Thursday, January 24, 2013

Seems a bit light to me...
It was one of the biggest hacks of 2011 from a media standpoint, and at least some of those involved were subsequently arrested. But Sony’s woes from the hack are not over and it has now been hit with the biggest monetary penalty ever issued by the U.K. Information Commissioner’s Office for a data breach. From the ICO:
The entertainment company Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited has received a monetary penalty of £250,000 from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) following a serious breach of the Data Protection Act.
The penalty comes after the Sony PlayStation Network Platform was hacked in April 2011, compromising the personal information of millions of customers, including their names, addresses, email addresses, dates of birth and account passwords. Customers’ payment card details were also at risk.
An ICO investigation found that the attack could have been prevented if the software had been up-to-date, while technical developments also meant passwords were not secure.
David Smith, Deputy Commissioner and Director of Data Protection, said:
“If you are responsible for so many payment card details and log-in details then keeping that personal data secure has to be your priority. In this case that just didn’t happen, and when the database was targeted – albeit in a determined criminal attack – the security measures in place were simply not good enough.
“There’s no disguising that this is a business that should have known better. It is a company that trades on its technical expertise, and there’s no doubt in my mind that they had access to both the technical knowledge and the resources to keep this information safe.
“The penalty we’ve issued today is clearly substantial, but we make no apologies for that. The case is one of the most serious ever reported to us. It directly affected a huge number of consumers, and at the very least put them at risk of identity theft.
“If there’s any bright side to this it’s that a PR Week poll shortly after the breach found the case had left 77 per cent of consumers more cautious about giving their personal details to other websites. Companies certainly need to get their act together but we all need to be careful about who we disclose our personal information to.”
Following the breach, Sony has rebuilt its Network Platform to ensure that the personal information it processes is kept secure.
Jay Alabaster of IDG News Service reports that Sony plans to appeal the fine:
“SCE disagrees with the ruling and is planning an appeal,” said Satoshi Fukuoka, an SCE spokesman in Tokyo.
Hopefully, they’ll consider a recent ruling that if an entity appeals a fine and doesn’t take advantage of the 20% off discount for early payment, the discounted offer no longer stands.

Sometimes you don't need terrorists attacking infrastructure, just failure to have a viable rollback plan. “Hundreds of users” sugggests this is not a huge outage.
AT&T's U-verse blacks out for days in several U.S. states
Some AT&T U-verse customers are still without TV, Internet, or phone service after a days-long outage that knocked out access for hundreds of users throughout several Southern states.
"The issue impacting some U-verse subscribers has been tracked back to a software upgrade," the company wrote on its Facebook page earlier this afternoon. "We continue to work to determine when service will be completely restored. [Suggest they have no clue how to fix it Bob] Our continued apologies for the inconvenience."
The outage began on Monday and was confirmed by AT&T on Tuesday.

Just a heads up!
Unlocking Cellphones Becomes Illegal Saturday
In October 2012, the Librarian of Congress, who determines exemptions to a strict anti-hacking law called the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), decided that unlocking mobile phones would no longer be allowed. But the librarian provided a 90-day window during which people could still buy a phone and unlock it. That window closes on January 26.
… The new rule against unlocking phones won't be a problem for everybody, though. For example, Verizon's iPhone 5 comes out of the box already unlocked, and AT&T will unlock a phone once it is out of contract.
You can also pay full-price for a phone, not the discounted price that comes with a two-year service contract, to receive the device unlocked from the get-go. Apple sells an unlocked iPhone 5 starting at $649, and Google sells its Nexus 4 unlocked for $300.

So now I don't need a lawyer...
… Gather around, children, for Papa Lockhart is going to tell you the story of the Four Determining Factors And The Big Bad Copyright Infringer.

January 23, 2013
Pew - Teens and Libraries
Presentation: Teens and Libraries by Lee Rainie, Jan 23, 2013 at Young Adult Library Services Association. "7 takeaways from our research:
  1. Teens live in a different information ecosystem
  2. Teens live in a different learning ecosystem
  3. Teens’ reading levels match/exceed adult levels
  4. Teens use libraries and librarians more than others, but don’t necessarily love libraries as much
  5. Teens have different priorities in library services
  6. Teens will behave differently in the world to come
  7. The public and teachers recognize this and want libraries to adjust to it"

The market is strong in the Education Bidness...
January 23, 2013
Census Bureau Reports Fast Growth in Ph.D.s and Master's Degree Holders
"From 2002 to 2012, the highest rate of increases in education attainment levels were doctorate and master's degrees, according to new statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. The population with a doctorate grew by about 1 million, or 45 percent, while those who held a master's climbed by 5 million, or 43 percent. Meanwhile, the population with an associate degree rose by 5 million, or 31 percent. Those whose highest degree was a bachelor's degree grew at a smaller rate: 25 percent to 41 million. Meanwhile, the number of those without a high school or GED diploma declined by 13 percent, falling to 25 million. The rates of increase for doctorate and master's holders were not significantly different from one another. The statistics come from Educational Attainment in the United States: 2012, a series of national-level tables showing attainment levels by a wide range of demographic characteristics, including sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, household relationship, citizenship and nativity, labor force status, occupation and industry. Also included are detailed information on years of school completed, showing for each level of attainment exactly how many years of education adults have. A variety of historical time series tables going back to 1940 are also provided, as are graphs illustrating historical data."

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