Wednesday, April 23, 2014
“Yes, this does sound like one of Hitler's justifications. But, Hitler failed when he ran into Russia. We don't have that problem because we ARE Russia!”
Ukraine crisis: Russia 'to respond if its interests' attacked
Speaking to Russian state TV channel RT, Mr Lavrov also accused the US of "running the show" in Ukraine.
It was "quite telling" that Kiev had re-launched its "anti-terrorist" operation during a visit by US Vice-President Joe Biden, he said.
… "If our interests, our legitimate interests, the interests of Russians have been attacked directly, like they were in South Ossetia for example, I do not see any other way but to respond in full accordance with international law."
The Russian foreign minister did not specify what interests he was referring to. Thousands of Russian troops have massed along Ukraine's borders in recent weeks.
Russian fought a brief war with Georgia in the summer of 2008 after Tbilisi sent troops into the breakaway region of South Ossetia to regain control from the Russian-backed rebels.
Very interesting article. Perhaps the NSA likes it this way? Perhaps it's “Good enough for government work?” Perhaps nothing serious enough to get our attention has happened yet.
The Heartbleed computer security bug is many things: a catastrophic tech failure, an open invitation to criminal hackers, and yet another reason to upgrade our passwords on dozens of websites. But more than anything else, Heartbleed reveals our neglect of Internet security.
The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software—in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted—are four core programmers, only one of whom calls it a full-time job.
In a typical year, the foundation that supports OpenSSL receives just $2,000 in donations.
Why I want my Ethical Hackers to program these systems. “What works is not always what's best.”
Introducing AISight: The slightly scary CCTV network completely run by AI
Imagine a major city completely covered by a video surveillance system designed to monitor the every move of its citizens. Now imagine that the system is run by a fast-learning machine intelligence, that's designed to spot crimes before they even happen.
… Behavioral Recognition Systems, Inc. (BRS Labs) is a software development company based out of a nondescript office block in Houston Texas, with the motto: "New World. New security."
Headed by former Secret Service special agent John Frazzini, the company brings a crack team of security gurus to bear on its ambitious artificial intelligence projects.
Sometimes whacking a politician with the proverbial 2X4 will get their attention. (If not, you still got to whack them.) I can't find a link to the bill, yet.
Brazil Passes Trailblazing Internet Privacy Law
Brazil's Congress on Tuesday passed comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy in what some have likened to a web-user's bill of rights, after stunning revelations its own president was targeted by US cyber-snooping.
… Still, Brazilian authorities do not control what happens outside their country; the government-backed law stopped short of requiring companies such as Google and Facebook to store local users' data in Brazilian data centers.
I don't think we reached quite so dismal a conclusion in the last PrivacyFoundation.org seminar, but we did have some real concerns.
Erin McCann reports:
The new 2014 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report [see yesterday's blog Bob] highlights a concerning carelessness regarding privacy and security, specific to the healthcare industry.
“They seem to be somewhat behind the curve as far as implementing the kinds of controls we see other industries already implemented,” said Suzanne Widup, senior analyst on the Verizon RISK team, in an interview with Healthcare IT News discussing report findings.
Read more on Healthcare IT News.
(Related) Perhaps the cost of “failure to encrypt” is going up? ($250,000 / 148 = $1,689.19)
QCA Health Plan, Inc., of Arkansas, has agreed to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules, agreeing to a $250,000 monetary settlement and to correct deficiencies in its HIPAA compliance program.
… On May 3, 2012, HHS notified QCA of its investigation, which found:
A. QCA did not implement policies and procedures to prevent, detect, contain, and correct security violations, including conducting an accurate and thorough assessment of the potential risks and vulnerabilities to the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of ePHI it held, and implementing security measures sufficient to reduce risks and vulnerabilities to a reasonable and appropriate level to comply with 45 C.F.R. § 164.306 from the compliance date of the Security Rule to June 18, 2012.
B. QCA did not implement physical safeguards for all workstations that access ePHI to restrict access to authorized users on October 8, 2011.
C. QCA impermissibly disclosed the ePHI of 148 individuals on October 8, 2011.
If this breach comes as a surprise to you, it’s a surprise to me, too. Note that because this breach affected less than 500, it never appeared on HHS’s public breach tool, and this is the first I’m hearing about this incident.
… A copy of the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) can be found here (pdf).
(Related) ($1,725,220 / 870 = $1,983.01)
Concentra Health Services (Concentra) has agreed to pay OCR $1,725,220 to settle potential violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy and Security Rules, and will adopt a corrective action plan to evidence their remediation of these findings.
