Thursday, April 24, 2014

“Generals are always preparing to fight the last war.” Not sure who said that first, but let's hope this Blog article isn't too accurate.
Putin learning what U.S. didn’t
After America’s ignominious defeat and hurried departure from Vietnam in 1973 — when the world’s richest and mightiest nation was humbled by the stolid determination of ill-equipped, ideologically inspired peasants — it was generally assumed the United States would not wage war again until the lessons of the Viet Cong victory were taken to heart.
When Soviet forces hastily retreated with a bloody nose from their nine-year occupation of Afghanistan in 1989, similar lessons were suggested about the impossibility of militarily holding a country with a universally hostile population.
In his stealth occupation of Crimea and eastern Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin of Russia appears to have learned the lessons of both Vietnam and Afghanistan.
Successive U.S. presidents, however, seem to have failed to understand how military strategy was forever changed by what happened in those two chastening conflicts. Rather, they have gone on to repeat their predecessors’ mistakes.
That’s not all. The fleet of U.S. stealth bombers ($810 million each) and the fleet of nuclear submarines ($8.2 billion each) armed with Trident nuclear missiles ($31 million each) are of little use against Russian intelligence agents provocateurs disguised as Ukrainian protesters arriving by civilian airliner.

For my lawyer friends. Fine him 1000 times what he was paid! (1000 * 0 = 0)
HEARTBLEED: A Lawyer’s Perspective On Cyber Liability and the Biggest Programming Error in History

Always innovative, those evil hackers.
Phishers Divert Home Loan Earnest Money
It looks like it’s time to update my Value of a Hacked Email Account graphic: Real estate and title agencies are being warned about a new fraud scheme in which email bandits target consumers who are in the process of purchasing a home.
In this scheme, the attackers intercept emails from title agencies providing wire transfer information for borrowers to transmit earnest money for an upcoming transaction. The scammers then substitute the title company’s bank account information with their own, and the unsuspecting would-be homeowner wires their down payment directly to the fraudsters.

Is there much demand for this? I can see the need for things like Google's self-driving cars, but I suspect it is focused more on utility companies, gas pipelines, medical devices... You get the idea.
AIG Expands Coverage to Include Physical Damage Caused By Cyber Attacks
Insurance giant American International Group (AIG) announced on Wednesday that it has expanded its cyber insurance offering to include property damage and bodily injury that could be caused as a result of cyber attacks.
The new cyber offering is designed to provide its commercial customers a way to manage physical risks to their operations from cyber attacks and cyber security failures.
AIG’s expanded cyber insurance solution, CyberEdge PC, is a response to growing incidents and threats of cyber attacks directed at commercial industries that can lead to equipment failure, physical damage to property, and physical harm to people,” AIG said in its announcement.

Was there really a huge customer demand for this product? Drop the 10 second limit and you have a bug that tweets. Why?
Luke Funk reports:
A tiny new spy device aims to automatically transcribe and Tweet overheard conversations. It’s called Conversnitch.
Brian House and Kyle McDonald are behind the eavesdropping device.
They say it bridges the gap between (presumed) private physical space and public space online.
One of the creators, Kyle McDonald, released a video of the device being connected to a table lamp at a bank, in a hanging lamp at a McDonald’s, in a library light, and even a street lamp in a New York City park.
The device needs to have continuous access to an Internet-connected wireless network to work. It continually records 10 second samples, analyzes for interesting audio and uploads a transcribed version of it.
Their Twitter feed shows conversations they say have been captured by their device.
Read more on MyFoxNY.

Improving your image comes with certain risks...
NYPD Twitter campaign 'backfires' after hashtag hijacked
A plan by the New York Police Department to use Twitter to boost its image seems to have backfired.
Users were asked to tweet a photo of themselves with officers and add the hashtag #myNYPD as part of a social media campaign.
But instead of a steady stream of friendly photos, the hashtag was quickly adopted by users posting images of possible police aggression.
… By Wednesday, the hashtag had become one of Twitter's top trending terms.
… Other Twitter interactions that have backfired include US Airways posting an explicit photo in response to a customer's tweet and McDonald's using a hashtag to highlight its farmers that quickly got taken over by people sharing their bad experiences of the burger chain.

Siri, met your competition. Windows users, let's hope she is less annoying than that paper clip guy...
Microsoft's Cortana mixes AI with human-added humour
Earlier this month Microsoft unveiled its smart virtual assistant, which will work on Windows Phone smartphones, and eventually across other services too.
Cortana has been described as a cross between Apple's Siri and predictive assistant, Google Now. It is inspired by the digital guide in Microsoft's bestselling console game franchise Halo.

For my vets.
New Website Helps Vets Manage Benefits, Apply for Loans
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 23, 2014
eBenefits is a portal; a central location for Veterans, Service Members, and their families to research, find, access, and, in time, manage their benefits and personal information. eBenefits offers:
  • A personalized workspace called My Dashboard that provides quick access to eBenefits tools. Using eBenefits tools, you can complete various tasks. You can apply for benefits, download your DD 214, view your benefits status, in addition to other actions as needed. This workspace is available to you once you have created an eBenefits account
  • A catalog of links to other sites that provide information about military and Veteran benefits.”

For my students.
Ace Your Next Exam Using Flashcard Apps for iPhone or iPad
In addition to reading annotations, they offer one of the best proven methods for studying for an exam.
Just as there are some awesome flashcard apps for Android, the iTunes App Store has a healthy selection for iOS too.

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