Thursday, January 09, 2014

You say, “large collection of data,” I say, “target!”
Hackers use Amazon cloud to scrape mass number of LinkedIn member profiles
LinkedIn is suing a gang of hackers who used Amazon's cloud computing service to circumvent security measures and copy data from hundreds of thousands of member profiles each day.
"Since May 2013, unknown persons and/or entities employing various automated software programs (often referred to as 'bots') have registered thousands of fake LinkedIn member accounts and have extracted and copied data from many member profile pages," company attorneys alleged in a complaint filed this week in US District Court in Northern California.
… With more than 259 million members—many who are highly paid professionals in technology, finance, and medical industries—LinkedIn holds a wealth of personal data that can prove highly valuable to people conducting phishing attacks, identity theft, and similar scams.
The allegations in the lawsuit highlight the unending tug-of-war between hackers who work to obtain that data and the defenders who use technical measures to prevent the data from falling into the wrong hands.
… The unnamed "Doe" hackers employed a raft of techniques designed to bypass anti-scraping measures built in to the business network. Chief among them was the creation of huge numbers of fake accounts. That made it possible to circumvent restrictions dubbed FUSE, which limit the activity any single account can perform.
… The hackers also circumvented a separate security measure that is supposed to require end users to complete bot-defeating CAPTCHA dialogues when potentially abusive activities are detected. They also managed to bypass restrictions that LinkedIn intended to impose through a robots.txt file, which websites use to make clear which content may be indexed by automated Web crawling programs employed by Google and other sites.

Interesting map.
MassPrivateI has a roundup of links on the topic that you may want to read. The article begins:
Law enforcement agencies throughout the nation are increasingly adopting automated license plate recognition (ALPR) technologies, which function to automatically capture an image of the vehicle’s license plate, transform that image into alphanumeric characters, compare the plate number acquired to one or more databases of vehicles of interest, and alert the officer when a vehicle of interest has been observed, all within a matter of seconds.(spying on citizens & tracking our every movement)
Read more here.

Statutory fines do not have a built in “cost of living” adjustment.
Emmanuelle Trecolle reports:
France’s data protection watchdog on Wednesday fined Google 150,000 euros ($205,000) — the maximum possible — for failing to comply with its privacy guidelines for personal data.
The fine, though tiny for a group that made $15 billion in one quarter last year, is the regulator’s biggest ever and follows in the wake of other European nations cracking down on Google’s increasingly controversial privacy polices.
Read more on Yahoo.
Okay, so they fined them. But how does that bring them into compliance with French law? What’s next if Google doesn’t comply with the changes CNIL requested?

Perspective How do I censor thee, let me count the ways...
Trends in transition from classical censorship to Intenet censorship: selected country overviews
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 8, 2014
“Censorship is no longer limited to printed media and videos. Its impact is felt much more strongly with regard to Internet related resources of information and communication such as access to websites, email and social networking tools which is further enhanced by ubiquitous access through mobile phones and tablets. Some countries are marked by severe restrictions and enforcement, a variety of initiatives in enforcing censorship (pervasive as well as implied), as well as initiatives to counter censorship.
The article reflects on trends in Internet censorship in selected countries, namely Australia, Chile, China, Finland, Lybia, Myanmar, Singapore, Turkey, and the United Kingdom (UK).
These trends are discussed under two broad categories of negative and positive trends. Negative trends include: trends in issues of Internet related privacy; ubiquitous society and control; trends in Internet related media being censored; trends in filtering and blocking Internet content and blocking software; trends in technologies to monitor and identify citizens using the Internet to express their opinion and applying “freedom of speech”; criminalization of legitimate expression on the Internet; trends in acts, regulations and legislation regarding the use of the Internet and trends in government models regarding Internet censorship; trends in new forms of Internet censorship; trends in support of Internet censorship; trends in enforcing regulations and Internet censorship; trends in Internet related communication surveillance. Positive trends include: trends in reactions to Internet censorship; attempts and means to side-step Internet censorship; trends in cyber actions against Internet censorship; trends in innovative ways of showing opposition to Internet censorship.

Also Perspective. I think most of my students are in group three... Curious, but I may be wrong.
Gallup – Three in 10 in U.S. Own an Array of Consumer Electronics
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 8, 2014
“As electronics enthusiasts gather in Las Vegas for the International Consumer Electronics Show this week, a new Gallup analysis finds Americans falling into four groups according to their ownership levels of the electronic devices already available. At one end of the spectrum, 31% are “Super Tech Adopters,” who report broad ownership of the major computing and entertainment devices on the market. At the other extreme, 28% are “Tech-Averse Olders,” who own little more than a basic cellphone and DVD player. Between the extremes, 19% of Americans could be considered “Smartphone Reliants.” These Americans are highly likely to have a smartphone, but far less likely than Super Tech Adopters to own other electronics, particularly other portable devices. Additionally, “Mature Technophiles” — 22% of the public — report broad ownership of a variety of home electronics, but less than half have smartphones.”

One of the (many) surprises at the start of the new quarter were the new touch screen HP Envy Windows 8 computers in the labs. Here's yet another tip for my students.
5 Security Tips To Consider When Using a Microsoft Account
Microsoft wants Windows 8 users to log into their computers with a Microsoft account, not a standard old local user account. You can’t use much of the new user interface without a Microsoft account — you can’t even upgrade to Windows 8.1 without one. Along with this new focus on Microsoft accounts comes new security concerns. The account you use to log into your computer is now an online account and you need to worry about securing it.
There are advantages to using a Microsoft account, as it allows you to sync your settings, files, apps, and other data between your computers. You log into Macs and iPads with an Apple ID, Android devices and Chromebooks with a Google account, and now Windows with a Microsoft account.

As a corollary to “We can, therefore we must!” I give you, “We can, and some fool will pay us to do it!”

For my students...
2014–15 Occupational Outlook Handbook
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 8, 2014
“The 2014–15 Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH) was released today by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The OOH reflects BLS employment projections for the 2012–22 decade. The OOH is one of the nation’s most widely used sources of career information. It provides details on hundreds of occupations and is used by career counselors, students, parents, teachers, jobseekers, career changers, education and training officials, and researchers…. The 2014–15 OOH includes 334 occupational profiles covering 580 detailed occupations, or about 84 percent of total employment in 2012. Each occupational profile describes:
  • What workers do
  • Where they work
  • Typical education and training requirements
  • Wages
  • Job outlook.”

For my ESL students in particular.. Looks trivial, but it is not.
– is a site that gives you the ability to enter any English word, and then be told anything about that word, such as an equivalent noun, adjective, adverb or verb. You can also look up the tenses, pronunciation, rhyming words, words that mean the same, and of course the meaning of the word. It’s a great site to bookmark if you are working with the English language on a regular basis.

The future is “proof of skill by exam.”
The Degree Is Doomed
… Higher education, however, is in the midst of dramatic, disruptive change. It is, to use the language of innovation theorists and practitioners, being unbundled. (Some more of my thoughts on higher-ed unbundling can be found here.) And with that unbundling, the traditional credential is rapidly losing relevance. The value of paper degrees lies in a common agreement to accept them as a proxy for competence and status, and that agreement is less rock solid than the higher education establishment would like to believe.

No comments: