Tuesday, August 24, 2010

“We own your children.”


WA: Oak Harbor schools may be searching kids’ phones

August 23, 2010 by Dissent

Andy Rathbun reports on the latest assault on student privacy and the Fourth Amendment:

School principals may get to look through students’ cellphones if the Oak Harbor School Board signs off on a new policy meant to crack down on cyber-bullying.

The board could allow administrators to confiscate and search electronic devices in certain cases.

School officials say the proposed policy will combat cyber-bullying, a form of harassment performed via e-mail, text message or other electronic means. The policy would extend to messages and images sent outside school hours if that content was shared later during school. [How will this be determined? Bob]

Read more on HeraldNet.

“We own your money.”


Banks Siding Against the Customer in Fraud Cases

August 23, 2010 by admin

Naomi Wolf recounts the ugly story of her interactions with WaMu when she reported suspected fraud on her account.

… I noticed eventually that checkbooks were missing from my home, and finally my accountant got enough of the records to see an unmistakable pattern of fraud, and called my attention to it. I filed a police report and alerted WaMu to the fraud. For months thereafter, as you can see in the lawsuit that attorney David Fish and I have filed against J P Morgan Chase, now owner of WaMu, that is up on TheSmokingGun.com, I complied with what the WaMu bank officials directed me to do — which was to leave the accounts open so they could investigate, they said, the fraud. If the fraud is reported within six months of confirmation of fraud, it is liable for the loss.

You can probably guess what happened next. But to WaMu’s dismay, they reportedly handed Wolf the evidence of their alleged stonewalling:

Inadvertently, subsequent to that, a WaMu bank official handed me the wrong file — wrong from his point of view; illuminating from mine, and from any consumer’s. It contained emails, some of which you can see at TheSmokingGun.com, from WaMu bank officials to one another — and including emails from and to their counsel, PR department and and the fraud department — that take as given that stonewalling a client with a fraud claim on the bank is standard practice; and yet one freaked-out bank official in the emails warns his colleagues that if their mechanisms in this regard became known, their practices would be all over the newspapers. [And the Blogs! Bob]

Read more on Huffington Post.

“We don't own the problem”


Fraudsters Drain PayPal Accounts Through iTunes

Reports are appearing this morning about a major security hole in iTunes accounts linked to PayPal. At least one group of scammers has found a way to charge thousands of dollars to iTunes accounts through PayPal. One targeted customer told us, “My account was charged over $4700. I called security at PayPal and was told a large number of iTunes store accounts were compromised.” His email was filled with nearly 50 receipts from PayPall for $99.99 each.

… AT least PayPal is aware of the issue, but it seems like the problem is on the iTunes side.



The real iTunes fraud vulnerability: Gullible users

So these reports of a major security hole in iTunes, one through which people have had their PayPal accounts drained?

Not much to them, I'm told. Or, rather, not much to their assertion that Apple is at fault here. There's no security hole in iTunes, [That's one of those “I bet my job” statements if it came from a Security Manager. If it came from Marketing it's an “I'm doing my job” statement. Bob] and if you've been unfortunate enough to have hundreds of dollars in unauthorized purchases charged to your iTunes account, it's likely because you've fallen victim to a phishing scam--a variation on the one that's been around for years now. Sources close to Apple tell me iTunes has not been compromised and the company isn't aware of any sudden increase in fraudulent transactions.

A mere 93 pages...


August 23, 2010

Identity Theft Resource Center 2010 Breach List

Identity Theft Resource Center 2010 Breach List - Breaches: 435 Exposed: 13,329,706 - Report Date, 8/17/2010

For my Ethical Hackers...


I Can Stalk U: New Site Posts Exacts Locations of Twitter Users Posting Geotagged Photos

August 23, 2010 by Dissent

Sarah Perez writes:

Remember PleaseRobMe.com? The website, which warned of the dangers in sharing your physical location online, now has a successor called I Can Stalk U.

While PleaseRobMe (now shuttered) focused on how publicly broadcasting your location could alert criminals to an empty house nearby, ideal for burglarizing, the new site aims to raise awareness about the dangers of geo-tagged photos, specifically the ones shared from your smartphone to social networks like Twitter.

