Friday, September 26, 2014

Always worthwhile.
The Privacy Foundation at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law presents:
PRIVACY: The Internet of Things (IoT)
FRIDAY, October 10, 2014, 10:00 am — 1:00 PM Followed by lunch
Ricketson Law Building, Room 290 2255 E Evans Avenue Denver, Colorado 80208

For my Ethical Hackers.
Kevin Mitnick Launches Brokerage Service for Zero-Day Exploits
According to Mitnick Security, Absolute Zero-Day Exploit Exchange is an exclusive brokerage service through which top-paying government and corporate buyers can connect with security researchers and exploit developers. The service was silently launched six months ago, but the company only started publicly advertising it recently.
Selling exploits to government agencies is a highly controversial matter. Companies like Vupen and Exodus Intelligence have often been in the spotlight over their practices. It's interesting that Mitnick would take on this role considering his history with the US government and the fact that he plans on launching a book that teaches people how to stay "invisible" in this age of Big Brother and big data.
However, Mitnick told Wired in an interview that he would never consider selling exploits to governments like the one in Syria or a criminal organization. [That's “where the money is” Kevin. Bob]

For my Computer Security students.
Shellshock’ Bug Spells Trouble for Web Security
As if consumers weren’t already suffering from breach fatigue: Experts warn that attackers are exploiting a critical, newly-disclosed security vulnerability present in countless networks and Web sites that rely on Unix and Linux operating systems. Experts say the flaw, dubbed “Shellshock,” is so intertwined with the modern Internet that it could prove challenging to fix, and in the short run is likely to put millions of networks and countless consumer records at risk of compromise.
The bug is being compared to the recent Heartbleed vulnerability because of its ubiquity and sheer potential for causing havoc on Internet-connected systems — particularly Web sites. Worse yet, experts say the official patch for the security hole is incomplete and could still let attackers seize control over vulnerable systems.
The problem resides with a weakness in the GNU Bourne Again Shell (Bash), the text-based, command-line utility on multiple Linux and Unix operating systems.

Should we be “Concerned” that the FBI is “Concerned?”
FBI Director ‘Concerned’ About New Smartphone Encryption
FBI Director James Comey on Thursday said he’s bothered by moves by Apple Inc. and Google Inc. to market privacy innovations on smartphones that put some data out of the reach of police, saying agency officials have been in touch with both companies.
“What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves beyond the law,” Mr. Comey said in a briefing with reporters, reports WSJ’s Brent Kendall.
Mr. Comey said he still wants to get a better handle on the implications of the technology, saying FBI officials have engaged in discussions with the companies “to understand what they’re thinking and why they think it makes sense.” [Because of comments like this? Bob]
As WSJ earlier reported, officials in Washington have been expecting a confrontation with Silicon Valley in the wake of Apple’s announcement that its new operating system for phones would prevent law enforcement from retrieving data stored on a locked phone, such as photos, videos and contacts.

Even Facebook thinks it's wrong.
John Ribeiro reports:
Facebook’s appeal against the collection by law enforcement in New York of bulk user data under a gag order has been accepted.
The appellate division, first department of the New York State Supreme Court ruled Thursday against a government move to dismiss the appeal as well as accepted briefs in support of Facebook filed by some civil rights organizations and tech companies, including Google and Microsoft.
Read more on ITWorld.

(Related) New to me. (I haven't been invited) Simple Business Plan: Learn what irritates users and build a system that doesn't do that.
Will anti-Facebook Ello draw big fan base for its anti-ad nature or its big privacy promise?
The more they learn about Facebook, the more some people are turned off by the social networking site and its practices. But Ello shuns a good deal of what turns users against Facebook, promising no ads and hefty privacy compared to Mark Zuckerberg's site.
Paul Budnitz created and designed Ello, a social networking site that uses an invite-only strategy, at least for right now. Ello's exclusivity is likely the big factor driving some of the site's rising demand, but its privacy approach -- the social network vows it will never sell user data to anyone and it seeks to operate without shoving sponsored ads in front of its users' eyeballs -- is what may make users big fans in the long run.
… "When a network is run for advertisers, the advertiser is really the customer," Mr. Budnitz said. "That really goes against what a social network is. When you're putting up artwork, or something you wrote or created, and there's an add for underwear, it conflicts in a violating way."

(On the other hand) Some free isn't?
Ello Says You're Not a Product, But You Are

It all started with troops of the King of America – and even they got it wrong.
If you slept through your history classes in school, and now wish you had paid more attention to the Bill of Rights, Mike Maharrey provides a nice recap of the historical context for the Fourth Amendment.
And then he goes on to point out how our government violates it every damned day.
Read more on Tenth Amendment Center.

