Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Isn't theft of an access device (passwords) the jurisdiction of the Secret Service? Is the FBI really investigating or are they just going for the headlines, again. (… and why do all the headlines sound like straight lines?)
FBI Widens Probe of Naked Celebrity Photos
The FBI vowed Monday to widen a probe into the massive hacking of naked celebrity photos if necessary, after new reported leaks including nude shots of Kim Kardashian.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) launched an investigation earlier this month after a first batch of pictures, including of "Hunger Games" megastar Jennifer Lawrence, was published.
On Saturday US media reported that more nude celebrity photos, including reality star Kardashian and actress Vanessa Hudgens, had been circulating on social media.
Hackers first released a trove of nude starlets' photos on September 1, after snatching them from Apple's iCloud in what the tech giant has called a "targeted attack."
The company has denied its cloud storage system was breached, suggesting that the celebrities had their accounts hacked by using easy-to-guess passwords, or by giving up their personal data to cyber criminals posing as Apple, a technique known as "phishing."

It's for the victims customers! And for my statistics students. Watch the video.
I'm a neurotic. IBM told me so.
… Michelle Zhou greeted me with that handy personality breakdown when we met at IBM Research's Almaden lab in San Jose, California; she'd taken the liberty of finding out my Twitter handle beforehand and compiling the results. Zhou's the lead researcher for a platform called System U that analyzes the big data generated from an individual's socially networked life -- be that Facebook, Twitter, emails or even chats -- to determine their values, beliefs and personality traits. If you're not a fan of labels, then you won't like Zhou's work; after all, it did expose me for the impulsive, OCD ice queen that I am. But then again, it's not Zhou that's placing you into neatly labeled boxes; it's your own words that are responsible.
System U is based off of the study of psycholinguistics, a branch of cognitive science that examines how we acquire, use and effectively interpret language. With this as a foundation, Zhou's platform focuses on defining individuals according to three main areas of psychological profiling: the Big Five personality traits (i.e., openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and neuroticism); basic human needs; and values. It even deconstructs our online social habits, hence the revelation that I tweet heavily during lunch on hump day. It's not unlike the internal testing major social networks do with their own masses of user data, except IBM's platform aims to mine all of that data to build a cohesive psychological profile.

For my Computer Security students. How do you know what is happening in your environment? Should you employ a Security manager who can't figure it out?
IT Pros Underestimate Number of Cloud Apps in Their Environments: CSA
A new survey from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA) shows that many IT and security pros underestimate the number of cloud-based applications that are running in their environments.
The survey, which features responses from 165 IT and security professionals from around the world, found that 54 percent of respondents said they have 10 or fewer cloud-based applications running in their organization, with 87 percent indicating that they had 50 or fewer applications running in the cloud.
On average, that came to 23 apps per organization. But those estimates are far lower than commonly reported by vendors and research reports, which count more than 500 cloud apps present.
Cara Beston, PricewaterhouseCoopers' cloud assurance leader and a partner in its risk assurance practice, noted that automated software tools allow enterprises to identify existing and new cloud services that are communicating through the enterprise's network.

For my I-Students. Others may follow.
Say hello to Talko: Ray Ozzie’s startup wants to reinvent the phone call, starting with an iPhone app
… A new app and online service called Talko, from a company co-founded by the Lotus Notes creator and collaboration software pioneer, is aiming to bring the phone call into the modern era of cloud computing and connected devices.
Talko, available initially for iPhone, lets users conduct and record conversations — with a focus on making voice calls and messages more accessible, interactive and collaborative.
… Users can also take and share photos with each other using the app during a call, and send text messages through the app.
Talko can be used for one-on-one interactive conversations, but it’s particularly useful for group calls, such as team meetings.

Seems targeted at the K-12 world, but still interesting.
Microsoft Makes it Easy for Students, Teachers to Get Office
Microsoft is making it easier for students to get Office for free, and extending the benefit to teachers as well.
… To find out if you're eligible for the service, head over to Microsoft's website and enter a valid school-provided email address. You must be at least 13 years old and attend a school that has purchased Office for all faculty and staff.
Qualified students will receive the latest versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, Outlook, Access, and Publisher, plus 1TB of OneDrive cloud storage, and access to Office Online. You can install the software on up to five PCs or Macs, and Office apps on other mobile devices like Windows tablets or the iPad.

Interesting idea.
Write Emails in HTML and Send them through GMail
… The HTML Mail app sends emails using your own Gmail account but unlike the previous versions, it does not require full access to your Google Account. It only needs permission to compose and send messages on your behalf and would not be able to read anything else in your mailbox. The app is open-source but you can always revoke access from your Google Accounts page.

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