Saturday, November 15, 2008

Let's call this one “The Curse of Andy Warhol” After your 15 minutes of fame comes an eternity of Internet searching...

Joe the Plumber case still dripping

Friday, November 14 2008 @ 05:45 PM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

The election is over, but the Joe the Plumber case is not.

Ohio Inspector General Tom Charles said his office is now looking at a half-dozen agencies that accessed state records on Samuel Joseph Wurzelbacher.

The Beacon Journal has learned that, in addition to the Department of Job and Family Services, two other state offices — the Ohio Department of Taxation and Ohio Attorney General Nancy Rogers — conducted database searches of Joe the Plumber.

Source -

Two reports in one.

Fed Blotter: MySpace Sex Offender Charged With Running Fake Internet Church

By Kevin Poulsen November 14, 2008 6:43:22 PM

A convicted pedophile who turned up in MySpace's 2007 purge of sex offenders faces new charges of bank fraud for allegedly running counterfeit checks through a bank account he established for his online church, [Technology makes 'conversion' easy, but traceable. Bob]


Big bucks were also allegedly on the mind of Eric Andrew Hamberg, a former computer technician with the South Carolina Employment Security Commission.

When Hamberg was terminated from his job in October, 2005, after five years of service, he hacked back into the state agency's computers and stole its massive database of South Carolina citizens, according to an indictment (.pdf) handed down last week in federal court in Columbia. [Some traces seem to take longer than others... Bob]

Trivial but local. Does anyone believe such self-serving statements?

Garfield County (CO) sends notifications of a lost disk

Technorati Tag: Security Breach Date Reported: 11/07/08

"GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado — A Garfield County Department of Human Services employee took a data disk containing the Social Security numbers of almost 300 people home last month and later lost it."

... A statement from Lynn Renick, the county’s human services director, said the disk contained a spreadsheet providing “a tracking system for social services program applications” and that it also contained limited personal information.

Neither the disk or its files were identified as Human Services information. [Disingenuous at best. Bob]

... they say it would be hard to match the numbers to any names [Evan] Really? How hard? As hard as following across the row in the spreadsheet? [Sic 'em Blogmeister! Bob]

... the 267 Social Security numbers were raw data and would be hard to locate on the disk, much less tie to a name.

... there's "very little risk, if any" of the data being accessible

... Renick said the Human Services department is contacting all individuals with any information copied on the disk.

About 7,000 letters have been mailed out notifying those who may have information on that disk. [Up from the 300 reported earlier... Bob]

Here is a bit more honesty, (after the initital release) even if it won't make the victims feel any better.

NC: State failed to encrypt private data (follow-up)

Friday, November 14 2008 @ 07:48 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

The state Department of Health and Human Services violated security policies by not properly protecting residents' personal information, including their Social Security numbers, on an agency laptop that was stolen last month.

The theft of the laptop, which contained personal information about 85,045 people, was the latest in a string of DHHS laptop thefts this year that have put North Carolina residents at risk of identity theft.

In addition to the most recently reported theft, at least one other DHHS laptop containing personal information has been stolen this year, according to a memo this month from George Bakolia, state chief information officer. In addition, two other laptops that may have contained personal information were reported stolen, he wrote.

In a Nov. 6 memo to DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton, Bakolia referred to 10 laptops stolen from DHHS this year.

Source - News & Observer

[From the article:

In a Nov. 6 memo to DHHS Secretary Dempsey Benton, Bakolia [State CIO Bob] referred to 10 laptops stolen from DHHS this year.

"Failure to encrypt the hard drive on the laptop was a violation of State Security Standards," Bakolia wrote. "Additionally, DHHS may have been in violation of other standards regarding due diligence in safeguarding information regarding the type and quantity of data stored on a laptop."

... The laptop was password protected. But a citizens advocacy group on personal privacy said passwords offer little protection from knowledgeable thieves.

"Even a teenager could hack into a password protected computer," [a pro wouldn't even bother with the password. We'd pull the hard drive and attach it to another computer. Bob] said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego.

Using encryption alone isn't enough! You must control everyone who has the data. (No indication WHY the contractor had live data.)

UK: Children’s contact details stolen

Friday, November 14 2008 @ 05:40 PM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A laptop containing personal data, including addresses and telephone numbers, of 7,800 children who use school transport in Surrey has been stolen from a car.

The computer belonged to an employee of Trapeze, a software contractor. The information had been given in encrypted form by the council to the contractor, but the data on the laptop was not encrypted, in breach of Trapeze policy. The employee has been suspended. The stolen information included the contact details of children in mainstream and special needs schools.

Source - Times Online

Consequences. Still seem erratic to me.

PA: 18-year term in identity theft (follow-up)

Saturday, November 15 2008 @ 05:59 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A federal judge has sentenced a 36-year-old Philadelphia man to 212 months - nearly 18 years - in prison for his part in a multistate bank-fraud and identity-theft ring that targeted bank customers between February 2004 and November 2005. The total loss from the schemes exceeded $400,000, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

... According to federal officials, the theft ring went after customers of Commerce Bank, PNC Bank, Wachovia Bank and M&T Bank.

Crawford provided fake IDs and counterfeit driver's licenses in the names of bank customers to the two ringleaders, who then gave them to check runners.

Source - The Philadelphia Inquirer


Ivy League swindler gets 4 years in Pa. ID fraud (follow-up)

Saturday, November 15 2008 @ 05:58 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

An Ivy League graduate must serve four years in prison for a brazen identity theft scheme that netted him and a glamorous ex-girlfriend more than $100,000 in trips, dinners and luxury goods.

Edward Anderton, 25, of Everett, Wash., earned a one-year break compared to co-defendant Jocelyn Kirsch because she continued to commit crimes after their December arrest. Kirsch, 22, is serving a five-year sentence

Source -

The Clickocracy [Humorous, but inaccurate? Bob]

The YouTube Presidency

By Jose Antonio Vargas

The White House has gone YouTube.

Today, President-elect Obama will record the weekly Democratic address not just on radio but also on video -- a first. The address, typically four minutes long, will be turned into a YouTube video and posted on Obama's transition site,, once the radio address is made public on Saturday morning.

One of our favorite agencies. Seriously.

