Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I was kind of worried that this might be the case.
Hang on to your credit cards and start checking your free credit reports: The latest news about retail breaches is not good.
Numerous sources are now reporting that the recent Target and Neiman Marcus data breaches may be the tip of the cyber heist iceberg, and there are likely more related breaches that have not yet been announced.
Writing in BankInfoSecurity, Tracy Kitten reports that banks that issue credit cards say fraud patterns may reveal additional breaches at other well-known brands—possibly a leading hotel company and a restaurant chain. Banks are often the first ones to detect retail breaches, even before the merchants themselves realize what is happening.

Another little problem with the government database.
Darlene Storm reports:
When it comes to the atrocious state of HealthCare.gov security, white hat hacker David Kennedy, CEO of TrustedSec, may feel like he’s beating his head against a stone wall. Kennedy said, “I don’t understand how we’re still discussing whether the website is insecure or not. It is; there’s no question about that.” He added, “It is insecure – 100 percent.”
Read more on Computerworld.
Related: TrustedSec testimony (pdf) to the House Science, and Technology Committee on Jan. 16

(Related) Okay Privacy lawyers, what are you going to do about it?
Dr. Deborah Peel of Patient Privacy Rights kindly gave me permission to reprint this blog post:
The biggest myth about ‘Big Data’ users of the entire nation’s health information is that personal health data was acquired legally and ethically.
Just ask anyone you know if they ever agreed to the hidden use and sale of sensitive personal information about their minds and bodies by corporations or “research” businesses for analytics, sales, research or any other use. The answer is “no”.
Americans have very strong individual rights to health information privacy, ie to control the use of their most sensitive personal information. If US citizens have any “right to privacy”, that right has always applied to sensitive personal health information. This was very clear for our paper medical records and is embodied in the Hippocratic Oath as the requirement to obtain informed consent before disclosing patient information (with rare exceptions).
The IPO filing by IMS Health Holdings at the SEC exposed the vast number of hidden health data sellers and buyers. Buying, aggregating, and selling the nation’s health data is an “unfair and deceptive” trade practice.
Does the public know or expect that IMS (and the 100′s of thousands of other hidden health data mining companies) buys and aggregates sensitive “prescription and promotional” records, “electronic medical records”, “claims data”, and “social media” to create “comprehensive”, “longitudinal” health records on “400 million” patients? Or that IMS buys “proprietary data sourced from over 100,000 data suppliers covering over 780,000 data feeds globally”? Again, the answer is “no”.
Given the massive hidden theft, sale, and misuse of the nation’s health information how can any physician, hospital, or health data holder represent that our personal health data is private, secure, or confidential?

See? I told you they had laws in Australia.
New on LLRX – Researching Australian Law
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 20, 2014
Via LLRX.com - Researching Australian Law - Nicholas Pengelley and Sue Milne have revised, updated and expanded their guide which covers a comprehensive range of sources on topics that include: Parliaments and Laws; Finding Australian Legislation; Courts and Judgments; Finding Australian Cases; Treaties; Journal Literature; Legal Encyclopedias; Law Reform; Government Information; Dictionaries; Directories; Legal Research Guides; Publishers; Current Awareness; Discussion Lists; and Major Texts.

Unfortunately, this doesn't surprise me. What I don't get is why a dozen cops were required to search for evidence of eggs. That is what the search warrant was after, isn't it? Is it common to issue search warrants for “egging?” I don't recall that ever happening when I was a kid.
Justin Bieber had ‘cookie jars’ full of weed, empty codeine bottles in house during cop raid: report
Justin Bieber’s mansion reportedly was stuffed with drugs and paraphernalia when cops rolled up to serve an egging-related search warrant last week.
Two large cookie jars loaded with marijuana sat in plain view of the dozen detectives from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, an unidentified source told TMZ.com.
… Luckily for the Biebs, the deputies were raiding the house for surveillance equipment and other evidence that could tie him to a recent egging of his neighbor’s mansion – not drugs.
… Bieber, 19, is under investigation for allegedly hurling raw eggs at his next-door neighbor’s house two weeks ago.
The irate neighbor has claimed he saw the Canadian crooner from his second-floor balcony and even videotaped some of the verbal exchange.
Neighbor Jeffrey Schwartz quickly called police and claimed Bieber threw at least 20 eggs at his home, causing about $20,000 worth of damage to his plaster and stained wood exterior. [Flimsy houses in California... Bob]

Welcome to the land where competition is based on the value of the service, not who has the best Super Bowl Ad. There's a business opportunity here. Unfortunately, I seem to be the only serious geek in my neighborhood. Perhaps if I toss in free phone service, free TV, free music, and free MOOCs? By the way, I clock out at 2.12mbps.
South Korea set to get 300 Mbps service, one carrier prepping 450 Mbps for MWC
If you thought your Verizon or AT&T LTE was fast, South Korea is about to start laughing at us. In that country, two providers are preparing a new LTE network that will outdo anything we’re seeing domestically by a wide margin. At 300 Mbps, LG Uplus is setting a standard, but a 450 Mbps network from another is said to be shown of at MWC.

