Wednesday, November 06, 2013

What a concept!
Chandra R Srikanth reports:
Nasdaq-listed outsourcing firm EXL Services has lost a key client due to breach of confidential client data by a few of its employees, a development that will impact its revenues and raise larger questions on data security.
EXL further said that Travelers was ending the contract because it failed to comply with the provisions of the agreement in handling client information.
“The termination arose from an incident where company employees, who have since been terminated, shared a procedural document externally in violation of the company’s strict client confidentiality policies.
Read more on The Economic Times.

Perhaps we could offer CryptoLoans?
CryptoLocker Crew Ratchets Up the Ransom
… To recap, CryptoLocker is a diabolical new twist on an old scam. The malware encrypts all of the most important files on a victim PC — pictures, movie and music files, documents, etc. — as well as any files on attached or networked storage media. CryptoLocker then demands payment via Bitcoin or MoneyPak and installs a countdown clock on the victim’s desktop that ticks backwards from 72 hours. Victims who pay the ransom receive a key that unlocks their encrypted files; those who let the timer expire before paying risk losing access to their files forever.
Or, at least, that’s how it worked up until a few days ago, when the crooks behind this scam began easing their own rules a bit to accommodate victims who were apparently willing to pay up but simply couldn’t jump through all the hoops necessary in the time allotted.
“They realized they’ve been leaving money on the table,” Abrams said. “They decided there’s little sense in not accepting the ransom money a week later if the victim is still willing to pay to get their files back.”
Part of the problem, according to Abrams, is that few victims even know about Bitcoins or MoneyPak, let alone how to obtain or use these payment mechanisms.

(Related) ...because we already have the backend handled.
How to Launder Billions and Billions of Digital Dollars

Google Chrome Introduces Smart Malware Blocking & Factory Reset
… If your computer has already been affected by malware, we have the complete malware removal guide to help you out. But this is one of those “prevention is better than cure” situations, and with that in mind, Chrome has decided to block malware when it’s part of a download.
“In the current Canary build of Chrome, we’ll automatically block downloads of malware that we detect. If you see this message in the download tray at the bottom of your screen, you can click “Dismiss” knowing Chrome is working to keep you safe,” Google said in a blog post.

I have a Masters in Computer Resource and Information Management as well as an MBA, so I can see both sides of this issue. Unfortunately, I saw it years too early for it to impact my career no matter how much I tried to educate senior management.
Report – The evolving value of information management
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on November 5, 2013
“This report is the result of a research study commissioned by both the Financial Times and the Special Libraries Association (SLA), to explore the evolving value of information management in today’s society. Reflecting the opinions of both information professionals (providers) and senior executives (users) worldwide, the aim is to identify the opportunities to enhance the value of information management to business and provide an actionable framework for the continuing success of the information function in any organisation. “Big data” and the proliferation of new technologies are shortening the time to an answer, and yet also causing many new challenges for both users and providers. Although this research shows contrasting perspectives between providers and users, many of the root causes of the issues are the same. Both suffer from information overload and spend too much valuable time filtering for information that is useful (relevant, accurate and timely). To overcome this, both parties must use a deeper understanding of the organisation-wide strategy and business values to frame priorities in how information is used. There are now many alternatives for information professionals and information centres. It is the responsibility of information providers to solidify themselves as the best solution to their organisation’s information needs and reinforce the value they provide.”

For some of my fellow teachers (you know who you are)
3 Career-Changing Reasons To License Your Work With Creative Commons

Interesting tool for you iPhone users.
– is for making dynamic spherical photos called bubbles. Capturing a bubble is easy. You can reproduce the entire scene around you, including sound, by simply painting the space with your iPhone camera. After capturing, its time for our bubble-builder in the cloud to do its magic. State-of-the-art computer vision turns your raw video into a seamless immersive bubble.

Better late than never...
Coursera launches “learning hubs,” physical spaces where people can access the Internet in order to take a MOOC. Partners in the effort include the US State Department, the Bluebells School International and Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Digital October, Overcoming Faith Academy Kenya, Learning Links Foundation, TAPtheTECH, and LEARN. TT and the University of Trinidad and Tobago.
Georgia Tech has closed its applications for its new MOOC CS graduate degree and – wow, really? this was news? – it received more applications for it than for its on-campus program. Shocking.
Mozilla’s Web Literacy Standard v1.0 is now live. “The Web Literacy Standard is part of Mozilla’s ongoing goal to create a generation of webmakers – those who can not only elegantly consume but also write and participate on the web.”
… During its quarterly earnings call this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook boasted the the company had their “best education quarter ever” and now has 94% of the educational tablet market. Anya Kamenetz writes about “why that’s a scary stat.”
Common Sense Media has released a study about the media usage of kids age 0 to 8. (PDF) Among the findings, “Among families with children age 8 and under, there has been a five-fold increase in ownership of tablet devices such as iPads, from 8% of all families in 2011 to 40% in 2013.”
The New York Times runs with the headline “As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry.” Oh noes! History professor Ben Schmidt responds with data (DATA!) – history majors are “up 18% the last 25 years. Math and CS are down 40%.”

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