Friday, December 21, 2012

Interesting claim. If true, this will really shake things up. However, it looks like you still need an active hack before the decrypt. Follow Best Practices for Encryption (particularly Key Control) and you should be secure.
"Russian firm ElcomSoft on Thursday announced the release of Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor (EFDD), a new forensic tool that can reportedly access information stored in disks and volumes encrypted with desktop and portable versions of BitLocker, PGP, and TrueCrypt. EFDD runs on all 32-bit and 64-bit editions of Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7, as well as Windows 2003 and Windows Server 2008."
All that for $300.
[From the article:
So, how does it work? Elcomsoft Forensic Disk Decryptor acquires the necessary decryption keys by analyzing memory dumps and/or hibernation files obtained from the target PC. You’ll thus need to get a memory dump from a running PC (locked or unlocked) with encrypted volumes mounted, via a standard forensic product or via a FireWire attack. Alternatively, decryption keys can also be derived from hibernation files if a target PC is turned off.

This looks too smart to have come out of Congress. Making carriers actually do what they calim they are doing? Radical! I love it, but what's really going on?
Mobile data users have been exceptionally unhappy over data caps since they were first introduced. Many argue that these data caps have nothing to do with controlling congestion on mobile networks and everything to do with charging customers as much as possible. A white paper was published this week from the New America Foundation arguing that data caps were designed to maximize revenue rather than minimize congestion.
Apparently, the white paper caught the attention of a Democratic senator from Oregon named Ron Wyden. Wyden has introduced legislation to regulate the use of data caps this week. The Senators Bill would allow the use of data caps only to control congestion on a network and would not allow them to be used to maximize a carrier’s revenue.
Wyden plans to address three major issues with his bill. He wants to increase the accuracy and amount of information carriers provide consumers. This bill also proposes to allow the FCC to regulate methods used by carriers for measuring bandwidth. The second major issue the bill seeks to address would be to require any data caps used by ISPs to “reasonably limit network congestion without unnecessarily restricting Internet use.”
A statement released along with the legislation noted that some data caps might work to discourage Internet use even when it has no effect on network congestion. The third thing the legislation seeks to address could be the most controversial. The bill would require any data cap in place not be used to provide preferential treatment of data based on the source or content of the data. That would mean the legislation would eliminate any paid fast lane for data, which has been proposed by some users.

Big Brother knows best. Put your trust in Big Brother and nothing can go wrong (and survive)
"Jobseekers will be offered the chance to look for work through the new Universal Jobmatch website, which automatically pairs them up with opportunities that suit their skills after scanning their Cvs. It will also allow employers to search for new workers among the unemployed and send messages inviting them to interviews. However, their activities may also be tracked using cookies, so their Job Centre advisers know how many searches they have been doing and whether they are turning down viable opportunities. Iain Duncan-Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, said the scheme would 'revolutionize' the process of looking for work. He said anyone without a job after signing up to the scheme would be lacking 'imagination.'"

If the computer understands the words, you have “Voice Control” of your computer. That's the big game changer. Right Hal?
"Nataly Kelly writes in the Huffington Post about Google's strategy of hiring Ray Kurzweil and how the company likely intends to use language translation to revolutionize the way we share information. From the article: 'Google Translate is not just a tool that enables people on the web to translate information. It's a strategic tool for Google itself. The implications of this are vast and go beyond mere language translation. One implication might be a technology that can translate from one generation to another. Or how about one that slows down your speech or turns up the volume for an elderly person with hearing loss? That enables a stroke victim to use the clarity of speech he had previously? That can pronounce using your favorite accent? That can convert academic jargon to local slang? It's transformative. In this system, information can walk into one checkpoint as the raucous chant of a 22-year-old American football player and walk out as the quiet whisper of a 78-year-old Albanian grandmother.'"

How many Middle Eastern countries have chemical weapons?
December 20, 2012
Chemical Weapons: A Summary Report of Characteristics and Effects
Chemical Weapons: A Summary Report of Characteristics and Effects, Dana A. Shea - Specialist in Science and Technology Policy. December 13, 2012
  • "Civilian protection from and detection of chemical agents is an area of federal concern. Whether terrorist groups are capable of using chemical agents as weapons of mass destruction is unclear. Some experts have asserted that the volumes of chemicals required to cause mass casualties makes that scenario unlikely. They claim that chemical terrorism is more likely to be small in scale. Other experts have suggested that there has been an increase in terrorist interest regarding chemical agents, and that this interest could lead to their use in terrorist attacks. Some experts assert that insecure stockpiles of military-grade chemical agents would lower the barrier to terrorist acquisition of chemical agents and thus increase the possibility that terrorists might use them. The change of regimes in Libya and Egypt and recent events in Syria have increased concern that such military-grade chemical agents might transition into terrorist hands and then be used to attack U.S. sites either domestically or abroad."

For all my students...
Thetrainline Okay, this one in the UK only!

For my handouts and my student hand-ins
3 Ways To Quickly Share Bunches of Links With Your Students
If you have ever tried to get all of your students to the same set of websites at the same time, you know that just a couple of mistyped characters can create a frustrating experience. One solution is to post all of the links on your course blog. Another solution is to use a link bundling service that will group all of your links together into one package. Then instead of sending out a bunch of individual links you can just send one link that will open all of the bundled links for your students. Here are three services that you can use for just that purpose.
Bundlenut is a simple service for organizing a set of links and sharing them with others. To use the service just visit Bundlenut and start entering the links that you want to include in your bundle. You can include comments about each of the links. When you have added all of links that you want to include in your bundle, Bundlenut will assign a unique url to your bundle. Anyone with access to that url will be able to see all of your links and comments about those links. You can use the service with or without registering. The advantage of registration is that you can go back and modify your bundle whenever you would like to.
LinkBunch is a free service that you can use to quickly send a group of links to your friends, colleagues, and students. To use the service just visit LinkBunch, enter the links that you want to share, and click "Bunch." When you click on "Bunch" you will be given a URL to share with anyone you want to see the links in your bunch. When someone clicks on the URL for your Bunch he or she will be able to open the links you bunched together.
Bitly is one URL shortener that I have been using for years. It's simple to use, especially if you use the bookmarklet, allows you to customize URLs, and it offers good statistics about the use of your links. Bitly offers an option for bundling bookmarks into one package that you can share with just one link. Bitly bundles can be created collaboratively if you invite other Bitly users to bundle links with you.

For your Holiday reading.
Happy Holidays! Here's a Free E-Book of Our Best Stories From 2012

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