New Report On NSA Released Today

Posted by kdawson on Friday November 14, @01:20PM from the some-of-the-secrets-some-of-the-time dept. Government Encryption

daveschroeder writes

"George Washington University has today released a three-volume history of NSA activities during the Cold War (major highlights). Written by agency historian Thomas R. Johnson, the 1,000-page report, 'Cryptology During the Cold War, 1945-1989,' details some of the agency's successes and failures, its conflict with other intelligence agencies, and the questionable legal ground on which early American cryptologists worked. The report remained classified for years, until Johnson mentioned it to Matthew Aid, an intelligence historian, at an intelligence conference. Two years later, an abstract and the three current volumes of the report are now available (PDF) from GWU and the National Security Archive. Aid, author of the forthcoming history 'The Secret Sentry: The Top Secret History of the National Security Agency,' says Johnson's study shows 'refreshing openness and honesty, acknowledging both the NSA's impressive successes and abject failures during the Cold War.' A fourth volume remains classified. Johnson says in an audio interview: 'If you are performing an operation that violates a statute like FISA, it's going to come out. It always comes out.'"

And reader sampas zooms in on a section in Document 6 about the growth of NSA's IT: their first Cray purchase in 1976, the growth of circuits between facilities, and internal feuds over centralized IT development vs. programmers-in-departments.

"A young systems engineer named [redacted] was urging NSA to look at some technology that had been developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). In 1969 DARPA had developed a computer internetting system called ARPANET... NSA quickly adopted the DARPA solution. The project was called platform."

If this works even moderately well, it could be the next “killer app.” At minimum it will be the next “app that gets you killed” as even more people start talking loudly to their cell phone at inappropriate times and places.

Google is Taking Spoken Questions

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday November 14, @04:18PM from the a-sentence-is-worth-a-thousand-search-results dept.

The New York Times is reporting that Google has added a voice interface to their iPhone search software. Expected to make its debut as early as Friday, users will be able to speak into their phone and ask any question they could type into Google's search engine. The audio will be digitized and results will be returned via the normal search interface.

"Google is by no means the only company working toward more advanced speech recognition capabilities. So-called voice response technology is now routinely used in telephone answering systems and in other consumer services and products. These systems, however, often have trouble with the complexities of free-form language and usually offer only a limited range of responses to queries."

Geek Toys: I could easily mount his on my pickup and no longer worry about road rage! Or use it as a home “garbage and bad neighbor disposal system!”

Northrop Grumman Markets Weaponized Laser System

Posted by Soulskill on Friday November 14, @08:08PM from the hoping-for-a-bulk-discount dept. The Military Technology

stephencrane writes

"Northrop Grumman is making available for sale the FIRESTRIKE weaponized laser system. The solid-state laser unit weighs over 400lbs, sends/receives instructions and data via an RJ-45 jack and can be synchronized with additional units to emit a 100 kW beam. It looks like some piece of stereophonic amplification equipment out of the 50's. Or Fallout 3. The press release suggests that FIRESTRIKE 'will form the backbone of future laser weapon systems.'"

Gee, I thought they made a LOT more money...

November 14, 2008

OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet

OPEC Revenues Fact Sheet (11/13/2008): "Based on projections from the EIA November 2008 Short Term Energy Outlook (STEO), members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could earn $979 billion of net oil export revenues in 2008, and $595 billion in 2009. Through October, OPEC has earned an estimated $884 billion in net oil export earnings in 2008. Last year, OPEC earned $671 billion in net oil export revenues, a 10 percent increase from 2006. Saudi Arabia earned the largest share of these earnings, $194 billion, representing 29 percent of total OPEC revenues. On a per-capita basis, OPEC net oil export earning reached $1,137, a 8 percent increase from 2006."

  • See also Short-Term Energy Outlook November 2008 (11/12/2008): "Short-term energy projections for supply, demand, and price for the major fuels through 2009 for the U.S. Global oil forecasts are included."

Forensic geeks: Another tool for building an ironclad alibi. “As you can see in my home video, the 10 O'clock News in playing behind me. I couldn't have murdered Col. Mustard, even if my fingerprints are on the candlestick.”

Scientists Create Easier Way To Embed Objects Into Video

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday November 14, @02:48PM from the advertising-agency-wet-dream dept. Media Technology

Ashutosh Saxena writes

"Stanford artificial intelligence researchers have developed software that makes it easy to reach inside an existing video and place a photo on the wall so realistically that it looks like it was there from the beginning. The photo is not pasted on top of the existing video, but embedded in it. It works for videos as well — you can play a video on a wall inside your video. The technology can cheaply do some of the tricks normally performed by expensive commercial editing systems. The researchers suggest that anyone with a video camera might earn some spending money by agreeing to have unobtrusive corporate logos placed inside their videos before they are posted online."

It's always good to have list of free stuff. - Free Software Directory

It is always useful to have a resource like this at hand. Basically, PGG collects together links to free software that is available on the World Wide Web in the same spot. The software is also reviewed and commented upon. In addition to that, the webmaster makes a point of keeping all the software he includes up-to-date, and whenever an upgrade is available the pertinent information is included.

As well as including salient tools and applications that can be procured at no cost, you can read a list of recommended blogs and web-based resources where you can inform yourself about the latest products that are released, and read about the latest industry news.

Another toy useful resource for my website class.

20 Great Online Image Editors — The online image editing space has grown rapidly in the past year, providing great free and subscription-based options for users of all levels. These well-rounded services let you import images from your social networks, touch up photos, promote your work, and more.

Yet another example of the benefits of a classical education! You can plagerize from the origianl Greek!

Dead Parrot Sketch Is 1,600 Years Old

Posted by samzenpus on Friday November 14, @03:32PM from the he-prefers-kipping-on-his-back dept. thumbnail

laejoh writes

"Monty Python's 'Dead Parrot sketch' — which featured John Cleese — is some 1,600 years old. A classic scholar has proved the point, by unearthing a Greek version of the world-famous piece. A comedy duo called Hierocles and Philagrius told the original version, only rather than a parrot they used a slave. It concerns a man who complains to his friend that he was sold a slave who dies in his service. His companion replies: 'When he was with me, he never did any such thing!' The joke was discovered in a collection of 265 jokes called Philogelos: The Laugh Addict, which dates from the fourth century AD. Hierocles had gone to meet his maker, and Philagrius had certainly ceased to be, long before John Cleese and Michael Palin reinvented the yarn in 1969."

Friday, November 14, 2008

Of all countries, one would assume that the UK knew how to be Big Brother. If you have 'false positives' are there a similar number of 'false negatives?'

UK: CRB database wrongly labels thousands as criminals

Thursday, November 13 2008 @ 03:24 PM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

More than 12,000 people have been wrongly branded criminals due to mistakes on their criminal records, the government has revealed.

