Friday, December 06, 2013

Hack Attack: Hackers Steal Over 2 Million Passwords From Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo and Other Sites

What's in your “Hacking Folder?”
How Many Zero-Days Hit You Today?
… Frei pored over reports from and about some of those private vendors — including boutique exploit providers like Endgame Systems, Exodus Intelligence, Netragard, ReVuln and VUPEN – and concluded that jointly these firms alone have the capacity to sell more than 100 zero-day exploits per year.
According to Frei, if we accept that the average zero-day exploit persists for about 312 days before it is detected (an estimate made by researchers at Symantec Research Labs), this means that these firms probably provide access to at least 85 zero-day exploits on any given day of the year.

There are probably hundreds of simple “how to buy technology” models out there. Using any one of them would have prevented this. Note that like all “failing” bureaucracies, no one is responsible...
The rollout of iPads in Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) is becoming a classic case study of what not-to-do when implementing any innovation whether it is high-tech or low-tech. I wrote about the adoption of the innovation six months ago.
What is clear now is that teachers and principals were excluded from the decision-making process. The Total Cost of Operation (TCO) was a mystery to the Board of Education who made the decision. And the initial deployment of the devices was so botched that the pilot project was put on hold. Phase 2 and the eventual distribution of devices to all LAUSD students remains to be decided once errors have been sorted out.

Making life simpler...
Google Data Download
Google users can now download a copy of their Gmail and Google Calendar data. The new feature, built into the Google Takeout service, is being rolled out “over the next month.” Until then Google advocates can obtain an archive file of data from a host of other Google services, including Google+, Google Drive, Google Hangouts, and YouTube. All we need now is for Google to sort out the YouTube comments mess and life will be great once more.

Toeing The Line: 4 Things To Keep In Mind When Web Browsing At Work
cyberslacking (n.) The act of avoiding work and/or other responsibilities by scouring the Internet in search of games or other non-work related amusements. Also known as goldbricking.
Tip #1: You Have No Privacy
Tip #2: Never Download Anything
Tip #3: Avoid Illegal Content
Tip #4: Use Incognito Mode

I'm cheap and I like lists.
Dozens of Web Tools That Don't Require Registration
A couple of nights ago someone on Twitter asked me for recommendations for web tools that her middle school students could use without having to register to use them. My first thought was to consult Nathan Hall's long list of registration-free web tools for students. Nathan's list is divided into twenty-five categories. Some of the categories of most interest to teachers are online whiteboards, survey/ poll tools, chart/ graph tools, annotation tools, document creation tools, and photo & drawing tools.
Applications for Education
Using web tools that don't require registration to use can save you and your students time as you can jump right into an activity without having to struggle with usernames and passwords. The downside to using registration-free web tools is that often you don't have an option for saving your work other than downloading it directly to your computer or sharing it to another service like Evernote or Google Drive which do require registration.

I have no talent in this area, but I have a few students who do...
Advice on Creating Infographics from the Author of Cool Infographics
Infographics are everywhere these days. I post some on this blog from time to time. A well-designed infographic can convey a lot of information in a concise package. An infographic that has a poor design is just a poster. Randy Krum is the president of Info Newt, a firm that specializes in data visualization and infographic design. He's also the author of the blog Cool Infographics and a book of the same name. Randy was kind enough to send me a copy of the book. I devoured the book in two cross-country flights last month.
Business people are the target audience for Cool Infographics, but there are some take-aways from the book that apply to anyone who is thinking about creating an infographic. For example, Randy emphasis the need to identify the one central story that you want to convey with your infographic before you build the infographic. Since his book is targeted to a business audience, I asked Randy what advice he had for teachers interested in having students create infographics.
Cool Infographics contains a chapter devoted to the concept of using infographics as resumes or biographies:
Click here for a sample chapter of Cool Infographics.

(Related) ...and todays more specific advice.
Five Good Online Tools for Creating Infographics
… In his book Randy devotes a chapter to design tools. Many of the tools used by professional designers cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. But you don't have to spend anything if you want your students to try their hands at creating a data visualization in the form of an infographic. Here are five free tools that your students can use to create infographics.

Dilbert explains why I don't Facebook...

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