“Many people may be unaware that lots of smartphones geo-tag photos,” explains security researcher Graham Cluley, who revealed the site via blog post today. The site itself, however, quietly launched a few months ago to little fanfare.

Read more on ReadWriteWeb.

An indication of how serious the attack on Google was taken?


Why Intel bought McAfee

There's been quite a bit of head-scratching over Intel's decision to purchase McAfee, but, despite all the breathless talk about mobile security and ARM and virus-fighting processors, the chipmaker's motivations for the purchase are actually fairly straightforward. First, Intel's management has decided, in the wake of Operation Aurora, to move security up to the top of Intel's priority list. Second, secure systems require a lot more than just hardware support—security is about the whole stack, plus the network, plus policies and practices. Third, Intel has waited for ages for its ecosystem partners to come up with ways to give consumers access to vPro's security benefits, and little has really panned out so now they're just going to take vPro (and any newer security technologies) directly to consumers via McAfee.

Let's take a look at each of these reasons in turn.

After all, words speak louder than actions... Is that true for Courts and Legislatures and Schools and Police Departments?


Court: Death Threats Addressed to Corporations Aren’t Illegal

An Arizona man who plotted a massacre outside the 2008 Super Bowl had his conviction overturned Monday by a federal appeals court because his snailmailed death threats went to no specific targets.

The case concerned Kurt William Havelock, who drove to the Super Bowl in Glendale, Arizona, with a newly purchased assault rifle and dozens of rounds of ammunition with the intent to kill. “It will be swift and bloody,” he wrote media outlets in packages mailed a half hour before he got cold feet and abandoned his plan. “I will sacrifice your children upon the altar of your excess.”

“We can't figure out how t make money, so it must be the law that's at fault.”


RIAA: U.S. copyright law 'isn't working'

For my fellow Math teachers and the students.


Solve and Graph Equations in Word and OneNote

Here’s a free add-in from Microsoft that will make Word and OneNote into top-notch mathematics programs.

Microsoft’s new Mathematics Add-in for Word 2007 and 2010 is a great tool to work with math in Office. It lets you create beautiful graphs and solve equations without purchasing an expensive math program.

The Math add-in generates beautiful 3D graphs powered by DirectX, so you’ll be prompted to install the latest version of DirectX at the end of the installation.

Next time you open Word 2010 or 2007, you’ll notice a new Mathematics tab in the ribbon. Here you can insert equations, graphs and more right into your Word documents.

OneNote includes one very interesting feature: you can insert equations with digital ink. While editing a new equation, click Ink Equation to start writing the equation in on your touch screen.

Alternately, you can insert a variety of pre-built equations by clicking the down-arrow under the Equation button in either application. More equations are available from Office.com if you’d like to add to your gallery.

Download the Mathematics Add-in for Word and OneNote

It's that time of year again, so expect several articles like this one.


Monday, August 23, 2010

100+ Free Textbooks from Open Culture



10 Best Websites For Free Audio Books



Back to School Guide to Some Awesome Apps and Resources

… Visual Studio 2010, Windows Server 2008 R2, SQL Server 2008 R2, Expression Studio 4, and more are all available free for students from Microsoft’s Dreamspark program. Additionally, many colleges offer MSDNAA to computer science students; check Microsoft’s MSDNAA site to see if your college offers it.

[Colorado Tech does: http://msdn06.e-academy.com/elms/Storefront/Home.aspx?campus=ctu_csit ]

… AutoCAD 2011, Maya 2011, 3ds Max, Autodesk Revit, and more are available free for students from Autodesk’s Education Community.

How lazy can you get? Actually, this might be handy...


Keep Your Computer 'Awake' with Mouse Jiggler

As you probably know, all it takes an occasional jiggle of the mouse to keep the system humming. And that's the idea behind Mouse Jiggler, a free utility that "fakes" mouse input--and saves you from having to mess with Windows' power settings.

Humor? I copied this into a slideshow to remind myself of the definition of a “specialist,” – one who knows more and more about less and less.


What Exactly Is a Doctorate?

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