Friday, October 07, 2011

“We have clear evidence that we detected this early enough to stop it, but couldn't be bother to actually do anything.” Wow, that makes me confident they are protecting my money...
A few weeks ago, UBS employee Kweku Adoboli (universally described as a "rogue trader") ran up a $2 billion loss for his employer; many readers wondered how it is the systems which allow trades to happen at all aren't better tuned to catch such massive cash flows without triggering alerts. Now, reader DMandPenfold submits a report from Computerworld UK in which the bank claims that such triggers were in place — they were simply not acted on. From the article:
"UBS has insisted its IT systems did detect unusual and unauthorised trading activity, Interim chief executive Sergio Ermotti, who is running the company following Oswald Grubel's resignation last month, sent a memo to employees saying the bank is aware that its systems did detect the rogue activity. In the memo, Ermotti wrote: 'Our internal investigation indicates that risk and operational systems did detect unauthorised or unexplained activity but this was not sufficiently investigated nor was appropriate action taken to ensure existing controls were enforced.'"

Predicting crime: good. Looking at everyone all the time rather than looking for anomalies: bad (and rather wasteful, unless the assumption is that most 'citizens' are criminals) This appears to be an attempt to automate the behavioral checking that Israel uses at airports. Good luck with that.
Homeland Security moves forward with 'pre-crime' detection
An internal U.S. Department of Homeland Security document indicates that a controversial program designed to predict whether a person will commit a crime is already being tested on some members of the public, CNET has learned.
… It's unclear why the June 2010 DHS document (PDF) specified that information is currently collected or retained on members of "the public" as part of FAST, and a department representative declined to answer questions that CNET posed two days ago.
Peter Boogaard, the deputy press secretary for the Department of Homeland Security, provided a statement to CNET that said:
The FAST program is only in the preliminary stages of research and there are no plans for acquiring or deploying this type of technology at this time.
FAST is designed to track and monitor, among other inputs, body movements, voice pitch changes, prosody changes (alterations in the rhythm and intonation of speech), eye movements, body heat changes, and breathing patterns. Occupation and age are also considered. A government source told CNET that blink rate and pupil variation are measured too.
A field test of FAST has been conducted in at least one undisclosed location in the northeast. "It is not an airport, but it is a large venue that is a suitable substitute for an operational setting," DHS spokesman John Verrico told in May.

Perspective: Didn't Maine recently give tablets to schoolchildren? But why would WY be number two?
Maine Was the Top State for Tablet Lovers in September
Targeted mobile advertising firm Jumptap has released its MobileSTAT market share report for September concerning tablet and smartphone usage trends across the United States. The big surprise? The state of Maine had the highest tablet use in the U.S. in September, followed by other vacationland spots like Hawaii, New Hampshire and Virginia. Jumptap says that 93% of tablet traffic comes over Wi-Fi while the iPad controlled the sector with 75% of usage.

Because you never know which one will work best...
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Vessenger, producers of a group messaging system, offers a free program for capturing and annotating images on your computer screen. The free program, called Snaplr, is available for Windows and Mac.
Snaplr reminds me a bit of Jing without the video option. With Snaplr installed you can capture all or part of your screen. Snaplr's annotation tools include text boxes, highlighting, and free-hand drawing tools. When you've finished creating your annotated screen capture you can save it as a PNG file or attach it to an email message in Outlook.

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