Saturday, August 23, 2014

This reads like the DHS knew about the Cyberattack in December 2013 (Target) but no one figured out that it was software based until late July 2014. I doubt that very much. What is really going on here?
Most U.S. Businesses Don’t Know They Were Caught Up In Massive Cyberattack
Is your payment information safe? It’s hard to know, considering many companies hit by the same cyberattack that hit Target don’t even know it.
According to a New York Times report published Friday, more than 1,000 businesses, including Supervalu and United Postal Service (UPS), were caught up in a breach affecting in-store cash register systems. The Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory that said millions of American payment cards have been affected by the hack.
At the end of July, the report says government agencies instructed companies to check for “Backoff” malware, a type of infection that occurs at the Point Of Sale. Since then seven companies have told the government their systems were hacked, but the Times says the Secret Service estimates more than 1,000 have not checked or stepped forward. Government agencies have instructed companies to search for the “Backoff” malware on their systems or enlist the help of antivirus companies.
[From the DHA notice:
… One particular family of malware, which was detected in October 2013 and was not recognized by antivirus software solutions until August 2014, has likely infected many victims who are unaware that they have been compromised.

Are hackers getting better or is it just better reporting?
Wow. At first I thought WantChinaTimes was just rehashing older news, but they’re not. They report:
South Korean authorities have unveiled a massive leak of personal information related to more than 70% of the population aged between 15 and 65 in the country. A hacker from China is one of the perpetrators, reports Duowei News, a news website operated by overseas Chinese.
The main perpetrator, last name Kim, was arrested along with over a dozen others for stealing and selling over 220 million items of personal information from 27 million South Koreans aged between 15 and 65, which accounts for about 72% of that demographic range, according to the South Jeolla Provincial Police Agency on Aug. 21.
The information had been stolen through hacking registrations on websites for online games, movie ticketing and ring tone downloads. A registration on any one of the websites can be used to trace registrations for the same person from other online service providers, the police said.
Kim Bong-Moon of Korea JoongAng Daily reports that 16 were arrested, and adds some details:
According to police, Kim reportedly received 220 million personal information items, including the names, resident registration numbers, account names and passwords, of the 27 million people from a Chinese hacker he met in an online game in 2011.
The police suspect he used the personal information to steal online game currency by using a hacking tool known as an “extractor,” which automatically logs on to a user’s accounts once the login and password are entered. He is also thought to have sold those cyber items for profit.
When passwords he received were wrong, he allegedly bought the personal information on the identification cards and their issue dates from a cellphone retailer in Daegu to change the passwords himself.

Fuel for debate? (No answers in this video)
Is Technology Shifting Our Moral Compass?
At this year's Aspen Ideas Festival, we asked a group of experts what new technologies like self-driving cars and drones might mean for our collective conscience. "When a technology first comes into the marketplace, there are always unintended consequences," says Ping Fu, chief strategy officer for 3D Systems.

I suspect the same things apply here.
OTTAWA, August 21, 2014 – Understanding a website’s privacy practices should not require a law degree or time-consuming search for relevant information, says Privacy Commissioner of Canada Daniel Therrien. Online privacy transparency has emerged as a significant concern and is among the key issues highlighted in the Commissioner’s 2013 Annual Report to Parliament on the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, Canada’s federal private sector privacy law.

Big Brother fights terrorists!
Paul Ciocoiu reports:
The Romanian parliament passed a new law in June that makes it obligatory for all users of pre-paid SIM cards to register them, but the move designed to thwart terrorists has sparked an ongoing debate about whether the measure encroaches on the citizens’ right to privacy.

Russia demonstrates that they can cross the boarder whenever they want and do whatever they want in the Ukraine. Next week they may send in 40,000 AK47 carrying “vacationers” and Europe and the US will do nothing.
Truck Convoy Returns to Russia From Ukraine
The huge convoy of Russian trucks that entered war-torn eastern Ukraine on Friday, sharply escalating tensions, returned to Russian on Saturday after unloading food and medicine in the city of Luhansk, and the Russian government quickly declared its satisfaction with the operation.
Russia’s decision to send the convoy across the border without an escort by the International Red Cross or final clearance from the Ukrainian government in Kiev, had drawn harsh criticism. President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine called it a “flagrant violation of international law.” Another senior Ukrainian official denounced it as a “direct invasion.” And NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasumussen in a statement condemning the convoy’s entry, said it coincided with a “major escalation in Russian military involvement in eastern Ukraine.”

