When everything old is new again?
February 27, 2009 by admin
Days after Visa Inc. seemingly confirmed that a data breach had taken place at a third payment processor, following on the recent breach disclosures by Heartland Payment Systems Inc. and RBS WorldPay Inc., the credit card company is now saying that there was no new security incident after all.
In actuality, Visa said in a statement issued today, alerts that it recently sent to banks and credit unions warning them about a compromise at a payment processor were related to the ongoing investigation of a previously known breach. However, Visa still didn’t disclose the identity of the breached company, nor did it say why it is continuing to keep the name under wraps.
There’s lots more in the story. It appears that a lot of people — including the CUs — were somewhat misled by the wording of the security alerts. Read more on Computerworld.
“Total Information Awareness” by any other name? Strange how the new administration's approach seems like business as usual in so many areas.
Homeland Security Secretary Proposes Increase in Spending for Domestic Surveillance Programs
Saturday, February 28 2009 @ 04:59 AM EST Contributed by: PrivacyNews
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified before the House Committees on Homeland Security, and said that DHS plans to connect governmental databases containing personal information, expand the government's employment tracking system, promote passenger screening, use e-passports, employ watchlists and utilize contactless identity verification cards.
Source - EPIC
Related Do the figures support DHS' increased budget? (If that isn't the basis for new initiatives, what is?)
February 27, 2009
National Internal Security/Terrorism Prosecutions for November 2008
"The latest available data from the Justice Department show that during November 2008 the government reported 16 new national internal security/terrorism prosecutions. According to the case-by-case information analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), this number is up from 13 in the previous month. These two months' figures are the lowest recorded in this category since September 2001. The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with national internal security/terrorism-related offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained by TRAC under the Freedom of Information Act from the Executive Office for United States Attorneys.
Also related? Instant surveillance for the masses?
Demo 09: Where start-ups show off
by CNET News staff February 27, 2009 12:44 PM PST
roundup The high-tech confab prides itself on putting cutting-edge companies in front of A-list venture capitalists and journalists. Here's this year's crop.
[Bob's pick: http://vuezone.com/
I often agree with Bruce, unfortunately.
Privacy In the Age of Persistence
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday February 27, @04:12PM from the hard-to-beat-intertia-of-lazy-people dept.
Bruce Schneier recently wrote another essay on privacy for the BBC concentrating on how data seems to be the "pollution of the information age" and where this seems to be leading.
"We're not going to stop the march of technology, just as we cannot un-invent the automobile or the coal furnace. We spent the industrial age relying on fossil fuels that polluted our air and transformed our climate. Now we are working to address the consequences. (While still using said fossil fuels, of course.) This time around, maybe we can be a little more proactive. Just as we look back at the beginning of the previous century and shake our heads at how people could ignore the pollution they caused, future generations will look back at us — living in the early decades of the information age — and judge our solutions to the proliferation of data."
[From the essay:
You're living in a unique time in history: the technology is here, but it's not yet seamless. Identification checks are common, but you still have to show your ID. Soon it'll happen automatically, either by remotely querying a chip in your wallets or by recognizing your face on camera.
And all those cameras, now visible, will shrink to the point where you won't even see them. Ephemeral conversation will all but disappear, and you'll think it normal. Already your children live much more of their lives in public than you do. Your future has no privacy, not because of some police-state governmental tendencies or corporate malfeasance, but because computers naturally produce data.
Related, kinda... Imagine this technology in the hands of Homeland Security!
Face Recognition — Clever Or Just Plain Creepy?
Posted by Soulskill on Saturday February 28, @02:11AM from the can't-it-be-both dept. Software Technology
"Beth Rosenberg and I published a fun story today about our experiences with the new face recognition that's built into both iPhoto '09 and Google's new Picasa system. The skinny: iPhoto is fun, Google is creepy. The real difference, we think, is that iPhoto runs on your system and has you name people with your 'friendly' names. Picasa, on the other hand, runs on Google's servers and has you identify everybody with their email addresses. Of course, email addresses are unique and can be cross-correlated between different users. And then, even more disturbing, after you've tagged all your friends and family, Google tries to get you to tag all of the strangers in your photos. Ick."
