Loma Linda offers help after desktops stolen in June
August 13, 2010 by admin
Darrell R. Santschi reports:
Loma Linda University’s dental school has hired a credit monitoring and repair firm to help potential identity theft victims. Kroll Inc. will offer assistance to any of the 10,100 patients whose personal information was contained in three desktop computers stolen from the school the weekend of June 12, university spokesman Dustin Jones said.
Patient treatment records were not stored on the computers, he said, but they did contain names, social security numbers, dates of birth and other health and personal information. Two people were arrested in connection with the case last month.
Jones said computer memory had been erased [“memory” is wiped when the power is turned off. Do they mean they re-formatted the hard drive? Bob] by the thieves, who he said were unable to crack password firewalls. [One of the first thing I teach my Computer Forensic students is to pull the hard drive from the target computer and attach it (via a “Write Blocker”) to another computer. If you don't boot from the target drive, it's operating system never gets control and thus never asks for a password. Bob] He said the university has not yet heard any reports of identity theft. [Now that victims know a probable source, that could change. Bob]
This appears to be Loma Linda’s second breach in recent months. In April, the medical center reported that a desktop stolen from the surgical administrative office contained PHI on 584 patients.
I'm sure this isn't viewed as “caving in” to Big Brother, but simply “complying with local laws and regulations.” The effect is the same.
Update: BlackBerry assures India on access to services
August 13, 2010 by Dissent
Bappa Majumdar reports:
Research In Motion has promised India a technical solution for decoding encrypted BlackBerry data, a senior official said on Friday, a step that could allay Indian security concerns about the smartphone and avert a shutdown.
Indian authorities, who met with RIM officials on Friday, also pledged to go after other companies — including Google and Skype — to protect the country from cyber-spying and attacks planned over the Internet.
RIM faces an August 31 deadline to give authorities the means to read email and instant messages sent over the BlackBerry. New Delhi says it will pull the plug if RIM won’t comply, threatening its future in the world’s fastest-growing telecoms market.
Read more on Reuters.com.
(Related) It must be okay, everybody's doing it!
RIM posts BlackBerry spying 'rules,' wants equal treatment
RIM today posted a set of guidelines that it said would dictate the limits of how countries such as India could monitor its services. The BlackBerry maker would refuse to grant access beyond what's legally required by a local government. Any monitoring would similarly have to be "technology and vendor neutral" and wouldn't grant any special access to a BlackBerry that isn't present on an iPhone or similar device.
Why buy flood insurance if you can convince the Army Corps of Engineers to move the river?
How not to address child ID theft
August 13, 2010 by admin
…. Unfortunately, this idea is totally and subtly broken.
Today, the credit agencies don’t get lists from the SSA. This is a good thing. There’s no authorization under law for them to do so. The fact that they’ve created an externality on young people is no reason to revise that law. The right fix is for them to fix their systems.
The right fix is for credit bureaus to delete any credit history from before someone turns 18. Birth dates could be confirmed by a drivers license, passport or birth certificate.
Here’s how it would work:
1. Alice turns 18.
2. Alice applies for credit and discovers she has a credit history
3. Alice calls the big three credit agencies and gets a runaround explains she’s just turned 18, and apparently has credit from when she was 13.
4. The credit agency asks for documents, just like they do today (see “when do I need to provide supporting docs”)
5. The credit agency looks at the birthday they’ve been provided, and substracts 18 years from the year field.
6. The credit agency removes the record from the report
It’s easy, and doesn’t require anything but a change in process by the credit bureaus. No wonder they haven’t done it, when they can convince privacy advocates that they should get lists of SSN/name/dob tuples from Uncle Sam.
The problem I see with Adam’s proposal is that it doesn’t prevent ID theft in the first place, which is what ITRC’s proposal at least attempts to do. Yes, his approach would clear Alice’s record, but there would still be all kinds of erroneous records circulating with her name and SSN attached to them in public record databases and other databases because the ID theft wasn’t prevented.