This could be very dangerous in the hands of anyone who dies not have a limitless budget.
Is the Future of Shopping No Shopping at All?
In a survey on what he terms "predictive shopping," Harvard Law professor Cass Sustein found that 41% of people would "enroll in a program in which the seller sent you books that it knew you would purchase, and billed your credit card." That number went down to 29% if the company didn't ask for your consent first.
But what if the products and services were different, like a sensor that knew you were almost out of dish detergent? Without consent, were people willing to have a company charge their account and send them more detergent? Most people (61%) weren't. But the results were a bit more interesting when Sustein did a similar survey among university students. While most still weren't into being charged automatically for books they might like, "69% approved of automatic purchases by the home monitor, even without consent." The professor posits that "among younger people, enthusiasm is growing for predictive shopping, especially for routine goods where shopping is an annoyance and a distraction."

We called them model airplanes and built them of balsa wood when I was a kid (shortly after the Wright brothers showed us how).
Drone-Rule Uproar Shows Hurdles to U.S. Commercial Rules
Hobbyists who’ve been flying unmanned airplanes and helicopters for decades asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (1002L:US) yesterday to block what they see as new restrictions imposed in June on the recreational flights.
Separate appeals were filed in the court by a drone investment group, Washington-based UAS America Fund LLC, and universities seeking broader access to unmanned aircraft for research.

Is there no justice? Where is the lawyer for the monkey?
Monkey selfie can’t be copyrighted: US regulator
WASHINGTON: US regulators have ruled in effect that the now infamous 'selfie' taken by a monkey that swiped a photographer's camera cannot be copyrighted — because it wasn't taken through a creative, self-aware process. In other words, it was more on account of an accident than smart thinking by the monkey or the photographer.

Does this suggest some business model that reviews/suggests Apps for specific groups of people? Like “Apps for Lawyers” or “Apps for students?”
Most U.S. smartphone owners don't give a fig about downloading new apps: ComScore
When it comes to apps, it seems people are as adventurous as 80-year old grandmas.
There are billions of apps out there (1.2 billion in the App Store and 1.3 billion in the Play Store), however, users have mostly shunned new apps and have stuck with ones they've already downloaded.
According to data from research firm ComScore, 65.5 percent of American smartphone users neglected to download a single app in a typical month. In its latest mobile app report, the company said that most of the remaining users that committed to a download only took in one or two apps. Only a small fraction of smartphone owners in the United States downloaded more than four apps per month.

Every week I find amusement.
The US Department of Education has given states a “reprieve” on using standardized tests to evaluate teachers’ performance. ['cause we were never serious about that. Bob]
The ACLU has filed a complaint over the Mendon-Upton School District’s iPad policies. The district allows low income students (those who are eligible for free or reduced lunches) to take their school-issued iPads home; others cannot.
Coursera and the Carlos Slim Foundation have partnered to launch Acceso Latino: “a free website created to provide U.S. Latinos easy access to tools and content about education, healthcare, job training, culture and more. This site will serve as a valuable resource to help Latinos succeed in the United States.”
Online preschool, I kid you not.
Compton Unified District school police are now authorized to carry semi-automatic AR–15 assault rifles.
Students in Dubuque Community School District will have to wear heart monitors in gym class. “The results will be transferred to an iPad and projected onto a big screen in the gym.” The data will be used to as part of a student’s grade. WTF. Who owns that data?
Northern Illinois University will restrict access to "political content," Wikipedia, Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Foursquare via dorm WiFi.
68% of Americans think it should be a crime for children under age 9 to play in a park unsupervised.

Cheap and free Apps
Save On Double Dragon, R.Type & More Retro Classics, Plus Free Star Trek [iOS Sales]

For the student Book Club. (SciFI is good!)
The Hugo Awards

For my students. How would you use Watson? Teacher/tutor?
Remember when IBM’s “Watson” computer competed on the TV game show “Jeopardy” and won?
… IBM, a company with a long and successful tradition of internally-focused R&D activities, is adapting to this new world of creating platforms and enabling open innovation. Case in point, rather than keep Watson locked up in their research labs, they decided to release it to the world as a platform, to run experiments with a variety of organizations to accelerate development of natural language applications and services. In January 2014 IBM announced they were spending $1 billion to launch the Watson Group, including a $100 million venture fund to support start-ups and businesses that are building Watson-powered apps using the “Watson Developers Cloud.” More than 2,500 developers and start-ups have reached out to the IBM Watson Group since the Watson Developers Cloud was launched in November 2013.

So we should stop teaching and start training? How about if we teach the trainers?
It's Not a Skills Gap: U.S. Workers Are Overqualified, Undertrained
… Something is clearly broken in the labor market. The problem may not be the skills workers ostensibly lack. It may be that employers’ expectations are out of whack. That’s the premise of a paper by Peter Cappelli, a management professor at the Wharton School. For much of the twentieth century, it was up to industry to pluck smart, capable college graduates and turn them into quality workers. In recent decades, on-the-job training has declined. Companies want new hires to be able to “hit the ground running.”

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