Friday, May 30, 2014

No doubt this will result in a push to legalize other drugs.
Denver Murder Rate Cut in Half After Marijuana Legalization. Coincidence?
According to statistics recently released by the government in Denver, the amount of robberies and violent crimes significantly decreased since marijuana legalization went into effect. It is important to mention that this strong correlation is not definitive proof that legalization is the cause of this drop in crime, but it does strongly suggest that this is the case.
These statistics are especially convincing considering the short amount of time that this drastic reduction in crime has taken place. In just one short year the number of homicides dropped by 52.9%. Sexual assaults were reduced by 13.6%. Robberies were down by 4.8% and assaults were down by 3.7%.
The statistics measured the first few months of the year for both 2013 and 2014, and then compared those numbers with one another to determine whether they were higher or lower after legalization went into effect.

Oops! Heads up!
TrueCrypt Encryption Software Shut Down, May Be Compromised
Independent encryption software TrueCrypt is apparently not as secure as many thought. Yesterday (May 28), the TrueCrypt homepage was suddenly replaced with a notification that read "WARNING: Using TrueCrypt is not secure as it may contain unfixed security issues."
TrueCrypt is used by many security-minded people, including NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, to turn a storage device, such as a flash drive or hard drive or a partition of such a device, into an encrypted volume, protecting the documents stored in that volume from prying eyes.
But TrueCrypt's creators never revealed their true identity, which caused others to be skeptical of its integrity.

Lawyers. No matter how often I tease them about this, they still insist that encryption is too complicated for their clients – even when their clients are the firms that create encryption Apps.
LexisNexis – Study tells a Story about Law Firm File Sharing
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 29, 2014
LexisNexis Survey of Law Firm File Sharing in 2014 – “This study found that file sharing is increasingly important in law firm collaboration and while those firms are keenly aware of the consequences of IT security risks, unencrypted email – reinforced with a statement of confidentiality – remains the primary mechanism for sharing files.
  • See also this related infographic -

If it's not something you immediately recognize as part of the Internet of Things, we can “thingify” it for you! (We will know everything you do, everything you are, everything you think. Then we'll sell that information to people who want to sell you things to help you do more, be healthier and think Republican!)
Samsung wants to 'thingify' your BODY with Simband
… As Samsung says, it's a reference design for a platform, rather than yet-another-Fitbits-knockoff: “Devices based on the Simband platform will be able to gather vital diagnostic information - from your heart rate to your skin’s electrical conductivity, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Would you call this “Self-Surveillance?” Perhaps “Auto-Surveillance?”
– is an easy way to keep a record of your things. Keep an always up-to-date record of what you own, with easy access to receipts, manuals and warranty information. After connecting with Gmail, Unioncy pulls information from Amazon receipts in your inbox to create a collection of your things. They then match manuals & warranty information with important information from manufacturers and other reliable sources.

Tablet Slump Predicted as More People Buy Phablets
… "First, consumers are keeping their tablets, especially higher-cost models from major vendors, far longer than originally anticipated. And when they do buy a new one they are often passing their existing tablet off to another member of the family," Mainelli said in a statement. "Second, the rise of phablets — smartphones with 5.5-inch and larger screens — are causing many people to second-guess tablet purchases as the larger screens on these phones are often adequate for tasks once reserved for tablets."

Perspective. Is it just me or are “valuations” like this one a bit excessive?
Uber's new potential valuation? $17B
Uber’s plans to raise more venture capital could push its value up to $17 billion.
“This one could be record-breaking,” CEO Travis Kalanick said at Re/code's Code Conference Wednesday.
The San Francisco car-sharing company has raised more than $300 million thus far. Its service connects people needing a ride with drivers in 115 cities around the world and employs 900 people.

For my Computer Security students.
Google Launches Game to Teach XSS Bug Discovery Skills
Google has launched a new game to teach Web application developers how to spot cross-site scripting (XSS) bugs in their code.
XSS vulnerabilities are highly common in websites, but can be quite dangerous. In fact, Google pays up to $7,500 for XSS bugs discovered in important products.
The XSS Game, which requires a modern web browser with JavaScript and cookies enabled, is mainly addressed to Web application developers who don’t specialize in security. However, Google believes that while security experts might find the first levels easy, they could also learn a few things.
Cross-site attacks are dangerous because of what they do, but also because the three distinct types of each strike from different angles,” Chris Hinkley, a Senior Security Engineer at FireHost, explained in a late 2012 SecurityWeek column.
Cross-site scripting (CSS) can either be persistent or reflected, and cross-site request forgery (CSRF), where attackers use an authenticated session on one Website to perform unauthorized actions on another site, are also especially dangerous.

Most Mobile Breaches Will be Tied to App Misconfiguration by 2017: Gartner
Analyst firm Gartner is predicting that by 2017, the focus of endpoint security breaches will shift to mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones.
With nearly 2.2 billion smartphones and tablets expected to be sold in 2014, Gartner believes attackers will continue to pay more attention to mobile devices. By 2017, 75 percent of mobile security breaches will be the result of mobile application misconfigurations, analysts said.

For my students.
The Condition of Education 2014
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on May 29, 2014
“The Congress has mandated that the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) produce an annual Condition of Education report to help inform policymakers about the progress of education in the United States. This year’s report presents 42 indicators on important topics and trends in U.S. education. These indicators focus on population characteristics, participation in education, elementary and secondary education, and postsecondary education. This year’s Condition shows that about 90 percent of young adults ages 25 to 29 had a high school diploma or its equivalent in 2013, and that 34 percent had a bachelor’s or higher degree. As in previous years, in 2012, median earnings were higher for those with higher levels of education—for example, 25- to 34-year-olds with a bachelor’s degree earned more than twice as much as high school dropouts. Also, the unemployment rate was lower for bachelor’s degree holders in this age range than for their peers with lower levels of education.
… Postsecondary enrollment was at 21 million students in 2012, including 18 million undergraduate and 3 million graduate, or postbaccalaureate, students.

For my “You had better be researching” students. Watch the video.
Listango - A Quick and Easy Bookmarking Tool
The Internet is not lacking for bookmarking tools. Some are complex and robust while others are clean and simple. Listango falls into the clean and simple category. Bookmarking websites with Listango is a simple matter of clicking the Listango bookmarklet in your browser then choosing the list to which you want to add your bookmark.
To get started with Listango you register for an account then drag the Listango browser bookmarklet into your browser's bookmarks bar. With the Listango bookmarklet installed whenever you're viewing a site that you want to bookmark you can just click the Listango button to save the site to one of your bookmark lists. In your Listango account you can create as many categorized bookmarks lists as you like.

It's that time again. (Time for me to laugh)
… “Nevada education officials this month told a local man it would cost more than $10,000 to access the data the department has collected on his four children.” More via Education Week.
COSN and the EducationSuperHighway organization estimate that it’ll cost $3.2 billion in E-rate subsidies to connect all the schools and libraries in the US at a level sufficient to support “1:1 digital learning.” Their full report is here. [I'll wager they spend 10 times that amount and never get close to 100% connections. Bob]

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