Thursday, April 17, 2014

Would the cost be trivial if this allows Putin to recreate the Soviet Union? (Now called the Common Economic Space)
Russian Economy Hit by Ukraine Turmoil
Russia's economy slowed sharply at the start of the year as the crisis in Ukraine spooked investors into pulling money out of the country. But with Russian President Vladimir Putin still enjoying high popularity ratings, the economic damage is not yet likely to soften his politics in the region, analysts say.
In the first official estimate of the Ukrainian turmoil's impact on growth, Economy Minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Wednesday the economy expanded just 0.8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier — far short of the previous prediction of 2.5 percent. Compared with the previous quarter, the economy contracted 0.5 percent.

(Related) ...and so the Dominoes begin to fall.
Moldova’s Breakaway Region Asks Putin to Recognize Sovereignty

“Security is as security does...” F. Gump (Also has implications for license plate readers)
Google's latest Street View algorithm beats its bot-sniffing security system
You know how Google's been doing such a great job associating addresses with their locations on a map? Apparently, it's all thanks to the company's new magical algorithm that can parse (with 90 percent accuracy) even fuzzy numbers in pictures taken by Street View vehicles. In fact, the technology's so good that it managed to read even those headache-inducing swirly reCAPTCHA images 99 percent of the time during the company's tests. While that proves that the system works really well, it also implies that the distorted Rorschach-like puzzles are not a fool-proof indicator of whether a user is human.

SQL Injection Breaches Take Months to Uncover and Fix: Survey
According to a new report from Ponemon Institute, 65 percent of the 595 IT practicioners surveyed said they had experienced at least one SQL injection attack that successfully evaded their perimeter defense in the past 12 months. In addition, each SQL injection attack took an average of roughly 140 days to discover and required an average of 68 days to contain.
A copy of the report can be downloaded here.

(Related) Shoemaker's children? 20 or 30 years ago, it came as quite a shock to IT when “Computer Auditors” wrote programs to analyze the security logs and began asking questions they should have benn asking themselves.
In Automation We Trust! (Or Do We?)
The sad truth is that the security practice lags behind pretty much every other IT discipline when it comes to automation.
Need to spin up compute power? Give me a few seconds. A new virtual server may even be spun up automatically when the workload requires it.
Need a new database? Take a 5 minute coffee break – it will be ready when you get back.
Need a new firewall rule? Need alerts analyzed? Need access to new system? Sure, what does your schedule look like after Labor Day?

It could be worse.
Beyond Data Breaches: Global Interconnections of Cyber Risk
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on April 16, 2014
“The Atlantic Council and Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) have released a pioneering report, Beyond Data Breaches: Global Interconnections of Cyber Risk, to better prepare governments and businesses for the cyber shocks of the future. Through a combination of stable technology, dedicated technicians and, resistance to random outages, the Internet has been resilient to attacks on a day-to-day basis, creating an extended period of prosperity. Yet, as we approach nearly absolute dependence on the Internet, [Too strong? Think about it. Bob] cyber attacks of the future can and will affect globally interconnected systems like electrical grids and worldwide logistics systems. This Internet of tomorrow will be a source of global shocks for which risk managers, corporate executives, board directors, and government officials are not prepared… Recommendations to be resilient to cyber shocks include:
  • Putting the private sector at the center of crisis management, since government management of cyber risk lacks the agility needed
  • Developing plans within organizations that have system-wide responsibility that ensure the stability of the system as a whole, rather than risks to an individual organization
  • Creating redundant power and telecommunications suppliers and alternate ISPs connect to different peering points
  • Investing in trained teams ready to respond with defined procedures
  • Conducting simulations of the most likely and most dangerous cyber risks to better prepare.”

Anything you can program your phone to do, my Ethical Hackers can program it not to do.
Mobile carriers pledge anti-theft tools for smartphones
… Owners' options will include remotely removing a smartphone's data and preventing reactivation if a phone is stolen or lost, the association said.
It appears the wireless industry has somewhat reversed course as law enforcement and elected officials in the U.S. demand that manufacturers implement a "kill switch" to combat surging smartphone theft across the country. Industry officials have previously said putting a permanent kill switch on phones has serious risks, including the potential that hackers could activate it.

So I could read my textbooks on my Kindle, if I had a Kindle. (Just an advertising suggestion Jeff Bezos. Teachers with Kindles in front of every student in America the world!)
Amazon makes Kindle documents available via Cloud Drive
If you have any documents (or e-books acquired in a "non-standard" way) stored on your Kindle, now you can access them anywhere via Amazon Cloud Drive. Starting today, documents uploaded to your e-reader via your browser, mobile device or email will automatically be stored in a new "My Send-to-Kindle Docs" folder within Cloud Drive. Unlike previous document uploads that were automatically converted to Kindle format, new additions will be saved in the cloud in their original format.

For the student's toolkit.
PowToon Makes It Easy To Create Animated Videos And Slideshows
… You don’t need to have any real expertise or experience to make something look good. You just need to be able to drag and drop, and know how to structure a narrative.

For the professor's reading list? There is a FREE subcription option to try for yourself.
Just a quick note to announce that Educating Modern Learners is now live!
… This week’s issue looks broadly at how technologies might prompt us to reframe our demands for “literacy” and includes writing from Lee Skallerup Bessette and Doug Belshaw. Next week’s issue includes writing from Cedar Riener and an interview with Roger Schank and asks, among other things, about the role of science and data in how we rethink schooling.

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