Thursday, April 12, 2012

So are my Computer Security majors worth more in the job market or not?
Future of Data Breach Class Actions After ‘Anderson’
April 11, 2012 by admin
John F. Mullen and Francis X. Nolan IV discuss the state of class action lawsuits over data breaches. Here’s a snippet:
In October 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit issued its decision in Anderson v. Hannaford, where it denied the defendant grocery chain’s motion to dismiss an action arising from a breach of customers’ personal information—a rare significant victory for plaintiffs alleging mitigation damages.1 Anderson is viewed, by some, as a watershed moment in the brief but frenzied history of data breach litigation. But is it really a departure from precedent? If not, what sets Anderson apart from other unsuccessful data breach actions? This article reviews and analyzes notable decisions in this area of law.
Read their full commentary and analysis on New York Law Journal.

That just means they can't hit him with it, right? They have to bring their own club...
Code Not Physical Property, Court Rules in Goldman Sachs Espionage Case
Former Goldman Sachs programmer Sergey Aleynikov, who downloaded source code for the investment firm’s high-speed trading system from the company’s computers, was wrongly charged with theft of property because the code did not qualify as a physical object under a federal theft statute, according to a court opinion published Wednesday.
“Because Aleynikov did not ‘assume physical control’ over anything when he took the source code, and because he did not thereby ‘deprive [Goldman] of its use,’ Aleynikov did not violate the [National Stolen Property Act],” the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals wrote in its opinion (.pdf).
The three-judge panel in New York also ruled that Aleynikov was wrongly charged with espionage, since the code was not a product designed for interstate or foreign commerce, a requirement under the Economic Espionage Act with which he was charged and convicted. The court found that Goldman’s system was neither “produced for” nor “placed in” interstate or foreign commerce, nor did the company have any intention of selling its system or licensing it to anyone.
The opinion finally provides explanation for why the judges delivered a surprise ruling last February that reversed Aleynikov’s conviction and sprung him from prison a year after he had begun to serve an eight-year sentence.
The ruling also deals a blow to the government’s ability to prosecute others for similar thefts of trade secrets under the EEA.

I'm going to have someone explain this to me. It's conspiracy to charge more than DoJ thinks books are worth?
April 11, 2012
DOJ Files Lawsuits Against Apple and Publishers Over E-Book Pricing
News release: "In recent years, we have seen the rapid growth – and the many benefits – of electronic books. E-books are transforming our daily lives, and improving how information and content is shared. For the growing number of Americans who want to take advantage of this new technology, the Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that e-books are as affordable as possible. [Interesting choice of words. Will they offer coupons? Bob] As part of this commitment, the Department has reached a settlement with three of the nation’s largest book publishers – and will continue to litigate against Apple, and two additional leading publishers – for conspiring to increase the prices that consumers pay for e-books. Earlier today, we filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, against Apple and five different book publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Penguin and Simon & Schuster. In response to our allegations, three of these publishers – Hachette, HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster – agreed to a proposed settlement. If approved by the court, this settlement would resolve the Department’s antitrust concerns with these companies, and would require them to grant retailers – such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble [and Apple? Bob] – the freedom to reduce the prices of their e-book titles. The settlement also requires the companies to terminate their anticompetitive most-favored-nation agreements with Apple and other e-books retailers."

