Friday, June 13, 2014

“Is not really Russian tank. Is one-to-one scale model printed on 3D printer.”
Ukraine accuses Russia of letting rebels bring in tanks

After two days of investigation, what did they find? They don't know where, or when it started – what do they know? Do they have any idea what they are looking for?
P.F. Chang’s confirms credit and debit card breach
… The company says it learned about the security breach on Tuesday from the U.S. Secret Service and began investigating the breach with the agency and a team of forensics experts. It found that credit card and debit cards were exposed, but it doesn’t know yet when it started happening and which stores were affected.
The company didn’t say how many cards were affected.

(Related) It couldn't be this, could it?
Cybercriminals Targeting Cloud-Based PoS Systems via Browser Attacks
… The malware, called POSCLOUD by IntelCrawler, targets cloud-based PoS software commonly used by grocery stores, retailers, and other small businesses, the company wrote in a report released Wednesday.
The full report from IntelCrawler is available online in PDF format.

Another “We have no clue!” beach. If they really have unprotected computers, who should be fired?
Terrence T. McDonald reports:
The Jersey City school district is investigating how a Sherman Avenue charter school obtained personal information about district students, data that parents believe the charter school used to mail the students and their parents registration forms last month.
Schools Superintendent Marcia V. Lyles revealed some details of the investigation at a citywide meeting with parents last night, with attendees telling The Jersey Journal that Lyles said METS Charter School obtained students’ names, addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth and possibly even social security numbers.
METS may have accessed the information via district computers that weren’t safeguarded to keep outsiders from obtaining student data, Lyles said, according to parents who attended the meeting.
“We are currently trying to determine what happened,” district spokeswoman Maryann Dickar told The Jersey Journal in an email. “We have had conversations with METS Charter and we expect resolution early next week.”

At least this could give Facebook some Privacy feedback – if they bother to look.
Facebook Is Expanding the Way It Tracks You and Your Data
There'a a key nugget buried in this morning's New York Times story about how Facebook is going to give its users the ability to see why certain ads are targeted to them. Starting this week, the Times reports, "the company will tap data it already collects from people’s smartphones and other websites they visit to improve its ad targeting. Users can opt out of such extended tracking, but they will have to visit a special ad industry website and adjust their smartphone settings to do so."
In other words, Facebook is giving users a glimpse of what marketers already know about them, but it is also going to give marketers more information about users—which makes sense, given that Facebook's business model is largely built on the data you provide.

“It's time we stop ignoring this troublesome law and overturn it!” Is wasting money on cases you know you can't win the best strategy these bozos can think of?
Mary Pat Gallagher reports:
The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office is asking county prosecutors statewide for their help in overturning a 32-year-old state Supreme Court precedent that requires a warrant to obtain telephone billing records.
Assistant Attorney General Ronald Susswein wants them to bring test cases where they will likely lose at the trial and Appellate Division levels, in the hope that the issue will eventually percolate up to the high court, according to his June 10 memo, obtained by the New Jersey Law Journal.
Read more on New Jersey Law Journal.

(Related) Here's how dumb is done in Canada.
Justin Ling reports:
OTTAWA — The Harper government’s new cyberbullying legislation includes little-noticed provisions that would allow police to remotely gain entry to computers and track cellphone users’ movements, privacy experts warn.
As a result of the revelations of the vast foreign and domestic surveillance programs run by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA), the U.S. Congress is at least trying to rein in some of the NSA’s powers. Unfortunately, despite all we know about the Canadian government’s involvement in the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, this country is moving in the opposite direction by making it easier for government officials to gather information about Canadians’ online activities.
Bill C-13, colloquially known as the cyberbullying bill, is currently being studied by a parliamentary committee. The term “cyberbullying,” however, is a bit of a misnomer. In a stunning display of political opportunism, the government has trotted out parents whose children have tragically taken their own lives after being bullied online. But nowhere in the bill do the words “cyber” or “bully” actually appear.
Read more on The National Post.

Other than having strangers parked near the house like those moochers at Starbucks, I'm not sure this is such a bad idea. My Ethical Hackers should be able to “discover” a way past the two hour limit, so I should be able to use my non-techie neighbor's wifi for free.
Comcast to turn your home into WiFi hotspot
Thousands of cable internet customers in Colorado will soon be helping Comcast provide wireless internet to the public - whether they know it or not.
… The company says it's already done so with one million customers and counting.
… Comcast said its free for its cable service customers. [This means you must identify yourself wherever you use their service. Bob]
… 9news spoke with Jefferson Graham, a tech columnist for USA Today. For him, the concept raises more questions than answers over privacy.
"By making so many WiFi signals out there more available, of course it's making it available to hackers, although of course Comcast would say no it's not," Graham said.
It's a fear echoed by University of Denver law professor John Soma. After studying privacy law for more than three decades, Soma says security is rarely certain.
"I'm very confident that at least a middle schooler or high school kid somewhere in the world will be able to [hack into your router]," Soma said.

This Thing could really rat you out. “Your cup has testified that you had three Harvey Wallbangers before you tried to drive home...” (If you have to ask your cup what you are drinking, you should have stopped drinking several drinks ago.)
Vessyl smart cup can tell Coke from Pepsi
… Their cup -- a slim, slightly hefty thermos-looking receptacle -- will not only identify and track what you drink and how much of it, but can do so on the fly as it senses the liquid type and breaks it down to its most vital components as soon as it interacts with the cup's sensor-filled interior. The ultimate utility with Vessyl is not to provide novelty, but to transform how we consume every ounce of liquid throughout the day.
Caffeine and sugar amounts, alongside calorie count and a proprietary metric for hydration called Pryme, are tracked through an app on your phone, and bits of that information are also displayed on a screen embedded within the cup itself. The display glimmers to life only when new liquids are poured in to notify you that, yes, you are drinking coffee -- and here's how much caffeine that particular brew will put into your system. A small pillar of light also tells you how drinking that particular amount of that particular liquid will hurt or help your level of hydration as well.

