Saturday, July 21, 2012

What do you suppose prompted this?
Utah health officials take Data Breach Security Tour on the road
July 20, 2012 by admin
In the wake of its massive data breach, Utah health officials are doing something I don’t recall ever seeing before – they’re taking breach support on the road to reach out to those affected. Kirsten Stewart reports:
Health officials are touring the state, looking to provide one-on-one help to the nearly 800,000 Utahns swept up in a state data breach.
The Data Breach Security Tour, a series of workshops, kicks off July 26 at the Salt Lake County Government Center in Salt Lake City. The statewide tour will conclude Aug. 22 in St. George.
Read more on The Salt Lake Tribune where you can also find out when the tour will be in your area.

Well, it's a start...
U.S. Admits Surveillance Violated Constitution At Least Once
The head of the U.S. government’s vast spying apparatus has conceded that recent surveillance efforts on at least one occasion violated the Constitutional prohibitions on unlawful search and seizure.
The admission comes in a letter from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declassifying statements that a top U.S. Senator wished to make public in order to call attention to the government’s 2008 expansion of its key surveillance law.
“On at least one occasion,” the intelligence shop has approved Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) to say, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court found that “minimization procedures” used by the government while it was collecting intelligence were “unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment.” Minimization refers to how long the government may retain the surveillance data it collects. The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution is supposed to guarantee our rights against unreasonable searches.
Wyden does not specify how extensive this “unreasonable” surveillance was; when it occurred; or how many Americans were affected by it.
In the letter, acquired by Danger Room (.pdf), Wyden asserts a serious federal sidestep of a major section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

It's bad enough when politicians claim to have 'known all along it wouldn't work' but when people who work in the field have been raising red flags for months (years) with no action from the politicians or bureaucrats you know the story is going to keep getting bigger... This isn't a model for the US Health System, is it?
B.C. software woes worse than predicted: privacy group
July 21, 2012 by Dissent
Rob Shaw reports:
A privacy watchdog group that has been sounding alarm bells for years about the B.C. government’s new computer system says revelations of its serious failures are far worse than predicted.
Numerous privacy breaches in the new $182-million Integrated Case Management System, revealed Thursday, are “far beyond” the worst-case scenario predicted by the Freedom of Information and Privacy Association, said executive director Vincent Gogolek.
“There seems to be so much wrong with the system,” Gogolek said. “We didn’t see this coming at all.”
Read more on the Times Colonist.
[From the article:
B.C.'s child watchdog Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond said Thursday she was overwhelmed with complaints of technical problems in the "deeply flawed" computer software that has led to "several instances" of privacy breaches.
That computer system went live April 1, linking information on thousands of social assistance and child welfare clients, including sensitive details on child abuse, foster care and welfare payments.

Why Congress doesn't Tweet?
"Researchers presenting at Defcon next week have developed a psychopathy prediction model for Twitter. It analyzes linguistic tells to rate users' levels of narcissism, machiavellianism and other similarities to Patrick Bateman. 'The FBI could use this to flag potential wrongdoers, but I think it's much more compelling for psychologists to use to understand large communities of people,' says Chris Sumner of the Online Privacy Foundation. Some of the Twitter clues: Curse words. Angry responses to other people, including swearing and use of the word "hate." Using the word "we." Using periods. Using filler words such as 'blah' and 'I mean' and 'um.' So, um, yeah."

Yet another tool for the “Swiss Army Folder”
Snappy is yet another program in the world of applications that allows users to take screenshots of their desktop, but unlike thousands of other software that allow such a thing, Snappy allows users to edit the image and make adjustments such as editing the brightness, contrast, RGB settings and more.

For my Ethical Hackers: Add this to your Hacking Tools Guide
Darpa Funds Hack Machine You’d Never Notice
It may look like a surge protector, but it’s really a remote access machine that corporations can use to test security and log into branch offices. Called the Power Pwn, it’s a stealthier version of the little box that can hack your network we wrote about last March.
Hidden inside are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi adapters, along with a number of hacking and remote access tools that let security experts prod and poke the network, and even call home to be remotely controlled via the cellular network.

Is this the right question? Why not ask, “What would be better than Khan Academy?”
"Even as name-brand universities like MIT and Harvard rush to put more courses on the Web, they're vying with an explosion of new online learning resources like Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, Dabble, Skillshare, and, of course, Khan Academy. With 3,200 videos on YouTube and 4 million unique visitors a month, Sal Khan's increasingly entertaining creation is the competitor that traditional universities need to beat if they want to have a role in inspiring the next generation of leaders and thinkers. Lately Khan's organization has been snapping up some of YouTube's most creative educational-video producers, including 'Doodling in Math Class' creator Vi Hart and Smarthistory founders Beth Harris and Steven Zucker. Universities are investing millions in software for 'massive online open courses' or MOOCs, but unless they can figure out how to make their material fun as well as instructive, Khan may have an insurmountable lead." [Sort of the “Animal House” view of college? “I had Seven years of fun...” Bob]
The Chronicle of Higher Education has a related article about the above-mentioned Coursera, and how they plan to make money off of free courses. A contract the company signed with the University of Michigan suggests they aren't quite sure yet.

(Related) The videos and tutorials are out there, it's a matter of finding and organizing them.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Last night I stumbled upon this video of David Breashears presenting at the Cambridge Science Festival. The video is hosted by MIT Video which I either had never seen before or had completely forgotten about (a real possibility after 6500+ blog posts).
MIT Video is a giant collection of more than 10,000 educational videos organized into more than 150 channels. The largest channel is the Open Courseware channel that contains more than 2,300 lectures from MIT's open courses.
All of the videos are either MIT productions or videos approved by editors at MIT Video. Only people with MIT email addresses are allowed to contribute to the collection. Some videos are hosted by MIT Video while others are from YouTube.

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