A Parliamentary answer reveals that 12,225 people have disputed the results of a criminal record check and had their complaint upheld in the last five years. The number of complaints upheld has risen slightly - from 2,265 in 2004-2005 to 2,785 in 2007-2008 - but over the same time the number of records disclosed has risen from 2.4 million to 3.3 million.

Source - The Register Thanks to Brian Honan for the link.

Related Too difficult to determine who has a 'need to know?' Let everyone access the data.

UK: 'Deeply disturbing' privacy fears as 1m state staff could view child database

Thursday, November 13 2008 @ 06:13 PM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

Up to a million public sector workers could be allowed to access a Government database containing sensitive information on every child in England and Wales, it has emerged.

Critics say the figure is three times higher than ministers told Parliament, and raises further privacy concerns about the controversial ContactPoint system.

The database will contain the name, home address and school of all 11million children. It will also include information about their legal guardians.

Source - MailOnline

Not Big Brother, but certainly 'dumb spokesperson.'

UK: Identity theft fears over stolen UPS laptop

Friday, November 14 2008 @ 04:51 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A laptop containing the bank details and personal information of 8,500 Brits has been stolen in Italy.

The details - which include salaries, national insurance numbers and addresses - belonged to staff at courier firm UPS.

The laptop, which was stolen four weeks ago, was password protected.

Source -

[From the article:

Ups insisted there was no risk of fraud, but one employee said: "No one can know what repercussions this could have." [Statements like this do not inspire trust. Bob]

I would imagine Court Reporter laptops are stolen as frequently as those of any other profession.

OK: Tulsa Court Reporter's Computer Stolen

Friday, November 14 2008 @ 04:48 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A single laptop computer now missing has Tulsa Police hunting for the thieves.

That computer belonged to a court reporter who had sensitive information on the laptop including social security numbers and medical records.

Source -

Let's hope this is bad reporting. What payroll clerk needs access to “secret databases?”

Identity theft ring hits 8,000 U.S. sailors and reservists

Date Reported: 11/06/08

Breach Description:

"Leak at Fort Worth base compromises identities of 8,000 military members." "A former U.S. Navy petty officer at Fort Worth's Joint Reserve Base accessed secret military databases and compromised the identities of 8,000 sailors and reservists, police said."

... "She worked in intelligence," [elsewhere in the story she is identified as a payroll clerk Bob] said Euless police Lt. John Williams. "She had access to all the bank information."

... Euless detectives investigated the ring for nearly two years, [Were they that good? Bob] along with the U.S. Secret Service and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

Perhaps we need to replace this non-profit with another?

Non-Profit Org Claims Rights In Library Catalog Data

Posted by timothy on Thursday November 13, @02:48PM from the paging-dr-gracenote dept. Books The Almighty Buck

lamona writes

"The main source of the bibliographic records that are carried in library databases is a non-profit organization called OCLC. Over the weekend OCLC 'leaked' its new policy that claims contractual rights in the subsequent uses of the data, uses such as downloading book information into Zotero or other bibliographic software. The policy explicitly forbids any use that would compete with OCLC. This would essentially rule out the creation of free and open databases of library content, such as the Open Library and LibraryThing. The library blogosphere is up in arms . But can our right to say: "Twain, Mark. The adventures of Tom Sawyer" be saved?"

Thursday, November 13, 2008

For your Security Manager

Relentless Web Attack Hard To Kill

Posted by kdawson on Wednesday November 12, @02:13PM from the stay-dead-willya dept. Security The Internet

ancientribe writes

"The thousands of Web sites infected by a new widespread SQL injection attack during the past few days aren't necessarily in the clear after they remove the malicious code from their sites. Researchers from Kaspersky Lab have witnessed the attackers quickly reinfecting those same sites all over again. Meanwhile, researchers at SecureWorks have infiltrated the Chinese underground in an attempt to procure a copy of the stealthy new automated tool being used in the attacks."

[From the article:

The toolkit is protected with a layer of digital rights management and appears to be sold mainly in China.

Convergence Like e-mail, phone calls are simply digital packets...

GTalk2VoIP announced web-based PC-to-phone service — GTalk2VoIP, the free and publicly open voice gateway for major IM clients, announced FreeRinger - web-based telephone service that lets anyone, anywhere in the world place free international calls from PC-to-phone to more than 35 countries.



Probably won't replace my RSS reader, but could be a place to find new sources of tech news/info as it expands. - Daily Summary Of The Tech World

TechNewsFetcher can be described as a tech and business news search tool that centralizes relevant contents in the same spot. In the words of the team behind this project, “TNF was created out of the simple need to find all the tech and internet news headlines in one place. When RSS readers and Google reader failed us, TNF took over.”

As a result, the site gives a brief snapshot of tech news and developments on the World Wide Web. The main page offers succinct summaries of the featured items, and redirects you to the full stories.

Moreover, the site includes tech podcasts and video shows that provide a fuller understanding of the technological world and the direction it is headed to.

Research tools

New Search Engine Takes "Dyve" Into the Dark Web

Posted by timothy on Wednesday November 12, @03:47PM from the looking-for-porn dept. The Internet

CWmike writes

"DeepDyve has launched its free search engine that can be used to access databases, scholarly journals, unstructured information and other data sources in the so-called 'Deep Web' or 'Dark Web,' where traditional search technologies don't work. The company partnered with owners of private technical publications, databases, scholarly publications and unstructured data to gain access to content overlooked by other engines. Google said earlier this month that it was adding the ability to search PDF documents. In April, Google said it was investigating how to index HTML forms such as drop-down boxes and select menus, another part of the Dark Web."

Resource - Find Educational Resources Online

Tagedu can be described as an education directory that has the objective of providing internauts with only relevant resources for research, dispensing with sites which are plagued by inappropriate contents or spam. Such an approach is made possible because all the websites that make up this online directory are screened and reviewed by the Tagedu team. Moreover, sites are ranked by internauts taking into account their contents and ease of use.

The search system itself employs real time results that are arrived at using a simple yet effective tagging mechanism which lets you provide up to seven different keywords to be taken into consideration.

It is also possible for you to submit sites for the consideration of the Tagedu team. This way, you can make a contribution towards creating a search engine that is safe to use and which promotes educational growth. Address your e-mails to in case you have any query or comment you wish to put forward.