I see a future for “less than Bachelor” skills testing. Take a free MOOC to learn the skill, then pay to be tested or certified.
One-Quarter of Adults Hold Educational Credentials Other Than an Academic Degree
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 20, 2014
“The U.S. Census Bureau reported that in fall 2012, more than 50 million U.S. adults, or one in four, had obtained a professional certification, license or educational certificate apart from a postsecondary degree awarded by colleges and universities. This is the Census Bureau’s first-ever report on this topic. Among the adults included in the report, 12 million had both a professional certification or license and an educational certificate; 34 million had only a professional certification or license; and 7 million had only an educational certificate. “Getting an academic degree is not the only way for people to develop skills that pay off in the labor market,” said Stephanie Ewert, a demographer with the Census Bureau’s Education and Social Stratification Branch and co-author of the report, Measuring Alternative Educational Credentials: 2012. “In this report, we’ve been able to measure for the first time how many people take another route to a productive career: holding an alternative educational credential independent of traditional college degrees. It turns out that millions of people have taken this path,” added Ewert. These alternative credentials include professional certifications, licenses and educational certificates. The fields of these professional certifications and licenses were wide-ranging and include business/finance management, nursing, education, cosmetology and culinary arts, among others. The report shows that, in general, these alternative credentials provide a path to higher earnings. Among full-time workers, the median monthly earnings for someone with a professional certification or license only was $4,167, compared with $3,433 for one with an educational certificate only; $3,920 for those with both types of credentials; and $3,110 for people without any alternative credential. “For people with at least a bachelor’s degree, earnings didn’t really differ between those with an alternative educational credential and those without,” said report co-author Robert Kominski, assistant chief for social characteristics at the Census Bureau. “But at lower levels of regular education, there is routinely an earnings premium for a professional certification or license, or an educational certificate.” Professional certification or license holders earned more than those without an alternative credential at each level of education below a bachelor’s. Among people with some college but no degree or less education, educational certificate holders earned more than people without an alternative credential.”

Same argument for providing my students with e-textbooks.
New on LLRX – Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people?
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 20, 2014
Via LLRX.com - Should public libraries give away e-book-friendly tablets to poor people? $38 tablet hints of possibilities - David Rothman proposes that e-book-capable tablets, especially with national digital library systems in place, could multiply the number of books matching students’ precise needs. Paper books could serve as gateways to E, and then children and parents could digitally follow their passions to the max, whether for spaceships, basketball, or knitting. … Learning, independent of income – access to knowledge regardless of often round-the clock-work schedules for increasing numbers of parents and young people who are struggling to get by – this is a cause around which many communities of best practice can rally.

Why not? If nothing else, think of how easily a foundation could be poured.
DefenseTech – Navy Helps Fund 3D Printing of Buildings
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 20, 2014
Bryant Jordan: “Add to guns and prosthetic hands something much bigger and heavier forming from the nozzle of a 3D printer — buildings “printed” out of concrete. Partially funded by the Office of Naval Research and the National Science Foundation Countour Crafting is trying to develop 3D printed buildings using concrete. Company founder Behrokh Khoshnevis is a professor and director of Manufacturing Engineering Graduate Program at the University of Southern California. Concrete printers would be able to build a 2,500-square-foot building within a single day, according to Khoshnevis. For the military, that means soldiers deploying to a remote location with little or no infrastructure could be operating out of permanent structures pretty soon after a combat engineer unit arrived with printers and material aboard a C-17.”

Analyze data like the NSA? But, this might work for my Statistics students.
Doing Data Science in the Cloud With ScraperWiki
If you’ve got the mental chops, a flair for programming and storytelling, and an eye for design, you can do worse than getting into data science. It’s the new big thing in technology; highly trendy and highly paid, with data scientists being sought by some of the largest companies in the world.
ScraperWiki is a company that has long been associated with the data science field. For the past few years, this Liverpool based startup has offered a platform for coders to write tools that get data, clean it and analyze it in the cloud.
… ScraperWiki markets itself as a place to get, clean and analyze data, and it delivers on each of those counts. In its simplest form, it allows you – the user – a place where you can write code that retrieves data from a source, tools to convert it into a format that is easy to analyze, and storage to keep it for later visualization – which you can also handle with ScraperWiki.
It also comes with a number of pre-built tools that automate repetitive tasks, including getting data from PDFs, which are notoriously difficult to decode. This is in addition to Twitter searching and scraping utilities. You don’t need any software development experience to use these.

For my student toolkit.
Read Write Think Timeline - A Timeline Tool for Almost All Devices
Read Write Think offers a bunch of great web, iOS, and Android applications for students. One of those that I recently learned about from David Kapuler is Read Write Think's Timeline creator. RWT Timeline is available as a web app (Flash required), as an Android app, and as an iPad app. All three versions make it easy for students to create timelines for any series of events.
To create a timeline with RWT Timeline students first tap or click along a blank line to add an event. Events can include dates in any format. Each event has room for a brief description and an image. Longer descriptions can be written but they won't appear on the timeline, they'll only appear in the printed notes about the timeline. Students can drag and drop events on their timelines to create appropriate spacing between each event.

(Related) Because too many is never enough.
Teaching With ChronoZoom - A Timeline of Almost Everything
A couple of years ago Microsoft launched an open source timeline tool called ChronoZoom. At that time ChronoZoom was an impressive interactive timeline of the history of the world. But that's all it was. Recently, I learned that ChronoZoom now allows students and teachers to create their own timelines. Timelines created in ChronoZoom can include multiple layers so that you can see how events and eras overlap. Within each section of your a time multiple videos, images, and texts can be displayed.
The "zoom" part of the name ChronoZoom comes from the way in which you navigate the timelines by zooming-in and zooming-out on elements of the timeline. In that sense ChronoZoom's display will remind some users of the Prezi interface.

To paraphrase Forrest Gump, “Management is as management does!”

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