(Related) It's not who you know, it's who you PAC (and how generously)
Jeff Bezos Should Send Eric Holder a Christmas Card
I can imagine Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in Seattle this morning, reading the Justice Department’s antitrust lawsuit on a gigantic Kindle Fire XL prototype, and grinning ear to ear, savoring every word.
… Jeff Bezos knows exactly what to do next. Jeff Bezos doesn’t have to answer to anyone any more. Everyone else, including his most powerful counterparts across the negotiating table, will have to answer to him.
Amazon as the returning hero
Officially, Amazon’s response to today’s news is fairly measured. “This is a big win for Kindle owners, and we look forward to being allowed to lower prices on more Kindle books,” writes Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener in an e-mail.
But if it’s “a big win for Kindle owners,” it’s a huge win for Amazon. If you read the text of Justice’s proposed settlement with e-book publishers, it sounds like an argument for Amazon’s business model.
The settlement gives Amazon everything it wants in its dealings with publishers, and enshrines it as part of an agreement with the federal government, and compliance with antitrust law.
… In short, the settlement forces publishers who agree to it to go back to the negotiating table with Amazon while systematically taking away every piece of leverage those publishers have had — whether ill-gotten or not.
… What’s left out of the Justice department’s lawsuit might be even better news for Amazon than what’s included. There is no broader look at any of the anticompetitive vagaries of the e-book market beyond publishers’ negotiations with retailers in the period before and after the launch of iBooks.
The suit blasts most favored nation agreements without noting that Amazon has aggressively pursued MFN agreements with publishing partners, including partners whose books it sells wholesale. It’s completely silent on retailers’ and device manufacturers’ use of DRM to lock customers into a single bookstore. Amazon is purely a market innovator, not a budding monopolist, even as the DOJ notes that Amazon’s pricing power helped determine pricing power across the industry.

(Related) On the other hand...
DOJ is likely to lose e-book antitrust suit targeting Apple
… "It's a harder case against Apple than the publishers," says Geoffrey Manne, who teaches antitrust law at the Lewis and Clark Law School in Oregon and runs the International Center for Law and Economics. (See CNET's list of related articles and an explanation of e-book economics.)
One reason lies in the Justice Department's 36-page complaint, which recounts how publishers met over breakfast in a London hotel and dinners at Manhattan's posh Picholine restaurant, which boasts a "Best of Award of Excellence" from Wine Spectator magazine. The key point is that Apple wasn't present.
The Department of Justice "has a far better case against the publishers than Apple," says Dominick Armentano, professor emeritus of economics at the University of Hartford and author of Antitrust and Monopoly who's now affiliated with the Independent Institute in Oakland, Calif. "If the CEOs of the various publishers got together in hotel rooms to discuss prices, they are sunk" and might as well settle, he says.
Richard Epstein, the prolific legal scholar and professor of law at New York University, goes further. Epstein argues in an essay published yesterday that there are "difficulties" with the Justice Department's case against publishers as well: "It will take some time to hear the whole story, but the betting here is that this lawsuit is a mistake."

At least California added schools to those prohibited from invading your privacy.
More States Try to Keep Facebook Passwords Away From Bosses
The Maryland General Assembly passed a law on Tuesday to make it illegal for employers to ask employees for Facebook passwords, and now other states are considering similar legislation, including California, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois.
In California, State Bill 1349 would prevent schools and employers from demanding access to social media accounts.
… One of the challenges that these laws will face is the fuzzy line between “personal” and “work” accounts. For instance, an employee may use a personal Twitter account to tweet as a subject matter expert who works for a well-reputed consultancy. Whether that consultant is tweeting from a work or personal account could be challenged in a court. [Who made money? Bob]

A US court can stop an injunction issued by a German court because the German court's ruling would stop the US court from ruling? This is why I'd never make it in Law School – my head would explode.
"In an unusual case, a U.S. judge has ruled that Motorola cannot enforce an injunction that would prevent Microsoft from selling Windows products in Germany, should a German court issue such an injunction next week. Microsoft asked the judge for the ruling in anticipation of an injunction that a German court is expected to issue related to a patent infringement suit that Motorola filed against Microsoft in Germany. The suit centers primarily on Motorola licenses that have been declared essential to the H.264 video standard. The German injunction is expected on April 17."
[From the article:
Microsoft argued that if the judge would allow that German injunction to go forward, which ultimately might compel Microsoft to negotiate a license according to German law, the U.S. court would lose its opportunity to make its own ruling on similar licensing issues. The U.S. court should be the one to rule on that issue, Microsoft argued, because Microsoft filed its lawsuit against Motorola over the terms of a licensing deal before Motorola filed its suit in Germany.