For my Laitn students... Oh wait, I don't teach latin,

Google Earth's ancient Roman holiday

Posted by Steven Musil November 12, 2008 5:30 PM PST

Google Earth is extending its satellite perspective to paint a picture of what the ancient city of Rome looked like nearly two millennia ago.

While satellites weren't around to give us a bird's eye view of the city in 320 A.D., Google's "Ancient Rome 3-D" offers a 3D simulation of the ancient city at the height of its power. The new layer for the tool allows virtual time-traveling tourists to fly around the city and zoom in to explore ancient structures as they likely looked at the time, including the Colosseum, the Forum, and the Circus Maximus. Pop-up windows offer historical information written by experts.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Does this change Express Scripts liability?

Express Scripts Reports New Threats Tied to Data Security Breach (update)

Tuesday, November 11 2008 @ 02:27 PM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

Express Scripts (Nasdaq:ESRX), one of the largest pharmacy benefit management companies in North America, announced today that a small number of its clients have received letters threatening to expose the personal information of its members. The threats are believed to be connected to an extortion threat the company made public last week.

The letters, which were received by Express Scripts' clients in the past few days, are similar in form to the one that Express Scripts said it received in early October from an unknown person or persons threatening to publicly expose millions of the company's members' records if an extortion threat was not met. That original letter included the personal data of 75 Express Scripts members. The company publicly disclosed the extortion threat last week and is notifying affected members.

Express Scripts said it immediately informed the FBI about the new threats. The company also said it was establishing a reward totaling $1 million for the person or persons who provide information resulting in the arrest and conviction of those responsible for these criminal acts. The company said anyone with information about the extortion threats should contact the FBI at 800-CALL-FBI.

Source - Press Release

Trends? Send your boyfriend nude photos? Rely on the Privacy digital technology makes possible? (Some suggest this is a deliberate act to void a contract or announce themselves ready for “big girl” roles, or just for the publicity.)

Adrienne Bailon Falls Victim To An Extortion Plot

New York (ECN) - Near the end of October, Adrienne Bailon became one of the three Disney stars to fall victim to an extortion plot.

While at JFK airport in New York, Adrienne had private pictures stolen from her personal laptop. Her computer was later returned to her record label for the reward of $1,000, but by then it was too late. All of her pictures had been removed from the hard drive and leaked to the internet.

... Adrienne claims that the pictures were an anniversary gift for her boyfriend, Robert Kardashian.

... Adrienne Bailon has also filed a lawsuit against the person responsible for exploiting her pictures and stealing her laptop computer. Unfortunately, she is unaware of the person's identity, and the lawsuit will not undo the damage that has been done to this star's reputation and private life.

Another large (and largely undetected?) phony bank card scam.

Jp: Fake ATM cards used to steal 400 million yen

Wednesday, November 12 2008 @ 05:50 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

About 400 million yen in cash [$4,108,463.24 -- Dissent] has been illegally withdrawn from six banks using counterfeit ATM cards made with personal information leaked from another company since December 2006, according to police.

The banks in question are Okayama-based Chugoku Bank; Sapporo-based North Pacific Bank; Chiba Kogyo Bank; Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo-based Yachiyo Bank; Oita Bank and Wakayama-based Kiyo Bank.

Police suspect criminals are using a new counterfeiting technique to create the phony ATM cards used in these crimes.

The Metropolitan Police Department believes the cases in question were caused by a large counterfeit group, and plans to set up a joint investigative office with other police forces to conduct a full-fledged probe.

.... Until recently, many cases of ATM fraud were perpetrated using a technique called skimming. .... However, police found that most of the affected account holders were members of a program run by a Tokyo-based company that sells health food.

Source - Daily Yomiuri Online

Perhaps they should floss those servers more frequently?

FL: Dental School Security Breach

Wednesday, November 12 2008 @ 07:34 AM EST Contributed by:PrivacyNews

University of Florida officials have notified about 330,000 current and former dental patients that an unauthorized intruder recently accessed a College of Dentistry computer server storing their personal information.

The breach was discovered October third while college information technology staff members were upgrading the server and found software had been installed on it remotely. It was just made public today.

Information stored on the server included names, addresses, birth dates, Social Security numbers and, in some cases, dental procedure information for patients dating back to 1990.

Source - Related - University of Florida College of Dentistry breach support site

Is it logical to order impossible actions? Is that a basis for overturning a ruling? (Image of a Google search shows a notice of the filtering, but still return 2,240,000 “hits.” Who specifies the filtering criteria? Who will be checking them?)

Argentine judge: Google, Yahoo must censor searches

Posted by Stephanie Condon November 11, 2008 6:58 PM PST

... Both Yahoo and Google are locked in a legal battle with dozens of fashion models and other public figures like Maradona over whether the Internet companies should have to censor search results relating to those persons' names.

The result so far: since last year, Internet users have been left with abbreviated search results from Yahoo Argentina and Google Argentina, as a result of temporary restraining orders handed down by Argentine judges.

The restraining orders against Google and Yahoo mean the search companies must censor search results from their Argentine sites for information about the plaintiffs, such as their names. The court orders do not apply to the U.S. sites and

The move effectively holds the search companies responsible for content on other Web sites, a legal maneuver that would not be possible in the United States or the European Union, according to a Google representative.

Related? Perhaps we need an organization to translate laws into programmable logic and testable standards?

New regulations will soon swell IT workloads

Government's response to the financial meltdown will require major tech initiatives for compliance, despite the recession's cutbacks

By Ephraim Schwartz November 12, 2008

... Coming: A greater IT burden than Sarbanes-Oxley and the Patriot Act

"The last two tsunamis to hit IT, the Patriot Act and Sarbanes-Oxley, required companies to know their customers and to know themselves and their [own] finances," says Larry Rafsky, CEO of Acquire Media, which distributes companies' financial news. "Now, the upcoming regulations will say, 'Know your customers' finances.'" [Suppose I find that intrusive. Do I have any alternative? Bob]

... Brokerages will need to redefine and scale up technology significantly

In addition, Baskin expects that regulatory agencies will require that the prime broker executing trades on behalf of a client will have to prove that it did the best execution rather than the fastest. That's because regulators believe that financial services providers deliberately created pricing inefficiencies that favored themselves at the expense of their clients. [A common complaint! Bob] The new regulations will try to force financial providers to put clients' interests first by ensuring that pricing reflects actual value.

What else can be learned from search trends?

Google Can Predict the Flu

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday November 11, @07:42PM from the sees-you-when-you're-sleeping dept.

