Monday, December 23, 2013

Well, that's something I suppose.
Target CEO offers credit monitoring, discount and four-part video apology
After last week's massive data breach, Target is offering customers free credit monitoring and a 10 percent discount. CEO Gregg Steinhafel also issued a four-part video apology to customers.
He reassured shoppers that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit card or debt card fraud. Target will contact customers who are eligible for the credit monitoring "soon," he said.
Read more here.
Watch the video apology here.

Section 8, subsection 4, page 81, paragraph 41, line 16, micro-line 58, and I quote: “Whereas and who-as and when-as the party of the twenty-second part did authorize, condone and allow by use of the data of party two, we herewith, hereby and hereto declare, 'You ain''t got no privacy!' Welcome to California.”
Hogan Lovells’ Bret Cohen writes:
On January 1, 2014, California Assembly Bill 370 will go into effect, requiring operators of websites and other online services, including mobile applications, to provide new disclosures in their website privacy policies about online tracking. Operators will be required to disclose whether third parties collect certain information about California residents over time and across different websites when those residents use the operators’ sites and services. The law also requires that operators disclose how they respond to do-not-track signals or other mechanisms designed to provide consumers with choices relating to such activities. Although the law is limited to online services directed to California, it provides a de facto national standard for websites that do not provide separate privacy disclosures based on location.

Interesting idea. Let's hope it works better that the credit card industry's certification.
Lynn Sessions and Cory J. Fox of Baker Hostetler write:
The Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) recently announced its selection of the Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST) Common Security Framework (CSF), the most widely adopted information privacy and security framework in the U.S. healthcare industry, to form the basis of the Texas Covered Entity Privacy and Security Certification Program, setting the stage for Texas to become the first state in the nation to implement a formal certification program that incorporates state and federal privacy and security regulations, including HIPAA and the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act (TMRPA).
Read more on Lexology.
[From the article:
HB 300 also amended the TMRPA to include a list of mitigating factors Texas courts must consider in determining the appropriate penalty for a covered entity that violates the TMRPA, including its compliance history and whether it was certified at the time of the violation.

Big Data. I find these amusing. After carefully reading all 8 pages, I'd like to buy a vowel.
Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on December 21, 2013
Quantitative Analysis of Culture Using Millions of Digitized Books, Jean-Baptiste Michel, et al. Science 331, 176 (2011); DOI: 10.1126/science.1199644
“We constructed a corpus of digitized texts containing about 4% of all books ever printed. Analysis of this corpus enables us to investigate cultural trends quantitatively. We survey the vast terrain of ‘culturomics,’ focusing on linguistic and cultural phenomena that were reflected in the English language between 1800 and 2000. We show how this approach can provide insights about fields as diverse as lexicography, the evolution of grammar, collective memory, the adoption of technology, the pursuit of fame, censorship, and historical epidemiology. Culturomics extends the boundaries of rigorous quantitative inquiry to a wide array of new phenomena spanning the social sciences and the humanities.”

When your eyes get tired from staring at your monitor, try these. They really scare my students!
– When your eyes get tired and you start feeling the eye strain, but still have some work to do, use the Exercises For Eyes. Regular eye exercises can help you to improve eyesight and prevent eye diseases such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Follow the instruction step by step making twenty-second breaks between exercises.

Okay, it's a bit geeky, but my Cryptography students might enjoy it.
Professor Edward Frenkel discusses the mathematics behind the NSA Surveillance controversy.
[Or watch the video on Youtube:

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