The University just went to dual-boot (Windows 7 & Ubuntu) over the break between Quarter. This was (apparently) considered so trivial that they didn't even notify the professors. We haven't trained anyone on Windows XP in a long while...
"Microsoft's recent announcement that it will end support for the Windows XP operating system in two years signals the end of an era for the company, and potentially the beginning of a nightmare for everyone else. When Microsoft cuts the cord on XP in two years it will effectively leave millions of existing Windows-based computers vulnerable to continued and undeterred cyberattacks, many of which hold the potential to find their way into consumer, enterprise and even industrial systems running the latest software. Although most of the subsequent security issues appear to be at the consumer level, it may not be long until they find a way into corporate networks or industrial systems, says VMWare's Jason Miller. Even scarier, Qualsys's Amol Sarwate says many SCADA systems for industrial networks still run a modified version of XP, and are not in a position to upgrade. Because much of the software running on SCADA systems is not compatible with traditional Microsoft OS capabilities, an OS upgrade would entail much more work than it would for a home or corporate system."

Ah ha! That's why they killed the penny, so Canadians would be forced to use e-Currency! Now they will be able to spend fractional pennies if they choose – perhaps my blog would be worth 14/93 of a penny?
"The Canadian mint has allowed 500 developers to enter a contest to create a new digital currency. The currency would allow micro payments using electronic devices. From the article: 'Less than a week after the government announced the penny’s impending death, the Mint quietly unveiled its digital currency called MintChip. Still in the research and development phase, MintChip will ultimately let people pay each other directly using smartphones, USB sticks, computers, tablets and clouds. The digital currency will be anonymous and good for small transactions — just like cash, the Mint says. To make sure its technology meets the gold standard in a world where digital transactions are gaining steam, the Mint is holding a contest for software developers to create applications using the MintChip.'"
It looks like the Canadian Mint might have a bit of Sweden envy.

"A Japanese bank this week said it will introduce ATMs that use palm scanners in place of cash cards. Ogaki Kyoristu Bank said the new machines will allow customers to withdraw or deposit cash and check their balances by placing their hand on a scanner and entering their birthday plus a pin number. The ATMs will initially be installed at 10 banks, as well as a drive-through ATM and two mobile banks. Ogaiki announced the new ATMs with the slogan 'You are your cash card.'"

How to get a micro-education?
Microsoft Inks Its Biggest Cloud Deal Yet: 7.5M Students And Teachers In India
Microsoft has announced that it has signed its largest-ever cloud services deal, an agreement with the All India Council for Technical Education to deploy Microsoft’s Live@edu service to some 10,000 technical colleges in the country, covering 7.5 million users.
Microsoft Live@edu
Microsoft Live@edu offers education institutions free, hosted, co-branded communication and collaboration services for students, faculty, and alumni. Microsoft Live@edu can:
  • Provision cloud-based email.
  • Provide enterprise-class tools.
  • Enable online document sharing and storage.
  • Help improve alumni communication.

For my Intro to Computer Security class

Could this be an e-Study Group tool?
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Remember when Facebook was just a network for college students? Well they're not reverting back to those days, but today they did introduce Groups for Schools that do require members to have a .edu email from the college or university whose group they wish to join. The new Groups for Schools option is for colleges and universities who wish to create groups in which to post lectures, notes, and files. Groups for Schools includes a file sharing option that members of each group can use.
TechCrunch has a good piece about Facebook's new Group's for Schools that I recommend reading.

For that day in the (near) future when e-Textbooks become mandatory...
eReaderLookup is a website that allows users to compare different eBook readers and choose the best one suited for them. It shows users complete specifications of the available eBook readers along with their price.

No comments: