Thursday, August 14, 2014

If I was running one of these companies, I would have my own team rummaging through my network before something evil happens.
Chris Strom reports:
Companies that do business with the Defense Department are bracing for new U.S. rules requiring them to report computer breaches to the Pentagon and give the government access to their networks to analyze the attacks.
Groups representing the contractors are raising concern about the Pentagon rooting around their data, and say smaller companies may not even have the cybersecurity protections needed to comply. [How would they qualify for a contract in the first place? Bob] A report that was to be released today on the rules has been pushed back until Sept. 24, according to a person familiar with the matter who isn’t authorized to speak publicly.
Read more on Bloomberg.

Sounds like a fire alarm to me. Does not care about individual messages, looks at traffic flows. Like looking at cars, not drivers.
Snowden Blows NSA's MonsterMind
The United States National Security Agency is working on a new program codenamed "MonsterMind" that will automate the monitoring of traffic patterns on the Internet to look for attacks, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told Wired.
When it detects an attack, MonsterMind will automatically block it from entering the U.S. cyberinfrastructure.
It also will automatically fire back at the server from which the attack was launched. [Like turning on a sprinkler? Bob]
… MonsterMind will require the NSA to access just about all electronic communications coming into the U.S. from abroad, which violates our Fourth Amendment rights, he pointed out.

Because not everyone has just one device? More likely, those NSA stories struck a chord.
Sarah Frier reports:
Facebook Inc. (FB) will let advertisers know where a promotion was first viewed [Meaning they will be tracking you even before you connect to Facebook, and probably even if you never do. Bob] and when it led to a purchase by tracking users between their electronic devices, a tool that may reignite privacy concerns.
Marketers will be able to see the number of users that clicked on an ad, whether they used a smartphone, tablet or desktop computer, and which device was used to buy a product, Menlo Park, California-based Facebook said in a blog post today.
Read more on Bloomberg News.

I doubt this is true, but it is food for thought. Worth a read.
Why It's Now Impossible to Control Information
Information is power. That maxim has always been true.
But in the past five years, social media has completely changed who can control information. For business and IT managers, it's vital to understand this new reality. Sadly, most companies don't grapple with how things have changed, and they continue to operate under outmoded assumptions.
The following three truths, illustrated by recent stories in the news, make this new reality concrete.
1. Every individual is a newspaper.
2. Anything can end up in the court of public opinion.
3. Twitter is the world's most important medium.

Further food for thought, but extend this to the music industry and we have a blueprint for a killer competitor.
E-Commerce Is Not Eating Retail
The recent headlines about retailing are nothing if not provocative. “Shoppers Are Fleeing Physical Stores.” “The Great Mall Exodus.” “Macy’s Confronts the Crisis of the American Mall.” They seem to bolster Marc Andreessen’s prediction that by the end of this decade “retail guys are going to go out of business and e-commerce will become the place everyone buys.”
Regrettably, the scary articles completely miss the real story. And panicked retailers who get confused about what’s really happening will head off in dangerous directions.
… The current hyperbole also misses the mark in other important ways:
About half of those e-commerce sales are actually going to retailers with physical stores. Brick and mortar retailers still control between 94% and 97% of total retail sales. Several large store-based retailers (including Apple and Macy’s are growing their e-commerce sales even faster than Amazon.
… In most industries, digital technologies are transforming physical businesses rather than annihilating them. Indeed, the fusion of digital and physical innovations—we call them “digical”—creates opportunities that most businesses have barely begun to tap. A digical experience is what consumers want and have come to expect. A digical strategy, when well executed, almost always outperforms competitors and turbocharges profitable growth. Retailers may be on the front line of these changes, but no company can afford to ignore them.

