Thursday, July 10, 2014

I would think this was obvious. You want a list of people you might want to compromise AND you can determine the minimum profile for an agent you want to plant.
Chinese hackers reportedly sought data on US workers with security clearance
Chinese computer hackers were able to access the computer network of the federal agency that houses the personal information of all government employees in an apparent attempt to target workers who have applied for security clearances, according to a published report.
The New York Times reports that the hackers gained access to some databases from the Office of Personnel Management this past March before federal authorities were able to block them from the network.
… The attack in March was not announced even though the Obama administration has urged U.S. companies to share information about breaches in security with the government and with consumers, the newspaper reported.
"The administration has never advocated that all intrusions be made public," [“Except for you second class citizens...” Bob] Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the Obama administration, said in a statement to the Times.
… Hayden said the administration had no reason to believe [Interesting phrasing Bob] that personally identifiable information for employees had been compromised.

(Related) For us second class citizens.
Shelburne Country Store in Shelburne, Vermont will pay a $3,000 civil penalty for failing to inform 721 internet buyers of a security breach of their credit card information. In late 2013, the company’s website was hacked and credit card information stolen. Upon being informed of the breach in January 2014, the company quickly fixed the problem, but did not notify consumers until it was contacted by the Attorney General’s Office.
“At this stage of the game, having seen widely reported data breaches at big retailers like Target and dozens of others, we will not accept the excuse that a business did not know of its obligations to report a breach. ” said Attorney General Sorrell.
Under Vermont’s Security Breach Notice Act, businesses are required to send the Attorney General a confidential notice within 14 business days of discovery of a data breach. The business must also send notice to consumers in the most expedient time possible, but no later than 45 days. The Office of the Attorney General works with businesses and their counsel, particularly with small Vermont businesses, to help them address security breaches. The office has an open-line policy for anyone with questions about Vermont’s data security law or how to address a breach. The office brings enforcement actions under the Security Breach Notice Act only for serious violations.
Any business with questions about the Act can find guidance on the Attorney General’s website, call the office at 802-828-5479, or email
SOURCE: Office of the Vermont Attorney General

Inevitable, but not necessarily serious.
US lawmaker asks FTC to probe implications of Facebook 'big data' experiment
A U.S. senator has asked the Federal Trade Commission to scrutinize the use of big data by Facebook and other Internet companies, following a controversy over a Facebook experiment on some of its users.
… In a letter to the FTC, Warner has asked whether the Facebook experiment violates the agency's consent agreement of 2011 with the company and also section 5 of the FTC Act which prohibits ''unfair or deceptive acts or practices."
Privacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center filed a complaint earlier this month to the FTC stating that the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, violated the privacy consent order that requires the social-networking company to protect its users' privacy, and is also a deceptive trade practice.

Nothing angers courts more than being taken literally. (Be careful what you sue for?)
Aereo Now Claims To Be A Cable Company
In its ongoing effort to stay alive, Aereo is using the ruling about its illegality against the U.S. Supreme Court. While backing the broadcasters in their case against Aereo, judges ruled that Aereo “is for all practical purposes a traditional cable system.
Aereo is now taking those words literally and arguing that as a “traditional cable system” it’s entitled to a statutory license. The broadcasters are, unsurprisingly, rallying against this move, calling Aereo’s new stance “astonishing.” We think “genius” is a more apt description.

If Microsoft owns it, it must be vulnerable?
Silent Circle seeks to destroy Skype with its secret weapon: Encrypted VoIP
Silent Circle – the esoterically brooding group behind this year's "unhackable" Blackphone – has set its sights on disrupting big market players like Skype and Viber with an encrypted voIP client.
The company has announced a global expansion of its encrypted calling service, allowing around the world to make secure phone calls without incurring roaming charges.
Silent Circle's apps have always allowed customers to make encrypted calls, send secure messages and to transfer files, but until now the app had to be in use by both parties. The latest announcement means that users will now be able to make private calls to non-Silent Circle subscribers across 79 countries.
… Starting now, anyone wishing to utilise this "Out-Circle" service will be given a unique ten-digit Silent Phone number to make and receive calls without incurring roaming charges.
It does still come at a price though. Silent Circle will charge $12.95 for 100 minutes, $19.95 for 250 minutes, $24.95 for 500 minutes and $39.95 for 1,000 minutes.

For my Website and my Excel students.
– turns spreadsheets into well-documented APIs, quickly and easily. Many businesses still share product lists, service coverage areas, or other tabular information with one another using spreadsheets attached to email. There are so many things that can go wrong with this. Sheetlabs was built with the goal of making it really easy for businesses to build APIs on top of their existing spreadsheets.
[From the website: Emailing weekly updates of your product list, service coverage, or your other spreadsheet is sooo last century. Creating an API helps ensure your customers are always using your latest data, and it saves everyone the hassle of dealing with spreadsheets manually.

For my “Let's build a killer robot” students.
In May of this year, the United Nations Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) held the first multilateral discussions on autonomous weapons or, as activists like to colorfully refer to them, “killer robots.” Discussion was robust, serious, and thoughtful, but through it all ran a strong sense of confusion about what exactly participants were, in fact, talking about.

Part II

Perspective. Roughly ¾ ounce for every man, woman and child.
Colorado puts annual marijuana demand at 130 tons
Total marijuana demand in Colorado, where the nation's first recreational pot shops opened in January, is estimated at 130 tonnes this year, a study for the state's revenue authority said on Wednesday.
A day after Washington became only the second state to allow recreational sales of the drug to adults, the report said the projected demand in Colorado was much higher than anticipated.
More than 90 percent of it came from residents, while out-of-state visitors accounted for only about 9 tonnes.

For my students. (I'm probably as guilty as they)
From Idea to Final Draft: How to Increase Your Writing Productivity

Unfortunately, that does not mean they will work for free.
American teens can’t read a pay slip
Fewer than 30% of U.S. teens understand their paycheck, according to the financial literacy portion of a test administered by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.
More than one in six 15-year-olds is unable to make even simple decisions about everyday spending, and only one in 10 can solve complex financial tasks, according to the test.
Among the seemingly simple questions that American teens struggled with was determining how much money was going into a bank account from a theoretical month’s pay.
The pay slip for the month of July listed four numbers: Gross pay, deductions, net salary and gross salary year to date.
Only 28.8% could correctly say how much money was automatically deposited into the worker’s bank account. By comparison, 74.8% of students in Shanghai got the right answer. Americans also performed below the OECD average.
… How well would you score? Take the 5-question test here

Wally describes my ideal job.

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