An anonymous reader mentions Google Flu Trends, a newly unveiled initiative of, Google's philanthropic arm. The claim is that this Web service, which aggregates search data to track outbreaks of influenza, can spot disease trends up to 2 weeks before Centers for Disease Control data can. The NYTimes writeup begins:

"What if Google knew before anyone else that a fast-spreading flu outbreak was putting you at heightened risk of getting sick? And what if it could alert you, your doctor and your local public health officials before the muscle aches and chills kicked in? That, in essence, is the promise of Google Flu Trends, a new Web tool... unveiled on Tuesday, right at the start of flu season in the US. Google Flu Trends is based on the simple idea that people who are feeling sick will tend to turn to the Web for information, typing things like 'flu symptoms; or 'muscle aches' into Google. The service tracks such queries and charts their ebb and flow, broken down by regions and states."

Tactics of CyberWar?

40-Gbps DDoS Attacks Worry Even Tier-1 ISPs

Posted by kdawson on Tuesday November 11, @02:16PM from the isotropic-tsunami dept.

sturgeon and other readers let us know that Arbor Networks has released their annual survey of tier-1 / tier-2 ISP security engineers. This year they got responses from 70 lead engineers. While DDoS attacks are reaching new heights of backbone-crushing traffic — 40 Gbps was seen this past year — the insiders are also worried about emerging threats to DNS and BGP. The summary notes that "Most believe that the DNS cache poisoning flaw disclosed earlier this year was poorly handled and increased the danger of the threat," but doesn't spell out what a better way of handling it might have been. All in all, the ISPs sound a bit pessimistic — one says "fewer resources, less management support, and increased workload." You can request the full PDF report here, but it will cost you contact information. In related news, an anonymous reader passes along a survey by Secure Computing of 199 international security experts and other "industry insiders" from utilities, oil and gas, financial services, government, telecommunications, transportation and other critical infrastructure industries. They are worried too.

Research - Academic Search Engine

RefSeek can be described as a search engine that is geared towards students and researchers everywhere. The aim of this search tool is to make academic information readily available to everybody by taking into account more than one billion documents. These include web pages, newspapers, journals, encyclopedias and books.

The site also includes a “Search Tips” section that provides concise advice and strategies for maximizing the use of RefSeek, such as specifying an exact phrase or searching a specific website. The latter is implemented by clicking on the “Search this Site” link that appears after a search has been conducted. The force inclusion of words is also explained in this section of the site.

When all is said and done, it is nice to have search engines that cater for specific fields. This way, the searching process can be streamlined and you can look up the corresponding information and compare and contrast materials instantly. The team behind this endeavor can be reached at in case you have comments or inquiries you wish to put forward.

International research? - Track Articles Around The World

As its name denotes, this is a service that will let you track information over the web in real time. This service is implemented in a very simple manner, too. Basically, you key in any topic that interests you in the provided search box and carry out a search. Results are there and then displayed on the Google Map that takes up a sizable portion of the main page. By clicking on the placemarks that are displayed on the map, you can easily read news articles from any country that interests you.

Moreover, it is possible to click straight on any country from the map in order to see the latest news in a direct manner. This way, you can focus your search on any given location and save time in the process.

On the other hand, the site also includes a list of the most popular searches that will let you see which topics are attracting the most attention among the online community. Terms such as “Recession”, “Oil process” and “Obama” ride high on that list.

For my students - Ajax Examples & Demos

A newly-launched resource that caters for web developers everywhere, the suitably-titled Ajax Case website collects together both Ajax examples and demos that can be tried out and rated.

The site is structured in a way that makes for easy browsing through the most popular Ajax examples that make up the featured collection, while highlighting the ones that have been uploaded more recently at the same time. Moreover, an “Ajax on” is featured for additional browsing convenience and further reference.

Other navigation options that merit mentioning include a cloud of tags for random browsing and discovery, and a search tool for narrowing your searches in a concise fashion.

You can also make a contribution to the site by following the “Suggest an Ajax” link and furnishing the information that is requested.


November 11, 2008

Reading a Letter from the Envelope it Was In


Paul Kelly and colleagues at Loughborough University found that a disulfur dinitride (S2N2) polymer turned exposed fingerprints brown, as the polymer reaction was initiated from the near-undetectable remaining residues.

Traces of inkjet printer ink can also initiate the polymer. The detection limit is so low that details of a printed letter previously in an envelope could be read off the inside of the envelope after being exposed to S2N2.

"A one-covers-all versatile system like this has obvious potential," says Kelly.

"This work has demonstrated that it is possible to obtain fingerprints from surfaces that hitherto have been considered extremely difficult, if not impossible, to obtain," says Colin Lewis, scientific advisor at the UK Ministry of Defence. "The method proposed has shown that this system could well provide capabilities which could significantly enhance the tools available to forensic scientists in the future."

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

However you measure it, they are many times more vulnerable than any other entity.

Paper: Privacy and Consumer Information at Risk in Schools

Tuesday, November 11 2008 @ 05:36 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A new study by J. Campana & Associates reveals that U.S. school-related data breaches account for nearly one-third of all the data breaches reported. The Education Sector, which comprises as little as 0.6% of the total number of U.S. entities, reported a disproportionate number of breaches. Over 1,000 data breach incidents that were logged by the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse during the period January 2005 through October 2008 were considered in the study.

Source - Press Release Related - Education Sector Data Breach Study

Comment: the 1/3 statistic seems high when compared with reports by the Identity Theft Resource Center's 2008 analyses that indicate that 21% of their database of U.S. breaches were in the education sector. -- Dissent.

Follow the money!

November 10, 2008

Spamalytics: An Empirical Analysis of Spam Marketing Conversion

Spamalytics: An Empirical Analysis of Spam Marketing Conversion, October 2008 - Chris Kanich, Christian Kreibich, Kirill Levchenko, Brandon Enright, Geoffrey M. Voelker, Vern Paxson† Stefan Savage

  • "The “conversion rate” of spam — the probability that an unsolicited e-mail will ultimately elicit a “sale” — underlies the entire spam value proposition. However, our understanding of this critical behavior is quite limited, and the literature lacks any quantitative study concerning its true value. In this paper we present a methodology for measuring the conversion rate of spam. Using a parasitic infiltration of an existing botnet’s infrastructure, we analyze two spam campaigns: one designed to propagate a malware Trojan, the other marketing on-line pharmaceuticals. For nearly a half billion spam e-mails we identify the number that are successfully delivered, the number that pass through popular anti-spam filters, the number that elicit user visits to the advertised sites, and the number of “sales” and “infections” produced.

