Thursday, June 12, 2014

Anything that attracts your attention, also attracts the bad guys.
Cybercriminals Ramp Up Activity Ahead of 2014 World Cup
Similar to the Sochi 2014 Olympics and all other major sporting events before it, the FIFA World Cup 2014 in Brazil is being leveraged by cybercriminals and scammers as a means to lure victims for their attacks.
Cybercriminals are relying on the FIFA World Cup to trick users into installing malware on their computers. Trend Micro discovered a campaign targeting customers of a Brazilian ticketing website, where the attackers managed to obtain the personal details of the site’s users and sent them fake raffle emails containing links to the BANLOAD banking Trojan.
Trend Micro’s researchers also stumbled upon a BLADABINDI backdoor disguised as a FIFA World Cup streaming application, and a piece of adware (ADW_INSTALLREX) disguised as a key generator for the FIFA 14 video game.
[etc., etc., etc. Bob]

(Related) More sites should do this!
The 'World Cup Starter Kit' and the Future of Twitter
… Twitter has created "starter kits" for each of the sides playing the Mundial. Each one has about 90 Twitter accounts that help you follow what's happening in real time. If you were a new user and didn't know how to follow soccer on the service, this would instantly put you in the real-time networks that talk about the sport.

And thus the debate continues...
“In short, we hold that cell site location information is within the subscriber’s reasonable expectation of privacy. The obtaining of that data without a warrant is a Fourth Amendment violation.”
– from a Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit decision released today in U.S. v. Davis.

I bet they keep trying...
Another Fair Use Victory for Book Scanning in HathiTrust
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 11, 2014
EFF - “Fair use enjoyed a major victory in court today. In Authors Guild v. HathiTrust, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a decision that strongly underscores a fair use justification for a major book scanning program. For those counting along at home, today’s decision marks another in a serious streak of judicial findings of fair use for mass book digitization, including Authors Guild v. Google, Cambridge University Press v. Becker, and the district court opinion in the HathiTrust case itself. Given that consistent fair use record for book digitization, today’s ruling might not be totally surprising. Still, the text of the opinion is encouraging, and reflects a court that respects the Constitutional purpose of copyright as a tool to promote the progress of science and the useful arts—not a blunt instrument for rightsholders to regulate all downstream uses. HathiTrust was set up by several research universities to operate a digital library containing electronic scans of the universities’ books (Google provided the scans as part of its Google Books project). The Authors Guild took issue with three practices that HathiTrust engages in: a full-text database that returns the book name and page number for matching search results; a service to make text available in formats accessible to print-disabled people; and a long-term archive to preserve books that might become unavailable during the term of their copyright restrictions. With respect to the full-text database, the court found that although a copy of the entire work is made, the purpose of a full-text searchable database is so different from that of the underlying works that the use must be considered transformative. In fact, the court wrote, “the creation of a full‐text searchable database is a quintessentially transformative use”. [Thanks to Gloria Miccioli]

Here's a thing that won't be on the Internet of Things and therefore won't be hackable. (No scenarios like the current “24”) Unfortunately, it won't be controllable remotely either. The programming has to work the first time and every time in every possible situation.
Autonomous Weapons and Human Responsibilities
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 11, 2014
Beard, Jack M., Autonomous Weapons and Human Responsibilities (June 9, 2014). 45 Georgetown Journal of International Law 617 (2014). Available for download at SSRN:
“Although remote-controlled robots flying over the Middle East and Central Asia now dominate reports on new military technologies, robots that are capable of detecting, identifying, and killing enemies on their own are quietly but steadily moving from the theoretical to the practical. The enormous difficulty in assigning responsibilities to humans and states for the actions of these machines grows with their increasing autonomy. These developments implicate serious legal, ethical, and societal concerns. This Article focuses on the accountability of states and underlying human responsibilities for autonomous weapons under International Humanitarian Law or the Law of Armed Conflict. After reviewing the evolution of autonomous weapon systems and diminishing human involvement in these systems along a continuum of autonomy, this Article argues that the elusive search for individual culpability for the actions of autonomous weapons foreshadows fundamental problems in assigning responsibility to states for the actions of these machines. It further argues that the central legal requirement relevant to determining accountability (especially for violation of the most important international legal obligations protecting the civilian population in armed conflicts) is human judgment. Access to effective human judgment already appears to be emerging as the deciding factor in establishing practical restrictions and framing legal concerns with respect to the deployment of the most advanced autonomous weapons.”

(Related) Thinking about your tools...
The Eccentric Genius Whose Time May Have Finally Come (Again)
… Wiener is best known as the inventor of “cybernetics,” a fertile combination of mathematics and engineering that paved the way for modern automation and inspired innovation in a host of other fields. He was also one of the first theorists to identify information as the lingua franca of organisms as well as machines, a shared language capable of crossing the boundaries between them.
Wiener was 69 when he died of a heart attack in 1964. He’s come to mind recently because a conference dedicated to reclaiming his reputation is scheduled in Boston later this month. Sponsored by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Norbert Wiener in the 21st Century will feature a series of papers and panels demonstrating not only that Wiener was ahead of his time, but that now his time has finally come. Indeed, engineers who are well grounded in cybernetic theory will tell you technology is just catching up with ideas Wiener proposed more than half a century ago.
… Yet, much sooner and more thoroughly than could have been expected, memory of Wiener and of his contributions faded. Several reasons account for his eclipse. One is that during the height of his career, Wiener refused, for ethical reasons, to accept research contracts from the military or from corporations seeking to exploit his ideas. Since the military and corporations were the main sources of research support, Wiener’s defiance hindered his progress during a period of unprecedented technological advance. Besides nuclear weapons, Wiener was perhaps most worried about the technology he was most directly responsible for developing: automation. Sooner than most, he recognized how businesses could use it at the expense of labor, and how eager they were to do so. "Those who suffer from a power complex," he wrote in 1950, "find the mechanization of man a simple way to realize their ambitions."

Strange things on the Internet of Things, but will this technology prevent riots? If so, it's priceless.
New technology aims to rid World Cup of 'ghost goals'
In 1966, British soccer legend Geoff Hurst booted a right-foot shot against Germany in the World Cup championship game. The ball struck the top crossbar and rifled down near the goal line before spinning out.
Confusion ensued; it was impossible to tell if the ball had crossed the plane.
Eventually, officials awarded the goal, and England secured its first and only World Cup victory.
Try not to remind German fans.
… According to official estimates, FIFA is paying a small German start-up nearly $3.5 million to operate its new goal-line technology in the 2014 World Cup, which kicks off Thursday in Brazil.
The company, called GoalControl, would install 14 cameras in each of the 12 World Cup stadiums that triangulate the motion of the ball with maximum precision: up to 500 images per second.
With that tracking, plus sensors on the goal line, GoalControl can instantly alert a referee when the ball crosses the line. There's no need to consult a replay booth or another official; the referee in charge merely looks at their smartwatch.

Who is doing this? Note to students. I probably will not answer your emails in 15 minutes.
– Reply right away to emails. With relative timestamps in Gmail, you can see how long an email has been sitting in your inbox. Reply while the time is still green. Timestamps turn yellow after 15 minutes and red after an hour. Extensions are available for both Chrome and Firefox.

Could be a good way to nag my students!
– will say anything you type in their own voice. Just type a message to create fun, animated, talking stickers to send to your friends or post on social networks. Talkz also supports huge groups and has Voice, Pictures, Doodles, Video, Location, and Music. Talkz supports user-generated talking stickers, so there’s no end to your creativity.

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