The ACLU has created a map that tracks “what we know, based on press reports and publicly available documents, about the use of stingray tracking devices by state and local police departments.” Following the map is a list of the federal law enforcement agencies known to use the technology throughout the United States.
Read more on ACLU.

The Fourth Amendment Third-Party Doctrine – CRS
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on June 12, 2014
The Fourth Amendment Third-Party Doctrine, Richard M. Thompson II, Legislative Attorney. June 5, 2014.
“In the 1970s, the Supreme Court handed down Smith v. Maryland and United States v. Miller, two of the most important Fourth Amendment decisions of the 20th century. In these cases, the Court held that people are not entitled to an expectation of privacy in information they voluntarily provide to third parties. This legal proposition, known as the third-party doctrine, permits the government access to, as a matter of Fourth Amendment law, a vast amount of information about individuals, such as the websites they visit; who they have emailed; the phone numbers they dial; and their utility, banking, and education records, just to name a few. Questions have been raised whether this doctrine is still viable in light of the major technological and social changes over the past several decades. Before there were emails, instant messaging, and other forms of electronic communication, it was much easier for the courts to determine if a government investigation constituted a Fourth Amendment “search.” If the police intruded on your person, house, papers, or effects—tangible property interests listed in the text of the Fourth Amendment—that act was considered a search, which had to be “reasonable” under the circumstances. However, with the advent of intangible forms of communication, like the telephone or the Internet, it became much more difficult for judges to determine when certain surveillance practices intruded upon Fourth Amendment rights. With Katz v. United States, the Court supposedly remedied this by declaring that the Fourth Amendment protects not only a person’s tangible things, but additionally, his right to privacy. Katz, however, left unprotected anything a person knowingly exposes to the public. This idea would form the basis of Smith and Miller. In those cases, the Court held that a customer has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the phone numbers he dials (Smith) and in checks and deposit slips he gives to his bank (Miller), as he has exposed them to another and assumed the risk they could be handed over to the government.”

How does this work? The FBI “leaks” your name to several newspapers when you had no involvement and then “clears” you. If he was never involved, how was his name connected to the investigation? The FBI still lives in the Hoover “publicity seeking” culture.
New York Times Walks Back the Phil Mickelson Insider-Trading Story
Even people leaking information to the press about sensitive government investigations make mistakes. The golf pro Phil Mickelson, who was implicated in an insider trading-investigation in articles in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times on May 30, may not be a target of the investigation.
According to both news organizations, the FBI in New York and the Security and Exchange Commission have for two years been investigating well-timed trades in Clorox (CLX) involving Carl Icahn, Mickelson, and professional gambler Billy Walters. Mickelson was said to have traded Clorox, possibly based on tips about Icahn’s investing activities that were transmitted through Walters, a sometime golf and poker partner and friend to both men. But as the Times reported on Thursday:
Although Mr. Icahn and Mr. Walters remain under investigation over Clorox, the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission have found no evidence that Mr. Mickelson traded Clorox shares. The overstated scope of the investigation came from information provided to The Times by other people briefed on the matter who have since acknowledged making a mistake.
… The events highlight the devastating impact of such leaks on everyone involved. For Icahn, Walters, and Mickelson—all of whom deny wrongdoing—the story causes distraction and serious reputational damage, which can have an immediate impact on an athlete’s endorsement deals. For FBI and SEC investigators doing the work of assembling evidence and trying to put cases together, media exposure can shut inquiries down and derail lines of investigation. They can no longer deploy covert methods [Did they say that? I call that statement BS! Bob] such as wiretaps and confidential informants, which have been powerful tools in such cases, and there is potential for evidence to be destroyed.

Why the surprise? Did they think beer was made with the livers of endangered species? It's beer! I imagine Budweiser thought the ingredients were obvious.
Budweiser finally reveals what's in its beer
... A popular blogger known as the "food babe" started a petition asking major brewers to list their ingredients. The petition picked up steam, gathering more than 40,000 signatures in 24 hours.
The company responded surprisingly fast, listing its ingredients on the website It turns out Bud and Bud Light have only five ingredients: water, barley malt, rice, yeast and hops.

Perhaps we could smuggle a few back to the US for my students?
Mozilla to sell '$25' Firefox OS smartphones in India

For my Mac using students.
Scrivener 2 For Mac On Sale Now, 55% Off Until June 15
When it comes to writing on Mac OS X, there’s no comparison — Scrivener is the best app for the job, hands down. And now, it’s available for just $20 (55% discount) from StackSocial.
… We believe it in so much that we’ve published an entire guide to walk you through its main features.

For my “I hate Microsoft” students.
Presentations Evolved: 4 Alternatives To PowerPoint & Keynote Compared
Even though you can create effective PowerPoint presentations with ease and do some cool things with Keynote, these apps are passé (not to mention relatively expensive), and it’s time to try something new.

For my techie students. Online courses and free programming books!
The Best Websites to Learn Coding Online

For all my students...
Complete These Free Courses to Become a Better Researcher
A couple of summers ago Google offered a MOOC about search skills. The content of that course is still available online for anyone to use at his or her own pace.
Power Searching With Google provides six units of study on search strategies. Each unit includes slides, videos, and text. Examples of how each strategy works in practice are provided by Daniel Russell, Google's search anthropologist.
Advanced Power Searching With Google is full of challenges through which you can test your power searching skills. The challenges include helpful videos and texts to consult when you get stuck on a challenge. When you think that you have successfully completed a challenge, you can check your answer before moving to your next challenge.

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