Not bad for a Democrat turned almost Republican...
Lieberman questions accessibility, privacy of court docs
by Stephanie Condon February 27, 2009 2:31 PM PST
… Senator Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) sent a letter Friday to the federal court system with concerns about whether court documents are sufficiently accessible to the public and whether private information in those documents is appropriately secured.
Hope or Hype?
Cloud fever: What will it take for a breakout?
by Charles Cooper February 27, 2009 5:33 PM PST
MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--George Zachary, a partner with Charles River Ventures, offered an apercu that may wind up getting quoted quite a lot over the coming year. Cloud computing, he said, "is the new dot-com."
… "It's the biggest shift we've had in computing in two decades," said Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff.
Benioff, who made his comments at a roundtable discussion on cloud computing organized by TechCrunch, also offered up an anecdote to underscore the speed with which peoples' computing habits are changing.
After closing the company's fiscal quarter, Benioff was scheduled to fly off to Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum. He was supposed to schlep along his laptop for the trip, but ultimately opted to leave his personal computer at home. Instead, he relied on his BlackBerry smart phone, which accessed all of Benioff's applications over the conferences Wi-Fi service.
"Everything ran in the cloud," he said.
The future of trivial law? Towards a fully automated lawyer? Actually, having immediate access to a “Best Practice” procedure to follow sounds quite useful.
Use Your iPhone To Get Out of a Ticket
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday February 27, @01:52PM from the solid-use-of-your-time dept.
An anonymous reader writes to tell us that Parkingticket.com just announced new compatibility with the Safari web browser on Apple's iPhone, giving you new tools to immediately contest a parking ticket. The site is so confident in their service that if all steps are followed and the ticket is still not dismissed they will pay $10 towards your ticket.
"The process begins by navigating the iPhone's Safari browser to the Parkingticket.com website where you'll find a straightforward means to fight a parking ticket; whether the ticket was issued in New York City, San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia or Washington, D.C. Simply register for a free account and choose the city in which the ticket was issued. Enter your ticket and vehicle details then answer a few quick questions. The detailed process takes about ten minutes, from A-Z. To allow easy entry of your ticket, a look-a-like parking ticket is displayed — for your specific city — with interactive functionality."
Isn't this even a little bit intimidating to the prosecution?
Wife of Harried Pirate Bay Witness Gets Buried in Internet Love
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday February 27, @01:08PM from the thanks-for-lending-us-your-hubby dept. The Courts The Internet
"During the trial of pirate bay yesterday, a professor (Roger Wallis) took the witness stand. He told the court things that the prosecutors did not want to hear. The prosecutors then tried to discredit both him and his team's work in the area, as well as his title, it was a real spectacle. In the end, the judge asked if he wanted compensation for being there — he replied that he did not want anything, but they could send flowers to his wife. Many listening online heard, and began sending her flowers, from all over the world. As of this submission, the sum is over 40,000 SEK worth of flowers. There's even a Facebook group for it."
[Wallis' paper on the industry's resistance to disintermediation: http://www.mandyhaberman.com/media/wallis1.pdf
If the price they quote for my toner is any indication, these prices are pretty good. I haven't compared them to the local re-fill stores though.
InkCartridges.com - Discount Printer Ink Cartridges
InkCartridges.com offers high quality ink cartridges and toner at affordable prices for most brands and makes of printers, copiers and fax machines. The site allows users to search by brand, compare prices and then buy online in a convenient and immediate manner.
Crude, but funny...
PopJam.com - Share What Makes You Laugh
PopJam.com is a site that will allow everyone to share what they have found online that has made them laugh.
After a lifetime of hearing “Pay attention, Bob” FINALLY, vindication! (I say the same thing to my Internet surfing students though.)
A Sketchy Brain Booster: Doodling
By Brandon Keim February 26, 2009 8:46:24 PM
… This suggests that a slightly distracting secondary task may actually improve concentration during the performance of dull tasks that would otherwise cause a mind to wander.