Tuesday, October 22, 2013

For my Ethical Hackers...
To Move Drugs, Traffickers Are Hacking Shipping Containers
… The plot, which began in 2011, reportedly involved a mix of international drug gangs and digital henchmen: drug traffickers recruited hackers to penetrate computers that tracked and controlled the movement and location of shipping containers arriving at Antwerp's port. The simple software and hardware hacks—using USB keyloggers and more sophisticated purpose-built devices—allowed traffickers to send in drivers and gunmen to steal particular containers before the legitimate owner arrived.

“When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.” Arthur C. Clarke
When someone from Marketing explains technology, they are flat out lying.
Researchers challenge Apple's claim of unbreakable iMessage encryption
A close look at Apple’s iMessage system shows the company could easily intercept communications on the service despite its assurances to the contrary, researchers claimed Thursday at a security conference.
Apple asserted in June, following disclosures about the NSA’s data collection programs, that iMessage, which lets users send texts over Wi-Fi for free, is protected by end-to-end encryption that makes it impossible for Apple or anyone else to descramble the messages.
But researchers at the Hack in the Box conference in Kuala Lumpur showed it would be possible for someone inside Apple, of their own volition or because they were forced to by a government, to intercept messages.

I think I've pointed to this report before, but I don't store that data for 75 years...
Report – What the Government Does with Americans’ Data
What the Government Does with Americans’ Data, by Rachel Levinson-Waldman, Brennan Center for Justice, October 8, 2013.
“After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the government’s authority to collect, keep, and share information about Americans with little or no basis to suspect wrongdoing dramatically expanded. While the risks and benefits of this approach are the subject of intense debate, one thing is certain: it results in the accumulation of large amounts of innocuous information about law-abiding citizens. But what happens to this data? In the search to find the needle, what happens to the rest of the haystack? For the first time in one report, the Brennan Center takes a comprehensive look at the multiple ways U.S. intelligence agencies collect, share, and store data on average Americans. The report, which surveys across five intelligence agencies, finds that non-terrorism related data can be kept for up to 75 years or more, clogging national security databases and creating opportunities for abuse, and recommends multiple reforms that seek to tighten control over the government’s handling of Americans’ information.”

We're going to talk about Big Data this friday. See: http://privacyfoundation.org/
Does Bigger Data Lead to Better Decisions?
Many scholars, from decision scientists to organizational theorists, have addressed this question from different perspectives, and the answer, as for most complex questions, is “it depends.” Big Data can lead to Big Mistakes. After all, the financial sector has been flooded with big data for decades.
A large body of research shows that decision-makers selectively use data for self-enhancement or to confirm their beliefs or simply to pursue personal goals not necessarily congruent with organizational ones. Not surprisingly, any interpretation of the data becomes as much an evaluation of oneself as much as of the data.

Similar to the way government builds roads. A study determines that volume on a given highway will be unacceptable by 2015, so they propose a two year project to add two lanes each way to the highway. Then they debate, delay and deny budget for four years, and the project actually takes three years to complete.
Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age
CRS – Updating the Statutory Framework for Communications for the Digital Age: Issues for Congress. Charles B. Goldfarb, Specialist in Telecommunications Policy. September 30, 2013
“The statutory framework for the communications sector largely was enacted prior to the commercial development and deployment of digital technology, Internet Protocol (IP), broadband networks, and online voice, data, and video services. These new technologies have driven changes in market structure throughout the communications sector. Technological spillovers have allowed for the convergence of previously service-specific networks, creating new competitive entry opportunities. But they also have created certain incentives for market consolidation. Firms also have used new technologies to attempt to “invent around” statutory obligations or prohibitions, such as retransmission consent and copyright requirements. In addition, firms have developed new technologies that are attractive to consumers because they allow them to avoid paying for programming or allow them to skip the commercials that accompany video programming, but present a challenge to the traditional business model. The expert agencies charged with implementing the relevant statutes—the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Copyright Office—have had to determine if and how to apply the law to technologies and circumstances that were not considered when the statutes were developed. Frequently, this has led parties unhappy with those interpretations to file court suits, which has delayed rule implementation and increased market uncertainty. The courts, too, have had to reach decisions with limited guidance from the statutes.”

“We didn't have the time to do it right, but we'll take the time to do it over.”
Administration Won’t Say Who’s On The Team That’s Supposed To Fix Obamacare Site
President Obama promised Monday that a kind of tech strike force has been activated to help solve the problems plaguing HealthCare.gov, the digital portal to the Affordable Care Act.

Netflix set to cruise past HBO in subscribers -- analyst

A 7 day free trial, but they are also looking for instructors!
– hosts videos to keep your creative and technical skills current. There’s no need to schedule a class or sit behind a desk: Skillfeed is there for you whenever you need it, on any device you’d like. For less than you’d spend on a single book, get access to hundreds of skills and tutorials.

A bit further along than I thought.
Free Online Courses You Can Study From Anywhere With iversity [Stuff to Watch]
This week we brought you the news that iversity launched with 24 available courses, so now it’s time to bring you a video prospectus of some of the service’s most interesting courses on offer.
Just like Coursera, iversity is a completely free learning experience that delivers the educational goods via video lectures, discussion and assignments; all of which are planned and delivered by lecturers at some of the world’s top universities.

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