“If you want to exercise one right, first you must give up another.” (Why do they think citizens want guns?)

Fi: Interior Minister would compromise on data protection for gun licence applicants

Tuesday, November 11 2008 @ 05:46 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

Minister of the Interior Anne Holmlund (Nat. Coalition Party) feels that compromises need to be made in the right to privacy when security issues are at stake. [Funny, so does Homeland Security. BOb] Speaking at the opening of the National Defence Course on Monday, Holmlund suggested that police who handle applications for firearms licences could be given access to the applicant’s health information, and information about medicines used by the applicant.


Related “It's back or white. You can have security or privacy, pick one.”

Ca: Don't let national security trump privacy: report

Tuesday, November 11 2008 @ 05:54 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

The privacy of Canadians shouldn't be sacrificed on the altar of fighting terrorism, says a new report based on the views of experts.

It says privacy and security must not be considered at odds with one another, and suggests weak privacy laws may actually make Canada more vulnerable to extremism.

"Other jurisdictions are outpacing the federal government on privacy and they may be reluctant to share information with Canada," says the report prepared by the Public Policy Forum.

Source - The Canadian Press

Oh, so that's what a slippery slope is...

The End of the Road for Personal Data Protection in the EU (commentary)

Monday, November 10 2008 @ 10:04 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

JURIST Guest Columnist Virginia Keyder, currently teaching European Union law at Bogazici University and Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, says that while the European Commission, aided most recently by the Advocate General of the European Court of Justice, has taken steps to encourage and even mandate increased state data retention for more efficient crime-fighting in the EU, the trend threatens to limit fundamental individual rights in the name of an ever-widening definition of "state security"...

Source - JURIST

Oops! Sounds like a pretty serious omission in their test plan...

AVG Virus Scanner Removes Critical Windows File

Posted by kdawson on Monday November 10, @07:42PM from the it-just-acts-like-one dept. Windows Bug It's funny. Laugh.

secmartin writes

"The popular virus scanner AVG released an update yesterday that caused their software to mark user32.dll as a virus. Since this is a rather critical file, AVG's suggestion to remove it caused problems for users around the world who are now advised to restore the file through the Windows Recovery Console. AVG just posted an update about this (FAQ item 1574) in the support section of their site. Their forums are full of complaints."

Geeks or not, this is a great little video. Give these kids an “A!”

If The Matrix Ran on Windows watch! — Take the red pill. Get the blue screen.

Listening to this Blog while driving could be hazardous to your health. Also good for students who can't won't read. - Read With Your Ears

In a nutshell, iSpeech is a web-based solution that will allow you to convert your favorite websites and blogs to audio. A service like this caters for multiple users. For example, bloggers can easily increase their existing reader base by giving readers the chance to listen to the blog, whereas content providers can easily mobilize digital content and reach a broader audience instantly. Of course, the general public will also find such an approach compelling as they will be able to dispense with sitting in front of the computer to read the news – rather, they can listen to them whenever they desire.

iSpeech has been in development for over 18 months now, and it works in a very straightforward manner – as a matter of fact, you don’t even need to download or install anything. You simply cut and paste what you want to convert into the box that is provided on the site, or upload the files in question. Supported files include Microsoft Word and Excel documents along with Rich Text Files and RSS news feeds among several others.

Useful tool

November 10, 2008

Consumers Can Sign Up for Free Electronic Vehicle Recall Alerts From NHTSA

News release: "Vehicle owners across the nation can be instantly informed of a safety recall under a new automated alert system announced today by U.S. Transportation Secretary Mary E. Peters. The recall alerts can be received via e-mail or RSS-feeds on personal computers, cell phones or PDA devices-automatically and free-of-charge. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are about 600 vehicle recalls each year. Historically, one in four motorists ignore these recalls when they are announced."

Also useful? (Do I detect a slight New Jersey accent in the host avitar?)

November 10, 2008

Free Web Site Launched to Help Immigrants Learn English

News release: "The U.S. Department of Education today launched U.S.A. Learns, a free Web site to help immigrants learn English. The Web site, which is located at, provides approximately 11 million adults who have low levels of English proficiency with easily accessible and free English language training."

E-commerce made easy (For my website class)

13 Beautiful And Open Source E-Commerce Applications

Too late, Halliburton! I hold the patent on patenting patent scams. You will be able to license it from me as soon as we win our lawsuit against someone who claims to have the patent on patenting a patent to patent patents... or something like that.

Halliburton Applies For Patent-Trolling Patent

Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Monday November 10, @01:58PM from the meta-evil dept. Patents It's funny. Laugh.

An anonymous reader writes

"Halliburton, the company many folks know as Dick Cheney's previous employer, has apparently taken an interest in methods of patent trolling. In fact, according to Techdirt, the company has applied for a patent on patent trolling. Specifically, it's applied for a patent on the process of finding a company that protected an invention via trade secret, figuring out what that secret is, patenting it ... and then suing the original company. Hopefully, the patent office rejects this patent, because I somehow doubt that Halliburton is trying to get the patent as a way to block others from patent trolling."

It is traditional for campaign promises to disappear after the election, however that could be more difficult when everything on the Internet is in some (several) archives. (Wheedle is as wheedle does)

Agendas vanish from Obama's transition Web site

Posted by Declan McCullagh November 10, 2008 3:13 PM PST

Last week, President-elect Barack Obama launched a Web site with detailed information about his plans for technology, Iraq, and health care policies.

Now they're gone.

The "agenda" Web pages on seem to have mysteriously disappeared on Sunday. By Monday morning, they were replaced with a vague statement saying that Obama and running mate Joe Biden have a "comprehensive and detailed agenda" that will "bring about the kind of change America needs," with the individual pages deleted entirely.

Related - Office Of The President-Elect

This website stands as the online Office of the President-Elect, Barack Obama. It is a resource where all Americans can convene together and submit their ideas for making a better America a reality, as well as sharing stories about the campaign and Election Day.

Finally, a section that is entitled “Jobs” will let you put your services forward to the consideration of the Obama-Biden Administration as regards non-career positions. [Perhaps: “Blooger-in-Chief?” “Hacker-in-Chief?” Bob] A form is provided for you to fill out and submit over the web to these effects.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Data “Dysprotection:” breaches reported last week

Monday, November 10 2008 @ 05:37 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A recap of incidents or privacy breaches reported last week for those who enjoy shaking their head and muttering to themselves with their morning coffee.

