Monday, December 06, 2010

Think of the Internet as a really interesting book and then imagine being limited to page 6 & 399...

Report Finds More Aussie Gov't Workers Misusing Internet

"A new report to Australia's parliament announces a 54% increase in government workers misusing the internet. In fiscal year 2010, 313 different federal workers came under investigation for improper use of e-mail or the internet, up from just 202 in the previous year. The report — available online as a PDF file — also discovered that nearly half the investigated workers were in the Australian Tax Office, according to an Australian technology blog. 'Maybe it's just a case of particularly boring work making such distractions more attractive,' they suggest, since the report blames most of the discovered cases on one-time incidents of poor judgment."

So, does this make the folks at WikiLeaks journalists?

WikiLeaks Took Advice From Media Outlets

"According to the AP (through Google News), WikiLeaks isn't just sitting on the recent material so they can release it bit by bit to the press, as many people implied. On the contrary, it's quite the other way around: 'only after considering advice from five news organizations with which it chose to share all of the material' are they releasing it themselves. These newspapers 'have been advising WikiLeaks on which documents to release publicly and what redactions to make to those documents.' AP questions whether WikiLeaks will follow these redactions, but nevertheless seems quite impressed by this 'extraordinary collaboration between some of the world's most respected media outlets and the WikiLeaks organization.'"

I wonder if some of the anti-WikiLeaks fervor evident among US lawmakers will also be brought to bear against the AP and other mainstream media sources. Update: 12/05 17:42 GMT by T : Yes, that's WikiLeaks, rather than (as originally rendered) WikiPedia. HT to reader Mike Hearn.

For my Computer Security students

On Cyber Warfare

This report argues that national strategy must be reviewed and adapted if it is to take proper account of cyber warfare.

The report's key findings include:

Cyber warfare can enable actors to achieve their political and strategic goals without the need for armed conflict

Cyberspace gives disproportionate power to small and otherwise relatively insignificant actors

Operating behind false IP addresses, foreign servers and aliases, attackers can act with almost complete anonymity and relative impunity, at least in the short term

In cyberspace the boundaries are blurred between the military and the civilian, and between the physical and the virtual; and power can be exerted by states or non-state actors, or by proxy

Cyberspace should be viewed as the 'fifth battlespace', alongside the more traditional arenas of land, air, sea and space. Cyber warfare is best understood as a new but not entirely separate component of this multifaceted conflict environment

The transatlantic relationship is important for a variety of reasons where cyber warfare is concerned. Close cooperation between the United States and the United Kingdom in intelligence and military matters has extended into cyberspace, enabling both states to influence the domain in a way that is difficult, if not impossible, for any other bilateral partnership or alliance to match.

Direct link to Paper (PDF; 1.1 MB) Executive Summary (PDF; 369 KB)

For my Statistics students – Bell Curves

December 05, 2010

Chart of Percent Job Losses in Post WWII Recessions

Via Calculated Risk, this graph "shows the job losses from the start of the employment recession, in percentage terms aligned at maximum job losses. For the current employment recession, employment peaked in December 2007, and this recession is by far the worst recession since WWII in percentage terms, and 2nd worst in terms of the unemployment rate (only the early '80s recession with a peak of 10.8 percent was worse)."

Global Warming! Global Warming! Looks like Al Gore will need to revise those slides again....

Alarmist Doomsday warning of rising seas 'was wrong', says Met Office study

Alarming predictions that global warming could cause sea levels to rise 6ft in the next century are wrong, it has emerged. [I have seen predictions of up to 30 feet. Bob]

The forecast made by the influential 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which would have seen cities around the world submerged by water, now looks ‘unlikely’.

… However, the report says the IPCC was right to warn of a sea level rise of up to 2ft by 2100, and that a 3ft rise could happen.

The IPCC underestimated the danger posed by the melting of the Greenland ice sheet and the release of methane from warmer wetlands, the report adds.

… However, the report also has bad news. It says there is new evidence that the Arctic will become largely free of ice during most summers earlier in the century than the IPCC warned, and that the Greenland ice sheet is more likely to melt in centuries to come than previously thought.

It also warns that the release of methane from warming wetlands will be greater than thought in 2007 - leading to more global warming in the coming decades.

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