Another issue we can debate endlessly.
An Information Theory of Copyright Law
Fromer, Jeanne C., An Information Theory of Copyright Law (September 23, 2014). Emory Law Journal, Vol. 64, p. 71, 2014. Available for download at SSRN:
The dominant American theory of copyright law is utilitarian, in offering the incentive of limited copyright protection to creators to generate material that is valuable to society. Less settled is the question of the sorts of works that copyright law seeks to encourage: Ever more copyrightable creations? Only some that are artistically worthy? What makes a work valuable to society? This Article seeks to answer important aspects of these questions by examining them through the lens of information theory, a branch of applied mathematics that quantifies information and suggests optimal ways to transmit it. Using these concepts, this Article proposes that what makes expressive works valuable to society is that they make a contribution in at least one of two principal ways: by using that expression to communicate knowledge — be it systematic, factual, or cultural — and by conveying expression that is enjoyable in and of itself. Information theory sheds light on how copyright law can spur these valuable works. In undertaking this analysis, this Article explores the implications for the central doctrines of copyright law, including copyrightability, the idea-expression distinction, infringement, and fair use. In this context, this Article also considers whether we want distinct creators communicating these valuable types of information or whether it is optimal to unify particular communications of information in a single creator.”

This could save the postal service. If it works, can we sell it to Amazon?
Postal Service Seeks to Extend Grocery Deliveries
The U.S. Postal Service wants to deliver more groceries for Inc., and potentially for other retailers.
… In a filing Tuesday with the Postal Regulatory Commission, the Postal Service said the expanded test could bring in revenue of more than $10 million a year for the cash-strapped agency. It said it is hoping to develop "a long-term, scalable solution to enable expansion of customized delivery to additional major metropolitan markets across the nation."

My Excel students are in for a surprise this Quarter.
Data Visualization: Old Practice, New Value
Data visualization is not new.
During a recent International Institute for Analytics (IIA) webinar, Bill Franks, chief analytics officer for Teradata and author of several books including Taming the Big Data Tidal Wave and the forthcoming The Analytics Revolution, shared a visualization created in 1869 to illustrate Napolean's troop losses during his invasion of Russia in 1812. Those early visualizations required lots of manual labor to collect and then illustrate the data, chores performed by a data specialist.
Despite advancements through the years, visualization remained largely the purview of data specialists until visualization capabilities were added to desktop tools such as Microsoft Excel. Yet even using those tools, creating visualizations was a labor intensive process that involved lots of cutting, pasting and manual entry of data.
Today, however, modern tools make it easy to create robust data visualizations, Franks said, and to combine text with visuals so analytics can "tell a story."
On the "outer edge" of data visualization, some companies are beginning to leverage technologies used for video gaming and other immersive experiences to produce compelling visualizations, he said, noting that Facebook purchased virtual reality headset maker Oculus in March.
… Tools from such companies as SAS, Tableau, Tibco Spotfire, QlikView and MicroStrategy facilitate this kind of exploration, which can result in discovering trends and patterns that were difficult to identify before, Franks said.

The 36 best tools for data visualization
… Not a web designer or developer? You may prefer Free tools for creating infographics.

(Related) ...and because these are amusing.
22 maps and charts that will surprise you

Really interesting, but really new. If you see an image on your screen, you can search for that image.
Google Search by Image” From Your Screenshots With This Extension
... “Screenshot Search” lets you take a screenshot and upload that to Google Search By Image, instantly and do a search.

For my i- students. Type without typing? How Zen. Consider Privacy!
Type Superfast With Real Time Voice Dictation in iOS 8
Relatively little has been said about the new real-time dictation function in iOS, and in previous versions it may not have been worthy of the highlight. But with the recent iOS 8 update, Apple has restored bragging rights when it comes voice dictation and mobile devices.
Past iOS dictation implementation wouldn’t show the text you dictated until you tapped the Done button, which meant activating the feature several times for long form dictation. Well, not anymore. For me, the new voice-to-text feature works more efficiently than Dragon Dictate on the Mac
The dictation feature is ready to use when you install iOS 8. You don’t need to add a new keyboard, and it works in any iOS application. However, you can only activate voice dictation using the default Apple iOS keyboard – it doesn’t show up in third-party keyboards.
The feature also requires an Internet connection to work. What you dictate is recorded and sent to Apple’s server, and in turn it converts what you say into text on your device. The feature will also access the names and nicknames in your device’s address book for more accurate spelling of names.

Dilbert illustrates exactly how I help my students!

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