Source - Chronicles of Dissent

We should bring back swallowing goldfish.

Thousands hit in broad Web hack

Hackers have put malicious links on as many as 10,000 servers, security vendor Kaspersky Lab warns

By Robert McMillan, IDG News Service November 10, 2008

... "We’re estimating that in the last two days alone, between 2,000 and 10,000 servers, mainly Western European and American ones, have been hacked," Kaspersky wrote on its Web site Friday, "It’s not yet clear who’s doing this."

... The criminals add a line of JavaScript code onto the hacked sites that redirects victims to one of six servers. These sites, in turn, redirect the visitor to a server in China. That server can launch a variety of attacks, targeting known flaws in Firefox, Internet Explorer, Adobe's Flash Player, and ActiveX, Kaspersky said.

... Judging from their techniques and from his previous research, Thompson believes the attackers are college students based in China and that they may be the same group that notoriously hacked the Web sites of the Miami Dolphins and Dolphin Stadium ahead of the 2007 Super Bowl football championship.

The downside of DRM?

Two New Class-Action Suits Against EA Over DRM

Posted by Soulskill on Sunday November 09, @01:02PM from the ea's-chickens-have-come-home-to-roost dept.

In September, we discussed a class-action suit filed against Electronic Arts over the DRM in Spore. Now, two new class-action suits have been filed that target the SecuROM software included in a free trial of the Spore Creature Creator (PDF) and in The Sims 2: Bon Voyage (PDF). If this sort of legal reprisal continues to catch on, EA could be seeing quite a few class-action suits in the future. One of the suits accuses:

"The inclusion of undisclosed, secretly installed DRM protection measures with a program that was freely distributed constitutes a major violation of computer owners' absolute right to control what does and what does not get loaded onto their computers, and how their computers shall be used ... [SecuROM] cannot be completely uninstalled. Once installed it becomes a permanent part of the consumer's software portfolio ... EA's EULA for Spore Creature Creator Free Trial Edition makes utterly no mention of any Technical Protection Measures, DRM technology, or SecuROM whatsoever."

It looked like a good (voters wanted it) idea. Don't bother us with facts.

Daylight Savings Time Increases Energy Use in Indiana

Posted by timothy on Sunday November 09, @01:58PM from the all-change-has-friction dept. Power Earth

enbody writes

"The Freakonomics Blog at reports on a study of Indiana energy use for daylight savings time showing an increase in energy use of 1%. 'The dataset consists of more than 7 million observations on monthly billing data for the vast majority of households in southern Indiana for three years. Our main finding is that — contrary to the policy's intent [Intent trumps fact Bob] — D.S.T. increases residential electricity demand.'"

Maybe that's just from millions of coffee makers being pressed into extra duty.

Geeky stuff, but useful.

Five Best Remote Desktop Tools — With the right remote desktop tool, you can access your home computer as though you're sitting right in front of it — no matter where you are, no matter what you're doing. Earlier this week we asked you to share your favorite remote desktop tools, and today we're back with the top five answers.

Geek alert. Perhaps Google Docs will become a downloadable app?

StarOffice Dropped From Google Pack

Posted by timothy on Monday November 10, @06:50AM from the stardom-is-temporary dept. Google Software Sun Microsystems News

Barence writes

"Sun's StarOffice suite has been mysteriously dropped from the Google Pack of free software. The office suite has been axed without any warning or explanation on the Google site. Is Google trying to drive more people towards its own online suite of office applications? Or has it been stung into action by Steve Ballmer's recent comment that Microsoft Office faces stronger competition from StarOffice than it does Google Docs and Spreadsheet?"

Competition for Google? See, it can be done!

MGM first to post full-length features to YouTube

Posted by Greg Sandoval November 9, 2008 6:01 PM PST

.. The studios have Hulu to thank for forcing Google to soften its approach. Hulu, the video portal formed by NBC Universal and News Corp., has become the top outlet for watching full-length films and TV shows on the Web. The site is generating as many ad dollars in only its first year in business as the three-year-old YouTube, according to reports.

Interesting idea: Do well in school, get out two years early. What if the State also paid for the first two College years?

Should Kids Be Able to Graduate After 10th Grade?

By Kathleen Kingsbury – Fri Nov 7, 4:50 am ET

High school sophomores should be ready for college by age 16. That's the message from New Hampshire education officials, who announced plans Oct. 30 for a new rigorous state board of exams to be given to 10th graders. Students who pass will be prepared to move on to the state's community or technical colleges, skipping the last two years of high school.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Huh! Lookie what showed up on Pogo Was Right.

Book: Privacy Law in a Nutshell

Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 11:31 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

A reader just dropped me a note to inform me of a new book, Privacy Law in a Nutshell. by John T. Soma and Stephen D. Rynerson. You can see the table of contents and additional info on the book on I just ordered a copy [Sales have doubled! Bob] and look forward to reading it.

Statistics and a trend?

November 08, 2008

Identity Theft Resource Center 2008 Breach List

News release: "The total number of breaches in on the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2008 breach list surpassed the final total of 446 reported in 2007, more than 4 months before the end of 2008. As of 9:30 a.m. August 22nd, the number of confirmed data breaches in 2008 stood at 449. The actual number of breaches is most likely higher, due to under-reporting and the fact that some of the breaches reported, which affect multiple businesses, are listed as single events. In the last few months, two subcontractors became examples of these “multiple” events. In one case, the customers and/or employees of at least 20 entities were affected by a breach that the ITRC reported as a single breach event."

Perhaps if we tie it to the Second Amendment as the “or else?”

Article: The End of Privacy

Saturday, November 08 2008 @ 11:40 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews

Jed Rubenfeld has an article in the Oct. 13 issue of the Stanford Law Review on the Fourth Amendment Here's an excerpt from the introduction [pdf] of this article about the Fourth Amendment:

In this Article, I will argue that Fourth Amendment law should stop trying to protect privacy. The Fourth Amendment does not guarantee a right of privacy. It guarantees—if its actual words mean anything—a right of security.14

Despite privacy’s triumph, the right “to be secure” that the Fourth Amendment actually protects has never died. It still flickers in the case law and scholarship,15 even if without much doctrinal function and even if unsatisfactorily defined.16 By revitalizing the right to be secure, Fourth Amendment law can vindicate its text, recapture its paradigm cases, and find the anchor it requires to stand firm against executive abuse.

Source - The End of Privacy

Lack of insurance trumps a Green Card?