The settlement stems from an incident on November 30, 2011 (previously reported here) in which a laptop with unencrypted PHI of 870 patients was stolen from Concentra’s physical therapy office in Springfield, Missouri.
… A copy of the corrective action plan (CAP) can be found here (pdf).
Ah man, now every patient will want to “accidentally” leave their phone on record! (Unless this is a violation of the doctor's privacy and he counter-sues.)
Ever wonder what your doctors are saying about you while you’re knocked out under anesthesia? One patient found out after he accidentally left his cellphone in record mode during a colonoscopy. Now he’s suing.
I can explain the raw data to my Statistics students, but how do I explain that – no matter how often the WSJ reports what appears to be insider trading, is ignored by the SEC.
Flurry of Allergan Trading Preceded Offer
Investors made outsize bets on Allergan Inc. stock in the 10 days during which activist hedge-fund manager William Ackman was privately accumulating a stake in the Botox maker, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
Mr. Ackman's Pershing Square Capital Management LP said Monday after the close of trading that it had bought a 9.7% stake in Allergan and had joined with Valeant Pharmaceuticals International Inc. to buy Allergan. Mr. Ackman and Valeant unveiled the offer, valued at roughly $46 billion, on Tuesday, and Allergan's stock surged 15%.
Even after stripping out Mr. Ackman's buying, the volume of stock trading in Allergan during the 10-day period before Monday's announcement was 86% higher than its average over the previous year, according to the Journal analysis, based on trading data provided by research firm S&P Capital IQ.
There is no indication investors were tipped off about Pershing's and Valeant's offer. And other traders could have bought based on the higher volume. But such a significant surge in trading suggests that information about the potential buyout bid could have leaked to other investors, analysts said.
Perhaps Facebook made a good purchase?
WhatsApp, the world's most popular instant messaging service, has reached a new milestone of 500 million monthly active users despite the Facebook backlash. The $19 billion deal with Facebook may not have been welcoming news for several users, raising concerns over data privacy, but WhatsApp seems unaffected as it continues to grow at a rapid pace. The cross-platform messaging service added 50 million users since February, when Facebook announced the acquisition.
Perspective. The question it raises in my mind is, why slow an effective therapy/cure?
Gilead’s Medicine Sovaldi Beats Estimates by $1 Billion (1)
Gilead Sciences Inc. overwhelmed sales estimates for its new blockbuster hepatitis C pill in what analysts called the biggest drug start ever, raising questions about insurers’ ability to slow the use of the costly therapy.
… Sovaldi sells for $84,000 for a 12-week course of treatment. That cost has attracted scrutiny from health insurers and lawmakers.
Perspective. Seems like another “we can make everyone equal right now!” gambit. Another view might be to make it easier for (even encourage) everyone to make capital investments. Of course, what do I know?
Piketty’s book on capitalism presents policy challenge
American progressives continue to celebrate Thomas Piketty’s new book on capitalism, which says that under present trends the inequality in society will grow inexorably with negative implications for growth and prosperity.
The French economist’s analysis of trends over three centuries in “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” leads him to predict that wealth in the U.S. and other developed countries will continue to grow more concentrated, increasing its share of new wealth, eventually producing a rentier society like that in Europe in the 19th century.
… But there is a hitch. Piketty’s solution, which he defended as the only effective solution in some recent appearances in Washington, is a progressive tax on wealth.
… Schmitt relates how Piketty, in book presentations at the Economic Policy Institute and the Urban Institute in Washington, described other efforts to reduce the return on capital or boost growth as all very worthy but ultimately only “complements” to the solution that gets at the core of the problem — namely, the global progressive wealth tax that he proposes. Watch a video of the EPI event.
Perspective. Colorado likes to legalize stuff. Perhaps we could even bring amateurs into the mix; similar to Uber or Airbnb.
There Is Now an App for Prostitution
The new app, Peppr, is similar to a dating site, but it’s for connecting prostitutes to clients.
In 2002, Germany legalized prostitution, and the industry there has expanded dramatically since then. Some estimates put the number of prostitutes in Germany at about 400,000, many of whom are foreign nationals from economically stressed parts of Europe like Bulgaria and Romania. According to the Telegraph, the country’s sex industry is worth $21 billion a year, and several 12-story megabrothels have opened.
… And now a startup based out of Berlin has launched an app called Peppr, which bills itself as the “first mobile Web app for booking erotic entertainment.” Prospective clients simply list their location, acknowledge they are at least 18 years old, select a gender of choice, and they’re presented with photos and profiles of potential men or women offering to have sex for a fee. Prostitutes set up their profiles for free and clients pay €5 to €10 for booking.
For my students who read.
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