service," says Swedish prosecutor Hakan Roswall.
... The public delights in the group's attitude toward anybody who sends it cease-and-desist letters, which are often published on the Web site along with Pirate Bay's cheeky replies. Some 157,000 movies, songs and other files can be found on the site, according to the MPAA, and 1.5 million people visit it a day, Mr. Neij says.
This is interesting...
Court Nixes NASA Background Checks
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that NASA should be blocked from conducting background checks on low-risk employees at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory, saying the practice threatens workers' constitutional rights.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said the 28 scientists and engineers who refused to submit to the background checks "face a stark choice — either violation of their constitutional rights or loss of their jobs."
The decision written by Judge Kim Wardlaw reversed a ruling by U.S. District Judge Otis Wright and sent the case back to him with orders to issue an injunction on the workers' behalf.
Source - Associated Press
For my MATH class, I found a neat equation formatter...
ChitCh.at - Education Goes High Tech
ChitCh.at is a place where teachers and students can come together to learn. Study guides, lesson plans, notes, assignments and more can be implemented in this user-friendly educational network. There are two types of accounts: one for teachers and one for students. Teachers are given space to upload, edit and publish a wide variety of educational material including videos, photos, and charts. Other registered educators can then borrow content to share with their own students. Students on the other hand, can sign in to obtain homework, to submit their results and to ask questions. Material created on the site is open to the public and can be accessed via the search bar on site or from each individual teacher’s page. As far as the social aspects go, you’ll find profiles, social bookmarking, and even RSS feeds. There’s no cost associated with this service.
For my web site class...
7 Tools To Make An RSS Feed Of Any Website
Posted by Michael Garrett on September 30th, 2007
... This is why I have compiled a list of online web services which allow anyone to create an RSS feed of any website.
Might become a good resource.
Friday, January 11, 2008
Big Think, the "Intellectual YouTube" backed by ex-Harvard Prez Lawrence Summers, Launches with Style and Starpower
You need a 3D capable graphics card, but you can watch the video...
The 3D web: try it now…
Boris Written on January 8, 2008 – 5:58 pm
I remember downloading the first VRML browser in 1999. It promised to show me the web in 3D fashion. Unfortunately it never went anywhere. Until now, maybe.
Check this video of a 3D browser built by SpaceTime and demonstrated during CES yesterday. It shows an Apple CoverFlow like interface to many popular websites. In this example eBay is used. The first 10 seconds are boring but don’t look away:
Can you imagine browsing the web like this? What would your site or this blog look like in 3D? What would be the advantage of browsing like this? One thing is for sure; don’t try this on dial-up.
Want to try it yourself? Download SpaceTime 1.0 (Windows only, for now) and let us know how it worked for you.