Of course, the new ID Analytics report on multiple SSNs per person and multiple persons per SSN does not inspire confidence in any approach that attempts to use SSA’s database for anything and raises questions in my mind about ITRC’s proposal.
But more importantly, perhaps: why are we still trying to make the system work with SSN? Hasn’t it become abundantly clear by now that the only thing SSN should be used for is for SSA benefits?
So is it any surprise that we have politicians who aren't sure what the definition of “is” is?
US Students Struggle With Understanding of the 'Equal' Sign
Posted by Soulskill on Friday August 13, @09:32AM
bickerd--- writes with news of research out of Texas A&M which found that roughly 70% of middle grades students in the US don't fully understand what the 'equal' sign means. Quoting:
"'The equal sign is pervasive and fundamentally linked to mathematics from kindergarten through upper-level calculus,' Robert M. Capraro says. 'The idea of symbols that convey relative meaning, such as the equal sign and "less than" and "greater than" signs, is complex and they serve as a precursor to ideas of variables, which also require the same level of abstract thinking.' The problem is students memorize procedures without fully understanding the mathematics, he notes. 'Students who have learned to memorize symbols and who have a limited understanding of the equal sign will tend to solve problems such as 4+3+2=( )+2 by adding the numbers on the left, and placing it in the parentheses, then add those terms and create another equal sign with the new answer,' he explains. 'So the work would look like 4+3+2=(9)+2=11.'"
My wife supplies some anecdotal support. When she brings her doberman to work, all the lawyers seem to spend more time in their offices and less time chatting in the halls.
August 13, 2010
Research: Dogs improve office productivity
The Economist: "There are plenty of studies which show that dogs act as social catalysts, helping their owners forge intimate, long-term relationships with other people. But does that apply in the workplace? Christopher Honts and his colleagues at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant were surprised to find that there was not much research on this question, and decided to put that right. They wondered in particular if the mere presence of a canine in the office might make people collaborate more effectively. And, as they told a meeting of the International Society for Human Ethology in Madison, Wisconsin, on August 2nd, they found that it could."
'cause you can never have enough tools. For my Intro to IT class.
Monitor What’s Really Going On With Your PC With System Explorer
System Explorer will return power over your own computer back to you.
The beauty of System Explorer is that it collects, organizes, and rearranges all of the information you need about your system into one central location.
Saikat covered how to troubleshoot Windows with MSConfig.
… it not only lists every single process running on your machine, as well as all of the details about each process – but if you see one that’s questionable, you don’t have to try and guess what it is. If you click on the “Check” link, you’ll go to an online database of file type explanations and reviews from experts regarding whether or not the file is considered safe or unsafe.
… If it appears that your Internet bandwidth has been hijacked, then click on the “Connections” option in the left menu and you’ll see every last process that’s accessing the Internet, the protocol being used, and the “to” and “from” domain addresses. This can help you identify applications that are sending traffic to questionable domains.
… Clicking “Startups” displays every program configured to launch up on startup. This include shortcuts in your Startup folder, and items in your registry. See one that you don’t want? Just right click and disable or delete.
… If you click “Additional Info,” you’ll find your processor speed, used and free memory, drivers, registered DLLs, and even every font that’s installed on your system!
10 Simple But Useful Ways To Use The Character Map & Your Lesser-Used Fonts
… Just to give you an example of using the lesser fonts creatively – you can take the ‘scissor’ character from Wingdings and put it next to a dotted line. It illustratively tells you on a printed sheet – cut along the dotted line.
Nibbo: Improved Way To Search Google
Nibbo is a search engine based on Google Search. The engine’s most prominent feature is how it integrates all types of search results within one page. For instance if you execute a search of “hippos” on Nibbo, the ‘web’ results will be shown in the center pane and to the right you can view results from images, videos, Wikipedia, news, and Twitter.
Also read related articles:
Also for my Intro to IT class.
How a 16-yo Kid Made His First Million Dollars Following His Hero, Steve Jobs