When Sick, Legal Immigrants Without Insurance Get Deported — Torres was comatose and connected to a ventilator. He was also a legal immigrant whose family lives and works in Arizona. But he was uninsured. So the hospital disregarded the strenuous objections of his grief-stricken parents and sent Mr. Torres on a four-hour journey over the California border into Mexicali.

[From the article:

Whether these patients receive sustained care in this country or are privately deported by a hospital depends on what emergency room they initially visit.

There is only limited federal financing for these fragile patients, and no governmental oversight of what happens to them.

Because spying on your employees is all the rage!

Forensic tool detects pornography in the workplace

Posted by Marc Weber Tobias November 8, 2008 2:47 PM PST

... On Sunday, Orem, Utah-based forensic-software maker Paraben plans to introduce a unique piece of enterprise software developed to detect and analyze images on workplace networks and computers for suspect content. The system looks for a number of sophisticated parameters and grades images at three levels, based upon their correlation with criteria that have been programmed into the system.

... Schroeder told me that the program cannot discriminate between child and adult pornography, [so it probably does not use the hash from “known” porn images. I wonder how accurate the algorithm is? Bob] but it is extremely effective at rapidly identifying suspect images, [So you will need to hire a “Chief Porn Reviewer” -- I want to see that job description! Bob] either online or offline.

[Is it just my perverted little mind, or is their 'logo' rather suggestive? See for yourself. Bob]

Attention Android Users: Never type the word reboot...................

Android Bug Reboots Phone Every Time You Type Reboot — The latest big bug discovered in Android has to be one of the craziest that's shipped with a phone. Basically, Android invisibly interprets every word as a command and executes it with "superuser privileges." If you open up your keyboard and type r-e-b-o-o-t, your G1 will, yep, reboot.

Not the first time Canada has done this. During World War II, they send a boat across the top of the country to “show the flag.” (The boat is in a museam in Vancouver)

Canadians Plan Robot Sub Missions To Aid Claim For Arctic

Posted by timothy on Sunday November 09, @06:50AM from the salute-the-underwater-robots-all-you-want dept.

jbpisio writes with a link to this blog-post summary that the Canadian government has commissioned a pair of unmanned subs to explore the geology of two underwater Arctic mountain ranges; the subs' mission will be to provide evidence supporting Canada's claim to huge swaths of potentially petroleum-rich seabed areas. According to the linked article, "The submersibles, scheduled to be launched in 2010, would be sent on a series of 400-kilometre missions north and west of Ellesmere Island, Canada's northernmost land mass and the country's gateway to the open Arctic Ocean - the scene of an international power struggle over undersea territory and petroleum resources believed to be worth trillions of dollars." At least five countries (besides Canada, these are the US, Russia, Denmark and Norway) would like a slice of those trillions.

Related. Showing the flag in space.

Chandrayaan Enters Lunar Orbit

Posted by Soulskill on Saturday November 08, @12:17PM from the fly-me-to-the-moon dept. Moon Space Science

William Robinson writes

"After an 18-day journey, Chandrayaan-1, the moon mission of India, has entered Lunar orbit. The maneuver was described as crucial and critical by scientists, who pointed out that at least 30 per cent of similar moon missions had failed at this juncture, resulting in spacecraft lost to outer space. The lunar orbit insertion placed Chandrayaan-1 in an elliptical orbit with its nearest point 400 to 500 kilometers away from the moon, and the farthest, 7,500 kilometers. By November 15, the spacecraft is expected to be orbiting the moon at a distance of 100 kilometers and sending back data and images (the camera was tested with shots looking back at Earth). The Chandrayaan-1 is also scheduled to send a probe to the moon's surface."

Yesterday your data was in Seattle. Today it is in Oregon. Tomorrow... Who knows. Would someone please explain (write a legal paper?) what “unspecified location” means when it comes to contracts and other old fashioned legal concepts?

Amazon's Cloud Data Center to Follow Google to Oregon

Posted by timothy on Saturday November 08, @07:26PM from the pretty-state dept. Data Storage The Internet

1sockchuck writes

"All your online data doesn't really live in a big, fluffy cloud. It resides in servers and data centers. That's why is quietly building a large data center complex in Oregon along the Columbia River, not far from Google's secret data lair in The Dalles. Amazon Web Services started as a way to monetize excess data center capacity for its retail operation, but has grown to the point where it requires dedicated infrastructure. Amazon recently said that its S3 cloud storage service is hosting 29 billion objects."

Will the Networks be able to extract enough revenue from their online viewers to allow them to survive?

November 08, 2008

Online Viewers at TV Network Web Sites Increase an Average of 155 Percent in September 2008

News release: "Nielsen Online, a service of The Nielsen Company, today announced that all four television networks enjoyed month-over-month growth in online video viewers in September, coinciding with the season premieres of many popular and new television shows. had the largest increase in video viewers, growing 312 percent month-over-month, followed by FOX Broadcasting and, with 165 percent and 105 percent growth, respectively."

Towards digital librarianship... (I think)

November 08, 2008

Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web

Hull D, Pettifer SR, Kell DB 2008 Defrosting the Digital Library: Bibliographic Tools for the Next Generation Web. PLoS Computational Biology 4(10): e1000204 doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204 [Gerry McKiernan]

  • "Many scientists now manage the bulk of their bibliographic information electronically, thereby organizing their publications and citation material from digital libraries. However, a library has been described as “thought in cold storage,” and unfortunately many digital libraries can be cold, impersonal, isolated, and inaccessible places. In this Review, we discuss the current chilly state of digital libraries for the computational biologist, including PubMed, IEEE Xplore, the ACM digital library, ISI Web of Knowledge, Scopus, Citeseer, arXiv, DBLP, and Google Scholar. We illustrate the current process of using these libraries with a typical workflow, and highlight problems with managing data and metadata using URIs. We then examine a range of new applications such as Zotero, Mendeley, Mekentosj Papers, MyNCBI, CiteULike, Connotea, and HubMed that exploit the Web to make these digital libraries more personal, sociable, integrated, and accessible places. We conclude with how these applications may begin to help achieve a digital defrost, and discuss some of the issues that will help or hinder this in terms of making libraries on the Web warmer places in the future, becoming resources that are considerably more useful to both humans and machines."

For my Website (and Excel) students - Online Charts Builder

As its name aptly puts it, this web-based resource will provide you with the wherewithal to add charts to your site. These come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and you can choose the one that will fit your website best.

... There is also a whole set of optional parameters to choose from, such as the chart background that you want to be displayed alongside the chart fill itself.