I've been asking my students this question. Causes some interesting debates.
If a Self-Driving Car Gets in an Accident, Who—or What—Is Liable?
On first contact with the idea that robots should be extended legal personhood, it sounds crazy.
Robots aren't people!
And that is true.
But the concept of legal personhood is less about what is or is not a flesh-and-blood person and who/what is or is not able to be hauled into court.
And if we want to have robots do more things for us, like drive us around or deliver us things, we might need to assign them a role in the law, says lawyer John Frank Weaver, author of the book Robots Are People, Too, in a post at Slate.
… Here's the problem: If we don't define robots as entities with certain legal rights and obligations, we will have a very difficult time using them effectively. And the tool that we have for assigning those things is legal personhood.
… Right now, companies like Google, which operate self-driving cars, are in a funny place. Let's say Google were to sell a self-driving car to you. And then it got into an accident. Who should be responsible for the damages—you or Google? The algorithm that drives the car, not to mention the sensors and all the control systems, are Google's products. Even the company's own people have argued that tickets should not be given to any occupant of the car, but to Google itself.
But in a real world situation, a self-driving car might require particular kinds of maintenance or to be operated only in certain zones. So, it could be that the software was not responsible, but the owner is.
… But as Wendy Kaminer warned on our site, limiting personhood to "natural people" would have a host of unintended consequences. That is to say, pulling personhood back may be impossible, so instead, the most sensible thing may be to keep extending it... to robots.

This will (probably not) interest my Math students.
Stanford professor is first woman to win the 'Nobel' for math
A Stanford mathematician has won the coveted 2014 Fields Medal for her original work understanding the mathematical symmetry of curved surfaces and saddle-shaped spaces.
Maryam Mirzakhani is the first woman ever to win what scientists around the world call the "Nobel Prize for mathematics." She is the second person from Stanford to win the award.
Mirzakhani, who was born in Iran, has been professor of mathematics at Stanford since 2008. She received her award Wednesday at the International Congress of Mathematicians in Seoul.

For my App writing students.
– is a crawler which extracts coding patterns from a vast number of Android apps. Search or browse to get the best example code from over 7 million sources, including GitHub, Google Code, and StackOverflow. To help obtain broader and deeper knowledge, Codota shows the corresponding tutorials and forum threads right next to the code snippet.

For the student Gaming Club
6 Of The Hardest, Most Unforgiving Strategy Games Ever

For my students who read...
Project Gutenberg offers 46,483 free ebooks to download
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 13, 2014
Project Gutenberg offers over 45,000 free ebooks: choose among free epub books, free kindle books, download them or read them online. We carry high quality ebooks: All our ebooks were previously published by bona fide publishers. We digitized and diligently proofread them with the help of thousands of volunteers. No fee or registration is required, but if you find Project Gutenberg useful, we kindly ask you to donate a small amount so we can buy and digitize more books. Other ways to help include digitizing more books, recording audio books, or reporting errors. Over 100,000 free ebooks are available through our Partners, Affiliates and Resources.
  • Outernet Goes Live - Outernet is launched on August 11 2014. Outernet broadcasts Project Gutenberg and other free content via satellite. This effort is intended to help boost worldwide literacy and access to information, while bypassing impediments such as censorship and fees for access. Project Gutenberg is proud to be a launch partner for Outernet.
  • Bookshelves - In mid-2014, Project Gutenberg volunteers undertook a significant revitalization of our bookshelves. These are groupings of eBooks on particular topics, or in particular genres, or otherwise having something in common. This can be a great way to discover books you were unaware of, and it is also an efficient way of finding some of the collection of particular interest. Visit bookshelves to see for yourself!”

Something for “Ye Olde PowerPoint Presentation?”
Highlights from Folger Shakespeare Library’s Release of almost 80,000 Images
by Sabrina I. Pacifici on Aug 13, 2014
“Folger Shakespeare Library announced yesterday (12th August 2014), that they have released the contents of their Digital Image Collection under a Creative Commons Share-Alike (CC-BY-SA) license – basically meaning that the images are free to re-use for any purpose as long as you credit the Folger Shakespeare Library as the source and share under a similar license. This is a huge injection of some wonderful material into the open digital commons. Of course, there is plenty of brilliant Bard related content, but also many other gems from the history of theatre…here you will find our highlights.”

Not the Internet, they talking about the WWW. Big difference. Still, a cute timeline.
25 Years Of Glorious Internet
In celebration of the Internet’s 25th birthday, Onyx created an interactive website highlighting some Internet and technology favourites.

Moving beyond the car radio.
NPR One Brings The Best Of US Public Broadcasting To iOS & Android
NPR One, the latest free app available on iTunes and Android. Read on to find out what makes this app awesome.

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